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Firing up support in Philadelphia

Mark Mardell | 19:45 UK time, Monday, 8 March 2010

The crowd in Philadelphia went wild as the president told them healthcare reform had to be done now. There's a new urgency. A new insistence. A finger-jabbing impatience after a year of talking. One senator watching said he had new fire in his belly.

President Obama greeting supporters in Philadelphia

Teenagers in a choir who sung the national anthem before the president appeared hugged each other and jumped up and down with sheer delight when he finished.

If this selected crowd were in the Senate and in the House, he'd have no problem. The speech and the others that will follow it, this week and next, are intended to create a sort of moral momentum to mow down the political roadblocks.

Like just about every other elected politician in this country, he mocked the ways of Washington, where everything is measured against the political story, the poll ratings, the coming elections. He said he would do what was right, not what was popular.

It's probably why Washington DC isn't allowed representation in Congress. The politicians campaigning for office couldn't sneer at their own city.

Outside, protesters from local Tea Party groups waved placards warning of the dangers of healthcare reform. It is groups like this that have kept the debate at fever pitch, and everyone I spoke to was convinced this had nothing to do with health but was about a big government take-over, aimed at reducing the rights of citizens.

They are perhaps part of Pres Obama's problem, but not the immediate one. Before Democrats can even think of pushing the changes through the Senate using budget reconciliation, they have to get them through the House.

Democrats who worry the Senate bill funds abortion are not going to vote for the current plan. The next few weeks will tell if firing up supporters makes a dime of difference.

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  • 1. At 8:30pm on 08 Mar 2010, csgators wrote:

    Did you see a lot of racists Mark? I heard that the Tea Party crowd don't like them minorities.

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  • 2. At 8:56pm on 08 Mar 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    "It's probably why Washington DC isn't allowed representation in Congress. The politicians campaigning for office couldn't sneer at their own city." (from Mardell)

    No, it's just a historical artifact. I imagine that it never occurred to the founding fathers that there would be permanent residents of the federal district who were not residents of any state. Fixing it requires an amendment to the Constitution. Nobody thought it was important until the latter half of the 20th century (the permanent residents being poor blacks, for the most part).

    In 1961, the 23rd amendment gave the District a vote for president and vice president. It should have given it voting representation in Congress, as well. I don't know why this was not done.

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  • 3. At 9:02pm on 08 Mar 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    "It is groups like this that have kept the debate at fever pitch, and everyone I spoke to was convinced this had nothing to do with health but was about a big government take-over, aimed at reducing the rights of citizens." (from Mardell)

    Do you mean "everyone I spoke to" in the group of protestors? These are fringies, who make noise far out of proportion to their representation in the population.

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  • 4. At 9:05pm on 08 Mar 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Mark, do yourself a favor and visit the heartland, including the South and the Bible Belt. You are not going to find the same enthusiastic reactions from people in this neck of the woods...

    Most importantly, keep a keen eye on the reactions of folks that attend Sarah Palin's rallies. Partisan reactions reinvigorate the faithful, but are seldom effection at a national level where a much broader set of problems, priorities and values must be taken into consideration.

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  • 5. At 9:56pm on 08 Mar 2010, Iohannes Antonius wrote:

    Please correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the past participle of "to sing" sang instead of sung, as in "Teenagers in a choir who sang the national anthem . . ."?

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  • 6. At 10:02pm on 08 Mar 2010, Scott0962 wrote:

    Come on Mark, you've reported on politics long enough to know that the audience in Philadelphia was hand picked from one of the more liberal areas of the country. It's no more representative of the country as a whole than the crowd at a Texas rodeo which can be relied on to be equally loud and enthusiastic.

    The problems with Obama's plan for health care reform are still there. It still puts one sixth of the U.S. economy into the hands of government. It still plays numbers games with how it's going to be paid for. It still leaves millions of people without medical coverage (per the Congressional Budegt Office's figures). It was hastily conceived and is being rammed down our throats, a sure-fire recipe for bad legislation abd bloated costs.

    Obama may indeed have the votes he needs to force this legislation through but the Democrats will pay a heavy price when people get the bill and discover the details.

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  • 7. At 10:14pm on 08 Mar 2010, LIbertarian wrote:

    Huh, I recall a number of recent polls balancing out at 25% of people who actually want the bill as it stands, with about 90% of people wanting to have some healthcare reform. Perhaps it is time to start from scratch and try the least invasive, more palatable methods of reform step by step instead of ramming a nice big chunk of pork and debt down our throats. Then again, that would constitute a big loss of political face for our dear president but, you know, he doesn't care about politics or his image.

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  • 8. At 10:20pm on 08 Mar 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    MM wrote: "It's probably why Washington DC isn't allowed representation in Congress".


    You mean, Mr. Mardell, you REALLY don't know why is that?

    And what was the rationale behind the original decision to carve out the District out of Maryland and Virginia territories?

    Oh, common!

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  • 9. At 10:46pm on 08 Mar 2010, justathough251 wrote:

    I'm a US citizen living in the UK. I moved to Germany in 2000 for a year abroad, but decided to stay after Bush was elected and came to the UK in 2004. 10 years later I would like to at least be able to consider moving back to my country, but I just can't face the idea of losing my house or having to make payment plans for things like routine surgery or, god forbid, something more serious like cancer. I have seen too many friends, all of whom have college degrees, struggle if a family member falls ill - usually a child.
    I'm tired of the ridiculous farce of a government, Republicans and Democrats, that we have. Who cares if this health care bill isn't perfect? At least it's a start and something that can be worked on. America and Americans are so stubborn and refuse to admit that there are too many archaic systems in place that may have worked when the Founding Fathers "created" the country, but that things have changed quite dramatically since the late 1700's. Sometimes pointing out the obvious seems to be a revelation...

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  • 10. At 10:57pm on 08 Mar 2010, MagicKirin wrote:

    Marc alot of those supporter were SEIU members.

    A group who is favored by the Obama administration.

    I suggest you look at the Tea Party people who are far more knowledgible than the majority of Obama supporters in terms of the healthcare plan and the economy.

    ref #4
    With all her faults Sarah Palin would be doing a better job than Obama.

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  • 11. At 11:12pm on 08 Mar 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    Iohannus Antonius (#5), you are both wrong. The past participle of "sing" is "sung," but Mr. Mardell was using the ordinary past tense, not the past perfect, so should have used "sang." There was a similar mistake in his last posting, but it doesn't seem important to me.

    We haven't heard from our pedant-in-residence in quite awhile. Are you trying out for his replacement? Or are you he in disguise?

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  • 12. At 11:20pm on 08 Mar 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    Scott0962 (#6) "Come on Mark, you've reported on politics long enough to know that the audience in Philadelphia was hand picked from one of the more liberal areas of the country."

    Mr. Mardell did call it a "selected crowd." Is that not good enough for you? Why do some people insist on telling him what he should write about, anyway? He is following the President and reporting on what he has seen, giving people who come here an opportunity to comment on it. He may write about anything which interests him, as far as I am concerned. He doesn't work for anyone who posts here.

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  • 13. At 11:24pm on 08 Mar 2010, LIbertarian wrote:

    Ah, a correction to be made to my post (#6)

    My number was for registered republicans. The overall number according to rasmussen for march 8th is currently 42%, with a majority of republicans and independents against and a majority of democrats for.

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  • 14. At 11:51pm on 08 Mar 2010, BK wrote:

    Let's see...Philadelphia, on a work-day, during work-hours...hmmm! No...I think the 60-plus percent who think the country is going the wrong direction and that Obama is over-reaching were likely at work...leaving the unemployed, unemployable, and public employees to be present at the Teleprompter in Chief's speech.

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  • 15. At 00:09am on 09 Mar 2010, Barbara wrote:

    For starters, the Senate bill has no provisions for government funded abortion. The 'C Street' character, Rep. Stupak (D), who's pretending to take down this bill is himself under fire. The C-Street, as you should be well of now, is the holier-than-thou, Evangelical hypocrites of the first order.

    ABC News and MSNBC (Rachel Maddow) have clearly pointed this disinformation out.

    Its a shame that you have to be schooled as to what's going on in D.C., since its presumably your job to search very deeply into the nuances, AND you live there.

    One other thing, there is a tinge of disrespect in your tone regarding President Obama. You're better keeping YOUR own particular biases out of reporting. Its already led you down a path that's not suitable for 'fair and balanced' reporting.

    Good day.

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  • 16. At 00:24am on 09 Mar 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    Here is a link to an interesting discussion of the legal history of the District of Columbia:

    http://supreme.justia.com/constitution/article-1/48-district-of-columbia.html

    The simplest solution to the problem of equity for citizens of the district would be to cede most of the district back to the State of Maryland, as was done in 1846 with respect to the portion of the District in Virginia. The difficulty is that Maryland doesn't want it back.

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  • 17. At 00:31am on 09 Mar 2010, Barbara wrote:

    Hello moderators

    Your columnist could use the constructive criticism that was in my last post that's mysteriously disappeared. At least send it to him. Otherwise the BBC cuts should start with YOU.

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  • 18. At 01:55am on 09 Mar 2010, johnzebut wrote:

    10. At 10:57pm on 08 Mar 2010, MagicKirin wrote:

    "With all her faults Sarah Palin would be doing a better job than Obama."

    What is it with Conservative America. Two of the last three Republican Presidents were idiots by any reasonable measure. That a clown like Palin is even being considered as a serious contender for 2012 is a prime example of just why most of the rest of the world looks at America in slack-jawed amazement.

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  • 19. At 02:50am on 09 Mar 2010, BK wrote:

    With regard to GH1618's history: Have to agree with the State of Maryland on this one; the city is broken. I think we should give it the same membership in the Union as Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands...you know, representation without representation.

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  • 20. At 03:44am on 09 Mar 2010, shiveringofforgottenenemies wrote:

    Arcadia College in Glenside, PA was a strategic choice. Glenisde's demographics are 88.97% White, 6.66% African American, 0.10% Native American, 3.02% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.27% from other races, and 0.96% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.44% of the population. The average family income is $74,000.

    Bottom line, a liberal bastion. It is outrageous that this is billed as "Philadelphia". Glenside is about as much Philly as Bala Cynwyd. The speech itself was about as authentic as a ride at Disney World. The shirtsleeves..that was a nice touch. The Oscars have already been handed out though!

    Obama displays the same cynicism as P.T. Barnum...sure it's all fake and tawdry, overpriced and a gyp, buy there's a sucker born every minute. That appears to be what Obama is counting on.

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  • 21. At 04:13am on 09 Mar 2010, Magnos Iacobos wrote:

    Mark Mardell said:
    "He said he would do what was right, not what was popular."

    Mark,
    Perhaps that is the crux of the problem. We elect our politicians to pass legislation that is supported by the majority of the populace. If His Excellency, an actual styling of the President of the United States, wishes to do what he sees as the 'right thing' regardless of the wishes of the population (either for or against), than let him. He only keeps his job so long as he is popular.

    Ergo: He shall be voted out if too many of his gambles fail, and the United States shall be once again (theoretically) ruled by a representative government. Or the cycle starts over again.

    Note: the above argument assumes that the Health Care Reform bill is unpopular, along with many of His Excellency's other supported legislation.

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  • 22. At 04:19am on 09 Mar 2010, mitty_w wrote:

    "was convinced this had nothing to do with health but was about a big government take-over, aimed at reducing the rights of citizens."

    Wake up, America. Corporations have already taken over. What worse can a Government takeover do?

    "I suggest you look at the Tea Party people who are far more knowledgeable than the majority of Obama supporters in terms of the healthcare plan and the economy. With all her faults Sarah Palin would be doing a better job than Obama."

    King of LOL's. Are you kidding? I'm sure you are being ironic, MagicKirin. Sarah Palin doesn't know the first thing about foreign policy. Economy? Well, it's a more difficult subject that international relations, that's for sure.

    Palin and her bunch appear brighter because they reduces everything to stone cold simplicity: energy policy? drill baby, drill. Economy? free market, rob the poor to pay the rich. government? smaller government, lesser share of profits.

    The unpleasant fact is that everything in the world is more complicated than it seems.

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  • 23. At 06:11am on 09 Mar 2010, kecsmar wrote:

    I must say, i do find this style of "democracy" amusing.

    Here we have an elected Govt, with a majority. This Govt is trying to get a policy through, which it campained on and won!, but cannot get the Bill through.

    Then you have a different part of the "Govt system" saying Turkey commited genocide and want it recognised and then the "elected part" saying no, you can't say that and block this Bill.

    It is no wonder the country is in such a mess. I think the US needs to sort out how it represents the electorate first and how this translates into governance.

    Since it is very clear that no matter who is "head of state" and how much of a majority one has....US governance has its hands tied by others not wishing to allow the elected Govt to pass its policies it fought and won on, simply because they carry as much power as the elected power!

    Sort out the way elections are held and how power is governed first. Without this, there shall alwasy be stalemate, ergo no progress, except at times albiet very very slowly. Too slow for those that need the reforms!

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  • 24. At 07:36am on 09 Mar 2010, Iohannes Antonius wrote:

    GH1618 (#11), you are quite right, sorry. Being too tired and coming home from French class addled my grammar rules, but I knew it was wrong! Don't know who your resident pedant is/was, but I am quite a language pedant myself, since English is not my mother tongue. I finally registered last night only because I kept noticing Mardell's lack of grammar knowledge and it finally annoyed me enough to comment. Doesn't the BBC "sub" the blogs?

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  • 25. At 07:41am on 09 Mar 2010, Oldloadr wrote:

    To: AmericanGirlUK

    Isn't it wonderful that you don't need an exit visa to leave the USA? I'm glad you found things more to your liking in Europe and I hope you encourage all your liberal friends to join you there. You know, in my 54 years on the planet, I've never personally known anybody to become destitute due to health issues. Maybe that's because all of my friends/relatives made wise life choices and worked their asses off instead of hoping the gov't would do something for them. That could also explain why after living in Europe twice for 4 years each, I found no desire stay there forever. I do like the beer and wine in Germany, though...

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  • 26. At 07:44am on 09 Mar 2010, Iohannes Antonius wrote:

    kecsmar (#23) - Isn't that the whole point of the American system of checks and balances, to slow things down and jam them up at governmental level? The Founding Fathers mistrusted remote government (i.e. London) and so deliberately set up a creaky system which more often than not would result in stalemate. Like the "right to bear arms", it is an anachronism, albeit of the most serious kind. Query whether it suits a modern superpower. Having said that, maybe it does fill the bill when a society is as fractured as the American one seems to be at the moment. In any case, you touch on the fundamental weakness of representative democracy in saying that the elected government campaigned on a platform plank and won. Not everyone who voted for Obama and the Democrats in Congress necessarily supported health care and some may have just voted for them out of disgust with the Bush administration. And so it goes . . .

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  • 27. At 07:54am on 09 Mar 2010, kecsmar wrote:

    #26 I.A.
    "..Isn't that the whole point of the American system of checks and balances, to slow things down and jam them up at governmental level?.." if is the case, and proud to be...then why bother having an election at all?...just have an "American President Elect", in the same mannar as "American Idol"...

    It is odd, those that wish for zero Govt intervention are the very same pleading for Govt. intervention to bail them out, financially.

    Can't have it both ways...

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  • 28. At 08:32am on 09 Mar 2010, Schwerpunkt wrote:

    22. mitty_w wrote:

    "Sarah Palin doesn't know the first thing about foreign policy."

    Oh please! You are not suggesting that Obama does? In fact I recall that was one of the charges levelled against him by those who were not swayed by his honeyed words in 2008.

    Since he has been in office he hasn't exactly shown any great insight into how foreign policy should be conducted either. I don't think Palin would necessarily make a good President either but her foreign policy experience/insight is no better or worse than that of then Senator Obama.

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  • 29. At 08:48am on 09 Mar 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    Mark wrote: "The next few weeks will tell if firing up supporters makes a dime of difference."

    I can't see why it should, I'm sorry to say. What most polls actually say when you look at them, as opposed to what the pundits say about them, is that a majority of Republican supporters are, by and large, now opposed to any health insurance reform at all, and the other half are opposed to this bill itself; about half the Democratic voters and 'independents' are unhappy with the current bill (not health insurance reform per se)--which seems to me hardly surprising, merely common sense!-- and half will at the moment support almost any reform as long as there is some.

    But none of them are voting in the legislature, are they? Clearly the nuances of popular opinion simply don't matter any more in Washington where the voting's being done. Surely this tour isn't about getting public support for this health insurance bill, it's a pre-November election campaign to get Democrats fired up so both houses don't become Republican strongholds then, isn't it?

    (Unless Obama's planning on gatecrashing a few tea parties on his tour?)

    Now, can we go back to some basics?

    "Within the first year of signing health care reform, thousands of uninsured Americans with preexisting conditions would suddenly be able to purchase health insurance for the very first time in their lives.

    This year, insurance companies will be banned forever from denying coverage to children with preexisting conditions.

    This year, they will be banned from dropping your coverage when you get sick. And they will no longer able to arbitrarily and massively hike your premiums. Those practices will end.

    If this reform becomes law, all the new insurance plans will be required to offer free preventive care to customers starting this year. Free checkups so we can catch preventable diseases.

    Starting this year, there will be no more lifetime restricive annual limits on the amount of care you can receive from your insurance companies…"

    [The Plum Line: Greg Sargent's blog; courtesy of Michael Tomasky in The Guardian.]


    Anything else doesn't take effect until 2014 (!). So what's wrong with having those reforms listed above between 2010 and 2014? They are normal practicein every developed country which uses health insurance run by private companies. (Forget the NHS; the proper comparison here would be the private health insurers any British citizen can pay for if they wish and if they have the cash to spare.)

    Will the opponents please tell me what's so bad about that?






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  • 30. At 09:11am on 09 Mar 2010, David Murrell wrote:

    AmericanGirlUk – A belated welcome to our ‘sunny’ shores, but really with the whole of Europe why the UK!?! I love my country and all, but still if I was coming in from the outside, other than sharing a common language, I think the UK would be down on my list.

    I think what you have gained on the US is an outsiders perspective, a bit like a football match you see more of the game from a distance than you do actually on the pitch. A true outsider I agree with what you said, other than people being left destitute, since I don’t know enough Americans to know if that is correct. All I can say is expect certain American posters to tell you that you are not a real American (it seems to them to count as a logical and reasonable argument, rather than actually addressing any points).

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  • 31. At 09:55am on 09 Mar 2010, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #18
    johnzebut wrote:
    10. At 10:57pm on 08 Mar 2010, MagicKirin wrote:

    "With all her faults Sarah Palin would be doing a better job than Obama."

    What is it with Conservative America. Two of the last three Republican Presidents were idiots by any reasonable measure. That a clown like Palin is even being considered as a serious contender for 2012 is a prime example of just why most of the rest of the world looks at America in slack-jawed amazement.

    ______________

    It's not just conservative America. I am not praising Palin just saying she would be doing a better job than Barack the Clueless.

    Why can't people admidt that Obama is over his head and is the tool of special interests groups like the SEIU.

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  • 32. At 10:00am on 09 Mar 2010, wolfvorkian wrote:

    I'm a US citizen living in the UK. I moved to Germany in 2000 for a year abroad, but decided to stay after Bush was elected and came to the UK in 2004. 10 years later I would like to at least be able to consider moving back to my country, but I just can't face the idea of losing my house or having to make payment plans for things like routine surgery or, god forbid, something more serious like cancer.

    OMG... if you are out, stay out. Counts your blessings. Every year the population is dumbed down a bit more. What is cool in America these days is ignorance and being mad.What is odd is they don't even know what they're mad about. If you ask them about the anger they'll get that far away look of the village idiot in their eye and mutter something about "gubmit" or "socialism".

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  • 33. At 10:27am on 09 Mar 2010, David Murrell wrote:

    Magic – Rather than Palin who seems to have jumped in bed with the Tea Party (to be fair she did get paid money to jump into bed with them), which is also a special interests group?

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  • 34. At 11:06am on 09 Mar 2010, John_From_Dublin wrote:

    # 22 mitty_w wrote:

    [Referring to MK, who wrote
    "I suggest you look at the Tea Party people who are far more knowledgeable than the majority of Obama supporters in terms of the healthcare plan and the economy. With all her faults Sarah Palin would be doing a better job than Obama."]

    "King of LOL's. Are you kidding? I'm sure you are being ironic, MagicKirin. Sarah Palin doesn't know the first thing about foreign policy. Economy? Well, it's a more difficult subject that international relations, that's for sure./Palin and her bunch appear brighter because they reduces everything to stone cold simplicity: energy policy? drill baby, drill. Economy? free market, rob the poor to pay the rich. government? smaller government, lesser share of profits./The unpleasant fact is that everything in the world is more complicated than it seems."

    Mitty

    1. Well put

    2. You're a stranger in these parts, I'm guessing. Those of us who have been here for a while know that MK isn't kidding. He really does believe this stuff. Attempting to dissuade him with facts, evidence or logic is futile...

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  • 35. At 11:22am on 09 Mar 2010, Oldloadr wrote:

    There are very few Americans that are not members of one or more Special interest Groups. The Unions are Special Interest as is the Chamber of Commerce; the NRA as well as the Brady campaign etc,.

    There are very few Americans that don't belong to some group that pays a lobbyist to work on their behalf in the halls of congress; same groups as above plus the VFW, PTA, PETA, and host of other alpha companies.

    Politicians like to throw around the term "Special Interest" because they know that most on the left won't think of SEIU as a special interest group as most on the right won't think of the NRA. The tactic works great for incumbency.

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  • 36. At 12:06pm on 09 Mar 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 33, David

    (to be fair she did get paid money to jump into bed with them), which is also a special interests group?)

    I suspect the Tea Party movement appealed to her so much that money didn't matter and she would have joined them spontaneously and enthusiastically. After all, like species tend to stay together and when it comes to intellect, shared radicalism, and ignorance of domestic and foreign matters Sarah fits in hand in glove. I am delighted she finally found a place she can call home and a bethrem willing to follow her lead....well, maybe.

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  • 37. At 12:07pm on 09 Mar 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    President Obama has put the cart before the horse. In fact he has put all of the carts before the horse. The horse of course is the engine that pulls all of the carts, it is the economy stupid. Economists may be optomistic about a recovery, the average American is not. Unemployment is much higher than the 10% the government claims with countless millions having given up hope of finding a job while millions more are underemployed, retail sales stink, home prices and equity are way down, the stock market hasn't really recovered, Americans are maxing out their credit card debt trying to stave off bankruptcy, the car industry is on its knees again, food prices are up, energy prices are creeping up, now that the cash for clunkers program has expended its one shot accelerated replacement purchases and ended (the only bright spot is Toyota's collapse as a viable competitor to American carmakers as its cars are now seen as coffins on wheels) and in short, things are worse now for the average American family than they were a year ago.

    Joe Biden can go galavanting off to the Middle East, Senator Mitchell can play messenger boy back and forth between adamant Natanyahu who will defend Israel's security with or without Obama's approval, and impotent and powerless Abbas all he likes for all the good it will do, and Lady (Edmund) Hillary can run around the world making speeches to no purpose. If these people weren't useless twits, it might matter that they are focusing their energy on every issue except the one that counts. But they are and so back home they'd be of no more value than they are floating around in the ether pretending they are doing something. And now President Obama is adamant about his pet obsession, health insurance. Hey Mister President, it doesn't do anyone any good to have health care insurance mandated if they don't have the income to pay for the premiums. It still won't be free and most of us are smart enough to know that for the 40 million who don't have it to get it, the rest of us will have to pay out more one way or another for our own whether in higher premiums or higher taxes. Don't you remember Senator Mondale's blunder or were you too young at the time to be aware of it?

    How about focusing on rebuilding America. With that the rest will come by itself. Without it, nothing else can happen. Now repeat Mister President; first the horse-then the cart, first the horse-then the cart, first the horse-then the cart. I wonder if he will ever get it.

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  • 38. At 12:18pm on 09 Mar 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 32, wolfvorkian

    "What is odd is they don't even know what they're mad about."

    I suspect uncertainties about the economy and the future of our country has a lot to do with it. Unfortunately, the choice of words used to describe what the healthcare-related legislation is did not help matters. Healthcare reform implies changes to the medical services we receive. Since medical practice is not being altered a more accurate term may have been health INSURANCE reform. The focus of the new legislation is to reform insurance practices to make the system all inclusive and more affordable.

    Semantics are often irrelevant, but it can easily lead to misunderstandings and can facilitate the ability of special interests to pursue their goals and achieve their objectives to the detriment of society.

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  • 39. At 12:22pm on 09 Mar 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 28

    "Oh please! You are not suggesting that Obama does?"

    Neither did George W. Bush, Reagan or most of their predecessors. What is important is to form a Cabinet and a team of advisors with the knowledge necessary to analyze situations and give advice to the President. Intellect, analytical skills, common sense, curiosity and willingness to learn, and other such attributes do the rest.

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  • 40. At 12:24pm on 09 Mar 2010, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #33 and 34

    First the Tea Party is a grass root orginization unlike the SEIU whose head has been put on a reglatory board and gets more access to Obama than any non goverment person or family member.

    As far as Palin I am not praising her but Obama knows nothing about foriegn policy and the economy either.

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  • 41. At 12:29pm on 09 Mar 2010, David Murrell wrote:

    Saint – If I was American (I guess Marcus and Allen are happy that I’m not) and if I was Republican (even more unlikely) I would be really hacked off with the Tea Party since it main unintended aim is to split the Republican vote. Sure they may have helped in getting Senator Brown elected, though I am guessing he wouldn’t agree, but in the future I can see them pushing candidates that follow their limited agenda. Despite their high following on these boards I am guessing more Republican voters (I know on these boards it is only the ‘independents’, that is people who take every opportunity to say how terrible Obama is, how socialist and corrupt the Democrats are and how wonderful Palin and the Tea Party is – which is an interesting interpretation of independent) are wary about the Teas than support them.

    Yes Palin does fit their profile, from looking at their website, simplistic answer for complex issues.

    Marcus – quick question are you suggesting that since the horse is domestic affairs, Israel should be cut loose of the US apron strings, for the time being at least?

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  • 42. At 12:51pm on 09 Mar 2010, PartTimeDon wrote:

    Ref #37 MAII
    "...It (health insurance) still won't be free and most of us are smart enough to know that for the 40 million who don't have it to get it, the rest of us will have to pay out more one way or another for our own whether in higher premiums or higher taxes."
    _____________
    So you don't like the prospect of paying for others? Well get off this website then! As a UK tax payer I'm funding (and arguably partially own) this socially funded website - and you aren't. A non UK tax payer using this site to complain about having to pay for others is hypocritical.

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  • 43. At 12:59pm on 09 Mar 2010, PartTimeDon wrote:

    Ref #39 StD
    Nobody votes for the cabinet or for advisers. The right advisers are crucial, but they are by and large unelected (even if the have to get confirmed) and they may well have their own agendas that they can push on a lesser president (Rumsfeld advocated invading Iraq to the Clinton adminstration and was told were to go - not sure that took much persuasion though). The guy at the top needs to be one of the smartest guys in the room for the system to work. He is after all the "decider".

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  • 44. At 1:01pm on 09 Mar 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    DruM;

    The horse is the American economy. The US should not concern itself with negotiations between Palestinians and Israelis right now. Besides being a pointless waste of energy and time, it is a diversion from the main issue that grips America, the one it has to deal with first. Those worthless negotiations that have been going on for decades may be an amusing avocation for more placid times, say in the early 90s but not now. In case you haven't noticed, the more they negotiate, the worse things get between them. Has it ever occurred to anyone that it is the negotiations that are stirring up touble? The false hope and expectations they aroused emboldened the Palestinians to be more agressive while it lulled the Israelis into a false sense of security. Netanyahu told President Obama in response to his request for more unilateral concessions to the Palestinians to get negotiations restarted to in effect go to hell. Of course it was in diplomatic speak but that was the gist of it. And he was right. Israeli security is ultimately an affair of Irael's government and only Israel's government. The US has no more right to interfere with Israel's security policy than Israel has to interfere with America's. They make their decisions including their mistakes and they live with the consequences. We in America don't suffer theirs, nor should we try to impose any through any sort of arm twisting. They live in a tough neighborhood and should know what is best for them.

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  • 45. At 1:06pm on 09 Mar 2010, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #39
    Neither did George W. Bush, Reagan or most of their predecessors. What is important is to form a Cabinet and a team of advisors with the knowledge necessary to analyze situations and give advice to the President. Intellect, analytical skills, common sense, curiosity and willingness to learn, and other such attributes do the rest.
    ______________-

    Lets look at his cabinent

    VP are selected to do no harm and as long as Binden keeps quiet he does no harm.

    Good picks Gates Clinton and summers

    Bad Emanuel

    Very bad Gietner and Holder

    Gietner because his priorties are wrong he can't explain his policies to even Democrats satisfaction and I don't want the overseer of the IRS to be a tax cheat.

    Holder refuses to prosecute voter intimidation and is more concerned with political prosecutions.

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  • 46. At 1:22pm on 09 Mar 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 41, David

    "...the Tea Party since it main unintended aim is to split the Republican vote."

    You are absolutely right, and I am starting to see signs of exasperation from senior members of the Republican party. Evidence of the damage the TP can do to Republicans is evident in the challenges that popular moderate Republicans such as McCain and Christ are facing in Arizona and Florida from far right candidates like Haywood and Rubio.

    I expect McCain to overcome the challenge and emerge victorious, but Christ who was once considered a VP running mate for McCain is facing an uphill battle from Rubio who accuses the Governnor of being too moderate.

