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A Golden Age in the Obama White House come to an end?

Mark Mardell | 23:15 UK time, Wednesday, 22 December 2010

There was a wide smile on President Barack Obama's face as he signed the law allowing gay people to serve openly in the military. In the November election, he was often heckled by disappointed liberals for not getting it through. On Wednesday they chanted "yes, we can" and he replied "yes, we did".

Remember, this issue has been a central battle in the culture wars for a generation. Mr Obama was the general who won it.

Getting the New Start treaty through was a different kind of victory. Backed by the foreign policy establishment, including all living Republican former secretaries of state from Henry Kissinger to Condi Rice, the naysayers looked increasingly vindictive and willing to put the interests of party before nation. Enough came over to hand the president another win.

The third victory was of still another stripe.

At a news conference after the votes, Mr Obama looked a changed man. Maybe it was the thought of his upcoming Hawaii holiday. I know that would perk me up no end. But commentators from both sides of the divide have made an instant judgement. This was the Obama of old, of the campaign, talking about the wishes of the people. About hope for a better future. A hope that he can work with Republicans in the next Congress, next year.

It is a vain hope, of course. He has little to offer them. The tax deal really was a result of horse trading with Republicans. Wednesday's victory was just a case of bringing a few moderates on board. But if he can keep it up, keep up the optimism and the open offer, he can pose as the reasonable one. This is also what Wednesday was about.

Will you remember the 111th Congress as a Golden Age? I suspect Mr Obama wants the American people to learn to feel nostalgia for the past two years. Of course, Republicans regard it as a period of unmitigated disaster. Many Americans will regard it as a period of much muddle and unnecessary politicking. Even die-hard Democrats don't feel a huge amount of pride in its achievements.

Yet Mr Obama said that it was "the most productive two years that we've had in generations". He wants the day to be remembered as a time when things got done, when people could agree, when progress could be made. It is going to be an interesting new year.

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  • 1. At 00:30am on 23 Dec 2010, JClarkson wrote:

    "Yet Mr Obama said that it was "the most productive two years that we've had in generations"."


    Obama, the comedian. Give it up folks and don't forget to tip your waitresses. Obama will be signing autographs, later in the lobby. For the next 2 years...

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  • 2. At 01:20am on 23 Dec 2010, BienvenueEnLouisiana wrote:

    Mark: "It is going to be an interesting new year."

    It sure will. The GOP seems to have come up with a new set of draft House rules for the 112th Congress. Below is a link to the article from Fox News describing the draft rules:

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/12/22/house-gop-unveils-strict-spending-ethics-rules-package-new-congress/

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  • 3. At 02:21am on 23 Dec 2010, Chryses wrote:

    My bet is that the 112th will be unremarkable.

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  • 4. At 03:23am on 23 Dec 2010, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    Mark wrote:

    "This was the Obama of old, of the campaign, talking about the wishes of the people. About hope for a better future. A hope that he can work with Republicans in the next Congress, next year."

    "It is a vain hope, of course. He has little to offer them."

    _________

    Politics makes strange bedfellows, and there is nothing so difficult to predict as the future ...

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  • 5. At 04:32am on 23 Dec 2010, Jay wrote:

    This time we observed Obama as a politician. I liked it. Hope he will keep it up till 2012 election with Republicans asking some more (electoral) suicidal policies like tax cut for rich Americans.

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  • 6. At 06:49am on 23 Dec 2010, KScurmudgeon wrote:

    MM: "Will you remember the 111th Congress as a Golden Age? I suspect Mr Obama wants the American people to learn to feel nostalgia for the past two years. Of course, Republicans regard it as a period of unmitigated disaster. Many Americans will regard it as a period of much muddle and unnecessary politicking. Even die-hard Democrats don't feel a huge amount of pride in its achievements."

    I expect we will forget it, as we forgot the first two years of Mr. Clinton's administration, and of so many other Presidents who had to get their feet on the ground before making their mark.

    Nostalgia - for a period of darkness and rage, of confusion and false starts?

    In private, the Republicans must regard it as the golden age of their rebirth from the disaster of GWB and Dick Cheney followed by a true slaughtering at the polls in 2008. Their resurrection has been breathtaking.

    Muddle and unnecessary politicking? An understatement - but it may be remembered as a time of sorting out the rubble of our economics, politics, and true interests.

    I suspect die-hard Democrats will never admit that they shot themselves in the face again and again, presuming too much on the groundswell of '08. It wasn't solid ground at all - rather more an ocean wave they couldn't catch. Honest Democrats ought to understand that only folly would lead a modern American party to think it could rule alone.

    President Obama hopes to consolidate this brief moment of leadership into something lasting. I hope he understands how it happened, and stops pandering to his frenemies on his left. If her speaks the truth to power and serves the voters' interests, he will lead the nation in spite of the partisans, left and right.

    We here are taking a few deep breaths at Christmas time. The new year will be full of dragons.

    KScurmudgeon

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  • 7. At 09:05am on 23 Dec 2010, dave148 wrote:

    Given an increasingly divided house and country, and an inexperienced presidential team, what the president has achieved in the last 2 years has been impressive. It may also set a future landmark for presidencies - get the controversial legislation through in the first two years then when the mid terms go against you use the next two years to look presidential and get re-elected. Unemployment has to come down before re-election is anything like in the bag, but the suspicion that the republicans will play to their base in the next two years by demanding repeals to things like healthcare must give Obama a good chance.

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  • 8. At 09:35am on 23 Dec 2010, worcesterjim wrote:

    Am I sick of the BBC grovelling to everything American!? YES I AM !!!

    If you must be a "global broadcaster" shove off to the USA or China.... or wherever else you imagine has the power these days.... and give us our three billion pounds a year to spend on a first rate BRITISH broadcaster.

    I took an interest in the EU a few years back and it was cringeworthy to watch you lot worshipping at the feet of Obama`s presidential campaign while totally blanking the EU parliamentary elections.

    Obama and American politics are interesting to a degree ...but in the world of Anglo Saxon virtual one-party government there is NO real political debate beyond the endless repitition of the word "change".....and the sure knowledge that government is really under the control of global capitalist appointed figureheads.

    Ask Obama how much freedom of action he has really had to "govern" and if he`s honest he will admit that "events" and "the markets" and global moneylenders and their media mogul cronies decide everything of any importance!

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  • 9. At 10:29am on 23 Dec 2010, Sashon wrote:

    2 years are relatively a short time for a new president fighting against a backdrop of smear campaign by raging conservatives spearheaded by infamous Palin and her tea party and Obama did come out on top with landmark policies. Healthcare, open gay military and now Nuclear warheads treaty. Remarkable job done. These policies are extraordinarily amazing achievements by any standards taking into consideration years of establsihed concepts and mindsets in the American minds. We have to remember that he faced a barrage of criticism and hard fought against campaign as Obama dared to change the conservative law and established rules. So many previous presidents promised so much but delivered so little. This surely has to be applauded on the basis that these policies will change the face, rules and structure of American living and ensure Equality in healthcare and military while decreasing the danger of nuclear war not just to Americans but to the whole world. Barack managed to get enough sensible people on board to push for Landmark changes. It will take some years for these changes to embed and become a norm but he has to be hailed for reaching that first hurdle. Whatever people say he is still facing racism and actually doublefold increased racism to the fact that a black man can be a president and therefore increased resentment and against campaign. I can boldly remark that this was one of the main reasons why Conservatives with their certain odd lady managed to gain so much popularity. All the scare tactics and fearmongering are not as much as against the policies itself but against the black man in a 'White house'. Traditional strangleholds started to be btoken first by the fact of his election and now by these policies. I am afraid this will only strive the core racists to the extreme and mild racists to core. Mark my words that there will be much more racism and resentment in the next few years. And before some black, asian and other conservative minorities start screaming that they don't feel it, you just serve the purpose and actually driven by their own prejudicies. And I'm talking as an Asian other who moved from the third developing country to Britain and as a human right actiivist too.

