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Recapturing change

Mark Mardell | 06:17 UK time, Thursday, 28 January 2010

President Obama delivering the State of the Union address

There were solid economic measures in this speech. And how they work out will determine the president's popularity more than his words. But the words were striking.

He tried to recapture his mantle as a man who would bring change to Washington, lecturing, scolding the politicians before him and talking of the numbing weight of politics, the frustration of Washington where every day was election day and of people's deep and corrosive doubts about the process of politics.

He suggested that setbacks he'd suffered, like healthcare, were because he put the public good before popularity.

Cross-party co-operation - bipartisanhip - is highly prized by Americans and he called on Republicans not just to say "no" but to show leadership and serve the citizens, not their ambitions.

Of course he is trying to box them in, daring them to vote against potentially popular measures such as curbing lobbyists, promoting new jobs and toughening banking rules.

Talk about the tactics and the power play is very much inside the Beltway and his tone may have some impact on how he is seen. But it'll be his plans for the economy that will really drive the voters' perception of him.

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  • 1. At 07:38am on 28 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    MM

    According to the most recent BBC /Harris Poll the issues most important to American voters (you know, the folks who're going to actually vote in November, unlike many other participants in this debate) are:

    1. Economy

    2. Employment

    3. Homeland Security


    With healthcare in the 4th place,

    almost ex equo with budget deficit.


    Gives you some perspective, doesn't it?

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  • 2. At 07:41am on 28 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    What's wrong with Nancy Reagan's "just say no" campaign?

    It sure would help in reducing poppy production in Afghanistan, if not current Administration's financial largesse.

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  • 3. At 08:13am on 28 Jan 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    Meerkat (1)

    It's only this month's perspective. I'm sure it will change in April, September and November (or any month with an R in it.)

    Anyway, shouldn't all good meerkitties be in bed at this time of night?: (Squirrel says suspiciously.) Would you like me to sing you a lullaby? "I'm mad about the boy" perhaps?

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  • 4. At 08:15am on 28 Jan 2010, crash wrote:

    How can spending a trillion dollars on health care cut the deficit?The only answers this guy ever has is to spend more money.The stimulus package is a joke unemployment has stayed over 10%,the government cannot and does not create jobs,the sooner this guy gets out of office the better.
    Then after all this he brings up the great global warming hoax,the cap and trade bill is a recipe for the final nail in the USA's economy.
    Once more he tries to put the blame on Bush,while the spending he is talking about puts our children's future at risk through the huge debts he plans on running up,the first stimulus does'nt work so we plan on a second one !This is socialism at it its finest.

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  • 5. At 09:15am on 28 Jan 2010, steelpulse wrote:

    I was trying to listen to you, Mark. Honestly. About the State of The Union speech but it was last night viewing. And the obstacles faced over the last 12 months to what seemed like minor differences to me an outsider by the new Democratic Administration - to EVERYTHING - allegedly.
    I watch a lot of comedy repeats to keep me cheerful and it was an edition of Mock The Week from 2006 presumably that contained another thing "I forgot to remember" (Thank you Mr Portillo's programme for that phrase). An accidential shooting incident at a quail hunt in the USA. Much was made of it at the time but what then happened? I forget.
    So trying to listen to the State Of Union by President Obama - my mind was toying how certain critics of his would use any similar and hopefully again non fatal incident today - if ANY member of the current Administration were to be involved?
    It was quite an enjoyable few minutes thinking of a particular News Channel's personnel allegedly literally self combusting on the TV screens of the USA in their outrage at "things not done!".
    No. Until I think there is a level playing field over there - as fair as praise and criticism is concerned - over here I will keep chuckling - albeit in a fond way to our so called Cousins. But feel free to criticise my behaviour. I will be listening in between guffaws!

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  • 6. At 10:49am on 28 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    suqirrelist,

    This meerkat doesn't need much sleep, moves a lot ( often at speeds unavailable to commercial airliners) and being rather alert, notices that you've missed OctobeR, where most Americans only begin to think 'bout who they might vote for.

    But, nevertheless, let me assure ya: they'll remember in November! :-)

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  • 7. At 10:54am on 28 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re#3


    P.S. You don't believe that our (U.S.) economic/employment problems are going to be much different in April or even September than they are now?

    But if you do, squirrelist, I have a great bridge in Brooklyn I'd simply love to sell ya.

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  • 8. At 11:03am on 28 Jan 2010, RomeStu wrote:

    2. powermeerkat wrote:
    "What's wrong with Nancy Reagan's "just say no" campaign?"


    Nancy Reagan? - Surely it started on Grange Hill!

    As to what's wrong with it? Well it didn't work did it?
    Nice idea - like the "silver ring" idea..... just words really.


    as to
    "It sure would help in reducing poppy production in Afghanistan,"

    Not as much as buying the crop for a little more than the taliban pay for it, or paying them to grow something else and then building schools and hospitals and roads.... either way much cheaper than a war.

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  • 9. At 11:04am on 28 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re #4

    [Man-made] global warming is not a hoax.

    Just look at temperatures and snowfalls in Bulgaria, Greece and Turkey.:)


    At this rate we are indeed going to lose them glaciers in Himalayas by 2035 as the most reputable record-tampering 'scientists' claim.

    The same tree huggers, btw., who vehemently oppose nuclear energy; the only major energy source which doesn't generate greenhouse emissions.

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  • 10. At 12:03pm on 28 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re $#8

    On a more serious note, RomeStu...

    The problem is that the moment you reduce poppy production in order to grow something else, the price of you-know-what starts to go up.

    Which makes those friendly Afghan growers revert to their tradtional crop.

    A least that's what those folks from UN have found out over the years.

    So we'll have to start with a demand side.

    I'm willing to listen to your sugggestions regarding the latter issue.

    [i.e., how to reduce a demand for hard core drugs in the decadent West]

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  • 11. At 12:05pm on 28 Jan 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 2, powermeerkat

    "What's wrong with Nancy Reagan's "just say no" campaign?"

    Naivete and unrealistic expectations.

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  • 12. At 12:16pm on 28 Jan 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    President Obama's State of the Union Address was well crafted, inspiring and beautifully delivered, but we have to go no further than seeing the indifference - or unequivocal opposition - of Republican members of Congress during the speech to understand how futile it will be to pursue meaningful solutions to our economic and social problems, let alone enjoy a climate of bipartisanship and cooperation where the interests of the nation are the dominant goal.

    Sadly, the focus on political gain and personal aggrandizement that he mentioned last night are much more than an impediment to progress, they are an insurmountable obstacle that is not going to go away and guarantees not only political gridlock but inability to achieve to govern and achieve our national goals.

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  • 13. At 12:30pm on 28 Jan 2010, democracythreat wrote:

    I was struck by the way Obama seems convinced that he really does have an agenda for change in the way Washington works.

    The man clearly believes change is needed, but at the same time he never says HOW he is going to change the "way Washington works". Is he just going to talk everyone into behaving differently? Is his moral advocacy going to convince lobbyists to change?

    And how are they going to change? What are the lobbyists going to change into? Monks?

    I mean, they get paid to do a job. So does everyone in Washington. If they change, does that mean they lose their jobs, and that someone else comes in and replaces them? Or do they lie to their employers, and simply refrain from lobbying their cause as they are paid to do?

    If Obama is not talking about his powers of moral advocacy, then what sort of change is he talking about? Structural change in the mechanics of political power brokering? That means constitutional change. That means a fundamental change in the "way Washington operates", in practical terms.

    Given the supreme court decision to allow even more corporate influence in Washington, it seems Obama is going one way and the law another. Does that mean Obama needs to take on not only the corporate lobbyists, but also the judicial legislators in the supreme court?

    Again, that would imply that Obama needs to consider structural changes to the system of American politics. It would imply that Obama needs to articulate his mandate for change as a mandate to propose alterations to the very constitution of the United States.

    If Obama does not propose these sorts of fundamental changes to the US constitution, then what claim can he have towards change? His moral advocacy alone? But what happens when he, the great moral light on the hill, is gone? Is it back to business as usual after his sweet words no longer prevent the evil corporate lobbyists from doing their thing? Presuming, of course, that his sweet words eventually have the desired effect. Or perhaps he believes his advocacy is so incredibly powerful that his words now will guide generations of politicians to come. In which case, he believes his words have the force of constitutional provisions. In which case he is insane.

    Obama is a constitutional lawyer, so I am curious to know what he thinks about the constitution, in regard to how well it resists corporate influence. If the system of politics has "become corrupted", then why? Is the system ipso facto weak and vulnerable to corporate exploitation?

    I am mindful of the old saying that "The police these days are much younger!" The saying is, of course, commentary on the aging process. As we get older, the world seems to change around us. But it is not the world that is changing, it is ourselves.

    I feel that way about the "way Washington works". As we get older, police get younger and Washington gets more and more influenced by corporations. In truth, police have always been of the same average age, and in truth, Washington has always been a creature serving big business and the senate the playground of corporations.

    Obama doesn't seem to get that. I find that curious in a constitutional lawyer. He is promoting change in Washington, and his premis, the foundation of his entire reasoning process, is that the system has changed from something "good for all", into something corrupt. He refuses to accept that it is his own perception of government which has matured, and the attendant possibility that Washington has always been the tool of corporations who are manipulating representation in order to reap profits for an elite few. And calling it democracy.

    Now if the realization does strike the great man, and he comes to believe that the police are not actually getting younger, nor Washington more corrupt, I wonder if he will then seek to promote constitutional change in American politics?

    If he does, he will need to forget about health care, forget about the bankers supposed problems, and forget about the democratic party. He will need to drop all those issues and, if he is to be true to his mandate for change, propose new amendments to the constitution.

    It is a tantalizing prospect, given that he does seem genuinely motivated to make good on the change mantra.

    If he does seek constitutional change, I would hope he looks at direct democracy as a possible means of controlling and regulating corporate influence upon government. By giving the common people a direct means of vetoing corporate legislation, he can prevent the possibility that those who have the power to make legislation can be bought off by corporate lobbyists.

    That is how it works in Switzerland. Corporations here can always bribe politicians to their own ends, and sometimes they sponsor legislation as they do in the USA. But in Switzerland, the people can always force a direct vote on any law, and thus they can always veto and repeal any law made by and for corporate interests.

    Thus there is a check upon corporate power, and it seems to me that the whole society benefits. Switzerland has no poverty, no war on drugs, no imperial economies, universal healthcare, a stable currency, huge savings and perpetually low unemployment.

    There is no precedent for a president coming into office with a mandate to change the US political system from representation to direct democracy, but there can be no doubt that Obama was elected with a mandate for changing the "way washington works". And he is a constitutional lawyer. And he is stating openly that corporate influence on the legislative process is harming Americans.

    I find the situation exceedingly interesting. Even if Obama is a hollow drum, a total fraud who is really in the pocket of the financial institutions which sponsored him, the noise he is making is only going in one direction.

    If he can get elected talking the TALK of changing "the way things are done", maybe next time, or the time after that, somebody might get elected who can walk the walk.

    The prospect of the mighty USA evolving into a higher and more dignified system of democracy is awe inspiring, and something I would dearly love to see. It would truly set the world alight with hope, and it would give unfathomable power to the rhetoric of freedom and democracy which has been the mantra of American politicians since the police were all old men.

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  • 14. At 12:34pm on 28 Jan 2010, RomeStu wrote:

    10 meerkat
    "The problem is that the moment you reduce poppy production in order to grow something else, the price of you-know-what starts to go up.
    Which makes those friendly Afghan growers revert to their tradtional crop.
    A least that's what those folks from UN have found out over the years.
    So we'll have to start with a demand side.
    I'm willing to listen to your sugggestions regarding the latter issue.
    [i.e., how to reduce a demand for hard core drugs in the decadent West]"


    This is a really important issue.
    Let's take it one at a time (these are just my ideas ... I make no claim to have all the answers...)

    1) if the Western governments buy the opium then it cuts the link to the taliban.... and then we could supplement that with artificial pricing on other crops to give growers no reason to grow the bad stuff .... it's not very "free market capitalist" I know, but sure would be alot cheaper than a long war.

    2)On the demand side it must start with education. (And I include Europe too - although our drugs problems do not seem to come anywhere near the levels of the poorest parts of the US.

    However either way it must be a "joined up" solution, involving action of many fronts, and an objective assessment of the scale of the "demand" problem in the west.

    Slick catchphrases and head in the sand "Hey kids - just say no" type campaigns are just a waste of time.

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  • 15. At 12:39pm on 28 Jan 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 13, democracythreat

    "Given the supreme court decision to allow even more corporate influence in Washington, it seems Obama is going one way and the law another. Does that mean Obama needs to take on not only the corporate lobbyists, but also the judicial legislators in the supreme court?"

    I believe it means it is time for members of Congress to start re-writing the McCain-Feingold legislation to eliminate what was considered un-constitutional by the Supreme Court to achieve the laudable goals of that legislation.

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  • 16. At 1:04pm on 28 Jan 2010, democracythreat wrote:

    Saintdominick, that is not change we can believe in.

    That is a futile gesture we can hope for, at best.

    After all, if the supreme court has declared the "laudable goals" of one piece of legislation unconstitutional, why do you suppose they will find the very same "laudable goals" valid in a separate document?

    If something is unconstitutional then it is unconstitutional, and putting it in a different document cannot alter the fact. Only a change to the constitution can change that fact. Or, if one is deeply cynical about judicial legislation, only a change to the constitution or a change to the supreme court can change that fact.

    You, like Obama, refuse to believe in the change you want other people to believe in. You want to change the "way things are done" without changing the way things are done.

    The way things are done is set out in the constitution, and enforced by the courts.

    Is anyone really going to make the argument that the police are getting younger, and that a once egalitarian system of real democracy has been gradually perverted by modern corporations?

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  • 17. At 1:23pm on 28 Jan 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 16, democracythreat

    "...If something is unconstitutional then it is unconstitutional, and putting it in a different document cannot alter the fact."

    It was deemed unconstitutional because it was so poorly written that it could and, in fact, was interpreted as a violation of some of our most fundamental rights, including freedom of speech. I see no reason why legislation designed to limit the pervasive influence of special interests in policy making should be objectionable to the Supreme Court.





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  • 18. At 1:24pm on 28 Jan 2010, arclightt wrote:

    @12 (StD): "Sadly, the focus on political gain and personal aggrandizement that he mentioned last night are much more than an impediment to progress, they are an insurmountable obstacle that is not going to go away and guarantees not only political gridlock but inability to achieve to govern and achieve our national goals."

    Dominick, I must respectfully disagree. If you take that position, then you are declaring that the experiment in self-government is over, and it failed. Perhaps it has, but that doesn't change my "rendering unto Caesar" responsibility to try to prevent that from being the case.

    It looks bleak, but it has looked pretty bleak at other times in our history. We have moved beyond these times by continuing to apply ourselves until the difficulties changed or moved or were otherwise dealt with.

    I can work with others who I don't agree point-for-point with, and we can work together to at least deal with things we can agree on. Even if none of us get everything we want, we can still get at least some of what we need. There's plenty of places where we can be in very broad agreement...let's go there first (believe me, we'll be busy on those for the rest of our lives).

    @All: The question is HOW. How do we move beyond talking to each other to beginning to make a difference? Who's got what they think are achievable ideas?

    Arclight

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  • 19. At 1:52pm on 28 Jan 2010, democracythreat wrote:

    SaintDominick wrote:
    "I see no reason why legislation designed to limit the pervasive influence of special interests in policy making should be objectionable to the Supreme Court."

    Ah, but this is where we differ on the true nature of the political system of representation in the USA.

    If it is true that the system enshrined by the constitution was established to allow corporate shareholding elite to dictate policy, or if that is how the supreme court read the constitution, then it is entirely logical to suppose that any attempt to limit the pervasive influence of special interests in policy making is objectionable by its very nature.

    The question is what sort of system you believe you have in the USA. If you believe is is fundamentally designed NOT to promote the welfare of special elites, then the onus is on you to explain how it went wrong, and indeed WHEN it suddenly went wrong.

    If, by contrast, one believes that the system was designed to allow corporate shareholders to control the system for their own benefit from the outset, then the onus is to show the pattern of benefit across the pages of US history.

    I find the latter task more approachable, but I am open to arguments in favour of the former.

    So, when did corporations and their owners NOT have their interests favoured by the system of representation called US democracy?

    If you can isolate when and where it all went wrong, it would be easier to isolate why, and thence how to change it.

    Obama has not done so, and nor can I do so. And from my reading of US history, I am inclined to put the perception of growing corruption down to my own growing awareness, and not to believe the world is changing around me as I remain the same person.

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  • 20. At 1:53pm on 28 Jan 2010, ann arbor wrote:

    Re: #13 democracy threat.
    "Obama is a constitutional lawyer, so I am curious to know what he thinks about the constitution,"

    That he studied the Constitution does not means that he understands, practices, or respects it. He has NEVER come to the defense of it or made any public efforts to support the reasoning behind it.

    As one studies an enemy during war, or studies competitors in business, I feel he has he insight to circumvent the intent and reasoning of the document.

    Where the second amendment insures the right to bear arms, it did not explicitly say the "government can not deprive the population of ammunition". Ammunition now is very difficult to purchase.

    Having originally noted the lack of content in his campaign rhetoric and the lack of detail in his lofty promises of last night, my view of the man is based entirely on his actions (and those he enables) and the people he uses to "help him govern" (term used loosely).

    Why no one points out that Obama's budget overrun planned for this year alone exceeds the total of George Bush's first four years is beyond me. When you consider the $1.05 trillion created under Obama, last year's total impact exceeded Bush's first 6 years. (Of course you realize that one half debt of the "money squandering George Bush" occurred under Nancy Pelosi's gavel in the last two years of Bush's Presidency.)

    Remember, when the government is insolvent and the people are effectively disarmed, we will better understand the Obama agenda.

    Obama's speech yesterday was only a "message". It had little to do with his intended actions. His objective was to preserve sufficient political capital to keep this farce going to its conclusion.

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  • 21. At 2:23pm on 28 Jan 2010, arclightt wrote:

    @15-17: There's nothing in the Constitution that guarantees that organizations have the same fundamental rights as individuals with regard to financing of political campaigns. If you want to clean the mess up, it seems to me that you should be able to require that all political donations have to come from an individual, and that any donation above $xxx requires that there be an audit trail to prove that the money belonged to that individual, and was not transferred from another individual (this should be easy enough to do by setting up separate accounts for such transactions). Combine that with a requirement that all donations have to be publicized with regard to source, destination, and amount, and it becomes really easy to see who's funding who, and for how much.

    At the very least, requiring that all donations above $xx be audited and traceable to source, destination, and amount will allow the population to know who is in who's pocket.

    If Joe Candidate gets funding from well-heeled investors to the tune of billions of dollars, then I will know where his money came from, and can draw the appropriate conclusions about whether or not I want to vote for him or not.

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  • 22. At 2:25pm on 28 Jan 2010, Philly-Mom wrote:

    Looking for change?
    May I recommend the sofa cover?
    One finds all sorts of useful things in the creases under the cushions...


    We are, generally, a complacent and apathetic people. For the most part, folks don't really give a rip about government so long as they can feed their kids and keep their TVs plugged in. (sry.)

    But - we have all become gradually, increasingly frustrated. It's harder for us to feed our kids. Some of us can't even keep our TVs plugged in. Or, our kids can't find jobs and are still at home using our TVs, messing up our sofas.

    We need change.
    Some folks are traditionally GOPers and are crying for GOP help.
    Some folks are traditionally DEMs and are rallying over there.

    What we really need is an overhaul to our economic and energy infrastructures. We need improved education, transportation, info. tech industry, safe cities, affordable healthcare & affordable housing...

    Big Gov could help fix these, but we're all a bit afraid of the big nasty government machine monster. It gives us nightmares.

    Therefore, I would like to recommend that everyone in the US eat a big bran muffin, have a nice tall glass of warm milk (hormone-free, of course - perhaps with some locally farmed honey), and Don't Panic.

    We got too much work to do to get all pissed off about old family feuds.

    "Why can't we all just get along?"
    - Rodney King

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  • 23. At 2:31pm on 28 Jan 2010, Philly-Mom wrote:

    Um... I know everyone loves to bicker about Afghanistan...

    But aren't poppies used to produce morphine? Isn't it a huge import to the medical industry? It's a freakin' cash crop. Think of all those poppy products we're sending to Haiti.

    Isn't the issue for Afghanistan that farmers were told to grow poppies instead of food? So po folks were starving while rich folks were getting richer?

    Dang - I'd go all fundamentalist-fire-and-brimstone if my kids were starving, too. Ah... but what do I know?
    -- except that Afghan kids need food, not poppies.
    -- and Haitian kids need food and poppies.

    What a weird world we live in.

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  • 24. At 2:38pm on 28 Jan 2010, U14309841 wrote:

    "He suggested that setbacks he'd suffered, like healthcare, were because he put the public good before popularity.

    Cross-party co-operation - bipartisanhip - is highly prized by Americans and he called on Republicans not just to say "no" but to show leadership and serve the citizens, not their ambitions.

    Of course he is trying to box them in, daring them to vote against potentially popular measures such as curbing lobbyists, promoting new jobs and toughening banking rules."


    Spot on Obama. Boxing them in would be nice. Them republicans and "blue dogs" just trying to do the people some good, rather than fighting in the blind rage of a brat sent to the corner would be better.

    I'd say he was just doing as he promised and the rest are trying to make sure he breaks that promise.

    If daddy saays " I'll never leave you" to their kid which adult will hold it against him when someone murders their father?

    will they say "daddy promised but he let me down".

    the Kid might, but the adult would blame the murderer.

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  • 25. At 2:40pm on 28 Jan 2010, U14309841 wrote:

    What I'd like to see is that Hillary stand up and tell those teaparty independent ex Hillary supporters that she will not run again so get behind the president and start supporting him.
    Of course that would mean she would have to get behind the president and start supporting him.

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  • 26. At 2:44pm on 28 Jan 2010, U14309841 wrote:

    23 Much of the Opium for medical is grown in turkey and Tasmania.


    there has been this suggestion that we buy the opium from the afghan farmers.
    sorry while a good idea I would rather they moved back to growing the food and supporting their lives financially on the crop they used to grow before it was so stamped down on in the war on drugs.
    Hashish.

    Remember the Talliban banned opium production for a while for a reason. farmers with nothing get addicted.
    Hashish was OK.

    To america you guys have got to get over the witch hunts against communism still. it seems so many are totally brainwashed . as much as any Chinese or Russian ever was.

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  • 27. At 2:47pm on 28 Jan 2010, U14309841 wrote:

    yes the economy will stagnate while those with the dosh hoard it.
    They would be mainly retired right voting folk I would guess.
    Oh and selfish "independents"

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  • 28. At 2:49pm on 28 Jan 2010, carolinalady wrote:

    Good mornin' y'all: time to jump in behind St. Dom in #'s 12 and 15, to back him up. Bad meerkat! I shall swat you with my broom.

    I have been troubled a long time -- clear back into the middle of the last administration -- by the GOP propensity to blame and shame Democrats for the exact same actions they then go perform "behind the curtain." To wit: ACTIVIST JUDGES. Lord God above, haven't we heard enough yammering and hyperventilating about "legislating from the bench" over Roe v. Wade? In the interests of Consitutional separation of powers, the President has every right to chastise the Supreme Court for their late decision, which effectively allows our Congress to be bought by the very corporate interests with which the American public is so furious. I was proud of him for that moment. And I was ashamed of the camera shots of the solid block of OLD WHITE MEN in GOP territory; sitting poker-faced and silent.

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  • 29. At 3:27pm on 28 Jan 2010, arclightt wrote:

    @28 (CL): It may be true that the law is an ass, but it is still the law. I doubt very seriously that the SCOTUS erred in their interpretation of the Constitution and legal precedent.

    That does not mean that we cannot go in a different direction. The Congress can, if they so choose, offer an amendment to the states to deal with this issue.

    More narrowly, the Congress can examine the SCOTUS decision and see if there is a way to more narrowly craft what restrictions were in place before, to satisfy the requirement to meet the Constitution.

    @19: What has changed is, as far as I can see, is (a) the ability to manipulate people across both time and space, (b) an entire science, with years and years of collected data, on how to manipulate groups of humans, and (c) the increasing concentration of power (economic and political) in the hands of fewer and fewer entities. This change started in the 19th century with the electronic transmission of news; was enhanced in the 20th century by the advent of radio; was further enhanced by the activities of Goebbels in the 1930s and the capturing of the German records at the end of WWII (which provided plenty of examples to Madison Avenue, political entities, and anyone else involved in "selling" an idea to anyone); was further enhanced by the advent of television, was brought to near-perfection by the linking of databases recording reams of information about virtually every member of the population, and was empowered by the continual consolidation of industries, media outlets, and the like (the advent of 401K savings through mutual funds is a huge driver, because the majority shareholders in many corporations have absolutely no instruction other than "Maximize my profits or else").

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  • 30. At 3:33pm on 28 Jan 2010, Philly-Mom wrote:

    9. powermeerkat wrote:
    The same tree huggers, btw., who vehemently oppose nuclear energy; the only major energy source which doesn't generate greenhouse emissions.

    Ah yes.
    Well this particular tree-huger lives fairly close to 3-mile island...
    AND I actually prefer noo-clee-ur energy for certain big energy purposes.

    Windmills are a great idea, but the NE Power Grid doesn't connect with the mid-west and most of the NE is too heavily populated for large mills. We'd have to park them in the ocean... which is troublesome.

    Granted, many of my tree-huger friends will argue with me about ol' Limerick (our lucky local nuclear plant - Limerick, PA)... but, my dear kitty, there are many shades of green.

    Now I must go off-line to work! I'm putting together the report to our University Board of Directors about the solar panels we just put on top of our largest academic building.
    -- Golly, I feel stimulated!

    Peace, Ya!

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  • 31. At 3:39pm on 28 Jan 2010, Andy Post wrote:

    Ref. 23, Philly-Mom:

    "But aren't poppies used to produce morphine? Isn't it a huge import to the medical industry? It's a freakin' cash crop."

    It was announced in 1973 that a team at the National Institutes of Health in the United States had developed a method for total synthesis of morphine, codeine, and thebaine using coal tar as a starting material. A shortage in codeine-hydrocodone class cough suppressants (all of which can be made from morphine in one or more steps, as well as from codeine or thebaine) was the initial reason for the research. [Wikipedia]

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  • 32. At 3:44pm on 28 Jan 2010, frayedcat wrote:

    I get weary of the self-righteousness of it all...self...Right...that about sums it up fer me. A flag pin on the lapel and using the word 'constitution' in every other sentence does not make one right or cure hypocrisy, tho it may make one Right. Waive the tea bags laddies.

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  • 33. At 3:47pm on 28 Jan 2010, U14309841 wrote:

    Really It would help if the diplobiotch would say she was not going to run next time. maybe a few of the hillarians would start getting behind the president hat way.


    On nuke energy
    right now there are questions over the waste at hanford yet to be cleaned up. still in under the storage tanks.
    still polluting. still the gov has been asked to clean up, but they are debating to leave it because it would be too expensive to clean up.

    there is no clean nuke energy nor coal. really energy is not clean. Ed would help you all with this but he was taken out back and decapitated one day.

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  • 34. At 4:02pm on 28 Jan 2010, Magnos Iacobos wrote:

    Mr. Mardell,

    While it is true that the President did indeed spin a web of silky rhetoric and pretty words worthy of the same breath as Sir Winston Churchill, the message behind those words has not changed.

    Obama made the necessary gestures at bipartisanship (something he seems to truly support), but at the same time acknowledged that there were some points that were philosophically irreconcilable. If those points are what make the difference between the two parties (and in most cases they are), then bipartisanship is a failed notion. To ask for bipartisanship on many issues, health care for instance, forces one side to accept defeat rather than have any sort of meaningful compromise. At that point the minority responds. In Congress the Republicans have chosen to resist rather than fold. Therefore: Obama may have made a pretty speech but it is merely a veil hiding the threat of force. Bipartisanship is not going to work with the current government. The political maneuvering has come full circle.

    Obama also managed to insult, in what I assume is an internationally televised arena, the commanders of his military with his comments on the "Don't ask Don't tell" policy. Whether it is right or wrong is not in question (at the moment). The question is: "When to raise the issue?" Just as you do not spank your children in the middle of the market, the same hold true with adults. Particularly adults who constitute your access to your greatest single source of manpower and ensure the national defense. If you were watching closely, those six men hardly moved at all giving the only possible opposition they could. A lack of support. That, if nothing else, is telling. The President may be the Commander in Chief, the boss as it were, but that doesn't mean his subordinates will do what he says. After all, what would happen if large portions of the US military just... leave? There are four or five million soldiers. Good luck stopping them.

    The President also made point to appear the hero by casting himself in a more human light. By attempting (and in my personal opinion failing) to appear as a good person trying to do the right thing rather than as the President of the United States, he inadvertently revealed a very important piece of information. Barack Obama is at the very least a true believer in his own mind, and therefore will not back down on legislation even if it is highly unpopular. In other words: his governance will unrepresentative of the majority of Americans.

    And all throughout the speech there were instances of the carrot being taken away and replaced by the stick. An executive order for the creation of a commission that was blocked by the Senate just the day before. Dismissal of the opinions of "the right" on several occasions. The President proposed legislation that would challenge or perhaps even overturn a Supreme court ruling just a week or so before. In other words: Barack Obama is willing to disregard any political entity that does not agree with him, even those that were put in place to check the power of the executive branch.

    About fifty minutes in the President made the point to remind Democrats of their primacy, yet another attempt to put pressure on the Republicans. While I understand the President's frustration with his chosen bills being buried by a staunch opposition, it is the right of the minority to resist oppression by the majority. By attacking the Republicans' only remaining defense (that is the requirement of a supermajority to pass legislation) he made them into the enemy; By simply voting against things, the President argued, you are not showing leadership. That is a very good argument.

    Unless you remember this: The minority is not in government to show leadership, rather it is there to resist the majority and voice the opinions of people that the majority tends to forget. The Republicans are well within their rights to simply stymie any Democrat supported bill if they believe it is for the greater good. The onus falls upon the shoulders of the Democrats to push the change forward. The majority (that would be the Democrats) must RULE; They are not there to look pretty, but to get legislation passed. It is their job, their responsibility to pass the legislation they support. Not that of the Republicans.

    None of this is new. The words were truly inspiring, the message was the same. I have no doubt that the Senate will become a battlefield, and I would not be surprised to see some of the Congress trotted out in chains to make a point. The President seems perfectly content to circumvent any obstacle in his way, why not then democracy itself? I do not mean to say that he is a dictator, merely that he has the tendency to talk and act like one AT TIMES. I stress those last two words. The road to hell is paved with good intentions, after all.

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  • 35. At 4:06pm on 28 Jan 2010, wolfvorkian wrote:

    Where the second amendment insures the right to bear arms, it did not explicitly say the "government can not deprive the population of ammunition". Ammunition now is very difficult to purchase.

    True it is hard to buy, "ann arbor". The reason why you left out... it is because the fruitcakes are hoarding it.

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  • 36. At 4:08pm on 28 Jan 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    Actually obama won because mccain in a knee jerk fashion agreed to appoint sarah palin as his vice. Its Mccain's fault that obama won.

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  • 37. At 4:32pm on 28 Jan 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    democracythreat (#13) "Again, that would imply that Obama needs to consider structural changes to the system of American politics. It would imply that Obama needs to articulate his mandate for change as a mandate to propose alterations to the very constitution of the United States."

    It may take a constitutional amendment to change the status of corporations under the constitution to permit reasonable regulation of political activity. This is not easy, however, requiring two-thirds of both houses of Congress and three-fourths of the states.

    "Obama is a constitutional lawyer, ... "

    This is not accurate. He was a law school professor for a short time, and he did teach a course on constitutional law (probably the introductory course). So did both Clintons. Any attorney smart enough to get on the faculty of a law school could teach this course. That doesn't make them constitutional scholars who make a career specializing in constitutional law. All three are politicians, not "constitutional lawyers."

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  • 38. At 4:36pm on 28 Jan 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    Hold mid term elections, and get rid of obama.

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  • 39. At 4:42pm on 28 Jan 2010, wolfvorkian wrote:

    "What's wrong with Nancy Reagan's "just say no" campaign?"

    That is one question that perhaps Sarah Palin could answer.

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  • 40. At 4:46pm on 28 Jan 2010, RomeStu wrote:

    36. colonelartist wrote:
    "Actually obama won because mccain in a knee jerk fashion agreed to appoint sarah palin as his vice. Its Mccain's fault that obama won."




    Spot on.

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  • 41. At 4:51pm on 28 Jan 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    democracythreat (#19) "If you can isolate when and where it all went wrong, it would be easier to isolate why, and thence how to change it."

    The status of corporations under the US Constitution is entirely determined by decisions of the US Supreme Court, beginning with Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad Company (1886), which held that the Fourteenth Amendment applies to corporations:

    "The court does not wish to hear argument on the question whether the provision in the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution, which forbids a State to deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws, applies to these corporations. We are all of opinion that it does." (from cited decision)

    The recent case, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission bears on the First Amendment. There are several other cases in between these two.

    By the way, the differing views on this case are not so simple as five justices seeing it one way and four another way, as reports have suggested. The following statement from the Court's summary of the decision indicates the divisions:

    "Kennedy, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which Roberts, C. J., and Scalia and Alito, JJ., joined, in which Thomas, J., joined as to all but Part IV, and in which Stevens, Ginsburg, Breyer, and Sotomayor, JJ., joined as to Part IV. Roberts, C. J., filed a concurring opinion, in which Alito, J., joined. Scalia, J., filed a concurring opinion, in which Alito, J., joined, and in which Thomas, J., joined in part. Stevens, J., filed an opinion concurring in part and dissenting in part, in which Ginsburg, Breyer , and Sotomayor, JJ., joined. Thomas, J., filed an opinion concurring in part and dissenting in part."

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  • 42. At 5:05pm on 28 Jan 2010, AndreaNY wrote:

    37. GH1618 :

    "Obama is a constitutional lawyer, ... "

    This is not accurate. He was a law school professor for a short time, and he did teach a course on constitutional law (probably the introductory course). So did both Clintons. Any attorney smart enough to get on the faculty of a law school could teach this course. That doesn't make them constitutional scholars who make a career specializing in constitutional law. All three are politicians, not "constitutional lawyers."

    *********************
    Thank you for clarifying this. It certainly explains things.

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  • 43. At 5:34pm on 28 Jan 2010, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    40. At 4:46pm on 28 Jan 2010, RomeStu wrote:

    Spot on.
    __________

    Well, the Palin Albatros was merely added to the Bush millstone and ball & chain. Palin or no Palin, the Bush burdens were too much for any Republican candidate to carry.

    All things considered, McCain did as well as anyone could reasonably have been expected to do in the circumstances.

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  • 44. At 6:17pm on 28 Jan 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    Well, the Palin Albatros was merely added to the Bush millstone and ball & chain. Palin or no Palin, the Bush burdens were too much for any Republican candidate to carry.

    All things considered, McCain did as well as anyone could reasonably have been expected to do in the circumstances.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    This is what hilary also thought when she decided run in the elctions..The democratic elections were way much tougher, and hilary backed down from the race late in the elections, if obama had chosen hilary as his vice, palin would never even be considered for the nomination by the reublicans...Lots of unhappy hilary fans, the purpose of palin's nomination was to woed those unhappy fans of hilary..But Palin turned into a blessing in disguise for obama..There is a difference between hilary and palin..Palin's appointment also made it difficult for the republicans to use their obama has no expearnce as those arguments were usually countered by pointing out to his own vice president.. mccain should have refused to have palin as his vice,why he went along with this is something he will explain some day..whether it was due to knee jerk reaction to present a duo on republican side which could make history in usa, first woman vice vs first black president, or her nomination was to win hilary voters, or both..I believe it was, both.

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  • 45. At 6:25pm on 28 Jan 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 18, arclightt

    "I can work with others who I don't agree point-for-point with, and we can work together to at least deal with things we can agree on. Even if none of us get everything we want, we can still get at least some of what we need."

    My best friend and some family members, including some very close to me, are Republicans and although we disagree in how to solve our national and international problems we usually agree that those problems exist and often find middle ground on many issues.

    Unfortunately, consensus requires dialog and a will to cooperate, and that is simply not evident in Congress.

    One of the things that struck me the most last night was the indifference of the opposition when President Obama talked about tax breaks for the middle class, finding ways to reduce student loans, and using $30B of the TARP money that has been returned by the banks to help small businesses.

    If proposals that involve tax breaks and finding ways to help small business do not enjoy bipartisan support, is it realistic to expect consensus on issues such as healthcare reform?

    Another proposal that I thought was interesting was the development of clean and safe nuclear energy plants as a tool to achieve energy independence.

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  • 46. At 6:30pm on 28 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    A comment found on HYS re pres. Obama's speech:


    "He still doesn't get it. He lectures us, but he doesn't listen. He doubled down on his agenda last night. In his mind, it's all about him. He's a narcissist. His speech was arrogant and condescending. It was replete with contradictions, half truths, and outright lies. On one hand, he calls for bipartisanship; on the other, he berates and belittles the opposition. Who would want to work with such a man? God save us from this "progressive".

    [redgerly], Grand Rapids, United States

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  • 47. At 6:36pm on 28 Jan 2010, carolinalady wrote:

    Philly-mom: I lived in Hummelstown, PA for 5 years...just over the ridge from TMI, as the reactor is called there, and within daily sight of the towers. It is difficult in the present time to see any bad effects from the melt-down 30 years ago but the old residents certainly lived through hell and their property values declined more or less permanently as the event passed into folklore. I did take advantage of the LOW cost of electricity but that came coupled with the ancient power grid which fritzed out with every least storm...not good. The trick is to use those recycled TARP dollars the President talked about last night to redesign the northeast's power grid to do the following: accept and redirect power from alternative sources as necessary, withstand normal weather events and fluctuations, grow and or shrink in capacity as necessary and protect itself from "interference." Now that I've just solved 3/4 of all our problems (minus health care and impeaching the Chief Justice), I'm going to take a nap!

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  • 48. At 6:42pm on 28 Jan 2010, RomeStu wrote:

    43. Interestedforeigner wrote:
    "Well, the Palin Albatros was merely added to the Bush millstone and ball & chain. Palin or no Palin, the Bush burdens were too much for any Republican candidate to carry.

    All things considered, McCain did as well as anyone could reasonably have been expected to do in the circumstances."


    This is all true, but if McCain had chosen a moderate VP then he may not have lost the "swingers" (as Mark likes to call them).
    Palin bought him no new votes, but sure lost him alot.

    With all my support for Obama's ideas and ideals I firmly believe that McCain's "choice" of Palin was a significant factor in Obama's win. Many independents swung away from dogma and apocalyptic nonsense in favour of actual substance. If the Reps had had some substance then they would have won.

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  • 49. At 6:44pm on 28 Jan 2010, RomeStu wrote:

    46 meerkat

    Please stop.

    We get enough of this sort of rhetoric from our own dear contributors without you having to quote from other blogs.

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  • 50. At 6:49pm on 28 Jan 2010, RomeStu wrote:

    45 StD
    "One of the things that struck me the most last night was the indifference of the opposition when President Obama talked about tax breaks for the middle class, finding ways to reduce student loans, and using $30B of the TARP money that has been returned by the banks to help small businesses.

    If proposals that involve tax breaks and finding ways to help small business do not enjoy bipartisan support, is it realistic to expect consensus on issues such as healthcare reform?"


    As so often, you have hit the nail squarely on the head.

    The opposition is just not prepared to listen. It is more and more clear that many people, including members of congress, simply want Obama to fail, irrepsective of the harm it does the US.

    In their minds (?) this would spell the end to the democrats for another generation and then they get back to "noses and trotters in the feed trough".

    This is surely the most despicable behaviour that any politician can display.

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  • 51. At 6:49pm on 28 Jan 2010, Philly-Mom wrote:

    1. powermeerkat wrote:
    "With healthcare in the 4th place...
    Gives you some perspective, doesn't it?"


    WOW!!! It was only in fourth place? Lovely! Perhaps there's hope for the American people after all.

    See - most of us Americans are selfish gits who only care about our own lazy buts. AND - only... what 15% of Americans are living without healthcare, and another 10% with insufficient healthcare...*?

    So - Golly! If Healthcare is only 4th place, then there must be people who have adequate healthcare who actually are concerned for others! Yay!

    Gee wilikers. What a bunch of altruists.

    ________
    * BTW: I know the statistics have been getting exponentially worse in recent years. I'd quote current data, but I don't know whose data to trust on the matter right now. Sry.

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  • 52. At 6:50pm on 28 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re #30Philly Mom wrote:

    #Now I must go off-line to work! I'm putting together the report to our University Board of Directors about the solar panels we just put on top of our largest academic building.
    -- Golly, I feel stimulated!




    Some of our universities could certainly use mehr Licht (as Goethe would have put it); particularly those who've tenured 1960s radicals (such as Angela Davies) and now cannot rid themselves of those 'Iluminati'.

    Not that some want to. But I'm not going to name names.

    Just as I'm not going to fight any windmills; even in Boston Harbor.

    [Cervantes described quite well what happens to those who do]

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  • 53. At 6:50pm on 28 Jan 2010, Zaphod wrote:

    "What's wrong with Nancy Reagan's "just say no" campaign?"

    Mainly Nancy Reagan.

    As for the State of the Union speech, I'm amazed that you Britons listen to it. We sure don't.

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  • 54. At 6:50pm on 28 Jan 2010, democracythreat wrote:

    GH1618 wrote:
    "democracythreat (#19) "If you can isolate when and where it all went wrong, it would be easier to isolate why, and thence how to change it."
    The status of corporations under the US Constitution is entirely determined by decisions of the US Supreme Court, beginning with Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad Company (1886), which held that the Fourteenth Amendment applies to corporations: et al."

    Thanks for that. Very interesting and a great pointer to further reading.

    However, I was think of broader changes than simple court decisions. Like, for example, the creation of the federal reserve bank, and of the income tax. The death of the greenback? The erosion of states rights?

    I confess, I'm no expert at all on US politics or history. I'm not even a usefully informed hobbyist. However I do enjoy the discussions, and learning from US folk who are generally exceedingly well informed with regards to their own history and legal process.

    The contrast with Europe is profound, regrettably. Just now on the EU blog the majority of folks want to bring back persecution of religious minorities by the police state.

    Nevertheless, I live in Switzerland and I have to say that the Swiss system of direct democracy APPEARS (again, I'm no expert) to curtail a lot of the problems folks articulate regarding the US federal government. Now I know y'all have a similar system in California, and there is a lot of debate about how well that is working. Some say (the politicians say) the system doesn't work because it sends the government broke. Others say the system forces the government to stay small, and does not allow political parties to perpetually stuff their friends pockets with tax payers money.

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  • 55. At 6:53pm on 28 Jan 2010, AndreaNY wrote:

    46. powermeerkat:

    Obama's personal appeal seems to have worked. He's still the "good guy", but those others in the room....all of them, a bad lot, which is why he had to scold them.


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  • 56. At 7:05pm on 28 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Mr Obama is not a constitutional laywer. Far from it.

    If he had been, he would have known for example that supporting electable politicians and causes one considers worhtwhile with one's money is a form of expression of one's political views.

    And there's something somewhere in some document guaranteeing us
    freedom of expression.

    At least so far.

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  • 57. At 7:10pm on 28 Jan 2010, RomeStu wrote:

    52 - meerkat

    Goethe and Cervantes in one post.

    How European of you.











    (it's a compliment by the way)

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  • 58. At 7:16pm on 28 Jan 2010, AndreaNY wrote:

    49. RomeStu :

    46 meerkat

    Please stop.

    We get enough of this sort of rhetoric from our own dear contributors without you having to quote from other blogs.

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

    Yes, it's bad enough that we have to read the rhetoric of our posters, isn't it? (Don't you just hate rhetoric?)

    Too funny. Really.