    I wouldn't be surprised if the founders of the TP movement now realize they created a monster.

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  • 47. At 1:23pm on 09 Mar 2010, londonunderground wrote:

    People who have realized how rabidly anti-government they are now that there's a black democrat in the white house?

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  • 48. At 1:38pm on 09 Mar 2010, waltonmountain wrote:

    What has happened to compassionate America?
    The tea party group have a lot in common with that 18th century Mary-Ann Twanet in their " Let them eat cake" attitude.
    Horse before the cart? Horse before the cart would be okay if it wasn't for the fact that these self serving Republicans have already sold the farm, restricting the harvest.
    Who today could be regarded as the revolting peasants here? . Surely not the poor in our community just trying to make ends meet?
    Any attempts at political horse trading across the aisles is bound to fall flat when big business now controls the whole shebang. [Little wonder they are hounding that nice Rod Blagojevich who was forced to sell the furniture to support his family in times of need.]
    Fortunately Barack Obama knows what the American poor need to get their case across, despite the doubts and objections of those already seated on the gravy train.
    For this exceedingly good person his actions are best summed up in the words of Mr Kipling also renowned for his masterpiece "The Great Game", which after all, is what our USA politics is all about.
    Mr President. You are the man!
    What if????

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  • 49. At 1:39pm on 09 Mar 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 43, PartImeDon

    "The guy at the top needs to be one of the smartest guys in the room for the system to work. He is after all the "decider".

    No question about it, and I definitely agree that sometimes picking the wrong person for a Cabinet position, or as a running mate, can have serious and long lasting consequences. We don't have to go any further than George W. Bush decision to choose Dick Cheney as his VP to find evidence of this.

    However, since I think it is unrealistic to expect expertise on all matters from anyone, I believe selecting the right persons for Cabinet and advisory positions is crucial to the success of an administration. Nixon made an outstanding decision in choosing Henry Kissinger, Reagan surrounded himself with a team of highly qualified individuals (unfortunately he was not able to distinguish between campaign rhetoric and the realities of governing), Clinton also had an excellent team of advisors, and for the most part so does President Obama.

    Geogr W. Bush paid a heavy price for choosing Cheney who, for all intents and purposes, ran his administration.

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  • 50. At 1:40pm on 09 Mar 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    PartTimeBrain;

    "As a UK tax payer I'm funding (and arguably partially own) this socially funded website - and you aren't."

    That shows how little you know. My taxes in part go to subsidize NPR and PBS both of which have contracts to rebroadcast BBC news and other programs. So while you have the option to not buy a license and not support BBC, I don't have that option. I have to support it whether I like or not. And I don't like it one bit. Tell ya what, you get BBC off my payroll and I'll stop posting on their blogs. Until then...tough! Read it and weep...or don't read it at all for all I care. At least I'm not responsible for your education or lack of it. That's the UK government's department without my help. And a good thing too because it would be clear I wouldn't be getting my money's worth if it were.

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  • 51. At 1:40pm on 09 Mar 2010, David Murrell wrote:

    Macrus (oops I appear to have gained your dyslexia with usernames, it must be catching) – I am glad to hear that you believe the American economy should come first and that Israel should be left to its own devices, can I take it you would support a reduction in the amount of money the US pays to Israel? I ask since this would support both the US economy and Israeli independence. For reference according to a report by the Congress Research Service, the largest receiver of foreign aid is Israel, who received $2.55 billion in 2009. Remember this for one year and the figure is increasing, so this year Israel is going to receive from the US tax payer over 2 and a half BILLION US Dollars. Remind me how much is this healthcare proposal meant to be costing?
    Magic – I know what you are going to say, I’ll let you vent before I explain why your inevitable accusation is illogical.

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  • 52. At 1:48pm on 09 Mar 2010, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #47
    londonunderground wrote:
    People who have realized how rabidly anti-government they are now that there's a black democrat in the white house?

    ________________

    It is not race, it's policies incmptence and lack of ability. I would feel the same way about John Edwards.

    Obama only superior attribute is that he is a good husband.

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  • 53. At 2:23pm on 09 Mar 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Don't ask for whom Philadephia bell tolls: it tolls for YOU!


    [and you know who you are]



    P.S. There's also Alaska, and Arizona, and Colorado, and Missouri, and Montana, and New Mexico, and Texas, and Utah, and Wyoming...

    [BBC correspondent seems to have no clue what makes real America tick]


    P.P.S. Yes, there's also Guam. :-)))

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  • 54. At 2:28pm on 09 Mar 2010, The Toothbrush Man wrote:

    There are 2 forces pulling apart the Conservatives on the US. The first, as already mentioned are the Tea Party. Big on ideology, snappy soundbite bumper sticker slogans and convinced the whole world "is out to get America", they will fall apart if they ever actually have to sit around a table and decide to become a political party. Then they will discover that amongst 100 of the Tea Party there will be 100 different conservative ideologies and no drop of compromise amongst them.

    The second force pulling apart the conservative is I think grossly underestimated by everybody. It's "that" (we all know who) news channel that claims to be a "fair and balanced" mouthpiece for the GOP. The problem though is that many of its news/opinion (and its hard to tell the difference) stories are so lunatic that it is switching off the moderate conservative voters (the ones that, like, actually matter) who resent being told how to be a conservative - and they don't like what they are being told.

    For example - the conservative ideology says that "global warming" is a massive, worldwide conspiracy of hundreds of thousands on scientists in tens of thousands of universities in the hundreds of countries (many of whome are ready to go to war with one another). And why ? Apparently it's all a plot to destabilise the US economy ! Bizarre ! This nutty idea is promoted relentlessly without any shame to the US by this news/opinion channel and consequently vast numbers of conservative voters that are not stupid enough to buy into this nonsense are turning away from the conservative movement.








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  • 55. At 2:34pm on 09 Mar 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    DruM;

    "can I take it you would support a reduction in the amount of money the US pays to Israel?"

    I'd support a complete cutoff of money the US pays to anybody and everybody. We need that money ourselves here now. Israel has a thriving economy. They don't need our money. Perhaps they should be sending us money. We owe nothing to anyone. Why should we be giving foreign aid and that includes the military defense of Europe and keeping China, Japan, and North and South Korea from each others throats. If people around the world want to kill each other, it is not America's job to try to stop them.

    We believe that Isael has an impressive arsenal of nuclear weapons. If they don't, they're fools. If they feel sufficiently threatened by Iran or anyone else, it's up to them to use them. They also have a very well equipped and well trained military. I'd continue selling weapons to them. Let them pay for it out of their own pockets now though. I didn't notice that they used them very effectively in the war against Lebanon though. If they are not going to use them to vanquish their enemies in war, what good are they? Perhaps they won't feel so ambivalent about fighting wars to win if they don't think Uncle Sam will come to their rescue in case things don't go their way. If Hezbollah is a threat, they shouldn't have stopped fighting until it was wiped out...no matter what else that meant or entailed. Allowing an enemy to live to fight another day is a dire mistake with potentially fatal consequences.

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  • 56. At 2:38pm on 09 Mar 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    "There are people who don't know, or claim they don't know what it's all about"
    (JFK)

    Let them read this American-born al-Qaida spokesman's statement:

    [no, it's not about health care, although indirectly...]


    http://news.yahoo.com/video/world-15749633/18499474

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  • 57. At 2:41pm on 09 Mar 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Palin for British PM!

    That's Michael Palin, of course.

    Perhaps he would not be better, but definitely much funnier.

    [see, we can butt into into your internal affairs, as well as you can in ours. :)]

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  • 58. At 2:44pm on 09 Mar 2010, John_From_Dublin wrote:

    # 46 SaintDominick wrote:

    "I expect McCain to overcome the challenge and emerge victorious, but Christ who was once considered a VP running mate for McCain is facing an uphill battle from Rubio who accuses the Governnor of being too moderate."

    Saint, I'm pretty sure the man you're thinking of is Charlie Crist - a subtle but important difference ;-)

    Anyway, I cannot seriously believe that Christ would be considered for a place on the Rep ticket. A long haired bearded hippie, wearing a long white robe, preaching peace and love, lookin' like one of them there A-rabs - off to Gitmo with him...

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  • 59. At 2:44pm on 09 Mar 2010, Philly-Mom wrote:

    Hi Folks -- Philly Mom, Reporting Live from Philadelphia!
    Actually, I was not at the event. I was at work at an area university a few miles away. Alas. But, I just got this email from one of my "Progressive Democrat / Green" type associates who contributes to the Eco/Pacifist mail serv I'm on.
    Enjoy!
    _______
    I was lucky and got tickets in the VIP section in front of the audience literally 10 feet from Obama at Arcadia University. It was a pretty awe inspiring speech with a very supportive and enthusiastic crowd. A few dissenting shouts could be heard and one moment he looked up and people reacted by saying "let the President finish".

    The President was introduced by a single woman faced with a doubling of her insurance premiums and saying that something had to be done. The audience had been standing waiting for 3 hours to hear Obama and when he came in, it was a thunderous reception. He began by saying it was good to get out of Washington.

    His loudest ovations came when he said that insurance abuses had to end like exclusions for preexisting conditions, that people should be able to buy the same plan as members of Congress and that Republicans had 10 years to do something about health care costs and did nothing and now they are critics of his plan. "If not now, when? If not us, who?".

    His message was that Congress needed to pass the bill and that Washington spent more time worrying about the elections and not enough time about the concerns of the people.

    At one point he said that, "some people want a government takeoever of health care" to which there was a loud applause including a few of us who shouted, "single payer". He seemed to ignore it, but it was notable and unlikely to be reported by the media.

    His final comment was that he wanted us to get Congress to pass his health care bill. Nothing new that hasn't been said.

    -- from Philly's NWGreen mail serv
    ______________

    Personally, I'd love to see the entire system redone for single payer... but it ain't gonna happen any time soon. I think we'd be more likely to see a third party become manifest. (IOW: very very low odds.)

    Care for some popcorn?

    BTW: did you see any shots of Obama w/ Philly Mayor Michael Nutter? Great guy, Mr. Nutter. I'm as fond of his political perspectives as I am of his last name.

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  • 60. At 2:51pm on 09 Mar 2010, John_From_Dublin wrote:

    # 52 MK

    "It is not race, it's policies incmptence [sic] and lack of ability. I would feel the same way about John Edwards."

    In fairness to MK, I believe that his many, many, oh-so-many postings demonstrate this to be true.

    He is an equal opportunities hater. He hates all Democrats, liberals and progressives, regardless of race, creed or colour.

    Except for Joe Lieberman. Go figure.

    (Mind you, I suspect that these days Joe Lieberman is rather less a member of the Democratic Party, and rather more a member of the Joe Lieberman Party.)

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  • 61. At 2:59pm on 09 Mar 2010, Philly-Mom wrote:

    Guess what, folks?
    Our dear lovely shining star Sarah Palin used Canada's Universal Healthcare!

    ... well ya'll, if it was good enough for Sarah's family, don't you think it could be good enough for us? Gadzooks!

    The complete insanity of my national kinsmen's logical inconsistencies amazes even me -- and having been razed* near DC, I'd thought I'd seen it all...

    *and raised.

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  • 62. At 3:01pm on 09 Mar 2010, csgators wrote:

    43. At 12:59pm on 09 Mar 2010, PartTimeDon wrote:

    " So you don't like the prospect of paying for others? Well get off this website then! As a UK tax payer I'm funding (and arguably partially own) this socially funded website - and you aren't. A non UK tax payer using this site to complain about having to pay for others is hypocritical."

    Enough already, we actually see ads over here and so do help to pay for the site. If you don't want Americans on this site require proof of citizenship to comment.

    PS I am actually kind enough not to use an ad blocker on this site since the ads are not in your face. I do not extend the same courtesy to CNN and others.

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  • 63. At 3:05pm on 09 Mar 2010, csgators wrote:

    Ref 43

    "(Rumsfeld advocated invading Iraq to the Clinton adminstration and was told were to go - not sure that took much persuasion though"

    Rummy wasn't in governent at the time, how exactly did he do that?


    Donald Rumsfeld

    George H. W. Bush and Clinton years
    Rumsfeld was a member of the National Academy of Public Administration and a member of the boards of trustees of the Gerald R. Ford Foundation; the Eisenhower Exchange Fellowships; the Hoover Institution at Stanford University; and the National Park Foundation. He was also a member of the U.S./Russia Business Forum and Chairman of the Congressional Leadership's National Security Advisory Group.

    During the 1996 presidential election, Rumsfeld served as national chairman to the campaign of Bob Dole.[34]

    Rumsfeld was a founder and active member of the Project for the New American Century, a neo-conservative think-tank dedicated to maintaining US Primacy. On January 29, 1998, he signed a PNAC letter calling for President Bill Clinton to implement "regime change" in Iraq.[35]

    From January to July 1998 Rumsfeld chaired the nine-member Commission to Assess the Ballistic Missile Threat to the United States. They concluded that Iraq, Iran, and North Korea could develop intercontinental ballistic missile capabilities in five to ten years and that U.S. intelligence would have little warning before such systems were deployed.[36]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donald_Rumsfeld

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  • 64. At 3:12pm on 09 Mar 2010, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #51

    David if you wish the U.S start cutting foriegn aid start with the least deserving

    The U.N
    The Palestinians

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  • 65. At 3:12pm on 09 Mar 2010, Philly-Mom wrote:

    14. At 11:51pm on 08 Mar 2010, BK wrote:
    Let's see...Philadelphia, on a work-day, during work-hours...hmmm! No...I think the 60-plus percent who think the country is going the wrong direction and that Obama is over-reaching were likely at work...leaving the unemployed, unemployable, and public employees to be present at the Teleprompter in Chief's speech.

    Um... excuse me?
    Honey, during his campaign, Obama made about 5 stump speeches here in Philly. People here care about our government. We care very much. We are very proud of that liberty bell that hangs in town. Ever seen it? It's cracked... just like our Medical Insurance System.

    Word came out last Friday that he'd be in town Monday. People waited in line on Saturday for tickets. Not everyone who wanted to be there could be. (myself included) Folks here will gladly take a day off work to see Obama speak, because we give a hoot.

    Folks also took off work to hear Hillary. They had quite a battle for our state. Obama may have come here because he remembers that battle and he knows that we give a rip.


    Dang. First the Brits are callin' us lazy and fat, and now we're unemployable, too. Can't win for loosing some days.

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  • 66. At 3:13pm on 09 Mar 2010, U14376687 wrote:

    9

    "America and Americans are so stubborn and refuse to admit that there are too many archaic systems in place that may have worked when the Founding Fathers "created" the country, but that things have changed quite dramatically since the late 1700's. "

    Nothings changed. The fundamentals are the same.Archaic systems are OK when they are in the context of a new country. It's those archaic countries that have to watch for archaic systems ruining them.


    MarcusAureliusII

    Your posts leave me confused.America was attacked and is attacked because our support for Israel is not considered acceptable by many in the world.It is our right to help which ever regime we happen to choose.There are no ethics involved here. Be pragmatic we wanted their help to beat back Russia.All those Russian Jews returning to Israel were the most anti soviet union folk we could have in our pockets.We cannot abandon them now just because they have created the conditions we deplored in the Soviet Union.
    They are our allies we have to support them NO MATTER WHAT.

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  • 67. At 3:14pm on 09 Mar 2010, AndreaNY wrote:

    35. Oldloadr :

    "There are very few Americans that are not members of one or more Special interest Groups. "

    **************
    This is a fact that's lost on many from outside the US. Not only is every single group a "special interest" but so are the states. Each state, like many EU countries, has its own demographic and industry interests. State Senators and Congressmen and women are responsible for taking care of their states. To the dismay of many, large corporations also reside in their states.

    Many posters here insist on comparing the US to their small countries. They don't see that asking people, say, in South Dakota to pay for those in California is akin, in many ways, to asking the Germans to bail out the Greeks.

    It's a virtual free-for-all here when it comes to special interests, and I know of not one single group that exempts itself from pursuing its interests.

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  • 68. At 3:15pm on 09 Mar 2010, U14376687 wrote:

    51
    Deplorable comment.
    If we backed down from helping Israel, America would be finished.

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  • 69. At 3:24pm on 09 Mar 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    powermeerkat, no they don't. I don't think any of the UKers do. Neither they nor the rest of the Euroers seem to. They don't know much about American history. From what I've heard of what's going on in the public schools these days I wonder what American children are being taught about it. I have a sneaking suspicion few of them are getting much of the truth.

    I'll bet most UKers don't even know why they are called tea parties or what the Boston Tea Party was even about. Clueless, all of them.

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  • 70. At 3:33pm on 09 Mar 2010, David Murrell wrote:

    Macrus (really need to get this keyboard sorted out) – You see we can agree on things, well almost. Cutting commitments in Europe, Israel, Japan etc sounds like a good idea to me, other than possibly Israel I think most of the inhabitants of these countries (I know Europe isn’t a country, but lets take them as general set) would be happy with that. I am too much of a hippy to believe cutting aid to those that need it is a good thing and my only other proviso would be sorting out the situation in Iraq and Afghanistan (no this does not mean sending more troops).

    So there you go.

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  • 71. At 3:36pm on 09 Mar 2010, David Murrell wrote:

    Powermeerkat - Question is the video subtitled, otherwise I don’t think I can read the Yahoo video!?!

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  • 72. At 3:37pm on 09 Mar 2010, The Toothbrush Man wrote:

    55. At 2:34pm on 09 Mar 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    "We owe nothing to anyone. Why should we be giving foreign aid and that includes the military defense of Europe "

    Strange. During the cold war the rational for putting US military bases into Europe was as a means of defending the US - the front line just happended to be in Europe. The US wasn't defending Europe per say - it was only defending Europe as a means of defending itself.

    For example - the route from teh USSR to the US was much shorter over the North pole. And so the US put military bases in Canada. Was the US defending Canada too ?





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  • 73. At 3:42pm on 09 Mar 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re:meerkat wrote: "There's also Alaska, and Arizona, and Colorado, and Missouri, and Montana, and New Mexico, and Texas, and Utah, and Wyoming...

    [BBC correspondent seems to have no clue what makes real America tick]"



    I deeply apologize to the citizens of the great state of Idaho, for omitting you.

    Not only have I skied in your beautiful Sun Valley more than once, but also took a survivalist course in your great woods quarter of a century ago.

    Which turned out to be very helpful later in my life.

    [not that I unappreciate the work of Idaho National Lab folks :)]

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  • 74. At 3:54pm on 09 Mar 2010, David Murrell wrote:

    Powermeerkat – I agree having Michael as a world leader would be funnier than Sarah, mostly because the word that would describe Palin as US president would be scary!

    Also why would I or any other Brit object to you commenting on who should be British PM (interfering would suggest more influence than you appear to have), I mean only a small minded xenophobe would complain about someone foreign commenting in such a way! :-)

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  • 75. At 3:57pm on 09 Mar 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    Philly-Mom;

    "The President was introduced by a single woman faced with a doubling of her insurance premiums and saying that something had to be done."

    It would have made a better photo op if she'd been pushing a child in a wheelchair with her. And had only one leg...with a crutch and no prosthesis...and a big red bruise on her face that stuck out from behind a bandage...and only one eye. Even better yet if they'd have wheeled her on to the platform lying in a hospital bed with an IV stuck in her arm.

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  • 76. At 3:58pm on 09 Mar 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Philly-Mom relaying: "He began by saying it was good to get out of Washington."



    There are plenty of people in these United STATES who'd love to see Barack Hussein Obama get out of Washington.


    How numerous they are?

    Have no idea. We'll see in November of 2012,

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  • 77. At 4:00pm on 09 Mar 2010, hms_shannon wrote:

    57. At 2:41pm on 09 Mar 2010, powermeerkat wrote:
    Palin for British PM!

    That's Michael Palin, of course.

    Perhaps he would not be better, but definitely much funnier.

    [see, we can butt into into your internal affairs, as well as you can in ours. :)]

    I love it,thats the way to dish it up & back,have a word with Allen on how its done,even bloody Marcus`s insults are more palatable than Allens
    whining...

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  • 78. At 4:05pm on 09 Mar 2010, Philly-Mom wrote:

    I would like to point out something that may not be apparent to most delightful non-citizens of the USA, and might not even be apparent to many of our own tax payers.
    (If this is old news for you, don't read it. It's long.)

    NOTE: This is important --
    a)Insurance rates/costs vary regionally and most providers are also regional.
    b)Our current Insurance Crisis is affecting our 'densely populated' areas.
    c)Therefore, most states simply don't realize how bad the problem is.

    You see, our elected officials represent all states, but most of our citizens are represented by a very few, densely populated states. So --

    The majority of Americans have a minority voice in DC.

    What an unfortunate turn of events for our 'representative democracy'. Of course suburban America is freaking out. They've never had to struggle to survive in Philly, Los Angeles, New York, Boston, Chicago, Baltimore, Seattle, San Fran, New Orleans, etc...

    Rural/Sub-urban Americans aren't dis-compassionate and stupid, and Urban Americans aren't lazy and selfish. Rather, we just have a very unfortunate cultural disconnect.
    ___

    But wait! It get's better!
    Even folks who are "In-The-Know" about our Medical Insurance Crisis have significant philosophical differences about how to approach a solution. This is when we fall back into that age old Local-Power v. Federal-Power issue that might ring familiar to some of you dealing with EU authority issues...

    Who should have power over all this?
    Business? State Gov? Federal Gov?

    IMHO -- I am solidly on the side of Federal regulation across states regarding significant macro-economic industries that affect the health and wellness of our people.
    (I may not be varnished, but I spit and polish pretty well... and I vote.)

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  • 79. At 4:09pm on 09 Mar 2010, David Murrell wrote:

    Philly-Mom – Well isn’t that revelation about Sarah Palin ‘ironic’!!!!

    Wow some of those comments following the article had some colourful names for the Alaskan Lass!

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  • 80. At 4:14pm on 09 Mar 2010, csgators wrote:

    @PartTimeDon

    I see what you meant now, I thought you were saying he was in the Defence Dept. at the time.

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  • 81. At 4:21pm on 09 Mar 2010, U14374829 wrote:

    So now That america is trying to get Israel to back away from it's usual aggressive stance and behaviour (like claiming religious sites in others lands and building houses on others lands) He is all for separation of church and state. (not the case in Isreal)
    Because he see the possibility of letting them free would get more people bombed.
    And that is what he likes.

    How about we let them free and say "if you attack a neighbour again we will stop you.
    NO kidding we will. If you try to use a nuke (and we will assume any action not in Israel is an attempt to use a nuke we will annihilate you.We will obliterate you.
    or we will blow your planes up ( I prefer the last one but hell take your pick).
    see that way we could say" Iran we protected you back off the nukes .
    Now Israel could do a lot of damage to the states. That has been said before by people HOW SO> . Explain how Israel is so in control of the states that we have to worry about them doing anything. It is a tiny country and real busy.
    Sure we should stop paying them.But we should also threaten them. Like we do with all other nations.
    They hold no power over the USA. Unless someone wants to explain that invisible power we should be afraid of I can see no problem with withdrawing support for Israel.

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  • 82. At 4:23pm on 09 Mar 2010, U14374829 wrote:

    Tea party creators worried they have been taken over . but not by racists because no one is allowed to talk of racism here.

    they are trying to take over.
    they tried with theGOP who are just realising how bad a move they made(except the ones that look at the crowds and forget to notice the signs.)


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  • 83. At 4:24pm on 09 Mar 2010, U14374829 wrote:

    Did you see the hugely multi racial crowd at the tea party then Mr M.

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  • 84. At 4:26pm on 09 Mar 2010, David Murrell wrote:

    Magic – depends on the type of aid, Marcus appears to have picked up is that most of this aid was military based well according to the US report I read (I suppose the US congress could have got that wrong). According to the USAID website, the US have paid $2.9 billion between 1994 and 2009, so in 15 years slightly more than Israel gets in a year, of that $2.9 bn none was for military projects (at least according to the USAID website).

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  • 85. At 4:27pm on 09 Mar 2010, LucyJ wrote:

    It's true that something needs to be done for our health care system, to make costs less expensive. Nationalized health care still sounds the best to me. If this bill passes, it should cover everyone but the illegal immigrants. I don't hate the illegal immigrants, but do think it's wrong for them to come to our country illegally. That is breaking the law. If the USA lets illegal immigrants stay or does not persecute them, even though they are illegal, that is like saying it is okay for immigrants to break the laws, but not American citizens. It is putting immigrants above us. We all have to follow the same laws. If illegal immigrants break the laws, ship them back to their country. No ifs, ands or buts. As long as they are illegal, there will always be resentment that they are breaking the law, while we are not permitted to. Then, the real immigrant citizens who are legal get harassed, when they shouldn't. Americans accept legal citizens. If we had a better system, things would be better for everyone. Get the illegals out!!!!! This will help health care!!!!!

    I hope that Obama's health care bill will pass, if it truly will improve Americans lives. If it is not good, well, then the opposite. I and many other Americans simply don't know. Only fate knows.

    I'm on the other side of the spectrum with Israel. I completely support them, as I do our other allies. Our allies are our brothers and sisters. They are our friends and good people. I wish lots of Irish-American love and luck to Joe Biden, Israel, and Palestine. Hope that someday there will be peace in the Middle East for all the countries.

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  • 86. At 4:30pm on 09 Mar 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    MK;

    Instead of just cutting off funding to the UN, why don't we quit the failed organization altogether and give them 30 days to pack up and get out of America? You'd be surprised how that could ease the traffic jams in Manhattan.

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  • 87. At 4:31pm on 09 Mar 2010, U14374829 wrote:

    64 So we can give money for bombs and those kids dying from white phosperous poisoning can go to hell.

    and you wonder why some say you should be the one forced to leave this discussion

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  • 88. At 4:36pm on 09 Mar 2010, The Toothbrush Man wrote:

    68. At 3:15pm on 09 Mar 2010, GoteamUSA wrote:

    "51 Deplorable comment.
    If we backed down from helping Israel, America would be finished."

    Er, how, exactly ?

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  • 89. At 4:42pm on 09 Mar 2010, David Murrell wrote:

    GoteamUSA – Why was my appreciation of Marcus’s point deplorable*? I also don’t understand the logic of America being finished if backed down from helping Israel, so America is now dependant on Israel!?!

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  • 90. At 4:43pm on 09 Mar 2010, U14374829 wrote:

    PS british Tax payers there are ads to get to the site but there are NO ads on this site as viewed in the USA on old softwear with no pop up prevention this blog is AD free. And you are paying for it.

    It is run BY BBC in the UK not some american subsidiary like the cable channel.

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  • 91. At 4:45pm on 09 Mar 2010, U14374829 wrote:

    69
    the humour was the tea party were actually proud of the other name until they found out what it meant. I think the joke is on you americans there MA.

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  • 92. At 4:53pm on 09 Mar 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    GoTeamUSA;

    "Your posts leave me confused.America was attacked and is attacked because our support for Israel is not considered acceptable by many in the world."

    You are not merely confused, you are misinformed. America was attacked on 9-11-01 because according to Osama Bin Laden himself, the US had stationed troops on Saudi soil which is sacred to the Moslems. This was in order to defend Saudi Arabia from an invasion by Iraq subsequent to its invasion of Kuwait. Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait, he did not attack Israel with military weapons (although he did fire a few Scud missiles at Israel trying to provoke them to enter the war against him in hopes of breaking up the coalition.) He invaded Kuwait because the Kuwaitis were selling more oil than their OPEC quota allowed for and that was driving down the price of oil. This gave him less money to spend on arms and palaces. The attack on Iraq in 2003 was the result of a belief that Iraq represented a long term threat to the US and what was most worrying was a possible eventual alliance it could form with terrorists such as al Qaeda. Whatever inferences were made about al Qaeda and Iraq having ties at the time, President Bush made it clear in a speech that it was not an immediate threat that concerned the US most (not the 45 minutes in the British MI5 dodgy dossier) but a possible future "nexus" as he called it. That Iraq wanted WMDs was without doubt. Let's not forget that in 1995 Saddam Hussein's brother in law defected to Jordan where he announced to the world that Iraq had a nuclear weapons program and that he himself had been running it. It was a program the UN inspectors knew nothing abut even though they'd been in Iraq for 4 years. Even Saddam Hussein's own commanders believed he had chemical weapons. If he didn't have them and only tried to make it appear he did to bluff his enemies, the strategy backfired completely. All of this has nothing to do with Israel.

    Europe hates Israel because it hates Jews. The Jews have been its eternal scapegoat for its own miserable failings. It always has been this way. The Arabs hate Israel because it is a non Islamic democracy in their midst which shows up the Arab governments and countries for what they are, primitive failed tyrannies and as an example presents a threat to their rulers. They have whipped up hatred for Israeli Jews for this reason, not for the worthless tiny spit of land it occupied in 1948 that was almost all desert. And they don't care one whit for the Palestinians. If they did, they would not be living in refugee camps 62 years after Isreal was created.

    Israel has a thriving economy. I see no reason why we should subsidize it or anyone else right now. Charity begins at home.

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  • 93. At 4:56pm on 09 Mar 2010, David Murrell wrote:

    Marcus – I am guessing I know more about US history than you do about British history, after all I am not the one who thought one of the Founding Fathers fled Britain escaping the Red Coats!

    So which company was the Tea Act done in favour of?

    What important war was happening in 1812, and no I don’t mean the failed US invasion of Canada?

    Who tried to steal the Crown Jewels?

    Who was Elizabeth I’s husband?

    What country was James I born in?

    What country was George I born in?

    You know I find it shocking that we Brits are taught our own history before the history a country on another continent, I mean as a privately educated American you can answer all of the above questions can’t you (without using Google and Wiki).