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  • 10. At 11:10am on 23 Dec 2010, Sashon wrote:

    worcesterjim - you are so deluded... stop cringing at BBC as this is the ONLY broadcaster arguably in the world which reports almost 90% impartially and that is achieved due to its status of receiving British public money. Where is or which other broadcaster can be really called impartial? BBC achieved its status over hundred years of hardwork and impartial reporting. Just because you don't like Obama you don't have to have a go at BBC for highlighting what Obama has achieved. I'm British and can certainly appreciate his landmark changes not just empty words people have been acusing him. Though you are right in one sense that he had to battle against the conservative establishment in politics, business and society. These changes will resonate over to Europe and other parts of the world so it is damn right BBC is giving a considerabl coverage. I don't want to hear only gossip about so called 'British' celebrities like Katie Price and Cheryl Cole which dominate other broadcasters webpages and which sells their products to celebrity mad British public.

    Thank you for BBC for providing a constant and impartial coverage to really important issues around the world! Well done guys!

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  • 11. At 11:23am on 23 Dec 2010, Chryses wrote:

    Sashon, (#9. At 10:29am on 23 Dec 2010)

    ”... Whatever people say he is still facing racism and actually doublefold increased racism to the fact that a black man can be a president and therefore increased resentment and against campaign. I can boldly remark that this was one of the main reasons why Conservatives with their certain odd lady managed to gain so much popularity. All the scare tactics and fearmongering are not as much as against the policies itself but against the black man in a 'White house' ...”
    What evidence do you have to substantiate these claims? In particular, would you identify what it is that persuades you of the, “doublefold increased racism,” the “this was one of the main reasons why Conservatives with their certain odd lady managed to gain so much popularity,” and “not as much as against the policies itself but against the black man?”

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  • 12. At 11:29am on 23 Dec 2010, Veli Albert Kallio wrote:

    I am greatly relieved of a convincing pass of the new nuclear reduction treaty and the fact that it was not just a couple Republicans tipping to the other side on the vote. Indeed, it was a matter of national interest.

    Yet, 1550 cities destroyed by nuclear bombs and the resulting caesium radiochemical problem would exceed the devastating pollution of Tshernobyl by at least one light year, if not two. The world isn't safe!

    Of course, not counting that the Russians would retaliate by destroying another 1550 US cities would make up 3,600 cities blown up altogether and caesium spill all over the bread baskets of the America and Russia.

    Mankind has had its obsessive-compulsive self-destructive bent since 1950's, first with the nuclear weapons (which threat still looms large despite all the cuts). Then in 1970's there were the self-destructive threat of Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) that were puncturing hole in ozone layer and letting the photosynthesis disrupting and skin destroying ultraviolet radiation to reach the surface which was ameliorated by Montreal Treaty in 1978 which banned the use of CFCs in fridges and deodorants. Then the summer 1988 brought Jim Hansen's testimony to the US congress about the threat of runaway global warming as the next risk.

    The nuclear war had very few beneficiaries and stakeholders besides a few war mad generals and the big ego politicians who saw nuclear arms peaking at their tens of thousands by the end of the cold war era. Few of us benefited from this industrial effort to refine weapons grade uranium and build the rockets and so it was relatively easy to reverse this world threat. The same can be said about CFCs destroying the ozone layer and in course of doing that the photosynthesis and our eyeballs as well. The refrigerator manufacturing industries severely attempted to take on the world not to make changes but the changes came and the manufacturers were forced to develop new alternative cooling substances. The CFC treaty of Montreal won and ozone layer has seen moderate recovery, and at least, the apocalypse did not take place.

    But what about the carbon dioxide? The Montreal Treaty led to optimism that the stakeholders like fossil fuel industry could also be rained in and Kyoto Protocol was born with anticipation of regulated phase out of fossil fuels and their replacement by renewable and nuclear energy. So, where does President Obama's victory on nuclear threat come about here?

    The greatest gift of the old US Senate voting out the issue of nuclear arms reductions treaty is in it that the obstructive Republicans cannot run endless filibusters on senate on this matter that was rather self-evident for approval as all the former US Secretaries of State also endorsed it wholeheartedly. The removal of this item from agenda of the incoming senate helps to focus the new senate to real issues and debates.

    It may help the new legislative to focus on amendments to President Obamas health care plans or debate on climate change. The latter will not bring any Republican resolution, but may still be a good public awareness excercise for the American citizens especially as the obvious rapid melt-away of North Pole sea ice cap may reawaken our environmental worries much to the delight of the former Presidential candiate Al Gore.

    Veli Albert Kallio, FRGS

    Vice-President, Sea Research Society

    International Guru Nanak Peace Prize Nominee for 2008;
    sea level rise risks for global security & economic stability

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  • 13. At 11:59am on 23 Dec 2010, HantsCricketFan wrote:

    I sincerely hope that President Obama is building enough of a legacy from the 111th Congress to allow him to campaign successfully for re-election. The tea-party is a motivated publicity vehicle which will provide a much more stubborn obstacle to re-election than McCain/Palin did last time but Obama's greatest strengths are firstly that the tea party will almost certainly reduce their campaign to scare-mongering and conspiracy theories. Secondly, the ethnic minorities in the US who are traditionally apathetic towards politics and who are generally not as vocal as republicans may well turn out in strong support as they did in the last election. They are also the ones most likely to benefit from the health are bill and will also include gay Americans who will support Obama for allowing gay people to serve in the military.

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  • 14. At 12:22pm on 23 Dec 2010, Sashon wrote:

    To 11. At 11:23am on 23 Dec 2010, Chryses

    Well, I don't have to go far but point out to the fact that the Health care reform faced a hysterical campaign mainly backed by Tea party supporters as they feared that their wealth will be taken away. The reform which was about ensuring equal access to health care for millions of Americans (dare I say mostly black, asian, hispanic and most fo them are disadvantaged or poor) who didn't have any care plans. The against campaign used ridiculous scare mongering tactics and for me it was a clear sign of racism in its beauty.

    I am afraid Tea party became popular on the back of this smear campaign as suddenly many conservative americans got scared that this black man will take away their insurance and wealth to distribute to fellow citizens.

    Can you possibly imagine that kind of campaign against the reasonable and sensible change which will ensure equality in Britain? Most of the British public would support those changes wholeheartedly but Americans showed their true colour and their racism came to a fore.

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  • 15. At 1:01pm on 23 Dec 2010, Andrew Prescott wrote:

    The last two items on this feature appear to me to be somewhat skewed. Mark in the past I have noticed that your comments appear to have some of the same blinkers that America has in general - one would expect a more 'objective' and big picture view from a non-American. I get the impression that you are somethig of an American-ophile (is there such a word). There are many features of the American political system that seem skewed and odd, and most that I am aware of seem to favour the right. First past the post, the distribution of votes among states, urban/rural, jerrymandering, low turnout (with the lowest among minorities), huge right leaning media machine that is very inadequatly countered by a very small public broadcasting system, that is over-cautious. Each of these is a big topic. Yet Mark you focussed on the oddities of lame duck session - that finally got some stuff done. And in this comment again you seem to focus on a very negative portrayal of Obama.

    Regarding one comment above: of course there is racism involved in the response to Obama's presidency, just listen to the comments and the placards at rallys of Tea Party types. And of course 'doublefold' was probably rhetorical and not literal - but there is a great deal of denial about the racism factor.

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  • 16. At 1:26pm on 23 Dec 2010, PartTimeDon wrote:

    Ref# 11 Chryses
    "What evidence do you have to substantiate these claims?"
    ____________
    Do you have a button on your PC that pastes this phrase? If not you should get one. It would save you a lot of time.

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  • 17. At 1:30pm on 23 Dec 2010, AnotherEngineer wrote:

    Was he perhaps smiling because this is the last Act that he will enjoy signing

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  • 18. At 2:01pm on 23 Dec 2010, Chryses wrote:

    Sashon, (#14. At 12:22pm on 23 Dec 2010)

    "Well, I don't have to go far but point out to the fact that the Health care reform faced a hysterical campaign mainly backed by Tea party supporters ..."
    It is true that the PPACA was, and remains, opposed by many Americans. A Federal judge has ruled that a core provision, the individual mandate, was unconstitutional. This ruling was based on a reading of the Commerce clause, as many of the people who opposed the PPACA argued. Your claim that the opposition was hysterical may be discounted to the degree that the objections were not uncontrollably emotional. As very few avowed Tea Party candidates won seats in either the House or the Senate, the numbers do not support your claim that the opposition originated primarily from the Tea Party.