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  • 59. At 7:16pm on 28 Jan 2010, Maria Ashot wrote:

    No. 35, wolfvorkian: Bravo. Oh, so right.

    Everyone: I believe the only thing on which there is consensus here, or across the USA is this:

    America is in trouble.

    End of consensus.

    What a pity.

    Brace yourselves for a bumpy, raucous ride to the Nov. 2010 elections. Both sides: it will take all the energy you can muster, not to mention Big Bucks, for your side to win.

    Sigh.

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  • 60. At 7:18pm on 28 Jan 2010, Maria Ashot wrote:

    By the way, what came over Chris Matthews when he made that "I forgot he's black" comment?

    What kind of an asinine crack is that? And why does Matthews still have a job on air?

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  • 61. At 7:22pm on 28 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re # 47 carolinalady suggests modernizing NE powergrid points out that it has to be able to 'protect itself from "interference".


    Well, perhaps you should reserve your spanking for the Communist China's hackers who've been trying repeatedly and persistently to penetrate NE PG network in order to establish how to take it down using Internet - when it becomes necessary (from Beijing point of view).


    BTW PRC hackers have been also trying to gain access to some leading US nuclear labs.

    [Windmill and solar technology doesn't seem to interest them as much.]



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  • 62. At 7:40pm on 28 Jan 2010, RomeStu wrote:

    58 andrea

    "Yes, it's bad enough that we have to read the rhetoric of our posters, isn't it? (Don't you just hate rhetoric?)

    Too funny. Really."


    I have no problem with the rhetoric of posters on this blog - even you. We're all here to have our say.

    I just don't see the point of copying a rant from a stranger on a different blog.
    It adds nothing.
    It provides no argument.
    It is irrelevent.

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  • 63. At 7:44pm on 28 Jan 2010, Andy Post wrote:

    Ref. 19, democracythreat:

    "Ah, but this is where we differ on the true nature of the political system of representation in the USA."

    SaintDominick is correct. You don't understand how our system works.

    The Supreme Court can strike down laws or parts thereof that it deems unconstitutional only in response to a challenge to those laws. If it does so, Congress can then either abandon that part of the law or craft a new one, typically one that at least partially addresses the Court's concerns. At that point, the Court still has no power to review the new law until it is challenged, and even then it isn't required to do so. Indeed, if the Court is satisfied that the most egregious violations of the Constitution have been removed, it will often let stand the rest of the law by simply not rendering a decision on the constitutionality of it.

    This ability to simply ignore potential plaintiffs is the pressure release valve built into the system. The Legislature, Executive, and Judicial branches all have equal power. The Constitution doesn't provide for a tie breaker. So, a showdown brings the system to a grinding a halt, and everyone knows that that has to be avoided at all costs.

    So, although its not written anywhere, the Court has three options, not two, when deciding on the constitutionality of a given law: constitutional, unconstitutional, and close enough. The latter option is rendered when the Court refuses to hear a challenge.

    The Constitution is a set of ideals to which we aspire. Our laws are an effort to live up to those ideals, but they always fall short. Personally, I don't believe it's even possible to craft a set of laws that entirely live up to those ideals. The Constitution doesn't provide adequate tools for its own preservation, a paradox in American philosophy that's been there since its inception.

    Pragmatism rules the day in this country.

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  • 64. At 7:45pm on 28 Jan 2010, RomeStu wrote:

    60. Maria Ashot wrote:
    "By the way, what came over Chris Matthews when he made that "I forgot he's black" comment?

    What kind of an asinine crack is that? And why does Matthews still have a job on air?"


    Full agreement.
    I have no idea who Matthews is but that sort of "on air" comment is unacceptable.


    Perhaps if the news shows had more news and less "comment" then this sort of thing wouldn't happen.

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  • 65. At 7:46pm on 28 Jan 2010, bayleyco wrote:

    Mr Mardell-
    We are NOT interested in his "plans" for the economy. He is a failure already and proven he is not capable of achieving anything in this area or anything other. We need him and his party out of the way so we can get back to work, make a living and spend our money the way we decide to. The "jobs bill" will be another gross payoff for his constituents. Nothing else he talks about like bank taxes, cap and trade, health care or his attacks on the supreme court will do anything to create jobs.

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  • 66. At 7:47pm on 28 Jan 2010, Andy Post wrote:

    Ref. 46, powermeerkat:

    "A comment found on HYS re pres. Obama's speech:"

    You're more than capable of making your own points. Please don't copy comments from other sites.

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  • 67. At 8:00pm on 28 Jan 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    democracythreat (#54) "However, I was think of broader changes than simple court decisions. Like, for example, the creation of the federal reserve bank, and of the income tax. The death of the greenback? The erosion of states rights?"

    There is plenty of information available online about the Federal Reserve Bank, including from the Fed's own web site. The Fed dates from the Progressive Era (created in 1913). Banking was a bit muddled before that, as Congress experimented with various approaches.

    Also in 1913 came the Sixteenth Amendment to the US Constitution, which authorizes the income tax. It was a big year for reforms. (Now I suppose we will hear from the tax resisters.)

    Death of the greenback? The backs of my dollar bills are still green.

    State's rights is an issue of great importance to a few people, and not of much concern to most of us. We are Americans first, by and large. There are still issues now and then which turn on state's rights provisions of the Constitution, but getting excited about them seems rather 19th century to me.

    As for direct democracy, there will never be powers of initiative and referendum in the US at the federal level, thank Madison.

    Federalist Paper 10 (James Madison)

    The Swiss can have their system of direct democracy. How much damage can Switzerland do?

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  • 68. At 8:11pm on 28 Jan 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    Andy Post (#63) "The Supreme Court can strike down laws or parts thereof that it deems unconstitutional only in response to a challenge to those laws."

    In principle, yes. However an aspect of the Stevens dissenting opinion in the Citizens United case is that the Court went farther in ruling than necessary to decide the case before it. Chief Justice Roberts added a separate opinion (joined by Alito) responding to this charge.

    This was a controversial case, and I expect the five opinions it engendered will be studied and argued about for a long time.

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  • 69. At 8:14pm on 28 Jan 2010, AndreaNY wrote:

    62. RomeStu: 'I have no problem with the rhetoric of posters on this blog - even you. We're all here to have our say.

    I just don't see the point of copying a rant from a stranger on a different blog.
    It adds nothing.
    It provides no argument.
    It is irrelevent."

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

    I didn't find it to be "rhetoric" but, yes, a "rant." I found it interesting and relevant, since it is an American's response to Obama's speech. It was quite a snapshot, actually, of the anger felt by certain American voters. That would usually be of interest when trying to understand the American mindset (as opposed to just opining on it). Even those pesky American views are relevant, are they not?



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  • 70. At 8:26pm on 28 Jan 2010, Philly-Mom wrote:

    47. carolinalady:
    Lovely! We pass by TMI each time we head out to 81S to visit the VA Grandparents.

    Good work on that power grid. I hope you enjoy your well-deserved nap.

    _____________

    52. powermeerkat wrote:

    Some of our universities could certainly use mehr Licht (as Goethe would have put it);
    -- famous last words...
    particularly those who've tenured 1960s radicals
    -- i guess we have a few of those.

    Actually, the panels are a mere nod to the world that we advocate alternative energy. They will only produce 15-20% of the energy used by that building and there are many many buildings on campus.

    Trust me, I have absolutely no false pretense that such panels are anything other than a drop in the energy bucket.

    BUT - if enough people put drops in the bucket... well... we'd still need to start using a smaller bucket... and then there's the issue of methane... *sighs heavily*


    On the slightly more optimistic side -- I'm considering putting solar panels on the roof of my home. Our house uses a lot less energy than an office building. We would actually sell back into the power grid. Cool, eh?

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  • 71. At 8:34pm on 28 Jan 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    Obama promised he'd bring change to Washington DC but ever since he got into office, he and his party who controlled both houses of congress have conducted business as usual. The only way there will be a change in Washington...is for them to be replaced. And enough Americans now know it that they have fled supporting Democrats like rats deserting a sinking ship. They are angry not only because the Democrats lied but because the voters feel they have been tricked, duped, given false hope. A year from now after all of the House members have to run for re-election and one third of the Senate does too, there will be a lot of new and different faces around and most of them will not be Democrats. President Obama has not only not gotten the message America has sent him with the elections in Virginia, New Jersey, and Massachussets, he is defiant in his refusal to pay more than lip service to the fact that there was a message at all. I think the last straw was Janet Napolitano saying that the system worked. That was the quintessential cynical lie and coverup of failure that hit home for most Americans. While the airline security system may have failed that Christmas day, the election system won't fail next November. It will work exactly as the framers of the Constitution hoped it would.

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  • 72. At 8:43pm on 28 Jan 2010, seanspa wrote:

    I wonder what Ellie Light made of the speech. Perhaps she will write to a whole load of newspapers across the US, pretending to be a local resident, and let us know.

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  • 73. At 8:45pm on 28 Jan 2010, U13817236 wrote:

    "There were solid economic measures in this speech. And how they work out will determine"...just how much more the already gaping class divisions in Amerikan society will further widen. As usual, corporate valet Obama has done his best to restrain change. Instead of slashing the obscene military budget and restoring a progressive tax system to soak the rich, the craven Obama has chosen to use the deficit to wage war on the poor - while continuing to wage real wars on Iraq and Afghanistan and Palestine. No more 'guns and butter', it's all guns and guns, now. "His mantle as a man who would bring change to Washington"...is just the emperor's new clothes all over again. War criminal Obama should have given his sorry speech at Nuremberg - and taken war criminal Bush with him. That kind of lethal "cross-party co-operation - bipartisanhip" that is presumably so "highly prized by Americans" is in the process of destroying the world.

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  • 74. At 8:46pm on 28 Jan 2010, starFloridian wrote:

    As usual, a great speech, but darned if he didn't come up with all those campaign promises again - "transparency", curbing the power of lobbyists, a veto on all bills loaded with "pork", and bi-partisanship, all of which he failed to deliver on in his first year. If he thinks his fellow-Democrats, with their overwhelming majority in House and Senate, are going to allow Republicans to offer help in crafting bills, he is day-dreaming. Reid and Pelosi are far too arrogant to allow such a basic premise - that we sent ALL of them, regardless of party, to Washington to serve our best interests.

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  • 75. At 8:56pm on 28 Jan 2010, RomeStu wrote:

    69 andrea
    "I found it interesting and relevant, since it is an American's response to Obama's speech. It was quite a snapshot, actually, of the anger felt by certain American voters. That would usually be of interest when trying to understand the American mindset (as opposed to just opining on it). Even those pesky American views are relevant, are they not?"


    Andrea, of course American views are relevant - and we have lots of them of all shades participating on this site.

    To post a comment from any old joe from a different blogsite seems a bit a waste of time - and I would be saying the same if it was from a more centrist position (or even left, for those of you who think there is a left in the USA).

    Don't you think we are exposed to "snapshots of the anger...." already on this site.

    I would prefer to read the comments of the actual participants in this debate, or else the quoted views of someone who has some actual relevance to the subject in hand.


    I think you just got all tied up in a knot because you thought I was attacking the right-wing content.

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  • 76. At 8:58pm on 28 Jan 2010, Andy Post wrote:

    Ref. 68, GH1618:

    "In principle, yes..."

    I think you miss my point. There's a conversation going on between the three branches of government. The judiciary can't make law. Granted, it can be overly specific in its decisions as to what constitutes a remedy,* but Congress is under no obligation necessarily to do what the Supreme Court orders. They have equal Constitutional powers. The Courts role as living Constitution developed over time. It's not in the Constitution. There's nothing the Court can do to force Congress to respect its decisions. The Court has no army, and Congress has all the money. None of the three branches gets everything it wants. They're forced to settle on something they can at least all tolerate. The beauty of the system is that the Court is never forced to say that something they believe unconstitutional is constitutional -- a logical conundrum if you think about it -- and the balance of powers is maintained.

    Actually, in the end it's all about what the People want. If they want restrictions on campaign financing, they'll get restrictions on campaign financing. The People can decide to look the other way if we want. Sometimes it's necessary. We shouldn't get into the habit of it, though.


    * This is one of the very few clear failures in the Constitution.

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  • 77. At 8:59pm on 28 Jan 2010, MagicKirin wrote:

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

  • 78. At 9:10pm on 28 Jan 2010, LucyJ wrote:

    One of the biggest things to come out of President Obama's speech is his plan for high-speed rails, which will revolutionalize America.

    As he was saying, in Europe and Asia, high-speed rails are quite important. America could certainly use them to help us stop relying so much on gas. Also, this would shorten the time/distance between cities and decrease global warming. (not using all the extra vehicles)

    So the high-speed rails are a great idea. I would suggest putting security guards on every one of them, however, like the subways.

    I thought it was great that President Obama let the country know he does not agree with the Supreme Court ruling in favor of corporations giving unlimited amounts of campaign cash.

    President Obama did not hold back. He let out whatever he was wanting to say and did it well.

    I liked everything but the gay comment, which was disheartening. The rest of the speech was probably his best ever.

    President Obama will have to accept that there likely will be many fights and deaths in the military due to his direct decision of accepting openly gay people.

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  • 79. At 9:12pm on 28 Jan 2010, Philly-Mom wrote:

    Dearest powermeerkat (61),

    Wow. You're worried about external hackers getting into our new-clee-ur plants? Really?
    Yeesh. Didn't you watch Battlestar Galactica (take two)? If you don't plug into a shared network, you're kinda hard to hack. Duuuuuhhh...

    Do you seriously think the USGov would have the operational systems of a nuclear reactor available online? So that Homer Simpson can work from home? Really? Online?

    Sigh.
    Of course, this is US Gov we're talking about. SNAFU and all that jazz...


    Anyway - I wouldn't be as concerned about our power grid as our security infrastructure & weapons systems. (Remember "War Games"? heh.) Now, THAT's a concern. These systems are networked and our Military Geniuses have proven that they aren't Geniuses.

    Fortunately, I was raised in Northern Virginia back when they still had Air Raid Drills. It was kind of interesting being in elementary school and chatting about the dangers of a Third World War. We hid under our desks knowing that we'd all be dust if the sound wasn't actually a drill...
    Cheery.

    This helped me pass through my existential dillema at a young age, and I am now fully aware that life is but a passing breath -- here today and gone tomorrow. All we can do is all we can do and whatnot.

    May I interest you in Plato's Cave?
    There are all these lovely shadows...
    Maybe some of them were burned there by a radioactive flash.

    For now, I'll just stick to composting. My worms are much more productive for me than worrying about a nuclear holocaust.

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  • 80. At 9:12pm on 28 Jan 2010, RomeStu wrote:

    70 philly mom wrote
    " On the slightly more optimistic side -- I'm considering putting solar panels on the roof of my home. Our house uses a lot less energy than an office building. We would actually sell back into the power grid. Cool, eh?"


    Alot of people in Denmark and Germany sell their excess power back to the grid - helps pay of the cost of solar panels more quickly. It's a good step in the right direction.

    Also Prince Charles is putting panels on Clarence House ... and the Duke of Edinburgh had solar panels installed at Sandringham 30 years ago.

    Go Green Royals.

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  • 81. At 9:13pm on 28 Jan 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    Andy Post (#76) "The judiciary can't make law."

    If this is your point, I get it all right, and it's wrong. Constitutional law begins with the text of the Constitution, and continues with the text of all the decisions of the Supreme Court which interpret it. This is because the other two branches of federal government have accepted Chief Justice Marshall's dictum: "It is emphatically, the province and duty of the judicial department, to say what the law is." (from Marbury v. Madison).

    The status of corporations under the US Constitution is entirely judicially made law.

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  • 82. At 9:13pm on 28 Jan 2010, Philly-Mom wrote:

    Dangit... hit post instead of preview. My apologies for any type-os and/or faux pas.

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  • 83. At 9:17pm on 28 Jan 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    The disagreement between Andy Post and myself is irreconcilable because even though we may argue from the same facts, I adhere to the realpolitik school and he does not.

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  • 84. At 9:18pm on 28 Jan 2010, AndreaNY wrote:

    75. RomeStu: I don't appreciate others deciding what does or doesn't get posted here, and any sense of ownership of this comments section makes me bristle.


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  • 85. At 9:21pm on 28 Jan 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    The number of instances wherein a US president defied the Supreme Court is miniscule. Here is a link to a description of the famous one: http://www.historycentral.com/indians/removalact.html

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  • 86. At 9:22pm on 28 Jan 2010, Andy Post wrote:

    Ref. 74, starFloridian:

    All the President has to do is successfully point the finger at Congress and there will be a massacre of incumbents in the mid-terms. If they're going to keep their jobs, they must get something accomplished.

    The President indicated that he's not going to try to save the Democrats in Congress and in the process drained a lot of power out of the opposition.

    The discussion is no longer whether the Democrats or Republicans should be in power. Rather, it's whether any of the people serving in Congress now should in fact be there at all. It sure looks like they can't do the job. They are as a body incompetent.

    I think it's a political master stroke.

    If this Congress gets nothing done before the mid-terms, I know I'll be doing my part to fire the employees of the highest levels of the federal government. Party be damned.

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  • 87. At 9:28pm on 28 Jan 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    President Obama is very ecologically minded. He's into recycling...old speeches. Somebody at the White House knows how to cut and paste very well.

    "It seems to me, I've heard that song before,
    It's from an old familiar score..."

    Now the President will be able to speak anywhere in the world even where there's no electricity for a teleprompter. In 60 days he'll be able to get a MacIntosh ipad.

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  • 88. At 9:41pm on 28 Jan 2010, _marko wrote:

    To powermeerkat, AndreaNY #84

    RE: the quote in #46

    Well, to dispel any ambiguity do you understand the comment, agree with it and feel all the arguments are valid?

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  • 89. At 9:44pm on 28 Jan 2010, Andy Post wrote:

    Ref. 83, GH1618:

    "The disagreement between Andy Post and myself ..."

    Who are you talking to?

    "...is irreconcilable because even though we may argue from the same facts, I adhere to the realpolitik school and he does not."

    I won't concede that. I said earlier that I believed that in Americans politics, pragmatism rules the day. You can't get more realpolitik than that.

    Do you honestly believe that the Court has power over the People? We own the Constitution. It doesn't own us. We ignore it completely at times. Remember when we put all the Japanese-Americans in internment camps?

    That's reality.

    Tell me where my analysis is wrong. I'll listen.

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  • 90. At 9:54pm on 28 Jan 2010, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #78
    I thought it was great that President Obama let the country know he does not agree with the Supreme Court ruling in favor of corporations giving unlimited amounts of campaign cash.

    _____________

    Please explain why corporations should not be able to spend money when George Soros can or when SEIU can send Union members out during elections to campaign and intimidate.


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  • 91. At 10:02pm on 28 Jan 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    Andy Post (#89), then we are in disagreement over the meaning of such terms as "pragmatism." I don't have much taste for semantic arguments when they obscure the substantive issues.

    The case of the internment camps is an interesting choice, because the validity of the internment of Japanese on the west coast was appealed to the US Supreme Court (Korematsu v. United States), which upheld the constitutionality of the internment. Had the Court ruled the internment of citizens of Japanese descent unconstitutional, I expect they would have been released.

    Some justices who supported that decision later publicly renounced it (e.g. William O. Douglas). I think most people today think this decision was an error. Nevertheless, it was the law at the time.

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  • 92. At 10:04pm on 28 Jan 2010, aquarizonagal wrote:

    To #74 Phillymom

    Is it permitted to can you 'Sister?' Thank you for your posts. Composting is a most life affirming activity. "A rind is is terrible thing to waste."

    There is much wasting in this world. If words were energy, there would be so much light now that all would be blinded.

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  • 93. At 10:04pm on 28 Jan 2010, zaphodian wrote:

    78. At 9:10pm on 28 Jan 2010, LucyIllinois wrote:

    I liked everything but the gay comment, which was disheartening. The rest of the speech was probably his best ever.

    President Obama will have to accept that there likely will be many fights and deaths in the military due to his direct decision of accepting openly gay people.


    Why? Surely any soldier having sex in a war zone would be in trouble, regardless of the sex? Is having a homophobic army a bonus or would you agree that someone's sexuality is an irrelevance when it comes to pulling a trigger?

    Trust me, in the middle of a firefight no-one is thinking " Does he fancy me "

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  • 94. At 10:04pm on 28 Jan 2010, AndreaNY wrote:

    90. MagicKirin:

    "Please explain why corporations should not be able to spend money when George Soros can or when SEIU can send Union members out during elections to campaign and intimidate."

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

    Yes, the unions are noticeably absent from Obama's scold.

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  • 95. At 10:05pm on 28 Jan 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    Here's a link to a summary of the Korematsu case: nytimes.com

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  • 96. At 10:06pm on 28 Jan 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 90, Magic

    "Please explain why corporations should not be able to spend money when George Soros can or when SEIU can send Union members out during elections to campaign and intimidate."

    Welcome back.

    Better yet, why don't you explain why you complained about the Supreme Court's decision a few days ago and now appear to endorse it?

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  • 97. At 10:09pm on 28 Jan 2010, AndreaNY wrote:

    88. _marko: See #69. Where do you find "ambiguity"?

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  • 98. At 10:11pm on 28 Jan 2010, LucyJ wrote:

    Corporations should be allowed to spend limited amounts of money, just not unlimited.

    I don't know who George Soros is. Intimidation toward voters is illegal.

    A corporation is not a person. It does not eat, breathe, sleep, or have a soul. A corporation does not deserve the same rights as a person.

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  • 99. At 10:14pm on 28 Jan 2010, rodidog wrote:

    #76. Andy,

    I'm sorry, but the three branches of government in the U.S. do not have equal power. The have separate powers as defined by the constitution. Suggesting congress can ignore rulings by the Supreme Court is incorrect, or rather unconstitutional. Congress is not granted such power by the constitution.

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  • 100. At 10:16pm on 28 Jan 2010, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #96, SaintDominick wrote:
    Ref 90, Magic

    "Please explain why corporations should not be able to spend money when George Soros can or when SEIU can send Union members out during elections to campaign and intimidate."

    Welcome back.

    Better yet, why don't you explain why you complained about the Supreme Court's decision a few days ago and now appear to endorse it?

    ____________

    did I? I remember remarking this might force the resignation of steevens which would be a good thing.

    But getting back to my point What is the difference from corporations who produce something and George Soros who doesn't

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  • 101. At 10:17pm on 28 Jan 2010, MagicKirin wrote:

    LucyIllinois wrote:
    Corporations should be allowed to spend limited amounts of money, just not unlimited.

    I don't know who George Soros is. Intimidation toward voters is illegal.

    A corporation is not a person. It does not eat, breathe, sleep, or have a soul. A corporation does not deserve the same rights as a person.

    ______________________-

    George Soros is a finacier who does not pay his fair share of taxes. He also funds a lot of liberal groups like Media Matters and is part of the Hate america crowd.

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  • 102. At 10:40pm on 28 Jan 2010, rodidog wrote:

    #98 LucyIllinois,

    A corporation is not a person.


    This is technically and legally incorrect. A corporation is considered an artificial person created by law as an legal entity having a distinct identity, legal personality, and duties and rights.

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  • 103. At 10:57pm on 28 Jan 2010, LucyJ wrote:

    You're right zaphodian. Send them out to the front line. Let them go first.

    There will always be rich individuals like George Soros and Ted Turner and whoever else, that endorse certain candidates. But at least he is a person, rather than a network of investors.

    I don't like anyone who is in the hate America crowd. That is for sure.
    If Soros is cheating on his taxes, he should be investigated and fined accordingly.

    But my point is still that a corporation is not a person and should not be treated like one.


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  • 104. At 11:03pm on 28 Jan 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 100, Magic

    "But getting back to my point What is the difference from corporations who produce something and George Soros who doesn't..."

    You are asking the wrong person, I don't have too much respect for speculators...regardless of party affiliation. Don't forget Bernie Madoff...

    Corporations are only as good as the people that run them, some are very effective, prosperous, focused on customer and employee satisfaction, and contribute to the betterment of our nation. Others are ruthless, are only focused on the bottom line, and only see their customers and employees as tools to achieve their corporate goals.

    I don't have a problem with corporations using PAC to contribute to political candidates of both parties, or to an Independent if the candidate enjoys the backing that Ross Perot did, but I think there should be limits, otherwise our voices, the voices of the little people, are drowned, our opinions become irrelevant, and the decisions made by our politicians are more likely to support the interests of their most important donors than those of people like you and I.

    I think senators McCain and Feingold, or someone else, should go back to the drawing board and try again. Campaign finance, and the pervasive involvement of lobbyists in drafting legislation, are very important issues to let them die because of a legal setback.

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  • 105. At 11:04pm on 28 Jan 2010, LucyJ wrote:

    Rodidog, if a corporation is sued and they have a guilty verdict, they only have to pay a fine. There is no jail time.

    If a person is sued and deemed guilty, they have to go to jail and pay fines. (all depending on what the crime is, of course.)

    So how can a corporation be a legal person when no single person is held accountable for any crimes committed by the corporation? Should it be everyone involved held accountable?

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  • 106. At 11:06pm on 28 Jan 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    BTW, Ben Bernanke was reappointed for another term as chairman of the Fed by a substantial majority in the Senate.

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  • 107. At 11:09pm on 28 Jan 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    "... if a corporation is sued and they have a guilty verdict, they only have to pay a fine. There is no jail time." (from post #106)

    Of course. A suit is a civil matter, not criminal. The loser in a lawsuit pays damages, not a "fine."

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  • 108. At 11:14pm on 28 Jan 2010, McJakome wrote:

    12. At 12:16pm on 28 Jan 2010, SaintDominick wrote:
    "President Obama's State of the Union Address was well crafted, inspiring and beautifully delivered, but we have to go no further than seeing the indifference - or unequivocal opposition - of Republican members of Congress during the speech to understand how futile it will be to pursue meaningful solutions to our economic and social problems, let alone enjoy a climate of bipartisanship and cooperation where the interests of the nation are the dominant goal."

    I agree with you.

    Time for the President to take off the gloves. If the GOPers won't deal honestly, then let them filibuster. The last time the Republicans brought the government to a halt they suffered in the poles. And President Obama should go public with who is obstructing on behalf of which special interest.

    I got the impression from the steech that "outing" them was one of his options, and that goes for obstructing Democrats too.

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  • 109. At 11:20pm on 28 Jan 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    There can be other consequences of a criminal conviction of a corporation besides the payment of a fine. Also, if a corporation is guilty of a crime, there will likely be individuals within the corporation who are guilty as well (and who can be imprisoned), because a corporation acts only through individual people.

    Here is a link to a primer on the subject of prosecuting corporations for crimes: http://www.justice.gov/criminal/fraud/docs/reports/1999/chargingcorps.html

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  • 110. At 11:35pm on 28 Jan 2010, rodidog wrote:

    #105 LucyIllinois,
    Rodidog, if a corporation is sued and they have a guilty verdict, they only have to pay a fine. There is no jail time.

    So how can a corporation be a legal person when no single person is held accountable for any crimes committed by the corporation? Should it be everyone involved held accountable?
    ---------

    Lucy,

    In some respect you're correct. Individuals in a corporation are not liable for damages from a civil case, only the corporation is to the extent of it's holdings. However, individuals within a corporation can be sent to jail for criminal misconduct. Think Ken Lay of Enron.

    As to how corporations can be legal persons, that is part of the legal definition of a corporation. The corporation is a legal entity and considered an artifiical person, and as such, has responsibilities and rights under the law.

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  • 111. At 11:40pm on 28 Jan 2010, wolfvorkian wrote:

    While the airline security system may have failed that Christmas day, the election system won't fail next November. It will work exactly as the framers of the Constitution hoped it would.

    Don't be too sure about that,Marcus. It failed horribly in 2004 when the US public elected the little cheerleader again after it was apparent to anyone brighter than Sarah Palin that he had lied the country into a needless war.

    I doubt if the framers of the Constitution intended to allow a traitor to be commander-in-chief.

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  • 112. At 11:53pm on 28 Jan 2010, McJakome wrote:

    54. [and above] At 6:50pm on 28 Jan 2010, democracythreat

    Direct democracy is still used here in New England. My town switched from open town meeting to elected council last year because of the difficulty of getting a quorum of residents to attend and agree. When agreement was reached, a subsequent meeting would often overrule it.

    [Yes you are thinking of regulations to prevent voters from repealing what was decided, but "direct democracy" means the people can overrule themselves, and regulations could be overruled as well.]

    The tendency in US experience is that what works in small places doesn’t necessarily work well in larger places. Massachusetts [not one of the larger states] has about 7,000,000 inhabitants. It would take a very large building to house that meeting even if the legal and voting age population were only half that.

    While "Der Schweitz" was previously more decentralized, the US states, according to my Swiss informants, are now more autonomous than the cantons. If you meant to suggest that everything be conducted by plebiscite, we have systems for petition, referendum and recall [of elected officials]. Please look up California, which state is a textbook example of how those particular democratic innovations can go seriously awry!

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  • 113. At 00:01am on 29 Jan 2010, U14317251 wrote:

    They said a black man could never be president because they're too lazy

    Sonny Boy starts with a quick blast of the harp before effortlessly gliding into the most fantastic, lazy blues ever played, and taking his audience with him.

    This man was without doubt, one of the coolest blues cats ever.
    [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]
    That's hot. Sounds like the opposite of "That's cool" but means the same...

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  • 114. At 00:28am on 29 Jan 2010, Andy Post wrote:

    Ref. 99, rodidog:

    "I'm sorry, but the three branches of government in the U.S. do not have equal power. The have separate powers as defined by the constitution. Suggesting congress can ignore rulings by the Supreme Court is incorrect, or rather unconstitutional. Congress is not granted such power by the constitution."

    The Constitution doesn't address it. Where does this come from?

    The Government of the United States has been emphatically termed a government of laws, and not of men. It will certainly cease to deserve this high appellation if the laws furnish no remedy for the violation of a vested legal right. [Marbury v. Madison]

    That decision established judicial review in the U.S., but it was handed down in 1803, 13 years after the Constitution was ratified.

    The Supremacy Clause -- This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding -- establishes the Constitution as the supreme law, but it doesn't establish the Supreme Court as the living constitution in the manner in which it acts today.

    Jefferson said the decision was tantamount to "placing us under the despotism of an oligarchy." The framers split the government on purpose to stop any one branch from taking control. The intention clearly was to establish them as not only separate but equal as well.

    Jefferson's attitude is still relevant today. Americans distrust the Court and the rest of federal judiciary. It comes out when people talk of "activist" judging.

    This came to a head during the busing controversy. Congress refused to make what the Court felt were adequate laws to ensure that all Americans had equal access to education, so it mandated the busing of kids all over creation. It was a terrible idea. We're not doing it anymore and the schools are still unequal, so the Court's power is clearly limited.

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  • 115. At 00:36am on 29 Jan 2010, Maria Ashot wrote:

    Marcus Aurelius II, I agree that Napolitano's "system worked" remark enters the Annals of America as one of the biggest bungled spin examples ever.

    However, CBS just reported an overwhelming majority, something like 83%, approved of the President's speech.

    The problems the US faces, which impact the whole world, are monumental. As you do, I expect that we have to wait until the Nov. 2010 election to get anything sorted. But by then the problems will be worse.

    Since it was possible to cobble together a "bank bailout" of some trillions in a hurry, when the crippled financial institutions threatened the richest of the rich, perhaps it is time to now cobble together -- in a hurry -- some highly meaningful response to the crippling financial burdens that hamstring most Americans.

    Except for somewhat lame mortgage relief programmes, and extending unemployment benefits, not much has been done. Some (like the new Sen. Scott Brown) call for an instant tax cut.

    But actually the help should focus on those who need it most. People with six figure incomes who have their jobs are not the ones in greatest need. They will manage. They can get some help later.

    People whose incomes have vanished will not benefit from a tax cut. They have no payroll.

    The government needs to come up with emergency measures to get actual funds into the accounts and pockets of the people who need them most -- not the chronic welfare cases (although obviously they need to continue receiving support) -- but the normally industrious economic survivors who do not generally ask for handouts, who operate on tiny budgets, and are literally drowning in distress. These are the hard-working Americans most banks today don't even think of lending to.

    Maybe via microloans, or moratoria on debt collection, or temporary allocations that they commit to repaying or working off in terms of services (not your typical loan), the US government, if it is serious about helping citizens the way it helped the richest banks, ought to act. Quickly.

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  • 116. At 00:37am on 29 Jan 2010, AndreaNY wrote:

    108. JMM:

    "Time for the President to take off the gloves. If the GOPers won't deal honestly, then let them filibuster. The last time the Republicans brought the government to a halt they suffered in the poles. And President Obama should go public with who is obstructing on behalf of which special interest."

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

    You are dreaming. Obama has not demonstrated he has control over anyone let alone the ability to fight.

    Beating up on republicans and lobbyists may make for good soundbites, especially among his supporters who crave the fight, but it's not really a war of words that most Americans want now.






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  • 117. At 01:09am on 29 Jan 2010, ranter22 wrote:

    Hey folks just kick back for another year, it's going to get worse, but by next year you will know that.
    It wasn't easy doing what I came here to do, and I haven't fully done it yet. Why when I am done your children's children will know the full effect of my administration and it's powers.
    That is what I understood.

    People started campaigning against me early this year, and it isn't even election time yet. Mr. Brown came here to stop my engine, with his big truck.
    Brown! What is your idea for good change? Put up or join me. I have put it all out there so there!
    That is what I understood also.

    Michelle had magic hands telling people to sit. While she campaigns for healthy kids, no cell phones allowed to the trip to the cape and no cameras to point at the big mac and fries on the plate. Yes and all the 'corrosive' talk hmmm what could that be?
    Certainly he hasn't changed his mind and is now thinking the big R word.Id the president finally getting messages from the BBC, the underground media, the fox.

    I feel like I did before the speech. Only a little more tired. No problem next year will be worst. I encourage all big corp[orations and companies to adopt, one poor or middle class person from the 150 millions or so of adults, and send them a check for at least 10 thousand dollars. Spreading the cheer and good spirit of prosperity. We can't all be doing this bad.

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  • 118. At 01:14am on 29 Jan 2010, AndreaNY wrote:

    115. Maria Ashot: Obama needs to focus on creating jobs and getting the economy going again, in addition to relieving the suffering.

    The problem is that Obama doesn't seem to have much knowledge of jobs beyond those provided by the government. The private sector seems a bit foreign to him, despite the lip service he pays to small businesses.

    He's got to wade into that ugly area of business and tax cuts. Honestly, I think we need a republican for that.

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  • 119. At 01:17am on 29 Jan 2010, chronophobe wrote:

    Randy Newman sings a few words of encouragement, mixed with a bit of warning, for my fellow occupants of this Continent.

    I really hope you lot can get your poop in a pile.

    I am wondering, Andrea, if you would be happier if Obama came out swinging, and like FDR busted Congressional balls, and used executive orders, to do what he felt needed doing?

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  • 120. At 01:25am on 29 Jan 2010, U14309841 wrote:

    84. At 9:18pm on 28 Jan 2010, AndreaNY wrote:
    75. RomeStu: I don't appreciate others deciding what does or doesn't get posted here, and any sense of ownership of this comments section makes me bristle.


    LOL yes very funny .
    I am sure YOU don't appreciate OTHERS deciding.


    LOL No kidding.
    next time someone gets banned you disagree with often try shouting for their rights.

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  • 121. At 01:29am on 29 Jan 2010, U14309841 wrote:

    109
    Gary good point
    "Also, if a corporation is guilty of a crime, there will likely be individuals within the corporation who are guilty as well (and who can be imprisoned), because a corporation acts only through individual people."

    though as we know if they were say responsible even through corporate neglect for say the death of a couple of tens of thousand people, they would not be prosecuted.As long as they did it in another country than america

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  • 122. At 01:33am on 29 Jan 2010, U14309841 wrote:

    96 st d
    LOL because he hadn't received orders from the brain yet;)

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  • 123. At 01:33am on 29 Jan 2010, rodidog wrote:

    #114 Andy Post,

    The Constitution doesn't address it. Where does this come from?

    The separation of powers are enumerated in articles I, II, & III of the U.S. Constitution.

    Article III of the Constitution covers the Judiciary branch.

    Below are the powers invested in the Supreme Court:

    The judicial power of the United States, shall be vested in one Supreme Court, and in such inferior courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish.

    The judicial power shall extend to all cases, in law and equity, arising under the Constitution, the laws of the United States and Treaties.

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  • 124. At 01:43am on 29 Jan 2010, U14317251 wrote:

    Here's a very good singer and a handsome fellow
    Sonny Boy Williamson
    Zonzera nervosa! blues ...
    Nine below zero

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  • 125. At 01:59am on 29 Jan 2010, AndreaNY wrote:

    120. personanongrata: It's not the BBC I have problems with. That's your issue.

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  • 126. At 02:14am on 29 Jan 2010, U14309841 wrote:

    125 you are consistent.

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  • 127. At 03:08am on 29 Jan 2010, crash wrote:

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

  • 128. At 03:16am on 29 Jan 2010, chronophobe wrote:

    This is a cold shower (douche?) for those who are still dreaming the old supply side dream. Bruce Bartlett, staff economist for Jack Kemp (he of the Kemp-Roth proposal that shaped Reagan's economic policies in 1981) writes:

    There is no question in my mind that we never could have overcome the stagflation of the 1970s as quickly or with as little pain as we did without the supply-side idea. But supply-side economics has done its job, just as Keynesian economics did in the 1930s. Those who campaign as its champions are fighting a fight long won — and it is time for supply-side rhetoric to go, with its essential truths embodied in mainstream economics and its perversions discarded for good.

    Economic fundamentalism of either stripe is a mug's game.

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  • 129. At 03:29am on 29 Jan 2010, U14317251 wrote:

    Nine below zero - also known as 9 below 0
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AGUGXOxs6p0

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  • 130. At 04:34am on 29 Jan 2010, Khadi wrote:

    Well today, all 40 "fiscally responsible, economically conservative" Republican senators of the congress have voted against re-establishing PAYGO. For those of you who don't know PAYGO is a law which basically limits the deficit by restricting any new spending authorized by the congress unless they can offset it. The grand old party keeps doing what it does best -- just saying NO.

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  • 131. At 04:38am on 29 Jan 2010, TeaPot562 wrote:

    For Accomplishments: Pres. Obama got Congress to pass his stimulus I bill. What has seemed to be stimulated with most of the disbursements (not temporary tax cuts) seems to be government employees -- federal, state and local.
    When Obama has asked Congress for major changes in programs (Health Care, e.g.) he runs into resistance from people and businesses that would be adversely affected by the proposed legislation. If his idea of compromise is "Do it my way or the highway!", he will not find many willing to accept that as a compromise. In particular, the insistence in the senate version of making all taxpayers pay for abortions, whether they approve of this or not, and making all nurses, doctors and hospitals perform abortions whether they have moral objections or not, loses that version of the health reform bill a number of votes from people who would otherwise be happy to support the bill - such as the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
    As far as providing more jobs and reducing CO2 in the atmosphere: I was disappointed that in January 2009, Pres. Obama did NOT suggest a program to encourage redundancy (a margin for safety) in electric power plants and transmission lines. Streamlining the environmental hurdles that sizable new construction faces in the U.S. with endless appeals by environmental extremists and NIMBYs, and encouraging state Public Utility Commissions (PUCs) to take the plants and power lines with the designed extra capacity -- say 25% above the highest load ever needed in the past five years -- into the utility rate bases would bring out investors to fund the new construction AND put people formerly in the construction industry back to work. And this would be for a number of years, not just a couple of weeks.
    TeaPot562

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  • 132. At 05:09am on 29 Jan 2010, shiveringofforgottenenemies wrote:

    The State of the Union speech was just another political dance...a lengthy enumeration of all the things wrong with the world, the economy, the political process...it's like those late-night talks when you are in college and you can enumerate and solve all that is wrong with the world over a six-pack of brewskies.

    It isn't Republican obstructionism that derailed Health Care Reform, it is the notion that high quality AFFORDABLE health care can be provided...without a "government option" which would effectively be a government takeover of the industry.

    So, now health reform is back-burnered and he will address job creation starting with $8 Billion for high-speed rail..saying, good golly it will create thousands of jobs. Indeed it will, but AMTRAK operates at a massive loss every year. In fact there isn't a municipal rail system in the US that actually makes a profit! High-speed rail will create jobs all right...jobs that will be paid for by the taxpayer because the system itself is guaranteed to lose money! And not only that, but if they actually DO start building this $8 billion dollar train set (which will require dedicated trackage) they will find out that it will cost a lot more than $8billion! AND acquisition of the right away is a politicians dream come true, because fortunes will be made by those "tipped" with insider information. Time to slop the hogs!

    Let's see...he wants to give banks more money in order to encourage them to make loans to small businesses....in other words the banks are actually supposed to act like banks and not like private investment firms playing the markets for their own gain. Maybe he should wait on a bridge in the snow for an angel named Clarence to show up....because he is promising us A Wonderful Life!

    Obama is back to pitching snake-oil. Yessir folks, step right up, I have the cure for all that ails you! Obama is running a regular carny show with "stand-up men" ready to leap to their feet and say how the recovery act cured them of neuritis, neuralgia and sleepless nights. Why the mystifying properties of this patent medicine will cure rheumatism, chills and unemployment! What makes Obama's huckstering a bit different is he is taking one thin dime, that's right folks, one thin dime from government spending in his 2010 budget. The same way health "insurance" will be mandatory..buying the snake oil will be mandatory and it will come at a price...and in 2010 he's going to start reaching into your pockets. "Give it up" for the preacher man! He's an inspiration to us all! It's audacious to have hope in Obama's America!

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  • 133. At 05:12am on 29 Jan 2010, KScurmudgeon wrote:

    90. At 9:54pm on 28 Jan 2010, MagicKirin wrote:

    Please explain why corporations should not be able to spend money when George Soros can or when SEIU can send Union members out during elections to campaign and intimidate.
    ___________________________________

    Magic -

    Corporations are not citizens. They have limited legal existence as creations of government. They are monsters, i.e. they are unnatural in their functions and construction - they serve very narrow interests and breathe cash and eat profits. They are not answerable to their neighbors or communities, kin or relations. Some corporations can be led to support local or even national interests, but it is not their nature. See my quote from Steinbeck.

    The individual people who make up a corporation have the rights of any citizen - if the employees or management wish to participate in public affairs, that is a good thing. But does your car, refrigerator, or washing machine get a vote? Making a mechanism into a member of society is the act of making it into a monster. A corporation - is a corpus constructed and animated to a specific purpose, a machine, an engine. It is not one of us.

    If a man or an organization had the means to build a hundred thousand robots, and sent them to the polls to vote in your community, would their votes be a fair exercise of that man's civic rights? Would it be his or their duty to do so? Ours is a government by the people, for the people. We, the citizens, must make the decisions as each understands his own interest. No 'one' else has the right. Not even Mickey Mouse or Bart Simpson. They do not qualify.

    KScurmudgeon
    despising those who would unleash monsters into the human community.

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  • 134. At 05:27am on 29 Jan 2010, KScurmudgeon wrote:

    111. At 11:40pm on 28 Jan 2010, wolfvorkian wrote:

    While the airline security system may have failed that Christmas day, the election system won't fail next November. It will work exactly as the framers of the Constitution hoped it would.

    Don't be too sure about that,Marcus. It failed horribly in 2004 when the US public elected the little cheerleader again after it was apparent to anyone brighter than Sarah Palin that he had lied the country into a needless war.

    I doubt if the framers of the Constitution intended to allow a traitor to be commander-in-chief.
    __________________________________

    Wolf, You plainly claim the authority to judge what is best for the country and for me. That would not be a democracy. It would Wolfvorkia, which definitely sounds east-european and third-world to me.

    KScurmudgeon One-vote.

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  • 135. At 05:59am on 29 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re #54 democracytrehat wrote:

    Nevertheless, I live in Switzerland and I have to say that the Swiss system of direct democracy APPEARS (again, I'm no expert) to curtail a lot of the problems folks articulate regarding the US federal government. Now I know y'all have a similar system in California, and there is a lot of debate about how well that is working.