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  • 94. At 4:57pm on 09 Mar 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    Toothbrush;

    "the front line just happended to be in Europe. The US wasn't defending Europe per say - it was only defending Europe as a means of defending itself."

    And exactly how does the US military presence in Europe today defend America? From whom? From what threat? What front line that matters to America is Europe on that American military presence would make a difference. Not in the war on terror which Europe doesn't even acknowledge.

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  • 95. At 4:58pm on 09 Mar 2010, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #60
    He is an equal opportunities hater. He hates all Democrats, liberals and progressives, regardless of race, creed or colour.

    Except for Joe Lieberman. Go figure.

    (Mind you, I suspect that these days Joe Lieberman is rather less a member of the Democratic Party, and rather more a member of the Joe Lieberman Party.)
    _______________

    First Democrats are not progressive they want to hold to the status of quo of big goverment, union entitlements.

    I don't hate Obama I think he is unqualified to be President.

    I hate terrorists like Hamas, Hezollah
    Racists like Iranian mullahs and evo Morales
    Dictators like Hugo Chavez and the Brumese junta.

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  • 96. At 5:02pm on 09 Mar 2010, ann arbor wrote:

    Too bad the public was locked outside.

    The screened and selected audience with planted questions was very positive indeed.

    Using budget reconciliation to overpower and absorb the health care industry is tantamount to fraud. Oh, we are talking about Obama, ..., never mind. He is using budget reconciliation to further insolvency.

    It is most unfortunate csgators posted the first remark and it was not immediately rejected. It was an unfounded, cheap shot with the stigma associated with just the accusation.

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  • 97. At 5:08pm on 09 Mar 2010, hms_shannon wrote:

    #post 59 MA2

    I'll bet most UKers don't even know why they are called tea parties or what the Boston Tea Party was even about. Clueless, all of them.

    Do not be silly Marcus,Some Americans in fancy dress,got frustrated because
    they after so many attempts could not make a cup of tea,in frustration they
    threw all that tea over board,& declared war on every body and they all lived happyly

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  • 98. At 5:09pm on 09 Mar 2010, hms_shannon wrote:

    ever after...

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  • 99. At 5:16pm on 09 Mar 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    AndreaNY wrote: "This is a fact that's lost on many from outside the US. Not only is every single group a "special interest" but so are the states. Each state, like many EU countries, has its own demographic and industry interests. State Senators and Congressmen and women are responsible for taking care of their states."



    The problem of the EU as I see it is that some of its leaders wanted to create United States of Europe.

    As a counterbalance and competitor to U$A.

    And as their response to Greece's crisis shows they are not united at all.


    P.S. When euro currency was created I wondered how countries with different mentalities, economies and corruption levels can sustain a common currency.

    Looking at what's been happening in Club Med countries I doubt that euro can be sustained unless at least some of the Club members are simply ejected.

    And I don't mean Greece only.

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  • 100. At 5:22pm on 09 Mar 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Here's wondering how many of our British cousins have actually been to Alaska.

    It's a beautiful state.

    And as for its taxes :-))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))

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  • 101. At 5:25pm on 09 Mar 2010, Scott0962 wrote:

    re. # 44. At 1:01pm on 09 Mar 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:
    "DruM;

    The horse is the American economy. The US should not concern itself with negotiations between Palestinians and Israelis right now. Besides being a pointless waste of energy and time, it is a diversion from the main issue that grips America, the one it has to deal with first. Those worthless negotiations that have been going on for decades may be an amusing avocation for more placid times, say in the early 90s but not now. In case you haven't noticed, the more they negotiate, the worse things get between them. Has it ever occurred to anyone that it is the negotiations that are stirring up touble? The false hope and expectations they aroused emboldened the Palestinians to be more agressive while it lulled the Israelis into a false sense of security. Netanyahu told President Obama in response to his request for more unilateral concessions to the Palestinians to get negotiations restarted to in effect go to hell. Of course it was in diplomatic speak but that was the gist of it. And he was right. Israeli security is ultimately an affair of Irael's government and only Israel's government. The US has no more right to interfere with Israel's security policy than Israel has to interfere with America's. They make their decisions including their mistakes and they live with the consequences. We in America don't suffer theirs, nor should we try to impose any through any sort of arm twisting. They live in a tough neighborhood and should know what is best for them."

    Marcus, I agree with your analysis there but I would add that as long as the U.S. is subsidizing the Israeli national budget we do have an interest in what goes on there. The best solution of course would be for the U.S. government to stop subsidizing Israel and let them stand on their own two feet. Israel has a right to excercise control over it's own affairs but it doesn't have a right to propped up indefinitely by the U.S. taxpayers.

    I know any criticism of Israel runs the risk of being labeled anti-Semitic and racist but honestly, what is America's strategic interest in the Middle East? Oil. The lifeblood of our own and the world's economy. The Arabs have it, the Israelis don't. Sympathy for the underdog doesn't change that. European countries recognize that and act accordingly, why can't we?

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  • 102. At 5:26pm on 09 Mar 2010, londonunderground wrote:

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

  • 103. At 5:40pm on 09 Mar 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re #86

    I know of no New Yorker who would not love to see something much better and useful in place of UN Hdqts in Lower Manhattan.

    Or wouldn't make it to the docks to wave goodbye to disgusting parasites moving to Ouagadougou, Pyongyong, Harrare, Beijing, Moscow or even Havana.

    Except they won't. At least not voluntarily.

    Here's wondering why. :-)))

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  • 104. At 5:40pm on 09 Mar 2010, Philly-Mom wrote:

    Did you know that Alaska and Texas have so much land, oil and money, that Alaska pays a living stipend to its residents, and Texas provides free State Higher Education to their lucky folks?

    What a bunch of Red Communists!
    How dare those states tax their big businesses like that!
    How dare they dole money out, when I've gotta slave away or my kid's education!

    Oh, the irony...


    Oh, and an off-topic nudge:
    Many Jewish Americans do not support the actions of Israeli extremists and have strongly opposed Israeli/Palestinian aggression.
    -- Salaam/Shalom to all, yes?

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  • 105. At 5:42pm on 09 Mar 2010, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    86. At 4:30pm on 09 Mar 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    "Instead of just cutting off funding to the UN, why don't we quit the failed organization altogether and give them 30 days to pack up and get out of America? You'd be surprised how that could ease the traffic jams in Manhattan."
    _________

    Not to mention the number of unpaid parking tickets.

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  • 106. At 5:51pm on 09 Mar 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re: inquiries...pertaining to link in #56

    http://news.yahoo.com/video/world-15749633/18499474


    The American-born al-Quida spokesman speaks in perfect English in the video.

    And makes perfectly clear what should be targeted by Muslims in the U.S., as well as those allowed into U.S., let alone into U.S. Army.

    I don't think any comment is necessary.

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  • 107. At 5:59pm on 09 Mar 2010, U14374829 wrote:

    "It would have made a better photo op if she'd been pushing a child in a wheelchair with her. And had only one leg...with a crutch and no prosthesis...and a big red bruise on her face that stuck out from behind a bandage...and only one eye. Even better yet if they'd have wheeled her on to the platform lying in a hospital bed with an IV stuck in her arm."

    S.Palin got there first.

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  • 108. At 6:00pm on 09 Mar 2010, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #82 and 83

    The Tea Party is multi-racial in fact one the first people to run one was Asian american.

    In a ironic twist the U.K had their first one over the weekend.

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  • 109. At 6:08pm on 09 Mar 2010, U14374829 wrote:

    86 3 billion a year payments lost. Good idea.NY will thankyou. as they slide into obscurity.





    Lucy
    "I wish lots of Irish-American love and luck to Joe Biden, Israel, and Palestine. "
    so you want to raise money to perpetuate a war?
    I'd leave your Irish american heritage out of discussions on peace in Isreal.
    I could assume you would also support the RAF flying bombing raids over dublin when the troubles were up.



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  • 110. At 6:11pm on 09 Mar 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re #56

    Seven people have been arrested in the Irish Republic over an alleged plot to kill a Swedish cartoonist for depicting the Prophet Muhammad, police say.

    The four men and three women are all Muslim immigrants, according to media reports, though a police statement did not confirm this.

    Islamic militants put a $100,000 (£67,000) bounty on his head.

    In 2007 a group linked to al-Qaeda in Iraq offered a $100,000 reward for killing Mr Vilks, and a 50% bonus if he was "slaughtered like a lamb" by having his throat cut.

    It offered another $50,000 for the murder of Ulf Johansson, editor-in-chief of the regional newspaper, Nerikes Allehanda. [BBC News]


    Again, IMHO no comment's required.

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  • 111. At 6:14pm on 09 Mar 2010, The Toothbrush Man wrote:

    #92. At 4:53pm on 09 Mar 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    "Europe hates Israel because it hates Jews. The Jews have been its eternal scapegoat for its own miserable failings. It always has been this way."

    You are so way out of line to say this about 600 millions people of so many different cultures - including the Jewish culture. You should be ashamed of yourself.

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  • 112. At 6:15pm on 09 Mar 2010, PartTimeDon wrote:

    Ref #50 MAII
    "So while you have the option to not buy a license and not support BBC, I don't have that option."
    ______________
    The BBC World service is principally funded by government grant, which I pay for whether I like it or not.
    I must confess I find your attitude to any kind of government spending (and anyone in need of it) chilling, but I'll cut my losses and politely disagree with your viewpoint. Please do keep posting though. You're a perfect example about the link between your viewpoint and politeness (or lack of it).

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  • 113. At 6:15pm on 09 Mar 2010, U14374829 wrote:

    96 Yes it was but then that is what gators does, and you are little different. Except you feign righteous indignation better.

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  • 114. At 6:21pm on 09 Mar 2010, U14374829 wrote:

    Jin D
    to be fair he started widening his hate when it was pointed out that he seemed to concentrate only on Black people. since then he has included Anyone who helps anyone but Israel which makes him look like equal opportunity hater.
    His original bias has not been totally forgotten. maybe he has changed his views over time. or the way he expresses them.

    Iranian mullahs are racists but Americans that do not like other nations are nationalists.
    Now he's going to quote Jewish populations in Tehran or something.He'll forget to quote he Iranian population in Jerusalem. (oh wait that';s not israel is it?) Tel Aviv

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  • 115. At 6:26pm on 09 Mar 2010, londonunderground wrote:

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

  • 116. At 6:26pm on 09 Mar 2010, U14374829 wrote:

    And exactly how does the US military presence in Europe today defend America.
    As you say about the UN Europe says about you.
    FINE LEAVE

    However Europe really can do without the added security. There might be more than a few who would rather be sided with Moscow than America if this term of Obama's is singular.

    if Americans economy is going to be scuppered by over-inflated health care costs that make american companies unprofitable despite rising productivity then the annoyance that their economies suffer because they did not leave america alone soon enough might grow.
    Isolation will hurt america more.
    the rest of the world can get along with the USA isolated.

    Just being provokative

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  • 117. At 6:31pm on 09 Mar 2010, U14374829 wrote:

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

  • 118. At 6:32pm on 09 Mar 2010, The Toothbrush Man wrote:

    94. At 4:57pm on 09 Mar 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    "And exactly how does the US military presence in Europe today defend America? From whom? From what threat? "

    Exactly. So why are the US bases still there ?

    "Not in the war on terror which Europe doesn't even acknowledge. "

    Pathetic. The UK for one has been living with the yoke of IRA terrorism for decade. France, Spain, Germany and Italy have all had similar experiences. Suddenly 9/11 happened (dreadful) and the US suddenly became the flag wavers in a war against terror as though the US had invented terrorism and all those decades in Europe had never happened.

    The "war against terrorism" is a catchy soundbite that unfortunately some seem to really, actually, think is a real, WWII style, country-against-country war. It is not.

    Rule #1 when dealing with terrorism - never acknowledge the terrorists claim that they are fighting a "war" - until you do they are a handful of crackpots with an agenda. The moment you call it a "war" you fullfill their every wish by making them i) look like an minority oppressed by a state machine and then they look like Davids against a Goliath - and everybody roots for David, and ii) legitimise their cause. "It must legitimate. Look - even the US takes us seriously" !

    Unfortunately, G. Bush forgot rule #1 on the Whitehouse lawn on 9/12.







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  • 119. At 6:37pm on 09 Mar 2010, U14374829 wrote:

    I hear the GOP guy in Florida is having problems with the TP (isn't that american for Bog roll)

    cause he gave a cordial embrace of Obama when they met.

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  • 120. At 6:46pm on 09 Mar 2010, John_From_Dublin wrote:

    # 92 MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    "Europe hates Israel because it hates Jews. The Jews have been its eternal scapegoat for its own miserable failings. It always has been this way"

    A typically mendacious smear, low even by the poster's execrable standards.

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  • 121. At 6:49pm on 09 Mar 2010, U14374829 wrote:

    " Has it ever occurred to anyone that it is the negotiations that are stirring up touble? The false hope and expectations they aroused emboldened the Palestinians to be more agressive while it lulled the Israelis into a false sense of security. Netanyahu told President Obama in response to his request for more unilateral concessions to the Palestinians to get negotiations restarted to in effect go to hell. Of course it was in diplomatic speak but that was the gist of it"

    Which is why we have no right to complain about Iran or any nation developing nukes.

    second stirring up trouble
    you really want to go there
    from the Front page
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/8558347.stm
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/8556266.stm (ok for some)
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/8555300.stm
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/8543120.stm

    not so recent
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/8552816.stm


    Also Palestinian rocket attacks have killed less than Israeli drone attacks and the Palestinians stopped using suicide bombers. Israel upped the anti to white phosphorous and cluster munition.

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  • 122. At 6:50pm on 09 Mar 2010, U14374829 wrote:

    "He invaded Kuwait because the Kuwaitis were selling more oil than their OPEC quota allowed for and that was driving down the price of oil."

    No he invaded because they were side drilling under Iraq soil to get the oil.

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  • 123. At 6:51pm on 09 Mar 2010, The Toothbrush Man wrote:

    #105. Interestedforeigner

    Speaking of which, the US embassy owes about 30 million GBP to the London Council for unpaid congestion charge fees. The reasoning is that it is not a road toll at all, but a tax, and that embassies are exempt from paying taxes.

    But heck, the UN has to be somewhere. And wherever it is, someone will not want it there. And even if it is not in the US, the US government will still need to be represented. So moving the UN out of he US will only add to travel expenses and very little else.

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  • 124. At 6:59pm on 09 Mar 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 104, InterestedForeigner

    "Not to mention the number of unpaid parking tickets."

    And foreign aid to Israel, Egypt and Jordan while we are at it. I really don't understand why we have to give money to countries that are doing well financially.

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  • 125. At 7:00pm on 09 Mar 2010, U14374829 wrote:

    92 most of you answer contains references to Saddam hussain who was if you didn't notice NOTHING TO DO WITH 9/11

    So what are you crapping on about it for?

    Of course I don't agree with any of those comments in Team USA. but america has been targeted loads of times because of that involvement.

    Lebanon as well sorry lets not forget they had a pile of war thrust on them as well.

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  • 126. At 7:02pm on 09 Mar 2010, U14374829 wrote:

    110 you should start linking the bit that is relevant to your claims or the site will be full of people trying to get you to do that.

    can't get rid of that odour can you.

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  • 127. At 7:20pm on 09 Mar 2010, londonunderground wrote:

    Tea-Bag people are like die-hard Afrikaners who said Mandela could never be president
    “Free Nelson Mandela”
    What Link?

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  • 128. At 7:26pm on 09 Mar 2010, Philly-Mom wrote:

    68. GoteamUSA wrote:
    51
    Deplorable comment.
    If we backed down from helping Israel, America would be finished.

    __________

    51
    Delightful comment.
    If we backed down from funding Israel, America could finish our entanglement in the whole holy mess.

    Randomly dropping bombs into an 'enemy city' is generally a bad idea.
    We have words for that. Words like 'Terrorism.'
    It's time we remembered this and tried to be consistent to our ideals.


    Think we could stage an Israeli/Palestinian duel?

    Whoever's standing at the end, wins the land.
    Their ancestors used to do things like that.
    You'd think they'd love the idea.

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  • 129. At 7:30pm on 09 Mar 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Philly Mon wrote: "Did you know that Alaska and Texas have so much land, oil and money, that Alaska pays a living stipend to its residents"



    Yes, at least some of us do.

    Now, imagine what would this stipend be, had Alaska been allowed to drill from oil where it currently cannot?

    Because of concern about an impact on sex life of krill?

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  • 130. At 7:44pm on 09 Mar 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re#117

    I, for one have not realised that the Man of Thousand Monikers was actually a Woman of Thousand Monikers.

    Faithfully following conartist to his place of eternal rest.

    And not being sexist I most certainly wouldn't treat 'that woman' (to quote Bill Clinton) any different I would that man with a fluffy tail.

    [Although "Avatar" hasn't won. Unlike "Hurt Locker"]

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  • 131. At 9:22pm on 09 Mar 2010, MagicKirin wrote:

    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain

  • 132. At 9:43pm on 09 Mar 2010, AndreaNY wrote:

    75. MarcusAureliusII:

    "It would have made a better photo op if she'd been pushing a child in a wheelchair with her. And had only one leg...with a crutch and no prosthesis...and a big red bruise on her face that stuck out from behind a bandage...and only one eye. Even better yet if they'd have wheeled her on to the platform lying in a hospital bed with an IV stuck in her arm."

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

    You're on to them. The democrats always showcase people who have been victimized by the system and whose lives will be forever changed by help from the government.

    If only it were that simple and easy to do good. First there's the feel-good giving, then the dependency, and then the inevitable resentment by those paying. Or some variation on it.

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  • 133. At 9:59pm on 09 Mar 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    Doubled over from too many doubles in Dublin;

    We note with dismay but hardly with surprise the rise in antisemitism in Europe. As racism and other discrimination based on ethnicity, sex, sexual orientation, nationality, religion continues do diminish in the US where we expect it to disappear entirely in another generation or two, it is characteristically on the rise in Europe. I witnessed it first hand when I lived there. There has been no change for the better there. There will be no Barack Obamas in France, no Clarence Thomases in Germany, no Thurgood Marshalls in Britain. Can you name even one black presenter that has ever appeard on BBC? I can't remember seeing even one ever. This type of discrimination puts America at an enormous advantage in yet one more way over so many other countries. When their best and brightest finally give up hope because they are not a member of the priviliged group in that country, they will invariably find a place in the US as have countless tens of millions of others including those who were not the brightest but who fled places like Europe and were willing to work. America is unwittingly their revenge, often generations later. It is positively poetic to know it.

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  • 134. At 10:09pm on 09 Mar 2010, londonunderground wrote:

    52. At 1:48pm on 09 Mar 2010, MagicKirin wrote:
    It is not race, it's policies incmptence and lack of ability. I would feel the same way about John Edwards.

    131. At 9:22pm on 09 Mar 2010, MagicKirin wrote:
    Since the Plaestinians unlike the Egyptians and Jordanians can't be trusted to keep their word; Israel security concerns are more important than Palestinian discomfort.
    ___________________________________________________________________________
    ✡ ✡ 2 faced?

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  • 135. At 10:24pm on 09 Mar 2010, londonunderground wrote:

    sorry MarcusAureliusII = 2 Faced ✡ ✡ 2

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  • 136. At 10:57pm on 09 Mar 2010, Andy wrote:

    I think it is very amusing that people think that it is the place of government to dictate that insurance companies should accept clients no matter what, not charge a difference in premiums for different conditions or increase premiums to cover additional costs associated with new care, and make preventative checks free.

    What is my incentive as an insurance company to continue operating if the government mandates handouts and I have to take on the clients that cost will certainly cost more money. What is my incentive as a healthy individual to buy insurance if I have to pay more because now everyone's premiums have to go up because the insurance company can't differentiate based on health (besides the provision that the government says that I have to have insurance).

    Lets liken this to another insurance that all have to carry (presuming they have a car): auto insurance. Based on age, gender, and geographic location, initial rates are set. So a younger, male driver in a high cost location pays more than a middle age, female driver in a low cost rural area based on the likelihood that they would get in an accident and what it would cost to fix it. Next lets consider the type of vehicle: an expensive car is going to have a higher premium than a cheap car. Simple cost to fix the damage difference. Then lets look at the specific driver: those that have accidents and tickets pay higher premiums because their behavior is more likely to result in an accident costing the insurance company to have to pay out for the damage. If you have an accident than your premium will go up and if you have to many accidents or tickets, the insurance company can decide not to provide you insurance any more. Nor does the insurance company pay for you to do preventative maintenance on your vehicle to ensure that it is road worthy and not going to cause an accident (however, the state will do that when you PAY to have it inspected, as well as ticket and collect money from you if you fail to have it inspected or carry insurance).

    How is this insurance any different than health insurance from a business case? How is it different from a personal responsibility case?

    Based on your age, gender, location, and current health condition, a Health insurance company will charge you a premium. The higher likelihood that they will have to pay out money for your policy because you are going to get sick or injured, the higher they will charge. If it was not for you employer covering a large portion of the cost of your insurance plan and negotiating it in aggregate, then those of you that are younger and healthier would not be paying as much (if they had any at all) and those that are older and/or sicker would be paying significantly more (and even more if those low cost young/healthy individuals were not contributing).


    I know someone will say that the difference is that the issues that cause someone to get sick are different from that which will cause a traffic accident. But if that were truly the case, would you submit to having your total health regulated and changed by the government--what you eat, what you drink, how much you exercise--in order to ensure that you are not contributing to your health problems? I surely doubt it.

    So how do you mandate a fundamental change in how insurance works without making it unprofitable (unless you support continued future insurance company bailouts) and/or significantly putting the burden on taxpayers?

    People will point to Medicare that is always on the brink of bankruptcy and heavily restricted because doctors do not want to accept its lower payouts. If you set that as the national system, what is the incentive for an individual to become a doctor if it is not profitable.

    Like it or not, it comes down to money. Nothing in life is free. With the best of intentions, we can look to the government to solve individuals' problems, but it is not lasting. There needs to be a business to support it and/or tax revenue generated to pay for it (and that tax revenue comes from profitable businesses, which could touch another thread of why businesses even provide health care as a benefit (because they receive a tax benefit greater than the cost of the plan).

    Solve (and be honest and open about) where the money is going to come from to pay for the plan and then lets see how the vote turns out.

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  • 137. At 10:57pm on 09 Mar 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    President Obama has come a long way in just over a year. GITMO remains open for business and is likely to stay that way. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed may be tried in a military tribunal yet. America has not left Iraq (but still no action to neutralize the threat of Iran), the war in Afghanistan and Pakistan has more troops and there seems to be some small signs of encouragement. Obama is standing up to the Chinese and has given Europe no cause for cheer. He hasn't backed down on Brazil let alone Venezuela. No progress on neutralizing North Korea. Russia doesn't like him, that's another good sign. He's friendly with India and not doing too badly with Pakistan, both good. I think Africa still likes him except for Sudan. The Arabs don't which is another good sign. He's backed off on Israel, he learned.

    He still needs to focus on the US economy though, that should be his top priority.

    With his shortcomings he's a far smarter man and better choice than any of the European leaders including the three blind mice would be. They can't even manage to govern their Lilliputs and Blefuscus.

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  • 138. At 11:19pm on 09 Mar 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    MarcusAureliusII (#137) "America has not left Iraq ..."

    According to Gen. Odierno, the withdrawal of US troops is on schedule:

    http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1970467,00.html

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  • 139. At 11:28pm on 09 Mar 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    MarcusAureliusII (#137) "No progress on neutralizing North Korea."

    Nor under any other US president. I remember Secretary of State George Shultz (1980s) talking tough about not allowing N. Korea to develop nuclear weapons.

    Just how would you "neutralize" N. Korea? On second thought, I don't think I want to hear your answer.

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  • 140. At 11:43pm on 09 Mar 2010, Brad wrote:

    Ref #20,

    What is the issue with calling Glenside Philly? Surely not that Glenside is a "liberal bastion". Philly's pretty darn liberal itself. And remember that Bala Cynwyd is right across the street from the city of Philadelphia. Yeah, Philly area would have been more appropriate, but it shouldn't be a major issue.

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  • 141. At 00:02am on 10 Mar 2010, John_From_Dublin wrote:

    # 133 Macho Autisticus II

    "Doubled over from too many doubles in Dublin"

    That's very good Macho. Did you think it up all by yourself? Is there no beginning to your talents?

    You really should try to abjure your pathetic adherence to racial and national stereotypes. For example, no one with any sense who posts here thinks that *all* Americans correspond to the stereotype of the obnoxious, arrogant loudmouth who just has to tell everyone how everything is so much bigger and better back where he comes from. Just one or two.

    He then churns out his standard rant about how in ze most perfect society in ze world, whose empire vill last for a thousand years, everything is perfect and getting better.

    As I recall, when G Ferraro said that Obama would not have been a candidate for POTUS if he wasn't African American, he responded by saying that he really hadn't realised it was such an advantage in US politics - a clear reference to the Senate, in which he was the only African American

    A few figures from Wiki re racial equality in the USA

    "By 2006...among American men, income disparities were significant; the median income of African American men was approximately 76 cents for every dollar of their European American counterparts, although the gap narrowed somewhat with a rise in educational level"

    "Nationwide, the October 2008 unemployment rate for African Americans was 11.1%, while the nationwide rate was 6.5%."

    "The income gap between black and white families is also significant. In 2005, employed blacks earned only 65% of the wages of whites, down from 82% in 1975"

    MA - "Can you name even one black presenter that has ever appeard [sic] on BBC [sic]? I can't remember seeing even one ever."

    Please don't confuse yourself with the facts Macho. Perhaps the most obvious is Moira Stuart - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moira_Stuart. She was an excellent and award-winning newsreader for some decades. When she was replaced there was considerable outcry - due to the suspicion of ageism and sexism. The possibility of racism clearly never occurred to her or anyone else - presumably because there are TV presenters who are black or Asian on all channels, almost too numerous to mention. The most obvious was Sir Trevor McDonald, who I recall was voted the most trusted journalist in the UK, and who has apparently won more awards than any other British reporter.

    You also recently pointed out, as I recall, that Europe had no Martin Luther King or LBJ. Did it not occur to you that, while the UK is no racism-free Paradise, any more than is the US, they might not have been needed there - since the UK was not in the habit of lynching persons of minority race, or otherwise preventing them from voting?

    But please don't ever dream of letting the facts intrude on your ocean of bile and prejudice.

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  • 142. At 00:10am on 10 Mar 2010, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    68. At 3:15pm on 09 Mar 2010, GoteamUSA wrote:

    "51. Deplorable comment.
    If we backed down from helping Israel, America would be finished."

    ----------

    85. At 4:27pm on 09 Mar 2010, LucyIllinois wrote:

    "I'm on the other side of the spectrum with Israel. I completely support them, as I do our other allies. Our allies are our brothers and sisters. They are our friends and good people. I wish lots of Irish-American love and luck to Joe Biden, Israel, and Palestine. Hope that someday there will be peace in the Middle East for all the countries."
    __________

    This really is not my area of expertise, at all, but these two statements have caught my attention.

    Questions to Goteam:

    Since when did Israel actually become a part of the US?

    What strategic interest does the United States have in the eastern littoral of the Mediterranean Sea?

    What strategic interest did the US have in the eastern littoral before May 15, 1948?

    Does it have any greater strategic interest there today?

    Where Israel and the US have divergent strategic interests, do you support and defend the interests of the US? Or do you support and defend the interests of Israel?

    Or are you unable to see that America's strategic interests are not the same as Israel's? Are you unable to admit the possibility that they might be different?

    ----------

    Lucy

    It is good to have allies, and it is a mark of character to be loyal and staunch friends of your allies through thick and thin.

    But that doesn't mean you write them a blank cheque, and it doesn't mean you blindly underwrite obnoxious behaviour or conduct that undermines your own national interest.

    Israel has been our ally for quite a while. It is a prosperous western nation, with a first world economy and a legal system recognizably similar to our own. It is a vigorous, if quirky, democracy in a region that is distinctly short of democracies. It has a free press in a region where expressing opinions freely is often dangerous. We find Israel a sympathetic ally, and an under-dog surrounded by enemies, because they are, in a sense "like us".

    But Israel is also "not like us".

    The realities of Israeli Parliamentary politics are such that small religious parties can make and break coalitions. Thus they wield a power to extort, and distort, grossly out of proportion to their size. Over a period of decades this has had a number of unfortunate effects.
    Just because some splinter religious party in the Knesset can use blackmail to shift Israeli government policy, why should America, or anybody else, be obliged to go along with that? Talk about leverage.

    There are many Israeli policies that we would find very troubling, in particular those pertaining to the occupied territories. Israel has been in a constant state of war, more or less, for 60 years. That has had an effect on Israeli society.

    ----------

    Think of New York and Boston as Mecca and Medina.
    Think of Chicago as Damascus.
    Think of San Francisco as Jerusalem.

    Suppose that fifty or an hundred years ago some group with a different culture and language, Spanish say, and a different religion, came along and started settling along the California Coast. Over time they built an entirely new city with a glorious beachfront - call it LA (Tel Aviv). After a while they decided that they wanted an independent state in California, in the home of their Spanish speaking ancestors. Suppose that they manage to pass a public initiative.

    There was interminable bickering, but eventually everybody else figured that a two state solution would do - Northern California would be one state, Southern California would be another. Most Americans found this unpalatable (indeed, outrageous), but the rest of the world was in favour, and a distant foreign power, let's say China, supported partition, as did other powers such as Mexico and Brazil. San Francisco had been the ancient home of their ancestors, so the Spanish speakers claimed it as their eternal capital. When the Northern Californians protested, the answer was, in essence, "What's wrong with Oakland?"