    "... as they feared that their wealth will be taken away ..."
    If it is true, as you say it is, that the reason the opponents of PPACA objected was because they feared that their wealth would be taken away, then why do you suggest that their opposition was racist?

    "... The reform which was about ensuring equal access to health care for millions of Americans (dare I say mostly black, asian, hispanic and most fo them are disadvantaged or poor) who didn't have any care plans ..."
    True, but irrelevant to your claim that the opposition was racist.

    "... The against campaign used ridiculous scare mongering tactics ..."
    True, ridiculous scare mongering tactics were employed. No arguments from me about that.

    "... for me it was a clear sign of racism in its beauty ..."
    Scare tactics have been employed in the past to resist and advance other political agenda.
    ( http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/nuclear-scare-tactics )
    Do you have any evidence that these particular ridiculous scare mongering tactics were a clear sign of racism?

    "... I am afraid Tea party became popular on the back of this smear campaign ..."
    To what smear campaign are you referring? You are referring to a “smear campaign” as if you have established that there was one, although you have not presented evidence to support your claim that there was a “smear campaign.”

    "... suddenly many conservative americans got scared that this black man will take away their insurance and wealth to distribute to fellow citizens ..."
    Now you return to your "loss of wealth" hypothesis. What evidence do you have that that conservative Americans became scared that they might lose their insurance and wealth? Which is it to be, your uncorroborated claim of racial prejudice, or your uncorroborated claim of fear of loss of possessions?

    "... Can you possibly imagine that kind of campaign against the reasonable and sensible change which will ensure equality in Britain? ..."
    Scare tactics, which you claim were used by the PPACA opponents, have been used in Britain.
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/election/article-1268169/General-Election-2010-Brown-accused-lies-scare-tactics-election-leaflet-campaign.html

    "... Most of the British public would support those changes wholeheartedly ..."
    One important difference to note is that these are Americans, not British. Circumstances change cases.

    "... but Americans showed their true colour and their racism came to a fore."
    You have presented no evidence that the opposition to the PPACA was racially motivated.

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  • 19. At 2:05pm on 23 Dec 2010, BluesBerry wrote:

    The Golden Age of the Obama Administration comes down to:
    Formerly disappointed liberals chanting: "Yes, we can."
    And Obama replying: "Yes, we did".
    (This was regarding the DADT repeal.)

    As for NEW Start, it is a non-start until the Russians sift the document with a fine tooth-comb and decide that no sullied pork has been slipped into the barrel. New Start is a non-start until signed off by the Russian Duma and ratified.
    At a news conference after the votes, Mr Obama looked like a changed man - the Obama of old, talking about the wishes of the people, about hope for the future...Hope?
    What hope? The American Government is run fundamentally by none (9) investment banks that make all financial policies. What does Obama have to ofer against these investment banks?
    Even the tax deal has benefitted mostly the rich.
    Will you remember the 111th Congress as a Golden Age?
    No, the United States had a heavily-mandated President who was still too afraid and weak to take on the investment banks that are ruining the United States.
    I, along with the Republicans, regard the period as unmitigated disaster - Finnancial Reform not worth the paper it was written upon, unregulated bundled derivatives still poisonong the system, unemployment, mortgage-foreclosure, homelessness, food stamps...Please tell me to stop when I hit the item you identify as "hope".
    Mr Obama said that it was "the most productive two years that we've had in generations". In comparison to whom? To what? George W. Bush?
    Obama: "One thing I hope people have seen during this lame duck (Congress), I am persistent - if I believe in something strongly, I stay on it." I guess Obama doesn't feel very strongly about financial reform or those big investment banks that are robbing every American citizen.
    Obama on New Start: "This treaty will enhance our leadership to stop the spread of nuclear weapons and seek the peace of a world without them," he said hours after a group of Senate Republicans split with their leadership to back the deal. Correct if I'm wrong, but wasn't the United States of American the only country to ever use its nuclear bombs - against Japanese citizens in Japan?
    Obamna on DADT: "We are not a nation that says 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell.' We are a nation that says, 'Out of many, we are one,'" Obama said. It's just that some of us "ones" are more poverty-stricken and less worthy than others.
    He clearly set the stage for 2012 - saying he believed the economy was now back on level ground: What ground is he walking on, the sands of Hawaii?

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  • 20. At 2:17pm on 23 Dec 2010, worcesterjim wrote:

    Sashon...a word in your ear...your comments above are perfect ammunition for people like Murdoch and Tory politicians to fire at the BBC.

    You see more and more British born people are asking how a country with several million unemployed people and a serious homelessness problem can afford to import "guys" like you and keep them in socially expensive housing in exchange for a few hours a week of "human rights activism".

    So maybe you would be doing yourself and the BBC a favour if you just kept quiet and got on with taking us to the cleaners ...while you still can?

    Happy Christmas!

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  • 21. At 2:18pm on 23 Dec 2010, Chryses wrote:

    PartTimeDon, (#16. At 1:26pm on 23 Dec 2010)

    "... 'What evidence do you have to substantiate these claims?'
    ____________
    Do you have a button on your PC that pastes this phrase? If not you should get one. It would save you a lot of time."


    I wish I knew how to program one of the function keys to insert that question in IE! Being able to do so would save time when responding to members of the group who are incapable or unwilling to provide evidence to support their claims.

    Perhaps if I asked St. Nick, I might receive the instructions as a Christmas present. Then I might suffer less from RSI when dealing with these BBC Blog Theoreticians.

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  • 22. At 3:15pm on 23 Dec 2010, Sashon wrote:

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

  • 23. At 3:23pm on 23 Dec 2010, Chryses wrote:

    AAPrescott, (#15. At 1:01pm on 23 Dec 2010)

    "... Regarding one comment above: of course there is racism involved in the response to Obama's presidency, just listen to the comments and the placards at rallys of Tea Party types ..."
    No arguments about that. But was it "one of the main reasons why Conservatives with their certain odd lady managed to gain so much popularity"? If that were so, then why would the race issue not have been equally prominent during President Obama's successful election campaign?

    "... And of course 'doublefold' was probably rhetorical and not literal ..."
    That is a convenient interpretation.

    "... but there is a great deal of denial about the racism factor. "
    The only question raised here was if it was "one of the main reasons."

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  • 24. At 3:36pm on 23 Dec 2010, MagicKirin wrote:

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

  • 25. At 3:37pm on 23 Dec 2010, ghostofsichuan wrote:

    The President has gotten a lot done and considering the toxic environment the Republicans created, he has done very well with his agenda.
    The Republicans finally realized the the people in the US wanted to see some things get done and the national priority was not to get Republicans elected but rather to deal with the issues. Seems some Republicans figured that out as well.
    Now, if they can deal with the economic mess created by the banks and financial institutions and create policies that assist those other than the rich, we might see some progress.
    Congress,sometimes,does the right thing when all other options have failed.
    There is a learning curve for every new administration and the President must be reminding the political wonks in his administration to come up for air and remember how they got there. Inside the Beltway is like the brothels of old, flattery and attention but in reality one is just the next customer.

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  • 26. At 4:12pm on 23 Dec 2010, Sashon wrote:

    at 18 Chryses

    I tried to respond in your style...

    "Well, I don't have to go far but point out to the fact that the Health care reform faced a hysterical campaign mainly backed by Tea party supporters ..."
    It is true that the PPACA was, and remains, opposed by many Americans. A Federal judge has ruled that a core provision, the individual mandate, was unconstitutional. This ruling was based on a reading of the Commerce clause, as many of the people who opposed the PPACA argued. Your claim that the opposition was hysterical may be discounted to the degree that the objections were not uncontrollably emotional. As very few avowed Tea Party candidates won seats in either the House or the Senate, the numbers do not support your claim that the opposition originated primarily from the Tea Party.

    It was mainly opposed by those Americans who had their insurance sorted and they were mainly middle class white and conservative.

    Prior to that it was unthinkable for some of the candidates of Tea party to be even a candidate from conservatives never mind actually winning the seats. Most of them tried to become a candidate before unsuccessfully but failed miserably. On this occasions on the back of Tea party support first they have overwhelmingly out seated their heavy weight conservative opponents and then even won some, albeit few, seats.

    "... as they feared that their wealth will be taken away ..."
    If it is true, as you say it is, that the reason the opponents of PPACA objected was because they feared that their wealth would be taken away, then why do you suggest that their opposition was racist?