    Not in California. Look at the Golden State's financial dire straits.



    Re hard drug use in Switzerland you've mentioned in one of your earlier posts...

    Many years ago, when on an late evening stroll in Lausanne, I was genuinly shocked by posters in the university area informing the locals about a "free needle exchange program".

    I assumed then (just as now) those adds were not directed at diabetics.

    Has the situation changed any in that regard?


    P.S. I'd be inclined to agree with a poster who suggested that what was wrong with Nancy Reagan's "just say no" campaign was, for many people
    ...Nancy Reagan.

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  • 136. At 06:06am on 29 Jan 2010, KScurmudgeon wrote:

    132. At 05:09am on 29 Jan 2010, shiveringofforgottenenemies wrote:
    ..it's like those late-night talks when you are in college and you can enumerate and solve all that is wrong with the world over a six-pack of brewskies.

    It isn't Republican obstructionism that derailed Health Care Reform, it is the notion that high quality AFFORDABLE health care can be provided...without a "government option" which would effectively be a government takeover of the industry.
    ________________________________

    Agree with me that we a a nation cannot afford our present health care system - and that one-sixth of our total economy is too much, when twenty percent of us have inadequate coverage today, and fewer and fewer will have adequate care with each advancing year it continues.

    That said, no one in America red or blue has the power or the courage to reduce the amount of money we pay for health care - to downsize their paychecks, increase the efficiency and extend the coverage, to get the value appropriate to the dollars we are spending.

    In my opinion, that is the only appropriate outcome - the only way to prevent health care costs from ruining America and driving it into real socialism or class warfare.

    Has any Republican, or any Teabagger, committed to reducing the cost of health care?

    KScurmudgeon
    stark raving realist

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  • 137. At 06:12am on 29 Jan 2010, ranter22 wrote:

    The president should impose a price freeze on all products in the US, for as long as his hard time period calls for, on the citizens of [i this/i] country to remain hostage to this crisis.
    Raise minimum wages and incentivise new business growth.
    Speaking to the white house and using comic relief tones and overtures makes the joke on us and it isn’t funny at all.
    The people get what he is saying and will say speak to the finger. What!, they are the only people who can disseminate speech? I t still makes no sense. It isn’t going to please anyone and the house will stay divided.
    Talk about dense.

    God, I mean ‘Obama’ Needs to go on tour through ‘this’ country and shake the hands that still want to shake his.
    Get the real feedback, Go to Chicago, Massachusetts, Virginia, Etc. Actually have people manning the net and really bringing the news to him. I have written many times and got back the general message saying Thank you.
    … Governing is a hard job, governing well even harder, Perception to the people is more important than perception of excellence to self.

    Right now there are so few people happy. Most of them are not regular working or unemployed.

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  • 138. At 06:33am on 29 Jan 2010, wolfvorkian wrote:

    Wolf, You plainly claim the authority to judge what is best for the country and for me. That would not be a democracy. It would Wolfvorkia, which definitely sounds east-european and third-world to me.

    Curmudgeon - if it gives you a rush to go down with the ship, goferit.



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  • 139. At 06:52am on 29 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re #66

    The reason I quoted the post from BB'c own HYS (which is not a blog) is that I wanted to point out that I'm, it seems, not the only one who sees a contradiction when somebody (Barack Hussein Obama) denigratates the opposition and in the same breath appeals for bipartisanship.

    I think it was you who wrote that "Pragmatism rules the day in this country"?

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  • 140. At 07:02am on 29 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:



    Philly Mom, I'm pleased to see that we agree on 2 points:

    1. That our energy sources have to be diversified.

    2. that there are major energy sources (such as fission reactors) necessary to supply industrial strength power and those which can be useful on a retail level:.e.g, to light up one's barn/outhouse or enlighten one's university's social sciences department.

    And if you can make money out of the latter - more power to you. :)

    regards,

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  • 141. At 07:06am on 29 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re # 67 GH1618 asks:

    How much damage can Switzerland do?




    Ask Roman Polanski or typically Swiss minaret aficionados.

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  • 142. At 07:19am on 29 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re 70 re methane as an alternative energy source.


    Philly Mom, I'm sure you know there's plenty of methane under Siberian permafrost which could be freed and utilized thanks to global warming.:)


    Nota bene, there've been v. efficient methane-based lap-top batteries patented several years ago. [much more efficient than Li-Ion ones]

    But they won't make it to the stores until FAA recognizes that methane is not an explosive.

    [good luck with that one in the current security-prone climate!]


    Which brings us back to those huge bison ranches in Wyoming, whose owners, 'former sharp-shooters' and other explosive characters.... :-)


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  • 143. At 12:00pm on 29 Jan 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 141, powermeerkat

    "How much damage can Switzerland do?"

    The could stop making watches or, worse yet, they could close their famous skiing resorts...

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  • 144. At 12:14pm on 29 Jan 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 130, khadi

    "Well today, all 40 "fiscally responsible, economically conservative" Republican senators of the congress have voted against re-establishing PAYGO."

    Fear not, you can count on them trumpeting their fiscal conservatism and demonizing the Democrat's tax and spend habits. The sad truth is that neither party has a clue how to solve our economic problems and lessen the probability of another severe recession. Most importantly, they are both so afraid to anger an electorate that wants it all but does not want to pay for what we get that they have no choice but to resort to smoke and mirrors to guarantee their political survival.

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  • 145. At 12:37pm on 29 Jan 2010, arclightt wrote:

    @45 (StD): "One of the things that struck me the most last night was the indifference of the opposition when President Obama talked about tax breaks for the middle class, finding ways to reduce student loans, and using $30B of the TARP money that has been returned by the banks to help small businesses.

    If proposals that involve tax breaks and finding ways to help small business do not enjoy bipartisan support, is it realistic to expect consensus on issues such as healthcare reform?"

    Dominick, I think it is, but over a long time. Some partisans on both sides are going to have to be sent to the house (and 2010 is just as good a time as any), but I think that over time it can happen, even on health care. Remember that the civil rights movement didn't start with MLK; he was just near the very end of a change that took over 100 years to bring about.

    "...In the fullness of time..." is a phrase used periodically in the Bible, and as I get older I appreciate more and more just what the "fullness of time" can mean.

    I think we can accelerate some of this, however, by going to the polls and being willing to sacrifice our Congressman or Senator who's been there for a while. Perhaps we will miss out on an earmark or two, but if getting rid of our establishment folks will shake the process up, that would probably be a good thing. Remember, the Executive Branch is responsible for the day-to-day, so THAT'S where the "experience base" really needs to be. It wouldn't hurt us at all to have a lot of fresh blood in the Congress in 2011. That would accomplish one other thing as well: It would cause the party leadership of both parties some serious hurt...perhaps some of THEM would get sent home. That would be ALL good.

    "Another proposal that I thought was interesting was the development of clean and safe nuclear energy plants as a tool to achieve energy independence."

    I couldn't agree more. Let's hope that our Congress uses a bit of sense this time around, and authorizes the design of a standard, modular nuke plant design (similar to what the US Navy has hundreds of) so that design, implementation, training, maintenance, etc., etc., etc., can be standardized and made effective. While we are at it, I'd put the Navy in charge of overseeing the engineering and the training, or at least leverage their experience. They run nuke plants all the time in confined spaces where there's no place to run, and they do a good job of it...why not leverage that experience?

    While we are at it, if putting scrubbers on the existing coal plants is something that we need, why not do a zero-interest loan of some of the TARP money and just GET IT DONE? Write the law to prevent bottom-feeding lawyers (I didn't call them attorneys, because they don't deserve that name) from treating the utility industry the way they treated general aviation, by threatening to sue the snot out of them if they made ANY technological advance. Write it and GET ON WITH THE SHOW.

    @various (Andy, GH, rodi): It's really, really neat to see you guys discussing the Constitution, and what it means. One of the best parts of this country is that the common folks get to "put their hands" on our most significant founding document, and wrestle with its meaning, and use the resultant thoughts to influence their choices of leaders. I wish more folks did that.

    @86 (Andy) "If this Congress gets nothing done before the mid-terms, I know I'll be doing my part to fire the employees of the highest levels of the federal government. Party be damned."

    Andy, see my comments above, and get ready to make it happen. I read a brief article this very morning in Government Executive stating that the Feds should expect to be under Continuing Resolution yet AGAIN in 2011. They ALREADY expect Congress to fail to PASS A BUDGET! AGAIN!!!

    Perhaps Obama should tell the Congress, "If you don't pass the rest of the Federal budget first, don't bother to send over the Appropriations Bill that covers the White House and the Congress, because I'll veto it regardless of what's in it. Get off your collective 535 duffs and DO YOUR JOBS!"

    I'm off to a meeting. There's too much good thinking here today to respond to all of it. Hope everyone has a good day.

    Arclight

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  • 146. At 12:59pm on 29 Jan 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 145, arclightt

    I agree in principle with everything you said, and in an ideal world your approach would make sense, but do you honestly believe that the people that are likely to replace those congressmen and senators that are going to be booted out of office in November will engage in a bipartisan effort to improve our healthcare system or find long term solutions to our economic and social problems?

    The replacements will be elected on the basis of protest for change, and will represent the anger of those who either support the status quo or simply object to everything, regardless of ideology or logic, without any thought of the consequences of their actions.

    I am not defending the cowardice of those who have sacrificed their principles to improve their re-election chances - and will most likely get neither - but I am afraid the newcomers could be much worse than the folks we know.

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  • 147. At 1:22pm on 29 Jan 2010, Mike Smith wrote:

    Hey, Mark, you're an idiot. If that's all you got from over an hour of yawn then you truly believe in state-controlled everything and should move immediately to Venezuela where your dreams can come true - as soon as you give up your profits, your wealth, your freedom and your dignity. Send me a postcard if Chavez lets you.

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  • 148. At 1:25pm on 29 Jan 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    OK I;m a cynic (goes with my profession). But I think a lot of people have taken up citizenship in Cloud Cuckoo Land.

    Look at what's happening already: the Republicans are more determined than ever that anything that doesn't fit their basic agenda--minimal Federal spending except for their favourite military, tax breaks and incentives for big business, minimal (if any) regulation of anything, tax cuts so that revenue is pared to nothing, expenditure reduced all across the board to 'reduce the deficit. . .

    All of which is very likely to become a really serious economic and social disaster for the USA over the next decade.

    None of that will pay for new infrastructure, new technologies, a new economic shift. It shores up buildings that are already wobbly.And no legislation on any of Obama's proposals unless it can be contorted so it appears to be theirs; and how often will Obama actually use his veto? I wouldn't hold your breath.

    it really does look from outside (and they are saying this in Davos, though not as bluntly) that the USA's government will be effectively frozen solid, at least until after next November, if not 2013.

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  • 149. At 1:32pm on 29 Jan 2010, crash wrote:

    Why are people so ready to give up freedom for security? what happened to responsibility ? I never will get why people are so ready to give up their freedoms and let the government step in and make their choices for them.I guess we have got to the point of instant gratification nobody wants to earn therefore wait for anything.

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  • 150. At 1:36pm on 29 Jan 2010, David Murrell wrote:

    Mike Smith – Sorry where the Hades do you get off insulting someone like that? I would suggest that you grow up and learn to post in a semi-civilised fashion, remember that this is Mark’s blog and you are a guest on it, so a modicum of respected is expected.

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  • 151. At 2:04pm on 29 Jan 2010, crash wrote:

    Mr Murrell Mike stated an opinion you did not like i don't see any thing insulting about it,why when anyone states their belief that may be is counter to their own is it considered insulting?

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  • 152. At 2:12pm on 29 Jan 2010, _marko wrote:

    To AndreaNY #97

    "rhetoric"
    "rant."
    interesting and relevant
    quite a snapshot
    usually be of interest

    The ambiguity is that it doesn't tell anyone that you agree with the comments or regard it as containing valid arguments.

    To powermeerkat #139,
    As the provider of post #46, do you understand the whole quote, agree with it and feel all the arguments and observations are valid/accurate? or is it just the contradiction that you agree with?

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  • 153. At 2:14pm on 29 Jan 2010, crash wrote:

    The UN,DAVOS,EU,G9,just to name a few of the regulatory authorities making laws for you everyday,tax dollars of millions from around the world at work,by the way which one did you vote for ?

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  • 154. At 2:16pm on 29 Jan 2010, David Murrell wrote:

    Crash – You see nothing insulting about calling someone an idiot, “Hey, Mark you’re an idiot”? As I said I have no issue with people voicing opinions, I do have an issue with people insulting other people, especially the blogs author who does post in the section.

    I am sure if I called you an idiot (which I am not for clarification) you would be insulted!

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  • 155. At 2:20pm on 29 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    "Well this particular tree-huger lives fairly close to 3-mile island...
    AND I actually prefer noo-clee-ur energy for certain big energy purposes."


    That's nyukyular, Philly Mom; nyukyular.


    Although perhaps not for you and me. ;)

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  • 156. At 2:27pm on 29 Jan 2010, Mike Smith wrote:

    You're right, David, Post #150. Name-calling is bit childish. Sorry if I offended you. Besides the "idiot" part, do you really think any government is better at deciding you life than you are? I'm sure certain restrictions on bad business practices - you know, like laws - are necessary. But the debt? The bailouts? The blame on everyone else - including the Supreme Court? Is this the kind of person you would like to decide if grandma can get an operation to save her years of pain? I don't. It's that simple.

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  • 157. At 2:28pm on 29 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Philly Mom asks powermeerkat:


    "Do you seriously think the USGov would have the operational systems of a nuclear reactor available online?"

    Oh, YES is used to., until quite recently.

    When The CyberCommand has been created.


    BTW. there's nothing really secret 'bout how a fission reactor works.

    Nor is it secret how to make a fission bomb if you have enough of highly enriched uranium [90%+].

    [that's why Ahmedinnerjacket enriches like mad, while depleting the very people who 'elected' him. :-))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))

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  • 158. At 2:33pm on 29 Jan 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 149, crash

    "Why are people so ready to give up freedom for security?"

    Because a lot of people prefer to blame someone else for their demise or are more inclined to rely on soudbites and 30-second political commercials rather than studying issues to form opinions based on fact, common sense or concern for the future of our society.

    Calls for smaller government, widespread tax reductions, and other such proposals sound great...until it is time to start tightening our belts. What do you think would be our reaction if politicians, faced with a law that bans deficit spending or reduces government revenue dramatically, told us that the size of our military will be reduced by 20%, that our grandparents or elderly parents will have to move in our homes and that we will have to pay for their care because there is no money to fund Social Security or MEDICARE or that we, the people, will have to find ways to pay for future improvements in infrastructure because the government no longer has the financial resources to pay for them?

    Rhetoric is cheap, the true measures of personal responsibility include knowing and accepting the consequences of our decisions and ensuring we prepare to satisfy our future needs without government assistance. Judging by our tendency to borrow money to meet our needs, our refusal to care for one another, our tendency to buy whatever we want without the slightest concern for how we are going to pay the bills, our obsession with material things and keeping up with others, I am afraid our future depends largely on whatever a few pragmatic and courageous politicians with a clear vision of the future make for us...even when they know that those decisions may cost them their political careers.

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  • 159. At 2:38pm on 29 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Ref 141, powermeerkat

    "How much damage can Switzerland do?"

    The could stop making watches or, worse yet, they could close their famous skiing resorts...






    If they closed Zermatt I would be very crossed, indeed.

    But re watches.... my grandspa's Patek-Phillip is still good enough.

    [and I use a US made atomic clock while working]


    But as for claims that the Swiss puncture holes in their cheeses on weekends and, if they have time to spare - launder and iron their bankotes - it's simply a malicious slur.

    [although, on the 2nd thought, re 'money laundering'...]



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  • 160. At 2:43pm on 29 Jan 2010, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    67 Gary, and others:

    Re: Federalist Paper No. 10

    The thing that is a bit striking while reading this is how similar it is to a contemporary blog posting. Madison as pre-electronic blogger. What a thought. Who knew?

    It is also quite funny how he complains about "a rage for paper money", which, of course, had been a pet project advocated for many years by Benjamin Franklin. Gosh, if it hadn't been for Madison the US would now be using a paper currency whose value could be destroyed by excessive public spending and rampant inflation.

    Hold on. Wait a minute ...

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  • 161. At 2:49pm on 29 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re #158 SaintDominick writes:

    I am afraid our future depends largely on whatever a few pragmatic and courageous politicians with a clear vision of the future make for us...even when they know that those decisions may cost them their political careers.


    And where, pray, do you intend to find such animals?

    In the U.S.? In EUSSR? In PRC? In Russia? In India? In RSA?

    Perhaps in S. Waziristan? ;-))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))

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  • 162. At 2:59pm on 29 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re Madison and paper money losing value...




    It's hard not to notice what's happening with the Swiss frank.


    Thanks Founding Fathers that meerkats like me were allowed to purchase gold when it was still @ $300.00 an once.

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  • 163. At 3:12pm on 29 Jan 2010, ghostofsichuan wrote:

    I tried to view the congress members but they were all had lobbyist from healthcare and banking sitting in their laps. The US has lost any sense of "of the people, by the people and for the people." It is business, business, business, greed, greed, greed. The Republican seem to be unable to see that the unregulated markets and banks under the Bush/Cheney Administration is the reason for current unemployment and stalled economy. How can anyone expect to turn around in one year what was created in eight. At time where some type of national resolve is needed the Republicans obstruct every effort to change the conditions that caused the problems. The reformers are always blamed for the excesses of reactionaries.

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  • 164. At 3:18pm on 29 Jan 2010, David Murrell wrote:

    Mike – As a Brit I can only look at these things from an outsider and regarding the speech I am basing my views on what has been said here. It is clear that a lot of people liked the rhetoric, though others either don’t like what was said or believe he should be doing rather than saying. Personally I think that this is his last chance to make his vision clear and then start doing something, he has been big on talking with little to show for it.

    If I was an American I think I would have had the patience to accept this up to this point, he is (rightly or wrongly) trying to divert the country from a course that has been 8 years in the making. After a year though I would have liked to see at least some hint of success, now which Democrats losing seats change become more difficult.

    Debt, well that was already there and most countries accept that to reverse the current decline you need to borrow money, most countries are now saying though that the time for borrowing is coming to an end.

    Bailout, were necessary to maintain the financial sector and others. Without the bailouts (which were initially agreed under Bush) the situation would a lot worse and a lot longer term than they are now.

    Blaming others, well I think he has some justification, the health care debate seems to have been derailed as much by the Democrats as the Republicans and both sides seem at least as interested in playing the party game as actually getting anything done. As for the Supreme Court decision, if I had been American I would have been very unhappy about it, giving a legal person the same rights as a natural person, even only partially is in my mind a negative step.

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  • 165. At 3:20pm on 29 Jan 2010, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    67 Gary, and

    54. At 6:50pm on 28 Jan 2010, democracythreat wrote:

    "Nevertheless, I live in Switzerland and I have to say that the Swiss system of direct democracy APPEARS (again, I'm no expert) to curtail a lot of the problems folks articulate regarding the US federal government. Now I know y'all have a similar system in California, ...."
    __________

    Live in Switzerland, eh? It is a wonderful, superbly run country. If only we could afford to retire there. ...

    The Swiss system of hybrid direct-democracy works brilliantly well.

    It would, however, be a bit of a mistake to think that direct democracy as practiced in California is the same thing. They are superficially similar, for sure. But underneath they are quite different. There are many differences, but two really important ones are, first that in Switzerland the government has the right to propose its own popular measures as an alternative to a popular initiative; and second, the private spending free-for-all would never be permitted in Switzerland. The Swiss like things to be moderate, and cautious, and they like to consider things carefully.

    In America, rights to popular initiatives and referenda came out of the Progressive and anti-trust busting era, as did election of senators (they had previously been appointed). It was often farmer based, and was a reaction to the "interests", which usually meant the railroads, the banks, those who sold strong drink or spirits, any kind of land or stock market "speculator", and the very corrupt political practices of those days. There is an old book called "The Octopus" about the Southern Pacific Railway that was apparently quite influential at the time. The movement grew from about 1890 onward, and was quite influential. Democratic reform was a very popular cause, and many advances toward a more strongly democratic society, and more strongly democratic institutions occurred.

    It came to a halt because of two things. First, the Great War crowded out all other issues. Second, the campaign for prohibition was the biggest and first "success" for popular democracy. Unfortunately, prohibition turned out to be a mistake, it revealed the weaknesses of popular democracy as then practiced, and it ultimately discredited the movement.

    It's a shame. We would almost certainly have been better off if democratic reform had continued.

    As for the present system in Switzerland, which has been criticized because of the "minaret" vote, and other issues, well, I have followed Swiss politics and history for a fair while, and I would say that one of the best things about it is that it forces both the politicians and the voters to face up to honest truths, including unpleasant ones, faster and more relentlessly than any other system of government I have seen.

    That is one of the reasons there is so little corruption in Swiss government, and why Swiss laws tend to be very pragmatic. It is one of the reasons why the Swiss are, and will always be, among the first to have better environmental laws.

    (Note to all those who oppose climate change legislation: How is it that the Swiss can have some of the toughest environmental laws on earth, that were passed by popular direct vote, and yet the country is also pretty much the richest place on earth? Aren't environmental laws always predicted to destroy the economy? Or maybe that's just a pile of scaremongering?)

    It is one of the reasons that Swiss public finances tend to be conservatively managed, and why the Swiss pension system is fully funded. There is a huge lesson for the EU in this, one that the EU is determined to ignore.

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  • 166. At 3:24pm on 29 Jan 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 161, powermeerkat

    "And where, pray, do you intend to find such animals?"

    No, I would look for them right in Washington DC. Contrary to what we so often say to vent our frustrations there are many politicians in both parties, both incumbents and former Presidents, senators and congressmen who could, if they wished and tried, find solutions to our problems.

    The problem, in my modest opinion, is that we are so afraid and feel so insecure about the future of our nation that we do not allow them to govern or do what many of them would like to do. The main problem with our political system is that politicians know that their careers depend on their ability to satisfy the wishes of those who contributed the most to their campaigns and the minions who voice in accordance with what special interests tell them is the right thing to do.

    As for "leaders" in other parts of the world, I think they have their hands full solving their own problems. I am more worried about what will happen if they decide to end the use of the dollar as the world reserve currency than consider their participation in seeking solutions to solve our socio-economic woes?

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  • 167. At 3:28pm on 29 Jan 2010, McJakome wrote:

    123. At 01:33am on 29 Jan 2010, rodidog wrote
    RE: #114 Andy Post

    “The judicial power shall extend to all cases, in law and equity, arising under the Constitution, the laws of the United States and Treaties.”

    Thank you for posting this. When Europeans demand that the US relinquish some sovereignty or sign on to treaties or agreements that do so [as in a treaty to abolish capital punishment in the states or interfere in administration of state law], they do not realize that the USSC has the last word and can, at any time, find such treaties or agreements in violation of the constitution. Of course they also, apparently, fail to understand that Article X, reserves more power to the “states and the people thereof” than it gives to the central government.

    Thank heaven we had political geniuses for founding fathers. Yes the Constitution has flaws [slavery the most egregious] but it has worked marvellously for over 200 years. When it has needed major adjustments we have made them, and we may be entering a period in which some adjustments are needed. They will be judicious and voted on by the people, as usual, not imposed by caudillos or Brussels bureaucrats.

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  • 168. At 3:52pm on 29 Jan 2010, McJakome wrote:

    133. At 05:12am on 29 Jan 2010, KScurmudgeon wrote RE:
    90. At 9:54pm on 28 Jan 2010, MagicKirin

    “The individual people who make up a corporation have the rights of any citizen - if the employees or management wish to participate in public affairs, that is a good thing. But does your car, refrigerator, or washing machine get a vote? Making a mechanism into a member of society is the act of making it into a monster. A corporation - is a corpus constructed and animated to a specific purpose, a machine, an engine. It is not one of us.

    If a man or an organization had the means to build a hundred thousand robots, and sent them to the polls to vote in your community, would their votes be a fair exercise of that man's civic rights? Would it be his or their duty to do so? Ours is a government by the people, for the people. We, the citizens, must make the decisions as each understands his own interest. No 'one' else has the right. Not even Mickey Mouse or Bart Simpson. They do not qualify.”

    This is the best, clear enough for the hard of thinking, statement on the issue that I have read so far. With your permission I am going to keep it and even quote it [with citation as posted].

    Thank you very much.
    McJakome in the “Cradle of Liberty”

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  • 169. At 3:55pm on 29 Jan 2010, Mike Smith wrote:

    David - Thanks for the answers. Read "The Creature from Jekyll Island". A revealing tome about the formation of the Federal Reserve. The economic problems have been inevitable for more than 8 years- I'm not a Bush fan. The Federal Reserve does not have Constitutional authority to print America's money and then charge us for the privilege. That was given away by the Congress and illegally so. Anyone who has tried to take over a country knows that all one has to do is control the money and the politicians that come and go won't matter. That is what is happening. Look at how stuck all the Congress is on how much they spend. With the annual raises in most every program built in and then the introduction of massive(in the trillions) new intrusions into everyday life there is little doubt that bankruptcy is only just around the corner. New taxes in the form of fines or cap and trade will choke to death the golden goose of free enterprise. Obama braying about how Americans just don't understand his program is annoying. Most of America does know what he is saying - they just don't like it. But I have to go - nice talking with you, sir.

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  • 170. At 4:03pm on 29 Jan 2010, McJakome wrote:

    150. At 1:36pm on 29 Jan 2010, David Murrell wrote:
    “Mike Smith – Sorry where the Hades do you get off insulting someone like that? I would suggest that you grow up and learn to post in a semi-civilised fashion, remember that this is Mark’s blog and you are a guest on it, so a modicum of respected is expected.”

    I second that. I was tempted to push the complaint button, but I object to censorship and wouldn’t want to promote it. I found this thread to be right on the Mark, [pun intended.]

    151. At 2:04pm on 29 Jan 2010, crash wrote:
    “Mr Murrell Mike stated an opinion you did not like i don't see any thing insulting about it,why when anyone states their belief that may be is counter to their own is it considered insulting?”

    Do you go into someone else’s home or place of business to give an insulting personal opinion? What would happen if you did that in Texas or Wyoming? For that matter, I can guarantee that a New Yorker insulting the Red Sox in a Boston pub would be made very unwelcome.

    This is a blog that is paid for by the TV owning British public. If, like me, you are an American, you are a guest whose opinions are received [usually] politely. I don’t know where you come from, but most of the Americans I know were taught that it is a breach of good manners for a guest to insult the host. This is what Mike Smith did, and he should be ashamed of himself for it.

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  • 171. At 4:12pm on 29 Jan 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    InterestedForeigner (#165) "(Note to all those who oppose climate change legislation: How is it that the Swiss can have some of the toughest environmental laws on earth, that were passed by popular direct vote, and yet the country is also pretty much the richest place on earth? Aren't environmental laws always predicted to destroy the economy? Or maybe that's just a pile of scaremongering?)"

    Tough environmental laws in Switzerland are a luxury which the Swiss enjoy due to their particular circumstances. They do not have coal and oil reserves, but have so much hydroelectric capacity that they export electric power. They are a small country, so can easily provide intercity transportation with electric trains powered by their clean and cheap electric power.

    The world economy is international. Every country is differently situated with regard to the things it produces and the things it imports. When a country produces things which do not cause pollution in their production, and import things which do, it has an advantage in reducing pollution.

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  • 172. At 4:16pm on 29 Jan 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    InterestedForeigner (#160), yes, there is always amusement to be found in reading historical documents such as the Federalist Papers. What struck me was that his main point was in keeping factionalism under control through representative government, expecting that those representatives would naturally be the wisest and most reasonable citizens (as were the founding fathers). That didn't work out quite as well as he had hoped, I think.

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  • 173. At 4:47pm on 29 Jan 2010, U14309841 wrote:

    Obama has been trying to get bi partisanship for some time. at some stage he has to be allowed to say "hey you ---- get on board you are dragging us all down. but then the GOP think that they cannot be criticised. like posters here . they complain like mad and get posts removed if they are about them.

    No back bone them right whingers.

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  • 174. At 4:48pm on 29 Jan 2010, U14309841 wrote:

    two years of black cat jokes and all that and yet there are all these halfwits that think that Obama has been the offensive one.

    But then they also think they are rather "cute"

    foolishly.

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  • 175. At 4:53pm on 29 Jan 2010, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #158
    Calls for smaller government, widespread tax reductions, and other such proposals sound great...until it is time to start tightening our belts.

    ___________________--

    That is the fundamental difference. I would argue goverment taking care of everything sounds good untill you see the inefficency and corruption which is bipartsian. There are so many examples of the latter, that less goverment means less harm to most of us.

    Here is one way that goverment could serve the people, take 75% of all the staff members on the congressional and other staffs who are there for patronage, put them on infastructure improvements, helping the homeless and helping with the aid effort in Haiti. No additional costs and they would be doing something constructive.

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  • 176. At 5:05pm on 29 Jan 2010, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    171 Gary

    The points you make are probably true enough.

    Nonetheless, my long experience with the Swiss makes me think that even if they ran Gaza they would still find a way to make it orderly, prosperous and law-abiding. Ditto for Afghanistan, Pakistan, or pretty much any place you care to name. That's just how they are as a society.

    If the Swiss ran Haiti, it would be a glowing example of prosperity, the sewers would work, the streets would be swept clean, the flowers at the train station would be freshly watered, the buildings would all be earthquake proof, the schools would be first rate, the hospitals would be spotless, and the chocolate would be excellent.

    Prior to the educational reforms of 1830, and prior to the civil war, Switzerland was a poor country, with few natural resources. It had constantly to import food. For centuries one of its main sources of income was foreign remittances, often from Swiss mercenaries. The Pope's Swiss guards are a distant echo of this.

    Switzerland began to grow disproportionately rich only after the introduction of hybrid direct democracy in about 1849 - 1856(?) The change from a first-past-the-post Parliament to Proportional Representation took place much later (1917 - 1919?). Keeping out of two wars didn't hurt, either.

    There are long-ingrained cultural factors at play. They expect that everybody will work hard, and they expect things to run properly. They take it as a given that society is to be well organized. They just wouldn't have time for suicide bombers and such like. Much too busy.

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  • 177. At 5:06pm on 29 Jan 2010, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    172. Gary.

    "That didn't work out quite as well as he had hoped, I think."

    LOL. No, perhaps not.

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  • 178. At 5:36pm on 29 Jan 2010, U14317251 wrote:

    re: postage above "⇈"
    Can anyone tell me what does expression Nine Below Zero mean..?
    Sorry for a dumb question but I'm not a native speaker...
    +
    It means that it is a little bit chilly around the old willy

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  • 179. At 5:43pm on 29 Jan 2010, U14309841 wrote:

    176
    "Keeping out of two wars didn't hurt, either."

    One I get,the other......well, I like to say the americans did nothing for ages. the swiss...... are bloody lucky. and Hitler wasn't really scared.

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  • 180. At 5:49pm on 29 Jan 2010, U14309841 wrote:

    David Cunard. that letter with the racist joke. any chance you can tell us who they supported in the primaries. GOP or Dem. either side --which candidate?

    just out of curiosity

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  • 181. At 6:35pm on 29 Jan 2010, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    179 PNG (but not Port Moresby)

    Even in WWII, notwithstanding the rather tight food situation, the mere avoidance of destruction was a great blessing.

    At one point the Germans discovered that the Swiss had a secret treaty with France, and that the Swiss had been feeding the French intelligence. Switzerland armed itself as heavily as it could, built up its border defenses (you can still see them) and spent a lot of money building tunnels, undergrounds bunkers, and under-mountain aircraft hangars. The place isn't all that flat, so a defender has certain natural advantages. As with the Swedes, who were similarly surrounded, by and large the Germans could buy and sell what they wanted, so there was no pressing reason to attack the Swiss. So the Swiss hunkered down, hoped for the best, and waited for the war to end.

    Lucky? Yes, I suppose. But their readiness to defend themselves, in difficult terrain, may have been just enough to tip the balance of that "lucky" decision.

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  • 182. At 6:54pm on 29 Jan 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    Germans could buy and sell what they wanted, so there was no pressing reason to attack the Swiss. So the Swiss hunkered down, hoped for the best, and waited for the war to end.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Waited for the war to end because of the americans bombing their country, thinking it was germany.Swizerland unlike afghanistan wasnt use as the battlefield between the two waring sides..

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  • 183. At 6:55pm on 29 Jan 2010, hms_shannon wrote:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=chwDoQuD77g&feature=related
    I know I am way off theme,but this is a British blog & I am British,even so please forgive my taking liberty's.It was Holocaust remembrance day a few days ago,the above link for me gets day to day body politic in perspective.
    The music haunting & sublime.Even though I love it I cant get much beyond
    4 minuets with out starting to cry.There is a time & place for all things & If you think I am in the wrong place at the wrong time,please forgive me.

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  • 184. At 7:05pm on 29 Jan 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    Nonetheless, my long experience with the Swiss makes me think that even if they ran Gaza they would still find a way to make it orderly,
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    There was a reason that swiss didnt allow jews to enter the country during the second world war.And the first thing the swiss would do, is make israel pay comensation to palestinians and then make israel unsettle the nearby settlements that surround gaza..At that point, israel will make switzerland leave gaza, as it made the famous UN checkpost leave within days..So, your scenario is just one of those scenarios the westerners imagine, the racist kinds, the underlying theme the intend of which is to present palestians as homo sarcs..

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  • 185. At 7:30pm on 29 Jan 2010, arclightt wrote:

    @146, 158, 166 (StD):

    "do you honestly believe that the people that are likely to replace those congressmen and senators that are going to be booted out of office in November will engage in a bipartisan effort to improve our healthcare system or find long term solutions to our economic and social problems?"

    "I am afraid our future depends largely on whatever a few pragmatic and courageous politicians with a clear vision of the future make for us...even when they know that those decisions may cost them their political careers."

    (in answer to powermeerkat asking "And where, pray, do you intend to find such animals?")

    "No, I would look for them right in Washington DC. Contrary to what we so often say to vent our frustrations there are many politicians in both parties, both incumbents and former Presidents, senators and congressmen who could, if they wished and tried, find solutions to our problems."

    Dominick, I agree with this, and wish I hadn't crawled their cases regarding the budget earlier. I will suggest, though, that they really don't come from Washington. They come from our backyards, and we are responsible for growing them. Perhaps our problem is that we haven't been paying much attention to our own back yards. As you said, a big part of this is being responsible for our own actions. Most of us understand this and accept it. What's the next step, however, that transitions us from not only taking responsibility for ourselves to ensuring that we really grow the kind of leadership ready to swing for the fences?

    Perhaps the next step is for more of us to engage in the political process (shudders...some of us might actually need to run for office).

    Mea culpa: I am guilty of being frustrated with the Congress, both here and elsewhere. My opportunity appears to be: How do I take that frustration and turn it into something positive?

    "The problem, in my modest opinion, is that we are so afraid and feel so insecure about the future of our nation that we do not allow them to govern or do what many of them would like to do. The main problem with our political system is that politicians know that their careers depend on their ability to satisfy the wishes of those who contributed the most to their campaigns and the minions who voice in accordance with what special interests tell them is the right thing to do."

    I think your modest opinion is at least partly right, and maybe a lot. I think another part of it, unfortunately, is that all of us carry more baggage from the past than we know, and automatically begin to pigeonhole behaviors, and attitudes, and statements, and people, rather than stopping and taking a breath and thinking through what we are receiving. I think that that's at least part of what's going on in Washington and elsewhere today. I know that for me it's a large effort, and I'm certainly not always successful at it.

    @183 (ukw): It's OK by me. I am rereading The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich now, and I still shudder to see how grown men and women can become so warped that they honestly believe that up is down. The truly frightening thing about it is that I know for certain that every person, including me, is just as susceptible to becoming this way, in small ways at first that lead to very big ways later. The statement "Eternal vigilence is the price of liberty" applies to that struggle as well as others.

    Regards,
    Arclight




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  • 186. At 7:32pm on 29 Jan 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    184. At 7:05pm on 29 Jan 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    "There was a reason that swiss didnt allow jews to enter the country during the second world war."

    Which was?

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  • 187. At 7:33pm on 29 Jan 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    181. At 6:35pm on 29 Jan 2010, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    "But their readiness to defend themselves, in difficult terrain, may have been just enough to tip the balance of that "lucky" decision. . ."

    Not the banking system?

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  • 188. At 7:42pm on 29 Jan 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    The music haunting & sublime.Even though I love it I cant get much beyond
    4 minuets with out starting to cry.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Then dont cry. The time you are wasting on crying on things of the past, stops you from making the same mistakes your older generation made..they chose to overlook it when it happened, before it happened, and infact right after it happened, if it wasnt for one of the nazi person's accurate and honest testimony, the holocaust will not be even called holocaust..it would be called, collateral damage, death of innocent civilians..

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  • 189. At 8:09pm on 29 Jan 2010, John Galt wrote:

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

  • 190. At 8:17pm on 29 Jan 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 185, arclightt

    "What's the next step, however, that transitions us from not only taking responsibility for ourselves to ensuring that we really grow the kind of leadership ready to swing for the fences?"

    Political activism is definitely part of the solution. Most of our representatives in government are intelligent and hard working individuals who want to be responsive to the needs and will of the people. They just need support and reassurance from the electorate to know they are moving in the right direction.

    Unfortunately, all they have been hearing lately is negativism, opposition to change, or opposition to specific policies. Unless the silent majority wakes up and starts voicing their preferences what lies ahead is the same paralysis that afflicted previous congresses. Calling them a do-nothing congress, as we have in the past, does not solve anything, and replacing them with people that will either become intimidated by the apparent fury of their constituents, or pre-disposed to support the status quo is not a solution.

    In addition to high visibility items such as healthcare reform and the stalled energy legislation congressmen are, apparently, going to start drafting new campaign finance legislation next week. Time to get on the phone or send a quick e-mail letting our representatives know how we feel, and it would not hurt if we contribute to the decision making process by offering specific improvements or suggest removing or changing specific parts of whatever they are working on. What should be unacceptable to all of us is just saying no.



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  • 191. At 8:24pm on 29 Jan 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    The 'colonel' appears to hold some rather odd notions.

    I would be very curious to know more about the "nazi person's accurate and honest testimony" without which "the holocaust will not be even called holocaust."

    But then, this is someone who seems to favour blogs that tell us everything is a Jewish/Freemasonry conspiracy to impose a 'New World Order', so what would one expect?

    (Other, than, perhaps, a little more 'honesty'.)

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  • 192. At 8:25pm on 29 Jan 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 175, Magic

    "Here is one way that goverment could serve the people, take 75% of all the staff members on the congressional and other staffs who are there for patronage, put them on infastructure improvements, helping the homeless and helping with the aid effort in Haiti. No additional costs and they would be doing something constructive."

    I don't know how much of the federal budget goes to pay congressional staffers, but I doubt it is enough to repave the bridge to nowhere, and in all fairness neither is the proposal made by President Obama during the SOTU. Defense and entitlements must be considered. In some cases in may involve real cuts, in others it may be a freeze at current levels, and in others it may involve finding more effective ways to finance the programs we have and want.

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  • 193. At 8:37pm on 29 Jan 2010, David Cunard wrote:

    #180. personanongrata: "David Cunard. that letter with the racist joke. any chance you can tell us who they supported in the primaries."

    Letter? Do you mean the e-mail I had received (about health care) and which I reprinted? If so, I really don't know. I could ask. But I don't think there was a "racist joke" in it, perhaps you could identify the thread and post number?

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  • 194. At 8:41pm on 29 Jan 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    But then, this is someone who seems to favour blogs that tell us everything is a Jewish/Freemasonry conspiracy to impose a 'New World Order', so what would one expect?
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    And you can never prove what you have written, in a knee jerk reaction you can post the "I couldnt care less..." one and a half line, but thats all you can do. If you do not know the history of the term holocaust and how and when it came about to refer to the collateral damage of the world war 2, then its not my problem.

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  • 195. At 8:46pm on 29 Jan 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    SaintDominick (#192) "Defense and entitlements must be considered."

    Actually, significant cuts have been made in defense spending. Notably, the F-22 fighter program has been terminated at fewer than 200 aircraft, far below the number of F-15s which were built. The original plan was for about 650 to be built. The end of the cold war is the main reason production was cut back, but Russia continues to design and build air superiority fighters, the latest being the T-50. Although I think controlling defense expenditures necessary to getting the US economy under control, I also doubt the wisdom of building so few F22s.

    As for entitlements, they are nondiscretionary (which is why they are called entitlements), hence more difficult to cut.

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  • 196. At 8:48pm on 29 Jan 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    And when and if you are able to find when the holocaust got popular, then you should also find out its usage in the hebrew culture of the ancient times, and if you are able to understand that, then you will also able to understand why the iranian president takes up this subject which when it reaches the western minds turns into "he denies holocaust" and also you will be able to understand the israelian politician who had to go at lengths far away to explain that when he said palestians will bring holocaust on themselves, he actually meant, a holocaust and not the holocaust..Well actually he wasnt speaking english so the word he used was shoah, and then he said, i meant a shoah and not the shoah.

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  • 197. At 8:58pm on 29 Jan 2010, LucyJ wrote:

    The movie, Inglourious Bast****, was pretty intensive, although fictional and definitely a movie (not everything was entirely plausible).

    But it really showed a different and creative side to WWII, whether fictional or not.

    Holocaust movies always get new spins on them. I was pretty shocked when I heard Tarantino was going to do one, though. Tarantino wanted to be different. He wanted to show the Israelis as strong, instead of weak.

    Some like colonel artist say that Israelis are villains, but I have never seen that. It seems like Israel is always trying to help out. They are even operating a hospital in Haiti, which has saved many lives after the earthquake. I believe the Israelis are good people.

    You just have to give them a chance.

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  • 198. At 9:06pm on 29 Jan 2010, LucyJ wrote:

    GH, I bet Russia would love to have those less than 200 planes, though, as they only have one stealth and it is a prototype.

    It seems like we do things first, then they do it second. (except Afghanistan war- but they were/are being fought for different reasons). But that is just the business of war.

    The USA does not underestimate Russia, however. We know they have many nuclear weapons, so Russia is our friend, too, ever since the Cold War ended and all that.


    I think Russians are extremely attractive.

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  • 199. At 9:17pm on 29 Jan 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    Not even allowing basic medicenes to enter gaza, and starving in gaza, helping in haiti? as long as jews were in europe the europeans hated them, and once their epicenter was changed to far off land, the europeans start to love them...

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  • 200. At 9:18pm on 29 Jan 2010, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #192
    I don't know how much of the federal budget goes to pay congressional staffers, but I doubt it is enough to repave the bridge to nowhere, and in all fairness neither is the proposal made by President Obama during the SOTU. Defense and entitlements must be considered. In some cases in may involve real cuts, in others it may be a freeze at current levels, and in others it may involve finding more effective ways to finance the programs we have and want.

    __________________-

    Apperances are important. why do you think most of us are upset when Nancy Pelosi and others took a junket to Copenhagen with their families to the climate summit.

    We paid for it not Nancy. She served no purpose being there except for her ego.

    Why should we take the house leaders seriously when they don't even consider their own wasteful spending

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  • 201. At 9:21pm on 29 Jan 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 195, GH1618

    Excellent points, all deserving of consideration, but if we all refuse spending reductions in the programs we support what is the altefrnative? In my opinion, the options available if we do not accept reductions in spending and the consequences of those reductions include finding ways to increase government revenues without raising taxes, raising taxes, continue signing IOUs, or a lot of praying...which doesn't do much for non-believers.

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  • 202. At 9:23pm on 29 Jan 2010, RomeStu wrote:

    198 lucy
    "I think Russians are extremely attractive."


    But only the men I imagine ..... or are you "outing" yourself?


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  • 203. At 9:29pm on 29 Jan 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    SaintDominick (#201) " ... but if we all refuse spending reductions in the programs we support what is the alternative?"