    Can you see how that might cause trouble?

    The land that is now Israel used to belong to other people. Many of those people are of the view that their land was taken from them, and they resent it, to put it mildly. That isn't so hard to understand.

    ----------

    Like France, Israel can be a difficult and exasperating ally.

    For the last 30 years, roughly since the deaths of Golda Meir and Moshe Dayan, Israel has followed policies that have become increasingly difficult for other western democracies to support, or even condone. The continued expropriation of Palestinian land for settlements has perhaps been the most contentious issue of all.

    Israel has influence in Congress, and in US electoral politics, that few, if any, other nations have. Israel, a trusted ally and close confidant in security and intelligence gathering, has been caught (several times?) actually spying on the US and stealing classified information. When it's Israel, well, nobody is particularly worried. Not a big deal. It's just Israel. No problem.

    But imagine if Russia or China influenced US elections the same way.
    Imagine if Russia or China had been caught stealing secrets (as they have been from time to time).
    Would the American public tolerate it for a minute?
    Such is the special place of Israel in the American body politic.

    It has now reached the point where the government of Israel feels free to mock and to humiliate in public the President and Vice-President of the United States. That is why they have announced approval of a major settlement block in east Jerusalem the day before the arrival of Vice-President Biden. And this from a government that expects America to aid in military intervention, to put the lives of its service personnel (and perhaps civilians) at risk, to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons? Wow.

    In the past a foreign nation showing that level of disrespect could have expected to pay a price for it. But politics in the US is so polarized that the government of Israel believes it can get away with this nonsense with impunity.

    This ought to be an alarm and a wake-up call to the leadership of both parties. So where is the Republican leadership? Do they not realize that someday the shoe may be on the other foot? Do they not see the danger in this development? Why are they not sending the government of Israel a quiet message about trying to play domestic divide-and-rule? Politics used to stop at the water's edge.

    ----------

    Let's not kid ourselves: the idea that if Israel did not exist all there would be peace and harmony in the eastern Med neighbourhood; that the place would be prosperous, free and democratic; and so on, is about as likely as democracy and the protection of civil rights blossoming tomorrow morning in Syria, Saudi Arabia, Yemen and the Sudan.

    But being loyal to a good friend and ally doesn't mean that we ignore injustice when it is committed by our friends; it doesn't mean we allow ourselves to become hostages to domestic Israeli politics; and it doesn't mean that when it comes to Israel we turn off our brains, shut down our critical thinking ability, and ignore our own strategic interests - particularly when our friend and ally is engaging in behaviour that is doing long term harm to those interests.

    A difficult, exasperating ally.

    ----------

    And, finally, we agree on this:

    "I wish lots of Irish-American love and luck to Joe Biden, Israel, and Palestine. Hope that someday there will be peace in the Middle East for all the countries."

    If only.

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  • 143. At 00:34am on 10 Mar 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    Doubled over from one double too many in Dublin;

    "no one with any sense who posts here thinks that *all* Americans correspond to the stereotype of the obnoxious, arrogant loudmouth who just has to tell everyone how everything is so much bigger and better back where he comes from."

    They're probably afraid they'd be mistaken for Brits if they did.

    Well, Israel gave Vice President Biden a nice little welcoming gift today, an announcement of 1600 more homes for Jews in East Jerusalem, the present and future Capital City forever of the state of Israel. Also another 100 in some west bank town. It will just make Biden's and Mitchell's job of convincing Abbas to talk a little more challenging :-)

    There really isn't much to talk about with the Palestinians. There will never be a Palestinian state. The west bank or what's left of it after the Israelis take what they need for a suitable buffer will become part of Jordan. I don't know what will become of Gaza. If it ever wants peace it might become a small mini state like Monaco or Luxembourg. It actually has no attachment to the West Bank either physically or any other way. It's really the UN's headache, not Israel's. Israel doesn't occupy either the West Bank or Gaza, it merely has them quarrantined so that weapons and terrorists aren't smuggled in too freely. Even Egypt is afraid of Iran's influence in Gaza. It's building its own wall with the help of Americans. I understand it is very deep and made of super tough steel plate.

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  • 144. At 01:03am on 10 Mar 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 142, InterestedForeigner

    "It has now reached the point where the government of Israel feels free to mock and to humiliate in public the President and Vice-President of the United States. That is why they have announced approval of a major settlement block in east Jerusalem the day before the arrival of Vice-President Biden."

    A similar incident took place after the Annapolis talks when former President George W. Bush announced that a peace accord would be in place within a year, only to be told by Israel that no such thing would take place.

    Israel could care less what we or anyone else says or does. They are a nuclear power, they have one of the most formidable military forces in the world, and they have so much political and economic influence in the USA that they know they can do as they please with absolute impunity.

    Don't hold your breadth, nothing will come out of this latest attempt to find a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, shoot, they are not even talking to each other...talks are via a third party! The whole thing looks like a distraction to me...

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  • 145. At 01:11am on 10 Mar 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 138, GH1618

    "According to Gen. Odierno, the withdrawal of US troops is on schedule"

    His boss, Gen, Petreaus, said during an interview with Fareed Zakaria on CNN this weekend that the US would consider maintaining a military presence in Iraq, beyond the 2011 withdrawal deadline, if the Iraqi government request it.

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  • 146. At 01:30am on 10 Mar 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    Bravo Mister President, chalk one up for our side. EADS' loss of jobs in europe is America's and Boeing's gain of jobs in America.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/8557769.stm

    Better than President Bush would have done.

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  • 147. At 02:00am on 10 Mar 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    "His boss, Gen, Petreaus, said during an interview with Fareed Zakaria on CNN this weekend that the US would consider maintaining a military presence in Iraq, beyond the 2011 withdrawal deadline, if the Iraqi government request it." (From SaintDominick at #145)

    When a poster does not provide a link or even an actual quote, it's a good bet it's because he's spinning it to his own point of view. Here is a link to a transcript of the interview:

    http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/1003/07/fzgps.01.html

    Here's a quote from the document linked above:

    "ZAKARIA: But you could foresee a situation where a new status of forces agreement is negotiated and the United States maintains some 10,000, 20,000 troops in a kind of supporting role if the Iraqi government wants it?

    PETRAEUS: I'm not sure I would -- I would see something anywhere near that large, candidly. I think it would be much more along the lines of the traditional security assistance arrangement, a relationship that may include other countries as well. Indeed, there's still a NATO training mission in Iraq. There's -- there's a British element still helping with the Iraqi navy that was a separate bilateral agreement."


    Actually, he's doing more than spinning it, he's contradicting it.

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  • 148. At 02:05am on 10 Mar 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    Re: post #146:

    The EADS/Northrop proposal also would have produced jobs in the US, but going with Boeing is clearly the right choice. I don't know why anyone in the US would want Airbus providing our Air Force fuelers, even if they were to be built here.

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  • 149. At 02:48am on 10 Mar 2010, HungeryWalleye wrote:

    Scott0962, #6
    How do you compare Bush II's stacking of the audience with OBama's? How about keeping protesters far from the venue? Didn't Bush II do a much better job?

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  • 150. At 02:54am on 10 Mar 2010, HERCULE_SAVINIEN wrote:

    THEN WHAT?

    TO: SAINT DOMINICK
    FM: HERCULE TRIATHLON SAVINIEN

    Question One: How long do you see the [Special Relationship] lasting?

    Question Two: Israeli has made it clear to both Egypt and Europe that they are capable of hitting any target within both regions with their nuclear weapons, with their past histories with these countries how long do you expect them to remain on friendly terms under such a threat?

    Question: The Empire is seen by all countries on the face of the earth as the American-Israeli Empire with [AIPAC], Ron Emanuel, David Axelrod and other Jewish-Americans as running the Empire, how long do you really expect this to continue?

    Question: The North American Contintent is large and could take a first strike nuclear hit and still respond, but Israel is to small to take even a small nuclear first stike and this is why Israel need a powerful supporter, but what happens as the Empire is like all others in history in decline?

    Question: What Then happens to the State of Israel, after the fall of the Empire, who can they turn to?

    No one has addressed these questions, no one has taken the long term view, the Empire thinks in quarters of a year, not decades of a century. The Footholds, Trip-Wires, Foreign Occupations, [300] Three-Hundred bases like Rome will be gone, and like Rome it will be a failure to afford to maintain them, along with resistance to there remaining by the countries under their occupation, and for Israel, THEN WHAT?

    HERCULE TRIATHLON SAVINIEN

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  • 151. At 04:11am on 10 Mar 2010, KScurmudgeon wrote:

    MAII - 133 and 137

    Hurrah! Very funny and entertaining. I laughed a great laugh both times. You have written for a long time with only bitterness, and invective as the sauce - but now you treat us to sweet and sour, and you have the touch!

    Touche'

    KScurmudgeon

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  • 152. At 04:15am on 10 Mar 2010, KScurmudgeon wrote:

    150. At 02:54am on 10 Mar 2010, HERCULE_SAVINIEN wrote:

    THEN WHAT?
    _________________________

    I am not St. Dom, nor dare I speak for him.

    But if you do not know who defends Israel, you are no student of history. The American empire is a mere incident in Israel's history, no more significant than Kansas.

    KScurmudgeon

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  • 153. At 04:21am on 10 Mar 2010, KScurmudgeon wrote:

    142. At 00:10am on 10 Mar 2010, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    ___________________

    lots of good things - I enjoy our apt and peculiar analogy.

    "Let's not kid ourselves: the idea that if Israel did not exist all there would be peace and harmony in the eastern Med neighbourhood; that the place would be prosperous, free and democratic; and so on, is about as likely as democracy and the protection of civil rights blossoming tomorrow morning in Syria, Saudi Arabia, Yemen and the Sudan."

    Those nations have paid a long and bitter price - but they have not paid the same price we have - the price of 'prosperity', 'freedom', of 'democracy'. Are they prepared to seize these things? And hold them?

    KScurmudgeon

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  • 154. At 08:31am on 10 Mar 2010, londonunderground wrote:

    playing the race card ♠ ♣ ♥ ♦ is a loaded term used by hypocrites

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  • 155. At 09:28am on 10 Mar 2010, David Murrell wrote:

    Marconi Oreo Part 2 – Boning up on your British history (you know to answer my terribly difficult questions)? I’ll tell you what answer mine and I’ll explain again why the Boston Tea Party is a significant as the Storming of the Bastille. I mean a big brave macho bloke like you isn’t hiding, sorry I mean avoiding the issue, that’s not the American attitude is it?

    General Question: Why are certain sections of America so obsessed with 2% of the US population?

    General Question 2: Why do these same Americans seem to think that most Europeans born after WWII really care that much about a section of the population which measures less than 1%?

    Truth is that the only Europeans really obsessed are mostly right-wing fantasists who seem to believe that they can turn the clock back to the 1930’s and have issues with other sections of society that don’t meet up to their twisted view of the world (probably because they have issues with themselves and project their inner turmoil on the chosen other or others).

    As certain US posters have hinted (or directly stated) Europe is losing its Christian heart, becoming increasingly more secular. Why would an agnostic or atheist care about one religion over another? If anything atheists are more likely to be ex-Christians (there being more Christians still in Europe than other religions) so are going to be critical of their former religion, definitely atheists get more criticism from Christians and then Muslims than any other religion. I mean whose going to care that a few Gentiles are not following any god rather than following the wrong one?

    Being anti any religion is going to be due to feeling threatened by them, being threatened by a religion that is tiny and doesn’t seek to convert non-believers is not a logical threat to people that couldn’t care less about religion.

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  • 156. At 09:33am on 10 Mar 2010, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #144
    SaintDominick wrote:
    Ref 142, InterestedForeigner

    "It has now reached the point where the government of Israel feels free to mock and to humiliate in public the President and Vice-President of the United States. That is why they have announced approval of a major settlement block in east Jerusalem the day before the arrival of Vice-President Biden."

    __________________

    Dominick did not Obama insult Israel on his mideast trip by not visiting Israel? He has been in office over a year and has not visited one of our closest allies. He is visiting Indonesia later this month, they may be a large country in population but are not as important to Israel.

    You often get on me when I crticize the confiscation policies of hugo and Morales and say they are doing what their people want. Most Israelis don't trust the Palestinians and almost none believe any more land for peace. Why not have Obama respect that?

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  • 157. At 09:58am on 10 Mar 2010, David Murrell wrote:

    Magic – Why is Israel more important than Indonesia? Surely not religious prejudice!

    According to the CIA Indonesia is the world’s third largest democracy (since 1999) and the worlds largest Muslim population. Personally I would think maintaining links with a relatively new democracy, especially a Muslim one, is something to be applauded. Would you prefer that Indonesia either revert to an authoritarian state or a hard line Shari’a one?

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  • 158. At 11:09am on 10 Mar 2010, londonunderground wrote:

    Shalom
    Peace
    שלן ם
    Love On A Mountain Top

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  • 159. At 11:48am on 10 Mar 2010, hms_shannon wrote:


    With the refueling air tanker contract back with Boeing AGAIN,after EADS & Northrop team winning in 2008,the procedure was rigged,the best air craft
    has not won,fair play was smothered.Just for a second America,to see your
    selves in the same light as others do in this case,it does you no credit...

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  • 160. At 11:50am on 10 Mar 2010, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #157
    David Murrell wrote:
    Magic – Why is Israel more important than Indonesia? Surely not religious prejudice!

    According to the CIA Indonesia is the world’s third largest democracy (since 1999) and the worlds largest Muslim population. Personally I would think maintaining links with a relatively new democracy, especially a Muslim one, is something to be applauded. Would you prefer that Indonesia either revert to an authoritarian state or a hard line Shari’a one?


    _________________-

    Israel is a close allie and when Obama could have stopped there when he visited Egypt.
    I am pointing out that Obama has not showed Israel the respect it deserves and yes it is far more important to visit them than Indonesia.

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  • 161. At 11:51am on 10 Mar 2010, John_From_Dublin wrote:

    # 151 KScurmudgeon wrote:

    "MAII - 133 and 137

    Hurrah! Very funny and entertaining. I laughed a great laugh both times. You have written for a long time with only bitterness, and invective as the sauce - but now you treat us to sweet and sour, and you have the touch!"

    Really?

    I mean - really?

    Now maybe you are being ironic - if so, it's well hidden.

    I've reread the 2 postings you refer to. Granted 'de gustibus non disputandum' and all that - but I fail to see exactly what you find funny, entertaining or sweet. In the first, in particular, I see 'only bitterness, and invective'.

    He starts with yet another of his very original 'the Irish are drunks' lines. Truly hilarious. Perhaps he should throw in one about Jews being stingy and African Americans having a great sense of rhythm, to complete the set?

    He then launches into his tired old 'all Europeans are racist while the US is a Nirvana of racial peace and harmony' schtick.

    [As I have pointed out more than once, he never seems to see the fundamental ludicrousness of making sweeping generalisations about the hundreds of millions of people living in a whole continent - and complaining that *they* are racist...]

    His only semi-factual claim, that there are no black presenters on UK TV, is drivel, as I point out at #141, with specific examples.

    So please - do share with us what you have found so entertaining, sweet and laugh-out-loud funny. [I grant you, MAII is laughable, but that's not quite the same thing.]

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  • 162. At 12:09pm on 10 Mar 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 150, Hercule

    "Question: The Empire is seen by all countries on the face of the earth as the American-Israeli Empire with [AIPAC], Ron Emanuel, David Axelrod and other Jewish-Americans as running the Empire, how long do you really expect this to continue?"

    Until a new administration takes over, at which time a new set of AIPAC accolytes will dutifully replace their predecessors.


    "Question: The North American Contintent is large and could take a first strike nuclear hit and still respond, but Israel is to small to take even a small nuclear first stike and this is why Israel need a powerful supporter, but what happens as the Empire is like all others in history in decline?"

    You change strategies. Have you ever heard the saying the best defense is a good offense?

    "Question: What Then happens to the State of Israel, after the fall of the Empire, who can they turn to?"

    Since by then there may not be anybody left to turn to, the issue may very well prove to be irrelevant.

    Not views I advocate or embrace, by the way, simple deduction based on cultural values, history, and the knowledge that embattled nations seldom go down without resorting to the only recourse (s) left available to them.

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  • 163. At 12:18pm on 10 Mar 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 147, GH1618

    I did not include a link because I don't know how to do thqat and, in this case, I didn't realize a transcript of Zakaria's interview was available on the Internet.
    I stand by my original opinion, if the statement below does not leave the door opened for a continuing American (or coalition) presence in Iraq beyond 2011 I don't know what does. You may want to read the statement again before you criticize the interpretation of others.


    "PETRAEUS: I'm not sure I would -- I would see something anywhere near that large, candidly. I think it would be much more along the lines of the traditional security assistance arrangement, a relationship that may include other countries as well.

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  • 164. At 12:21pm on 10 Mar 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    GH1618

    I admit that had I been able to read a transcript of what was said I would have probably used the word "insinuated" instead of "said"...

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  • 165. At 12:27pm on 10 Mar 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    IF asks: "What strategic interest does the United States have in the eastern littoral of the Mediterranean Sea?"



    The same, if not much greater one, that Turkey had when it joined NATO:

    To protect the Alliance's southern flank and its own security.


    BTW. One could ask what interest does Canada have in claming sovereignty over now navigable North West Passage.

    And I' m sure you answer would be equally obvious.


    P.S. Of course one could also ask what a speck of an island off Beirut's coast (well, actually 2/3 of the speck of the island) does in EU. :)

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  • 166. At 12:28pm on 10 Mar 2010, David Murrell wrote:

    Magic – Respect is surely a two way street, Israel failed to give the US respect I would have thought due when G W was President. Are you suggesting that an ally can tell the US where to shove it, then the new President should be expected to ignore this?

    Wow Israel didn’t get a visit boohoo, I think if Israel has reacted badly because a foreign leader did not come to their leader and show respect it shows a degree of hubris on their part. Also you have failed to say other than being an ally (which currently so is Indonesia) why Israel is more important.

    Lets face facts here, other than a locus of causing instability in an unstable region Israel is not that important. Sure it makes nice electronics, so does India, China, and Japan, it doesn’t really make you important.

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  • 167. At 12:41pm on 10 Mar 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    uke of wails;

    "With the refueling air tanker contract back with Boeing AGAIN,after EADS & Northrop team winning in 2008,the procedure was rigged,the best air craft has not won"

    Oh, you mean like when the UK bribed Saudi princes 2 billion dollars to buy EADS junk instead of bidding fairly and according to law on contracts that might have been won by American firms like Boeing? Why would someone have to bribe a customer to buy a product? Either they know their own product is more expensive and not worth the extra cost or they know it isn't as good for the same money. Frankly, I don't think EADS should be allowed to bid on any American contracts for at least ten years given the bribes they've just pled guilty to and been fined 400 million dollars for. In fact I think the US government should make a concerted effort to drive them bankrupt.

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  • 168. At 12:51pm on 10 Mar 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    DruM, I don't give a tinker's damn about British history. Like most European history, it is largely just a list of the names of tyrants, wars, and dates. What their names were, who each one tyrannized, who won and who lost, what territory they conquered, how long they held it is hardly of much interest to me. Nor were the monuments that were erected to commemorate their folly whether they were statues, cathedrals, or palaces and the junk that filled them which was the booty stolen from all over the world or from each other that is largely the legacy of European history. After awhile it all starts to look exactly alike and gets boring very faat. IMO there is nothing worthwhile seeing in Europe. Travel is the world's most overrated industry. The real education you get from traveling is eventually coming to realize that truth. Now if you really want to see something, visit America. Its natural wonders are the greatest visit anywhere and there are so many of them with so much variety you couldn't do more than scratch the surface in a lifetime. Ever been to Alaska? Ever seen the Grand Canyon? Ever visit Yellowstone Park? Now those are trips worth taking.

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  • 169. At 12:54pm on 10 Mar 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re #77

    Ukwales, I might have suggested in jest Michael Palin for a UK PM but I'd be damned if I seriously suggested to British subjects/citizens (take your pick) whether they should vote vor BNP or Socialists or anything in between.

    Or whether they should uphold or get rid of their monarchy.

    Or tell the Brits what health care system is good for them.

    [The furthest I've ever went was to point out that many Britons deeply resent not being allowed a say (referendum) on UK's membership in EU, since they originally opted just for Commom Market, not a super state]

    United Kingdom has a democratic system, and Britons are free to choose whoever they want and whatever they prefer.

    Including what level of taxation they're willing to tolerate.

    Or even what kind of BBC they want to see.


    Now, if only some of our sophisticated, clearly superior British cousins would refrain from telling us, uneducated, uncouth, ignorant, brain-washed former colonial rednecks - what kind of system, health care, national defense, etc., we should have chosen, if we had any brains.

    Or who we should have alected as our president.


    P.S. After having read many comments on HYS in its former format, I've come to a conclusion that British subjects/citizens/taxpayers (again: take you pick) seem to hate Tony Blair and Gordon Brown even more than GWB. And I didn't think it was at all possible. :)



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  • 170. At 12:57pm on 10 Mar 2010, The Toothbrush Man wrote:

    #160. MagicKirin wrote:

    "Israel is a close allie and when Obama could have stopped there when he visited Egypt. I am pointing out that Obama has not showed Israel the respect it deserves and yes it is far more important to visit them than Indonesia."

    Sorry !? What is it about the actual bodily presence of the POTUS on foreign soil that endows respect ? And what is it with the order in which the POTUS turns up on the different foreign soils anyway ? So what if he hasn't turned up in Israel yet ?

    What's next ? Perhaps he'll bow too far for your liking when he meets the Japanese premier ?

    Err ...




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  • 171. At 12:59pm on 10 Mar 2010, PartTimeDon wrote:

    Ref# 160 Magic
    "Israel is a close allie and when Obama could have stopped there when he visited Egypt.
    I am pointing out that Obama has not showed Israel the respect it deserves and yes it is far more important to visit them than Indonesia."
    _____________
    So is Israel important because it's a close ally, or is it a close ally because it's important?
    From Israel's point of view, the US is an ally becuae it offers protection. What does the US get out of the deal apart from a colossal aid/armaments bill?

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  • 172. At 1:12pm on 10 Mar 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re # 92 MAII wrote:

    "Let's not forget that in 1995 Saddam Hussein's brother in law defected to Jordan where he announced to the world that Iraq had a nuclear weapons program and that he himself had been running it. It was a program the UN inspectors knew nothing abut even though they'd been in Iraq for 4 years. Even Saddam Hussein's own commanders believed he had chemical weapons. If he didn't have them and only tried to make it appear he did to bluff his enemies, the strategy backfired completely."




    Dissimulation can and often DOES backfire.

    Kim Jong-il of North Korea is making the same grave mistake Saddam did, by implying that his Gulag has nuclear weapons, which, to my knowledge, it does not.

    [one feeble attempt at nuclear device detonation does not a military arsenal make. Particularly if you know what weaponization entails]

    And Ahmadinnerjacket and Iranian ayatollahs are making the same very dangerous mistake.

    For someone can actually believe in the military potential they claim.

    And take a remedial action he would otherwise refrain from.


    Folks, yoy better remember Adm. Yamamoto's words and try not to awake a Sleeping Giant.

    It takes him a long time to wake up, but when he finally does...

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  • 173. At 1:37pm on 10 Mar 2010, AndreaNY wrote:

    136. Andy:

    Like it or not, it comes down to money. Nothing in life is free. With the best of intentions, we can look to the government to solve individuals' problems, but it is not lasting. There needs to be a business to support it and/or tax revenue generated to pay for it (and that tax revenue comes from profitable businesses, which could touch another thread of why businesses even provide health care as a benefit (because they receive a tax benefit greater than the cost of the plan). "

    *****************
    Obama's slowly learning this. Seems his background didn't include players beyond government and the needy, which is why he seems to have been clueless about our capitalistic system and the many stakeholders (including taxpayers).

    I wonder whether he's ever given much thought to the people who have to actually pay for his dreams beyond their being the "rich" who have more and should, thus, give more.

    A lot of people talk about Obama's and democrats' "power grab." Obama became a lawyer, then senator, etc., to gain the power to enact his vision. He realized early on in those Chicago neighborhoods that he needed more power to be effective. Well, now he's got the ultimate position of power only to find that Americans have power, too. In effect, they're giving him a bit of a smack-down.

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  • 174. At 1:49pm on 10 Mar 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    DruM

    Here are some facts for you to consider, facts you will likely find unpalatable;

    Besides the 6 million or so American Jews who largely support Israel in its struggle to survive the relentless war that has been waged against it since the day it was founded almost 62 years ago, there is an overwhelming majority of American Christians who support it very strongly too for various reasons.

    One has at its core 30 million born again evangelical Christians who see Israel's restoration of rule over all of the land it once ruled according to their reading of the bible and defeating their neighbors in a catyclismic war as being inevitable and necessary according to bible prophesy and as a precursor to the second coming of Jesus Christ on earth. Their entire lives are devoted to this event. Swirling around them are tens of millions of other Christians who believe similarly.

    Most Americans now see that Israel is on the front line in the war on terror that America has been directly engaged in since 9-11. Paying money to defend Israel is to them in a very real sense part of the cost of that war and a good investment in fighting it.

    The US military has strong ties to the Israeli military. The various wars Israel fights or might fight or actions it may take from time to time such as blowing up the North Korean based nuclear weapons program in Syria gives American military contractors and officers an opportunity to field test new equipment and tactics under actual battlefield conditions. This is especially important now that taking out high value targets that mey be vetted in hardened underground facilities is so important to Amerioa as well. It's not a one way street either. Isreal develops, manufactures, and sells high tech military hardware to the US.

    Americans share many values in common with Israelis although not all of them. Isreal is a democracy unlike any and all of its neighbors (except now possibly in Iraq thanks to the US led coalition.) However, Israeli values are by far the closest thing to America's own in the Middle East. Like it or not, Americans feel very much at home in Israel, far more so than in any European country. Americans are genuinely liked just about universally by Israeli Jews and are welcome visitors. The same cannot be said about Americans when they visit Europe.

    Americans also feel some historical guilt about not having taken in more refugees from Europe who fled the genocide of Hitler. The incident with the ship The Saint Louis is an especially painful memory for America. Large numbers of European Jews who survived Hitler's concentration camps came to America and brought their detailed horror stories with them. Others arrived at other times and brought their stories of persecution with them too. The Broadway show later made into a movie "A Fiddler on the Roof" is based on stories of Isaac Beshevez Singer who wrote about life and persecution of Jews in 19th century Russia.

    Jewish Americans have contributed disproportionately to their numbers to America's progress and wealth in many fields. If they have disproportionate influence it is because they've earned it through achievement.

    According to Britain's former ambassador to the US for over five years, Sir Christopher Meyers in an interview with Owen Bennet-Jones, America's closest ally in the world and the one it really has a special relationship with is Israel, not Britain no matter what Brits would like to imagine.

    No matter how much Europeans are infuriated by America's support for Israel, it is unshakable. This was reitterated by Vice President Biden yesterday even though he was clearly very unhappy about the announcement of 1600 new homes that will be built for Israeli Jews in East Jerusalem. America is the only ally Isreal needs but even there, ultimately Israel is responsible for its own security and will take whatever actions it deems necessary to protect its people. There is no one and no group in the world that can prevent that. Most of us believe Israel has the means to defend itself from whatever threat it perceives. Whether it has the will to use that means when push comes to shove remains to be seen.

    Given a choice between ditching its relationship with Europe or with Israel, I along with most other Americans I think believe and would support saying good-bye and good riddance to Europe. That includes the UK.

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  • 175. At 1:51pm on 10 Mar 2010, David Murrell wrote:

    (Bath)MAT – So you don’t care about foreign history, but you suggest that Europeans are ignorant because they cannot describe American history (which includes: War of Independence, the Alamo, Civil War, 1812 War, WWI, WWII, yes American history on the face of it is soooooo different*).

    Then you say that travelling abroad is a waste of time and that the travel industry is the most overrated in the world then suggest I visit the US! Contradicting yourself in two whole sentences, pretty good going, even for you!

    *The difference being of course I can actually be bothered to study history and am thus able to see that no countries history is simply a list of wars and tyrants. In British history for instance I know the relationship between a member of the Hell Fire Club and freedom of the press, the influence of post Revolutionary France on post Revolutionary USA.

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  • 176. At 2:24pm on 10 Mar 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    MA II wrote:

    "Khalid Sheikh Mohammed may be tried in a military tribunal yet."


    A chief planner of 9/11 would have never talked (and snitched on his comrades, arrested as a result) had he not been 'reditioned'(reportedly)
    to a certain Central European country, whose interrogators have been trained way back by the Soviet GRU.

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  • 177. At 2:28pm on 10 Mar 2010, ghostofsichuan wrote:

    To believe that Republicans have a moral issue with the bill is a misunderstanding of Republicans. They are for big business and will hide behind anything to support the graft and corruption of the insurance and healthcare industries. They oppose all reform and being amoral as a political party tend to lie and distort everything if they can accompish their goals of having taxpayers fund the fraud and abuse and overly priced services of their biggest supporters.

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  • 178. At 2:31pm on 10 Mar 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    "With the refueling air tanker contract back with Boeing AGAIN,after EADS & Northrop team winning in 2008,the procedure was rigged,the best air crafthas not won"



    Oh common, ukwales. Airbus is in dire straits. Because of its many failures: regarding A-330, A-380, A-350, A-400M, etc.

    Of course Mr. Gallois would claim 'unfair competition'.