    Because most people against were indeed fearful of their wealth and feared of the wealth distribution to other poor and ethnic minority Americans. In a sensible society the wealthy look after their poor and disadvantaged. I am saying that Americans showed they didn’t really care about their poor

    "... The reform which was about ensuring equal access to health care for millions of Americans (dare I say mostly black, asian, hispanic and most fo them are disadvantaged or poor) who didn't have any care plans ..."
    True, but irrelevant to your claim that the opposition was racist.

    True and relevant

    "... The against campaign used ridiculous scare mongering tactics ..."
    True, ridiculous scare mongering tactics were employed. No arguments from me about that.

    "... for me it was a clear sign of racism in its beauty ..."
    Scare tactics have been employed in the past to resist and advance other political agenda.
    ( http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/nuclear-scare-tactics )
    Do you have any evidence that these particular ridiculous scare mongering tactics were a clear sign of racism?

    I don’t have time to go and find all those tactics and they were pretty much evident during the whole debate. I am sorry you missed it.

    "... I am afraid Tea party became popular on the back of this smear campaign ..."
    To what smear campaign are you referring? You are referring to a “smear campaign” as if you have established that there was one, although you have not presented evidence to support your claim that there was a “smear campaign.”

    "... suddenly many conservative americans got scared that this black man will take away their insurance and wealth to distribute to fellow citizens ..."
    Now you return to your "loss of wealth" hypothesis. What evidence do you have that that conservative Americans became scared that they might lose their insurance and wealth? Which is it to be, your uncorroborated claim of racial prejudice, or your uncorroborated claim of fear of loss of possessions?

    Look above I already answered

    "... Can you possibly imagine that kind of campaign against the reasonable and sensible change which will ensure equality in Britain? ..."
    Scare tactics, which you claim were used by the PPACA opponents, have been used in Britain.
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/election/article-1268169/General-Election-2010-Brown-accused-lies-scare-tactics-election-leaflet-campaign.html

    "... Most of the British public would support those changes wholeheartedly ..."
    One important difference to note is that these are Americans, not British. Circumstances change cases.

    "... but Americans showed their true colour and their racism came to a fore."
    You have presented no evidence that the opposition to the PPACA was racially motivated.

    I don’t know what campaign you were observing dude… I guess if you don’t want to see it you won’t.

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  • 27. At 4:20pm on 23 Dec 2010, Sashon wrote:

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

  • 28. At 4:27pm on 23 Dec 2010, mabelwhite wrote:

    Interesting and dramatic analysis on the effectiveness of prospective posturing and the 2-year "age" of an 111th meeting of congress. Too bad everyone doesn't try to "pose as the reasonable one" - wouldn't that be nice.

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  • 29. At 4:38pm on 23 Dec 2010, Sashon wrote:

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

  • 30. At 4:38pm on 23 Dec 2010, faeyth wrote:

    If GOP puts up a decent candidate(win over Great Lakes Region) in 2012,Obama will lose.The Great Lakes Region was never really in love with Obama from the beginning,just scared of McCain,who told Detroit Metro their textile jobs were gone forever,Textiles? If the GOP actually uses old school Republicans and I mean really old school.GOP in Michigan pushed to end Death Penalty as Christians,Expanded Public school which was good for people and business,expanded hospitals and Colleges,again good for people and business,even a Public Option would be good for people and businesses ,except Health Care of course.The GOP has been the productive party if Michigan for most of our history.The social programs actually helped not hurt business,it was Democratic policies that hurt our state,especially the article for Government Unions who get to negotiate outside of Court and The City/Local Government Revenue can't be used,Coleman Young hated that piece of legislation,he helped pass,BTW Reid wants a similar piece of legislation passed Nation wide.If the GOP elected a Fiscal Conservative who pushes social programs that help business interests in a cost effective way,then they can win this Region easily just like they did in our State elections recently.Obama is a sinking ship,another elite Prep school Harvard graduate,Carpet bagging,Corporate Tool who only passes the most stupidest of liberal policies.DADT(would fight it but it really doesn't do me any good either) doesn't really effect most people,neither does Lily Ledbetter Act,The Credit Card,Education,Banking Regulations have been weak,and Health care Reform was a Mess.They should have mandated that State have to have a Health care program but let them write and implement it,same with Education,etc...And the Stimulus was just a pay out to State Governments so they didn't actually have to fix their budgets,which they have to do now anyway,It just delayed the inevitable,and cost a lot as well.This Congress passed a lot just not enough that were effective.They did nothing to address,Trade imbalances,Corporate Imbalances,Defenses spending Imbalances,Military Bases World Wide,or addressing Iraq and Afghanistan.

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  • 31. At 4:40pm on 23 Dec 2010, PaulieNumbers wrote:

    Obama's done a good job so far I believe. I completely reject the right's painting of him as socialist, a communist, or a man that somehow forged his birth certificate. I do think Obama is running his presidency as only one term.

    What's funny is the tax deal with the GOP, for all their crybaby whining about the deficit (cries I did not hear as they started two wars this past decade, expanded the social security net known as Medicare with Medicare Plan D which will cost more money than all of Obama's initiatives combined, and the tax cuts which cost over a trillion dollars - so far) isn't helping the defect one bit. Bloomberg had a report saying the rich just saves the tax breaks whereas they spend more when the taxes were back at their usual levees during the Clinton presidency. Obama's fault on this was letting it go too long, but I have a strong doubt the tax breaks are going to become an election issue in 2012 again. We just need to be done with them honestly. The original deal was NEVER PAID FOR anyway.

    Unfortunately for us we can't paint the GOP as the Do-Nothing Part of the 21st Century thanks to these last couple pieces of legislation that were passed; however, their strategy of grid-locking government will not win my vote in 2012.

    FYI: If a Republican paints himself as a "fiscal conservative" a la Bush turn around and RUN.

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  • 32. At 4:47pm on 23 Dec 2010, PaulieNumbers wrote:

    Oh and about the health care legislation that requires American have insurance:

    Why are you up-in-arms about this? Don't you realize the idiots who can afford health insurance but choose not to buy it makes your premiums go up when they get sick? Do you understand that for every immigrant that gets inflated emergency room care for things like colds increase your premiums? Doesn't your state government already force you to buy automobile insurance? If so, what's the difference?

    You know I thought we already tried a weaker, de-centralized government before that gave states more rights that the Tea Baggers want. It didn't seem to work very well, but my countrymen like to forget history....

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

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  • 33. At 4:52pm on 23 Dec 2010, Shawn wrote:

    President Barack Obama has accomplished more for the American people in 2 years than most presidents do in 2 terms. If Republicans in Congress choose to obstruct his agenda (which we voted for in a landlside), Obama will sail to victory in 2012 because Obama will have the political gift of running against an unpopular Congress. Voting for Obama is the best vote I ever cast!

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  • 34. At 5:10pm on 23 Dec 2010, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    31. At 4:40pm on 23 Dec 2010, PaulieNumbers wrote:

    "FYI: If a Republican paints himself as a "fiscal conservative" a la Bush turn around and RUN."

    __________

    Amen.

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  • 35. At 5:11pm on 23 Dec 2010, Chryses wrote:

    Sashon, (#26. At 4:12pm on 23 Dec 2010)

    "... It was mainly opposed by those Americans who had their insurance sorted and they were mainly middle class white and conservative ..."
    While that may be true (although that claim is also unsustantiated), that has nothing at all to do with your racism conjecture.

    "... .Prior to that it was unthinkable for some of the candidates of Tea party to be even a candidate from conservatives never mind actually winning the seats. Most of them tried to become a candidate before unsuccessfully but failed miserably. On this occasions on the back of Tea party support first they have overwhelmingly out seated their heavy weight conservative opponents and then even won some, albeit few, seats ..."
    While that may or may not be true, that has nothing at all to do with your claim that the opposition was racially motivated.

    "... Because most people against were indeed fearful of their wealth and feared of the wealth distribution to other poor and ethnic minority Americans ..."
    Permit me to point out that you have provided no evidence to support your claim that "most people against were indeed fearful of their wealth and feared of the wealth distribution." You have merely repeated your claim. Doing so does not constitute evidence.