    I'm not in a position to refuse (or not) in any case. Other expensive military projects were cut back in the Clinton and Bush (the 2nd) administrations. Notably, the Seawolf attack submarine, terminated at only three units (replaced by the Virginia class), and the B2 bomber, terminated at 20 aircraft. The latter, at about a billion dollars a pop, should never have been built at all, as far as I am concerned.

    The best way to cut defense spending right now is to end the war in Iraq, and that is being done.

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  • 204. At 9:32pm on 29 Jan 2010, U14317251 wrote:

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

  • 205. At 9:36pm on 29 Jan 2010, LucyJ wrote:

    Definitely only the men. Although I think the women are gorgeous, as well, I do not have any sexual type feelings for them.

    Russians are the last mostly white race. All of the other white countries have integrated, some of which happened long ago. But Russia is still predominantly white. I don't know that they want to integrate.

    I guess maybe people do have attractions toward things they are supposed to, that excitement effect, or whatever. Russian guys, seem, well, dangerous.

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  • 206. At 9:38pm on 29 Jan 2010, GrandchildofBritexpat wrote:

    You know at this point in my life I don't care what other people think. As a 24 white american whose Grandmother came from England after WWII I thin Europe is the last person to pass judgement on the process. So what if in the US politicians bicker and everything takes a long time. That is the way it works and is based on the US constitution. I used to get so angry about it but now I think to myself why? This country has survived for over 200 years on a constitution that is without question one of the best ones out there. So if I get angry at something should I take a Machete and use it as people do throughout the world? NO.

    As an american I thought the speech was great. Even better was the Presidents combative tone with Republicans today. There are problems that need work and they are being disruptive. Still thoughI am proud to be american and to those that sneere down on us and constantly make catey remarks go work on your own system. It has its flaws but you know what was the basis of this State of the Union address? My constitution! I can vote and people may say that it is influenced or corrupted by this and that but in the US at least I am allowed a forum to discuss this. My country may be falling to the wayside but at least I can speak my mind and if I want to give a member of the government my piece of mind. I look out my window and see trees and sky with clouds. I came from a country with many faults but at least its constitution allows this to be corrected eventually....

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  • 207. At 9:38pm on 29 Jan 2010, LucyJ wrote:

    colonel artist, I think the Jewish people have tried to help the Palestinians. The problem is that the Jewish want to help the Palestinian people and not Hamas, the terrorist organization which fires rockets at them all the time. As long as Palestine supports Hamas, Israel will not be able to help them.

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  • 208. At 9:42pm on 29 Jan 2010, RomeStu wrote:

    I found this rather interesting piece on Mark Easton's Blog on the BBC.

    Although it is about the UK, the same issues (but worse, according to the data) apply to the USA.

    Perhaps if Obama told a few more home truths about income inequality and health and crime, then something might get started to see some real change for real Americans.

    Go to the link and look at the position of the USA on the first two graphs especially..... (the rest is mainly UK relevant).


    "Wide inequalities erode the bonds of common citizenship and recognition of human dignity across economic divides. A number of analysts have pointed to the ways in which large inequalities in the kinds of economic outcome we look at are associated with societies having lower levels of happiness or well-being in other respects, and to the social problems and economic costs resulting from these."

    Table showing index of health and social problems

    Research by the University of Nottingham [748KB PDF] shows that greater inequality is linked to more kids dropping out of school; more violent crime; more people ending up in prison; more babies dying and more mental illness. There is also a strong correlation between greater inequality and less social mobility as well as less trust. It seems that the more equal a society, the happier it tends to be. "

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/01/is_inequality_iniquitous.html#comments

    Hmmmm.

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  • 209. At 9:45pm on 29 Jan 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    colonel artist, I think the Jewish people have tried to help the Palestinians. The problem is that the Jewish want to help the Palestinian people and not Hamas, the terrorist organization which fires rockets at them all the time. As long as Palestine supports Hamas, Israel will not be able to help them.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    And the palestinians want to also want to help the jewish people, thats why they allowed them to take refuge over there, when they ran from the europe..if jews end occupation and live like ordinary people, the palestinians will accept them, including hamas.

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  • 210. At 9:45pm on 29 Jan 2010, RomeStu wrote:

    207 lucy

    Noooooooooo !


    Don't do it ..... don't start the thread on Israel ..... please.

    All the real whackos will have little red lights flashing on their desk tops and be logging on RIGHT NOW!

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  • 211. At 9:58pm on 29 Jan 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    Seems we're back to "The Colonel's blog" again. Anyone who is curious, and in search of answers or information he always refuses to provide, can look at the bloghe himself linked to some days ago; I might recommend this one on the New World Order. A click on the RSS feed button in a browser toolbar will show the kind of 'dialogue' we are now familiar with from our 'colonel'.

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  • 212. At 10:01pm on 29 Jan 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    Which sqirrel rule is it pertaining to the US Constitution (post #206)? I'm impressed that this rule seemed to work out.

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  • 213. At 10:01pm on 29 Jan 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    210. RomeStu:

    Too late; it's inevitable these days, and I for one am having nothing to do with yet another dialogue of the deaf and blind.

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  • 214. At 10:03pm on 29 Jan 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    207 lucy

    Noooooooooo !


    Don't do it ..... don't start the thread on Israel ..... please.

    All the real whackos will have little red lights flashing on their desk tops and be logging on RIGHT NOW!
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Since when did you become the contractor of this blog?

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  • 215. At 10:04pm on 29 Jan 2010, LucyJ wrote:

    I don't purposefully try to talk about the Jewish people. It just seems like someone always brings them up. Then, they say the same things and I say the same things. It is never resolved or agreed upon. The whole thing is like a circle that spins round and round, yet never turns into a line. Just keeps going...

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  • 216. At 10:06pm on 29 Jan 2010, american grizzly wrote:

    "Russians are the last mostly white race. All of the other white countries have integrated, some of which happened long ago. But Russia is still predominantly white. I don't know that they want to integrate."
    LucyIllinois

    Actually the Soviet Union had more ethnic minorities than the US. Some former Republics are on their own. So there is quite alot of diversity there in Russia.

    I think Obama is way off. I mean if a Super majority Senate and a majority in Congress can't pass anything. The Republicans are basically ineffective, they couldn't obstruct anything, except complain. The Democratic party has developed into a battle for its soul. The radical Progressives are trying crush opposition within the Democratic party. While traditional Democrats are seeing the writing on the wall as to what THE PEOPLE don't want. Obama is being a Chicago politician, lieing about jobs. Wants to drill for oil and build nuclear power plants ala Sarah Palin. When before Obama was against these ideas. Funny... Also $25 million no bid contract for lawyers to teach Afghans how to conduct a legal court system... Lastly Ben and Tim, Goldman Sachs and the free $62 billion dollar don't worry about paying it back, and where did it go to what overseas banks, and to what individuals, and or businesses or groups..... The 1000, no 1.5 million, no 2 million plus jobs saved or created, huh, where. And the 95% of people who had their taxes cut. WHO?
    The plot thickens..... Obama has more smoke and mirrors than the best magician.......
    Meanwhile more of America crumbles each day......

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  • 217. At 10:17pm on 29 Jan 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    I don't purposefully try to talk about the Jewish people. It just seems like someone always brings them up. Then, they say the same things and I say the same things. It is never resolved or agreed upon. The whole thing is like a circle that spins round and round, yet never turns into a line. Just keeps going...
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    There was once a sikh, who decided because of his religious duties to feed the poor, normally when sikhs feed the poor, they feed them on lentils, so this is what the sikh cooked, the poors were in thousands, and sikh had just cooked one pot of lentil, someone pointed that to the sikh, one pot and thousands to feed, the sikh told him not to worry as according to him lentil is the dish which never runs out,it can become watery but it never runs out, so he kept on adding water as long as people kept coming to eat..

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  • 218. At 10:32pm on 29 Jan 2010, LucyJ wrote:

    That makes me think of the story about Jesus and the bread, how there kept being more and more bread, until everyone had some to eat.

    I wish everybody in the world had something to eat and drink. We don't know why things are the way they are. We just have to do the best we can and make the best of what we have, be grateful for what we do have. Humans are smart, but we are not Gods.

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  • 219. At 10:43pm on 29 Jan 2010, rodidog wrote:

    #198 LucyIllinois,

    I think Russians are extremely attractive.
    ---

    The young ones are. Something seems to happen to them by age 30 though. Hard life I guess.

    As for minorities, I recall many Armenians and whatever-stans about the place the several times I was there. I believe close to 20% of the population are minorities from various ethnic groups.

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  • 220. At 11:01pm on 29 Jan 2010, Andy Post wrote:

    Ref. 123, rodidog:

    "The judicial power shall extend to all cases, in law and equity, arising under the Constitution, the laws of the United States and Treaties."

    Under being the operative word. It doesn't say anything about determining what the Constitution really means.

    Because the Constitution lacks a clear statement authorizing the Federal courts to nullify the acts of coequal branches, critics contend that the argument for judicial review must rely on a significant gloss on the Constitution's terms. Despite such criticisms of Marbury v. Madison, judicial review has been accepted in the American legal community. [Wikipedia]

    Marbury v. Madison represented the usurpation the power of judicial review for the Court, but it's interesting that it didn't attempt to assert that power again until the Dred Scott case, over a half-century later, in so doing making an excellent case for why the Supreme Court shouldn't have that power.

    Lincoln's comment shortly thereafter:

    [T]he candid citizen must confess that if the policy of the Government upon vital questions affecting the whole people is to be irrevocably fixed by decisions of the Supreme Court, the instant they are made in ordinary litigation between parties in personal actions the people will have ceased to be their own rulers, having to that extent practically resigned their Government into the hands of that eminent tribunal. Nor is there in this view any assault upon the court or the judges. It is a duty from which they may not shrink to decide cases properly brought before them, and it is no fault of theirs if others seek to turn their decisions to political purposes.

    Jefferson went on from the quote I gave above:

    Our judges are as honest as other men, and not more so. They have, with others, the same passions for party, for power, and the privilege of their corps.... Their power [is] the more dangerous as they are in office for life, and not responsible, as the other functionaries are, to the elective control. The Constitution has erected no such single tribunal, knowing that to whatever hands confided, with the corruptions of time and party, its members would become despots. It has more wisely made all the departments co-equal and co-sovereign within themselves.

    Madison* was also against it:

    He doubted whether it was not going too far to extend the jurisdiction of the Court generally to cases arising under the Constitution and whether it ought not to be limited to cases of a judiciary nature. The right of expounding the Constitution in cases not of this nature ought not to be given to that department.

    And, finally, even Hamilton, who supported giving the power of judicial review to the courts, concedes:

    A constitution is, in fact, and must be regarded by the judges, as a fundamental law. It therefore belongs to them to ascertain its meaning, as well as the meaning of any particular act proceeding from the legislative body. If there should happen to be an irreconcilable variance between the two, that which has the superior obligation and validity ought, of course, to be preferred; or, in other words, the Constitution ought to be preferred to the statute, the intention of the people to the intention of their agents. (emphasis mine)

    The Supreme Court's claim to the power of judicial review has never been codified, and there are a lot of big names in American history that are on record as having serious misgivings about giving the Court such sweeping power. Since it's tradition and not the law of the land, Congress does not have to abide by the Court's rulings. It chooses to.

    Unfortunately, it seems many Americans slept through history class, and they're unwittingly giving away their freedoms. You could argue they don't deserve them anyway, if they can't be bothered knowing what they are.


    * An odd bird to be sure, he always referred to himself in the third person in his writings.

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  • 221. At 11:11pm on 29 Jan 2010, rodidog wrote:

    #210 RomeStu,

    All the real whackos will have little red lights flashing on their desk tops and be logging on RIGHT NOW!


    LoL. It does seem that way.

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  • 222. At 11:43pm on 29 Jan 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    212. At 10:01pm on 29 Jan 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    "Which sqirrel rule is it pertaining to the US Constitution (post #206)? I'm impressed that this rule seemed to work out."

    It's the First Law. (Squirrel says glumly.)

    All the Squirrel Laws (so far) can be found here.

    (Sigh.)

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  • 223. At 11:57pm on 29 Jan 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    There are days. . .and this is one of them, and they seem to be getting pretty frequent, when I wonder if some people actually understand the implications of what they are saying, or is it they just don't care?

    "Russians are the last mostly white race. All of the other white countries have integrated, some of which happened long ago. But Russia is still predominantly white. I don't know that they want to integrate." [LucyIllinois]

    Once upon a time, and not that long ago in some places, people just complained about miscegenation and talked about 'racial purity'. When did 'integration' come to mean the same, I'd like to know?

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  • 224. At 00:01am on 30 Jan 2010, rodidog wrote:

    #167 JMM,

    “The judicial power shall extend to all cases, in law and equity, arising under the Constitution, the laws of the United States and Treaties.”

    Thank you for posting this. When Europeans demand that the US relinquish some sovereignty or sign on to treaties or agreements that do so [as in a treaty to abolish capital punishment in the states or interfere in administration of state law], they do not realize that the USSC has the last word and can, at any time, find such treaties or agreements in violation of the constitution. Of course they also, apparently, fail to understand that Article X, reserves more power to the “states and the people thereof” than it gives to the central government.
    --------------------

    You're welcome. I believe you mean the X Amendment though, also known as Article X of the Bill of Rights. There are only seven articles to the U.S. Constitution.

    X Amendment:

    The Powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively or to the People.

    I think most Americans are unaware of the wording of the constitution, much less foreigners. In all fairness though, and I'm mostly presuming here, most provinces and states in other countries are not vested with similar powers as our states by their constitutions. The power is centralized with their national governments and power is delegated to those states, rather than the other way around. I believe this might lead to their misunderstanding of the dynamics in our frame work of government.

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  • 225. At 00:03am on 30 Jan 2010, Michael Streiffert wrote:

    For me it basically comes down to this, the Republicans were in power for nearly eight years. We went from a budget surplus to a trillion dollar deficit with hardly a whisper from the "conservatives" who are now so concerned with the budget. George W Bush's domestic agenda was to cut taxes. When we had a surplus he said the surplus should go back to the American people. When we had a deficit he said tax cuts were necessary to stimulate the economy. And today the Republicans' only real economic proposal is more tax cuts. But they don't propose the cuts in spending to pay for those tax cuts. So we'd end up with a bigger deficit. Bush's foreign policy agenda was, from the start of his first campaign for president, regime change in Iraq. Well, we accomplished that. We were promised that the Iraq war would pay for itself, that we'd be greeted as liberators, and that our soldiers would be home in time for Christmas. And the "conservatives" were all for this. And now, years later, our soldiers are still there. We've had to fight a domestic insurrection. And it's cost us over a trillion dollars. If we'd used that money here in the US, every American could have the same gold-plated health care our senators and representatives have, and we'd have billions left over. But now those same senators and representatives tell us that we can't afford health care for us, just for them.

    So, my question is this, do any of you who call yourselves conservatives have any new proposals? "Just say no" was one of the biggest failures in American policy ever. Unpaid for tax cuts and unbudgeted military adventures bankrupted us. And all you "conservatives" seem to offer are recycled ideas that failed miserably in the past. You seem to spend most of your efforts personally attacking the President or the Speaker of the House. Nonsense like "Obama never supported the Constitution." When you really mean, "Obama doesn't agree with my interpretation of the Constitution." And to top it off, you denigrate his constitutional law experience, but don't bother to tell us what your qualifications are. You aren't "conservatives" at all. You're party partisans. If Obama adopted any of your hair brained proposals you'd be on the web in minutes misrepresenting it with absurd claims of "death panels" and "re-education camps" and other idiocy.

    Gun sales are up because the morons have been suckered into believing that Obama is going to take away our Second Amendment rights. Seniors have been suckered into believing that end of life counseling is a cover for death squads. And we've all been told that health care reform is a socialist (or fascist or communist) conspiracy to take over every aspect of our lives. And the gun industry, the fringe media celebrities and the insurance companies are laughing all the way to the bank. Heck, the Tea Party, is even a "for profit" organization. How gullible do you have to be before the rest of us stop listening to your idiocy?

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  • 226. At 00:11am on 30 Jan 2010, U14317251 wrote:

    211. At 9:58pm on 29 Jan 2010, squirrelist wrote:
    Seems we're back to "The Colonel's blog" again.
    kind of 'dialogue'
    +
    , squirrelist (probably not his realname)
    here’s a 2 unrelated conspiracy theories that will blow yer mind
    Squirelist = Marcus Oralist & Iraq inquiry hears defiant Blair say: I'd do it again

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  • 227. At 00:11am on 30 Jan 2010, U14317251 wrote:

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

  • 228. At 00:21am on 30 Jan 2010, Michael Streiffert wrote:

    Well, Rodidog, the constitution doesn't agree with you. Treaties are treated, as the constitution itself, as the supreme law of the land. Article 6 says:

    This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.

    Laws have to be made in "pursuance thereof" which would allow the Supreme Court to declare some laws as unconstitutional, but treaties are not subject to the same limitations. We can't have "activist" judges running around invalidating treaties agreed to by the other two branches, can we?

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  • 229. At 00:24am on 30 Jan 2010, U14317251 wrote:

    Your views on Blair's inquiry appearance
    Tony Blair has denied striking a "covert" deal with George Bush to invade Iraq at a private meeting in 2002 at the US president's ranch. Did you watch the Iraq inquiry?


    sorry above link (whatever number) was wrong
    mr gateman

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  • 230. At 00:51am on 30 Jan 2010, U14317251 wrote:

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

  • 231. At 00:55am on 30 Jan 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    226. At 00:11am on 30 Jan 2010, We Bad wrote:

    "here’s a 2 unrelated conspiracy theories that will blow yer mind
    Squirelist = Marcus Oralist"

    Squirrelpost:

    We can assure readers, fwiw, that the squirrel spokeshuman personality is quite whole, not split; and though his favourite chocolate has nuts in it, not soft centres filled with something nicked from the Blood Bank, he has been going off nuts a bit this year. While his eye teeth are admittedly a bit pointy, they do not lengthen into fangs at moonrise, and he's never flown to Transylvania.

    [Ends]

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  • 232. At 00:56am on 30 Jan 2010, McJakome wrote:

    224. At 00:01am on 30 Jan 2010, rodidog wrote
    RE: #167 JMM
    “You're welcome. I believe you mean the X Amendment though, also known as Article X of the Bill of Rights. There are only seven articles to the U.S. Constitution.”

    Yes, but note the Preamble to the Bill of Rights.

    "Congress of the United States begun and held at the City of New-York, on Wednesday the fourth of March, one thousand seven hundred and eighty nine
    THE Conventions of a number of the States, having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best ensure the beneficent starts of its institution.

    RESOLVED by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, two thirds of both Houses concurring, that the following Articles be proposed to the Legislatures of the several States, as amendments to the Constitution of the United States, all, or any of which Articles, when ratified by three fourths of the said Legislatures, to be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of the said Constitution; viz."

    Adoption of the Constitution nearly failed until the Massachusetts Compromise which allowed it to pass only if the concerns of the people in a number of states were listened to and included. Ironic, then, that Massachusetts never got arround to ratification until 1936.

    This is how Europe should have handled the EU constitution crisis, instead of disallowing their people a say and railroading it through as a “treaty” when the Dutch, French and Irish had issues. They seem to have forgotten what democracy means, δῆμος (dêmos) "people" and κράτος (krátos) "power."

    Squirrels seem to have issues with our Constitution. I suspect it may be due to the new protective cases at the National Archive. They are squirrelproof, so as to prevent nibbling or other mischief.

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  • 233. At 01:14am on 30 Jan 2010, McJakome wrote:

    228. At 00:21am on 30 Jan 2010, Michael Streiffert wrote:
    "Well, Rodidog, the constitution doesn't agree with you. Treaties are treated, as the constitution itself, as the supreme law of the land."

    And who, pray tell, decides [interprets] what the "supreme law of the land" means and how it should be applied?

    Marbury vs. Madison may, as some maintain, be a usurpation by the USSC of powers not specifically granted in the Constitution, but it has never been successfully challenged. The Supreme Court regularly decides what the provisions of the Constitution "really mean." Just in the past year they have effectively found that the NRA interpretation of the 2nd Ammendment is the correct one. I disagree, and if President Obama and the Senate would put me on that august bench I would try to overturn it.

    Treaties are approved by the senate and signed by the president, there is nothing that puts them beyond the reach of the USSC's power of judicial review, which review is, as seen this week, not limited to the recent past.

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  • 234. At 01:17am on 30 Jan 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    232 JMM wrote:

    "Squirrels seem to have issues with our Constitution. I suspect it may be due to the new protective cases at the National Archive. They are squirrelproof, so as to prevent nibbling or other mischief."

    Squirrelpost:

    Maybe you should read Squirrel's First Law again.

    Anyway, we Reds wouldn't be interested in nibbling at anything that old. It'd taste horrible, and it's the greys that seem to like the taste of ink.

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  • 235. At 01:23am on 30 Jan 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    234:

    We do have problems swallowing the Second Amendment though. (Which could be why it's still there locked in its nice new case.) And they got rid of the fluorescent highlighter we put on to draw attention to that line about 'cruel and unusual punishment' after the last execution shambles we noticed.

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  • 236. At 01:30am on 30 Jan 2010, U14317251 wrote:

    Sorry Squirell
    We've checked
    your timings
    and facts
    and you are
    ma are you
    not

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  • 237. At 01:33am on 30 Jan 2010, rodidog wrote:

    #228 Michael Streiffert,

    Well, Rodidog, the constitution doesn't agree with you. Treaties are treated, as the constitution itself, as the supreme law of the land. Article 6 says:

    This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.
    -----------------------

    MS,

    I understand the point you're making, but I think you overlooked a rather large detail when it comes to Article VI. The Supreme Court is not part of any state, in fact, it does not even preside within a state. More importantly though, the constitution has given the S.C. the highest trump card over any others in regards to judicial power, which means they have the final say on what is constitutional, which includes any laws or treaties passed by Congress and signed into law by the President, excepting amendments to the constitution itself.

    The words you claim are mine are actually from the U.S. constitution; ref. Article III Section 2 of U.S. Constitution. I posted the first paragraph of Section 2 below.

    Article III
    Section 2.

    The judicial power shall extend to all cases, in law and equity, arising under this Constitution, the laws of the United States, and treaties made, or which shall be made, under their authority;--to all cases affecting ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls;--to all cases of admiralty and maritime jurisdiction;--to controversies to which the United States shall be a party;--to controversies between two or more states;--between a state and citizens of another state;--between citizens of different states;--between citizens of the same state claiming lands under grants of different states, and between a state, or the citizens thereof, and foreign states, citizens or subjects.











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

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  • 238. At 01:50am on 30 Jan 2010, TeaPot562 wrote:

    On the intent of the Founding Fathers -- I read some De Tocqueville "Democracy in America" recently. He was writing in the 1830s, and contrasting the U.S. approach to government with that present in France at the same time.
    When considering the three branches of government, the fact that Representatives were directly elected by the people but senators were elected by the legislatures of the several states, he concluded that the founders DIDN'T TRUST ANYBODY. They felt that any branch becoming too powerful would be checked by the other two branches. They felt that the people as a whole were subject to emotional swings in favor or opposed temporarily to major changes (Think the Volstead amendment of 1918-1919 prohibiting alcohol consumption), and therefore gave the Senate a semi-stability of three classes, each replaced over a 6 year cycle.
    They were close enough to the England of 1848-1859 not to trust Congress either. This is why most of the first ten amendments (the Bill of Rights) start with the phrase "Congress shall make no law ....."

    The road toward dictatorship may start with the notion of reform. Our democracy is supposed to protect the rights of the minority when the majority would pass laws abusing them.
    I think Churchill said that "Democracy is the worst form of government except for all the other forms that have been tried." It is extremely inefficient. When Hitler or Stalin told their governments to do something, that action was carried out right away, and quite efficiently. Perhaps the U.S.'s inefficiency at carrying out wishes of any leader is a safeguard.
    TeaPot562

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  • 239. At 01:51am on 30 Jan 2010, McJakome wrote:

    235. At 01:23am on 30 Jan 2010, squirrelist wrote:
    234:

    "We do have problems swallowing the Second Amendment though. (Which could be why it's still there locked in its nice new case.) And they got rid of the fluorescent highlighter we put on to draw attention to that line about 'cruel and unusual punishment' after the last execution shambles we noticed."

    Ouch, and right on target. I am not a fan of capital punishment for a number of reasons:

    1. the executed may be innocent [or less than 100% culpable]
    2. the executed may be subjected to pain & suffering [i.e. torture]
    3. I am not from Texas or other extremely [sorry, US context] red states

    Did you know that, peculiar even for red state America, Idaho has given persons to be executed a choice of method? I would choose old age, others might choose a favorite recreational substance or activity. Unfortunately, the menu has been rather short:
    a. firing squad
    b. hanging
    c. injection
    [I'm not sure if electric grilling was ever the 'mode du jure'.]

    On a more serious note, the Federal Government could abolish capital punishment for federal crimes committed in federal jurisdiction, but could not abolish it in the states [see Ammendment X above].

    National abolition could be accomplished only by:

    1. the Supreme Court finding that "cruel and unusual punishment"
    a. applies to any method of execution
    b. and that it can be applied by the fed to the states
    2. each and every state abolishing it [like Massachusetts]
    3. a constitutional ammendment is passed abolishing it [this, unlike the Brussels enslaved EU, would require the consent of a majority of the states, meaning the people thereof would need to approve.] This can take a long time, one ammendment from 1789 is still pending, and three states did not approve the original Bill of Rights untill 1936.

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  • 240. At 02:51am on 30 Jan 2010, rodidog wrote:

    #232 JMM,

    Massachusetts ratified the U.S. Constitution in 1788.

    IMO, the EU has many problems that I suppose time will expose, in which case they can make adjustments or dissolve the whole thing altogether.

    Squirrels have many issues, mostly of the nutty kind I'd guess. :)

    Seriosly though, I don't mind the appreantly androgynous squirrel, I just wonder if it's name is Pat.




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  • 241. At 02:54am on 30 Jan 2010, AndreaNY wrote:

    190. SaintDominick:

    "...Unless the silent majority wakes up and starts voicing their preferences what lies ahead is the same paralysis that afflicted previous congresses."

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

    I think this is exactly what the recent election in Massachusetts was about. Don't kid yourself about the people attending those tea parties or the ones changing their party to register a protest vote. They're newly minted citizen activists.

    As for having any hope for the future, there is little reason for hope when the voters, themselves, insist on fighting. How many people have called for Obama to "fight" or "get tough"? When voters demand that legislation get rammed through, then expect more fighting. How many people denigrate the tea party protesters? If voters cannot even listen and just stomp on opponents like ants, then expect more fighting.

    The voters are in fighting mode. You can't lament the lack of progress all the while insisting that it's the fault of the other guys. That's a gridlock mindset.



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  • 242. At 03:18am on 30 Jan 2010, rodidog wrote:

    JMM,

    Sorry, it just occurred to me that you might have meant the ratification of the Bill of Rights by Massachusetts. That was officially done in 1939 though, not 1936.

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  • 243. At 03:46am on 30 Jan 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    Michael Streiffert (#228) "Treaties are treated, as the constitution itself, as the supreme law of the land."

    That's correct, and the Supreme Court rather recently affirmed this:

    Hamdan v. Rumsfeld

    The following quote is from the linked case:

    "(d) The procedures adopted to try Hamdan also violate the Geneva Conventions. The D. C. Circuit dismissed Hamdan’s challenge in this regard on the grounds, inter alia, that the Conventions are not judicially enforceable and that, in any event, Hamdan is not entitled to their protections. Neither of these grounds is persuasive. Pp. 62–68."

    However, in this case, there was no conflict between the Geneva Conventions and the Constitution. I am not sure if there is a case where the Supreme Court was faced with a contradiction to resolve.

    I expect that treaties tend to be written to conform with the Constitution, and that, if there were a conflict, the Constitution would prevail. This is the reason that our extradition treaties, for example, conform with the probable cause requirement of the Fourth Amendment.

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  • 244. At 04:06am on 30 Jan 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    "Just in the past year they have effectively found that the NRA interpretation of the 2nd Ammendment is the correct one." (from JMM at #233)

    Only with respect to one point. They have not endorsed the NRA position generally. As is usual, they decided the questions before the Court, and did not overturn controls on firearms generally. In fact, the opinion of the Court in District of Columbia v. Heller explicitly refers to other cases which have regulated firearms and explains why they do not apply in Heller (in other words, they were not overturned).

    I frankly don't see why gun control advocates have a problem with Heller. It is better for the cause of gun control to embrace Heller for the reason of the District of Columbia having gone too far. To do otherwise is to give credence to the claims of the NRA that gun-control advocates want to disarm the people. Some do, but others do not.

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  • 245. At 04:20am on 30 Jan 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    There is a US Supreme Court decision which speaks to the question of treaties which are in conflict with the Constitution: Reid v. Covert

    The following quote is from Justice Black's opinion:

    "Article VI, the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution, declares:

    This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof, and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; . . .

    There is nothing in this language which intimates that treaties and laws enacted pursuant to them do not have to comply with the provisions of the Constitution. Nor is there anything in the debates which accompanied the drafting and ratification of the Constitution which even suggests such a result. These debates, as well as the history that surrounds the adoption of the treaty provision in Article VI, make it clear that the reason treaties were not limited to those made in "pursuance" of the Constitution was so that agreements made by the United States under the Articles of Confederation, including the important peace treaties which concluded the Revolutionary War, would remain in effect. It would be manifestly contrary to the objectives of those who created the Constitution, as well as those who were responsible for the Bill of Rights -- let alone alien to our entire constitutional history and tradition -- to construe Article VI as permitting the United States to exercise power under an international agreement without observing constitutional prohibitions. In effect, such construction would permit amendment of that document in a manner not sanctioned by Article V. The prohibitions of the Constitution were designed to apply to all branches of the National Government, and they cannot be nullified by the Executive or by the Executive and the Senate combined.

    There is nothing new or unique about what we say here. This Court has regularly and uniformly recognized the supremacy of the Constitution over a treaty. ... "

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  • 246. At 05:24am on 30 Jan 2010, ann arbor wrote:

    Re: 225 Michael,

    The TEA Party is a "For Profit" organization because of the political limitations imposed on "Not for Profit" organizations. It is ironic that the "Tax Enough Already" organization would rather pay tax than be invalidated (via penalties, interest, and fees) by the IRS.

    Be more specific in the "failed conservative policies". You are soliciting a rebuttal while creating no theme or topic.

    Given the name calling in your post, no further reply is warranted.

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  • 247. At 05:33am on 30 Jan 2010, rodidog wrote:

    #238 TeaPot562,

    Perhaps the U.S.'s inefficiency at carrying out wishes of any leader is a safeguard.


    TeaPot,

    While reading the decision of Reid v. Covert, many thanks to GH1618 for providing that link in post #245, I ran across this sentence below which reminded me of your earlier comment; perhaps this best answers the intent of the founding Fathers in the most concise way.

    "Ours is a government of divided authority on the assumption that in division there is not only strength but freedom from tyranny."





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  • 248. At 05:39am on 30 Jan 2010, EUprisoner209456731 wrote:

    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/edwest/100024302/can-i-claim-asylum-in-the-us/

    As reards the case of the German couple who were given asylum in the USA because Germany does not allow home schooling: Can any American or Canadian lawyer tell me if this victim of the "EU"-Dictatorship could get asylum in the USA or Canada on the basis that the "EU" is a sick arrogant dictatorship which tramples on my rights?

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  • 249. At 05:55am on 30 Jan 2010, ann arbor wrote:

    Re 132: shivering

    Thank you for the image of the snake oil pitch at the carnival. It is all so much clearer now.

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  • 250. At 06:38am on 30 Jan 2010, Michael Streiffert wrote:

    Rodidog,

    Nothing in Article III, Section 2 gives the Supreme Court the authority to overrule treaties. The court is given the right to decide controversies "arising under this Constitution, the laws of the United States, and treaties." The court no more has the right to override a treaty than it does to override the Constitution itself. Again, Article VI seems to require that laws be in "pursuance" to the Constitution, and the courts can overrule those laws that aren't. But treaties seem to be in a different category.

    And the idea that Article III, Section 2 doesn't give the court the right to decide what the Constitution means is absurd.

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  • 251. At 08:13am on 30 Jan 2010, wolfvorkian wrote:

    Given the name calling in your post, no further reply is warranted.

    ann arbor, do you realize how affected the above statement sounds?

    I went out today to buy a box of 30.06 cartridges for my rifle and after getting "we're sold out" at two places I forgot about it and went home. There is a late season moose hunt coming up but I have plenty of ammo anyhow and really didn't need more.. sort of a spur of the moment buying decision but the experience today reinforced the impression I've had about the right wingers hoarding all the ammo up here - the 2nd amendment crowd as some of them so proudly refer to themselves.

    What is going to be fun and profitable are the good deals I'll start finding this summer when after one of more of them croak and the widow just wants to dump the mountain of shells when she has her garage sale cleaning out his accumulated piles of paranoia.

    I bet I'll be able to buy ammo then for a nickel on the dollar if I'm the first one to the address.She won't know the price and all she'll want to do is dump the stuff, get rid of it.

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  • 252. At 08:20am on 30 Jan 2010, KScurmudgeon wrote:

    241. At 02:54am on 30 Jan 2010, AndreaNY wrote:
    You can't lament the lack of progress all the while insisting that it's the fault of the other guys.
    ______________________________________

    As if understanding and cooperation were the way to get something done.

    Well, we are defined by our enemies. It may be that the people are discovering their common enemy. We will know it is happening when our opponents mount an effort to pit us against each other.

    KScurmudgeon

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  • 253. At 08:44am on 30 Jan 2010, U14309841 wrote:

    193 DC You missed it. I thought that was why you posted it.
    I was not accusing you of have written the joke. it was racist. unless the only mention of colour the only description being of one cat. the lazy" gov working big fat black cat".

    Gov worker being a right wing euphemism for what they have previously termed "gov worker- affermative action"

    Sorry if you missed it. near everyone did. as they hide their heads pretending that "that's not what was meant"

    I would suggest that our pickjled one the Mag Kir has used that term in the same manner.
    still when you hear people talking about those Gov workers and you notice the racism behind them it is hard to carry on sitting there when such a blatant admission comes by ones way.
    So I used the lovely example you provided.
    DC 209 some thread you posted the joke e mail sent to you.
    the tea baggers special.
    Sorry it that was not what you wanted to point out.
    my question still stand. if you know which party they belong to.

    WHY ARE AMERICANS TOO SCARED TO ADMIT WHAT PARTY THEY BELONG TO?

    WHAT IS THE DEAL WITH "IT's MY PARTY AND I"LL HIDE IT IF I WANT TO" is in keeping with free speech and melting pot.

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  • 254. At 08:54am on 30 Jan 2010, AllenT2 wrote:

    squirrelist wrote: "It's the First Law. (Squirrel says glumly.)

    All the Squirrel Laws (so far) can be found here."

    Squirrelist are you one of those people who are anti-American while at the same time secretly wishes they were American?








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  • 255. At 09:56am on 30 Jan 2010, MagicKirin wrote:

    Here is a question wether you agree or ddisagree with Obama policies.

    Is he willing to listen with an open mind and compromise?

    I saw excerpt from his addressing the Republican House confrence.

    He seem to be lecturing not listening; which is ironic since he accused Bush of doing this.

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  • 256. At 10:23am on 30 Jan 2010, genunine wrote:

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  • 257. At 10:41am on 30 Jan 2010, genunine wrote:

    What Obama is lacking is trust of the people he serves. His big bank and Wall street bailouts, lack of accountability of pharma, medicare and medicaid and his allowance of dirty dealing over healthcare disallow our approval of further government subsidies. He needs to hold big business accountable for their role in our economic downturn to gain credibility instead of lashing out at any party or the population in general. He has revealed no plan as to how to improve the economy or employment and yet expects us to blindly hand over our health and wealth to him. We didn't want government motors and we don't want government hospitals. Capitalism can still work with limitations on greed and corruption but our president seems uninterested in working on those limits and more interested in aquiring as much governmental power as possible.

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  • 258. At 10:54am on 30 Jan 2010, AndreaNY wrote:

    52. KScurmudgeon:

    241. At 02:54am on 30 Jan 2010, AndreaNY wrote:
    You can't lament the lack of progress all the while insisting that it's the fault of the other guys.
    ______________________________________

    As if understanding and cooperation were the way to get something done.

    Well, we are defined by our enemies. It may be that the people are discovering their common enemy. We will know it is happening when our opponents mount an effort to pit us against each other.

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

    Well, then, we'll certainly continue to have, and fight, an enemy. And, so, the divisive partisanship continues and nothing changes because the voters, themselves, want that fight (all the while blaming the other guy).


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  • 259. At 10:59am on 30 Jan 2010, AndreaNY wrote:

    255. MagicKirin:

    Here is a question wether you agree or ddisagree with Obama policies.

    Is he willing to listen with an open mind and compromise?

    *********************
    I believe he is willing to listen and engage intellectually. Whether he is willing to compromise is unclear.

    I'm not sure he really understands that he has to stop spending. This seems to be his biggest hurdle. He may have to lose a few more seats.

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  • 260. At 11:57am on 30 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    "But Russia is still predominantly white. I don't know that they want to integrate."




    Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds [LSD for short]

    At least half of so called Russia in not white.

    Which you would have easily found out if you had bothered to move your beautiful...mind...east of Urals.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    A little knowledge is a dangerous thing

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  • 261. At 11:58am on 30 Jan 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Judging by what he has said and dohe since he was inaugurated, it is obvious that he is not only willing to establish a dialog with the oppositgion, but that he is interested in finding a middle ground to achieve the goals he has set forth.

    The problem is that neither Republicans nor Democrats in Congress have shown any interest in doing the same. That is the reason President Obama decided to engage them directly - and in a manner that exposes them to public scrutiny - to challenge them to do what is right.

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  • 262. At 12:06pm on 30 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re #79

    Philly Mom asks:

    Dearest powermeerkat (61),

    Wow. You're worried about external hackers getting into our new-clee-ur plants? Really?






    No, I don't.

    Although I'm concerned with Communist China's hackers trying to gain access to data of the leading U.S. nuclear LABS.

    Like Los Alamos, Lawrence Livermore, Sandia?

    Should I draw a map for ya?

    Or should I e-mail you a record of the Beijing hugs numerous attempts to penetrate Internet2?

    [FYI: No, I'm not a female/social studies department postgraduate :-)]

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  • 263. At 12:08pm on 30 Jan 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 241, Andrea

    "You can't lament the lack of progress all the while insisting that it's the fault of the other guys. That's a gridlock mindset."

    Absolutely, and that is what President Obama seems intent on doing. It remains to be seen whether or not the electorate and the congressional leadership of both parties decide to give bipartisanship and compromise a chance to achieve the changes we need to solve our problems.

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  • 264. At 12:09pm on 30 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    # Re #219 rodidog wqrote:

    198 LucyIllinois,

    I think Russians are extremely attractive.
    ---

    The young ones are. Something seems to happen to them by age 30 though. Hard life I guess.






    An excessive exposure to C2H5OH compound, perhaps?

    @ $3.00 per 1/2 liter? [officially] ;)

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  • 265. At 12:15pm on 30 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re #208

    RomeStu

    I think you're perfectly capable of expressing your own opinions rather than refering to other blogs. :-)


    [As a matter of fact I seem to remember that somebody has already written something to that effect earlier in THIS blog]

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  • 266. At 12:26pm on 30 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Refering to comments re 1st Amendment...


    I firmly believe that even assorted tool-machinist's helpers and toilet cleaners' assistants residing in the U.S. - and taking full advantage of its generous system - should have a right to freely demonstrate here what education they've received in their native conuntries' primary schools. And madrassas.

    [Whichever's applicable]

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  • 267. At 12:28pm on 30 Jan 2010, zaphodian wrote:

    Change may have been wanted by America but it seems that change is the last thing America wants or thinks it needs, the explanations of many posters regarding the constitution have been most welcome & the vitriol given by certain posters about tampering with it have been enlightening.

    It would appear that what Americans value over everything else is their freedom, this is a noble aim but it is embraced with only the positives stressed, when you see that this allows you the freedom to starve as well as to eat, the freedom to be abandoned if you can no longer take care of yourself & the freedom to be bankrupted through disease it is a truly noble aim.

    The problem appears to be that Americans want freedom without risk & without the need to pay a price for it, true freedom is a scary place to live so when times grow tough people turn to the government for help while refusing to allow the government to help. That the government is itself constrained due to the peoples' freedom is ignored, this causes little harm since the government mostly looks after itself as the people are free to do as they please.

    Here & now all a government can do is balance the books & hope for the economy to come around, this means more taxation & less expenditure, free or not there is no other way & it wont be popular, if America wants to be truly free then it needs to pay its' bills & live within its' means, it's not socialism to know that acting for everyone can be in everyones' interest, it's just common sense.

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  • 268. At 12:53pm on 30 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re # 267


    Freedom to succeed entails freedom to fail.

    [6 out of 10 new companies formed in the U.S. fail within 3 yrs.
    With original enterpreneurs starting new ones again. Adn again.]

    I'd even go as far as to suggest that if you're not allowed to fail
    you'll never succeed.

    At least on the merit; although perhaps with a preferential treatment.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Those who can- act; those who don't- teach those who can how to act better, while [themselves] relying on government handouts/grants.

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  • 269. At 12:59pm on 30 Jan 2010, american grizzly wrote:

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

  • 270. At 1:03pm on 30 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re #267 "this means more taxation"



    I seem to recall that this meerkat helped to elect Bill the Zipper by refusing to vote (like many others) for GHWB after his famous:

    "READ MY LIPS: NO NEW TAXES!" solemn promise.

    [no, I'm not deaf&dumb, but I sure as hell can read someone's lips]

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  • 271. At 1:13pm on 30 Jan 2010, american grizzly wrote:

    Now lets add in the cost of this Obama admin spectacle with the lawyers, judges, jury, never mind the paperwork, and numerous other groups that will probably be involved. I wouldn't be surprised if this trial of the terrorists/foreign combatants wouldn't run into $$$Billion$$$ or more for this show trial. Actually I think with the permission of Rome, this should be held in the coliseum with banners and such an Obama can sit in Caesar's seat. To view this with approval, sort of like the way Obama made an unprecedented attack upon the Supreme Court Judges in his State of Union speech. Amazing how little regard for this nations balance he has....

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  • 272. At 1:37pm on 30 Jan 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 267, zaphodian

    "Here & now all a government can do is balance the books & hope for the economy to come around, this means more taxation & less expenditure, free or not there is no other way & it wont be popular, if America wants to be truly free then it needs to pay its' bills & live within its' means, it's not socialism to know that acting for everyone can be in everyones' interest, it's just common sense."

    I couldn't agree with you more, although I believe more taxation is not inevitable and could be avoided by simply giving up some of the government services we get. Unfortunately, as long as we can continue to sign IOUs backed up by non-existent reserves the temptation to continue our spending spree will simply be too great of an impediment for fiscal responsibility to take hold.

    Ultimately, the problem is not our politicians, it is us, the voters that elect and re-elect politicians that share our values and goals.

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  • 273. At 1:55pm on 30 Jan 2010, zaphodian wrote:

    268. At 12:53pm on 30 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re # 267


    Freedom to succeed entails freedom to fail.

    I agree, many Americans only value the upside though.

    272. At 1:37pm on 30 Jan 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    I couldn't agree with you more, although I believe more taxation is not inevitable and could be avoided by simply giving up some of the government services we get.

    Cutting back on services would achieve the same result as more taxation but the current mood of voters seems to be one of no more tax & no loss of services, this is unworkable under any circumstances let alone the one America is currently in. People voting for stasis are as deluded as those voting for change without studying the fine print, the problems are too big for partisan politics to be allowed to flourish without meaningful aims.