    Without ever answering the very basic question:

    What tanker EADS can offer vis-a-vis modified B-777?

    Inquiring minds want to know.

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  • 179. At 2:33pm on 10 Mar 2010, hms_shannon wrote:

    169 Powermeercat,


    "Now, if only some of our sophisticated, clearly superior British cousins would refrain from telling us, uneducated, uncouth, ignorant, brain-washed former colonial rednecks - what kind of system, health care, national defense, etc., we should have chosen, if we had any brains."

    Clearly Superior British Cousins??..


    Why so touchy,you are falling into Allen syndrome,this very open forum is
    for ideas,points of view, items of interest, differences of opinions,for
    folk who like the US to those who do not.If you want unconditional praise total adulation you are on the wrong blogg,try the readers digest US division.To get a picture of reality stay & see that it takes all sorts to make a world,with the US just a part player like the rest of us.

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  • 180. At 2:42pm on 10 Mar 2010, John_From_Dublin wrote:

    # 168 MAII:

    "I don't give a tinker's damn about British history."

    There was a political movement in the 1860s in the US called the Know Nothings

    To glorify ignorance is rare - to boast about it rarer still.

    "After awhile (sic) it all starts to look exactly alike and gets boring very faat (sic)."

    Rather like MA's endless, tedious, monomaniacal and logorrhoeic rants.

    "IMO there is nothing worthwhile seeing in Europe...Now if you really want to see something, visit America. Its natural wonders are the greatest visit anywhere..."

    As I said earlier, "For example, no one with any sense who posts here thinks that *all* Americans correspond to the stereotype of the obnoxious, arrogant loudmouth who just has to tell everyone how everything is so much bigger and better back where he comes from. Just one or two."

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  • 181. At 2:45pm on 10 Mar 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    DruM

    There is a major difference between European and American history. European history has no point to it. While Europe has the technological trappings of modern societies, nothing has really changed for it in the last few thousand years. Greeks and Bulgars still worry about being invaded by Turkey. Russians worry about Germans. Britain still wants to rule the waves even if it is only on a barren rock with more sheep than people on it and closer to the South Pole than to the South of London. The French still want to teach the world to speak their language, drink their wine, and cook meat with sauces made from butter and flour. All the same.

    America has quite a different story to tell. It starts about 500 years ago with some intrepid seamen looking to find a sea route to Marco Polo's destination by heading west but instead finding something entirely unexpeced and of infinitely greater importance. It took almost 300 years to build what were in effect a relative handful of towns, villages, and farms in a small part of what to them must have seemed a limitless untamed wilderness. And then a remarkable thing happed that had never happened before. Those people who struggled so hard just to survive realized that not only didn't they need their European overlords to survive and prosper, they found them a lead weight around their necks and decided to fight to get rid of them forever even at the cost of their lives. And against all odds, they managed to defeat what was then the strongest military machine in the world. The last 233 years since has been about how those people, their descendants, those who later joined them and their descendants conquered that wilderness, threw off the cultural chains of Europe they'd been imbued with, invented the means and methods to create the modern world as we know it, and in doing that invented what is by far the greatest civilization and greatest invention in human history. No question about it. And the story continues on. It's been a bumpy rocky ride but it is not only far from over, it is still just beginning.

    Europe's story by contrast is pretty much over and done. It is spent, exhausted, terminally bankrupt in every conceivable way. It will fade into history as a relic of an ancient past, its monuments, the castles, palaces, cathedrals, and the rest no more than a vast museum to its fatal folly. No it never really changed at all, it's still in the same mental space it was in when Alexander the Great set out to conquer the world. The only thing Europeans conquered was each other. Now they are each others victims as we shall see again as it battles over which of them will bear the heaviest brunt of the failure of their latest insanity, the Euro.

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  • 182. At 2:47pm on 10 Mar 2010, hms_shannon wrote:

    169. At 12:54pm on 10 Mar 2010, powermeerkat wrote:
    Re #77

    "Ukwales, I might have suggested in jest Michael Palin for a UK PM but I'd be damned if I seriously suggested to British subjects/citizens (take your pick) whether they should vote vor BNP or Socialists or anything in between."

    It really would be interesting to have opinions from others on which way we should vote & why,it would not be seen as interfering,only by some narrow minded types,I honestly do not get why some Americans get irate when their politics are disused on a blogg that is about American politics,are you guys that insecure & fragile,come on!!!.

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  • 183. At 2:47pm on 10 Mar 2010, amaryr wrote:

    Those who enter - rashly - into conversation with MAII, only serve to extract more self-serving bile from that bitter, unpleasant individual. The inmates of whatever institution in which he is currently residing, must resent the amount of time he monopolises the keyboard. Unless, of course, he is allowed his own laptop as therapy.

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  • 184. At 2:49pm on 10 Mar 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    DruM;

    "Then you say that travelling abroad is a waste of time and that the travel industry is the most overrated in the world then suggest I visit the US! Contradicting yourself in two whole sentences, pretty good going, even for you!"

    On second thought, don't come. I for one won't miss your visit. Go to Greece instead and get led around by the nose to ancient ruins. I think that's more your milieu.

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  • 185. At 2:51pm on 10 Mar 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re #173 AndreaNYT

    "I wonder whether he's [BHO] ever given much thought to the people who have to actually pay for his dreams beyond their being the "rich" who have more and should, thus, give more."





    Andrea I still can't figure out Acorn-invented branch of arithmetics :


    Are they saying that folks paying 35% on $1,000,000.00 or $10,000,000.00 in taxes are sending Uncle Sam the same amount of money as folks paying 20% or less on, say, $36,000?

    Or perhaps, "slightly more"?

    Iquiring minds want to know.

    ["When you were asleep"]

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  • 186. At 2:56pm on 10 Mar 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    powermeerkat;

    "A chief planner of 9/11 would have never talked (and snitched on his comrades, arrested as a result) had he not been 'reditioned'(reportedly)
    to a certain Central European country, whose interrogators have been trained way back by the Soviet GRU."

    I am not a lawyer but even I could easily win Khalid Sheikh Mohammed's case in an American criminal court in a preliminary hearing;

    "Your honor, my client was not read his Miranda rights, was denied access to a lawyer prior to interrogation, was repeatedly tortured by dunking him in water nearly drowning him almost 200 times, and all evidence against him was obtained as the result of that torture, the fruit of the poisoned tree. I move that all of the evidence against him obtained as the result of that torture be thrown out and as a result, the prosecution has no case left against him. I move that the case be dismissed."

    In any court in America, that would be suffient to dismiss the case.

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  • 187. At 2:57pm on 10 Mar 2010, U14374829 wrote:

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

  • 188. At 3:01pm on 10 Mar 2010, U14374829 wrote:

    130 Can't argue a point so he wants to get the opposition silenced. So he can go on about suppression of free-speech in Iran.

    And some say the dems are hypocrites.

    Palin never used her kid to get sympathy did she.
    No. That wasn't part of it at all. HONEST

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  • 189. At 3:03pm on 10 Mar 2010, U14374829 wrote:

    161 exactly

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  • 190. At 3:08pm on 10 Mar 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    That wasn't me, that was my double doubled over in Dublin;

    "There was a political movement in the 1860s in the US called the Know Nothings"

    "To glorify ignorance is rare - to boast about it rarer still."

    No human being has the time to learn everything there is to know nor the capacity to remember everything he'd ever learned except in those reportedly rare cases of people with so called photographic memories.

    As a result, one must be selective about what one chooses to spend time learning about and what one wants to remember. Yes I studied European history in high school and learned more of it later on in college and elsewhere. But the more I read of it, saw of it, knew of it, the less important its details seemed to me. Merely the gist of it was sufficient. So while Europeans may consider it their heritage, it is is not mine. How much do you know of the dynasties of China? Of the history of India (prior to the British invasion and occupation of it?) Of ancient Persia? Why are the details of those civilizations' histories any less important than Europe's? Why not read and remember them with the same degree of effort and interest you show in Europe's?

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  • 191. At 3:08pm on 10 Mar 2010, londonunderground wrote:

    NB. MAII Legal Disclaimers :

    * MarcusAureliusII does not represent the views of reasonable American or Jewish people

    ** MarcusAureliusII is a bit of a wing nut

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  • 192. At 3:09pm on 10 Mar 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    144. SaintDominick:

    "They forge passports, don't they?"

    Now, why on earth has a thread that's supposed to be about US health insurance legislation (I refuse to call it 'health care' since it's nothing to do with that any more) lapsed yet again into effectively calling the British racists and anti-semites and pre-occupied with Israel?

    (And before anybody starts on me, again, as they have in the past, yes I support a single unified Palestinian state--however unlikely that looks for the next two or three decades, but then you never know, do you?--and yes, I am against Zionists or those who support 'Eretz Israel' whoever they are or whatever religion they profess. (If there are hundreds of thousands of 'Christian' Americans longing for the Second Coming based on, as far as I can see, one of the apocryphal books of the Bible, then there's something wrong with their idea of Christianity. Wasn't the last one good enough for them?)

    Oh, and btw, French support for American Independence began more than a decade before the French Revolution under King Louis XVI. It was the English (and their European allies) they were actually fighting against, not so much American colonists they were fighting for.

    Pace the above, alliances change and the reasons for military support change too. There is nothing in history to suggest why any common alliance between the US and any other country should be permanent.

    It's funny how so many who are so fond of 'self-determination' and demand so loudly an economic and political basis for it when it suits their own circumstances, and go on about it so much (whether it's individuals' or states of the Union) enjoy denying its appropriateness to some.



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  • 193. At 3:13pm on 10 Mar 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re #179


    It's not about a right to comment and to suggest another option.

    Its about ideological descendants of morally superior (obviously) Cambridge Five and Oxford Circle members condescendingly telling others that they simply don't know what's good for them.

    Now, I, for one, am most certainly not going to stoop to that gutteral level and tell our British cousins what they should do come next election in the U.K.

    They'll alone make their bed - they'll alone sleep in it.

    And it's nobody else's business what they choose to do. End of story.

    Now, which part of the above is hard to understand?

    [I do hope I haven't used a East Ender or Sheffield slang?]

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  • 194. At 3:15pm on 10 Mar 2010, U14374829 wrote:

    148. At 02:05am on 10 Mar 2010, GH1618 wrote:
    Re: post #146:

    The EADS/Northrop proposal also would have produced jobs in the US, but going with Boeing is clearly the right choice. I don't know why anyone in the US would want Airbus providing our Air Force fuelers, even if they were to be built here.


    Because a long range tanker is more useful if you want to draw down bases in countries that do not want you there?
    because it may hold more fuel ?

    Or is your objection it's not American design?

    So now you have turned protectionist in the small minded way.


    Hey on Palin and the baby waving

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fab0cN8LsyI&feature=related

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  • 195. At 3:18pm on 10 Mar 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    amaryr;

    Isn't it terrible to encounter people on the internet who not only don't share your values, your view of history, your sense of what the world is or ought to be, they have the audacity to challenge your own views in the most disrespectful way depricating everything you hold to be true? All you left out is that such people should not be allowed on the internet. They should not even be allowed to speak. I'll bet you are European. That's a very European attitude in my experience. Been to any good Inquisitions lately? I understand there is one being held for Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, and those in their government who supported them right this very minute. Do you think they will be shown the instruments of torture before they testify the way Galileo was?

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  • 196. At 3:23pm on 10 Mar 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    MAII wrote: "Russians worry about Germans"



    Not really. In reality they worry about 'yellow menace' (remember 1969 clashes at Ussuri?), altough they'd rather die than admit it publicly.

    Unless of course they are on the 2nd 1 liter bottle of "Finlandia", courtesy of some American who did not invest is GAZPROM shares. :-)

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  • 197. At 3:26pm on 10 Mar 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    169. At 12:54pm on 10 Mar 2010, powermeerkat:

    "our sophisticated, clearly superior British cousins"

    Oooh, ta. Thing is we know we are, but it's nice to get confirmation every now and then. Keeps our self-esteem up, doncha know? Sweet of you.

    (Just a slight correction though. I don't see many--if any-Brits posting here prescribing anything to Americans; only--bit pointlessly, mostly, it seems--trying to explain how things are, or can be, done differently elsewhere. And anyway, looks as though there are far more Americans who post on this blog than Brits, so why the anguish? And really, I only count as half a Brit anyway, I suppose, so that diminishes the proportion even more. Especially as one half-Brit half-American, which might have sort of made up one whole one, seems to have been hounded out.)

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  • 198. At 3:29pm on 10 Mar 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    londonunderground;

    I do not claim to represent anyone's views other than my own. BTW, whose views do you represent, those of Charing Cross Station? Is that where you live, in a tube station :-)

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  • 199. At 3:31pm on 10 Mar 2010, David Murrell wrote:

    Bath MAT – “European history has no point to it” this one statement goes to show that on this subject like many others either you don’t actually believe what you are writing, or you don’t know what you’re talking about. History is not some Hollywood film, like geography it is not meant to have a ‘point’ it is a record of events that have happened, which are the interpreted by people after the fact.

    Nothing has changed in Europe in millennia, France is still doing the same thing it was doing thousands of years ago? Really!?!

    “threw off the cultural chains of Europe they'd been imbued with, invented the means and methods to create the modern world as we know it, and in doing that invented what is by far the greatest civilization and greatest invention in human history.” Yes, of course they did, in some ways I admire your nationalistic spirit, if nothing else it must take a huge amount of effort to be that blinkered. I mean some people would say that fire was the greatest human invention, maybe the wheel, possible language or mathematics, apparently not no it was the USA. Sorry, in the big scale of things I think that claim sells humanity a bit short.

    “No it never really changed at all, it's still in the same mental space it was in when Alexander the Great set out to conquer the world. The only thing Europeans conquered was each other.” This would be the Alexander the Great that conquered Persia, what is now Iraq, Egypt, parts of Afghanistan and India? Wow, either my geography is off or yours is because as far as I am aware none of those places are in Europe!
    We shall have to wait and see how much a failure the Euro is, just like we will on the all mighty US civilisation, which much like Superman will save the world and rule the globe for a thousand years!


    Amaryr – Yes I know, but sometimes its fun to wind him up and watch him go! I must admit I am a bit of a sadist at heart (comes from being a morally degenerate European)!

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  • 200. At 3:33pm on 10 Mar 2010, LucyJ wrote:

    Israel's snubbing toward the USA has hurt many Americans' feelings. They did it intentionally and with lack of respect to our country and to one of our highest ranking leaders. Apparently, they think it is okay to snub their oldest and most loyal of allies. I do not accept their apology, because they dissed us on purpose. Vice-President Biden was so nice to Israel and tried to improve our ties. But instead of bonding with us, Israel snubs us and our ties are worse.

    UK is rough, too. They are trying to make us out to be these torturers. Hello, UK! You feel worse for murdering terrorists rights than you care for your own soldiers and your allies soldiers? What is wrong with you? These terrorists want to kill anyone who does not follow their Sharia laws or convert to Islam. They are against all other religions and peoples of the world. Basically, they want their religion to be the only one. And they will kill you for their religion and justify it. To me, it is like the anorexic girl who looks in the mirror and sees herself as fat, even if she is underweight. No matter how many people say she is pretty or she is skinny, she still doesn't believe what other people see. The terrorists are those anorexic girls. They look in the mirror and see themselves as heroes for murdering others. But we look at them ans see them as the opposite, villains, for killing innocents. There are two sides to the Looking Glass. No matter what we say, they will not believe us. They see what they want to see. And so do those anorexic girls. Only the anorexics aren't killing anyone. The terrorists are.

    Why don't our allies Israel and UK love us anymore? At least show us respect. But where is the loyalty? We are loyal to you.

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  • 201. At 3:53pm on 10 Mar 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    " So while Europeans may consider it their heritage, it is is not mine." Saith he who names himself after a Roman and whose ancestry is Romanian from when it was a part of the Turkish Ottoman Empire.

    (Or maybe Vampires had a kind of a-historical non-Ottoman independent enclave in Transylvania? That would explain it.)

    What is this rubbish, people pretending American history somehow sprang from, and was created from nothing--and what about the history of native Americans, peoples like the Anasazi? --somewhere around 1776?

    It's weird, as though some people are trying to create some new creation myth. "In the beginning, God created 'Americans' "--and erased everybody's previous history and ancestry. . .

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  • 202. At 3:56pm on 10 Mar 2010, U14374829 wrote:

    great answer to go team there IF
    "The realities of Israeli Parliamentary politics are such that small religious parties can make and break coalitions. "

    this bit is a little wrong. Arabs parties have next to no freedom in Israel.

    the rest of the post is exactly what I have been waiting for you to write.
    Clearly explains the problems over there from viewpoint that includes those suffering the loss of their land (and families).


    I was about to write one about Texas being "re-colonised" by Mexicans and them building armed fortresses outside of San Antonio . Then using military craft to bomb anyone that complained.
    So I loved the California analogy.


    "But politics in the US is so polarized that the government of Israel believes it can get away with this nonsense with impunity."

    "Israel doesn't occupy either the West Bank or Gaza, it merely has them quarrantined so that weapons and terrorists aren't smuggled in too freely"

    because in america lies like this from MA are so prevalent.



    This is bull . If it were so they would not be claiming religious site.
    They would not have settlements. (read as Human shields encouraged and legitimised by the state)

    In one sentence he says.
    They are making more hoes in west bank then he says they do not occupy . yet most Israelis have to serve in the military. conscription is standard (unless you happen to be arab decent).



    IF.. Lebanon. Seems that was too much competition for Israel being so popular Paris of the med.
    .

    MA Jerusalem is not part of Israel.


    Personally I think it is time to guarantee peace to all in the area and say "if you cross the border (not the ones you want to be borders Israel) we will shoot your planes down."

    And if some neighbour thinks that means "we can take advantage we can then tell them." look we are being fair about it so back off"






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  • 203. At 3:57pm on 10 Mar 2010, U14374829 wrote:

    198 That was the most witless post I have read . The smiley face didn't make it work.
    Try Boom Boom next time ,maybe it will work.

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  • 204. At 3:58pm on 10 Mar 2010, David Murrell wrote:

    Bath MAT – Oh the old you cannot be a real American angle. On Blair and Brown, at least they were not indicted, or suffered a witch hunt ala Salem or Senator McCarthy!

    Anyway I thought you were all for torture being used on suspects?

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  • 205. At 4:00pm on 10 Mar 2010, LucyJ wrote:

    196, what yellow menace are you talking about?

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  • 206. At 4:01pm on 10 Mar 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re #182

    Ukwales, the answer is simple.

    We (unlike some others who pontificate about U.S. withouth even being in the United States once (incl. Palin's Alaska), or never making it outside of Eastern seaboard, do not feel QUALIFIED to talk about intricacies of British politics or UK's electoral system. Or even NHS.

    I've been to U.K. more than a dozen times. Traveled the island widely, talked to many people, from MOD managers to Scottish single malt breweries' owners. But I still don't feel qualified to say what makes Britons tick, let alone give them any advice about matters which are clearly theirs and only theirs to settle and decide.

    I guess, the operative word is ARROGANCE, and I'm not arrogant enough to butt into things British.

    Besides, I am not a British subject, I don't pay British taxes; what right do I have to tell Britons how they should conduct THEIR affairs?

    Nay, I don't even tell may next door neighbours how to conduct theirs.

    [BTW. In this country, at least, it would be considered extremely rude]

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  • 207. At 4:04pm on 10 Mar 2010, U14374829 wrote:

    Kirin
    Israel might be a closet ally but not closest.,
    if they were they would not provoke antagonism to the USA through stupid actions linked above.

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  • 208. At 4:06pm on 10 Mar 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    LHC (Large Hadron Collider) to shut down again?

    For a whole year?!

    And not becasue of shortcomings of some sophisticated technologies but because of failure of copper sheaths?

    I can almost hear MAII laughing his heart out.

    BTW. How's Galileo doing?

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  • 209. At 4:12pm on 10 Mar 2010, John_From_Dublin wrote:

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

  • 210. At 4:16pm on 10 Mar 2010, David Murrell wrote:

    Lucy – At the moment MI5 is trying to cover why it apparently allowed suspects to be tortured, which is illegal under both international and British law. Like the US Britain was one of the original signatories of the convention that made the use of torture illegal.

    Where the US comes into this is that MI5 is only meant to have allowed the torture to take place, it was the American military, or more likely Xe that did the actual torture. In coming clean about what MI5 did and didn’t know America has been implicated.

    Over this side of the pond most people are more concerned about what our security agencies may have done than yours. Actually it is a relatively minor story over here, we have more home grown stories to be concerned with.

    Regarding giving terrorists rights two things, one these rights were written down a while ago, before the political situation became so charged. Two we are meant to be the good guys, defending basic principles and freedoms, sacrificing those principle and freedoms, basically becoming as bad as the people we are apparently fighting, undermines our claim to be on the right side.

    This ignores the fact that torture is a bad method to get information. If these terrorists are the hardened brainwashed individuals we are led to believe it won’t work. If they are not then the information is probably compromised. Just think if someone was hurting you, but promised to stop if you told them what they wanted to hear, wouldn’t you tell them just that, even if what you told them was a lie?

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  • 211. At 4:19pm on 10 Mar 2010, hadamsUSA wrote:

    Mark,
    The reason why Washington DC doesn’t have representation in congress is the Federal government is the main employer for the city. Civil servants are discouraged from being politically active because of professional reasons. (It’s bad for your career to be with the party out of power.) This leaves the poor political talent pool that gets the city into financial trouble every time they have home rule which end up requiring bailouts.

    Really most of Washington DC should be under Maryland representation however, we gave the swamp away fair and square to the federal government. We don’t want responsibility for the mess for tax reasons.

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  • 212. At 4:21pm on 10 Mar 2010, LucyJ wrote:

    USA is the best ally in the world. Don't throw our loyalty away. Sometimes you have to look at the bigger picture...and that is that we will help you in your time of need, if you can help us in our time of need. Or at least, do the best we can. We need to stay allies. But this snubbing has got to stop. To get through this century in good condition, we must keep our trust. The USA and our allies are the only ones who want to keep democracy and freedom alive. If this disappears, then it is gone, maybe even for good.

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  • 213. At 4:26pm on 10 Mar 2010, U14374829 wrote:

    LUCY please educate yourself on the IRA and the bombings and terrorism that the UK faced before 9/11
    Just so you can understand that the UK has experience terrorism before you Americans stopped paying for it.


    America and Libya both funded the IRA. They did not buy Armalites in the shops in the UK.

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  • 214. At 4:27pm on 10 Mar 2010, Sweet Phoenix wrote:

    LEAP OF FAITH: Knowing that we have to change our government, because Capitalism has brought our country to our knees. Capitalism (CORPORATIONS) took good jobs from United States and gave them to the poor in other countries...those people are still poor there. Brazil has our Textile business and we pay farmers here subsidies...is that insane? Checks and Balance doesn't work. Many Americans don't go to the doctor because of the lack of money, which balloons into a more serious health issue. So what, if our taxes go up...at least the health care will be mainstream instead of rich, poor, and middle class. I rather help the children, the elders, and our poor. Isn't that what the Statute of Liberty in NY is all about...immigrants from beyond our shores finding life, liberty, and justice for all??? My ancestors are from Ireland and I am part Cherokee.

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  • 215. At 4:31pm on 10 Mar 2010, U14374829 wrote:

    Especially as one half-Brit half-American, which might have sort of made up one whole one, seems to have been hounded out.)



    LOL but he did return.........
    Now GARY which ones were me.
    I have been having my jollies and will not state that I am me or him.
    The vitriol and attempts to ban have been most amusing.
    Let me just say that time here has been most unconstructive.
    But I am fed up of playing games. IF finally made decent comment on Israel.
    St Dom has given up on health care.
    and Go team USA was accepted despite the crazy talk.

    What was hounded was real comment. left was all that was irrelevant.

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  • 216. At 4:35pm on 10 Mar 2010, U14374829 wrote:

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

  • 217. At 4:36pm on 10 Mar 2010, John_From_Dublin wrote:

    # 198 MAII At 3:29pm on 10 Mar

    "I do not claim to represent anyone's views other than my own"

    # 174 MAII At 1:49pm on 10 Mar

    "Here are some facts for you to consider, facts you will likely find unpalatable....Most Americans now see that Israel is on the front line in the war on terror that America has been directly engaged in since 9-11. Paying money to defend Israel is to them in a very real sense part of the cost of that war and a good investment in fighting it.......Americans share many values in common with Israelis although not all of them...Like it or not, Americans feel very much at home in Israel, far more so than in any European country. Americans are genuinely liked just about universally by Israeli Jews and are welcome visitors. The same cannot be said about Americans when they visit Europe...Americans also feel some historical guilt about not having taken in more refugees from Europe who fled the genocide of Hitler....Given a choice between ditching its relationship with Europe or with Israel, I along with most other Americans I think believe and would support saying good-bye and good riddance to Europe. That includes the UK."

    So in 2 hours he goes from announcing as "fact" his view of what "most Americans" believe, to saying he does not claim to represent anyone's views other than his own.

    What is true, fortunately, is that he does not represent anyone but himself and a relatively small band of extreme rightwing misanthropic, jingoistic xenophobes, the kind who are dead keen on their country fighting, but rather less keen on fighting for their country, types who are somewhere to the right of Cheney [D] and Khan [G]

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  • 218. At 4:37pm on 10 Mar 2010, bittersweet1 wrote:

    MarcusAureliusII # 174

    ....."overwhelming majority of American Christians"?
    "Most Americans now see...".?

    ".......who see Israel's restoration of rule over all of the land it once ruled according to their reading of the bible....."

    Thus your America [not mine], " as a Jewish / Christian whole " feels that 50 years of systematic apartheid against another Semitic people who have an equal claim to the land is righteous? The others inadvertently chose the wrong book.
    Maybe the Little Knesset - Congress, supports The Knesset- Israel, but your assertions that an overwhelming majority of American Christians support this issue is to say the least doubtful.

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  • 219. At 4:45pm on 10 Mar 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    199. At 3:31pm on 10 Mar 2010, David Murrell wrote:

    Amaryr – Yes I know, but sometimes its fun to wind him up and watch him go! I must admit I am a bit of a sadist at heart (comes from being a morally degenerate European)!

    Think you mean masochist. But what's the point of winding up a cheap toy just to watch it go round endlessly in the same circle? Not much gratification in that I'd have thought. Anyway, a toy clockwork vampire that can't draw blood isn't much fun to watch apart from that really, except when stuff gets a bit tedious.

    (Memo to self: must stop trying to wind up meerkitties, come to think of it. Seems to be the same sort of clockwork as a T2 underneath, and that's not very interesting to play with either. Mea culpa.)

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  • 220. At 4:55pm on 10 Mar 2010, amaryr wrote:

    David Murrell at 199.

    And you're doing a fine job winding him/it/her up. Great fun.

    Lucy at 200.

    No one is saying that all Americans are being seen as torturers, only that the policies of the Bush regime led to some Americans doing appalling things to those arrested under suspicion of terrorism. The important word there is 'suspicion'. If we torture, or allow others to torture in our name, we lower ourselves to the level of those we purport to despise. Whether we like it or not, or are irritated by the far more complicated and time consuming method of justice that sticking to international law leads to, if we abandon law, our societies suffer as a whole, both in the eyes of our friends and our enemies. Strange as may seem, it is important for a measure of respect both for friend and enemies.

    As to your analogy of the anorexic girl and the terrorist. I think it helps to try hard to stand in the shoes of the young people who become terrorists. Yes - they truly do believe, as passionately as the most zealous of Christians, that their religion is the only way. They also see every day the world being run by the powerful western - predominantly Christian - interests, in ways that offend everything they hold dear. Not for one moment am I sympathising with the terrorists, but it helps towards an understanding of where they are coming from. Without understanding that, there can be no meeting of minds and without that, there is no hope for minds to adapt beliefs.

    Does the UK and Israel no longer love the US? Not sure either ever did, or that it is important so to do. Respect would be nice, and the US, over the past eight years, has shown an arrogant lack of respect for almost everyone. One reaps what one sows. Obama's foreign policy is already going a long way to ameliorate this. It is such a relief to have an intelligent, well-read and informed, courteous and open minded man heading up the worlds most powerful democracy again. Perhaps the US will become loved! Time will tell.

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  • 221. At 5:00pm on 10 Mar 2010, ghostofsichuan wrote:

    Maybe Americans should learn American history? Most of the colonies were started as investments, business deals by private investors. America has continued in that manner and the interest of banking and business still control the US. The laws in the US are disproportionately in favor of the wealthy and big business. Judges are for the most part political appointees and the political system is funded by corporations. American wars are tied to protecting the interest of private business. The government bailed out the banks, it didn't restore the losses of the individuals. No banking reform as been inacted and the budget remains full of "pork" from both parties. The US has no higher moral ground. It is as corrupt as any other nation. The Secretary of State told the Chinese government that "human rights and the environment" would not be barriers to cooperation. What else needs to be said. The US Chamber of Commerce has continually gone to congress presenting that trade with China and other less nobel countries is good for the US when in fact these have caused the loss of jobs in the US. Americans live in an illusion as their politicans sell them out.

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  • 222. At 5:02pm on 10 Mar 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    DruM;

    "I mean some people would say that fire was the greatest human invention, maybe the wheel, possible language or mathematics"

    These were invented before America came into existance. If they hadn't been, America would have invented them in the normal course of events.

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  • 223. At 5:04pm on 10 Mar 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    SaintDominick (#163) "I did not include a link because I don't know how to do that ..."

    OK, I accept that.

    "You may want to read the statement again before you criticize the interpretation of others."