    "... In a sensible society the wealthy look after their poor and disadvantaged. I am saying that Americans showed they didn't really care about their poor ..."
    Even if we take your claim as true, alhough it is also unsubstantiated, the above has nothing at all to do with your racism conjecture.

    "... The reform which was about ensuring equal access to health care for millions of Americans (dare I say mostly black, asian, hispanic and most fo them are disadvantaged or poor) who didn't have any care plans ...
    True, but irrelevant to your claim that the opposition was racist.
    True and relevant ..."

    In what way is your claim either true or relevant? You have merely repeated your claim, again without providing any corroborative evidence. Asserting that your original claim is true and relevant does not constitute evidence.

    "... 'Do you have any evidence that these particular ridiculous scare mongering tactics were a clear sign of racism?'
    I don't have time to go and find all those tactics and they were pretty much evident during the whole debate. I am sorry you missed it ... "

    In other words, you can provide no evidence to support your claim.

    "... Look above I already answered ..."
    I know that you answered. You just have not provided any evidence to support your claim that "one of the main reasons why Conservatives with their certain odd lady managed to gain so much popularity" in your post #9.

    "... I don't know what campaign you were observing dude… I guess if you don't want to see it you won't."
    Until you provide some credible evidence to support your claim that racism was "one of the main reasons why Conservatives with their certain odd lady managed to gain so much popularity" in your post #9, everyone will be able to see that your accusation is just that, an empty claim.

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  • 36. At 5:12pm on 23 Dec 2010, worcesterjim wrote:

    Sashon ..I was a social worker for nearly thirty years and all that time we were desperately short of housing in part because of people coming into Britain like yourself. I didn`t refer to social housing but to socially expensive housing...meaning it`s scarce.
    What do YOU do for your wages?

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  • 37. At 5:27pm on 23 Dec 2010, Chryses wrote:

    PaulieNumbers, (#32. At 4:47pm on 23 Dec 2010)

    ”... Doesn't your state government already force you to buy automobile insurance? ...”
    What one purchases depends on the state in which you live. Further, one only must purchase that insurance if one drives and automobile.

    ”... If so, what's the difference?”
    One does not have that option under the PPACA. Under this law, there are no options for citizens who wish to not purchase this insurance.

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  • 38. At 5:35pm on 23 Dec 2010, Chryses wrote:

    Interestedforeigner, (#34. At 5:10pm on 23 Dec 2010)
    “31. At 4:40pm on 23 Dec 2010, PaulieNumbers wrote:
    ‘FYI: If a Republican paints himself as a "fiscal conservative" a la Bush turn around and RUN.’
    __________
    Amen.”

    Amen^2

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  • 39. At 6:13pm on 23 Dec 2010, worcesterjim wrote:

    Sashon...we are getting "off topic" for this thread...and we won`t be able to discuss our real feelings anyway because the moderator will feel obliged to censor our comments.

    That`s the reason I say people like Murdoch WILL be able to use your comments as ammunition.... because of what you represent and the common belief among my sort of British people that the BBC operates as a repressive thought police.... which persecutes us if we try stop our homes,jobs and public services from being given away to foreigners.

    Murdoch will have no trouble getting his way in the end .....because the BBC are no longer seen as British ....and as our economy and welfare state gradually collapse (under pressures like global financial jiggery pokery and overpopulation and the transfer of jobs to Asia)...we will look for scapegoats...and the real danger is that YOU (nd BBC staff) will be blamed for what we BOTH know is NOT your fault.

    You have every right not to believe what I am saying....but largely because ordinary Brits like me haven`t been free to speak our minds for a very long time....and you have been tricked into living in a fool`s paradise.

    But if you want a self generated reality check just try to imagine the reverse situation ....if you were an Englishman with family going back hundreds of years here....and our great multicultural multiracial overpopulated "paradise" was being imposed on YOU....and as an Englishman YOUR culture and freedom of speech were suppressed and abused ...while anyone else could walk in here and order you about and benefit from all your welfare benefits?

    PS...Health care won`t happen in the USA...even though it`s the richest nation on earth....know why? Simple....they took one look at our collapsing welfare state and realised that it was unaffordable if they kept on importing sick people from all over the world!

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  • 40. At 6:31pm on 23 Dec 2010, andyparsonsga wrote:

    32. At 4:47pm on 23 Dec 2010, PaulieNumbers wrote:

    "Oh and about the health care legislation that requires American have insurance:

    Why are you up-in-arms about this? Don't you realize the idiots who can afford health insurance but choose not to buy it makes your premiums go up when they get sick? Do you understand that for every immigrant that gets inflated emergency room care for things like colds increase your premiums? Doesn't your state government already force you to buy automobile insurance? If so, what's the difference?

    You know I thought we already tried a weaker, de-centralized government before that gave states more rights that the Tea Baggers want. It didn't seem to work very well, but my countrymen like to forget history....

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Articles_of_Confederation"

    As I am sure others will point out before I get the chance to post this, you are not obliged by your State government to buy car insurance, if you don't have a car. Whereas with Obamacare you must have insurance to a standard that the Federal government dictates. I also believe that if you have a plan that exceeds what the government dictates (so called Cadillac policies), you will be penalized, unless of course you are a member of Congress and able to make use of the Rolls Royce coverage they have, which the taxpayer pays for, or a Federal employee or a member of certain Union.

    I must admit I am a little confused by your point about the Articles of Confederation. They were seen as not really working and were replaced by the current Constitution and its subsequent Amendments. If the US Congress, especially over the last few decades, had actually abided by the Constitution rather than continually expanding the scope and power that it was given in the Constitution and impinging on State's rights, then we would not be in the mess that we are in now.

    In my opinion Local Government that represents the will of local people, is far superior to a national "one size fits all" form of governance. That was the original intent on the Founding Fathers as can be clearly discerned by reading the Federalist Papers and the many volumes of books and biographies written since then.

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  • 41. At 6:49pm on 23 Dec 2010, Interestedforeigner wrote:


    "This entry is now closed for comments"


    ____________


    Well, it's coming to year end, and it's time to sweep out some of the items left in the corner for some time.



    This blog has changed - Mark has a rather different style from Justin. That's the idiosyncratic nature of blogs, really.


    One of the less welcome developments on the blog has been the phrase quoted above.


    If you look fairly carefully, a number of the better discussions on this blog have occurred long after the original topic has been lost, or has shifted.

    It used to be that blog strings died when, seemingly inevitably, they degenerated into predictable tit-for-tat name-calling about the middle east, "flushed down the Levantine rat-hole".

    But now strings die when the door is closed.

    There is, for example, a posting by Lucy at 141 on the other string that really merits a thoughtful comment about fairly profound issues of the roles of church and state in a democracy, but the door is closed, so Lucy's comment stands without response.

    ----------

    I might point out that on the "Obama's Iran Dilemma" string, there was a rather poignant piece of eye-witness raportage, possibly the best posting ever made here. It was made long, long into the string. I have quoted it, in full, several times since. If we had had closure in those days, as now, that electrifying posting would never have been seen.

    While that might well have suited President Ahmadinejad, it would hardly have served the cause of freedom of conscience and freedom of speech.

    It is also in the end portions of these strings that discussions of points of public policy are often fleshed out in greater detail.

    It is where odd, and sometimes arcane, sometimes humorous, discussions break out concerning, for example, classical history in the times of the Romans, or the Moors, or of the origins of feudalism.

    It is where discussion break out on totally unexpected topics - people of diametrically opposed, entrenched political views having an open and friendly discussion of which wine goes well with which cheese, rather than hurling political polemic at each other, being one memorable and rather obscure example.

    It is where, for example, the ColonelArtist briefly stopped making barbed political postings and instead gave a really fascinating description of the culture in which he grew up. It was highly informative, and provided the best source of understanding of his viewpoint of anything he had posted on the blog. I wish he had posted more about it.

    Another example would be the series of postings by Marbles on living in Iran, one particular example being her word picture of a pet monkey who was "jealous as a flame".

    It is in those postings that we learn a fair bit about where the policy viewpoints of the posters are coming from, and also a great deal about human values shared across cultures.

    It is also, I suspect, where the posters who are paid to monitor this blog (and yes, regrettably, we undoubtedly have some of these weevils - another topic that came up this year here) generally do not post, because it is outside their retainer and their rules of engagement, so to speak. So the knee-jerk paid spewing of rehearsed talking points is filtered out, and replaced by real and rather more interesting comments and genuine discussion, some of it quite thoughtful.