    Looking at your constitution the founding fathers clearly mistrusted all forms of big government & felt that the country was better off relying on the resourcefulness of its' people, this can only work when the people in question are prepared to have less at times in order to do what's best over the long term, this isn't going so well.

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  • 274. At 2:25pm on 30 Jan 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 273, zaphodian

    "...the problems are too big for partisan politics to be allowed to flourish without meaningful aims."

    Absolutely, another problem is that a lot of people don't understand the difference between partisan politics and reality. Make no mistake, had President Obama decided that the focus had to be deficit spending and had proposed significant cuts in government spending the opposition would have accused him of reckless policies at a time when spending was an absolute necessity to save the economy.

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  • 275. At 3:33pm on 30 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re#271

    " Amazing how little regard for this nations balance he [Obama] has....



    He is a labor lawyer, after all.

    So why a surprise?

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  • 276. At 3:41pm on 30 Jan 2010, zaphodian wrote:

    274. At 2:25pm on 30 Jan 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Make no mistake, had President Obama decided that the focus had to be deficit spending and had proposed significant cuts in government spending the opposition would have accused him of reckless policies at a time when spending was an absolute necessity to save the economy.


    It's always easier & snappier to criticize than it is to help or come up with workable solutions, if there was a way to get both parties to come out to the voters & explain that America must be put on a sound financial footing & that there would be tough times no matter who was in power it would help a great deal. As things stand the Dems have all the difficult choices & the Reps have taken the easy way out.

    What you need is consensus & determined action, what you've got is a playground of kids all playing " My dad is bigger than your dad".

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  • 277. At 3:42pm on 30 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    "Two US soldiers who died in eastern Afghanistan on Friday were shot dead by an interpreter, it has emerged."


    That's what happen if some people assume we wouldn't be able to find out what's going on on our own and needed a translation.


    Although, it seems, there are quite a few people here with a superior knowledge, more than willing to be U.S. interpreters.


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  • 278. At 4:00pm on 30 Jan 2010, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #261
    SaintDominick wrote:
    Judging by what he has said and dohe since he was inaugurated, it is obvious that he is not only willing to establish a dialog with the oppositgion, but that he is interested in finding a middle ground to achieve the goals he has set forth.

    The problem is that neither Republicans nor Democrats in Congress have shown any interest in doing the same. That is the reason President Obama decided to engage them directly - and in a manner that exposes them to public scrutiny - to challenge them to do what is right.

    ________________

    If you listen to the video from the meeting with Republicans, Obama is not istening. And since almost everyone he was addressing is far more experienced and knowledgible than heis; he really should.

    The Republicans have given more responsible proposals that could have been incorporated into the healthcare plan, but upsetting trial lawyer is not on the Obama agenda

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  • 279. At 4:14pm on 30 Jan 2010, U14309841 wrote:

    the blogger formally known as TC.
    aka.p2c
    I have to say some of Allent2 posts seem to be more like the early MA posts.
    back when he would go on about people that wanted to be americans.
    MA gave up because his persona would have looked even more foolish if he kept it up.
    I wonder if certain ventings do not issue forth from the wrong or lets just say a different hole.

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  • 280. At 4:20pm on 30 Jan 2010, U14309841 wrote:

    254 allen
    as one of those who really dislikes america and lives here (other concerns)I would have to say that you are a little crazy. The number of people that actually want to live IN AMERICA WITH AMERICANS is quite low.
    Nice scenery but that can still be without the people, indeed probably more so.
    Sorry to try to bust your bubble, I suspect the flag wrappings will keep synapses from doing their job and you are safe from by BBC enabled propaganda.

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  • 281. At 4:30pm on 30 Jan 2010, U14309841 wrote:

    So adrienny.
    He may be intellectually ....but not sure if ready to compromise.


    What a joke. the only failing he has had is giving you guys the benefit of the doubt.Of listening to you. but like the kids you are you will take the "and both sides" and see it as justification that you are and have been in the right.
    No to the right but not in.

    Weeks ago you were all health acre reform + tort reform or no deal. recently since presented with the Bush era budget study on tort reform you have dropped the it is essential and modified to. defensive medicine. and tort was just an example of unwillingness to deal.
    (still forgetting that why force the issue if it is irrelevant as you admit).So puff at the compliment but don't go right back to the same old lies again.
    Oregon has a very very bad record on voting for new taxes.
    Almost always it goes against taxes.
    Not this time.
    Shook you all up as much as the mass election I think.
    It is amazing though how slow your reponce has been.
    this new wave of "reasonable behaviour" is appreciated.
    you will forgive me if I still distrust you, I am not like GW. Fool me Once and I would distrust.
    Still you've yet to fool many and certainly not me.
    and yes some may see this as a personal attack. but then the poster adressed has been here for rather a long time and follows just behind the wave of antagonism that has been characteristic of the blogs here and the politics in the USA.

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  • 282. At 4:49pm on 30 Jan 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    personaingrata #281;

    In the likely event that you are not wanted by the police as a suspect for a crime, I remind you that the door to America is always unlocked from the inside. You are free to leave at any time. I'm sure there would be many who are not in America right now who would be only too happy to take your place. I can in a sense sympathize with you because I feel the same way about Europe that you feel about America. Only I did something about it, I left. I think that when people have no excuse for not escaping what they say is bothering them most, they have no reason to expect people to listen to their grumbling and griping. You take the bad with the good. I have no idea why you are here. Is it for the money as part of a job or career? Did you marry an American who won't leave her/his family? Are you going to school here? Whatever the reason, if you really are unhappy there is an easy way out. Planes, cars, trains, boats, buses are leaving America for other countries every minute of every day. I think what really bothers you is that America is not run the way you want it to be. I think to the degree it is successful that success is not the result of the way you would run the world. Doesn't that just kill you? They do exactly the opposite of what you want them to and yet despite all of their problems, Americans have become the richest, strongest, most successful people with an unprecedented civilization in all of human history. And they wouldn't listen to you, they wouldn't give you the time of day. How ingrata of them. I think you also like to gripe and have something to gripe about because that is your nature. You like to blame your problems and frustrations in life on someone, anyone other than yourself, what easier target than this abstraction called "America." That alone would be enough to keep you here.

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  • 283. At 5:10pm on 30 Jan 2010, U14309841 wrote:

    248

    Asylum for Germans in the USA on religious persecution is a funny one.
    I would be interested in finding out who allowed that decision.

    Ever Iraqi who fears for their life could be granted asylum easier if they claimed they feared religious persecution. Millions around the world will see this as "any excuse on religion" entry.

    I would say that this is a perfect example of a free ride .I wonder why?

    There are millions who would seek asylum here facing far worse punishments. Most will be refused entry.
    why exactly are the Christians from Germany given such exceptional service?


    The tyrannical..... bit of your post.
    I ask this. If America has the worst rate of incarceration in the western world how can anyone be granted asylum from a country that has a far lower rate of incarceration. Surely that would be taking them out of the frying pan into the fire.

    so could it not be argued that they were specifically exempt from asylum because they were less at risk of being in jail in Germany.
    On a theoretical level as those Oxymorons always like talking in abstractions.



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  • 284. At 5:33pm on 30 Jan 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    personna-ingrata #283;

    It is always those who came to America only a short while ago who seem to resent the more recent arrivals most if those arrivals didn't come from the same places or under the same circumstances they did.

    I only learned recently that during the street riots in New York City during the Civil War, those who were most racist and vehement against recently escaped slaves coming North to the big cities were newly arrived Irish immigrants who were competing with them for unskilled jobs.

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  • 285. At 5:39pm on 30 Jan 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    personna ingrata;

    America>---Exit: This Way Out--->

    I have thoughtfully provided you with this map just in case you lost your way. Let's see if the KGBBC will even print it for you.

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  • 286. At 5:47pm on 30 Jan 2010, U14309841 wrote:

    282

    MA
    "I can in a sense sympathize with you because I feel the same way about Europe that you feel about America. "
    there is a big difference MA.
    I did not just Visit america. I have lived here for over 10 years. I have lived here during holidays as a kid.
    my understanding of the states is in no way comparable to your understanding of Europe through the eyes of your tv and bucket shows.

    didn't get past the first paragraph so sorry if that is all I address of your post, the rest I suspect would just be the same old boring rubbish.


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  • 287. At 5:49pm on 30 Jan 2010, marc wrote:

    President Obama's comments were spot on, but here are the reasons I don't hold out much hope for meaningful change.

    In my country it's far too often the loud vocal minority that controls the debate. The more rabid and irrational a group gets the more press coverage it is given.
    The will of the people ceases to be heard over the screaming of misinformation and hysterics.

    For instance, how can any rational discussion about health reform take place amidst screaming about "death panels", especially when segments of the media encourage and knowingly fan the flames of such nonsense?

    Those who benefit from the status quo will continue to encourage these distractions and fabricate new ones to confuse and misdirect further.

    Add to all this the recent Supreme Court ruling regarding unlimited corporate sponsorship of political adds and those congressional politicians focused only on short term popularity and re-election.

    Amidst self serving politicians, and a cultural and political climate of fear and ignorance real change may prove to be illusive even for a visionary such as President Obama.








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  • 288. At 5:51pm on 30 Jan 2010, U14309841 wrote:

    285 sort post. that is better.


    stuff you
    this is my country as well.
    And I have no doubt that the Irish immigrants were the most hostile.
    None. They have a rather bad reputation as one of the least welcoming to ethnic minorities within the EU as well. so no change.
    But I don't actually believe them stories. though I know they are not without foundation.

    your point?

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  • 289. At 5:51pm on 30 Jan 2010, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    275. At 3:33pm on 30 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:
    Re#271

    "He [Barack Obama] is a labor lawyer, after all."
    _________

    So somebody explain this to me.

    I thought Michelle was his mentor when he joined the firm. Wasn't she in intellectual property? Isn't that part of the reason why this White House has much greater sensitivity to, and understanding of, intellectual property law, and in particular of the importance of innovation to the US economy, after the nightmare of the Bush years.

    (Yes, you remember the Bush years don't you? You know: dinosaurs walked with men; the world is 7000 years old; stem cell research is the work of the devil; and people with genuine academic credentials in science are all snobs who look down on "real" Americans).

    Isn't that at least part of the reason that sanity has finally returned to the Commerce Department after the Reign of Terror?

    Obviously I'm missing something here about the President's background.

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  • 290. At 6:04pm on 30 Jan 2010, U14309841 wrote:

    Grandchild of.....
    Oh god another american with distant relations in "the old country" as if there are many that are not related to "the old country " (across both oceans).

    seriously
    "That is the way it works "

    If it did work then that would be one thing. But while the rest of the world moved onto global warming a few years ago (tens of) america debated abortion and Lucy not being related to a monkey.

    and nothing happened. and your cars are now inefficient.
    it was not working. it was delaying any decision.
    as it has for years.

    There has been little improvement in infrastructure just the "free market". no levees built,no bridges fixed.
    no concern for poisons. no progress. stale mate - stagnant. america stood still in a mythical 50's utopia and forgot to adapt.

    because debate was stagnant on all levels.
    refuse to pay taxes but want a war on drugs? self finance it with proceeds (forfeiture laws) now that could be unconstitutional and theft... lets debate it more and still do nothing.no new taxes except for prisons and law enforcement.
    Did they look at how to prevent pharma drugs taking over as recreational.
    still today Oregon bans the sale of the base drug used to make meth.(not methadone) the phine one.
    will other states. nah not yet too busy debating. why how will people that need medicine get a prescription for it if it goes behind the counter. Well provide health care so they can see the doc . if they need it.

    it dies not work. Can I say why yyou mention your British "heritage" it is not relevant.
    PS politics in the USA It HAS NOT WORKED.

    It has a chance now. don't throw it away.

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  • 291. At 6:07pm on 30 Jan 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 278, Magic

    "...If you listen to the video from the meeting with Republicans, Obama is not istening. And since almost everyone he was addressing is far more experienced and knowledgible than heis; he really should."

    I did watch and listen to the video covering President Obama's meeting with Republican leaders, but it must have been a different one from the one you watched. The problem is that your definition of listening does not mean willingness to consider the opinions of others and trying to reach a compromise, which the President is ready to do, but unconditional surrender.

    What I heard, with a few exceptions, was the same litany of charges, including a claim that President Obama had tripled the national debt since he was inaugurated. The President did interrupt the person that said that and asked him if there was a question behind his long list of grievances and charges, and added that outlandish and false claims like that are the reason the electorate is so distrustful of government.

    The truth is that as long as the public is satisfied with the refusal of Republicans to participate in drafting legislation, and with their characteristic "no", there is no impetus for them to get engaged. The question is, how long is the public going to be satisfied with the paralysis that has set in the last couple of months?

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  • 292. At 6:11pm on 30 Jan 2010, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    282. At 4:49pm on 30 Jan 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    "... and yet despite all of their problems, Americans have become the richest, strongest, most successful people with an unprecedented civilization in all of human history. ....
    __________

    It seems that you were not raised in a Protestant household, or you would have had it drummed into you morning, noon, and night that "Pride cometh before a fall."

    The generations that built this society in North America were not fat dumb and lazy. On the contrary, they lived through the great crucibles of the WWI, the Depression, and "the War".

    In those days, America was known for innovation (Good Old American Know-How); and hard work (the Can-Do Yankee Spirit). America was always a place that was open to new ideas, new ways of doing things, and all kinds of newcomers with energy and desire to do them. There was nothing America could not achieve.

    America is in trouble now because for the last 40+ years it has rested on its laurels. It has tolerated a school system that isn't doing the job. It has tolerated a culture of assumed entitlement. It has allowed the institutions of its democracy to become sclerotic. It is a self indulgent society that has grown fat, dumb, and lazy. And now we are facing a reckoning that has been a long, long time in coming.

    Yours words are hostages to fortune.

    Unless we start facing up to our problems and dedicating ourselves to solving them, the Chinese, Indians, Japanese, Koreans, and others, all of whom study harder at school, and work harder on the job, are going to make us eat those words, and take a certain quiet (or perhaps not so quiet) pleasure in doing so.

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  • 293. At 6:12pm on 30 Jan 2010, U14309841 wrote:

    http://augustafreepress.com/2010/01/29/obama-meets-with-house-republicans/

    seems this bit was missed by some.

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  • 294. At 6:20pm on 30 Jan 2010, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #291
    The truth is that as long as the public is satisfied with the refusal of Republicans to participate in drafting legislation, and with their characteristic "no", there is no impetus for them to get engaged. The question is, how long is the public going to be satisfied with the paralysis that has set in the last couple of months?
    __________________

    The Republicans have offered many suggestions. 2 that could have been incorporated into the current plan and would have only upset a few special interest groups:

    Tort reform
    Competition across state lines

    NBut the Dems in their arrogance refused to consider.

    The American people know the Republicans have been the honest ones in the debate.

    Don't blame me, I voted against a clueless 2 year Senator from the chicago machine

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  • 295. At 6:20pm on 30 Jan 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    personna ingrata;

    Parhaps you haven't read any of my postings on previous threads or on other BBC blog sites so you may not know that I lived in Europe for nearly two years. That was as much as I could stand of it. I kissed the ground at Kennedy Airport when I returned for the final time. I have no intention of ever returning to Europe again. Many have theorized that there was something horrible that happened to me there. That is not true at all, no such thing happened. I just don't like the place. I don't like the local cultures. I don't like the conditions of living there. I don't like the feel of the place. It is not merely unfamiliar, it is straightjacketing in its tightness. I think people who find themselves in circumstances they don't like should find some other way or place to live if they can. If they have the opportunity but don't take it, then they have only themselves to blame for their continued misery.

    Sorry you didn't get my point about how some immigrants resent the arrival of newer immigrants to America. I thought I made my point rather clearly.

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  • 296. At 6:20pm on 30 Jan 2010, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    248. At 05:39am on 30 Jan 2010, EUprisoner209456731 wrote:

    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/edwest/100024302/can-i-claim-asylum-in-the-us/

    "As reards the case of the German couple who were given asylum in the USA because Germany does not allow home schooling: Can any American or Canadian lawyer tell me if this victim of the "EU"-Dictatorship could get asylum in the USA or Canada on the basis that the "EU" is a sick arrogant dictatorship which tramples on my rights? "

    __________

    A very low level judge in a small state has made a particular ruling.

    You have to think that the INS will not be pleased with this kind of thing, but it can't control rogue judges in the various states.

    But now what happens when, let's say, someone with extreme fundamentalist Islamic views seeks asylum in the US for the same reason. Suppose he applies to the very same court in Tennessee for asylum. Is this judge going to make the same ruling?

    Are people on the right of the political spectrum going to applaud then?

    Not very likely.

    This is a foolish decision that unnecessarily gives insult to an old and important ally, and makes a mockery of the laws governing asylum for oppressed peoples.

    As for Canada, no, under our law the Applicant would have to show that the state from which he (or she) is seeking asylum fails to meet generally comparable standards of the protection of civil rights to Canada. In respect of Bundesrepublik Deutschland, for all practical purposes under Canadian law that would be an impossible evidentiary hurdle.

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  • 297. At 6:26pm on 30 Jan 2010, U14309841 wrote:

    255 too bloody right. sometime a bunch of kids like that lot have to be told that they are behaving as immature idiots.
    sorry but you want to say he should go in and say they have been a sterling service to their country and have helped get the issue going. that they have done a good job of getting people like you to calm down and stop going on about "he's a commie"
    seriously that was a classic talk. and still way too polite compared to what should really be said to that group.
    but still that is why I voted for him. Mush as I would like a commie he was the best for america,. he is willing to listen and talk. unlike you lot(stop pretending to be independent).

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  • 298. At 6:27pm on 30 Jan 2010, EUprisoner209456731 wrote:

    Americans should be concerned about the w3aqy feee speech is being limired in the UK and the rest of the "EU":

    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/edwest/100024237/geert-wilders-is-not-far-right/

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  • 299. At 6:30pm on 30 Jan 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    personna ingrata #290;

    Terrible here isn't it?

    If I were you, I wouldn't stay ------->

    (just an inset from the previous map....in case your copy got lost or torn :-)

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  • 300. At 6:33pm on 30 Jan 2010, U14309841 wrote:

    241
    ""You can't lament the lack of progress all the while insisting that it's the fault of the other guys. That's a gridlock mindset."

    But unfortunately true. now if that side that has not budged one bit were to stop lying to make people scared of the commies we might get somewhere.


    If one side ARE (not saying they are but if) murderous xenophobes that wish to kill all but a few select people..... and the other are a wide group of so many that would like to see world peace or damn near it.

    Is it a necessity for the peace lovers to let a few be killed on a sacrificial alter so that the murderous xenophobes can have a few jollies?


    Do we have to accept the redrawn boundaries of left and right that were left after GW or can we go back to the 76 boundaries....

    or must the boundary keep edging just a little to the right because the right are more pushy than the left.

    how many are to be taken to the sacrificial alter before we say "wooow enough"



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  • 301. At 6:36pm on 30 Jan 2010, d90_139 wrote:

    I have to say being an American living in the UK and looking at what Obama is doing to the US, its quite sad. $5000 tax credit when you do a new hire, hmmm but how can one afford to hire if the company does not have any revenue? He should focus on one thing at a time, fix it and move to the next... OECD says that its the small business that churn the economy, lets see some more benefit going their way...

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  • 302. At 6:37pm on 30 Jan 2010, U14309841 wrote:

    296So you read my post?

    295 MA.. You lived there for two years while attending medical school.
    big deal you were a closeted student and for the life of me I can't figure out how you had such a hard time when at that stage the world still liked Americans, even the French.


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  • 303. At 6:39pm on 30 Jan 2010, d90_139 wrote:

    285. MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    Let's see if the KGBBC will even print it for you.

    I thought I was the only one who thought they were that way.... Safety in Numbers... Boston Tea Party

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  • 304. At 6:41pm on 30 Jan 2010, U14309841 wrote:

    298 oh another racist troll

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  • 305. At 6:43pm on 30 Jan 2010, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    271. At 1:13pm on 30 Jan 2010, AmericanGrizzly wrote:

    "..., sort of like the way Obama made an unprecedented attack upon the Supreme Court Judges in his State of Union speech ..."
    __________

    Hardly unprecedented.

    Think of FDR threatening to pack the court.
    Think of Eisenhower regretting his own judicial appointments.
    Think of Nixon's comments about the court.

    I wouldn't be surprised if Gary and Andy know of a dozen other examples.

    If you live in Pennsylvania, would you not be rather cross is election spending in your local elections were dominated by people from California (or, even more so, let's say, France)? So why is it any less offensive when other persons not entitled to vote in Pennsylvania can do the same thing merely because they have the corporate form? Surely if those corporations have a real physical presence, and employees in the state, those employees can exercise their right to free speech?

    When, for example, 80% of political contributions to candidates in municipal elections come from real estate developers (as they do here), does that not trouble you? Do you not worry that the political process is being subverted? Do you think those donations are being made for the good of the country?

    While free speech is hugely important, the idea that permitting people who are not registered on the voting list not merely to speak, but, effectively, to dominate and to drown out all other voices, isn't protecting free speech, it is undermining freedom of speech, and it is undermining the democratic rights of citizens.

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  • 306. At 6:48pm on 30 Jan 2010, U14317251 wrote:

    I think I am
    a liberal too
    by definition
    draw spear i.e.
    (→, right arrow)
    a. → Tending to give freely; generous: a liberal benefactor.

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  • 307. At 6:50pm on 30 Jan 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    Uninteresting Foreigner;

    Whether America has become fat, dumb, and lazy in the last 40 years is hard to say. We have managed a few innovative things in that time...like inventing large scale integrated semoconductor circuits, personal computers, the internet, decoding the human genome, sending rovers to Mars to send back lots of photos, sending probes to all the planets to send back photos and data, launching the Hubbell telescope, at least a few life saving drugs and other medical procedures, CMOs and CDSs :-) just to name a few. But in case we are getting a bit too stale and cozy for our own good, we have lots of fresh energetic blood coming in from many other places like India, China, Latin America, Africa just to name a few every single day. You know, all those people Europe wants to keep out. Subjects of their former colonies just like the first European Americans were. Their tax contributions from their work will pay for my social security checks when the time comes. Sounds good to me. Hmmm, come to think of it, that newsfilm of American soldiers in Afghanistan, Iraq, Haiti don't seem to be fat and lazy at all. Are we talking about the same America? The one with the 14 trillion dollar GDP, four times that of China with less than one quarter as many people?

    BTW, the INS can appeal that judge's decision about the immigrants to higher courts if it feels the case sets a dangerous precedent and it is warranted. In fact it can appeal all the way to the Supreme Court if it wants to.

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  • 308. At 6:58pm on 30 Jan 2010, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    302. Yeah.

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  • 309. At 7:00pm on 30 Jan 2010, U14309841 wrote:

    308 cheers for the back up

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  • 310. At 7:01pm on 30 Jan 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    personna ingrata;

    "255 too bloody right."

    In recent years I have come to detest the sound of a British accent...even in print.

    "Mush as I would like a commie he was the best for america,."

    Especially one with slurred speech from consuming too much alcohol.

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  • 311. At 7:09pm on 30 Jan 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    personna ingrata #302

    From observing the French, it seemed to me they didn't like anyone...including each other.

    Hmmm, we had someone who posted here a long time ago who lived in Oregon and claimed he couldn't go back to Merry Ole because they would not allow his pet (we never did find out what sort of pet it was) to go with him without a six month quarrantine. He also had a convenient excuse for staying here. Frankly I think Oregon was the only place in the world that put any value at all on his unique talent for hammering scrap metal into something that vaguely resembled a frog to be used as lawn ornaments. You wouldn't have happened to run into him would you?

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  • 312. At 7:32pm on 30 Jan 2010, U14309841 wrote:

    305 "While free speech is hugely important, the idea that permitting people who are not registered on the voting list not merely to speak, but, effectively, to dominate and to drown out all other voices, isn't protecting free speech, it is undermining freedom of speech, and it is undermining the democratic rights of citizens."
    great point.
    that is the problem with these corporations being seen as having the same rights as individuals, to me, like I said to squirrelist the feds could disappear but the corporations would stay and run things.

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  • 313. At 7:35pm on 30 Jan 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds [LSD for short]

    At least half of so called Russia in not white.

    Which you would have easily found out if you had bothered to move your beautiful...mind...east of Urals.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    A little knowledge is a dangerous thing

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Look who is telling who that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. If you know that half or one third of russia is not white, then tell lucy with facts..Lucy is young, Respect her age. Arent you the one who thinks parachinar is in khyber agency? People who support wars should atleast know the geography of the places they want the war to happen.

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  • 314. At 7:36pm on 30 Jan 2010, U14309841 wrote:

    311
    http://www.etsy.com/shop/jacksforge


    No never heard of him

    310 no don't drink. Not a trained secretary like you though.
    You seem to have had a few already today. isn't that a bit early in the day.?

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  • 315. At 7:40pm on 30 Jan 2010, U14309841 wrote:

    307 If you can remember the old tin banger from way back how come you can't remember that the Hubble was a JOINT project.


    Memory failing or are you just trying to get someone banned;)

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  • 316. At 8:10pm on 30 Jan 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    Allow me to sum up the west,but especially the american.Gibran.

    Pity the nation that is full of beliefs and empty of religion.
    Pity the nationt hat wears a cloth it does not weave,
    eats a bread it does not harvest,
    and drinks a wine that flows not from its own wine-press.
    Pity the nation that acclaims the bully as hero,
    and that deems the glittering conqueror bountiful.
    Pity a nation that despises a passion in its dream,
    yet submits in its awakening.
    Pity the nation that raises not its voice
    save when it walks in a funeral,
    boasts not except among its ruins,
    and will rebel not save when its neck is laid
    between the sword and the block.
    Pity the nation whose statesman is a fox,
    whose philosopher is a juggler,
    and whose art is the art of patching and mimicking.
    Pity the nation that welcomes its new ruler with trumpeting,
    and farewells him with hooting,
    only to welcome another with trumpeting again.
    Pity the nation whose sages are dumb with years
    and whose strong men are yet in the cradle.

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  • 317. At 8:13pm on 30 Jan 2010, rodidog wrote:

    250. At 06:38am on 30 Jan 2010, Michael Streiffert wrote:
    Rodidog,

    Nothing in Article III, Section 2 gives the Supreme Court the authority to overrule treaties. The court is given the right to decide controversies "arising under this Constitution, the laws of the United States, and treaties." The court no more has the right to override a treaty than it does to override the Constitution itself. Again, Article VI seems to require that laws be in "pursuance" to the Constitution, and the courts can overrule those laws that aren't. But treaties seem to be in a different category.

    And the idea that Article III, Section 2 doesn't give the court the right to decide what the Constitution means is absurd.
    ----------------------

    The Supreme Court has the power to resolve controversies in law AND treaties. If a controversy regrading a treaty came before the court, and was deemed to be unconstitutional, the Supreme Court has the power to void said treaty. Likewise, laws passed by congress can also be deemed as unconstitutional by the Supreme Court and struck down. Your idea that treaties are supreme to the rights "protected" by the constitution and not subject to Judaical review, when challenged in court, is simply wrong.

    I'm guessing you missed an excellent post by GH(#245)on this subject. I took the liberty of re-posting that portion of his post I thought most relevant to our discussion below.

    In Reid v. Covert, the Supreme Court said the following concerning the supremacy clause:

    "It would be manifestly contrary to the objectives of those who created the Constitution, as well as those who were responsible for the Bill of Rights — let alone alien to our entire constitutional history and tradition — to construe Article VI as permitting the United States to exercise power under an international agreement without observing constitutional prohibitions."







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  • 318. At 8:14pm on 30 Jan 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    or if you dont like the above, because gibran wasnt a westerner

    Pity the nation whose people are sheep
    And whose shepherds mislead them
    Pity the nation whose leaders are liars
    Whose sages are silenced
    And whose bigots rule the airwaves
    Pity the nation that raises not its voice
    Except to praise conquerers
    And acclaim the bully as hero
    And aims to rule the world
    By force and by torture
    Pity the nation that knows
    No other language but its own
    And no other culture but its own
    Pity the nation whose breath is money
    And sleeps the sleep of the too well fed
    Pity the nation oh pity the people
    who allow their rights to erode
    and their freedoms to be washed away

    By someone called Lawrence Ferlinghetti

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  • 319. At 8:30pm on 30 Jan 2010, McJakome wrote:

    250. At 06:38am on 30 Jan 2010, Michael Streiffert wrote to Rodidog,

    “The court is given the right to decide controversies ‘arising under this Constitution, the laws of the United States, and treaties.’ The court no more has the right to override a treaty than it does to override the Constitution itself.”

    Michael Streiffert, you provided a quote, and immediately after the quote gave your opinion directly contradicting the quote. Are you being deliberately obtuse? Do you not understand that “the right to decide controversies about X,” means precisely to amend, interpret or override X? Your statement makes as much sense as A=B and B=C but A doesn't = C. There is little point in attempting to conduct a dialog with someone who is either that obtuse or that obstinate.

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  • 320. At 8:30pm on 30 Jan 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    personna ingrata incognita #314:

    Hmmm, your postings seem to have a suspiciously familiar ring to them. This guy who banged out frogs for a living was banned here but kept coming back under different aliases. Are you sure you've never been to Oregon and crossed paths with him?

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  • 321. At 8:31pm on 30 Jan 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    Now, you can go back to your ping pongish game which you call debate or discussion.

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  • 322. At 8:42pm on 30 Jan 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    MarcusAureliusII, To me you calling personanongrata, personna ingrata incognita is just like blair's calling saddam, after killing hundreds of thousands of muslims, a monster.

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  • 323. At 8:49pm on 30 Jan 2010, McJakome wrote:

    284. At 5:33pm on 30 Jan 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote RE:
    personna-ingrata #283

    “I only learned recently that during the street riots in New York City during the Civil War, those who were most racist and vehement against recently escaped slaves coming North to the big cities were newly arrived Irish immigrants who were competing with them for unskilled jobs.”

    An inconvenient truth [though I trust MA isn’t Al Gore’s alternate persona].

    To my shame [as a member of the tribe] the Irish immigrants have been notoriously racist, I remember the anti-bussing riots in South Boston. That’s one of the reasons I started referring to myself as American instead of Irish-American [the other being that I am only about ½ Irish, and no the other ½ isn’t soda].

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  • 324. At 9:08pm on 30 Jan 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    JMM (#319), I can't figure out what Streiffert means, either. In Reid v. Covert (see post #245), the Court did override a treaty.

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  • 325. At 9:45pm on 30 Jan 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    JMM, insofar as Irish immigrants are concerned, I was only describing those immigrants who had just arrived in America around 140 years ago. It was not to single out Irish but to make a point that among those most opposed to new immigration are those immigrants who have been here slightly longer and not come from the same place as the newer arrivals. I made this point because personna ingrata who obviously came from (bloody) England resented the two Germans who were allowed to stay. It was simply an example. There are countless others with different ethnicities.

    So personna ingrata incognita, you'd like to see a "commie" run America. I'll bet in the 74 years of the USSR under Communist rule, not one steel frog lawn ornament banger outer made a living at it. I'd bet if someone said that is what they do for a living the "commies" would have called him a social parasite. We'd call him an entrepreneur. Might even get a small business loan...if he applied for it. I don't know if you'd even have to be a citizen. And if not from the Federal government, then perhaps from a state government...such as Oregon's.

    Here, bang on this Jack;

    http://usgovinfo.about.com/od/smallbusiness/a/orbusiness.htm

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  • 326. At 10:03pm on 30 Jan 2010, TeaPot562 wrote:

    American Grizzly #271:
    Other Presidents have complained about SCOTUS decisions, although perhaps not in State of the Union addresses. The earliest such complaint that I am aware of, by Andrew Jackson (perhaps not an exact quote): "John Marshall has made his decision. Now let him enforce it."
    This reinforces the concept that when any branch threatens to become too powerful, the other two branches of government are intended to check it, thus tending to preserve our liberties.
    TeaPot562

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  • 327. At 10:04pm on 30 Jan 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    InterestedForeigner (#305), One earlier president who was not shy about criticizing the judiciary in his State of the Union messages was Theodore Roosevelt: http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/sou.php

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  • 328. At 10:06pm on 30 Jan 2010, U14309841 wrote:

    320

    MA' as it happens though I have been to and am in Oregon it would be totally impossible for me to cross paths with said, Jack, that I haven't heard of.

    I would say you postings have the ring of many other posters.
    Allent2 and Truetoo as well as MA2 ,for starters.
    how is it that you are still here. multiple postings is against the rules as well?

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  • 329. At 10:15pm on 30 Jan 2010, U14309841 wrote:

    PS I don't resent the Germans that were allowed to stay. I like Germans , like most people. I do have sympathy for the poor buggers that have them for neighbours though.
    If someone is crazy enough to give up their lives in Germany to be able to restrict not expand their kids schooling then they are pretty sad folk.
    And they are not saying a lot for their God.

    But everyone's God is different.

    Also like I said. that leaves everyone else with a real easy case to make with this precedent.
    Still I believe in open borders without pass ports so there we have it. You fight for my cause.
    Go for it.

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  • 330. At 10:21pm on 30 Jan 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    Kahlil Gibran is as revered in the west as in the east, for he wrote on universal themes. When Lawrence Ferlinghetti wrote his Pity the Nation (see post #318), he gave proper credit: "After Kahlis Gibran".

    Here's a link to a brief summary of Gibran in America: http://www.alhewar.com/Gibran.html

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  • 331. At 10:24pm on 30 Jan 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    254. At 08:54am on 30 Jan 2010, AllenT2 wrote:


    "Squirrelist are you one of those people who are anti-American while at the same time secretly wishes they were American? "

    No.

    (Having skimmed over the 60-odd posts since that question. . . .Since I think I probably share many of the views of poor personanongrata who seems to have been getting an awful lot of stick--be worse if s.he turned out to have Irish ancestry--don't think I'd be very welcome somehow.)

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  • 332. At 10:26pm on 30 Jan 2010, ranter22 wrote:

    A note here:
    Upon the enactment and full implementation of the new intercontinental federation of nations, a new constitution may be drafted. One in which all previous ones will be outdated. The needs of the many (everywhere else) will outweigh the needs of the few right here in the US, even if we are paying for the endeavor. Not that too many of us knows all that much about what goes on with that. One example may be the moving of the trials of the accused terrorists in New York. It also seems likely that the UN may become a target, so move the UN to ?.
    Constitution of a nation written to encompass it's citizenry, not non Americans. Every country that has any working relationship with the US, should undertake the task of trying their own accused and in compliance with the crime allegedly committed. Crimes committed here on US soil are our jurisdiction, regardless of the race of the perpetrators. Holding people until for ever in any place without a charge is a moral oversight and it's supporters are guilty by either association or reluctance to act on it. We either have morality and justice or we don't. When we are screaming about the 'notions'* of our right under the alleged constitutional provisions and are seeing a totally different outcome, what do we do.

    * word used in state of the union.

    The framers of this constitution couldn't have seen the expansion taking place today.
    We do need new framers in our time to do the best job possible to continue to ensure that, the general visions and spirit of our new course, will include Americans at the forefront of any discussion. Giving liberty to an already free society is never the same as having had freedom all along. The emphasis has no place in seeking to preserve what is guaranteed, but honoring what has been for so long and is a given.

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  • 333. At 10:31pm on 30 Jan 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    "It was not to single out Irish but to make a point that among those most opposed to new immigration are those immigrants who have been here slightly longer and not come from the same place as the newer arrivals."

    Like those from Transylvania?

    Ho-hum. "New immigration". That would be the new code for people from South America, would it? Or would that be people who are a bit brownish? Or even yellowish? I do like to see how welcoming Americans really are . . .

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  • 334. At 10:35pm on 30 Jan 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    One bit of trivia that only wonks like myself appreciate is that of the recent presidents, only Kennedy, Ford, George W. Bush, and Obama failed to address the Vice President as "Mr. President" (of the Senate) in their State of the Union messages. President Clinton tried it both ways.

    Don't presidents have protocol secretaries to advise them on these matters?

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  • 335. At 10:53pm on 30 Jan 2010, U14309841 wrote:

    squirrelist it is almost as if this nation would be lined with watchful minute men saying I see the alien.

    Good luck,

    I think they are afraid the "goverment workers" will get them.

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  • 336. At 10:56pm on 30 Jan 2010, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #312
    personanongrata wrote:
    305 "While free speech is hugely important, the idea that permitting people who are not registered on the voting list not merely to speak, but, effectively, to dominate and to drown out all other voices, isn't protecting free speech, it is undermining freedom of speech, and it is undermining the democratic rights of citizens."
    great point.
    that is the problem with these corporations being seen as having the same rights as individuals, to me, like I said to squirrelist the feds could disappear but the corporations would stay and run things.
    _________________-

    Fore years labor unions have been participating in elections and I doubt they ask for a vote from their members anymore than corporations do from the stockholders.

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  • 337. At 11:08pm on 30 Jan 2010, David Cunard wrote:

    #295. At 6:20pm on 30 Jan 2010, MarcusAureliusII: "personna ingrata; Parhaps you haven't read any of my postings on previous threads or on other BBC blog sites so you may not know that I lived in Europe for nearly two years."

    No, from your earlier posts you said you lived in France, which is a far cry from "living in Europe".

    "I just don't like the place. I don't like the local cultures. I don't like the conditions of living there."

    How can you possibly judge what living in any European country today is like? Europe has all the conveniences that America enjoys, and some might say more, if one counts public transportation - and your much loved red wine. Immediately post WWII this was untrue of course, and even forty-five years ago, but not today, well into the 21st Century. Europe has caught up and in many ways surpassed America in living conditions. You need to return in order to see the changes half-a-century has brought.

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  • 338. At 11:27pm on 30 Jan 2010, wolfvorkian wrote:

    I kissed the ground at Kennedy Airport when I returned for the final time.

    Now really,Marcus.

    I felt this way too once though. It was after spending a night in a Mexican jail and when I crossed the border back into the USA. But it wasn't because it was specifically the USA, it could have been just about anywhere...Canada, Guatemala,Cuba, you name it.

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  • 339. At 11:39pm on 30 Jan 2010, american grizzly wrote:

    " The problem appears to be that Americans want freedom without risk,
    without the need to pay a price for it, " zaphodian

    America knows the risk, sacrifices, all well of what freedom can cost. That
    isn't the issue, it is how it is spent, the plans, and the details. Not like
    this bunch of stooges that have recently been elected after the other stooges.
    We need quality people not the hacks that are still in place. Read on.......


    A letter written by Mayor Michael Bloomberg (New York) written to Washinton this month. Puts the cost of the Sept 11 trials for security at a rough estimate of $200 million, this could be higher. This has caused political problems due to the public anger. Now they are looking for a more administration friendly place for this trial.

    Now lets add in the cost of this Obama admin spectacle with the lawyers, judges, jury, never mind the paperwork, and numerous other groups that will probably be involved. I wouldn't be surprised if this trial of the terrorists/foreign combatants wouldn't run into $$$Billion$$$ or more for this show trial. Actually I think with the permission of Rome, this should be held in the coliseum with banners and such an Obama can sit in Caesar's seat. To view this with approval, sort of like the way Obama made an unprecedented attack upon the Supreme Court Judges in his State of Union speech. Amazing how little regard for this nations balance he has....

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  • 340. At 00:04am on 31 Jan 2010, american grizzly wrote:

    "WHY ARE AMERICANS TOO SCARED TO ADMIT WHAT PARTY THEY BELONG TO?" personanongrata.

    Why do I have to belong to a party? Like Join or die.... Nyah, I like being a non hack, with just my own freedom to vote as I choose, but if one must affix a label, umm, IndepDemRepcain. Or just plain free to choose is okay with me.. Never have never will, I vote for the person, their ideas, best man for the job type choice. Thank you very much.

    "Think of FDR threatening to pack the court.
    Think of Eisenhower regretting his own judicial appointments.
    Think of Nixon's comments about the court." Interestedforeigner

    President Franklin Delano Roosevelt did not do what Obama did, he used the Bully Pulpit and took it to the people of the US. Obama used his speech to disrespect the members right there.. Comments are okay, but what Obama did in that forum was unprecedented, and showed contempt like a dictator, wanting to remove that obstructs him. Disagreement is okay. Just the way Obama did this I believe was arrogant..

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  • 341. At 00:51am on 31 Jan 2010, AllenT2 wrote:

    squirrelist wrote:

    "Having skimmed over the 60-odd posts since that question. . . .Since I think I probably share many of the views of poor personanongrata who seems to have been getting an awful lot of stick--be worse if s.he turned out to have Irish ancestry--don't think I'd be very welcome somehow."

    I didn't ask if you would be welcomed as I could have told you the answer to that.

    I'm just curious to know why you and many other so-called Europeans are so obsessed over the domestic affairs of a country thousands of miles away? What exactly is your motivation?

    I mean lets face it, it is bizarre to see readers in Europe discussing American domestic affairs and politics, and in the manner that they do, as if they were somehow Americans themselves. Even, in many cases, right down to local county and city issues.

    Either you are desperately interested in being an American or you wish to contribute to the destruction of a way of life that you simply can not accept even though it affects you in no way whatsoever.

    So which is it, and why?

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  • 342. At 01:02am on 31 Jan 2010, AllenT2 wrote:

    squirrelist wrote:

    "Ho-hum. "New immigration". That would be the new code for people from South America, would it? Or would that be people who are a bit brownish? Or even yellowish? I do like to see how welcoming Americans really are . ."

    Most Americans have no problem with immigration so long as it is legal and strictly regulated, like the way the Mexicans do on their southern border and the way most civilized and law abiding countries do.

    I also don't think most Americans wish to see huge numbers coming from just one place or culture because of how destabilizing that ultimately is, as the illegal invasion from Mexico has shown.

    You also don't know as much about America as you think you do if you think America is not welcoming to immigrants from around the world, of any color. America is the most successful country in the bringing together the people of many different cultures.

    I have to ask squirrelist but have you even visited America before? Even the standard British trip to Disney World?

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  • 343. At 01:03am on 31 Jan 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 294, Magic

    "The Republicans have offered many suggestions. 2 that could have been incorporated into the current plan and would have only upset a few special interest groups:

    Tort reform
    Competition across state lines"

    Tort reform is worth pursuing, but not as part of healthcare reform. It is as complex, and possibly even more divisive, than healthcare reform and mixing the two would simply guarantee the failure of both...which is why this "benign" request is being proposed.

    Competition across state lines sounds great, but are you sure Republicans, the folks that usually advocate for smaller government, are in favor of a national system that may very well put the concept of federalism and the need to avoid infringing on state laws in jeopardy?

    As a matter of fact, one of the things I liked the least about President Bush's MEDICARE reform was that it didn't allow recipients to shop around and get drugs wherever they were more affordable, such as in Canada....but then again, I am a Democrat who doesn't mind big government...as long as it serves us well...

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  • 344. At 01:04am on 31 Jan 2010, wolfvorkian wrote:

    Never have never will, I vote for the person, their ideas, best man for the job type choice. Thank you very much.

    And how could you possibly know, since they all lie?

    I vote for the ideology the candidate allegedly represents.... the party platform. This isn't a fool proof system either but it certainly beats "voting for the best man".

    A few crumbs roll my way using this technique. I'm not the sharpest knife in the drawer but I do have enough sense not to vote intentionally against my own interest.

    I'll go to my grave wondering why someone who has to work for a living would vote for the GOP.

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  • 345. At 01:10am on 31 Jan 2010, AllenT2 wrote:

    personanongrata wrote:

    "I would say you postings have the ring of many other posters.
    Allent2 and Truetoo as well as MA2 ,for starters.
    how is it that you are still here. multiple postings is against the rules as well?"

    You find it so hard to believe that others may think alike, and against how you feel they should think, that you have to resort to accusing someone of making multiple posts under different names in the hope that those other posters, including me, will also disappear?

    Wow, that's rather desperate.

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  • 346. At 01:13am on 31 Jan 2010, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    307. At 6:50pm on 30 Jan 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    "... But in case we are getting a bit too stale and cozy for our own good, we have lots of fresh energetic blood coming in from many other places like India, China, Latin America, Africa just to name a few every single day. You know, all those people Europe wants to keep out."