    I did read the entire transcript. I don't have any problem with Patraeus' statement about a "security assistance arrangement." The objective is to get combat forces out or Iraq, not to end all support to Iraq.

    For reference, here is a link to a report on the President's address at Camp LeJeune N. C. in Feb. 2009 on the subject of his policy for withdrawal from Iraq:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/28/washington/28troops.html

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  • 224. At 5:04pm on 10 Mar 2010, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    208. At 4:06pm on 10 Mar 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    I can almost hear MAII laughing his heart out.

    __________

    Anatomically presumptive, aren't you?

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  • 225. At 5:10pm on 10 Mar 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re:
    " That's a very European attitude in my experience. Been to any good Inquisitions lately? "




    To paraphrase a potential future PM Palin [Michael Palin that is]:


    Nobody expects EU Inquisition. :)

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  • 226. At 5:11pm on 10 Mar 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    DruM

    "...or suffered a witch hunt ala Salem"

    That was all done under British rule.

    As for McCarthy, recent revelations under the Freedom of Information Act which was expounded on in a very detailed documentary on TV, showed to my amazement and contrary to everything we've been taught about those events during that era......the Sentator Joseph McCarthy's accusations were right on target. Surprise! And so was I.

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  • 227. At 5:12pm on 10 Mar 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    Merekitty:

    "Its about ideological descendants of morally superior (obviously) Cambridge Five and Oxford Circle members condescendingly telling others that they simply don't know what's good for them."

    Descendants?!!!! Weren't they mostly gay? It's all a bit before my time, I think. Well, I didn't go to Oxford or Cambridge, and I could be wrong, but I suspect t'other two Brits here (londonunderground, I'd guess, and David M) didn't either.

    I read Franz Fanon, CLR James and Regis Debray, among others, when I was at Uni, though; were they in the Cambridge Five or the Oxford Circle?

    And what's Sheffield got to do with it? I vaguely remember someone telling me Lenin's sister (?) lived and died in Southport, but that's a different kind of town and a different county. Different dialects too. (I hate to tell you this, but they speak a kind of homogenised 'Estuary English' in Eastenders, it isn't really real.)

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  • 228. At 5:18pm on 10 Mar 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    powermeerkat;

    As I have said many times, my experience with equipment designed and made outside the United States with a few notable exceptions is usually overpriced underdesigned junk. I am not the least bit surprised that the superconducting supercollider has been down more time than it has been up, nor that even the simplest of details was overlooked. I don't expect much from this thing and so far I haven't been disappointed. Any idea when the next ESA mission to Mars takes off? They did manage to put a telescope into near earth orbit though. At least the European taxpayers got something for their tens of billions of Euros that were otherwise wasted.

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  • 229. At 5:18pm on 10 Mar 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    An appropriate Internet slogan:

    "One moniker a day keeps a Mod away". :)

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  • 230. At 5:24pm on 10 Mar 2010, PartTimeDon wrote:

    Is MAII really American???
    He uses jargon that could pass for British ("Tube", "Traffic Jam", "Gist", appropriate use of "one" as a pronoun). I reckon he must be an Agent Provocateur. It has to be impossible to actually have such a cynical, hateful view of the world and still function in normal society.

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  • 231. At 5:24pm on 10 Mar 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    Doubled over and bittersweet;

    I suggest you read American polls. They, not I are the best gage of what Americans think. BTW, I'd go with Gallop or one of the other majors. I would not go with Zogby. It might be biased or skewed. Now why would I say that?

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  • 232. At 5:40pm on 10 Mar 2010, Sweet Phoenix wrote:

    Wow....what happen to the issue with this article? Everyone is talking about other issues...which tells me some of the comments don't care about health reform....mmm. Here is my story:
    My husband had switched jobs and we were waiting 90 days for insurance. I was a stay at home mom when my son was ran over by a car (1998). Both of his femur bones were broken and lucky to be alive. In a heart beat, our medical bill was over $200,000+ without insurance. It took 1 1/2 of rehabilitation with my son. It was a long recovery. My husband died of cancer 5 yrs later and I filed bankruptcy because of the medical bills. My credit is ruin forever with high interest rates, if I buy a car or have credit cards..the list goes on. We need to have laws in place to protect honest hard working people. How many people out here commenting suffer from hardship due to medical issues?

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  • 233. At 5:49pm on 10 Mar 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    ghost of a szechuan chicken;

    Buying up China was one of the greatest investments America ever made. In comparison to the money American corporations make on Chinese slave labor every year, the 800 billion dollars that the American government owes the Chinese government is chicken feed. Look at the numbers.

    http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/eco_gro_nat_inc-economy-gross-national-income

    look at China's GNI vs GDP.

    http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/eco_gro_nat_inc_pergdp-gross-national-income-per-gdp

    Only 15 cents of every dollar of wealth produced in China stays in China. The rest is expatriated, more to the US than anywhere else. By comparison, 85 cents of every dollar of wealth created in the US stays in the US. In reality, when it comes to how much a country earns, America has eight times China's economy with less than one quarter as many people. Look at the advantage we gain. Almost all of these jobs are dangerous, or low paying, or tedious, and would require much higher wages and greater safety to workers and the environment if they had stayed in the US. America's niche in the world is not that kind of labor. In fact we only import illegal aliens for the kind of work like that we can't export such as harvesting crops and cleaning buildings. From China's point of view, at least they aren't starving anymore the way they were under the real Communist system when 90% of the population worked in agriculture and they still couldn't feed themselves. It's a win win situation.

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  • 234. At 5:56pm on 10 Mar 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    Well, I'm confused about what Americans in the US want. (Again.) This is a new GfK/AP poll (the March 3rd-8th one; can't link directly to it 'cos it's a pdf:

    Q: In general, do you support, oppose or neither support nor oppose the health care
    reform plans being discussed in Congress?

    Total in favour: 41% (in the last year, it's been between 34-42. gradually increasing.)

    Q: How much, if at all, should the health care system in the United States be changed?
    For:

    A great deal: 31
    A lot: 19
    A moderate amount: 32
    A little: 14
    Not at all: 4

    Q: What do you think the President and Congress should do about health care this year?
    Do you think they should...

    Keep at it: 43
    Scrap it and start again: 41
    Leave it all as it is: 15

    So, although many Americans want change, they don't really want what the changes Republicans and Dems have concocted between them so far; yet a whacking great majority want them to do exactly what they have shown themselves quite unable to do . . .

    But: 84 per cent want the Reps and dems to work together; 68 per cent want some sort of deal with the Republicans to get it through. (This really is living in Cloud Cuckoo Land . . .)

    And nor does this:

    43 per cent call themselves 'a born again or evangelical Christian; yet 29 per cent said they were Protestant; 26 Catholic; 2 Jewish; 1 Mormon; Musim too small to count. 20 per cent didn't belong to any religion and the rest said 'other', so none of the above. You can't be a Buddhist, Hindu, whatever, and a 'born again Christian or evangelical' as well, though.

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  • 235. At 5:58pm on 10 Mar 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    <RICHPOST>Good grief! Now MAII is endorsing right-wing efforts to rehabilitate Sen. Joseph McCarthy! (see post #226) I hope we don't get into a long digression on this absurd topic, but if anyone wants to look into the controversy, here is a link to an item rebutting the claims of some of the revisionists:<BR /><BR /><a href="http://tfninsider.org/2009/10/29/rehabilitating-joseph-mccarthy/">[Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]</RICHPOST>

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  • 236. At 6:03pm on 10 Mar 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    230. At 5:24pm on 10 Mar 2010, PartTimeDon wrote:

    "It has to be impossible to actually have such a cynical, hateful view of the world and still function in normal society."

    Oi, just a minute. You think that would make him pass as one of us? Anyone, he doesn't live in normal society. Vampires don't.

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  • 237. At 6:07pm on 10 Mar 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    "I am not the least bit surprised that the superconducting supercollider has been down more time than it has been up, ..." (from MarcusAureliusII at #228)

    Here's another example of Marcus trying to sound erudite when actually he doesn't know what he is writing about. The CERN device is the Large Hadron Collider and it is not superconducting. The Superconducting Supercollider was a device which was to have been built in Texas, but which was not.

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  • 238. At 6:17pm on 10 Mar 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    PartTimeDon (#230) "Is MAII really American??? He uses jargon that could pass for British ..."

    Many Americans know common British terms such as "tube." I was in an automobile dealership in California awhile back talking with a Scottish salesman, and asked him to open the "bonnet." It's not that difficult.

    As for what MAII is, I've thought for a long time that his posture in these BBC blogs is merely sport. His actual opinions may be the starting point for his posts, but I suspect he exaggerates, sometimes to the point of absurdity, for his own amusement. That's just my guess. I don't know how you could actually smoke such persons out.

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  • 239. At 6:32pm on 10 Mar 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re #227

    I was explicitly talking about IDEOLOGICAL descendants. And used Cambridge Five and Oxford Circle only metaphorically.

    [but of course you knew it, didn't ya?]

    And no, they were by no means all homosexuals.

    Quite a few were straight, although perhaps not morally.

    The most famous one, Hero of the Soviet Union, Kim Philby seduced even McLean's wife, when already in Moscow, before dying an unhappy alcoholic like most other traitors.

    BTW. Quite a few homosexuals DID have children; and yes, their own.

    [That's not to detract from a significant role of gardeners, chauffeurs and assorted butlers in creating them 'sophisticated, clearly superior...etc. :-)))]

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  • 240. At 6:41pm on 10 Mar 2010, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    232. At 5:40pm on 10 Mar 2010, Sweet Phoenix

    Let me guess, the driver fits into one or more of the following categories:

    (a) failed to remain at the scene of the accident;
    (b) was driving without a license;
    (c) was driving without insurance; and
    (d) had no assets against which to make a claim, in any event.


    In almost any other western democracy you would have been protected against this kind of catastrophic loss.

    Here you would have been protected by public health insurance for injuries to your son's person, and by both the uninsured motorist and criminal injuries funds for damage to property or other injuries not covered by public health insurance.

    Does your state not have an uninsured motorist fund against which to make a claim?

    Does your state also not have a criminal injuries compensation fund?

    Granted that both of these remedies are chronically and notoriously underfunded, at least you might have had some recovery.

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  • 241. At 6:53pm on 10 Mar 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re #233


    I hate to see though what happens, when BHO, trying to make good on his election promises to American labor unions slams 40% duty on cheap (in every sense of the word) goods priced by PRC in juans intentionally undervalued by 40%.

    Or when Beijing finally has to cough up those billions of $$$ to make up for its massive intellectual property theft, in order not to be thrown out of WTO.

    Yes, we're living in interesting times.


    P.S. BTW. Sen. McCarthy WAS wrong; he had no clue as to real scope and depth of Soviet penetration of America's highest echelons of power in 1930's, '40's and early '50s. Only after prez. Yeltsin has partly opened old NKVD/KGB/GRU archives, and major Mitrokhin (a senior KGB archivist) managed to smuggle thousands of secret documents to the West (including some payroll lists) have we learned the truth.

    Well, at least a part of it. :)

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  • 242. At 7:22pm on 10 Mar 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    Sweet Phoenix (#232) "Wow....what happen to the issue with this article? Everyone is talking about other issues...which tells me some of the comments don't care about health reform ..."

    No, you just came in late. This thread is stale, because the host has been missing in action for a few days. Furthermore, there have been a few other earlier threads on this subject. The people who come here who are interested in the subject have had their say and are waiting for a new thread.

    Those of us who can't wait sometimes start new topics when the commentary on the main subject dries up.

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  • 243. At 7:23pm on 10 Mar 2010, amaryr wrote:

    Part time Don at 230.

    MAII - function? I don't think there is a function for this phenomena? Certainly not in normal society. Unless it's a knee-jerk and those are uncalled for.

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  • 244. At 7:26pm on 10 Mar 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    PTD/GH

    You Brits really amaze me. Most Americans know just about nothing about the UK and Europe and couldn't care less about them. That seems to bother a lot of you Brits. Yet here I am having gone to the trouble to learn enough about you to the point where you thoroughly disgust me and it still bothers you. It seems nothing makes you happy.

    BTW PTD, during the part of the time when you are not "Don" what or who are you?

    GH1618, are there at least 1617 more GHs out there? What a gruesome thought.

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  • 245. At 7:33pm on 10 Mar 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    235. At 5:58pm on 10 Mar 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    "I hope we don't get into a long digression on this absurd topic"

    It's not that absurd.

    The very fact that some of the current idols of the American right seem to want to revise that part of history should ring warning bells very loudly.

    (I've actually got a personal interest in helping to ring one, at least. I had a relative through my granny who was a senator whose political life was wrecked because of standing up to McCarthy and Tricky Dicky when he was a lawyer on the House UnAmerican Committee. I actually only found that out by accident when I was doing American history at school. As it happened, he was a millionaire--which I did know--so he survived it better than a lot of people did. All the same, I saw then why he thought it wise for them to spend a year and a half based in England travelling around Europe, which I'd always wondered about. Wish I could have known him; wish his wife had written more about all that to granny, too, in her letters, but she didn't, sadly.)

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  • 246. At 7:40pm on 10 Mar 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    squirrelist (#234), I read the poll results and I don't see an inconsistency in the religion numbers. The percentage calling themselves Christian is 86%, and 42% of the total call themselves "born again" Christian. This is a subset of all Christians.

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  • 247. At 7:42pm on 10 Mar 2010, amaryr wrote:

    Back to the health discussion. I need cataract surgery on both eyes. Minimum cost in UK (local to me) £2,800 per eye if undertaken privately with or without insurance, and of course, I could elect the time I have it done. This is not a life threatening condition, and the wait on the NHS here is three to four weeks, so I am having it done on the NHS - entirely free - and went in yesterday for the first operation. A bad reaction, not uncommon but not possible to predict, has meant I now need to go back and have it done under general anaesthetic in a weeks time. The cost for this procedure would be astronomical if I were paying.

    Compared to the cost, both in money and anxiety if I were still in the States, I find it impossible to understand why anyone can justify not having a similar set-up in the most advanced society on the Planet. What is the US afraid of? It is almost as though by accepting that everyone would benefit from universal health-care, they would wake up to find themselves communists. Actually, healthy socialists are possibly more useful to the planet as a whole than inward-looking citizens worried about insurance payments.

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  • 248. At 7:44pm on 10 Mar 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    241.powermeerkat:

    Hmm. Well if there were thousands of secret communists in the US on the Russian payroll, working night and day for the coming revolution, quite unknown until 20 years ago or whatever, judging by results they either weren't working very hard or they weren't much cop, were they?

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  • 249. At 7:47pm on 10 Mar 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    squirrelist (#234) "But: 84 per cent want the Reps and dems to work together; 68 per cent want some sort of deal with the Republicans to get it through. (This really is living in Cloud Cuckoo Land . . .)"

    Sorry, but I don't get your objection. I would like to see Democrats and Republicans in Congress work together, even though I don't expect them to. And I want a health insurance bill from this Congress. So I would answer "yes" to both of these, and "yes" to "just ram it through without the Republicans, if necessary." If it sounds muddled to you, that's just because it is muddled. I wish our legislative system worked better, but I can't do anything about it.

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  • 250. At 7:51pm on 10 Mar 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    GH;

    "Here's another example of Marcus trying to sound erudite when actually he doesn't know what he is writing about. The CERN device is the Large Hadron Collider and it is not superconducting."

    I think it is impressive that you know the correct terminology for this expensive piece of Eurojunk that keeps going kaput (German technical term for nicht worken as in "das ist kapuT!"...Polish would be Kaputski.) If the controlled thermounclear fusion experiment being built in the South of France doesn't work as well as the Hadron Collider doesn't work, there could one day be a gaping hole in the earth where South Central Europe used to be.

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  • 251. At 8:06pm on 10 Mar 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    "Those of us who can't wait sometimes start new topics when the commentary on the main subject dries up."

    No they don't. They just repeat the same stale old ones.

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  • 252. At 8:12pm on 10 Mar 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    232. At 5:40pm on 10 Mar 2010, Sweet Phoenix wrote:

    "Wow....what happen to the issue with this article? Everyone is talking about other issues...which tells me some of the comments don't care about health reform...."

    Probably right. And when those of us who aren't US citizens try, the same people barge in, add absolutely nothing that's relevant and tell us we've no right to be 'arrogant' or 'condescending' or 'superior', or even to be here, and to shut up. (Or celebrate gleefully when someone who is a US citizen but dares to contradict them gets U-boated.)

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  • 253. At 8:18pm on 10 Mar 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    232 Sweet Phoenix:

    Given the lack of response (there's no point in me, yet again, saying to me this sort of thing is inconceivable, unjust, in fact cruel, and shouldn't be allowed to happen) I presume many posters' response would be "Ah, but you can console yourself with your son having had the best medical care in the world. Why do you want to change that?"

    So how many people are going to prove me wrong?

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  • 254. At 8:19pm on 10 Mar 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    a-mary-r

    My function here is to get you to think. Now you may claim that this is an impossible task I have set for myself and you might ultimately be proven right, in which case I would have had no function. However, I pledge to keep on trying as long as there is even one whisp of hope and any breath left in this body. So, painful as it must be for you to be even nudged in that direction, it is even more painful for me to keep trying realizing the futility of that effort. Each time however, I think that the next time might be the turning point. Now if just one of your lot is raised up from the mental depths your society plunged you into by shutting down the part of your mind that can think independently through what was jokingly referred to as an education and come up with the right answers, I will feel my life on this earth has not been without purpose :-)

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  • 255. At 8:20pm on 10 Mar 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    Marcus (#244), I am not a "Brit," I am as American as anyone. The number 1618 is not a count of anything.

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  • 256. At 8:24pm on 10 Mar 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re: firing up support in Philadelphia


    A Pennsylvania woman in her late 40s has been charged with terror offences including using the internet to recruit militants for deadly attacks abroad.

    Colleen LaRose - also known as Fatima LaRose and "Jihad Jane" - was arrested in Philadelphia.[...]

    A Department of Justice statement said Ms LaRose and five others "recruited men on the internet to wage violent jihad in South Asia and Europe, and recruited women on the internet who had passports and the ability to travel to and around Europe in support of violent jihad".

    Ms LaRose, a US citizen born in 1963, is charged with "conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists, conspiracy to kill in a foreign country, making false statements to a government official and attempted identity theft."

    Attorney Michael Levy was quoted as saying Ms LaRose's appearance "was considered to be an asset because it allowed her to blend in." [BBC]

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  • 257. At 8:24pm on 10 Mar 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    244 "You Brits". Now that really is funny. (Sad, and pathetic, but still funny.)

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  • 258. At 8:24pm on 10 Mar 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    squirrelist (#245), that's interesting.

    Journalist David Brinkley revealed in his memoirs that his sister had worked for Sen. Joseph McCarthy. Her response when he asker her, after McCarthy's death, where he got his number was: "he made them up."

    What ultimately ended McCarthy's run was television. When he put his committee hearings on television, everyone could see him for what he was -- a drunk.

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  • 259. At 8:25pm on 10 Mar 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    squirrel;

    That doesn't answer the question of whether or not he was in any way associated with the Communist party or the Soviet conspiracy to dominate the world. There were plenty of guilty millionaires including in government. I'd bet Armand Hammer was one of them. He was known to be friendly towards the USSR. Even among those who weren't directly associated with them, they had many sympathizers most of whom were so naive that they didn't have a clue about the true nature of what they were supporting. I have not heard even one liberal in America apologize for having gotten it so wrong during the cold war. In fact when the truth finally came out, the USSR was even a more heinous criminal society than its worst American conservative critics claimed it was.

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  • 260. At 8:30pm on 10 Mar 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    Squirrel;

    "Well if there were thousands of secret communists in the US on the Russian payroll, working night and day..."

    There were and far more back in the USSR sifting, sorting, translating. The proof? Every technological achievement almost without exception the USSR produced was the result of syping on the US. It was so pervasive, the Soviet scientists would simply give orders directing the KGB to get what they needed and they'd go out and get it for them. It didn't matter what it was. It was correct to execute the Rosenbergs, there were many more who should have been executed as well.

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  • 261. At 8:31pm on 10 Mar 2010, squirrelist wrote:

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

  • 262. At 8:46pm on 10 Mar 2010, ghostofsichuan wrote:

    Macus the A:

    Where is that wealth. Not in the hands of US citizens. Unemployment at 10%. Economy in a stall. Bankers getting richer. It is not the wealth, but where it goes and the American worker doesn't benefit. China continues to grow...exports rising again last month. The US big business community is no different than the old regimes of China where only the upper class benefits. I believe there are some good figures showing the number of homeless and poor in the US who don't eat regular meals and have no hope in the future. Your government is corrupt and lobbyist run the government. No changes to the banking regulations that caused the crisis because the bankers want to do it again and your congress is owned by the bankers. A dying empire with the rats leaving to speard their disease in other lands.

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  • 263. At 8:49pm on 10 Mar 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    squirrelist (#251) "No they don't. They just repeat the same stale old ones."

    Isn't the rehabilitation of Joseph McCarthy a new topic?

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  • 264. At 8:49pm on 10 Mar 2010, londonunderground wrote:

    At 1 random hour sample window of time
    ❨e.g.➾.. 7:26pm 7:51pm 8:19pm 8:25pm 8:30pm .. ❩
    MarcusAureliusII wrote: P-00 again
    ➯ PRESS ❮EJECT❯
    THIS DEMO AND
    THROW IT OUT
    OF THE WINDOW

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  • 265. At 9:00pm on 10 Mar 2010, hms_shannon wrote:

    167 MarcusArseus

    Marky if you want the best it has to be European from cars to washing machines helicopters to aircraft.Can you remember Capt Sullyberger when his air bus due to bird strike ended up in the Hudson & remained in one piece,
    what a fella what a plane.The US tax payer will have to fork out far more now than if EADS/Northrop had been allowed to keep what was rightly theirs.

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  • 266. At 9:04pm on 10 Mar 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    GH1618

    "Marcus (#244), I am not a "Brit," I am as American as anyone. The number 1618 is not a count of anything."

    Your disguise doesn't fool me for one second. You can shave off your beard, your moustasche, cover over your tatoos but I can tell by your accent where you are from. Just call me 'enry 'iggens. Hmmm, on second thought don't call me at all, I'll call you if I need to.

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  • 267. At 9:04pm on 10 Mar 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    squirrelist (#252) "(Or celebrate gleefully when someone who is a US citizen but dares to contradict them gets U-boated.)"

    There you go again (as President Reagan used to say). You know that there is only one such person recently (Jack), and that he was not sunk for contradicting anyone here, but because he was banned long ago, and the BBC seems to have no procedure for "rehabilitation." It's just a game to Jack anyway (as he admitted in a recent post, for he makes no attempt to keep a low profile and make a substantive contribution to the topic at hand. Usually he thumbs his nose at the moderators (figuratively), challenging them to throw him out again. Naturally, they oblige; why would they submit to that sort of insolence?

    I think Jack rather enjoys being seen as a martyr. He reminds me of the chap who said: "don't tase me bro'!"

    Jack should create his own blog. Then he can post whatever he wants, and decide for himself who else can post along with him.

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  • 268. At 9:08pm on 10 Mar 2010, HERCULE_SAVINIEN wrote:

    TO: JOHN_FROM_DUBLIN
    FM: HERCULE TRIATHLON SAVINIEN

    John_From_Dublin 217. At 4:36pm on 10 Mar 2010, wrote: [Given a choice between ditching its relationship with Europe or with Israel, I along with most other Americans I think believe and would support saying good-bye and good riddance to Europe. That includes the UK."

    COMMENT FIRST THEN A QUESTION:

    Now, the Irish of the Tri-City Area, of the Empire, Albany, Schenectady, and Troy, or even Boston, New York City, and Washington, D.C. would hold you position, but leaving this area, the Irish would have a different one in my own humble opinion, we're not speaking for them but Daily in Chicago Richard J., it was chicago, Chicago, CHICAGO, and then came the rest of the World, the Northeast and Chicago, do not speak for the rest of the country by any means.

    Question: Do you agree with [162]. which SaintDominick wrote: At 12:09pm on 10 Mar 2010,we found it to be what the Brits say is Spot On. So we will ask the same questions of you;

    Question One: How long do you see the [Special Relationship] lasting?

    Question Two: Israeli has made it clear to both Egypt and Europe that they are capable of hitting any target within both regions with their nuclear weapons, with their past histories with these countries how long do you expect them to remain on friendly terms under such a threat?

    Question: The Empire is seen by all countries on the face of the earth as the American-Israeli Empire with [AIPAC], Ron Emanuel, David Axelrod and other Jewish-Americans as running the Empire, how long do you really expect this to continue?

    Question: The North American Contintent is large and could take a first strike nuclear hit and still respond, but Israel is to small to take even a small nuclear first stike and this is why Israel need a powerful supporter, but what happens as the Empire is like all others in history in decline?

    Question: What Then happens to the State of Israel, after the fall of the Empire, who can they turn to?

    No one has addressed these questions, no one has taken the long term view, the Empire thinks in quarters of a year, not decades of a century. The Footholds, Trip-Wires, Foreign Occupations, [300] Three-Hundred bases like Rome will be gone, and like Rome it will be a failure to afford to maintain them, along with resistance to there remaining by the countries under their occupation, and for Israel, THEN WHAT?

    COMMENT: We take the Persian view [This Too Shall End], nothing last forever, and the question is for Israel [THEN WHAT?] It's doesn't matter to them that they will be a sliver of a country, with no support in a Global Community of [6B] Six Billion peoples? [WHAT THEN?]

    HERCULE TRIATHLON SAVINIEN


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  • 269. At 9:13pm on 10 Mar 2010, AndreaNY wrote:

    251. squirrelist:

    "Those of us who can't wait sometimes start new topics when the commentary on the main subject dries up."

    No they don't. They just repeat the same stale old ones.

    ***************
    ...about MAII.

    There are almost as many posts about him as the topic.

    Do you really think anyone is interested in individual views on another poster?

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  • 270. At 9:14pm on 10 Mar 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    246. At 7:40pm on 10 Mar 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    "squirrelist (#234), I read the poll results and I don't see an inconsistency in the religion numbers. The percentage calling themselves Christian is 86%, and 42% of the total call themselves "born again" Christian."

    It still doesn't add up properly.

    Add the Protestants and Catholics, it's 55 per cent. I can't believe there is a higher proportion in the US of Druse than there is in Lebanon, or Copts in Egypt, or a huge number of Mennonites or whatever to make up the other 31.

    Unless half of those who claim 'no religion' are Christians as well. So why did they? And yet only 14 per cent never go to a religious service, not counting weddings and funerals. My suspicion is that there must be a societal pressure to be considered 'Christian'. Or do some people (as I can't help suspecting) mix up the politics of the 'Christian right' with religion?

    (Rather like when I trained and the secure psychiatric hospital I was a student nurse in was short of nurses to escort patients to some services on Sundays. My file said "Religion: atheist" but I was tricked by being asked what church I'd been baptised in, didn't think quickly enough to lie and say 'I wasn't', and got stuck with escort duty to the protestant services. . .But that's like saying because I was born with blond hair, and was until I was four, I was still blond even though by then it was nearly black.)

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  • 271. At 9:16pm on 10 Mar 2010, hms_shannon wrote:

    168 Marcus..
    "Ever been to Alaska?Ever seen the Grand Canyon,Ever visited Yellowstone
    park,now those are trips worth taking"

    Why on earth would he want to go all that distance? when he has, Dart moor,
    the Cheddar Gorge & the isle of White.

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  • 272. At 9:18pm on 10 Mar 2010, londonunderground wrote:


    Conjunction Junction, what's your function?

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  • 273. At 9:19pm on 10 Mar 2010, hms_shannon wrote:

    181 Marcus,

    Henry Ford said "history is bunk"after the first few lines of 181 I know how he felt..

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  • 274. At 9:23pm on 10 Mar 2010, tigerlily wrote:

    232 Sweet Phoenix "How many people out here commenting suffer from hardship due to medical issues?"

    The non-Americans posting here find it inconceivable that you suffered such pain and hardship. The two responses to your question so far, came from a Canadian and a British citizen. Your fellow Americans are conspicuous by their silence.

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  • 275. At 9:26pm on 10 Mar 2010, hms_shannon wrote:

    200 Lucyillinois,

    There are Folk over here that will all-ways hold America dear,take no notice if we take a pop at some Americans, especially if they cross dress & call it a toga...

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  • 276. At 9:27pm on 10 Mar 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    ghost of a szechuan chicken dinner;

    "Where is that wealth. Not in the hands of US citizens. Unemployment at 10%."

    Are you kidding? Between the real numbers, those who gave up looking, and those who are underemployed, it's probably well over 20%.

    "Economy in a stall."

    The government says it's getting better. Wall street says it's getting better. I for one don't believe it based on what I see, what others see and tell me about. What is happening to the businesses I deal with.

    "Bankers getting richer."

    Strange too. They screwed up the economy. They, their economist friends, and their lawyer friends in government. They should have been fired or shot instead.

    "It is not the wealth, but where it goes and the American worker doesn't benefit."

    Certainly not yet. Will they ever? There are a lot of very angry Americans out there. With guns. Scary.

    "China continues to grow...exports rising again last month."

    I think China's prosperity is greatly exaggerated and what there is of it is unsustainable. They've been doing well recently and for the moment. Projections it will continue this way into the indefinite future are ludicrous. Can't happen for lots of reasons.

    "The US big business community is no different than the old regimes of China where only the upper class benefits. I believe there are some good figures showing the number of homeless and poor in the US who don't eat regular meals and have no hope in the future."