    There are people who post here who are amazingly knowledgeable about an astonishing range of topics, and when you impose "closure" this blog loses some of its best aspects, and, if I may say so, loses a good deal of what gives it its peculiar character.

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  • 42. At 7:29pm on 23 Dec 2010, worcesterjim wrote:

    Interestedforeigner makes some excellent points...and in a free country those threads could surely still wend their way hither and thither....but long ago the ghosts of Reith and other puritans arose from their fitful slumbers and a new reformed squeaky-clean global all-things-to-all-men politically ultracorrect Voice of America "BBC" was born......and ......like all witchfinders before them the scary omnipresent "moderators" began to stalk the internet.... searching out and extinguishing anything remotely disturbing to all the religious crazies and feminists and gays...and.....aaaaaaah !!

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  • 43. At 7:42pm on 23 Dec 2010, Jay wrote:

    This is the FIRST time I am seeing a true non-racist, non-industry lobbyist, non-shameless corporate boss as an American President in my relatively short life in US. Majority of US presidents are almost purchased by big corporate houses and their lobbyists. I hope Obama will do something against the lobby-rule in US politics, aggressively supported by many shameless Republicans.
    Influence of corporate lobbies, unaccounted money flow in US politics need urgent solution to have a more productive and successful democracy. I hope democrats will be more aggressive to introduce bill to make US politics more transparent in terms of election campaign finance. They should expose many powerful republicans for their recent pro-rich tax cut and opposition for any meaningful election finance reform before/during 2012 election.

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  • 44. At 7:55pm on 23 Dec 2010, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #43
    , Jay wrote:
    This is the FIRST time I am seeing a true non-racist, non-industry lobbyist, non-shameless corporate boss as an American President in my relatively short life in US. Majority of US presidents are almost purchased by big corporate houses and their lobbyists. I hope Obama will do something against the lobby-rule in US politics, aggressively supported by many shameless Republicans.

    _________

    Better a pro business interest President than a pro labor union ACLU President.

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  • 45. At 8:46pm on 23 Dec 2010, mabelwhite wrote:

    weary of the 'mandate' debate as (a) it is a tax, not 'forced covereage' - ie, if you are not covered you pay a tax, and (b) mandated coverage with a penalty was proposed by health insurance industry lobbiests, in finance committee, to replace the public option - THAT is what people should be irate about. Investigate those closed door influences to their roots - it had nothing to do with the executive office, it was congress and more particularly the senate.

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  • 46. At 8:57pm on 23 Dec 2010, hms_shannon wrote:

    Hello Mods,yes you with the coffee mug that says "I am the Boss" put that mug down & please read post 41 again,then see what you can do about it...

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  • 47. At 8:59pm on 23 Dec 2010, Chryses wrote:

    worcesterjim, (#42. At 7:29pm on 23 Dec 2010)

    ”... but long ago the ghosts of Reith and other puritans arose from their fitful slumbers and a new reformed squeaky-clean global all-things-to-all-men politically ultracorrect Voice of America "BBC" was born......and ......like all witchfinders before them the scary omnipresent "moderators" began to stalk the internet ...”
    Too true! Those who fail to temper their policies in the waters of reality can make a mess of things. Fortunately, President Obama is enough of a politician to accommodate the changed political landscape.

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  • 48. At 9:22pm on 23 Dec 2010, Scott0962 wrote:

    There are issues when a principled opponent has to take a stand and go down fighting even though they know the struggle is hopeless but there was nothing to suggest that the new START treaty was one of those issues. The backing of a string of former secretaries of state involved in previous arms control agreements and the unanimous support of the joint chiefs of staff of the U.S. military should have been enough to convince any but the most thick headed opponent that this was one of times when the better part of valor, and smart politics, was to put on a smile, vote for the treaty, and try turn it from a win for the president and Democrats into a bi-partisan agreement supported by both sides in the best interests of the country.

    Instead the fact that some Republican Senators did just that gets overshadowed by the foor dragging of the few and in the voter's minds all Republicans get tarred as partisan obstructionists.

    As for the glory days of the 111th Congress Mr. Obama's efforts at spin control will make no difference. The voters have already expressed their opinion of the 111th Congress and many of it's members will not be back as part of the 112th: that pretty much says it all.

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  • 49. At 9:32pm on 23 Dec 2010, rodidog wrote:

    41 IF,

    "This entry is now closed for comments"

    Well said. Here’s hoping your comments are heard and this new practice shut down as an ill-conceived idea.

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  • 50. At 9:42pm on 23 Dec 2010, rodidog wrote:

    Btw, I believe today is the first day of Festivus. Hopefully, InterestedForeigner will achieve his "feats of strength" and come up with a "festivus miracle".

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  • 51. At 9:52pm on 23 Dec 2010, BienvenueEnLouisiana wrote:

    Many of the comments on this thread have been unusually venomous, particularly the unsubstantiated accusations of racism. If you cry wolf too many times then no one will believe you when the wicked wolf named "racism" actually shows up. The Tea Party movement is not and never has been a racially motivated organization; those who believe otherwise are sadly ignorant of the truth.

    Jay: "This is the FIRST time I am seeing a true non-racist, non-industry lobbyist, non-shameless corporate boss as an American President in my relatively short life in US."

    Then you are truly blind or new to America.

    Interestedforeigner: "Another example would be the series of postings by Marbles on living in Iran, one particular example being her word picture of a pet monkey who was "jealous as a flame."

    I rather miss Ms Marbles and our brief look inside Iran.

    PaulieNumbers: "You know I thought we already tried a weaker, de-centralized government before that gave states more rights that the Tea Baggers want. It didn't seem to work very well, but my countrymen like to forget history...[link to Articles of Confederation]."

    No one is arguing for a return to the Articles of Confederation. The Constitution already provides for the protection of states' rights of which you seem to object; it is the opinion of the Tea Party Caucus that creeping Federalism has damaged this balance. In the future I hope that you refrain from using such a sexually explicit description of the people who support the Tea Party movement.

    Merry Christmas and Joyeux Noel everyone. :)

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  • 52. At 9:58pm on 23 Dec 2010, Complete Bob Marley and the Wailers wrote:

    USA culture and business, home and abroad, should embrace and reflect all its people not just Europeans settlers, but the latin americans, native americans, africans, asians and others I forgot as well

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  • 53. At 9:59pm on 23 Dec 2010, Jay wrote:

    @ MagicKirin (#44).
    Pro-business and being purchased by business/industry is totally different. Most of the republican party big-bosses (and surely some Dems too) have typical feudal mentality and like to be a politicians to satisfy their personal economic greed and become part of policy making.
    That's why US has the worst work environment among developed world (in terms of paid holidays and many other benefits).
    Many US politicians need to understand that we have traveled a long way after our initial colonial era. "Survival of the fittest" in brute form (the way animal kingdom works) is not the way forward for an established, civilized democracy. Number of such politicians with medieval, feudal mentality who believes in "winner takes it all" is more in Republican party and that's why they are more worried about gun manufacturers and National Rifles Association (NRA) than safety of general American public (specifically teens and young adults). They believe that security of a citizen lies more on the individual itself than the state.
    Workers' unions just exploit that gap and becomes more powerful. "Transparency" is a very evil word for both of them.

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  • 54. At 10:05pm on 23 Dec 2010, Jay wrote:

    @ BienvenueEnLouisiana (#51)/
    Someone said (and I broadly support) that political affiliations and religious faiths is more hereditary than logical analysis. When an immigrant arrives s/he start with a blank slate.
    It is well accepted fact that the support for Democrats is way more among first generation immigrants (not involved in business/industry management).

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  • 55. At 10:07pm on 23 Dec 2010, Chryses wrote:

    mabelwhite, (#45. At 8:46pm on 23 Dec 2010)

    "weary of the 'mandate' debate as (a) it is a tax, not 'forced covereage' - ie, if you are not covered you pay a tax ..."
    Besides many other people, eighteen states and two Federal judges disagree with your opinion. Many people believe that the final opinion will be by nine other Federal judges.