    "...Hmmm, come to think of it, that newsfilm of American soldiers in Afghanistan, Iraq, Haiti don't seem to be fat and lazy at all. Are we talking about the same America? The one with the 14 trillion dollar GDP, four times that of China with less than one quarter as many people?"
    __________

    "... those people Europe wants to keep out."

    LOL. True in so very many ways.

    America has an ability constantly to reinvent itself that never fails to amaze. Clearly the openness to immigrants is an essential part of that ability.

    ----------

    The soldiers may not be fat dumb and lazy, true enough.

    Why?

    Because unlike the majority of Americans (and Canadians, and ...) They get proper regular exercise, and eat a healthy diet. They have no choice.

    I have a friend with an advanced degree in health sciences. She believes that one of greatest threats to American security is obesity.

    The cost of obesity in additional health care problems (and very serious ones - the epidemic of diabetes, the prevalence of heart disease, and any number of other ailments); the loss of productivity; the waste of resources. Apparently our children are the first generation ever in North America to have a shorter life expectancy than their parents, and the problems arising from obesity are one of the big factors.

    I don't know if I would agree with her in total, but she certainly has a point.
    ----------

    As for dumb and lazy, have you ever noticed that most Universities now have a requirement for the submission of writing samples? I once had a fellow who was a professional educator at the very highest level of education in this country explain to me that if it weren't for the writing sample requirement and for the community service stuff, essentially 100% of the places at our technical Universities would be allocated to the children of East Asian and South Asian immigrants, with an honourable mention to Iranians and Russians.

    It's the same thing when you go to the end of year and graduation ceremonies at the schools. Ever notice which students walk off with all the prizes? Whitebread children of baby boomer yuppies from the suburbs are few and far between on that score.

    Why?

    Because while these East Asian and South Asian kids are studying their brains out, our kids are playing video games, smoking up, and screwing around. Or thinking about taking a year to "find themselves".

    They under-achieve in school but heaven forbid that should cause them to temper their attitudes and individualism. Hardly. Is your homework done? Is your room tidy? Picked up your dirty clothes and put them in the laundry? Put your dishes in the dishwasher? Cleaned up the kitchen? Taken out the garbage? Shoveled the snow? Cut the grass? Raked the leaves?

    Oh, we are the Age of Aquarius, all right.
    And if we don't watch out, learn to study harder and work harder, the jobs that are going to be left for our kids will be as bearers of water and hewers of wood.

    And, at the end of the day, you have to ask yourself: If these Chinese and Indian kids study harder and work harder than anybody else, then why shouldn't they have the pick of the best jobs, earn the best money, run the most successful businesses? They've earned it, fair & square.

    Isn't that what America is about?

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  • 347. At 01:14am on 31 Jan 2010, McJakome wrote:

    324. At 9:08pm on 30 Jan 2010, GH1618 wrote:
    JMM (#319), “I can't figure out what Streiffert means, either. In Reid v. Covert (see post #245), the Court did override a treaty.”

    It occurs to me that Streiffert must be a fundamentalist [even to the right of the usual strict constructionist] who will not accept anything however factual that contradicts his notion. He appears to obstinately maintain this notion even though Supreme Court majorities have ruled otherwise.

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  • 348. At 01:23am on 31 Jan 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    Canard;

    "How can you possibly judge what living in any European country today is like?"

    The one thing that matters, the people haven't changed...except maybe for the worse. I notice you prefer to live in California rather than Merry Ole. Now let me see, hmmm. Oh that would be excuse number 16, your spouse doesn't want to leave her family to take advantages of all of the wonderful things life in the UK has to offer...like the NHS.

    Persona Ingrata Incognito;

    I have only posted on BBC under one moniker. Ever since their system went into effect the one I use now is the only one I've ever used. All of the postings attributed to other monikers are not mine.

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  • 349. At 02:21am on 31 Jan 2010, David Cunard wrote:

    #348. MarcusAureliusII: "How can you possibly judge what living in any European country today is like?"

    "The one thing that matters, the people haven't changed...except maybe for the worse. I notice you prefer to live in California rather than Merry Ole."

    The people haven't changed? How do you know that? Since you've never set foot on British soil, how can you judge? Indeed, they have become better nourished and are perilously close to following their American cousins with regard to obesity, but their attitudes have certainly altered in half-a-century. As for preferring to live in California, I have lived almost all of my adult life there, the weather being an important factor. I did once contemplate moving back to the warmest part of England, West Cornwall and looked at some properties there. However, one evening it rained so hard and came in horizontally that on the spot I realized that I could not live with that. The saying is that "you can't go home" and that is probably true, but had I done so, I would have been able to enjoy all the conveniences of modern life; there is nothing in America that can't be had in Britain - except ice in drinks and a decent BLT.

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  • 350. At 02:24am on 31 Jan 2010, McJakome wrote:

    To Mark Mardell and anyone interested in an academic [and a bit heavy] read on how the British colonies diverged so far from the mother country, revolted and then developed into the US, I am currently engrosed with what is, in fact, a university text. I have seen most of the data before, but the treatment of the thesis is providing me with some new insights into British, Canadian and American developments in the period from a social perspective.

    I have noted what may be the origins of some of the curious misunderstandings and antagonism to be found on these threads.

    "The Radicalism of the American Revolution," by Gordon S. Wood.

    Lest the moderators be offended, I have not included those parts of the
    citation that could have made this seem a commercial message.

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  • 351. At 02:36am on 31 Jan 2010, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    340. At 00:04am on 31 Jan 2010, AmericanGrizzly wrote:

    Figuratively speaking, FD Roosevelt all but tarred & feathered the Supreme Court. He told them, in effect, "You got it so wrong, that if you don't straighten up, I'm going to appoint as many judges as it takes to put you jerks out of business."

    I'm hard pressed to see how President Obama's comments are even within the same order of magnitude.

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  • 352. At 02:47am on 31 Jan 2010, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    349. At 02:21am on 31 Jan 2010, David Cunard wrote:

    " ... there is nothing in America that can't be had in Britain - except ice in drinks and a decent BLT."
    __________

    Try getting an ice-cold beer on a hot day anywhere in the UK.

    Austrians, on the other hand, really do know how to brew and serve beer.

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  • 353. At 02:56am on 31 Jan 2010, frayedcat wrote:

    Same old same old - on the structure of US government and competing interests

    "It has been frequently remarked that it seems to have been reserved to the people of this country, by their conduct and example, to decide the important question, whether societies of men are really capable or not of establishing good government from reflection and choice, or whether they are forever destined to depend for their political constitutions on accident and force. ... and a wrong election of the part we shall act may, in this view, deserve to be considered as the general misfortune of mankind.......Happy will it be if our choice should be directed by a judicious estimate of our true interests, unperplexed and unbiased by considerations not connected with the public good. But this is a thing more ardently to be wished than seriously to be expected. The plan offered to our deliberations affects too many particular interests, innovates upon too many local institutions, not to involve in its discussion a variety of objects foreign to its merits, and of views, passions and prejudices little favorable to the discovery of truth.....And a further reason for caution, in this respect, might be drawn from the reflection that we are not always sure that those who advocate the truth are influenced by purer principles than their antagonists. Ambition, avarice, personal animosity, party opposition, and many other motives not more laudable than these, are apt to operate as well upon those who support as those who oppose the right side of a question. Were there not even these inducements to moderation, nothing could be more ill-judged than that intolerant spirit which has, at all times, characterized political parties. For in politics, as in religion, it is equally absurd to aim at making proselytes by fire and sword. Heresies in either can rarely be cured by persecution......A torrent of angry and malignant passions will be let loose. To judge from the conduct of the opposite parties, we shall be led to conclude that they will mutually hope to evince the justness of their opinions, and to increase the number of their converts by the loudness of their declamations and the bitterness of their invectives. An enlightened zeal for the energy and efficiency of government will be stigmatized as the offspring of a temper fond of despotic power and hostile to the principles of liberty. An over-scrupulous jealousy of danger to the rights of the people, which is more commonly the fault of the head than of the heart, will be represented as mere pretense and artifice, the stale bait for popularity at the expense of the public good. It will be forgotten, on the one hand, that jealousy is the usual concomitant of love, and that the noble enthusiasm of liberty is apt to be infected with a spirit of narrow and illiberal distrust..." - Alexander Hamilton introduction

    http://thomas.loc.gov/home/histdox/fed_11.html

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  • 354. At 03:28am on 31 Jan 2010, ghostofsichuan wrote:

    The battle is between those of wealth and influence and opportunities of everyone else. Will the people of the US recapture their government and a more balanced approach begin? Concentration of wealth has been the beginning of the end of all empires.

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  • 355. At 03:29am on 31 Jan 2010, EUprisoner209456731 wrote:

    296. At 6:20pm on 30 Jan 2010, Interestedforeigner wrote a reply.

    EUpris: Thank you for your informative reply.

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  • 356. At 03:34am on 31 Jan 2010, frayedcat wrote:

    #352 Or good R&B

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4BKsUrcC1nU&feature=related

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  • 357. At 03:40am on 31 Jan 2010, EUprisoner209456731 wrote:

    295. At 6:20pm on 30 Jan 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    "personna ingrata;

    Parhaps you haven't read any of my postings on previous threads or on other BBC blog sites so you may not know that I lived in Europe for nearly two years. "

    EUpris:

    As I remember it, you mentioned Germany and France.

    I meet a lot of people who hate France and the French: Brits, Americans, Germans, Austrians and even French people. I don't. I get on with the French quite well. Sometimes I think there is something wrong with me.

    I believe you mentioned Germany in 1973. The Germans have changed since then. They are now able to queue (= form a line?) They are now more civilised when driving. Unfortunately the standard of behaviour in the UK has declined to an almost unbelievable extent.

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  • 358. At 03:40am on 31 Jan 2010, american grizzly wrote:

    "I vote for the ideology the candidate allegedly represents.... the party platform. This isn't a fool proof system either but it certainly beats "voting for the best man"." wolfvorkian

    Yeah I am sure many Nazi ideologists felt the same way.
    Until the ruination came...Sorry my freedom upsets you, being how everyone lies, some like you accept it. I never will. Stay a drone to the party ideology, while others make changes for the future.

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  • 359. At 03:44am on 31 Jan 2010, KScurmudgeon wrote:

    318. At 8:14pm on 30 Jan 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    Pity the nation whose people are sheep...
    ________________________________

    America, and a good part of the West, is riding on several generations of unrelenting prosperity - the fulfillment of our parents' and grandparents' exercising the very virtues Mr. Ferlinghetti espouses by their absence. (or, if you are younger than I am, their grandparents and greats.) We are for the most part fat and lazy, selfish and narrow as the result of being given everything our parents wished for us. Poor indeed is the household without widescreen HD TV, cable, multiple cellphones, more pizza than is good for us.

    Tough times bring out the best, however.

    At the moment we are struggling to show whether we can shake off the sheepskins (nonacademic) and challenge both the shepherds and those wh have worked so hard to own us.

    As this blog shows, at least we are aware of their presence.

    We shall see.

    KScurmudgeon

    By the way, excellent quotes. Is there some sort of Anti-American search engine out there?

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  • 360. At 03:45am on 31 Jan 2010, american grizzly wrote:

    "one man with courage makes a majority." attributed to Andrew Jackson












































    "One man can make a difference and every man should try." Jacqueline Kennedy

    Keep voting as a free man.







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  • 361. At 03:51am on 31 Jan 2010, wolfvorkian wrote:

    St.Dominic:
    Tort reform is worth pursuing, but not as part of healthcare reform. It is as complex, and possibly even more divisive, than healthcare reform and mixing the two would simply guarantee the failure of both...which is why this "benign" request is being proposed.

    People shouldn't give an inch on this "tort reform" silliness coming from the right, it is nonsense as far as lowering health care cost in America. Read the below from the CBO on this simple-minded GOP antic.

    http://tinyurl.com/yk9r8c3

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  • 362. At 03:53am on 31 Jan 2010, american grizzly wrote:

    "Either you are desperately interested in being an American or you wish to contribute to the destruction of a way of life that you simply can not accept even though it affects you in no way whatsoever." AllenT2

    Yeah it just upsets them to no end, misery loves company. While in the US we do what we want, the amount of control often fails here. But in Europe control is everything to some. Stay free, live well, enjoy life. And to the rest have a nice day...

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  • 363. At 04:02am on 31 Jan 2010, american grizzly wrote:

    "Figuratively speaking, FD Roosevelt all but tarred & feathered the Supreme Court. He told them, in effect, "You got it so wrong, that if you don't straighten up, I'm going to appoint as many judges as it takes to put you jerks out of business." Interestedforeigner

    "In February 1937, Roosevelt proposed a plan to "reorganize" the Judicial Branch, but the crux of his proposal was that the President would be empowered to appoint an additional six Justices to the Court and thereby enlarge the Court’s membership up to a total of 15. Roosevelt's true aim, of course, was to "pack" the Court all at once to produce a majority sympathetic to the New Deal. Despite his huge majorities in both Houses of Congress, however, the bar, the press, and eventually public opinion began to rally against the proposal, and it was defeated."source 2004 YEAR-END REPORT ON THE FEDERAL JUDICIARY

    Roosevelt didn't appoint any in his first term, but did appoint 5 in his second. The Judges usually serve as long as they like, for life if they want.

    But I did drink a few beers in Austria and if it helps I do agree with that.

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  • 364. At 04:13am on 31 Jan 2010, gratefuldman wrote:

    Are we so simple that we can,t read and vote for how we want no matter what add,s we see on tv if so that is sad day for all of us.

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  • 365. At 04:19am on 31 Jan 2010, KScurmudgeon wrote:

    354. At 03:28am on 31 Jan 2010, ghostofsichuan wrote:

    The battle is between those of wealth and influence and opportunities of everyone else. Will the people of the US recapture their government and a more balanced approach begin? Concentration of wealth has been the beginning of the end of all empires.
    ____________________________________

    And yet it is the inevitable result of social activity. Every person strives to improve his condition, and generally folks will try to leave their offspring an advantage. Those with ability and energy do better than those with less. The only exceptions are societies in which all power is already concentrated in a few hands - although these are generally very restless places.

    The trick is to allow all to thrive while encouraging the able to improve themselves and by doing so, to 'lift all boats'. Or have periodic 'redistributions'.

    Raw ambition seems willing to destroy the very sources of its own wealth in the pursuit of the greatest relative power. I can't believe how many very smart and able Americans are willingly acting to weaken the greatest economic engine in the world and the source of their wealth (and power): the American consumer/ wage earner/ tax payer - and the world's lender of last resort. Why kill the cow you milk? Why burn the earth you live on?

    KScurmudgeon
    not that bright, or is it not that ambitious?

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  • 366. At 04:29am on 31 Jan 2010, KScurmudgeon wrote:

    353. At 02:56am on 31 Jan 2010, frayedcat wrote:

    Same old same old - on the structure of US government and competing interests

    "It has been frequently remarked that it seems to have been reserved to the people of this country, by their conduct and example, to decide the important question, whether societies of men are really capable or not of establishing good government from reflection and choice, or whether they are forever destined to depend for their political constitutions on accident and force. ... and a wrong election of the part we shall act may, in this view, deserve to be considered as the general misfortune of mankind.......Happy will it be if our choice should be directed by a judicious estimate of our true interests, unperplexed and unbiased by considerations not connected with the public good.
    __________________________________

    Clearly, he was talking about Health care Reform. - I presume that was quote from Hamilton himself, renowned for his brilliant eloquence, driven by the best mind of his age.

    But he wasn't able to persuade the majority, generally, either, so his ambition to lead the nation was blunted.

    KScurmudgeon
    in the shade

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  • 367. At 04:36am on 31 Jan 2010, AllenT2 wrote:

    David Cunard wrote:

    "The people haven't changed? How do you know that? Since you've never set foot on British soil, how can you judge?"

    You should give the same advice to your countrymen in regards to their judgments on America.

    And for those British expats that come to live in America that want to change America to suit them and their culture then they should try Spain or go back home.

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  • 368. At 04:41am on 31 Jan 2010, AllenT2 wrote:

    ghostofsichuan wrote:

    "The battle is between those of wealth and influence and opportunities of everyone else. Will the people of the US recapture their government and a more balanced approach begin? Concentration of wealth has been the beginning of the end of all empires."

    Uh, there was more of a "concentration of wealth" in America's past.

    America is also not an "empire." Only the leftists and anti-Americans of the world view America in such a way.

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  • 369. At 05:03am on 31 Jan 2010, KScurmudgeon wrote:

    258. At 10:54am on 30 Jan 2010, AndreaNY wrote:
    52. KScurmudgeon:
    241. At 02:54am on 30 Jan 2010, AndreaNY wrote:
    You can't lament the lack of progress all the while insisting that it's the fault of the other guys.
    ______________________________________
    As if understanding and cooperation were the way to get something done.
    Well, we are defined by our enemies. It may be that the people are discovering their common enemy. We will know it is happening when our opponents mount an effort to pit us against each other.
    ****************
    Well, then, we'll certainly continue to have, and fight, an enemy. And, so, the divisive partisanship continues and nothing changes because the voters, themselves, want that fight (all the while blaming the other guy).

    Andrea -

    My reply was tongue in cheek, but you don't know me that well, and curmudgeons tend to be enigmas...
    The articulator of that rather narrow idea is Carl Schmitt, a German political theorist of a century ago. Look where it got them...

    Still, your response points out, inadvertently, how much we depend on competition and the energies it produces, to organize ourselves and get groups moving.

    If you have another way, which will be as effective, please speak up, and soon.

    KScurmudgeon

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  • 370. At 05:25am on 31 Jan 2010, wolfvorkian wrote:

    The Griz said:

    Yeah I am sure many Nazi ideologists felt the same way.
    Until the ruination came...Sorry my freedom upsets you, being how everyone lies, some like you accept it. I never will. Stay a drone to the party ideology, while others make changes for the future.


    Your "freedom"! You're a whippersnapper compared to me when it comes to the so-called freedom nostrum you constantly refer to. I spent nearly 2 decades of my life living where there wasn't any law for all practical purposes. I could do anything I wanted. I hunted when I wanted, fished when I wanted, built a cabin where ever I wanted, cut any tree where ever I wanted, make a new trail or road where ever I wanted ... any and everything... could even have murdered if I had wanted... Roflmao and you claim I'm concerned about your freedom? .You haven't got a clue what the word means.You're a computer warrior. The only service I had was a public gravel road around a half mile from the homestead.

    I was born and raised in the lower 48 so I know all about your 'freedoms' down there. I also have spent years in a 3rd world country, in most ways it is "freer" than the mythical vision you have of stateside America.

    As far as the future goes, right now you're leeching off the system my generation and the ones prior to me built.Remember, Atlas Shrugged was fiction Griz, really was. And you see yourself as making changes... ever heard of delusions of grandeur?

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  • 371. At 05:50am on 31 Jan 2010, wolfvorkian wrote:

    You should give the same advice to your countrymen in regards to their judgments on America.

    Cunard ask you a fair question. Why not answer it instead of avoiding it?

    Tu quoque

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  • 372. At 05:55am on 31 Jan 2010, David Cunard wrote:

    #367. AllenT2: "David Cunard: . . . You should give the same advice to your countrymen in regards to their judgments on America."

    I do - but remember, America is a popular destination for British and other European visitors, but MAII had never visited the UK, not even for a weekend, and yet he loathes Britain, Britons and their accents. His only experience is of France, and he loves the wine made their.

    "And for those British expats that come to live in America that want to change America to suit them and their culture then they should try Spain or go back home."

    That advice would be better aimed at immigrants from south of the border. Perhaps you should live in one of the border states and then judge how they want to change America to suit them. After all, in not too many years hence, they will be a majority. Already Spanish is a second language and commercial advertising only panders to this.

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  • 373. At 06:43am on 31 Jan 2010, american grizzly wrote:

    Your "freedom"! You're a whippersnapper wolffvorkian
    Stick to your pack you twit. Yeah my freedom, and everyone else in the Bill of RIght, you goosestepping party hack.
    Anytime mister. ANytime.

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  • 374. At 06:56am on 31 Jan 2010, american grizzly wrote:

    Well wolfenpackrat, move back to Zimbabwe, and enjoy your 3rd world freedom. Perhaps it will be more than the picture books you keep in the lew. Your generalization mean dink about me, as you know jack. So I will keep voting to jerk your chain, until your disease type of politics die off.

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  • 375. At 07:12am on 31 Jan 2010, wolfvorkian wrote:

    Griz.... calm down.

    It is not my fault you've never been a free man. If you don't get away from that computer and do a little living, you'll never get enough real life experiences to be able to do your own thinking.

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  • 376. At 08:00am on 31 Jan 2010, Dale Johnson wrote:

    In response to the person from Sweeden (#13), I think you need some infromation before grading so generously OBamas' words and actions. He was a Senator who was almost broke when he got to Washington and then made over one million dollars in two short years. Can anyone spell the phrase "in the pocket"? then you tell me he is a Constitutional Lawyer. How do you explain working for an organization from an unrepentant person who not only advocates treason, but actually attempted to eliminate the governmene by blowing up buildingw with innocent people in them?
    Third question: How is the United States a Democracy when it clearly states it is a Constitutional Republic? Then you say that the American people have no say in their government. You really need to check on that one. The people have the right to challenge any law that is made (just like you purport Sweeds do) and have the people vote on them. Also the people have not voted on a Constitutional Amendment since the first ten. This is the Congress and Senate overstepping their power. The Constitution states that the people are the only ones who can approve a Constitutional Amendment. Then they need to have two thirds of the people to vote for it to make it a law.
    If you are going to tear people down please get some things straight first. I will not tear down the Sweedish people or their government as I have no right to as a citizen of a different country.
    Please correct yourself and maybe people will take your tirade seriously

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  • 377. At 08:26am on 31 Jan 2010, Dale Johnson wrote:

    Wow! I finally got to read a few more articles. The one from the businessman was really good. Ther were a few things I would have to disagree with though they are small.
    First the Navy would be sorly taxed in their present configuration to train all the people haow to operate a plant of this size in a short time. That is thanks to the same people who keep crying that the military is getting to much money. I agree that are places to cut spending in the military and they should be done as soon as possible. Second the military spends the largest portion of its budget on research which helps the country in more ways than their needs. Think about the things like the surgeries that are saving peoples lives because they do things like get in a car drunk and crash it into other people or cars carrying people.
    Then think of the things like wind and solar and geothermal that are relatively free and could reduce significently the dependance on other countries oil for our needs. Then look at dykes and wave action to protect land and homes while also providing power to further reduce the need for oil.
    All these things have been out there for many years like nuclear power has and the only ones who are using it are the people who beleive that they can make a difference and put it to practicla use instead of suing everyone all the time because they do not get their way.
    Eliminating the majority of old established senators and congressmen would send a message to the government to be Citizen Statesmen again like the Constitution calls for. This encludes the assention from the houses to the presidency. then we also need to look at things like the tax laws that are there to help the people and they are not using them like the tax laws to have investments (not specified as to what kind you can use) to build a nice tax free cash surplus for medical purposes like the rich use to get richer and to pay their medical with.
    This is a start. Instead of complaining lets get back to the Constitution and whot it says, not what a few want it to say. And that means bullies like the ACLU.

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  • 378. At 10:01am on 31 Jan 2010, Dale Johnson wrote:

    #306;
    I have noticed that the liberal mindset is for giving to big organizations like The Carnagie Library, The San Francisco Opera and such for their acts of Charity. This sort of looke to me like the rich liberal giving to the rich liberal.
    The consertive seem to give to the organizations like the Salvation Army and Goodwill therby giving the poorer a chance to get a leg up and to help the disabled among them to have some kind of Dignity instead of just a government handout that keeps them downtrodden.
    It was interesting when I read this in a couple different magazines and newspapers a few years ago. I checked with the local Salvation Army people about this and they agreed that they get most of their money from the consertives and not from the liberals.
    I also noted that in the military when I had a liberal in my group they invariably complained when we gave the starving local people our food (even though we were to receive a new batch or we were to be back that night). It seemed to change the way most of the liberal people who got into not only me group, but others either requested to change groups or they changed their ideas. You should have heard the howl when we decided to give medical aid to the local people.

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  • 379. At 10:03am on 31 Jan 2010, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #343
    Tort reform is worth pursuing, but not as part of healthcare reform. It is as complex, and possibly even more divisive, than healthcare reform and mixing the two would simply guarantee the failure of both...which is why this "benign" request is being proposed.

    (Medical malpractice is insurance is so high because of ambulance chasing lawyers and the overwhelming majority of americans are for it. who is against is, the trial lawyers and the legislators they contribute to)

    Competition across state lines sounds great, but are you sure Republicans, the folks that usually advocate for smaller government, are in favor of a national system that may very well put the concept of federalism and the need to avoid infringing on state laws in jeopardy?

    (I can only give you the example in Mass, JMM would confirm this. We had restricted insures and this was mostly because of Democrats such as the corrupt and should bein jail Diane Wilkerson. As soon as competition came in my rates went down 25% last year and additional 10% this year)



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  • 380. At 10:12am on 31 Jan 2010, _marko wrote:

    To #341 AllenT2

    Sorry I've only got questions and don't really understand all the people that post here!

    If someone not from your family/town/city/state showed some interest in you I believe you wouldn't assume they were either"desperately interested" or wished "to contribute to the destruction" of your way of life.

    1) What is it about national boundaries that automatically enables you to make this clear distinction about people?

    2) Why do you think it is ok for America to influence foreign countries but not for foreign countries to influence America?

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  • 381. At 10:38am on 31 Jan 2010, AllenT2 wrote:

    _marko wrote:

    "If someone not from your family/town/city/state showed some interest in you I believe you wouldn't assume they were either"desperately interested" or wished "to contribute to the destruction" of your way of life."

    Huh? Come again?

    First off, you forgot country after "state." And if they were Americans why would I suspect them of being "desperately interested" in being an American? :)

    Are there some Americans that would like to see the destruction of America? Sure, but I'm also sure nowhere even near the numbers of non-Americans.

    Now do you follow?

    "1) What is it about national boundaries that automatically enables you to make this clear distinction about people?"

    Non-Americans that are obsessed over having a say in the domestic affairs on America, especially those that have absolutely nothing to do with them, are typically American wannabes or those that wish to see America as they know it destroyed.

    I respect the choices that free people in a free society make for themselves in how to run their own country, especially when it has absolutely nothing to do with me. Most of the people I refer to do not share that same kind of respect. That's a problem with many people from European countries.

    "2) Why do you think it is ok for America to influence foreign countries but not for foreign countries to influence America?"

    Sorry dude, but most Americans couldn't care less what free people in other democracies do in their own country so long as it doesn't affect them or hurt others.

    You don't know Americans very well. Remember, a common view out of many European countries is that we are insular. There is truth to that but not in the typically cynical way it is presented. :)

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  • 382. At 11:00am on 31 Jan 2010, AllenT2 wrote:

    David Cunard wrote:

    "I do - but remember, America is a popular destination for British and other European visitors, but MAII had never visited the UK, not even for a weekend, and yet he loathes Britain, Britons and their accents. His only experience is of France, and he loves the wine made their."

    I've done plenty of traveling throughout the UK and much of the anti-Americanism you experience on this site, and other British sites, I have experienced in my travels. It is especially the case for those Americans who happen to live there for extended periods of time. I can sympathize with some of MAII's feelings. Sorry.

    Sorry again, but there are also much more attractive accents out there. :)

    The fact that many Brits come to vacation here is meaningless to what I have said.

    "That advice would be better aimed at immigrants from south of the border."

    I aim that advice to any immigrant, and those that do not belong here in the first place!!

    "Perhaps you should live in one of the border states and then judge how they want to change America to suit them."

    I already do, or did that not occur to you that that could be the case? Are you, as a foreigner, now going to tell me how my country has not been negatively affected by the invasion from the south?

    "After all, in not too many years hence, they will be a majority. Already Spanish is a second language and commercial advertising only panders to this."

    You are confused because the part about the advertising is simply preaching to the choir.

    The rest of it though gives me the impression that such a thought pleases you. After all, I've met many anti-Americans from Europe that love the idea of America turning into another Mexico or Latin America just so it could be destroyed, as it would ultimately be in such a case.

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  • 383. At 11:01am on 31 Jan 2010, _marko wrote:

    To AllenT2 #381

    Thanks for your considered answers.

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  • 384. At 11:15am on 31 Jan 2010, Dale Johnson wrote:

    #322;
    I must presume that you consider every country/nation to abide by the same rules despite their histories or any other individual difference. You either do not study human nature or you do not care about human personal behaviour. I am sorry to think this of anyone. Each countries laws were enacted (Iam talking about their drafting laws) for the good of the people there and to protect these people. Now having said that I feel that there is one catagory that this does not pertain to. Communism is not usually decided on by the majority, but my a minority that decides it does not like the present government/Elected Government and does not have the ability to get the votes of the people to change it.
    The Intercontinental Federation of Nations is very close to that defenition. thesse people wish to surplant the individual Nations/ Countries Constitutions with their version of laws that usually destroy the peoples rights.
    This is not the first try from some special intrest group that wants to retain power indefinately despite the peoples wishes. You can look at Ingals and Marx "Communist Manifesto" or the United Nations demand for "member states" (I asked someone from the UN about what that meant and he gave me about the same response that Kerry and OBama have to the people.The states are the nations making up the United Nations.)to adopt the United Nations Charter which does not give the people any rights. this includes the ability to protect himself or his family.
    In many different religions they warn of the "One World Government" that this would create and now the Inter continental Federation of nations. Same game different name.

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  • 385. At 12:25pm on 31 Jan 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    341. At 00:51am on 31 Jan 2010, AllenT2 wrote:

    "I'm just curious to know why you and many other so-called Europeans are so obsessed over the domestic affairs of a country thousands of miles away? What exactly is your motivation?"

    Morbid fascination.

    342. At 01:02am on 31 Jan 2010, AllenT2 wrote:

    "Most Americans have no problem with immigration so long as it is legal and strictly regulated. . .
I also don't think most Americans wish to see huge numbers coming from just one place or culture because of how destabilizing that ultimately is, as the illegal invasion from Mexico has shown."

    Doesn't the phraseology rather prove my point?

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  • 386. At 12:33pm on 31 Jan 2010, McJakome wrote:

    376. At 08:00am on 31 Jan 2010, Dale Johnson wrote:
    Repeated and unchecked for facuality talking points. The most egregious error being, "Also the people have not voted on a Constitutional Amendment since the first ten." There have been a number of ammendments that the writer appears [in the interest of making propaganda points] not to know about.

    Not too long ago the "Equal Rights [for women] Amendment was not passed because not enough people in not enough states voted for it. I believe it failed because the post Civil War ammendments that granted equality to African Americans have long since been extended to women, reducing the need for another amendment.

    Please check your facts, because there are many intelligent and literate readers here who will. Even typing errors will be noted [I was caught inverting a 9 to a 6 not long ago].

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  • 387. At 12:43pm on 31 Jan 2010, McJakome wrote:

    369 [and above]. At 05:03am on 31 Jan 2010, KScurmudgeon
    RE: 258. At 10:54am on 30 Jan 2010, AndreaNY
    RE: 52. KScurmudgeon:
    “My reply was tongue in cheek, but you don't know me that well, and curmudgeons tend to be enigmas...
    The articulator of that rather narrow idea is Carl Schmitt, a German political theorist of a century ago.”

    So you are, at least in part, serving as, or making a gift of, the kind of mirror that Robert Burns would have approved of. A worthy task and well done.

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  • 388. At 12:51pm on 31 Jan 2010, american grizzly wrote:

    "It is not my fault you've never been a free man." wolfvorkian

    What a laugh as you goosestep with your party ideology as free thinking..Sorry I do think your the one living in Zimbabwe with your cronies. I prefer to stay mad as hell, because of twits like you that subscribe to this disease of party platform. Maybe someday you will find the stones to be a man. Just another drone. My experience are far more than you could imagine with your limited outlook. Glad to be here to oppose hacks like you that were kicked out of the lower 48 to hide in the woods like a rabbit.

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  • 389. At 1:28pm on 31 Jan 2010, RomeStu wrote:

    allenT2 wrote

    @341
    "I'm just curious to know why you and many other so-called Europeans are so obsessed over the domestic affairs of a country thousands of miles away? What exactly is your motivation?"

    Obsessed is too strong a word, but you will find that alot of Europeans are interested in the wider world ..... not just limited to the USA.

    From a British perspective, US politics does often reach outside US boundaries to affect us - whether it's the economy or a war, what happens n the USA can have big knock-on effects on us, and therefore it is of interest to us.

    The Iraq War is a big case in point, since Blair's decision to go in with Bush led directly to the 7/7 tube and bus bombings. We're quite interested that this sort of thing doesn't happen again.


    Allen continues....
    "I mean lets face it, it is bizarre to see readers in Europe discussing American domestic affairs and politics, and in the manner that they do, as if they were somehow Americans themselves."

    Hmmmm - Bizarre indeed .... but only in your insular little world. Are only Americans allowed to discuss America now? Well I hope you never comment again on Iraq, Afghnaistan, Israel or Europe, since by your own wierd logic it would be "bizarre".

    ________________________________________

    Allen @381
    "Non-Americans that are obsessed over having a say in the domestic affairs on America, especially those that have absolutely nothing to do with them, are typically American wannabes or those that wish to see America as they know it destroyed."


    Again, you see "obsessed" where we see just "interested". Strange that we can fall into only two categories - "wannabees" (hardly) or "antis-" (also no.)

    This constant mention of "anti-Ameicanism" on this blog is a farce. I'll grant that there is anti-Bush, anti-War or anti-GOP comment from many European posters (and also Americans), but I see no anti-Americanism. Or can't you tell the difference? Show me the anti-americanism in all its majestic glory (and I don't mean just quote the colonel....)

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  • 390. At 1:55pm on 31 Jan 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 389, RomeStu

    You are right, I spent a year in England, and a year in Ascension Island (UK) and never sensed any animosity towards me because of my nationality. If anything, the opposite was true. I realize things have changed since those wonderful experiences 50 years ago, but according to one of my nephews who just spent a year in London working for an American firm, the same seems to be the case now.

    A lot of people confuse rejection of certain political views with personal animosity, and do not understand why people with like customs, traditions, and interests tend to socialize among themselves.

    I think it is worth pointing out that we do the same. During my long stay in Spain and Venezuela Americans invited mostly fellow Americans to their parties, went out with fellow Americans; and in Venezuela we built chain link fences around our compounds. The few Venezuelans that were allowed to come in were high government or corporate officials (the elite) and gardeners, maids, and bartenders.

    Considering our privileged position in the world, our influence in global affairs, and our tendency to intervene physically in other countries whenever we deem necessary, the interest that people throughout the world have, particularly in US foreign policy, should not surprise anyone.

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  • 391. At 2:08pm on 31 Jan 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 379, Magic

    "(Medical malpractice is insurance is so high because of ambulance chasing lawyers and the overwhelming majority of americans are for it. who is against is, the trial lawyers and the legislators they contribute to)"

    Thank you for reminding me about the ambulance chasers. Indeed, lawyers - regardless of party affiliation - are always ready to provide their services to accident victims. I doubt too many of them are chasing ambulances when a senior citizen has a heart attack or stroke, and the folks that are unhappy with the results of a face or boob lift seldom ride to the hospital in an ambulance to voice their discontent.

    Again, tort reform is an important issue that deserves attention, but it is so complex and controversial, and its scope is so broad, that it simply doesn't make sense to piggyback it to another major reform. Unless, of course, the goal is to kill them both.

    "(I can only give you the example in Mass, JMM would confirm this. We had restricted insures and this was mostly because of Democrats such as the corrupt and should bein jail Diane Wilkerson. As soon as competition came in my rates went down 25% last year and additional 10% this year)"

    I don't have a clue who Diane Wilkerson is, besides, I prefer not to call people corrupt without being on legal solid ground.

    I am happy to hear that somebody's healthcare costs are going down, I just received notification from my former employer that my pension is going down as a result of higher insurance premiums.

    Where were all the conservatives when George W. Bush denied recipients of MEDICARE the right to shop around for medicine? I'll ask you again, are the Republicans in favor of a Federal government mandate that allow purchases across state lines even if it violates state laws?

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  • 392. At 3:24pm on 31 Jan 2010, MagicKirin wrote:

    , SaintDominick wrote:
    Ref 379, Magic

    "(Medical malpractice is insurance is so high because of ambulance chasing lawyers and the overwhelming majority of americans are for it. who is against is, the trial lawyers and the legislators they contribute to)"

    Thank you for reminding me about the ambulance chasers. Indeed, lawyers - regardless of party affiliation - are always ready to provide their services to accident victims. I doubt too many of them are chasing ambulances when a senior citizen has a heart attack or stroke, and the folks that are unhappy with the results of a face or boob lift seldom ride to the hospital in an ambulance to voice their discontent.

    Again, tort reform is an important issue that deserves attention, but it is so complex and controversial, and its scope is so broad, that it simply doesn't make sense to piggyback it to another major reform. Unless, of course, the goal is to kill them both.

    "(I can only give you the example in Mass, JMM would confirm this. We had restricted insures and this was mostly because of Democrats such as the corrupt and should bein jail Diane Wilkerson. As soon as competition came in my rates went down 25% last year and additional 10% this year)"

    I don't have a clue who Diane Wilkerson is, besides, I prefer not to call people corrupt without being on legal solid ground.

    (When you are caught on video tape stuffing bribe money in your bra, I feel I am comfortable calling her corrupt. she is also a tax cheat who has played the race card at the Charlie Rangel Al Sharpton level.)

    I am happy to hear that somebody's healthcare costs are going down, I just received notification from my former employer that my pension is going down as a result of higher insurance premiums.

    (I was not clear I was refering to auto insurance rates. Mass had the highest in the country due to competition restrictions. My healthcare insurance has not gone down)

    Where were all the conservatives when George W. Bush denied recipients of MEDICARE the right to shop around for medicine? I'll ask you again, are the Republicans in favor of a Federal government mandate that allow purchases across state lines even if it violates state laws?

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  • 393. At 3:35pm on 31 Jan 2010, McJakome wrote:

    388. At 12:51pm on 31 Jan 2010, AmericanGrizzly wrote:
    "'It is not my fault you've never been a free man.' wolfvorkian"

    One person's freedom is another's chains. Is a woman free to wear a veil, even if other see the veil as opression and chains? Are you free to swing your fist, even when the swing intersects my nose [homage to Will Rogers]? Are you free to hunt if your hunting leads you onto my land or puts me and my family in danger from stray projectiles? If so, am I free to take you down, if I can? Where does this "thinking" lead?

    Anarchy is not freedom for everyone, just for the strongest; the majority, if they survive, are slaves. The NRA notion that a gun in everyone's hand makes everyone equally free is wrong. The best shots and more heavily armed would rule and everyone else would be enslaved [if not killed]. If you doubt this, just take a look at the Mexican side of our border.

    Ideology divorced from common sense and clear thinking is destroying the very roots of our society. Read Hume and Locke on the subject, not simplistic Libertarian pipe dreams [and at least question what's in the pipe!].

    Some of the comments here seem to be of the "I'm strong, well armed, vigorous and able, so it won't be me losing my freedom" genre. So what happens when you get older, slower on the draw, less vigorous and less able to defend yourself? Or what happens when someone bigger, stronger, better armed, more vigorous and more able moves into your teritory?

    Society exists because of these considerations. Preditory types eventually get short shrift from their former prey. Sometimes outside help is needed, as in the case of Saddam Hussein. Sometimes the former prey do it themselves.

    Despite the fiction about the "Wild West" with loner heroes solving the issues themselves with fists and guns, the real history more often involved the people forming posses of vigilantes to take care of things. In nature, too, a herd of peaceful herbivores can intimidate, injure or even kill a stupid preditor.

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  • 394. At 3:51pm on 31 Jan 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 392, Magic

    "(I can only give you the example in Mass, JMM would confirm this. We had restricted insures and this was mostly because of Democrats such as the corrupt and should bein jail Diane Wilkerson. As soon as competition came in my rates went down 25% last year and additional 10% this year)"

    Competition generally results in more affordable pricing, and the insurance industry is not an exception to that rule. That is why so many Democrats were so upset when President Bush, with Republican congressional support, denied recipients of MEDICARE the opportunity to shop around for medication. I am sure the pharmaceutical sector was not too upset about that specific "reform" though...

    Again, I don't have a clue who Diane Wilkerson is, so I have no choice but to take your word for it. Moreover, I prefer to focus on the big fish whose decisions affect all of us.

    BTW, it is hard to follow your comments and determine which ones are your responses and which ones were made by someone else. Your answer to my question in the last paragraph in post 392 was not unprecedented or surprising.

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  • 395. At 4:02pm on 31 Jan 2010, frayedcat wrote:

    #306 and 378 Dear Mr Johnson, Thank you for this info as I was trying to decide whether to be a conservative liberal or a liberal conservative. There are only two types of people in the world: those who divide the world into two types of people and those who don't.

    Here is the irony of the push for 'tort reform' as an alternative to reform aimed at restraining the health insurance industry monopolies: tort law is common law - a law of states rights (small government). Federal tort law reform would violate the constitution. That is why the current Senate version of the reform bill only provides for states grants to encourage tort reform...under the commerce clause of the constitution this is as far as the fed gov can go (same as the abortion legislation issues...they can only address the issue through funding - scream about it as much as you like). So make your noise to your state legislature (like they did in MA) if you really mean it, and aren't just making noise. Many states are already implementing tort reform measures.

    Here is another irony - why would you consider the costs incurred by a medical malpractice insurance policy/company to be an offset to the costs incurred by an individual's health care costs insurance policy/company. Is it the same insurance company? Are they insuring both sides of the deal...again? Does the same insurance conglomerate also own a good piece of the pharmaceutical companies, finance the hospital, and sell burial plots? The FACT that tort reform is considered an alternative remedy is PROOF of either the problem, or retardation on the part of those proposing this remedy. We have laws against anti-trust monoplies and price fixing - its time to apply them to the health care industry.

    And I mean ... did you really mean to say 'liberals' tend to donate to wealthy art or educational charities, while conservatives tend to donate to the Salvation Army and Goodwill ... ? What a crock. That's like me saying conservatives tend to boast about their charitable donations, while liberals just donate and move on.

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  • 396. At 4:25pm on 31 Jan 2010, John Galt wrote:

    “There were solid economic measures in this speech…………the words were striking.”

    This opening by your BBC correspondent is baffling for its naivety, if not sheer partisanship. When realism in American politics is needed, is better to turn to the experienced Bloggers that have
    no master to serve.

    One of these says: “Obama’s State of the Union Message: The People, Chumps once…..Chumps Again”.
    A short caption proceeds with….”President Obama has offered to the American People to try harder in exactly all the initiatives where he has already failed, and which the American people have already rejected or saw failure:…….”

    Read on to see the list and the facts……….you too Mr. BBC-In-Washington, all at…….
    http://www.robbingamerica.blogspot.com

    The WSJ has a tack very similar. Are they reading it?

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  • 397. At 4:29pm on 31 Jan 2010, AndreaNY wrote:

    391. SaintDominick:

    "Where were all the conservatives when George W. Bush denied recipients of MEDICARE the right to shop around for medicine? I'll ask you again, are the Republicans in favor of a Federal government mandate that allow purchases across state lines even if it violates state laws? "

    ****************
    Were our entire health care system up for redesign, I suspect this issue would have been raised.

    And one could ask similar questions of the liberals, like "Where are all the war protesters now?".

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  • 398. At 4:31pm on 31 Jan 2010, wolfvorkian wrote:

    The Griz said:

    My experience are far more than you could imagine with your limited outlook

    Besides running your mouth on a keyboard - what? You seem to have lived a very vanilla existence thus far and are suffocated with paranoia. Illiterate rice farmers in the Philippines are 'freer' than you.

    What are you so afraid of?