    One out of eight.

    "Your government is corrupt and lobbyist run the government. No changes to the banking regulations that caused the crisis because the bankers want to do it again and your congress is owned by the bankers."

    All governments are corrupt. You have to prove you are corrupt just to get into government. That is because until you do, those already there can't trust you. Just the way you have to kill someone to get into the Mafia. Then you are bound by Omerta, the oath of blood and death.

    "A dying empire with the rats leaving to speard their disease in other lands."

    Well I don't know about that, the US has survived worse in the past. World wars, civil war, great depression, huge fires, earthquakes, an infestation of Beatles. BTW, don't you live in Canada? Kind of like living on the fringe of the empire. Warm enough to feel the fire but not in it. Ever post here under another monicker? Let me guess.

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  • 277. At 9:33pm on 10 Mar 2010, hms_shannon wrote:

    232 Sweet Phoenix,

    Your story,just so terrible,& being made bankrupt because of tragedy & critical illness would not happen over here.I know a lot of point scoring has gone on here re the best system,I would not want to be ill in the US
    unless very wealthy...

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  • 278. At 9:35pm on 10 Mar 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    london derriere, isn't it hard to sleep with all those trains going by all the time? Do they stop running them after a certain time every night? In Paris it was 1AM. In New York it never stops, they run 24 hours a day every day. Makes it easier for vagrants who want to live on the trains. Nobody ever bothers them there if they don't make a nuissance of themselves. How about in London?

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  • 279. At 9:42pm on 10 Mar 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    ukwales (#265), although I am no Europhobe, I can't say as I agree with you. I happen to own a European "clothes processor" (washer-drier in one unit). I'm not saying it was a complete mistake, but I would rather have a Maytag if they made a drier with a condenser.

    As for the US Air flight which went into the Hudson, Captain Sullenberger himself has said that the result would have been the same with a comparable Boeing aircraft instead of an Airbus. There is a book out claiming that the innovative automatic controls of the Airbus made the successful ditch possible, but Sullenberger does not endorse that view.

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  • 280. At 9:43pm on 10 Mar 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    259:

    "squirrel;

    That doesn't answer the question of whether or not he was in any way associated with the Communist party or the Soviet conspiracy to dominate the world. There were plenty of guilty millionaires including in government. I'd bet Armand Hammer was one of them."

    Well; he knew Paul Robeson--I'd have liked to have met him too--so in some people's eyes he would be assumed to be. But why should that question even be asked? Especially when it's posed as an accusation?

    It's just the sort of thing he was standing up against all those years ago. Oh, yes, even sixty years on; 'Liberal: n. US, 'communist'. I forget. He took it to mean 'philanthropic', in actual fact. Anyway, I'm happy, and proud, I've got an American like that in my family.

    (But he wasn't Armand Hammer, or maybe I'd have had free toothpaste for life. Just as well; tried that stuff once; hated it. Otherwise--I feel like pleading the Fifth Amendment or something on the family's behalf--I decline to give any clues.)

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  • 281. At 9:46pm on 10 Mar 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    ukwales (#265) "The US tax payer will have to fork out far more now than if EADS/Northrop had been allowed to keep what was rightly theirs."

    I disagree with this also. The Boeing aircraft will be better for the taxpayer, largely because of lower operating costs. The current KC-135s have been flown for 50 years. That's a lot of operating cost to consider.

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  • 282. At 9:49pm on 10 Mar 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    GH1618

    "He reminds me of the chap..."

    AHA! GOTCHA! Real Americans don't use that word. Thought ya could put one over on the old professor, didntcha? Come on, fess up. You've been caught in the act!

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  • 283. At 9:50pm on 10 Mar 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    The EADS/Northrop fueler, by the way, is based on the Airbus 330, which is the model that mysteriously went down in mid-Atlantic a few months ago.

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  • 284. At 9:55pm on 10 Mar 2010, amaryr wrote:

    I think MAII is an invention of the moderators to keep us occupied while MM is sucking his pencil trying to come up with a new topic. No real person - or even vampire - could be that sociopathically consistently unpleasant, while posting contradictory opinions at such length.

    While it may be fun to corner the playground bully, particularly as it is only a cyber-bully, it is a poor substitution for being able to discuss and debate on one of the most interesting forums on the web with a crowd of thought provoking and lively minds.

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  • 285. At 10:00pm on 10 Mar 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    Squirrel;

    "Rather like when I trained and the secure psychiatric hospital..."

    All these truths finally coming out. Now I know where you got to be so squirrely. Ever see the movie Titicut Folies? It's a must see for you, there are lots of links on Google. Here's one.

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0062374/

    You may even be able to see it for free on line.

    "The only American film banned from release for reasons other than obscenity or national security, Titicut Follies was filmed inside the Massachusetts Correctional Institution at Bridgewater, a prison hospital for the criminally insane. After the Commonwealth of Massachusetts sued the filmmakers, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled that the film constituted was an invasion of inmate privacy and ordered the withdrawal of the film from circulation"

    It was released in 1967. When I was in school taking a psychology course in the fall of 1968, it was assigned viewing. The school showed it. One student fainted, hit his head on the auditorium chair back in front of him, had a concussion and had to be taken to the hospital.

    What you get from it among other things is that in a mental institution, after a while you can't tell the patients from the people who work there. Now I understand you better :-)

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  • 286. At 10:01pm on 10 Mar 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    274. At 9:23pm on 10 Mar 2010, tigerlily wrote:

    "Your fellow Americans are conspicuous by their silence"

    Yes. Strange, isn't it? I asked two hours ago now, and . . .nothing.

    And this brings up another anomaly, and I don't know whether it's been addressed or not. Why should there be a 90-day wait, without insurance, when you take up a job? That looks like a major problem caused by tying health insurance choice to a single employer instead of an employee, but I know that kind of reform got kicked off the agenda long ago.

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  • 287. At 10:02pm on 10 Mar 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    squirrelist (#270) "Add the Protestants and Catholics, it's 55 per cent. I can't believe there is a higher proportion in the US of Druse than there is in Lebanon, or Copts in Egypt, or a huge number of Mennonites or whatever to make up the other 31."

    No, they are not Druse or Copts. There are many evangelical Christian groups in the US which are not Catholic and whose members do not consider themselves to be Protestant. The Protestants are those churches who trace their lineage back to the Reformation. Splinter groups need not consider themselves to be Protestant. For that matter, one need not belong to a church at all to be a Christian.

    It really becomes merely a semantic argument, I think. You may say that any Christian whose religious tradition traces back to the Reformation is Protestant, but that person may choose not to call himself (or herself) Protestant.

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  • 288. At 10:03pm on 10 Mar 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    squirrelist (#270) "My suspicion is that there must be a societal pressure to be considered 'Christian'."

    I think you are right, there.

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  • 289. At 10:08pm on 10 Mar 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    ukawailee;

    "Why on earth would he want to go all that distance? when he has, Dart moor, the Cheddar Gorge & the isle of White."

    I see your point. You left out the tour of the sewers of Paris. Do they still run it? At least once you pay it a visit, you'll know why the French have such a large perfume industry.

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  • 290. At 10:12pm on 10 Mar 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    tigerlily (#274) "Your fellow Americans are conspicuous by their silence."

    What inference were you making from my silence? Sweet Phoenix asked a question. I am not suffering hardship due to medical issues, so I did not respond. Perhaps most others here today likewise are not suffering.

    I recognize that unusual medical expenses can bring hardship to people in the US. That is pretty well known, and is the reason for so much discussion of the health care legislation.

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  • 291. At 10:14pm on 10 Mar 2010, hms_shannon wrote:

    #206 Powermeercat.

    There is some thing being lost in translation that I am missing.I also have been to the US 7/8 times.Been all over California,Nevada,Arizona,Florida, Massachusetts,Vermont,New Hampshire & Maine.Have traveled more miles in the US than mainland Europe,having said that with relief work in Moldova that will soon change.I love the US,when over there visiting historic sites I ask & ask questions,just to try & under stand other view points, especially re war of independence.It is a bit disconcerting,that by asking questions & proffering a view point as seen from our perspective on a British blogg all about America we are deemed to be rude & arrogant??.Have you seen what MA2 sends our way!! thats rude & arrogant.No kidding,I can not get the drop on Allen & to a lesser extent you,after all what is a forum for?.If you said talking about British politics was too boring, hell I would agree with you,but saying its not pucker to comment does not compute...

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  • 292. At 10:31pm on 10 Mar 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    MAII (#282) "Come on, fess up. You've been caught in the act!"

    No. I am well aware that Americans do not use "chap." I am also aware that I am on a British web site, and from time to time I use such terms deliberately, as a nod to my hosts. If you care to review my past posts (what a tedious chore!), you will see that I almost always use American spelling (except when referring to the British Labour Party, for example). Then look at Jack's posts. While he is an American citizen, and lives in the US, his British background is evident because he uses British expression commonly, not incidentally, including some terminology unknown to Americans.

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  • 293. At 10:38pm on 10 Mar 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    amaryr (#284) "I think MAII is an invention of the moderators to keep us occupied ..."

    Perhaps, but the moderators sometimes suppress his posts. They would have to be doing that merely as a ruse. Do you think they are that devious?

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  • 294. At 10:44pm on 10 Mar 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    a-mary-r

    "While it may be fun to corner the playground bully, particularly as it is only a cyber-bully, it is a poor substitution for being able to discuss and debate on one of the most interesting forums on the web with a crowd of thought provoking and lively minds."

    So you are saying that except for me who is "the cyber-bully" the rest of the people who post here are all part of a crowd of dull witted, boring, know nothing, imbecillic, nonsensical, unstimulating, unimaginative, uninteresting, uninformed, semicomatose, know nothing (oops used that one already) and utterly unworthwhile minds. Well, I'm not saying that I disagree with you and I'm not saying that I agree with you. I don't think I would have put it quite that way myself but since you have, I'll just go with it for the time being until they prove otherwise. Anyway, given the choice of being in one category or the other I'd rather be the cyber-bully. Being cornered by a bunch of cyber-midgets isn't so bad. They can be shooed away like gnats or if they get too pesky squashed like crawling bugs.

    Of course being a bully is all a matter of perspective, reference, and perception. A slow four year old could feel bullied by an eleven year old who knows only the alphabet and can count all of his fingers and toes. Can you do that a-mary-r? Count all your fingers and toes I mean? Can you bend over far enough to see them?

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  • 295. At 10:44pm on 10 Mar 2010, Sweet Phoenix wrote:

    To the ones that commented on my comments...thank you for your support on Health Reform. When unexpected things happen in life, a person can lose everything they worked hard for, but with a little help from friends...the days are better. We may have the best medical doctors in the USA and one is at Riley Hospital for Children named Dr. King. He saved my son's left leg from being amputated. My son became a great baseball player at Tampa University. We learn from our mistakes and I hope someday we will conquer GREED. God Bless Everyone...Shalam.

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  • 296. At 10:44pm on 10 Mar 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    squirrelist (#286) "Why should there be a 90-day wait, without insurance, when you take up a job?"

    The reason for that is that under US rules a new employee is probationary for a short time. In the probationary period, an employee may be summarily dismissed without any stated cause, which allows an employer to correct errors in hiring. Putting probationary employees on the medical plan would just mean extra paperwork when letting them go.

    After 90 days, an employer should know whether an employee is going to work out or not.

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  • 297. At 10:49pm on 10 Mar 2010, hms_shannon wrote:

    283 GH1618

    That tragedy was thought to be caused pitot tube malfunction giving false air speed,plus flying into very bad weather which is never a safe thing to do.Ho come on GH I am trying to sell European & being thwarted at every turn.

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  • 298. At 10:53pm on 10 Mar 2010, tigerlily wrote:

    253 squirrelist

    "232 Sweet Phoenix: So how many people are going to prove me wrong?"

    So far none. They are ignoring the question altogether. They have averted their eyes. If they don't see it, it won't hurt them.

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  • 299. At 11:03pm on 10 Mar 2010, hms_shannon wrote:

    283 Ma2

    "I see your point. You left out the tour of the sewers of Paris. Do they still run it? At least once you pay it a visit, you'll know why the French have such a large perfume industry."

    Whats more to the point,is why so many Americans? need to buy the stuff!!

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  • 300. At 11:12pm on 10 Mar 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    For those who can get away from traumatic hangovers of seeing some film forty years ago, I was not trained in a "prison hospital for the criminally insane." It was a secure psychiatric hospital. Run and staffed by the NHS. I might have carried keys, and I might have had to lock some doors behind me, and I might have run the risk of being killed by a patient, as a friend and colleague of mine was, but I was a nurse not a prison warder.

    But let's not deprive the resident sneering poster of his fun and way outdated characterisations and concepts, shall we?

    "Prison hospital for the criminally insane." Gawd.

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  • 301. At 11:14pm on 10 Mar 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 200, LucyIllinois

    I am very sorry about the problems your family has gone through which, as I am sure you already know, are far too common in the USA.

    My family and I had our share of health related problems, aggravated by our inhumane insurance industry, but I admit they pale in comparison to what you have gone through.

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  • 302. At 11:14pm on 10 Mar 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    Uke of Wails;

    "I also have been to the US 7/8 times."

    And to think you came so close and yet so far. Had to turn the plane around and go back before you got here? Pity. Maybe next time you'll make it all the way :-)

    "Been all over California,Nevada,Arizona,Florida, Massachusetts,Vermont,New Hampshire & Maine.Have traveled more miles in the US than mainland Europe"

    It didn't help Justin Webb either. He traveled all over the US for the entire Presidential campaign. When he left he hardly knew much more about it then when he arrived. See, I'm telling you travel is overrated. Well at least he got to see an American hospital in action even if it was a routine case. Of course it is never routine when it's someone in your family who is sick.

    You'd need to read a lot about American history written from an American perspective before you can begin to undestand it. I'd start with a good high school text book from around the 1950s before they adulterated the material with all kinds of liberal political garbage. Preferably one used in a large city or state like New York City. Then go on to more advanced material for detail and nuanced views. It not only explains what happened and how but why it happened and what was going on in people's minds while it was happening. This because so many Americans wrote leters and kept journals.

    The three seminal periods to break it up into were events leading up to the Declaration of Independence. The events between the Declaration of Independence and the signing of the Constitution, and the period subsequent to the signing of the Constitution. Viewed in that light, it should make sense. It will also explain why American civilization is different in fundimental ways from all others. You can travel around the US until the crack of doom but without these explanations you will never understand it. It is why few if any Europeans ever do, you, Justin Webb, and probably Mark Mardell included.

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  • 303. At 11:16pm on 10 Mar 2010, John_From_Dublin wrote:

    # 284 amaryr wrote:

    "I think MAII is an invention of the moderators to keep us occupied while MM is sucking his pencil trying to come up with a new topic. No real person - or even vampire - could be that sociopathically consistently unpleasant, while posting contradictory opinions at such length.

    While it may be fun to corner the playground bully, particularly as it is only a cyber-bully, it is a poor substitution for being able to discuss and debate on one of the most interesting forums on the web with a crowd of thought provoking and lively minds."

    Amaryr

    I've been reading this blog for a while and there have been a no of theories on who or what MA is. A Dalek, A Cyberman, the picture in Dick Cheney's attic, a vampire, a london cabbie of the more bigoted sort, a shut in in a trailer park in NJ - who knows?

    A troll - clearly.

    Here's another theory. The Axis of Evil were deeply concerned by the election of Obama. They wanted to paint the US and Americans as stupid, arrogant, xenophobic and jingoistic. He didn't fit the picture. So they got their best hackers to create a bizarre parody of an American who exemplified all the above qualities....

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  • 304. At 11:39pm on 10 Mar 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    296. GH1618 :

    That may be the explanation, but it doesn't help. Does that mean anyone in the US who starts a job, or changes jobs and employers is left without health insurance for three months?

    That just looks crazy.

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  • 305. At 00:01am on 11 Mar 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    303. John_From_Dublin:

    You missed one, The Poisonous Cane Toad.

    (That was Our Jack's--'Skippy the Cane Toad Killer' I think. Most people didn't get it, though, too subtle, so sadly it didn't really take off. If I can find it, I'll post it again. And it was our blacksmith of old who actually first noticed the vampirical similarity. Makes you think, doesn't it?)

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  • 306. At 00:09am on 11 Mar 2010, Andy Post wrote:

    Ref. 232, Sweet Phoenix:

    "How many people out here commenting suffer from hardship due to medical issues?"

    None, so far. I'm not terribly surprised. From what I can gather, most posters on this board are pretty well off.

    America seems comfortable with the idea that life is a crapshoot. We like letting our money ride on the pass line. Losing happens to someone else, right? C'mon lucky seven!

    Unfortunately, you rolled snake eyes. It wasn't your fault. That's just the way the bones rolled. We'll feel bad for you until it's time to roll 'em again.

    Am I correct or am I unfairly condemning my countrymen? Let's try another question:

    Americans, do you feel responsible for the welfare of individuals amongst your countrymen or only for the welfare of the People in general (or not at all)?

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  • 307. At 00:21am on 11 Mar 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    303. John_From_Dublin

    "The Picture in Dick Cheney's Attic"?

    ROTFLOL. I must have missed that one. Perhaps that was when I was in (sssh) that country whose name we dare not mention in The Imperial Presence.) Gawd, just imagining what that might look like now, let alone in another 10 years. . .The Horror Of It!

    "More traumatic than Titicut Follies. I vomited up slimy green stuff and couldn't even hold down a mooseburger, or a moose, for a week." (Sarah Palin TPMR: Tea Party Movie Review.)

    "Gross". (Anonymous Guest Critic Crawford Ranch Movie Guide.)

    "Oh but he's a lovely man." (Joe McCarthy, Via Ouija Board and Table Rapping.)

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  • 308. At 01:13am on 11 Mar 2010, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    267. At 9:04pm on 10 Mar 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    "There you go again (as President Reagan used to say). You know that there is only one such person recently (Jack), ..."
    __________

    Recently it has been only Jack, but in this last banning they banned a second poster as well.

    I'm a bit surprised Jack hasn't come back as "Jean Valjean", "The Birdman of Alcatraz", Rudolph Hess of Spandau, or maybe "Cool Hand Jack".
    __________
    __________

    And as for old Marcus, well, he's been on a tear recently. Some of the posts in this string are among his funniest ever.

    # 233 above is a classic.
    At # 294 he even throws in some self-parody.

    (Is he somehow related to Lord Black of Cross-Harbour? Was Lord Black his tutor in written composition? Vocabulary coach? Alter ego? Muse?)

    Vintage stuff, really.

    Could it be that the financial collapse in Greece, and the related discomfiture in European capitals that has put a spring in Marcus' step?

    __________

    Time for another string, Mark.

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  • 309. At 01:21am on 11 Mar 2010, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    306. At 00:09am on 11 Mar 2010, Andy Post wrote:

    "Losing happens to someone else, right? C'mon lucky seven!"

    __________

    Wow.

    You have pinched the cultural nerve right at the very center of this issue.

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  • 310. At 01:22am on 11 Mar 2010, Anthony wrote:

    Chuck Norris is America. And our closest ally is the Dos Equis Guy. Enough Said.

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  • 311. At 01:27am on 11 Mar 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    298. At 10:53pm on 10 Mar 2010, tigerlily wrote:

    253 squirrelist

    "They have averted their eyes. If they don't see it, it won't hurt them."

    Funny how some regular (not to say persistent) and frequent posters here have narry a word to say about health care/insurance reform. Or any suggestions to make.

    OK, I was disabled after an accident, and I'm going to stay that way, so I've got a kind of personal interest: I hope something like that doesn't happen to a young friend who's the same age now as I was then who's living and working in San Fransisco. The thought actually scares his father and me more than him. We're all too aware that his health insurance isn't a 'Cadillac' plan by a long way. It's not that likely, but then, it all seemed equally unlikely to me until it happened, too.

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  • 312. At 01:41am on 11 Mar 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    306. At 00:09am on 11 Mar 2010, Andy Post wrote:

    Ref. 232, Sweet Phoenix:

    "How many people out here commenting suffer from hardship due to medical issues?"

    None, so far. I'm not terribly surprised. From what I can gather, most posters on this board are pretty well off.


    Now you mention it. . . It has struck me that the young and/or hard-up don't get much of a welcome as a rule. Sometimes wonder if this is what a coffee morning on a condominium (that's American for posh old folk's home, isn't it?) or a gated community might be like. . . .

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  • 313. At 01:52am on 11 Mar 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    Well, if people want to turn this blog into a vampire fan club, unless it's Vampire Weekend, count me out.

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  • 314. At 02:04am on 11 Mar 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re#247: "Actually, healthy socialists are possibly more useful to the planet as a whole"



    An interesting claim. Any evidence, current or historic to substantiate it?


    [Unless your talking about Planet Hollywood.]

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  • 315. At 02:09am on 11 Mar 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    Anthony;

    "Chuck Norris is America. And our closest ally is the Dos Equis Guy. Enough Said."

    No, not enough said. First of all, Chuck Norris is America's engineer. He can build a moon rocket with nothing more than a Swiss Army Knife, a handful of paper clips, a roll of duct tape, and a few other miscellaneous odds and ends. A latter day Daniel Boone right out of the pages of history. America's closest allies were Juan Valdez and El Exigente who both saw to America's coffee needs. Coffee is the rocket fuel of American industry as we all know. But when it takes raw muscle power and nerve, America's symbol is "The Terminator" who is now "The Governator." Where else but in America could a man start out as a body builder immigrant, make millions playing psychopaths in the movies, and then preside over the bankruptcy of about the seventh or eight largest economy in the world, the State of California (if it was a country?) Now that is what I call a success story.

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  • 316. At 02:14am on 11 Mar 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re #248

    241.powermeerkat:

    Hmm. Well if there were thousands of secret communists in the US on the Russian payroll, working night and day for the coming revolution, quite unknown until 20 years ago or whatever, judging by results they either weren't working very hard or they weren't much cop, were they?.


    Squirrelist,Iwas specifically refering to (read again) wide and deep Soviet penetration "in the 1930s, '40s and early '50s."
    they were by no means only in the US (as we now know for sure from sm
    suggled/decoded NKVD/GRU files and payrol lists as well as defectors from those illustriorus institutions themselves.










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  • 317. At 02:17am on 11 Mar 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    To the BBC Moderators.

    Please, would you be so kind as to remove my merely begun comment (re #248) which somehow erroneously flew away without any action on my part?


    thank you.

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  • 318. At 02:18am on 11 Mar 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    squirrelist (#304) "Does that mean anyone in the US who starts a job, or changes jobs and employers is left without health insurance for three months?"

    If you leave a job to take another, and have insurance at your old job, I think you can hang on to it for awhile under COBRA (Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act). I never knew what that meant, and now I think I'll just forget it.

    I don't disagree that it (the whole system) is crazy. I think everyone should have some minimum level of health care, whether employed or not.

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  • 319. At 02:25am on 11 Mar 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    Sarah Palin in Calgary (pun intended):

    The vocal opponent of health-care reform in the U.S. steered largely clear of the topic except to reveal a tidbit about her life growing up not far from Whitehorse.

    “We used to hustle over the border for health care we received in Canada,” she said.


    [Globe and Mail]

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  • 320. At 02:40am on 11 Mar 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    Andy Post (#306) "Americans, do you feel responsible for the welfare of individuals amongst your countrymen or only for the welfare of the People in general (or not at all)?"

    I'll take a shot at answering that. I feel responsible for doing my fair share in the larger context of the national system. Clearly, what ordinary individuals can do for others is limited to small cases. For example, from time to time I give a few dollars to street beggars (panhandlers we call them here), but I feel no responsibility to hand out money to everyone. For one thing, I cannot solve the problem of homelessness myself. For another, for a lot of these people, panhandling is a career choice.

    Medical care is a big problem which calls for a national solution. My responsibility is to support a fair solution and contribute my part. I can't take individual responsibility for another individual, outside of my immediate family.

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  • 321. At 02:56am on 11 Mar 2010, tigerlily wrote:

    312 squirrelist - "condominium (that's American for posh old folk's home, isn't it?)"

    A condominium is a privately owned flat/apartment. The expenses for the entire building shared by the individual owners.
    It is understandable you would think that, as many seniors spend the winter in their "condo" in a southern state. Florida for example.

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  • 322. At 03:10am on 11 Mar 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    At 7:44pm on 10 Mar 2010, squirrelist wrote:
    241.powermeerkat:

    Hmm. Well if there were thousands of secret communists in the US on the Russian payroll, working night and day for the coming revolution, quite unknown until 20 years ago or whatever, judging by results they either weren't working very hard or they weren't much cop, were they?





    squirrelist. Not thousands exactly; more like hundreds.
    & I was referring specifically (please, re-read my original post) to the vast scope of Soviet penetration "in the 1930s, '40s and even early 50s".

    Yes, many of them worked very hard to implement a noble objective you've mentioned (socialist revolution).

    They have failed not only because some were caught (by good cops) and some had a change of heart after becoming gradually aware (after 1953) of a scope and monstrosity of Soviet crimes against millions of their own citizens and Stalinist murderous purges of many foreign members of Comintern (the latter being the biggest crime of all in their eyes).

    They failed mostly because America was a much less fertile ground for such a revolution than countries of Old (West) Europe, where not only actual professional spies, but many undetected agents of influence fared quite well till 1980. [btw. even in Le Monde. :)]

    Or even till the collapse of USSR, where some Soviet KGB/GRU officers defected to the West (mainly to U.S.) bringing with them very interesting files, including even secret payrol lists.
    (it's rather difficult to argue with a payroll list itself, is it now?).

    [Out of courtesy I won't mention who they were in your own government and related institutions, including special services: do your own research. Or in top French, Italian and West German echelons.]


    P.S. Have I mentioned that those hard working 'comrades' failed in the U.S. also because as time went by it become obvious even to 'useful idiots' and 'fellow travellers' that Communism itself was a failed ideology and that 'socialist economy' (an oxymoron in and of itself) produced only misery in each and every country it was ever implemented?


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  • 323. At 03:41am on 11 Mar 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re #228 [LHC]


    Look no further than to Galileo project, and you'll have our answer.

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  • 324. At 03:51am on 11 Mar 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re #250 MAII

    "If the controlled thermounclear fusion experiment being built in the South of France doesn't work as well as the Hadron Collider doesn't work, there could one day be a gaping hole in the earth where South Central Europe used to be."





    50 yrs ago I'd say it would work.

    15 yrs ago I'd say: perhaps.

    Today I doubt very much that a controlled nuclear fusion reactor actually generating more energy than its necessary to sustain the fusion reaction can be built, let alone economically deployed in Earth's environment. Either in France or USA.

    [Not that LLNL doesn't conduct some interesting laser-based experiments]

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  • 325. At 04:49am on 11 Mar 2010, KScurmudgeon wrote:

    161. At 11:51am on 10 Mar 2010, John_From_Dublin wrote:
    # 151 KScurmudgeon wrote: "MAII - 133 and 137
    Hurrah! Very funny and entertaining. I laughed a great laugh both times. You have written for a long time with only bitterness, and invective as the sauce - but now you treat us to sweet and sour, and you have the touch!"

    Really? I mean - really?..."
    ______________________________________

    Way back near the beginning - it has been a long day.

    My comment spoke to a change in MA's style only. I generally ignore any substance that may be there under the nasty surface. Those two posts were humorous, ironic, and fun, and I enjoyed that. Recently MA has from time to time written in lucid, reasoned prose that contained points well beyond his usual one dimensional diatribe. That, I enjoy.

    When at first glance his contributions are prickly with thorns, sticky darkness and ejections of venom, for which I have no stomach, I have no interest in looking deeper for any meaningful content. The cost is too high for too little benefit.

    So I was not commenting on the substance at all; unfortunately you burdened yourself by giving painful attention there. Sorry.

    Civility is a necessity, I think, if we are to communicate - hear and be heard - at all. And that is what I am here for. Uncivil speech, and the American blogs I have visited are heavily poisoned with it, makes a conversation into a shouting match in which no one hears anything except themselves and the thoughts they already have. Which often are then colored by silly anger. Pointless. This is a much better place, and I am glad I have found it. Intelligent conversation with people of different points of views, experiences, and backgrounds isn't easy to find and carries great value.

    I was one of the first to call MAII a blogtroll, years ago, because he apparently delighted in filling the forum with abuse. From time to time he has moderated his language and shown he can honestly contribute more than sheer controversy, and then I am glad he is here. He has impressive writing skills that are seldom displayed here.

    Later in this thread he admitted his intent was to stimulate thought, different thought. That is good to know, and I think more honorable than just being a plagy chauvinistic horsefly. His goal isn't dissimilar to mine, then.

    But his typical methods leave much of his work obnoxious and unread by this Kansas Curmudgeon.

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  • 326. At 05:17am on 11 Mar 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re 291

    ukwales. That's not what you opine.

    That the WAY you do it.

    And I don't mean you personally.

    You are not the main culprit here, by any means.



    P.S. Nope, you cannot succesfully land, or even crash land a malfunctioning fly-by-wire plane unless you have a manual override with an independent hydrolic system (a drop-down prop like on Triple Seven helps a little).

    [Something, some designers (whome I, out of courtesy, won't name) clearly forgot about in recent years.]

    Otherwise is just a ejection seat (not available in commercial airliners)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    "OH, WHAT A FEELING TO DRIVE - TOYOTA!"