    "... Investigate those closed door influences to their roots - it had nothing to do with the executive office, it was congress and more particularly the senate."
    Actually, if you do pursue the closed-door influences, you will find one of President Obama's broken campaign promises. During the presidential campaign, Senator Obama said he'd televise the negotiations on C-SPAN, with all the parties sitting at a big table. That way, Americans would be more engaged in the process and insist on real change. That did not happen, and it had everything to do with the executive, President Obama's broken campaign promise. (http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/01/31/dem.debate.transcript/ )

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  • 56. At 10:22pm on 23 Dec 2010, LucyJ wrote:

    worcestor wrote: because of what you represent and the common belief among my sort of British people that the BBC operates as a repressive thought police.... which persecutes us if we try stop our homes,jobs and public services from being given away to foreigners.
    ---------------------------------------

    The BBC is not repressive, but they are very politically correct, which is why comments are censored here that are not censored in USA blogs I also go to sometimes...

    It is different.

    As for Murdoch, obviously the power lies within the people...

    So its up to the people of Great Britain to do what they think is best for their future and there are always options to make things better.

    You don't like what Murdoch is doing?
    Start your own!

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  • 57. At 10:26pm on 23 Dec 2010, LucyJ wrote:

    Jim wrote: searching out and extinguishing anything remotely disturbing to all the religious crazies and feminists and gays...and.....aaaaaaah !!
    --------------------------------
    How can we move forward if we can't discuss what we really want to say?
    -------------------------------
    If wrote:

    "This entry is now closed for comments"

    One of the less welcome developments on the blog has been the phrase quoted above.
    -------------------------------
    Tis so true...I felt sad when I saw it the first time...like, what changed and why?

    Are they trying to cut us off because they don't like what we are saying?

    Because its not politically correct or because we are not smart enough?

    Because we're not all British?

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  • 58. At 10:29pm on 23 Dec 2010, Jay wrote:

    Is it not mandatory for any elected governor in any state in US (or US president) to work from the designated office? Can US president work from any office of his choice other than White House (theoretically/ constitutionally)?
    John Kasich (the recently elected Republican Governor for Ohio and ex-Lehman Brothers top executive) is going to move the Governor’s office from the Statehouse to the 30th floor of an office building.
    This guy is very secretive in most of his actions and very vague in his responses to almost any specific question regarding his future plan, tax payment (mainly during his tenure as Lehhman brothers executive) and upcoming appointment of top policy makers for Ohio state. This is not so uncommon among Republican politicians (with their corporate links) and that I dislike the most among elected public servants.

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  • 59. At 10:31pm on 23 Dec 2010, LucyJ wrote:

    Okay one last one:
    Rember Mark Mardell's post on China's withholding rare earth metals from the USA?
    (Good one, Mark)

    And all crazziness breaks loose!!

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20101223/pl_nm/us_usa_china_trade

    An excerpt:
    China has refused repeated U.S. requests to eliminate export restraints on rare earths that have rattled its trading partners, the U.S. Trade Representative's office said on Thursday.

    "Going forward, the United States will continue to pursue vigorous engagement with China on this issue and will not hesitate to take further action, including WTO dispute settlement, if appropriate," the trade representative's office said in an annual report on how well China has complied with commitments made when it joined the World Trade Organization in 2001.

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

    Is it just me or is this the beginning of China's attempt to take over the world by pushing us down?

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  • 60. At 10:44pm on 23 Dec 2010, amaryr wrote:

    Lucy @59

    It's just you.

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  • 61. At 10:55pm on 23 Dec 2010, quietoaktree wrote:

    #59 LucyJ


    "Is it just me or is this the beginning of China's attempt to take over the world by pushing us down?"

    --- So LucyJ says the world belongs to America ????

    On a recent BBC interview, Gore Vidal stated that America has been declining for many years -- so be prepared for Life´s inevitable changes.

    That´s the way the cookie crumbles !


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  • 62. At 11:08pm on 23 Dec 2010, worcesterjim wrote:

    Agreed amayar....modern China is the slave workshop of the global capitalist world...a bit like Manchester in the nineteenth century was to the poor agricultural workers who flooded in to work in industry.
    Politically it is also like nineteenth century England with next to no democratic structure.
    The USA is fearful of China because she has learned the tricks that Americans used to stay on top in the last century....moneylending and currency manipulation...but China has developed soft imperialism which is an extension of the CIA/regime change/military action method that Americans used to back their "investments".
    The Chinese offer a better deal with fewer of the strings that the Americans attached when they took over Europe`s empires in the last century.
    We enter interesting times...and there`s an old chinese curse ...."May you live in interesting times!"

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  • 63. At 00:11am on 24 Dec 2010, mariein wrote:

    If wrote:

    "This entry is now closed for comments"

    One of the less welcome developments on the blog has been the phrase quoted above.
    _________________________
    When I realized it wasn’t temporary, I thought the BBC was downsizing its number of moderators.

    Dear Moderators, a lot of great posts come in very late. It seems purposeless when posters have to tack on from a previous thread. I hope you repeal "This entry is now closed for comments."

    But I have to say thanks for moderating out two of my digressions, especially the one where I went all the way to the poem at the end of Smoke Signals, lol, for goodness’ sake. This isn’t Dear Diary.

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  • 64. At 00:21am on 24 Dec 2010, Chryses wrote:

    Grateful Marie, (#63. At 00:11am on 24 Dec 2010)

    ”... I hope you repeal "This entry is now closed for comments." ...”
    Perhaps it is just the time of the year, but sometimes it seems that the Mods move in mysterious ways their wonders to perform.

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  • 65. At 00:23am on 24 Dec 2010, JClarkson wrote:

    #52


    "USA culture and business, home and abroad, should embrace and reflect all its people not just Europeans settlers, but the latin americans, native americans, africans, asians and others I forgot as well"


    Why?

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  • 66. At 01:18am on 24 Dec 2010, Complete Bob Marley and the Wailers wrote:

    Obama
    When someone achieves an empire and then something happens where it is lost or destroyed, they still have the vibration that they've achieved, and the empire will come back again—you see it all the time—because it is the vibrational status that the Universe is responding to, not the financial status.

    JMay
    The rest of the world doesn't want American Starbucks style corporations all over.

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  • 67. At 01:20am on 24 Dec 2010, Complete Bob Marley and the Wailers wrote:

    The rest of the world find the "Tea Party" type mentality of "European Americans" deeply offensive.

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  • 68. At 01:37am on 24 Dec 2010, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #67
    Complete Bob Marley and the Wailers wrote:
    The rest of the world find the "Tea Party" type mentality of "European Americans" deeply offensive.

    ___________________

    What part of the Tea Party would that be?

    Less goverment spending and more fiscal responsibility. ref #52

    You seem to have a problem with americans whose ancestors came from Europe.

    Why?

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  • 69. At 01:50am on 24 Dec 2010, Complete Bob Marley and the Wailers wrote:

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

  • 70. At 01:54am on 24 Dec 2010, Complete Bob Marley and the Wailers wrote:

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

  • 71. At 02:06am on 24 Dec 2010, JClarkson wrote:

    #66

    "The rest of the world doesn't want American Starbucks style corporations all over."


    #67

    "The rest of the world find the "Tea Party" type mentality of "European Americans" deeply offensive."


    Both of those proclamations begin with the same thing. The rest of the world. The rest of the world doesn't want this or it wants that.


    Now, you are in the envious position to explain why the wants and don't wants of "the rest of the world" should be relevant, in any way, to a country that is not part of "the rest of the world". You may earn bonus points if you can convincingly argue that it is in the US's interest to become like "the rest of the world" and the exact and compelling nature of the incentive for doing so.

    Good luck.

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  • 72. At 02:17am on 24 Dec 2010, Chryses wrote:

    JMay, (#71. At 02:06am on 24 Dec 2010)

    ”... if you can convincingly argue that it is in the US's interest to become like "the rest of the world" and the exact and compelling nature of the incentive for doing so ...”
    LOL!
    You don’t expect him to actually try to justify or explain his claims do you? I’ll bet that he’s one of the BBC Blog Theoreticians.

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  • 73. At 02:22am on 24 Dec 2010, Complete Bob Marley and the Wailers wrote:

    jmay. You've just highlighted how closed-minded, blinkered and selfish and self important (some) people in one country considers themselves. USA may be number one (to you and your ilk) but it isn't the whole world. The rest of the world is not relevant to a culture of greed.. except to take from.