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  • 399. At 4:59pm on 31 Jan 2010, Martin wrote:

    After 8 years working in the US, I have come to the conclusion that Americans love to talk politics. It is another national sport. There are two teams and there has to be a winner, just like in football. This attitude of non-cooperation towards politics produces what America has right now. A very big mess. I don't see this changing. The hole has been dug and despite all the rhetoric that Americans love to produce about being number 1, they are losing the game in world politics, which has many teams and for which they seem very ill equipped to participate in.

    Is it now possible for the US to go bankrupt? Oh yes it is.......

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  • 400. At 5:01pm on 31 Jan 2010, frayedcat wrote:

    #396 jg1000 I am sorry but I don't find links to a string of witless posts persuasive, and the WSJ lost its credibility - its now the National Enquirer of Wall Street. Review part 7 clip of Obama addressing the Republican caucus. He makes sense, they make less sense...We must start using our brains and stop this rabid name-calling BS to solve the problems.

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  • 401. At 5:02pm on 31 Jan 2010, wolfvorkian wrote:

    JMM said:

    One person's freedom is another's chains.

    If you got a point to make other than 'freedom' is an undefinable concept, I'm missing it.

    I must admit, I do get a bit peeved when I hear dimwitted Americans claim they've got a corner on this state of being... what it may be.

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  • 402. At 5:06pm on 31 Jan 2010, chronophobe wrote:

    re: 316 mon colonel:

    Thank you for the Gibran. But I'd say that his description fits most societies of most civilizations most of the time.

    We do what we can in this imperfect world.

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  • 403. At 5:12pm on 31 Jan 2010, frayedcat wrote:

    401 - Ah the freedom thing - devo said it best

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

    Heres part 7 of the Obama address to GOP caucus link

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s08DNwB0uiU

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  • 404. At 5:27pm on 31 Jan 2010, U14309841 wrote:

    wolfk thanks for providing the congressional budget report from the Bush era. that still shows tort reform to be a red herring.


    people are incredibly dense on that topic. so willing to let the lie get feet. even those with good intent.
    (obviously not Adnny)


    342"

    Allenma"You also don't know as much about America as you think you do if you think America is not welcoming to immigrants from around the world, of any color"

    Bull I say that from experience. if an immigrant says boo to the american dream they are told as we have had proof of from MA to get out.

    As an american that doesn't sound american I have been refused jobs because the employer did not realise that my American passport was proof of citizenship.

    You are full of it. as is MA when he says he has never posted as another.


    which is interesting in it's own right. because he has had a whole bunch of posts removed has suggested a specific terrorist plot against the people of Gaza. has suggested the nuking of many nations. has displayed bigotry against every section of society not white jewish and american except the gay people (well done small favoutrs). yet he has not reached the majic number to get removed. unlike the Jack he obsesses on.

    who's crime was to suggest that MA lied. and that he was the same poster at TT.
    and now AT2.

    What does on have to do to acquire such immunity?

    is there a vaccination against the mods. how much does it cost?

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  • 405. At 5:33pm on 31 Jan 2010, AndreaNY wrote:

    404. personanongrata:

    wolfk thanks for providing the congressional budget report from the Bush era. that still shows tort reform to be a red herring.


    people are incredibly dense on that topic. so willing to let the lie get feet. even those with good intent.
    (obviously not Adnny)

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

    Still fighting those demons?

    Did you want to dispel the big "lie" that the threat of lawsuits encourages the practice of defensive medicine?

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  • 406. At 5:37pm on 31 Jan 2010, frayedcat wrote:

    #405 - defensive medicine issue valid, take it to your state legislature, but it is apples to oranges on health insurance reform unless we nationalize health care, which would provide immunity - a brilliant idea.

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  • 407. At 5:45pm on 31 Jan 2010, AndreaNY wrote:

    406. frayedcat:

    #405 - defensive medicine issue valid, take it to your state legislature, but it is apples to oranges on health insurance reform unless we nationalize health care, which would provide immunity - a brilliant idea.

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

    I think we can deal with the issue without nationalizing health care.

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  • 408. At 5:45pm on 31 Jan 2010, U14309841 wrote:

    345

    "
    You find it so hard to believe that others may think alike, and against how you feel they should think, that you have to resort to accusing someone of making multiple posts under different names in the hope that those other posters, including me, will also disappear? "

    Are you crazy. Have you seen how many have tried to accuse me of being JAck. maybe it is true. but the evidence?
    is the same evidence I present here on you and MA.
    so get filled with some spongy substance.;)


    340
    grizz
    so who did you vote for last election. Mc palin.?
    you guys are too sacred to say you are republicans. americans do not like to talk politics well they don't like to admit theirs.
    Power kat said as much. leave my religion and politics out of it.
    pretty much says. forget who I am my front is more important. then thats true in such a shallow nation.



    341 allemma

    "I didn't ask if you would be welcomed as I could have told you the answer to that."

    you already said we would be welcomed with open arms.


    342 squirrelist is not the one claiming knowledge of america. that is you. I would suggest I know a little more. by the looks of it. and I would also say that MA who said Obama had no hope was wrong.


    I would suggest that you have no knowledge of the states and he has NONE of the UK. not a bit that was not gleaned from the bucket show.
    or PBS re runs.

    so when you see his blabber as insightful I think fool. and when he sees your points as valid I think "what a match made in heaven"

    But carry on not trying to link me to Jacksforge.
    just use your other skin.

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  • 409. At 5:47pm on 31 Jan 2010, frayedcat wrote:

    #407 - yes, at the state level.

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  • 410. At 5:48pm on 31 Jan 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 397, Andrea

    "Where are all the war protesters now?"

    One of them is right here. I think President Obama made a horrible mistake when he embraced Bush's withdrawal schedule from Iraq, and he made a huge mistake escalating the war in Afghanistan.

    On the issue of tort reform, I believe law suits contribute to the practice of defensive medicine, but I don't think it is the main reason, or even a significant factor, in the high insurance premiums, high hospital and doctor costs, or the high cost of medicine.

    I agree that tort reform is very important and should be addressed, but since it involves more than just medical issues, and because of its complexity, I believe it should be addressed in different legislation.

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  • 411. At 5:50pm on 31 Jan 2010, U14309841 wrote:

    405 the CBR says it did you read it.
    It is not my claim it is the claim of the republican led congressional budget report.

    I have never said that americans do not practice defensive medicine. I just disagree with the reasons why they do.
    you however were very very firm that tort reform should be allowed to hold up any health care bill because it was so important an issue.
    you have flipped on that in t5he face of the evidence.

    If you want doctors to stop over testing then do something abut over testing. Not providing recompense to victims of medical mal practice.


    Your honesty is really no better now than when you began attacking people that mention this.


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  • 412. At 5:50pm on 31 Jan 2010, U14309841 wrote:

    410 did you read the report that wolf posted?

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  • 413. At 5:52pm on 31 Jan 2010, U14309841 wrote:

    407 No one but past posters that were one have ever said that nationalising the hospitals was a viable option. Oh how when you guys are called out you buckle. can't hold the lie for any longer.
    sad sad sad people. you are

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  • 414. At 5:53pm on 31 Jan 2010, U14309841 wrote:

    405 " Still fighting those demons? "
    Not me

    still spouting the same old lies?

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  • 415. At 6:05pm on 31 Jan 2010, U14309841 wrote:



    How much defensive medicine is practised on those without insurance to pay for it?

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  • 416. At 6:52pm on 31 Jan 2010, John_From_Dublin wrote:

    # 396 JG1000 wrote:

    "This opening by your BBC correspondent is baffling for its naivety, if not sheer partisanship. When realism in American politics is needed, is better to turn to the experienced Bloggers that have no master to serve."

    "Read on to see the list and the facts……….you too Mr. BBC-In-Washington, all at…….http://www.robbingamerica.blogspot.com"

    Frayedcat probably said it all at #400 when he said 'I am sorry but I don't find links to a string of witless posts persuasive'.

    However, for the benefit of anyone who didn't bother trying the link - and a quick check shows that this is the SEVENTH posting in a row where JG1000 has referred us all to it - here are some of the gems you will find:

    "Sarah Palin & Conservative Election Stuff"

    "PALIN, CONSERVATIVE MERCHANDISE: LARGEST SARAH PALIN CATALOG" [Their capitals, not mine.]

    'Palin & Beck; Tea Party patriots'

    [And that's just from a quick glance - I didn't waste my time trawling through all the relentless right wing verbiage.]

    The stuff in the Palin catalogue is classic - the very first item is 'Women's Sexy Sarah Palin Costume (Medium)'. You couldn't make this stuff up.

    And best of all - this guy is whinging and whining because of M Mardell's "sheer partisanship".

    No doubt he'd be happier if the BBC was owned by Murdoch, and 'fair and balanced' like Fox.

    [In case anyone missed it, Murdoch's son in law recently told the New York Times he was “ashamed and sickened by Roger Ailes’s horrendous and sustained disregard of the journalistic standards that News Corporation, its founder and every other global media business aspires to”. - Link to the FT here - http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/da191142-fe25-11de-9340-00144feab49a.html]

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  • 417. At 6:58pm on 31 Jan 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 415, personanongrata

    "How much defensive medicine is practised on those without insurance to pay for it?"

    Excellent question. The answer is, obviously, none. Those without healthcare insurance are treated at emergency rooms when they are in an accident or have a life-threatening condition, but they do not qualify for preventive medical care if they are unable to pay for it.

    After all, some may be illegals, and those that were born in the USA don't have insurance because they don't want it...didn't you know that?

    Please excuse the sarcasm, but this is an issue that is very close to my heart. My youngest son lost his job almost a year ago and was without medical insurance for a couple of months (the COBRA payments were almost as high as his unemployment benefits). He has a severely handicapped son. Luckily they did not have any medical setbacks while he was unemployed, he found a new job, but not surprisingly my grandson does not qualify for cerebral palsy coverage because it is a pre-existing condition.

    My granddaughter married a car salesman last year. Because of the economic downturn he is barely making ends meet, and her employer, a retailer, cut her work scheduled down to 15 hours after the Holiday season. Neither has healthcare insurance, not because they don't want it, but because their employers don't offer it to part timers. Both have serious medical problems and take expensive medication, which my daughter is paying for.

    This is the kind of scenario that many American families confront every day. Sadly, demagoguery, greed, intgolerance, lack of compassion and supine ignorance now dominate this debate and, at this point, it is more about saving face than passing anything substantial.

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  • 418. At 7:02pm on 31 Jan 2010, David Cunard wrote:

    #382. AllenT2: "I've done plenty of traveling throughout the UK and much of the anti-Americanism you experience on this site, and other British sites, I have experienced in my travels."

    I wasn't discussing your opinions of Britain or Continental Europe, but those of MAII, who loathes both based on less than two years of living in France. Like LucyIllinois and her dislike of gays (knowing only one), it is a quite irrational attitude since it is not based on personal experience. However, I wonder what negative experiences you had and how they came about?

    "Are you, as a foreigner, now going to tell me how my country has not been negatively affected by the invasion from the south?"

    Where on earth did you get that Idea? It has been adversely affected, one reason I moved from where I once lived. There was once a trend known as "white flight", a move from urban black areas to the suburbs further away; that is happening again since the culture, manners and way of life (not to mention driving habits) is alien to those who have lived there a lifetime. As for being a foreigner, I'll wager that I have been an American taxpayer longer than you've taken breath.

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  • 419. At 7:14pm on 31 Jan 2010, RJWTimes wrote:

    Barack Obama was getting on with the job last year and is so this year. But to carry out the change needed will take time and I watched the State of the Union on C-Span feed on BBC Parliament and was amazed how still after a year or so Obama is reaching out to John Boehner and his Republican colleagues and yet the GOP still refuses to hear the cases of those without health insurance. And I am saying this as a follower of Obama. It just goes to show how diplomatic Obama is and how insecure the GOP is.

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  • 420. At 7:33pm on 31 Jan 2010, RJWTimes wrote:

    Please remove comment 419 (my comment) Have OCD. Please remove this one as well.

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  • 421. At 7:36pm on 31 Jan 2010, U14309841 wrote:

    Uboat 14245528

    My sympathies. with your condition.
    I see that reading your posts you have the fatal problem of not being a right wing crazy. hence the change of your name.
    Sorry to see it.
    (or was it a bit risqué )

    I would agree with your post they will not listen to the evidence. "our " nin above is a classic example. she changes her opinion just enough to carry on arguing, but not enough to change.
    do we all have the time to wait for their pathetic pedantic arguments?

    today maybe but then today someone is dying because the GOP said NO.

    I would say that given the early U boating after only a few posts you must be on the right track.

    you will note that long time agitators are only allowed if they are dishonest and right wing. (it helps to be wrong a lot) then you can keep your name.


    St D I am sorry for your families situation. As you know I can say nothing more that will do any good.
    because the right have their heads so in the sand pit of their aces that they can hear nothing but the echoes of their last supper.

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  • 422. At 7:40pm on 31 Jan 2010, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    363. At 04:02am on 31 Jan 2010, AmericanGrizzly wrote:

    "In February 1937, Roosevelt proposed a plan to "reorganize" the Judicial Branch, but the crux of his proposal was that the President would be empowered to appoint an additional six Justices to the Court and thereby enlarge the Court’s membership up to a total of 15. Roosevelt's true aim, of course, was to "pack" the Court all at once to produce a majority sympathetic to the New Deal. Despite his huge majorities in both Houses of Congress, however, the bar, the press, and eventually public opinion began to rally against the proposal, and it was defeated."source 2004 YEAR-END REPORT ON THE FEDERAL JUDICIARY
    _________

    Ok.
    But how does that contradict what I wrote? Doesn't that substantiate my earlier posting? Roosevelt wasn't satisfied with merely disagreeing with the court, as President Obama has done, he was intent on taking action. So how is President Obama in the same ballpark?

    Whatever the case, maybe it's time for another 70 cL Gold Fassl, and some Bauerwurst mit Zwiebelsosse, or maybe some steaming hot Gulaschesuppe.

    Oh, to be in the Tyrol on a sunny Winter's day.

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  • 423. At 7:47pm on 31 Jan 2010, U14309841 wrote:

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

  • 424. At 7:47pm on 31 Jan 2010, Martin wrote:

    417. At 6:58pm on 31 Jan 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    I feel for you StDom but so many Americans simply do not hear you or even want know about your families health care issues. The US is a country at war with itself. In war there are many casualties. To some, being ill and needing help for which you cannot pay is, simply, your own fault.......

    I do not subscribe to this view but it is what I see and hear....

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  • 425. At 7:59pm on 31 Jan 2010, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    393. At 3:35pm on 31 Jan 2010, JMM wrote:

    "The NRA notion that a gun in everyone's hand makes everyone equally free is wrong."
    ________

    Well, in a purely definitional sense, it pretty much would make everyone "equally free": None of us would really have any freedom worth having.

    Even (or perhaps especially) the most heavily armed would live in constant fear. Ultimately, those less armed would seek the protection of the most heavily armed local warlord.

    It is precisely what took place in Europe, a long time ago.
    It still exists in various places in the world, even today.

    In Europe it was called feudalism.

    Everybody owes homage to somebody higher up, and the guy at the top was constantly in fear of being deposed: "Uneasy lies the head that wears the Crown", and all that.

    It only took Europe a thousand years to climb out of that kind of violence-based social structure.

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  • 426. At 8:15pm on 31 Jan 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    418. At 7:02pm on 31 Jan 2010, David Cunard wrote:

    #382. AllenT2: "I've done plenty of traveling throughout the UK and much of the anti-Americanism you experience on this site, and other British sites, I have experienced in my travels."

    "I wonder what negative experiences you had and how they came about?"

    Must admit I'm quite curious too. Haven't see any of my neighbours burning the sars and stripes or effigies of Uncle Sam for a while. Or even anybody being very rude to Yanks at bus stops or tube stations and things. (Mind you, there don't seem to be as many about these days.)

    I wasn't even rude to the American couple who rented a friend's house when they phoned me up at nearly one am asking me to do something about the fact their kitchen floor was a centimetre deep in water. And then offered half a roll of kitchen paper to mop it up with . . .(And it would have helped if they'd opened the cupboard under the sink and observed that the waste pipe from the dishwasher had worked loose instead of just watching the water rise . . .)

    Nor did I much appreciate being hauled away from a nice book having been told one of the electrical circuits in the house had failed, when after half an hour of checking circuits and fuses I bethought myself to change two light bulbs . . .Husband was a banker. Cue for joke: How many American bankers does it take to change a lightbulb? A: None. They phone somebody up last thing at night and get them to do it for them.

    I was much amused by an electrician in Brussels who told me, when working on a friend's flat there installing new smoke alarms in the apartment block, he'd been called out late one Sunday the week before for the same reason; only he sent them a bill for 200 Euros. To his amazement--Belgians enjoy talking the p*** out of people sometimes just like the Brits--they paid . .

    There you are you see. We do hate Americans. Really, really.



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  • 427. At 8:30pm on 31 Jan 2010, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    410. At 5:48pm on 31 Jan 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    "One of them is right here. I think President Obama made a horrible mistake when he embraced Bush's withdrawal schedule from Iraq, and he made a huge mistake escalating the war in Afghanistan."
    ________

    St. D: As I understand it, he committed to getting the bulk of the forces out of Iraq within about 18 months. Realistically speaking, given the number of troops deployed, 18 months is a pretty short time to pack up and go in an orderly fashion. From a perspective of rational logistics, could he really be doing it much quicker? How much would it have cost to make it 12 months as opposed to 18 months? Would it really be worth it?

    On Afghanistan, I'm not sure that he is escalating it. It appears that way on the surface because of the mini-surge in troop numbers. But underneath the message was "here are some troops to stabilise a deterioriating situation in the short term; this will let us make our own decision in our own time.

    The message for President Karzai (and, in a slightly different way for the government of Pakistan) was that he has (and they have) perhaps 18 to 24 months to do the job. In reality, that means 6 - 12 months, tops, because, given the logistical realities of deploying or bringing home large numbers of troops, by the end of that time a decision has to be made whether to stay or go before the end of the 18 to 24 months. And so far since the election the Karzai government has failed to meet any benchmarks.

    So it isn't surprising that this week we hear all about proposed negotiations with the Taliban to wind it up. Just why the Taliban should necessarily feel any urgency to talk under the circumstances isn't entirely clear - the Taliban aren't, for example, under any pressure to make a good showing in the mid-term elections. (This is a point made in the opening chapter of Clausewitz. For certain, he wasn't the first one to understand it. Caesar understood it. Odysseus undoubtedly understood it. Some things don't change.)
    -------

    On the issue of tort reform, I'm not sure what the big problem is.

    The US needs to get a better grip on treble, punitive or exemplary damages, and it needs to adopt the standard English rule on costs, i.e., that costs follow the event. The Supreme Court of Canada went one further. In 1978 the court limited the maximum possible award for pain and suffering to C$ 100,000 (in constant 1978 dollars), over and above compensation for the cost of long term care and loss of income.

    England, Canada, Australia, NZ, - tort reform just isn't a big issue. In personal injury suits it really isn't much of an issue, because health care is provided by the state on a single payer basis. For those countries, this problem has either never existed, or it has largely gone away as a result of public health insurance and mandatory automobile insurance and the uninsured motorist fund.

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  • 428. At 8:49pm on 31 Jan 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    On Afghanistan, I'm not sure that he is escalating it. It appears that way on the surface because of the mini-surge in troop numbers. But underneath the message was "here are some troops to stabilise a deterioriating situation in the short term; this will let us make our own decision in our own time.

    The message for President Karzai (and, in a slightly different way for the government of Pakistan) was that he has (and they have) perhaps 18 to 24 months to do the job. In reality, that means 6 - 12 months, tops, because, given the logistical realities of deploying or bringing home large numbers of troops, by the end of that time a decision has to be made whether to stay or go before the end of the 18 to 24 months. And so far since the election the Karzai government has failed to meet any benchmarks.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Bombing, then occupation, then holding elections in afghanistan to avoid being called invaders and all the legality the invaders have to go through to legalise the invasion, then surge to withdrawl which actually suits the american elections deadline, has all been done according to the interests of the americans and by the americans..Otherwise if someone shakes obama by his shoulders so that he sees the reality, his brave men die in afghanistan not as a result of direct combat but a due to IEDs, less soldiers mean less targets for taliban, why give taliban more targets by this surge,unless the surge just live most of its times inside the recreational tourist look resort called the base..Secondly change has not come to usa with obama, but change has come to afghanistan, now there are 30 shadow governers governing in afghanistan, compared to to or three in 2005..The so called army and police is full of non pashtuns..militiamen who give money to among other brother of karzai so that they be hired in the police or army...The war in afghanistan started with a lie, invasion maintained and continued on lies, and withdrawl will be based on lies..

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  • 429. At 8:55pm on 31 Jan 2010, U14309841 wrote:

    IF on the tort reform.
    could it be said that if there were huge awards given they may be worth looking at on an individual basis rather than our lumping.
    what is say one doctor had a record of mistakes and still got away with it. (every system has them)
    could the doctors family still live in the life they have become accustomed to. or could the victim get some compensation. I would hate to think that compensation be based on Loss of earnings.
    that allows a rich person earning millions to get a far higher payment for the same issue as a poor guy trying to make it.

    I am curious to see evidence of the awards not being appropriate.
    I have heard of strange cases that get awards like the burglar who tripped over a coffee table and got awarded money but the medical cases have not been publicised.
    lets look at the pay outs for a certain anti depressant pill that was all the rage.
    linked to "postal worker" shootings, they were settled out of court rather than let the courts hear the truth.
    years latter the same anti depressant was found to be increasing the chances of some actually taking their lives rather than feeling depressed.
    There are many reforms out there to be made and tort is about the last I would worry about....until those so into tort reform can bring some evidence to the table.
    The costs go up n settlement when the cost of care is so haphazard.
    and non transferable.
    can you imagine going to an insurance company saying" I have serious illnesses caused and have received a pay out against the doc for malpractise.
    How much will it cost. I have these pre-existing conditions,. there is no treatment today but tomorrow there will be. so we will guess at the cost of a treatment that does not exist yet.

    .so confusing . how can costs of non existing be taken into account. surely the victim should be allowed the stem cell eye to replace the one taken out(if it were possible yet) by mistake.

    so the awards go up . costs go up so the award has to take that into account.


    A limit when there is no cost for treatment to the victim is one thing. I know we both agree that there should be nationalised single payer or some sort of health care for all.
    I think mal practice awards are exaggerated to fulfill the adreinny's views.
    bit like a certain dossier was cooked.




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  • 430. At 9:06pm on 31 Jan 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    When one american got his orders for afghanistan, his mother told him, "son remember, kill a talib and rest, then kill a talib and rest, kill a talib and rest" the soldiers replied " but what if the talib kills me first?" And the mother's answered in shock and said, " what? why would he kill you?". I have changed the characters in this joke, the original joke has two other characters, the soldier is from the group living occupiars but behaving as victims, and the other character is from the country trying to get into European union.

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  • 431. At 9:06pm on 31 Jan 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    420. At 7:33pm on 31 Jan 2010, U14245528 wrote:

    "Please remove comment 419 (my comment) Have OCD."

    Why? Er, what's 'OCD'? "Only Confidence in Democrats"?

    Anyway, I see that almost within hours, one of Obama's 'solid economic measures' i.e. to utilise 30 billion of repaid TARP money to help small businesses was rejected outright by the Republicans. Why? Isn't this just the sort of thing they always say they want to support?

    It seems that any proposal, even if it's a Republican fundamental, will be rejected almost instantly if Obama suggests it. This isn't the play of politics, it's wilful destruction.

    And the Pentagon is apparently drawing up a plan to give up 'Don't ask, don't tell' which they say may take years to implement. Again, why? Because they assume that maybe the Republicans will make being gay in the US armed forces illegal next year? I thought that was an order from the Commander in Chief that they're all supposed to respect?

    I remember an American officer telling me once he couldn't criticise Dubbya, and objected to anyone else doing so--I was the only civilian among an international group of fairly senior officers who had been pretty free about the way Iraq went sour with just that one exception--because "he's my commander in chief." Well, yes, in title, I agreed; so I asked, well what about Dubbya as an elected president, then? And got the same answer. But I wonder now the president is a Democrat if I'd get the same response.

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  • 432. At 9:09pm on 31 Jan 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    Those who want to pay for their health can do so, those who cannot should go to government run hospitals. There I have solved the whole issue.

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  • 433. At 9:16pm on 31 Jan 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    Why? Er, what's 'OCD'?
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    O= obessive
    C=compulsive
    D= disorder.

    When someone says "have OCD", commonsense says, he is saying, " I have obessive compulsive disorder.

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  • 434. At 9:37pm on 31 Jan 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    433

    O= obessive
    C=compulsive
    D= disorder.

    Takes one to know one, as they say. . .

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  • 435. At 9:43pm on 31 Jan 2010, Orville Eastland wrote:

    It should be noted that there is a lot of criticism of Obama from the left as well as the right. Further, the libertarians are upset with him as well.

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  • 436. At 10:02pm on 31 Jan 2010, U14317251 wrote:

    When the whole world let you down
    And there's nowhere for you to turn,
    'Cause all of your best friends, a-they have let you down, down-own-own.
    Then you try to accumulate,
    But the whole world is full of hate,
    So all of your best thoughts just drift into space.

    Bado, scoobado, scoobado-bado-bado. Oh, wo-yo-yo-y!

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  • 437. At 10:05pm on 31 Jan 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    O= obessive
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------
    As in obsessive.

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  • 438. At 10:38pm on 31 Jan 2010, american grizzly wrote:

    I just felt it was disrespectful in the forum it was presented. Like a jeering mob of Democrats just shy of the pitchforks and ropes. FDR did it differently. The difference of opinion is one thing, I felt it to be inappropriate thats all, as did many with regards to the Judges being singled out, basically surrounded. It seem to be coercing like to tell them to vote as I say, or be taken out an shot.
    I mean Obama did a flip-flop with drilling for oil, and nuke plants, Palin suggested that during the campaign. I don't feel like Republicans can do much, the Democratic party has all the power. Put the radical progressives as they call themselves in the Democrats are against traditionalist Democrats. The voters will punish the Democrats that betray traditional values of the people to sellout to the Progressive radicals, that is why those leaning center won't vote with the radicals.

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  • 439. At 10:48pm on 31 Jan 2010, wolfvorkian wrote:

    Both have serious medical problems and take expensive medication, which my daughter is paying for.

    Dominick - on the outside chance you may not know about this outfit in India, you might check them out for the drugs your family needs.

    I buy most of what I used via them and I can get it cheaper than paying the co-pays my insurance provides. Including freight, I estimate I pay somewhere around 10% of the 'walgreen' retail price.

    I've had no problem with the quality or the service. Never had a package held up at customs...knock on wood...and they have a surprisingly large selection of knock offs besides the normal generic medication.You don't need a prescription either.

    [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]


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  • 440. At 11:07pm on 31 Jan 2010, CuriousAmerican wrote:

    "I am not a Crook" - Richard Nixon

    "I am not an ideologue" - Barack Obama

    Ideologue - Smug and self satisfied in their certitudes....

    Hate to break it to you there professor...but you fit the description all too well...

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  • 441. At 11:16pm on 31 Jan 2010, CuriousAmerican wrote:

    The only good to come of this epic failure of a president and congressional leadership is that we can finally cast off liberals and their self-destructive theories of govt and human inter-actions.

    Govt. will always mess things up more than they help
    Govt. will always spend too much on things that don't need to be done
    Govt. will always take too much power away from the people.

    Its time for the american and british people to take power back from the bloated and power mad liberals......

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  • 442. At 11:25pm on 31 Jan 2010, modernJan wrote:

    How hard can it be for people to grasp that America's healthcare is more expensive and yet much harder to obtain than in any other developed country? How hard can it be to grasp that, maybe, just maybe, unemployment would have been far worse without the stimulus package? How hard can it be to grasp that if things went the Republican way unemployment would certainly be worse as they would have done absolutely nothing to save jobs? How hard can it be to grasp that the "don't ask, don't tell" policy is hopelessly outdated, since pretty much all of NATO and even the deeply religious Israel have gays serving openly in the military? How hard can it be to grasp that the biggest recession since the 1930's cannot be solved within one year and that the fact that it's been halted by now is already a major achievement of an economically sound government?

    Bottom line: how stupid must people be to think everything will be better if they vote Republican?

    I've followed Obama extensively during the year and I must say he and his administration are doing very good (they could do even better if it wasn't for the Republicans trying to block his every move and then saying Obama is a failure because he didn't get to make his move). Although John McCain was a step up from previous Republican Presidential candidates, he endangered the country by making Sarah Palin his running mate (she would have been the absolute worst President in American history) and all I've seen from the Republicans this year was unfounded criticism of Obama, they never came up with any solutions themselves (other than leaving things the way they are) and even voted against measures that they would normally like, but couldn't vote for because Obama proposed it before they did (Reductio ad Obamum).

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  • 443. At 11:32pm on 31 Jan 2010, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    429. At 8:55pm on 31 Jan 2010, personanongrata wrote:

    IF on the tort reform.
    could it be said that if there were huge awards given they may be worth looking at on an individual basis rather than our lumping.
    what is say one doctor had a record of mistakes and still got away with it. (every system has them)
    could the doctors family still live in the life they have become accustomed to. or could the victim get some compensation. I would hate to think that compensation be based on Loss of earnings.
    that allows a rich person earning millions to get a far higher payment for the same issue as a poor guy trying to make it.
    __________

    Well, common law Torts aren't my area of specialization, but I seem to recall that certain basic principles apply.

    First, the object of Tort law is to make the victim of a civil wrong "whole", i.e., to restore him or her to the position he or she would have been in if the injury had not taken place.

    Second, it is often not possible to "make the victim whole", because some injuries, whether to the body or to reputation, are irreversible. So, most commonly, the phrase becomes "to make the victim whole, so far as is possible in money damages".

    Clearly no amount of money can compensate for lifetime paralysis, brain damage, or death. So what do we do? Well, we do the best we can, and try to pick a number that is fair. The volume of caselaw and scholarly articles on the subject of assessment of damages in Tort, and, in particular, in personal injury cases, is enormous. You can fill good sized libraries with nothing but cases on Tort damages. Doesn't make the problem any easier.

    Third, it is an axiom of Tort law that a Tortfeasor takes his (or her) victim as he (or she) finds them.

    Suppose I am a lawyer, and a lose a hand in an accident. There is nothing in particular about practicing law that requires a lawyer to have two hands. (Some people would say that is actually a public benefit, because lawyers too often say "On the other hand..." By contrast, Judges, of course must always be even handed.) In any case, the loss of an hand may not particularly affect the lawyer's ability to make a living, so the measure of compensation may be relatively modest. It will, of course, cover medical care, prostheses, physio therapy, counselling, etc., as well as loss of income and some measure of pain and suffering.

    On the other hand, (I know, a weak joke), suppose a concert pianist has exactly the same accident. Well, in that case the loss is going to be pretty severe, because in addition to losing his or her hand, the pianist has also probably lost his or her livelihood.

    So, for the same accident, the measure of damages will be far, far different greater. And that is as it should be, because the loss is different: the Tortfeasor has to take his victim as he finds her.

    Now add another complication.

    Since most of us cannot afford to compensate others for personal catastrophic injury, however caused, most of us carry personal injury liability insurance, most frequently in connection with operation of motor vehicles.

    The insurance companies writing those policies face many problems in setting rates. (Here I am going to be defending the practices of an industry that I often find abhorrent, but that kind of reversal has happened here before, too). The entire insurance industry is based on very very sophisticated statistical studies in actuarial science. It is all about the assessment and pricing of risk.

    The first problem is to get policy holders to tell the truth about their circumstances (i.e., the adverse selection problem) so that the relative risk can be assessed, and similar risks pooled together.

    Keep in mind that if a prospective policy holder has special needs - like the pianist in our foregoing example - the onus is going to be on him or her to reveal those special needs to the prospective insurer, and he or she is going to take out extra coverage at greater premiums to reflect the particular severity of the potential loss that he or she would suffer as compared to the general population.

    But of course, if I am seeking public liability insurance against the possibility of injury due to my own negligence against third parties, then it is pure chance whether I rear-end a Ford escort or a Ferrari, and whether the driver is a part time librarian, or Martin Brodeur or David Owen or LaDamian Tomlinson. Ouch.

    The second problem arises when the amounts required to compensate for this injury or that injury become unpredictable. And that is what large Tort damages awards are about. Suppose that insurance rates for the possibility of X happening are based on historical measures of compensation for that injury of $ 100.

    Now suppose that a court (lets say by a jury trial) decides to "send a message to Houston". And now a damages award is made that is 10 or 20 or 50 times as large as the average historic damages awards for that kind of injury. As an insurer, what do you do?

    Do you now charge everybody 10, or 20, or 50 times as much for their premiums?
    Do you try to figure out if this is a one-time event, or to assess what the probability of these rogue awards might be?
    Do you double everybody's premiums just in case?
    Or do you refuse to write any new policies covering that kind of risk?

    Keep in mind that if you do nothing, you may face financial ruin, and go out of business. Do you remember what happen to various syndicates of Lloyds names in the late 1970's and 1980's? Many people were completely ruined by the collapse of those Lloyds syndicates. It effectively brought down the largest, best known and one of the oldest insurers in the world. Lloyds lives on in name, but it is nothing like the "Lloyds of London" that existed from the 1690's to the 1970's.

    So what do you do?

    There are very bright people who work in the insurance industry, and these issues have existed since the beginning of the insurance industry, and they will exist long after our children's grandchildren are long dead.

    The correct pricing of risk isn't that easy a problem.

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  • 444. At 11:35pm on 31 Jan 2010, wolfvorkian wrote:

    SaintDominick:

    Concerning your post #417, google the phrase - all day chemist

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  • 445. At 11:51pm on 31 Jan 2010, U14309841 wrote:

    443 IF .
    good explanation. I think it shows why I am against pre set limits on torts unless they are chocolate.
    That is why I would keep arguing that it is a red herring in the healthcare debate.
    .

    "The correct pricing of risk isn't that easy a problem."


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  • 446. At 11:57pm on 31 Jan 2010, modernJan wrote:

    "Govt. will always mess things up more than they help
    Govt. will always spend too much on things that don't need to be done
    Govt. will always take too much power away from the people."

    Proof, please?

    I seem to recall your statements are not true when it comes to healthcare or education (just compare France or the Netherlands to the US).

    I also want to ask you if you would be ok with the police, fire department and military being run by private companies, if you are not then maybe that should make you think about how healthcare and education cannot be left to private companies either.

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  • 447. At 00:06am on 01 Feb 2010, modernJan wrote:

    "Those who want to pay for their health can do so, those who cannot should go to government run hospitals. There I have solved the whole issue."

    If only the government would pay for your treatment in their hospital... but they won't for the majority of people who can't afford to spend $300 a month (or $600 if they have to support a spouse) on healthcare insurance

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  • 448. At 00:08am on 01 Feb 2010, U14309841 wrote:

    IF don't mention tomlinson. that was thes chool teacher that stole a sculpture of a horse done from a single continous peice of wire.
    what a cad.

    anyway.
    I just thought to add that I find the Idea that the injured wealthy get more ,unjust.
    and ageist.
    How does one calculate the loss of earnings for a kid who is1 year old.

    I have a friend who has never had much of a relationship with her whooping cough vacine victim brother.
    because he can't really communicate.
    but one day they might figure out how to rehabilitate him. (like recent coma case in Germany(i think)).
    I agree that with a national system he would not have to worry. he was maintained until they can help.
    He is in the UK and has been maintained and has yet to be "put down" by the death panals.

    I agree that a national system would take most of the issues away bvut until that happens. until there is a guarantee that the system will cover the victim how can there be tort reform?
    it seems a bit cart before the donkey to me.

    to the musicians
    How the hell does the up and coming concert pianist get compensated.
    " oh you may have become someone. You are(crossed out) WERE the most talented artist I have ever seen.
    but you are not famous yet so get lost here's a tenner."

    because that seems a bit unfair.(I am not blaming you ,you do understand)

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  • 449. At 00:11am on 01 Feb 2010, U14309841 wrote:

    446 The police. see the problem is americans do screw just about everything they turn their hands to up. But then at least with doctors there would be some benefit for the people.
    Unlike say the massive spending on the war on drugs.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2cMRmxCoXCc

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  • 450. At 00:17am on 01 Feb 2010, U14309841 wrote:

    this war is not even excused by terrorists. yet no one wants to save the money by dropping the war

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6xBcIVdqW1M&feature=related
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vuHZjXqhUok&feature=related
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1SG4lLOpNeY&feature=related
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gh_QcYddwVs&feature=related
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v3SYWDkWyXA&feature=related
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LayaGk0TMDc&feature=related

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  • 451. At 00:23am on 01 Feb 2010, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    445. At 11:51pm on 31 Jan 2010, personanongrata wrote:

    443 IF .
    good explanation. I think it shows why I am against pre set limits on torts unless they are chocolate.
    That is why I would keep arguing that it is a red herring in the healthcare debate.
    __________

    Well, it should be a red herring in terms of public provision of health care, because that public provision in effect pools all the risks of society in one large pot, it eliminates the need for the insurer to make a profit, and it eliminates the risk premium associated with uncertainty. So whether you want Tort reform or not, going to a public single payer system ought to take a whole bunch of issues out of that pile.

    I also forgot to mention that for many years there were attempts to introduce public no-fault auto insurance. BC has one such system, Saskatchewan probably has another, Quebec has yet another.

    A big problem with Auto insurance was the assessment of blame for the accident. The result was that lawyers were consuming about 30 - 35 % of the resources of the system. Lots of people thought that was ridiculous. That 30 - 35 % could have been put to much better use providing compensation for people injured in car accidents. Further, when considered globally, over thousands and thousands of accidents the assessment of blame was really not anywhere near as important as compensating the injured. The priorities were a little out of whack.

    The trade off here is that for certain kinds of injuries, you simply can't sue. There is a meat chart, and you get whatever it says "Broken toe, $ 250.;, Broken Leg, $ 2855.;" etc.

    And, as with all publicly funded programs, the amounts paid out lag actual damages, and may not address special needs. The public system can seem rather cold and heartless. But the private law, private insurance-and Tort system can be grossly wasteful and brutal.

    So, which do you choose? You would like to have the efficiency of public insurance, with the flexibility and individual attention of the Tort law. It may often seem, though, that we end up with the flexibility and individual attention of one-size-fits-all public programs, with the efficiency of the "how-much-justice-can-you-afford" Tort system.



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  • 452. At 00:26am on 01 Feb 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 444, wolfvorkian

    I did and I already sent the address of the website to my youngest son, my daughter and granddaughter. Thank you very much for your concern and for giving me this valuable lead. Dominick

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  • 453. At 00:29am on 01 Feb 2010, U14317251 wrote:

    And there is people like you, people like me
    People need to be free.
    And there's a place in the sun
    Where there is love for everyone,
    Where we can be, yeah.

    I Know a Place

    A Place in the Sun


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  • 454. At 00:35am on 01 Feb 2010, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    448. At 00:08am on 01 Feb 2010, personanongrata wrote:

    "How does one calculate the loss of earnings for a kid who is1 year old."

    "to the musicians
    How the hell does the up and coming concert pianist get compensated.
    " oh you may have become someone. You are(crossed out) WERE the most talented artist I have ever seen.
    but you are not famous yet so get lost here's a tenner."

    because that seems a bit unfair.(I am not blaming you ,you do understand)
    ____________

    Precisely.

    Trying to evaluate loss of income and expectation of an injured infant is very little more than black magic.

    And the point you raise is classic: Paul McCartney has a slip and fall at the Grotto in Hamburg - how much do you pay to compensate "I'm just an out, just an out, just an out of work musician" (in the words of The Monks)

    Compare that with Paul McCartney who suffers a slip and fall in the Abbey Road zebra crossing twelve years later.

    Same person.
    Same injury.
    Totally different measure of damages.

    Is it capricious? Yes.
    Is it often grossly unfair? You bet.

    The point is that when you start to think about these things, and grapple with these questions you really begin to become aware of how very difficult the problems are to solve in a manner that is both rational and fair. There are profound moral and ethical issues of public policy here. And yet people will jump up and down with this answer or that answer as if the thing can be solved in five seconds.

    You remember the quote from the other day from George Kennan "... in the marketplace of ideas, the truth is often a poor competitor"?

    Well, Tort reform would be one of those topics where the truth is complicated, often intricate, and certainly worthy of very careful and patient thought.

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  • 455. At 00:39am on 01 Feb 2010, U14309841 wrote:

    Obama's trying to jump start the economy. Good guy. shame the republicans emptied the gas tank.bigger shame is people watching and then blaming Obama.


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  • 456. At 00:43am on 01 Feb 2010, AllenT2 wrote:

    modernJan wrote:

    "I also want to ask you if you would be ok with the police, fire department and military being run by private companies, if you are not then maybe that should make you think about how healthcare and education cannot be left to private companies either."

    Uh, if you care about having the most advanced services and best quality in the world then you would most certainly be in favor of "private companies."

    Private education (Harvard, Yale, MIT, CIT, Columbia, Stanford, etc, etc,)and health care (John Hopkins, Mayo Clinic, Massachusetts General Hospital, Mount Sanai, etc,etc) in America is the best and most advanced in the world. Fact!

    The debate on health care in America boils down only to accessibility and cost to the consumer. That's all.

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  • 457. At 00:46am on 01 Feb 2010, U14309841 wrote:

    451 LOL I was happy with the system in the UK.
    It provided long term care for all.
    Few torts but the system checks for malpractice.
    (that aspect of the NHS has been debated widely in the UK)
    Including the young and the old. It did not however over treat those few that could afford to see the doc and demand every test under the sun that they read about on a medical website.

    still as many say"how can americans have such a hard time grasping the fact that they all get overcharged."


    I am still trying to figure out a non insulting answer. It may take me some time.
    Maybe about as long as it takes for them to figure it out.

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  • 458. At 00:46am on 01 Feb 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 431, squirrelist

    "But I wonder now the president is a Democrat if I'd get the same response."

    I am sure you know the answer to your question, and it is not limited to CIC issues. President Obama's suggestion regarding the use of $30B of returned TARP monies to help small businesses, and his recommendations to reduce taxes to help stimulate the economy would have normally put congressional Republicans in overtime mode to expedite pertinent legislation, but since they came from a Democratic President the answer will most likely be the same given to healthcare reform advocated "we are in favor of reform, but not this one"...or the one proposed in the Clinton era, or previous Democratic administrations since the days of Harry Truman.

    You have to give the Republicans credit though, instead of rolling over they close ranks, remain as disciplined as ever, are not afraid to challenge the opposition even when they are vastly outnumbered, and always speak with one voice...except when someone misses Rush's radio show and gets a spank.

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  • 459. At 00:50am on 01 Feb 2010, U14309841 wrote:

    we bad

    this tune seems to describe some of Us on this blog.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-6jDYqRXQ58&feature=PlayList&p=512261C6DEECCD04&playnext=1&playnext_from=PL&index=75

    but have strength.
    JAH RASTAFARI
    Do we have to accept EVERYONE.

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  • 460. At 00:53am on 01 Feb 2010, U14309841 wrote:

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

  • 461. At 01:03am on 01 Feb 2010, AllenT2 wrote:

    modernJan wrote:

    "How hard can it be for people to grasp that America's healthcare is more expensive and yet much harder to obtain than in any other developed country?"

    And that can be addressed without the government having to take over the entire system.

    "How hard can it be to grasp that, maybe, just maybe, unemployment would have been far worse without the stimulus package?"

    As far as I can tell much, if not most, of the stimulus money actually wasn't even used.

    One could also argue that in the long run letting the economy run its course would have been the healthier thing to do. Supporting people that didn't have the means to buy a home in the first place is stupid and only encouraging similar behavior in the future.

    "How hard can it be to grasp that if things went the Republican way unemployment would certainly be worse as they would have done absolutely nothing to save jobs?"

    Many people deserve to lose the jobs they have. Sounds tough but that is what has always made America strong.