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  • 327. At 05:18am on 11 Mar 2010, Sweet Phoenix wrote:

    To Squirrelist:
    I am a Paralegal for your information. You sterotyped me to make yourself feel better. I was here to prove the current Health Care and Insurance by Corporation needs to streamline their waste. You proved to me who you are...You are all talk with no action. You look forward to giving your commentary remarks on other peoples comments. You are not a focus person that can stay with the issues on this page with your friends. You never gave any debates only your opinions...that is the problem surrounding government, I don't care for your opinions or some of your friends. Maybe next time you will stick to the issue and not be so self-centered.

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  • 328. At 05:43am on 11 Mar 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re #300


    squirrelist. May I recommend a good, bittersweet and quite funny Andrei Konchalovski's movie "House of Fools" which I think you might enjoy?
    [you should be able to rent it/buy it on DVD in your country.]

    It's based on some true events during the 1st Chechen war in and around the psychiatric hospital sitting almost exactly on the border line between Chechnya and Russia proper. And changing hands a few times.

    I won't reveal the plot, but this Fellini-influenced film, which AK had to shoot in France for obvious reasons (although with some excellent Russian actors) seems to imply that the only sane people in the area were lunatics from that asylum.


    [And yet pres. Gazputin started another, even more ruthless war against Chechyna couple of years later. With a totally predictable outcome]
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    "When will they ever learn? When will they ever learn?"

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  • 329. At 05:50am on 11 Mar 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

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

  • 330. At 06:47am on 11 Mar 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re Airbus A-330 crash of Brazil.

    Those were French Thales pitot tubes, which Air France's pilots wanted replaced with American Goodrich ones way BEFORE the accident.

    Yes, they were eventually replaced.

    But only AFTER the tragedy.

    P.S. That's not to suggest that those tubes were responsible for a crash.

    Unless black boxes are found we'll never know for sure.

    And the French don't seem to know how to locate them.

    [not that after all this time it would be easy for anybody]

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  • 331. At 10:51am on 11 Mar 2010, RomeStu wrote:

    303 John-in-Dublin
    "Here's another theory. The Axis of Evil were deeply concerned by the election of Obama. They wanted to paint the US and Americans as stupid, arrogant, xenophobic and jingoistic. He didn't fit the picture. So they got their best hackers to create a bizarre parody of an American who exemplified all the above qualities...."


    Sadly they didn't feel they had perfected it, so they seem to have created several more in a similar vein ..... (no names .... should be obvious)

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  • 332. At 12:43pm on 11 Mar 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    331. At 10:51am on 11 Mar 2010, RomeStu wrote:

    "Sadly they didn't feel they had perfected it, so they seem to have created several more in a similar vein ..... (no names .... should be obvious)"

    They haven't got the cloning quite right yet, obviously.

    (Baaaaah!)

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  • 333. At 12:56pm on 11 Mar 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    327. Sweet Phoenix:

    Well, thanks. Forgive me if I wonder why there isn't a question mark between the adjective and the noun.


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  • 334. At 2:40pm on 11 Mar 2010, Philly-Mom wrote:

    Phoenix Honey,

    You are not alone. May your son be well, your friends be loving, and may your future be beautiful and full of grace.

    Peace to you and yours.

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  • 335. At 3:12pm on 11 Mar 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    powermeerkat (#330) "And the French don't seem to know how to locate them (the black boxes)."

    They weren't found with the help of the US Navy, either.

    The reason they were not found is because it's extremely difficult to find a small thing at the bottom of the ocean.

    As you say, the pitot tube explanation is only a hypothesis. We may never know what happened.


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  • 336. At 3:22pm on 11 Mar 2010, Philly-Mom wrote:


    MarcusAureliusII -- you bad, bad boy!!!

    How dare your rant your Fool-brained Americentric Tirades on such a lovely forum as this! I am ashamed of you. Bad MAII.

    You go to your room right now and don't come out until the Hot Air seeps out of your over-inflated Amurika-Furst ego!


    Good Grief. Don't you realize that the USA is what it is because good folks from other nations got so annoyed by their homelands that they decided to move here???

    Without Greek-Americans running most of the restaurants in Philly, I'd never get home-style PA Dutch cooking! (that's Deutsch, to you EU-ers.) Heck, the best Amish Scrapple I've ever had was made by a Catholic guy who spoke Spanish! Wake up and smell the immigration, honey!

    Oh - and where would we be without foreign Architecture?? The Philly art museum has distinct Greek and Egyptian influences and the Buddhist Temple off Broad & Washington is lovely. Shame on you for forgetting that we are strong because creative, smart, angry outcasts move here.

    Oh - and the next time I catch you insulting the nice European people and telling them not to come visit... you just stop and think before you type:

    The Euro is still stronger than the dollar, you git. We need their money.


    So please, Europe! Come visit our parks!
    Upper-Manhattan is lovely!
    History nut? Philadelphia is the birthplace of American Liberty!
    Nature lovers will love Yellowstone, the Grand Canyon, or Luray Caverns!
    Or, bring the kids to Los Angeles!
    There are a dozen amusement parks in Southern California, Santa Monica is lovely, Venice Beach is fun, there are museums, restaurants, shopping...

    Please - come and spend here! We're cheap and we love you.


    PS: A lot of Jewish Americans aren't keen on Israeli Expansion. My son's best buddy from school -- his dad 're-emigrated' back here from there. Srsly.

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  • 337. At 3:25pm on 11 Mar 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    Sweet Phoenix (327), Why all the bad attitude towards squirrelist? Personal attacks are out of place here, although a few seem to revel in that sort of thing. Not so sweet, in my opinion.

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  • 338. At 3:39pm on 11 Mar 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    Another fine film on the comparison between the lunatics in the asylum and those out side is "King of Hearts" starring Alan Bates:

    http://alanbates.com/abarchive/film/king.html

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  • 339. At 3:42pm on 11 Mar 2010, Philly-Mom wrote:

    REF 313. squirrelist

    Hmmmm.... Vampire Weekend... Yummy Horchata...

    Happy thoughts. Thank you.

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  • 340. At 4:29pm on 11 Mar 2010, Andy Post wrote:

    Ref. 232, Sweet Phoenix:

    "My husband died of cancer 5 yrs later and I filed bankruptcy because of the medical bills. My credit is ruin forever with high interest rates..."

    My condolences.

    Your credit isn't ruined forever, though. The bankruptcy is wiped from your history after ten years, and there are things you can do that will cause it to rise from the ashes even before then (see http://www.bankrate.com/finance/debt/boosting-your-post-bankruptcy-credit-score.aspx or google bankruptcy credit report). Bankruptcy laws are designed to limit the effects of a financial meltdown.

    Hang in there, and best of luck.

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  • 341. At 5:25pm on 11 Mar 2010, LucyJ wrote:

    GH, Have you seen One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest? A truly good, if not somewhat sad movie. But very thought-provoking.

    Jack Nicholson is a phenomenal actor, a one of a kind guy. Love all his movies! The Shining is my number one pick for scariest movie. Just all around creepy as can be. I read somewhere that it is based on a true story and that Stephen King actually stayed in the haunted hotel.

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  • 342. At 6:13pm on 11 Mar 2010, U14380026 wrote:

    327
    Sweet Phoenix I have been searching for you.
    Interesting.

    You seem to have issues with people that try to help.

    Who are these friends of Squirrelist.

    My My. Your anger at someone who hardly commented on you was really uncalled for. SO what provoked it?
    Who are these fiends you don't like?


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  • 343. At 7:07pm on 11 Mar 2010, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    338. At 3:39pm on 11 Mar 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    "Another fine film on the comparison between the lunatics in the asylum and those out side is "King of Hearts" starring Alan Bates..."
    __________

    That's a long time ago. Brings back memories.
    "The Mackerel strikes at midnight".

    Good film.

    Unforgettable line, from a German soldier "Das ist ein Scotsman!"

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  • 344. At 7:33pm on 11 Mar 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    337. GH1618:

    Yeah, well, I think I'll get over it. (It's not a reaction that's entirely unfamiliar to me, but mercifully infrequent.)

    All the same, without making any further comment, I'm not going to be all that sympathetic to stories like that in the future.

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  • 345. At 7:39pm on 11 Mar 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    LucyIllinois (#341) "GH, Have you seen One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest? A truly good, if not somewhat sad movie. But very thought-provoking."

    Yes, I have, although I don't much care for Jack Nicholson.

    While .. Cuckoo's Nest is better known, Sometimes a Great Notion is Ken Kesey's masterpiece.

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  • 346. At 7:49pm on 11 Mar 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    Look, it's all very nice of you all, but my nursing days are over, and I can't really take fiction about that seriously.

    (I thought Silence of the Lambs--yes I did see that one, and OFOTCN--was really silly. Shan't go into precisely what I knew about in my nursing career that made me giggle, much to the irritation of my mates in the cinema, though. I'm not allowed to. And you wouldn't want to know.)

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  • 347. At 7:53pm on 11 Mar 2010, starFloridian wrote:

    And all those happy, adoring faces were carefully chosen to greet their Messiah, whose single-mindedness about his health care goal has led to rifts in his own party, and the overwhelming disapproval of the American people. Where are the jobs? THAT is the question.

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  • 348. At 8:52pm on 11 Mar 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    342. At 6:13pm on 11 Mar 2010, scatologist wrote:

    "Who are these friends of Squirrelist?"

    Squirrelpost:

    The squirrels, of course. But if our spokeshuman turns out to have human ones around here, we suggest they don't out themselves.

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  • 349. At 00:17am on 12 Mar 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re #335

    AF Airbus-330's recorders were not found not because the were small.


    But simply because by the time the searchers got their act together and U.S. Navy was finally asked to bring in their tow-sonars, the transmitters of the boxes (which, incidentally, are not black) were most likely already dead or dying.

    [they could have also simply separated (they are attached on in the outside of the boxes), or were destroyed in a initial explosion on board, although the latter - explosion - is higly unlikely.]

    BTW, There's a lesson somewhere there re power supplies for locators.

    [30 days pinging period is a theoretical max, hardly ever achieved]

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  • 350. At 02:07am on 12 Mar 2010, U14380026 wrote:

    348 Oh I am sure there are many but I do wonder who the lady was referring to when she says she doesn't like posters.And Why?

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  • 351. At 09:37am on 12 Mar 2010, sartre0simone wrote:

    "Outside, protesters from local Tea Party groups waved placards warning of the dangers of healthcare reform. It is groups like this that have kept the debate at fever pitch, and everyone I spoke to was convinced this had nothing to do with health but was about a big government take-over, aimed at reducing the rights of citizens."

    Members of the newly-found Coffee Party USA (yes, another beverage) are trying to discuss health care and other issues in a civil matter. In contrast to the anti-government rhetoric of the Tea Party, the Coffee Party claims to "gives voice to Americans who want to see cooperation in government. We recognize that the federal government is not the enemy of the people, but the expression of our collective will, and that we must participate in the democratic process in order to address the challenges that we face as Americans. As voters and grassroots volunteers, we will support leaders who work toward positive solutions, and hold accountable those who obstruct them."

    Have you heard of them?

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  • 352. At 09:42am on 12 Mar 2010, sartre0simone wrote:


    Have you heard of the Coffee Party USA? In many ways, they are the opposite of the Tea Party.

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  • 353. At 10:26am on 12 Mar 2010, RomeStu wrote:

    Coffee Party ...... I'm amazed it took this long for a counter-operation to rear its head.

    Although I'm sure it is no more "grassroots" than the Tea Party, that is hardly relevent at this point. It serves if nothing else to give the lie to the idea that the Tea Party represents the views of "ordinary" Americans (whoever they may be).

    Perhaps it is a sign of a change in US politics .... will we see other hot drink themed action groups popping up... maybe the Hot Chocolate Party, or for those who can't sleep for worrying about healthcare, the Horlicks Party.

    If these groups can use the internet to fundraise (like Obama did in 2008) will we see some Tea / Coffee Party candidates running for office in the autumn / fall? Perhaps we should - it might shake things up a bit!


    ps will Starbucks sponsor the Coffee Party?

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  • 354. At 11:56am on 12 Mar 2010, hms_shannon wrote:

    post 326 Powermeerkat..


    P.S. Nope, you cannot succesfully land, or even crash land a malfunctioning fly-by-wire plane unless you have a manual override with an independent hydrolic system (a drop-down prop like on Triple Seven helps a little).

    I must confess,In not knowing what secondary systems Air Bus employ to counter primary failure on vital working surfaces,elevator,aileron & rudder ect.If Boeing have a separate & indpendant hydraulic back up,that gets my vote,with aviation engineering it must be the best or nothing. With fly by wire what is the out come if you spill your tea down the mini computer toggle joy stick whilst in flight?.For long term safety,I fear
    total computer systems,give me hydraulic & mechanical backup, belt & bracer's as we say.

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  • 355. At 1:54pm on 12 Mar 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    "Have you heard of the Coffee Party USA? In many ways, they are the opposite of the Tea Party."




    Perhaps, an Espresso Party would do, smtg Jean Paul Sartre would choose.

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  • 356. At 2:14pm on 12 Mar 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re #354.

    ukwales,

    I walked into a cockpit of A-380 at Le Bourget Show and my legs got limp.

    A central entry keyboard, and, as a afterthought, a joystick on the left side of the captain's seat.

    Now, believe me, if you added a 22" monitor it would be exactly what a USAF or RAF pilot has, when he/she remotely operates from Nevada a Reaper launched in Afghanistan.

    Now, I'm not an easily scaring guy, but if they put me in cockpit of something like that and told me I had no manual override, then, even if it was a test machine I'd most likely say:

    "I may not be exactly a chicken, but I sure ain't suicidal".

    And if somebody insisted and I was in a line of duty I'd ask:

    "Where are ejection grips, Sir?". :-)
    _________________________________________________________________________
    "Toyota, go with a throttle up!"

    -Roger, go with a thro...."

    [final expletive deleted from the tape by USTSB investigators]

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  • 357. At 2:31pm on 12 Mar 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    P.S. Drop down prop gives you avionics; it does not give you hydrolics.

    I understand, from talking to some guys from Everett they have 2nd thoughts and are no longer as gang-ho 'bout fly-by wire as they used to be.[we're entering another active Sun cycle after all]

    We, in the US, may become a weakest link in a chain as far as military equipment is concerned in the next 10-15 years but we're not there yet.

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  • 358. At 5:28pm on 12 Mar 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    ukwales (#354), "fly-by-wire" means only that the control inputs from the cockpit are communicated to the actuators by electrical signals (generally computer-controlled) rather than by direct mechanical/hydraulic means. The actuators may be hydraulic or electric. The question whether the pilot can override limits set by the flight control computer in a fly-by-wire system is entirely separate.

    Boeing has been more conservative than Airbus in implementing fly-by-wire. Its first fully FBW aircraft was the 777. Here is a link to a description:

    http://www.pdfee.com/boeing-b-777-fly-by-wire-flight-controls.html

    There is no separate mechanical/hydraulic link to the flight control surfaces. Fly-by-wire systems use redundancy and fault tolerant design to ensure reliability.

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  • 359. At 5:50pm on 12 Mar 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    ukwales (#354), the Boeing 767 uses three hydraulic systems for redundant flight controls, but you always need a power input to get hydraulic pressure. There is an Auxilliary Power Unit if all engines fail. There is also a direct mechanical backup to provide minimal pressure should the APU fail.

    Here is a link to a description of a landing of a 767 without engine or APU power:

    http://www.wadenelson.com/gimli.html

    A great job of flying, I would say! Bur wouldn't you think the APU should have an independent fuel tank?

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  • 360. At 9:36pm on 12 Mar 2010, hms_shannon wrote:

    359 GH1618

    That was a fantastic piece of flying,that article was just my cup of tea.As a boy in the 50s read all I could about WW2 pilots Ira Bong, Douglas Bader ect.I always dreamt of being in the RAF, alas not to be.For me to become a pilot was as remote as being the President of the United States.After many hours of hard work I did get my private pilots licence.
    I will never for get that day,I was Charles Lindburg/Neal Armstrong all rolled into one.The Cessna 172 is my second love,(except in a cross wind)
    Thanks for taking time to shine a light on my grey area of fly by wire.
    If air craft systems are as temperamental as this lap top,these modern fly by wire air craft,as they get older will become very unpredictable,
    SCARY.

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  • 361. At 12:18pm on 13 Mar 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re #360.

    US. Brig.General (then Col.) Paul Tibbets.

    His difficult take off from Tinian was just perfect.


    I had an honor and a privilege to meet gen. Tibbets at the opening of the (finally) fully restored "Enola Gay" exhibit.

    [yes, he said, he'd do it again. In a New York minute]

    Paul Tibbets is no longer with us, but you can still admire "Enola Gay" in the National Air&Space Museum's Annex.

    [It's conveniently located next to Dulles Int.
    Yes, SR-71 is there as well. :)]


    P.S. Not exactly WWII, but Chuck Yeager is every US pilot's hero.

    And someone we'd all love to be and act like, if we only could.

    [BTW. He didn't think much of Neil Armstrong as a test pilot.]

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  • 362. At 3:15pm on 13 Mar 2010, hms_shannon wrote:

    Powermeekat Gh1618,

    This morning I went to an interesting coffee & raffle event In the next village.The folk there are raising funds to pay for an oak window sill,to be placed the small church in memory of a young American pilot who was killed as his bomber crash landed near by.The sill is to be mounted on the west stained glass window as this is facing his home land.Many teenagers helped with food ect & listened intently as a short speech was given about his sacrifice for our freedom.His name was Dale K Canfield & was with 66 bomber squadran

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  • 363. At 3:25pm on 13 Mar 2010, hms_shannon wrote:

    This lap top in driving me batty,66 bomber squadron 44 bomber group,his aircraft became lost on a raid to St Nazaire 3ed January 1943.

    Ps can not tell you how hurt full it feels when MA2 tells us we were not worth that sacrifice,its a debt we just can not repay..

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  • 364. At 7:53pm on 13 Mar 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re #362 and #363

    Was this village in France or in England? (I'm slightly confused).

    Re your P.S. I can speak only for myself. I think it was worth it. Or at least it was something which simply had to be done.

    P.S. Sorry about your laptop. We're still merely at the beginning of the computer age despite what some people believe.

    [networks malfunction (particularly wireless), posts disappear and reapper, fora freeze, HDs die and SSDs are not quite reliable yet.
    Personally I'm amazed that the Internet still functions.
    (it was originally designed by ARPA for couple of thousand users, tops)]

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  • 365. At 12:33pm on 14 Mar 2010, hms_shannon wrote:

    #364 powermeercat,

    Sorry my posts are unclear I must be more care full.The air craft took off from a USAF base near Norfolk,east England,to raid the,I think u boat pens at St Nazaire on the French coast,due to bad weather they became lost while on the return trip.(I know to my cost you can get very lost very quick whilst flying)They where out of fuel & had no more options,In fact thinking the Irish sea to be the English channel the crew thought they had crashed in France.So they came down in fields farmed by my grandparents,near the village of Little Newcastle in the county of Pembrokeshire.The Church in which the oak memorial sill is to be placed is in its self an ancient listed building 900years or so,& as such no alterations plaques or adornments are allowed ever.But such is the feeling for this young American the impossible is to be carried out..

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  • 366. At 7:52pm on 14 Mar 2010, amaryr wrote:

    355 - No, an Espresso party would rush things through. That would never work.

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  • 367. At 06:54am on 15 Mar 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re #365. ukwales


    A true story, based on taped exchanges at Frnakfurt am Main Int. Airport.


    Mid 60s. Upon landing his 747 a US captain turns into wrong access road.

    Franfurt Tower irated controller:

    PanAm [# deleted] heavy! What the hell do you think you're doing?!

    Haven't you been to Frankfurt before?!

    The captain (obviously a WWII vet) calmly:

    -Yes, been here couple of times. But I've never landed.


    Now, If I'd ever meet this guy I would simply give him a hearty kiss.

    [although perhaps not on the lips] Respect!


    P.S. Re Norfolk. My own father flew out of Norholt early on.

    Been to Berlin, Bremen, Cologne, Essen, Frankufurt, etc., couple of times himself.

    Nope, he never landed in any of those places either. :-)

    [later he flew out of Brindisi, among others]

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  • 368. At 06:59am on 15 Mar 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re #366

    Then how about Cappucino Party?

    Or (if acting still too fast) - Cafe Later? ;)

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  • 369. At 1:40pm on 15 Mar 2010, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    Further to posting 142 -
    Today in the news we read:

    "Mr Oren [the Israeli Ambassador to the United States] had appeared "tense and pessimistic", the consuls general told the newspaper.

    "They were instructed to lobby members of congress and Jewish community leaders and tell them Israel had not intended to cause offence."

    "These instructions come from the highest level in Jerusalem," Haaretz quoted Mr Oren as saying."
    __________

    First there was the non-apology apology from the Israeli government was only with respect to the "timing" of the announcement, not for the act of building 1500 more housing units in East Jerusalem.

    Just how many times are they going to turn this knife?
    Not deliberate? Not intentional?
    If it's not intentional you don't make a left-handed non-apology, you rescind the act, and heads roll.
    Not intentional, my Aunt Fanny.

    That would have been enough.

    But now we see the Ambassador of Israel to the Untied States openly urging the various consuls to go around the American government and lobby members of Congress directly.

    Imagine if Joseph Stalin, Nikita Khruschev, or Leonid Brezhnev had suggested that members of Congress should be lobbied directly?

    Imagine if Charles de Gaulle had suggested that French diplomatic personnel try to change US policy on Vietnam by lobbing US members of congress directly? De Gaulle tried that kind of thing at Montreal City Hall, and Mike Pearson sent him packing.

    Or suppose that some US member of Congress, in response to that lobbying, then got up and spoke on behalf of, say, their regret for the "timing of the announcement" of closing road access to Berlin, of putting tanks on the streets of Budapest or Prague.

    Unthinkable.
    But not, apparently, for the government of Israel.

    Where is the Republican leadership?
    Why is nobody in the Republican leadership making it clear to the government of Israel that this is unacceptable behaviour; that the Government of the United States is the Government of the United States; that under the US Constitution foreign policy is the domain of the President; and that if Israel has a problem with that, the mailing address is 1700 Pennsylvania Avenue?

    In my lifetime, I have not seen the government of Israel make as bad a diplomatic mistake as this one. Should have swallowed the cod liver oil, and then kept quiet. Or better yet, shouldn't have approved the housing expansion in the first place.

    But instead they are choosing to escalate through the Israeli ambassador to the US.

    Wow.

    You get the feeling they're in for a hard lesson about mis-reading public opinion in North America. You don't get to humiliate the President, no matter who you are; and no matter who the President is.

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  • 370. At 2:22pm on 15 Mar 2010, amaryr wrote:

    Ref 368 - Cappucino Party? Mmm - bit frothy don't you think?

    Ref 367 - My old dad flew out of Northolt too - prob on the same raids as yours. The debt we owe to those men, who were almost still children at the time, is inestimable. He flew over 1000 hours in Bomber command alone, and colleagues estimated a similar time in Fighter Command. His log book for Fighter Command was stolen after the war. At some point he escorted American bombing raids over Germany, and later still flew unmarked fighters out of Britain to Finland for the Free Finnish Airforce landing on frozen fiords.

    The freedoms we all cherish on both sides of the Atlantic owe much to men like our fathers; the effect on their lives, if they were lucky enough to survive, was chilling - he woke screaming most nights to the end of his long life - during the day he dealt with his history as tho' it were a huge joke, no heroics, no counselling for these lads! It pulls our concerns over what we discuss as 'freedom' sharply into focus don't you think?

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  • 371. At 7:36pm on 15 Mar 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    369. At 1:40pm on 15 Mar 2010, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    "You get the feeling they're in for a hard lesson about mis-reading public opinion in North America. You don't get to humiliate the President, no matter who you are; and no matter who the President is."

    Really? Maybe the Israelis were reading what many Americans have been saying not just on this blog about Obama, but on many others, and just thought 'hey, why not join in"?

    As I've said elsewhere, whether an American Veep's feelings were hurt (and one at that who has been widely derided and insulted in the US since the election campaign by Americans) is hardly the real issue. Clearly, the Israelis have concluded--as so many here tell us--that this American administration is pretty well immaterial, impotent, unpopular, unsupported by the electorate, and out of it for a generation by 2012.

    Don't blame Netanyahu; you can blame a large part of the American electorate. Did he really 'misread American public opinion'? Or just take it a step further for his own political purposes? Many of us with an interest in what was once called the 'peace process' have viewed that man as very single-minded, impervious to any argument but whatever suits his political purposes and thus very dangerous. He hasn't changed one iota; all that's happened is he's shown he cares as little about the USA and its leaders as he has for decades about any other country and theirs.

    Welcome, Mr Biden, Mr Obama, and Mrs Clinton, to Mr Netanyahu's world: and the harsh reality of what happens when you pussyfoot around a politician like that and let them off the leash, or let them bit through it and run free.

    No doubt anyway, after next November, a Republican Congress will vote another few billions of dollars for the USA's 'greatest ally' as usual, because some minor Israeli official apologised sotto voce for form's sake in a Washington restaurant and bought them all a round in the bar.

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  • 372. At 9:39pm on 15 Mar 2010, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    371 Squirrel

    Not so sure about that.
    Agree that Netanyahu has been single minded. But I'm not sure that's what matters here. That's not what has changed.

    People are worried about more basic things now. There's a surliness, and a worry that wasn't there before. On a whole range of issues - from trade to taxation, to the resurgence of isolationism - there is much less patience with awkward foreigners playing silly games. People are tired of this whole middle-east thing. It is always trouble. It never seems to end.

    There's a weariness, and a frustration with the whole thing. When you couple that with people's fear about their jobs and their retirement, no, it seems to me that this is a particularly bad time to be giving gratuitous insult to the American President.

    Up until now, everyone who has underestimated Barack Obama has lived to regret it. We'll see.

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  • 373. At 07:35am on 16 Mar 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Amaryr wrote [in #370): "His [amaryr's dad] log book for Fighter Command was stolen after the war. At some point he escorted American bombing raids over Germany, and later still flew unmarked fighters out of Britain to Finland for the Free Finnish Airforce landing on frozen fiords."



    That's sad. I still have my fathers 3 log books.
    [yes: he did, and survive THREE tours of duty: the last one in SpecOps].

    His (and you dad's) was a generation for whom "Honor, Duty, Country"
    weren't just empty words and actually meant something.

    [subject of ridicule by many who would not stand up for anything. Ever.]

    BTW. My father (since we praise the sacrifice of Americans and Britons) always spoke with the highest admiration about RAF's Polish pilots.

    ["Somebody forgot to teach those guys what 'fear' means", he'd say.]

    And later (when he flew out of Brindisi)about South African and New Zealand ones. So often forgotten.

    Lest we forget.







    P.S. Remember the Silent War. The Korean one?


    Those vets came home and got busy. Many badly battle-scarred for life.

    No Pots Traumatic Syndrom for them. And no councelling.

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  • 374. At 07:45am on 16 Mar 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re #372


    They were slaughtering each others before Crusades & after the Crusades.


    Before state of Israel was created and afterwards.

    No change since.


    [And yes, they tried to blow up WTC BEFORE Iraq too.
    "How soon they forget"]

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  • 375. At 5:53pm on 16 Mar 2010, hms_shannon wrote:

    Powermeercat amaryr

    I have enjoyed reading about your respective Fathers.It is to men as such
    that I/we have been able to bring up our families in the freedoms many take for granted.The veterans especially their buddy's who never made it home,not forgetting those seared mentally & physically payed for our ticket.The passing of each & every Vet leaves a irreplaceable gap...

    I whilst learning to fly had the privelage being taught by Capt Spencer.
    He was one of the very few in bomber command,who made it from 1939 with
    leaflet drops,to 1945 Berlin & pre D day raids.There was about 8 of us learning at that time I sopose thats the closest I will ever get to the
    comradre experienced by those in the armed forces.After one scary solo
    cross country flight followed by a bad landing I vowed to my self never to fly again.Such was that generations understanding of fear,Capt Spencer came over to me & said "If you want to Fly son,go home now you will not come back,get back in & take her up again & face it down".I did.I learned to fly with the help of giants whose shoe laces I am not fit to tie...

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  • 376. At 07:23am on 17 Mar 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re #373 (poster's dad) "
    later still flew unmarked fighters out of Britain to Finland for the Free Finnish Airforce landing on frozen fiords"


    Re excorts of bombing runs on Germany

    Was it in Mosquito? If am not mistaken Spitfires did have a range much beyond continental coast?

    [btw. When my father occasionally ferried bombers from U.S. factories to UK he had to hop via Gander, since no tankers were available then.]



    Re 'unmarked fighters'...


    At the last moment JFK chicked out and denied Cuban intervenionists a promised air cover, although planes designated for the mission were unmarked.

    The ensuing slaughter in Bay of Pigs was a consequence of this cowardice.

    Since then I've been alergic to any U.S. politician with Kennedy name. :(


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  • 377. At 11:47am on 28 Mar 2010, Candide33 wrote:

    OK, I will explain health care to you, you see the people who work in our service industries lose a lot of time from work because they cannot afford to go to the doctor or buy medicine. Productivity is is affected by sick workers who cannot work to their full potential. The greedy business owners *cough Wal-Mart* who made sure not to schedule enough work hours so that these workers could qualify for health insurance, are not about to eat the costs of lost productivity. Where do you think the money comes from to cover this? Out of YOUR pockets in the form of higher prices. SOOOOO you are still paying because the workers are sick, the only difference is that without health insurance reform, the workers are still sick. Since you are going to pay anyway, might as well have something decent come out of it.

    SEE now that is how you explain things to Americans, none of this talk of compassion or human decency, God forbid a Mexican slip through and get a little penicillin! Bottom line people, bottom line... it is all about the pocketbook.

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