    "How hard can it be to grasp that the "don't ask, don't tell" policy is hopelessly outdated, since pretty much all of NATO and even the deeply religious Israel have gays serving openly in the military?"

    Those examples are irrelevant to the military cohesiveness of another country. Because something supposedly works in one country doesn't mean it will in another. That's naive and dangerous thinking when it comes to the defense of a nation.

    "How hard can it be to grasp that the biggest recession since the 1930's cannot be solved within one year and that the fact that it's been halted by now is already a major achievement of an economically sound government?"

    Has it been halted? And if it has, for how long?

    "Bottom line: how stupid must people be to think everything will be better if they vote Republican?"

    So people are automatically "stupid" because they share a different opinion to you. Gee, you sound very open minded.

    "I've followed Obama extensively during the year and I must say he and his administration are doing very good (they could do even better if it wasn't for the Republicans trying to block his every move and then saying Obama is a failure because he didn't get to make his move)."

    Are you American? Because if you are not then it isn't your place to tell Americans how well one of their politicians is doing for them.

    If you are American, then guess what, many Americans don't agree with Obama and not all of them are "stupid."

    "Although John McCain was a step up from previous Republican Presidential candidates, he endangered the country by making Sarah Palin his running mate (she would have been the absolute worst President in American history)"

    I doubt you or anyone in this discussion, or even this site, knows the history and track record of all of America's presidents well enough to make such a statement.

    "and all I've seen from the Republicans this year was unfounded criticism of Obama, they never came up with any solutions themselves (other than leaving things the way they are) and even voted against measures that they would normally like, but couldn't vote for because Obama proposed it before they did (Reductio ad Obamum)."

    Obviously it is normal for opposing parties to attack each other. Don't act surprised.

    Maybe, right or wrong, many feel that nothing needs to be done , or at least not to the extent that Obama wishes.

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  • 462. At 01:03am on 01 Feb 2010, U14309841 wrote:

    IF

    I do agree.

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  • 463. At 01:12am on 01 Feb 2010, AllenT2 wrote:

    squirrelist wrote:

    "And the Pentagon is apparently drawing up a plan to give up 'Don't ask, don't tell' which they say may take years to implement. Again, why? Because they assume that maybe the Republicans will make being gay in the US armed forces illegal next year? I thought that was an order from the Commander in Chief that they're all supposed to respect?"

    What business is this of yours as a non-American?

    "I remember an American officer telling me once he couldn't criticise Dubbya, and objected to anyone else doing so--I was the only civilian among an international group of fairly senior officers who had been pretty free about the way Iraq went sour with just that one exception--because "he's my commander in chief." Well, yes, in title, I agreed; so I asked, well what about Dubbya as an elected president, then? And got the same answer. But I wonder now the president is a Democrat if I'd get the same response."

    As a 20 year veteran this American says your little story is likely BS. American military members are not prevented from voicing their displeasure at who is president or not. The military gets to vote too, unlike you.

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  • 464. At 01:15am on 01 Feb 2010, U14317251 wrote:

    tip for the day ✓
    check the sky tv demo at the O2
    and watch the bme
    (british music experience)
    free


    Oh well

    Now, when I talked to God I knew he’d understand
    He said, “Stick by me and I’ll be your guiding hand
    But don’t ask me what I think of you
    I might not give the answer that you want me to”

    fleetwood mac oh well

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  • 465. At 01:24am on 01 Feb 2010, TeaPot562 wrote:

    When active, I was an actuary for a Life Insurer -- Interested Foreigner #443 has an excellent description of the procedures that a casualty actuary might go through.
    Another point: Not having Health Insurance in the USA does not equate to Not Having Health Care. If it did, the so-called Health Care Reform bills would have provided for funding an expansion of doctors, nurses and physical facilities (hospitals, urgent care clinics, etc.)
    Most of those who lack health insurance can still get treated at Emergency Rooms, unless they are undocumented workers, in which case they may be afraid that the INS is looking for "illegal aliens" in the ERs (which they probably are not.)
    On our estimated 310 million population in the USA in 2010, we now have over 3 million deaths per year. I have seen figures (but don't recall the source) that the presence of national health insurance for all projected as reducing the number of deaths in a recent year (2007, I think) by about twelve THOUSAND.
    What is missing from that analysis, is that the reduction by quicker treatment of young people form uninsured accidental injuries w/b more than offset by the increase in deaths from us older people who w/b rationed out of care by Obama's plan to deny treatment to old people. I still haven't heard what kind of financial consideration was offered to the AARP in Washington D.C. to support the "Health Care Reform" act, when most AARP members would be disadvantaged by the resulting changes.
    Much of the vocal opposition to the HCR bills was from us oldsters in the 70s and 80s who would be denied life-saving procedures under the proposed HCR rules. I am not in favor of "Reform" that would take away what I now enjoy. Pres. Obama's silver-tongued oratory does not compensate for for those changes.
    BTW, my understanding of liberal = expanding Federal govt. power.
    Conservative = reducing size & influence of Federal govt.
    GW Bush campaigned in 2000 mostly as a conservative, but he certainly governed as a liberal.
    I lobbied as best I could - emails to >90 US senators in January, 2003 - AGAINST the Iraq adventure. Even so, I could not support Kerry in 2004.
    In the 2008 election I could NOT vote for McCain a/c his sponsorship of the McCain-Feingold act, violating the First Amendment; so I voted for Bob Barr (Libertarian candidate). In prior elections dating back to 1956, I had always voted GOP.
    TeaPot562

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  • 466. At 01:48am on 01 Feb 2010, AllenT2 wrote:

    David Cunard wrote:

    "I wasn't discussing your opinions of Britain or Continental Europe, but those of MAII, who loathes both based on less than two years of living in France. Like LucyIllinois and her dislike of gays (knowing only one), it is a quite irrational attitude since it is not based on personal experience. However, I wonder what negative experiences you had and how they came about?"

    I shared my opinions in support of MAII, which is obvious, so I don't see the logic in your first sentence. You are confused.

    As I said, I have experienced the same kind of anti-Americanism in the UK that Americans experience on this site. Are you now going to say that rampant anti-Americanism doesn't exist on the this site?

    Many of you people, at best, come across like little King Georges and at worse you wish to see every kind of domestic policy in America that has nothing to do that you don't like overturned. Arrogant, petty, jealous and disrespectful at best and hateful and evil at worse. That's my opinion of many of the wannabe Americans and for all of those that are anti-American.

    "Where on earth did you get that Idea? It has been adversely affected, one reason I moved from where I once lived."

    You are the one that is confused. Remember my preaching to the choir comment?

    "There was once a trend known as "white flight", a move from urban black areas to the suburbs further away; that is happening again since the culture, manners and way of life (not to mention driving habits) is alien to those who have lived there a lifetime."

    Once again, you are confused because you are again preaching to the choir.

    "As for being a foreigner, I'll wager that I have been an American taxpayer longer than you've taken breath."

    Lets see, you certainly sound like you grew up in the UK so considering my age and the average life expectancy of the two countries you should be on the last years of your life.

    Didn't you also say that the only reason, or one of the only reasons, why you are in America is because of the weather?

    If it were up to me I would today deport someone like you in exchange for someone truly valuable that really wants to be an American and values our spirit and culture. No offense, but your kind of immigrant is the worse any country could expect to have. Let me guess, you also have dual citizenship too?

    You may be an "American taxpayer" but you'll never be an American, no matter what a piece of paper may say.

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  • 467. At 01:59am on 01 Feb 2010, AllenT2 wrote:

    personanongrata wrote:

    "Bull I say that from experience. if an immigrant says boo to the american dream they are told as we have had proof of from MA to get out."

    Nothing wrong with that. They are welcomed so long as they are not being disrespectful to our culture. I would respectfully respond to such a person by saying if you don't like then yes go back to where you came from.

    "As an american that doesn't sound american I have been refused jobs because the employer did not realise that my American passport was proof of citizenship."

    I somehow get the feeling that in your case there is more to the story in regards to being rejected for jobs here in America. I have many foreign sounding Americans that have no problems getting work here in America. In fact, they are all successful.

    "You are full of it. as is MA when he says he has never posted as another."

    Are you freakin kidding me???

    And then you wonder why people are refusing you jobs?

    "which is interesting in it's own right. because he has had a whole bunch of posts removed has suggested a specific terrorist plot against the people of Gaza. has suggested the nuking of many nations. has displayed bigotry against every section of society not white jewish and american except the gay people (well done small favoutrs). yet he has not reached the majic number to get removed. unlike the Jack he obsesses on.

    who's crime was to suggest that MA lied. and that he was the same poster at TT.
    and now AT2."

    Sorry my friend, but this is getting into the realm of the bizarre.


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  • 468. At 02:03am on 01 Feb 2010, U14309841 wrote:

    When Active


    you write a very presentable essay -for the trash.

    that is it.
    your care goes to the babies.
    Not so.
    your mistreatment by doctors for profit because babies do not pay enough will stop.


    by the looks of it i would not disagree with you being denied coverage.
    who pays your care now?
    did you pay premiums based on the treatment available now or when you were young?

    selfish old ..people
    are what is driving america into the grave.

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  • 469. At 02:12am on 01 Feb 2010, U14309841 wrote:

    "So people are automatically "stupid" because they share a different opinion to you. Gee, you sound very open minded."


    You guys keep rushing out this line.
    Look it is not against any rules of conduct to say that some THMs are behaving like THM.
    It is not wrong it is not based on the party but the LINE of the party.
    If the GOP did not behave like a bunch of THM there would be no one calling them such names. BUT they do behave like that. So "suck it up" if you don't like it leave the country.


    It is not the fact that they differ on opinions. It is the opinions they differ on that make them stupid.

    You would find that if you crazy right whiners shut up for long enough. the dems would tear each other apart. But you won't. so learn to think. that's the advice for the day to you.
    still it gets pretty sad when the right would take advice from a pinko like me.

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  • 470. At 02:15am on 01 Feb 2010, frayedcat wrote:

    441 "...we can finally cast off liberals and their self-destructive theories of govt and human inter-actions..."

    Whoa nelly. "cast off"? You mean like religious casting off? Like half the people in the US are demons because they are free and generous (the definition of liberal) and believe in healthy debate? Who is this "we" of whom you speak? I'm thinking your "we" might outta be dunkt in the duck pond to see if y'all float.

    To those of the rational bent I have one word that should make you tremble in fear at what a crazed, vociferous and self-righteous mob with financial backing can do in a representative government like the US'.....the word is "prohibition"

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  • 471. At 02:18am on 01 Feb 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    463. AllenT:

    I take it you are calling me a liar. That conversation took place, whether you like it or not. Still, being professionally insulted like that isn't exactly unusual for me, so I'm not going to cry over it.

    But you do not always refrain from giving people in other countries advice yourself:

    "Just on the security issue alone that is all the justification that is needed to ban such ridiculous outfits. [The burkha.] France should focus on that simple issue alone instead of the obvious incompatibility to Western cultures."

    "France has a long history and culture that has nothing to do with the worse of a certain 'religion'. The burka doesn't belong on France and doesn't belong on any western culture."

    "Actually by current law in America you are American if you are born in the country. Unfortunately even if that child is born to illegal immigrants. . .In my opinion the problem in France comes down to what I first said about allowing too many of one ethnicity in to the country."


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  • 472. At 02:24am on 01 Feb 2010, U14309841 wrote:

    467" They are welcomed so long as they are not being disrespectful to our culture."

    sorry the american culture was killed off. if you meant he white anglo melting pot that accepts any free-speech then what part of that culture do you not understand when you tell others to get lost?

    Disrespect your Barbeque?
    what is your culture. seriously which bit? the German bit? the English Bit? the Irish bit , The KKK bit, the death penalty for private prosecutions in texas bit?
    what is your culture.?
    How do you define" American"

    You think I rant. but your posts deserve nothin'

    "And then you wonder why people are refusing you jobs?"

    They employed me. they just refused to employ me on a legal contract. there fore they did not give me a job but they did take advantage of my skills.
    I declared my own taxes on it they got away with no OSHA numbers and No SAIF payments. he was of course republican.

    Should a stayed quiet bud.
    It is him that owes taxes. I paid mine, as I am A Good american citizen. Unlike the republican.

    ;)

    "Sorry my friend, but this is getting into the realm of the bizarre. "

    one you used "friend" like a Brit saying "MATE" but then I expect that. Deceit to yourself.
    You know there is no hell freezing over that would make us friends.
    It got bizarre a long time ago it is not getting there.

    It got bizarre when some posters were given free reign.

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  • 473. At 02:28am on 01 Feb 2010, U14309841 wrote:

    Allen mentions a long list of american hospitals that cannot be beaten anywhere in the world.
    I offered St barts as an example of a place that some pretty innovative stuff has happened. that comment with no ad homians got removed and referred?
    HOW?
    and some people want to claim I am bizarre

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  • 474. At 02:29am on 01 Feb 2010, U14309841 wrote:

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

  • 475. At 02:36am on 01 Feb 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    AllenT2:

    "They are welcomed so long as they are not being disrespectful to our culture."

    "I would today deport someone like you in exchange for someone truly valuable that really wants to be an American and values our spirit and culture. No offense, but your kind of immigrant is the worse any country could expect to have."

    I feel a Squirrel Law coming on. But first, please explain to us exactly what you mean by this American 'spirit' and 'culture'.

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  • 476. At 02:44am on 01 Feb 2010, modernJan wrote:

    AllenT2 wrote:
    modernJan wrote:

    ""How hard can it be for people to grasp that America's healthcare is more expensive and yet much harder to obtain than in any other developed country?"

    And that can be addressed without the government having to take over the entire system."

    Obama never said the government would take over the system, it's just not to be found anywhere in the bill. All he proposed was a hybrid system where government would compete with insurance companies to keep prices at levels that non-millionaires can afford. Some European countries use the same system and they spend far less money on health care than the US does now and guess what, they have all of the same equipment and specialists.

    ""How hard can it be to grasp that, maybe, just maybe, unemployment would have been far worse without the stimulus package?"

    As far as I can tell much, if not most, of the stimulus money actually wasn't even used.

    One could also argue that in the long run letting the economy run its course would have been the healthier thing to do. Supporting people that didn't have the means to buy a home in the first place is stupid and only encouraging similar behavior in the future."

    Hundreds of billions have already been paid out, that is a lot, even for the United States. It would be ridiculous to say that 787 billion will have an impact, but not $300 billion. Besides, a lot of it is tied into longer term contracts (people get to keep their job because their employer knows their will be upcoming jobs). Anyway, it's funny to note that if you take apart the stimulus package and sell its components separately to the public you would find that most Americans would favor them, even Republicans (there's tax cuts and there's infrastructure renovation).

    ""How hard can it be to grasp that if things went the Republican way unemployment would certainly be worse as they would have done absolutely nothing to save jobs?"

    Many people deserve to lose the jobs they have. Sounds tough but that is what has always made America strong."

    Right, then how come all those Republicans are mad at Obama because of the 10% unemployment figures? How come they don't just say "ah, they deserved it" (probably because they themselves are losing their jobs I guess).

    ""How hard can it be to grasp that the "don't ask, don't tell" policy is hopelessly outdated, since pretty much all of NATO and even the deeply religious Israel have gays serving openly in the military?"

    Those examples are irrelevant to the military cohesiveness of another country. Because something supposedly works in one country doesn't mean it will in another. That's naive and dangerous thinking when it comes to the defense of a nation."

    So you are saying the American military is much more homophobic/intolerant than that of Israel or the European NATO allies? That America is the last outpost of homophobia in an otherwise tolerant Western world? Then again, it's only 61 years ago that the US military was desegregated and Truman forced that one upon the military, maybe Obama should force it as well and 61 years from now people will be wondering why their ancestors were such bigots.


    ""How hard can it be to grasp that the biggest recession since the 1930's cannot be solved within one year and that the fact that it's been halted by now is already a major achievement of an economically sound government?"

    Has it been halted? And if it has, for how long?"

    Yes, it definitely has. Most economists (not just Americans) are in agreement about it and it will probably last, until the next crisis.

    ""Bottom line: how stupid must people be to think everything will be better if they vote Republican?"

    So people are automatically "stupid" because they share a different opinion to you. Gee, you sound very open minded."

    Well, if people let themselves be scared by Glenn Beck or O'Reilly into voting against anything Obama does because it's "socialist" then they're either just stupid or "educationally-challenged". It's funny that the people who need healthcare reform the most often fall into this category.
    But hey, go ahead, just bend over to the Chinese already, because that's what America will be doing if it continues to let 19th century fairy tales (that every man can take care of his entire life, with no help from others) ruin the youth's chances at an education or affordable healthcare. The Chinese don't let their best and brightest fight over scarce scholarship money or let them end up in a cardboard box when they fall ill...

    ""I've followed Obama extensively during the year and I must say he and his administration are doing very good (they could do even better if it wasn't for the Republicans trying to block his every move and then saying Obama is a failure because he didn't get to make his move)."

    Are you American? Because if you are not then it isn't your place to tell Americans how well one of their politicians is doing for them.

    If you are American, then guess what, many Americans don't agree with Obama and not all of them are "stupid."

    I'm a human being, so I know things are bad when people go bankrupt because of medical bills (this would never happen in Europe and should not happen anywhere since falling sick or suffering an injury is not a choice people make). Besides, you're pretty much saying that just because I'm not North-Korean I don't have the right to say Kim Jong-Il is a bad leader for the North Koreans (who knows, maybe they want him to let a third of them starve).

    ""Although John McCain was a step up from previous Republican Presidential candidates, he endangered the country by making Sarah Palin his running mate (she would have been the absolute worst President in American history)"

    I doubt you or anyone in this discussion, or even this site, knows the history and track record of all of America's presidents well enough to make such a statement."

    The United States still exist, that pretty much is enough prove that any President up until now was not as incompetent as Sarah Palin (I mean, come on, she accused Obama of introducing "death panels" and is a creationist, she's just as crazy as Chavez or Ahmadijenad).

    ""and all I've seen from the Republicans this year was unfounded criticism of Obama, they never came up with any solutions themselves (other than leaving things the way they are) and even voted against measures that they would normally like, but couldn't vote for because Obama proposed it before they did (Reductio ad Obamum)."

    Obviously it is normal for opposing parties to attack each other. Don't act surprised.

    Maybe, right or wrong, many feel that nothing needs to be done , or at least not to the extent that Obama wishes."

    The Republican reaction is obviously knee-jerk, a "reductio ad Obamum": as said before, the Republicans would have voted in favor of many of the bills if they hadn't come from Obama. They branded him a "goddamn commie" the day he won the elections and have been so busy trying to stop him and his congressional majority they don't offer any solutions to the problems they themselves complain about (why is there so much complaining going on at Republican conventions if they think nothing needs to be done)?

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  • 477. At 02:46am on 01 Feb 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    470. At 02:15am on 01 Feb 2010, frayedcat wrote:

    "Whoa nelly. "cast off"? You mean like religious casting off? "

    I'm under the growing impression this has become a kind of code phrase and the 'outer darkness' they really want to cast people into is a grave. . .Deportation for all those who don't share 'our values', don't 'respect the institutions and culture' of our Fatherland, no, Reich, oops, these our great United States, you know, we've heard it begin like this before.



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  • 478. At 02:49am on 01 Feb 2010, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    466. At 01:48am on 01 Feb 2010, AllenT2 wrote:

    Re: (1)

    "As I said, I have experienced the same kind of anti-Americanism in the UK that Americans experience on this site. Are you now going to say that rampant anti-Americanism doesn't exist on the this site?

    Many of you people, at best, come across like little King Georges and at worse you wish to see every kind of domestic policy in America that has nothing to do that you don't like overturned. Arrogant, petty, jealous and disrespectful at best and hateful and evil at worse. That's my opinion of many of the wannabe Americans and for all of those that are anti-American."

    Re: (2)

    "If it were up to me I would today deport someone like you in exchange for someone truly valuable that really wants to be an American and values our spirit and culture. No offense, but your kind of immigrant is the worse any country could expect to have. Let me guess, you also have dual citizenship too?

    You may be an "American taxpayer" but you'll never be an American, no matter what a piece of paper may say."
    ___________

    I haven't been following your exchange of comments with David particularly closely, but this one has caught my attention.

    Re: (1)

    There is a full range of views on this site. Your implication that "rampant anti-Americanism" is characteristic of this site is, on balance, wrong. There are certainly some who expound those views. Some do so quite offensively and deliberately so. There are plenty of views stated offensively here, not merely anti-American ones. That is one of the realities of freedom of speech. You don't seem to be entirely comfortable with freedom of speech. You want to banish those whose views you dislike. But there you fundamentally misunderstand the importance and value of freedom of speech, and, I suspect, of civil rights, of "Liberty", generally.

    And for an American to fail to understand, and stand up for, civil rights is to turn your back on the history of a truly great nation, and to spit on the priceless inheritance handed down to you by your forebears. Freedom of speech is not intended to protect only things we want to read or hear.

    In any case, what you may have forgotten, or may not know, is that Justin Webb was a great America-phile, and that legacy has continued even now that Mark is responsible for the blog. Of course it has a different mix, and Mark has a different approach than Justin had. But still, on balance, no, it would not be a fair characterization to say that this site is "anti-American", let alone rampantly so.

    There is a fair amount of denial in your comments, though. There are lots of other views in the world aside from our own. Before you go lashing out at David again, you might want to re-read your comments and think about whether they really look like the writing of a mature and rational adult.

    Re: (2)

    This is a statement unworthy of an American.

    Who are you to decide who is or isn't an American? The road along which you are marching arises in ignorance, and passes through prejudice and bigotry along the way. It is a path for small people. It is not the path of a great nation.

    Americans are big, not small; generous, not mean; big hearted, not peevish or feckless.

    Your statement is simply not worthy of someone who considers themselves to be an American.

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  • 479. At 03:16am on 01 Feb 2010, modernJan wrote:

    "TeaPot562 wrote:

    Not having Health Insurance in the USA does not equate to Not Having Health Care."

    Yes it does: you will be barred from early diagnosis because you can't afford hospital visits and after an operation you will get a bill which you cannot afford. Now, if you need continued therapy, a series of operations or prescription drugs you will not be able to get that because you cannot afford it. This could literally mean the difference between life and death (example: chemo therapy) or between being a paraplegic for the rest of your life or being able to walk again.



    "Uh, if you care about having the most advanced services and best quality in the world then you would most certainly be in favor of "private companies."

    Private education (Harvard, Yale, MIT, CIT, Columbia, Stanford, etc, etc,)and health care (John Hopkins, Mayo Clinic, Massachusetts General Hospital, Mount Sanai, etc,etc) in America is the best and most advanced in the world. Fact!"

    Wrong: with healthcare and education, as well as security, quality includes a lot of factors.

    Private educators pay a lot to get the best (well, they think you're better if you graduated at certain places) teachers, but as a result only the rich can enjoy it. Those rich kids will eventually not score much higher on tests than kids from other institutions. There are many Nobel Laureates who did not study at private institutions (some leading scientific nations do not even have private universities).

    Private security firms will be disloyal (they're mercenaries after all) and will put money over ethics, thus providing bad security, no matter how high their kill count may be.

    Private firefighters would also put money over ethics: if the company can make more money by saving one millionaire than by saving 100 poor people, they will not save those 100 poor people, making them unreliable, even if they get there 30 seconds earlier than government firefighters.

    Private hospitals also put money over ethics: they'll make more money if they let one rich hypochondriac with expensive insurance have himself scanned by some fancy machinery 10 times a month than if they scan 10 poor people who actually need the scan to stay alive. They could still afford all of the machinery and staff if they were ethical, but then the CEO and specialists would get a smaller bonus (US hospitals are NOT more advanced than Japanese or Western European hospitals, but they do charge a lot more money for the same procedure and make you think they are therefore more advanced).


    Bottom line: don't let ethics in the hands of private companies. Companies are useful in progressive sectors (inventing new technology and consumer products), but they will maximize profit at the expense of the client, only a government which answers to the people can be trusted with the ethics of healthcare, education and safety of said people.


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  • 480. At 04:03am on 01 Feb 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    Speaking on US television, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was going to "meet his maker" if found guilty.
    "Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is going to meet justice and is going to meet his maker," Mr Gibbs told US network, CNN.
    "He is likely be executed for the heinous crimes that he committed in killing and masterminding the killings of 3,000 Americans," he added.
    But he refused to clarify whether the trial of Mohammed and four alleged co-conspirators would take place in a federal courtroom, or in a military commission.

    [BBC]

    This is the sort of thing that looks so good to people outside. Sentence first, verdict later, trial, well . . .why bother with a jury? Get a few colonels or generals together (or kangaroos) and tell them to set up the firing squad. Bound to be cheaper, and that'll keep Mayor Bloomberg happy.

    So "The Pentagon says Mohammed has admitted to being responsible "from A to Z" for the attacks in New York and Washington." So who made the Pentagon, or the CIA, or Blackwater, judge, prosecution lawyer, defence lawyer, jury and executioner? Since when in any civilised society has a confession that might have been extracted by torture admissible without it being tested?

    Because (as I no doubt will be told) a majority might support that, and only a few wet 'liberals' like me might see a thoroughly wrong precedent being set all round, that doesn't make it anything other than administering law and justice by opinion poll.

    I for one thought things were going to be a bit different under Obama.

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  • 481. At 04:07am on 01 Feb 2010, U14309841 wrote:

    allenma

    "Didn't you also say that the only reason, or one of the only reasons, why you are in America is because of the weather? "

    that was another poster that said h ddc was here for the weather. maybe DC did say it. but I think you are confused. is the wine cellar too warm for rational thought.



    Modernjan well said again and again.
    no worries. you will have little effect on their opinions. facts are too confusing for their minds. terry pratchett describes how trolls think better when things are real cold.
    it is similar here.
    though I am not sure we have found a way of maintaining absolute zero for long enough for these trolls to think.

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  • 482. At 04:13am on 01 Feb 2010, U14309841 wrote:

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

  • 483. At 04:19am on 01 Feb 2010, U14309841 wrote:

    "Private firefighters would also put money over ethics: if the company can make more money by saving one millionaire than by saving 100 poor people, they will not save those 100 poor people, making them unreliable, even if they get there 30 seconds earlier than government firefighters."


    The firefighters in the USA are not private. Allen seems to have forgotten that.
    you may confuse the hell out of him if you start mentioning the whys of his plan won't work;)

    he forgets the sir terry and the firefighters lesson.
    we get paid to put fire out. so we better set a few.
    Private non permanent firefighters have been responsible for some of the forest fires in the west of the states.
    they were private.
    the permanent crews get paid even if there is No fire. so they have less incentive to start one.

    but americans miss this every year.

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  • 484. At 04:22am on 01 Feb 2010, U14309841 wrote:

    "Private hospitals also put money over ethics: they'll make more money if they let one rich hypochondriac with expensive insurance have himself scanned by some fancy machinery 10 times a month than if they scan 10 poor people who actually need the scan to stay alive."

    then those same rich over insured hypochondriacs will get on a computer and tell other people that they get fine care if they want it and that tort reform is essential because torts drive the costs up by encouraging defensive medicine.

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  • 485. At 04:26am on 01 Feb 2010, David Cunard wrote:

    #466. AllenT2: "As I said, I have experienced the same kind of anti-Americanism in the UK that Americans experience on this site."

    My question was what were they and under what circumstances - you have declined to be specific, so I can only assume that there were none, just a figment of your imagination. MAII is anti-European and, particularly, anti-British, but there is no-one who contributes to this blog who is so virulent about America as he is. Give us some examples of the kind of anti-Americanism you have experience whilst in the United Kingdom. Then, perhaps, we might believe you, but until then, it sounds like a lot of hot air.

    "Many of you people, at best, come across like little King Georges and at worse you wish to see every kind of domestic policy in America that has nothing to do that you don't like overturned."

    Who is "you people"? There are as many American posters here as British, and many of them want to change American domestic policy. Nowhere is perfect, not even America.

    "Didn't you also say that the only reason, or one of the only reasons, why you are in America is because of the weather? "

    No, I did not. I was invited by MCA (probably before your time) to come to Hollywood and the weather had nothing to do with it, only my talent. What I did write was that I had at one time considered a return to the UK, but (having lived in sunny California nearly all of my adult life) the weather there (in Cornwall) mitigated against it.

    "If it were up to me I would today deport someone like you in exchange for someone truly valuable that really wants to be an American and values our spirit and culture."

    Obviously you do not have a clue about immigration procedures. No-one can move permanently to the United States without some very good reason; in my case it was because of a particular ability in the Arts.

    "No offense, but your kind of immigrant is the worse any country could expect to have."

    No offense? What you write is exceedingly offensive. I think I've been a very good immigrant; I've added to and preserved part of America's culture, and in the words of the late Charlie Chaplin, I've been a very good paying guest. What have you ever done for your country?

    "Let me guess, you also have dual citizenship too?"

    There is no such thing as dual citizenship. It's a complicated issue, but one cannot be the citizen of two nations at the same time in the same place. And what if I or other immigrants were? What is the relevance of it?

    "You may be an "American taxpayer" but you'll never be an American"

    You're entitled to your opinion of course, but it goes without saying that you're wrong. There is a new emoticon for sarcasm and, with any luck, someone will devise one to symbolize one of my favourite expletives, which involves an orifice. I'd be one of the first to use it in reference to yourself.

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  • 486. At 04:28am on 01 Feb 2010, U14309841 wrote:

    480 since when has a civilised society with all the wealth of america forsaken it's poorest citizens so much?

    It is a crying game that the sheikh is being tried after his torture invalidated the evidence. BUT even I would rather let this one (who is probably pretty involved) go if it meant the healthcare for all the uninsured people of america would be guaranteed.
    But it won't.
    Shame because we set a bad precedent( other nations will follow our example and refuse to extradite criminal gang members here etc etc.) and we still don't get the health care for all.
    but there is the problem. the 9/11 mastermind as he has been called for years is not able to receive a fair trial here anyway.No one has no idea about him. no one who he would want on his jury that is.;)



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  • 487. At 04:28am on 01 Feb 2010, AllenT2 wrote:

    modernJan wrote:


    "Wrong: with healthcare and education, as well as security, quality includes a lot of factors."

    The only thing I was referring to was the superior quality and capabilities of American universities and health care. You may disagree but the fact of the matter is it is well recognized throughout the world that American universities are ranked highest and that American health care is also the most advanced.

    Private American universities and heath related institutions produce the most medical advances of any other country in the world.

    If you want to now try and make those facts somehow more complicated in order to dismiss them while also coming to the simplistic conclusion that government run health care is the answer to America's health care then that is your choice but you look foolish doing so.

    As I already, the only issue with American health care in America is denial of coverage for pre-existing conditions, help for the poor and disabled, which is pretty much already there, and the encouragement of even more competition to reduce costs. Even friends of mine who are Democrats agree.

    If you think otherwise then more than likely you are not American and know little about health care in America.

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  • 488. At 04:32am on 01 Feb 2010, U14309841 wrote:

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

  • 489. At 04:36am on 01 Feb 2010, U14309841 wrote:

    DC I am but the restr of your post I totally agree with, and seeing as my posts as usual have not returned and I cannot be bothered to figure out which one was removed I would add that it was a jack that said you moved here for the nice weather. just so you can tell the absolute never to be criticised or referred to as in any way bigoted bloke where to put his hope's nose

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  • 490. At 04:45am on 01 Feb 2010, U14309841 wrote:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/8490469.stm

    I wonder if the american hospitals treating these victims are going to be sending the people bills.
    allen

    "help for the poor and disabled, which is pretty much already there, and the encouragement of even more competition to reduce costs. Even friends of mine who are Democrats agree."

    so you hang out with some equally intelligent people as you.
    Sorry but I will not be surprised.

    the rest of your post is flag waving but , that does not make it true.


    How come my posts to you are disappearing today?

    Who was it that joked about "unless they forgot to get orders from Rush"?

    we used to call them legion.


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  • 491. At 04:47am on 01 Feb 2010, HungeryWalleye wrote:

    A constitutional amendment is not needed to curb corporate power. Teddy Roosevelt broke up a number of corporations from Oil Companies to Railroads, which had greater economic power than today’s corporations. He was able to do it because he had the support of the public.

    Unfortunately, the Supreme Court has been stacked with right wing ideologues by years of Republican Presidents. The current group is quite young, so any reversals of their rulings will be at a minimum a generation away. Given that corporations can now pump all of their stock holders assets into political races and the sophistication of manipulating emotions that the study of the brain and behavioral sciences has enabled, it is unlikely that the public will have an inclination to support curbs on corporate power in the future.

    As a side note, it was interesting that one of the “citizens” you (the BBC) interviewed about the State of the Union supported Republican obstruction of the President's policy initiatives and in the next breath complained he wasn’t getting anything done. But then rational thought is not something people are generally inclined to do unless circumstances make it unavoidable. Kind of makes a mockery of Thomas Jefferson’s (Enlightenment Period) view of an educated informed citizenry making rational political decisions.

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  • 492. At 05:13am on 01 Feb 2010, AllenT2 wrote:

    Interestedforeigner wrote:

    "There is a full range of views on this site. Your implication that "rampant anti-Americanism" is characteristic of this site is, on balance, wrong. There are certainly some who expound those views. Some do so quite offensively and deliberately so. There are plenty of views stated offensively here, not merely anti-American ones. That is one of the realities of freedom of speech."

    I'm not suggesting one shouldn't be able to express any opinion. I proudly live in a country where they don't put you in prison for expressing an opinion that offends some people.

    That said, expressing your opinion is one thing but to insult Americans by coming across as little King Georges or Soviets by **telling us** how we should conduct our domestic affairs is another thing altogether. That's beyond offensive.

    And only a person living in another reality would come to the conclusion that anti-Americanism is not rampant on this site.

    "You don't seem to be entirely comfortable with freedom of speech. You want to banish those whose views you dislike. But there you fundamentally misunderstand the importance and value of freedom of speech, and, I suspect, of civil rights, of "Liberty", generally."

    I "want to banish those whose views you dislike?" That's a bunch of nonsense! Have I accused anyone of posting under many names and have I called anyone a "troll?"

    Read again what I wrote above. One can express their opinion on the domestic matters of another country but it should be done respectfully and with an appreciation that ultimately it is up to the citizens of that country to decide what is right for them. That should always be respected.

    "And for an American to fail to understand, and stand up for, civil rights is to turn your back on the history of a truly great nation, and to spit on the priceless inheritance handed down to you by your forebears. Freedom of speech is not intended to protect only things we want to read or hear."

    What does interference from foreigners in our domestic affairs have to do with American "civil rights?" :)

    "In any case, what you may have forgotten, or may not know, is that Justin Webb was a great America-phile, and that legacy has continued even now that Mark is responsible for the blog."

    No, such people are "American-phile" for certain things while also thinking it is their right to attack and insult other parts of our culture while ignoring the fact that it isn't their choice to make.

    "Of course it has a different mix, and Mark has a different approach than Justin had. But still, on balance, no, it would not be a fair characterization to say that this site is "anti-American", let alone rampantly so."

    Believe whatever you like. I consider myself neither right nor left and I, and many throughout the world, can easily come to the conclusion that there is rampant anti-Americanism on this site, and throughout Europe, even with the convenient excuse of Bush being gone. It's no coincidence that Obama mentioned it himself.

    "There is a fair amount of denial in your comments, though. There are lots of other views in the world aside from our own. Before you go lashing out at David again, you might want to re-read your comments and think about whether they really look like the writing of a mature and rational adult."

    You don't see a bit of irony in telling me I look like an irrational and immature adult while you go about trying to speak for someone that presumably is a "mature and rational adult?" :)

    You are lost and confused. The domestic affairs of America, especially in matters not having to do with anyone outside of the country, is the choice of the American people. That should be respected, as with any other free and democratic country.

    "This is a statement unworthy of an American."

    If you are an American then maybe you would be happier in a European country. If you are not American then I can only laugh at the thought of a foreigner from Europe telling me what it means to be an American. It certainly wouldn't be the first time. :)

    "Who are you to decide who is or isn't an American? The road along which you are marching arises in ignorance, and passes through prejudice and bigotry along the way. It is a path for small people. It is not the path of a great nation."

    I am proudly married to a woman of color and proudly have many in my family that are of color. I am also proud to call many friends of mine who came from other countries American because first and foremost they did not come here to try and change fundamental American values and culture like some hostile immigrants do.

    Someone that also comes here only out of convenience and that likely holds dual citizenship is definitely no American. They have no dedication and loyalty to the country. That certainly applies to those that come here and then start attacking fundamental American values and culture.

    "Americans are big, not small; generous, not mean; big hearted, not peevish or feckless."

    Yes, Americans are those good qualities but they will also be some of the first ones to tell foreigners to mind their own g$# d%^& F*&$#%+ business if they come across as insulting our chosen way of life.

    "Your statement is simply not worthy of someone who considers themselves to be an American."

    As I said, if you are American then maybe you would be happier in a European country. And if you are not American then thanks again for the laugh. :)

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  • 493. At 05:18am on 01 Feb 2010, AllenT2 wrote:

    modernJan wrote:

    "The United States still exist, that pretty much is enough prove that any President up until now was not as incompetent as Sarah Palin (I mean, come on, she accused Obama of introducing "death panels" and is a creationist, she's just as crazy as Chavez or Ahmadijenad)."

    After just reading this illogical and absolutely ridiculous statement I don't see any point in continuing to discuss anything with you.

    Amazing and scary at the same time.


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  • 494. At 05:22am on 01 Feb 2010, wolfvorkian wrote:

    If you think otherwise then more than likely you are not American and know little about health care in America.

    How do you increase competition within a monopolistic system? The beast has to be a monopoly, it is the nature of it.

    Why do you think the rest of the industrialized world has in one form or another either a single payer or highly regulated non-profit insurance companies? Why do you think they went this route to cover their entire populations at very roughly half of what we spend per head to not cover everyone? Do you have a clue even?

    Incidentally for those who don't know, the taxpayers pay for AllenT2's health insurance. He has what is called Tri-Care. The military retiree pays $460/year to cover his family and guys like David Cunard pay the rest.

    This is what is called "good socialism". But if someone else gets help from the taxpayers it is called either just "socialism" or "communism".In America, it depends on who is getting the handout as to whether it is bad or good.

    An insurance company gets over $25,000/year to cover my family and the taxpayers don't help us one little bit.

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  • 495. At 05:30am on 01 Feb 2010, AllenT2 wrote:

    modernJan wrote:

    "I'm a human being, so I know things are bad when people go bankrupt because of medical bills (this would never happen in Europe and should not happen anywhere since falling sick or suffering an injury is not a choice people make)."

    One last response to you.

    As I suspected you are just another person from Europe simply coming across as a little King George or a Soviet trying to dictate to us how we should run our own country in matters that have absolutely nothing to do with you. That just shows your intolerance and arrogance towards the free people of another country.

    Try working on your so-called hate laws where people go to prison for simply having an opinion. At least that has something to do with you.

    "Besides, you're pretty much saying that just because I'm not North-Korean I don't have the right to say Kim Jong-Il is a bad leader for the North Koreans (who knows, maybe they want him to let a third of them starve)."

    You are comparing the communist dictatorship of North Korea to the free and democratic country of America? Is that a joke?!

    Fill me in, but when exactly did the people of North Korea have a say in the way their country is run? :)


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  • 496. At 05:37am on 01 Feb 2010, AllenT2 wrote:

    personanongrata wrote:

    "Modernjan well said again and again.
    no worries. you will have little effect on their opinions. facts are too confusing for their minds. terry pratchett describes how trolls think better when things are real cold.
    it is similar here.

    though I am not sure we have found a way of maintaining absolute zero for long enough for these trolls to think."

    In response to modernjan saying this:

    "that was another poster that said h ddc was here for the weather. maybe DC did say it. but I think you are confused. is the wine cellar too warm for rational thought."

    You are congratulating moderjan for saying someone didn't say something but then right after that modernjan concedes that maybe the person did say it and then she says I am "confused?!" :)

    And now I am a troll too?

    Wow.

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  • 497. At 05:46am on 01 Feb 2010, AllenT2 wrote:

    squirrelist wrote:


    "I feel a Squirrel Law coming on. But first, please explain to us exactly what you mean by this American 'spirit' and 'culture'."

    I'm not surprised to see you have the arrogance to ask me to explain American culture as if somehow I need to qualify and justify it to you as a foreigner. Not surprised at all.

    I'm sure you know what my answer is and that I can not express word for word on this site. :)

    Also, **you** are not "us."

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  • 498. At 05:52am on 01 Feb 2010, AllenT2 wrote:

    personanongrata wrote:

    "You know there is no hell freezing over that would make us friends.
    It got bizarre a long time ago it is not getting there.

    It got bizarre when some posters were given free reign."

    You mean like you calling me and others "trolls" and another person accusing me and MAII of posting under many different names?

    Right.



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  • 499. At 06:01am on 01 Feb 2010, AllenT2 wrote:

    squirrelist wrote:



    "I take it you are calling me a liar. That conversation took place, whether you like it or not. Still, being professionally insulted like that isn't exactly unusual for me, so I'm not going to cry over it."

    Sorry you lost me.

    "But you do not always refrain from giving people in other countries advice yourself:

    Yep, and I do it respectfully, as I also did in the Australian blog. (you missed that one)

    I don't come across as a little King George or a Soviet insulting them by ridiculing their chosen ways or trying to dictate how they should run their own country.

    It's all about respecting the right of a free people in a free country to choose for themselves. That's something many people on this site, and in your part of the world, need to learn. The EU included. :)

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  • 500. At 06:14am on 01 Feb 2010, KScurmudgeon wrote:

    Hey, folks - let us reduce the issue of health care in America to its simplest element:

    The cost of health care is rapidly consuming everyone's budget: the federal government, the states, all employers, all employees who are enrolled in employer plans, people who do not have employer based insurance, and those on public plans like medicare, medicaid or stte plan
    s, as well as those who choose not to or who cannot get individual coverage.

    Costs must be contained and reduced or our entire economy will soon belong to the medical community.

    Fixing this must mean less money spent on medical services. That means loss of jobs, lower profits, probably lower wages for thousands of workers and hundreds companies.

    It doesn't matter whether the system is public, private, or some hybrid, we must see the medical establishment reduced in size and in power, or the nation will soon literally loose it's shirt.

    No one in the country is prepared to enforce that correction.

    No one, Democrat, Republican, no Independents that I have heard from, not the congress, the president or any academic private or public analyst or advisor.

    Everyone loves their doctor if only because they have some ability to change until they find one they do like, and they like the coverage they have so long as their insurance takes care of most of the bill. But competition and cost controls do not go beyond the doctor/patient relationship. If the insurance chosen by the employers has covered our needs, we like the system.

    If you pay the doctor yourself, if the insurance decides your condition is not covered, or if you cannot get or cannot afford insurance, you can face bankruptcy, illness and death any time you develop a significant illness or injury. And more Americans are forced into this unprotected condition every year in our system, by the nature of its business model.

    Because of this endemic service failure, there are twenty-four other nations better served than we are, and the sophistication of our facilities becomes a slap in the face, an insult to the humanity of these American families who cannot access these services, equipment, or prescriptions. Most of these work and would be buying protection and sharing our costs if they could.

    It will continue to get worse until someone has the nerve to radically reduce the size of our bloated medical establishment, and reorder it to it's proper place in our economy: we cannot afford to give it a sixth of every dollar spent in the nation, nor go on giving a greater and greater share every year with no limit. That is not possible to sustain - But who can refuse them when they hold the power of life, death and financial ruin over each man, woman, child, household, business, and public institution?

    We may love our doctor, and even have family members in this most lucrative and dependable of growth industries, but this non-human monster is gnawing our very flesh. While they will fight to keep the status quo just as the financial industry does, the medical system is the most dangerous enemy America has - home grown, insidious, damnably clever.

    Only a great public outcry can return the power to the consumers - the irresponsible, greedy monster must be shown to be what it has become, public enemy number one. Who will call it out, and tell truth to this power?

    KScurmudgeon

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