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  • 74. At 02:33am on 24 Dec 2010, Chryses wrote:

    JMay,

    Ha! Told ya!

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  • 75. At 03:13am on 24 Dec 2010, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    This is a fairly big story:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-12072550

    It is, ultimately, about the fallout from the financial crisis. The incumbent in Cote D'Ivoire is, or was, betting that the US and France are too short of cash to mount a military intervention on behalf of the rightful winner of the election.

    He has seen dictators thumb their noses at western democracy in Burma, Zimbabwe, the Sudan, Iran, Venezuela bit-by-bit, and so on.

    He knows that China will fill the gap financially wherever the nagging western hypocrites become too troublesome ...

    America won the cold war, by and large, by increasing the number of successful western democracies, so that the economies of free, democratic nations were so powerful that military or other authoritarian challenges to that order eventually became futile.

    But now there is a credible challenger to that order, providing a different model of governance and development, with a powerful and growing economy. The challenger isn't fussy about either democracy or human rights. And that provides comfort for despots everywhere.

    Although it may not look like it, the Western democracies have a fair bit at stake here. There is a competition going on in Africa and other parts of the developing world for access to resources and economic growth. There is a clear choice between western democratic norms, and a Chinese model of an authoritarian police state. If the western nations flub this challenge, there are lots of other tin pot tyrants who will be encouraged, and the cost of solving the problem later will only get bigger.

    This is all part of the cost of America failing to put its house in order financially. Yet another chicken comes home to roost.

    The financial crisis is not about raising taxes or not raising taxes.

    It is about America's place in the world.

    It is a national security challenge of the first order.

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  • 76. At 03:25am on 24 Dec 2010, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    On the topic of the "Golden Age" of President Obama, I would add that, somewhat like Churchill's comment, this may be the end of the beginning.

    President Obama has passed through a trial by fire - both due to the enormous (and ongoing) challenges of the financial crisis, and to the more traditional challenges of hostile opposition. He has survived, and perhaps the early naive aspects of the job have diminished. Clearly another phase is starting.

    What I noticed in my year end review was that almost since the day President Obama took office, there has been a roaring great bull market (Inauguration, January 20, 2009; nadir on the markets, March 9, 2009). It is the most skittish, un-confident bull market I can remember, and yet while everyone has been worrying about his or her job, or losing the house, the markets have gone up nearly 100%.

    The rebound is not in half-baked stocks.

    It is in the stocks of solid, blue chip pillars of the economy.

    Sooner or later that is going to work its way through to Main Street.

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  • 77. At 03:30am on 24 Dec 2010, BienvenueEnLouisiana wrote:

    Complete Bob Marley and the Wailers: "The rest of the world find the 'Tea Party' type mentality of 'European Americans' deeply offensive."

    Just who are you to speak for the rest of the world? I find your typification of the "Tea Party" and millions of "European Americans", a term only used by Native Americans, unnecessarily offensive.

    Still, I wish you a Merry Christmas and Joyeux Noel; may your temper be tempered.

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  • 78. At 03:40am on 24 Dec 2010, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    51. At 9:52pm on 23 Dec 2010, BienvenueEnLouisiana wrote:

    "I rather miss Ms Marbles and our brief look inside Iran."

    So do I.

    ---------

    I was thinking about you just the other evening.

    I went for a skate in the cold night air. First time I have been on the blades in quite a while. The temperature was perfect - about 25 F - no wind, the chimney smoke rising straight up, a very gentle dusting of snowflakes coming down. About a dozen high school and university kids were on the next pad playing shinny. That magic sound of the blades cutting the ice, the puck clicking from stick to stick, the pure joy of the kids playing.

    The tranquility of a peaceful skate in the dark. The taste of the cold air in your lungs. The feel of the cold air against your face. The feel and sound of the ice running under the blade.

    There are few better things in life.

    I remember you posting about your own peaceful moments under a tree by the river on a lazy late summer day.

    There are some things in the world that have no price, and yet are beyond value.

    I often wonder if the world wouldn't be a lot better place if our leaders took a step back, now and again, and went for skate in the cold night air, or sat against a tree in the shade, reading a book as the river moves slowly on by.

    Merry Christmas and Joyeux Noel, right back.

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  • 79. At 03:56am on 24 Dec 2010, Complete Bob Marley and the Wailers wrote:

    Just who are you to speak for the rest of the world? I find your typification of the "Tea Party" and millions of "European Americans", a term only used by Native Americans, unnecessarily offensive.
    ======================================================
    Sorry to upset the Tacky Tea Party sensibilities. Elitist European Americans should mix with African Americans, Hispanic Americans Chinese Americans and Native Americans. It wouldn't kill them / it would make them better.

    @ BienvenueEnLouisiana I guess we should call the European ones the Pinks and Greys
    happy kawanza to you and yours

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  • 80. At 04:38am on 24 Dec 2010, JClarkson wrote:

    "You've just highlighted how closed-minded, blinkered and selfish and self important (some) people in one country considers themselves."

    Are you going to explain why they shouldn't be so?

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  • 81. At 05:18am on 24 Dec 2010, BienvenueEnLouisiana wrote:

    Interestedforeigner, your words have brought those memories roaring back. I even went and found our two archived posts, #145 & #159, in "Wake-up call for world peace" back in Oct. 2009. Thank you.

    Complete Bob Marley and the Wailers, in the spirit of the season I thank you as well for wishing me and my family a Happy Kwanzaa.

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  • 82. At 07:19am on 24 Dec 2010, JClarkson wrote:

    Kwanzaa? I had to look it up. Indeed, it's somewhat older than Festivus.

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  • 83. At 09:18am on 24 Dec 2010, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #70
    Complete Bob Marley and the Wailers wrote:
    Rules have changed now the US of A has been non-racist for 5 minutes

    But the 40+ year olds remember the old days and all their dirty tricks

    _____________

    Is there racism in the U.S? Sure,

    But compared to the rest of the world you have been lauding, North America and Europe are far more tolerant than Europe, Africa and Asia.

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  • 84. At 09:21am on 24 Dec 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Funnsy and sad at the same time:

    Steven Spielberg advising Nancy Pelosi how to rebrand Democrats


    http://voices.washingtonpost.com/thefix/democratic-party/steven-spielberg-advising-nanc.html

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  • 85. At 09:25am on 24 Dec 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    MM: "This was the Obama of old.. He has little to offer them."

    That about sums it up.


    Especially since so called New Start simply formalizes what both sides have had to do anyway (scrap their oldest and most obsolete weapons).

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  • 86. At 09:33am on 24 Dec 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    BienvenueEnLouisiana wrote:
    The GOP seems to have come up with a new set of draft House rules for the 112th Congress. Below is a link to the article from Fox News describing the draft rules:

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/12/22/house-gop-unveils-strict-spending-ethics-rules-package-new-congress/





    Here's wondering how Democrats attempt to defeat those new rule or find any fault with them.

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  • 87. At 09:39am on 24 Dec 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    I honestly and sincerely wish Mr. Osama the worst year possible.

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  • 88. At 10:18am on 24 Dec 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    "Lawmakers say she [Pelosi] is consulting marketing experts about building a stronger brand. The most prominent of her new whisperers is Steven Spielberg" (WP)


    And what branch of industry this new improved brand would work?

    [After loosing majority]

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  • 89. At 11:15am on 24 Dec 2010, JClarkson wrote:

    #87


    Hate the game, don't hate the player.

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  • 90. At 11:31am on 24 Dec 2010, dceilar wrote:

    I imagine that the 112th Congress will be full of the usual BS. We'll have the right whiners moaning about the liberals saying they don't understand that creating more poverty and making it more extreme (especially on children) is the engine that creates wealth! The greater the tax cuts and loopholes then the greater chance of the rich recruiting more staff. Sadly, it never has and it never will.

    All the while the GOP will bemoan QE for creating inflation!! This is despite the fact that the US is currently dancing on the edge of the abyss of deflation! Ironically, deflation will help the poorest in society while the richest suffer.

    Simon Schama sums it up nicely in today's FT.

    this is just a sign of what is in store for American governance in the wacky world of the 112th House; reality taking a back seat to self-reinforcing collectively chanted mantras against which the facts make little or no impression. The dominant reality for the Republicans will be who can recite the nostrums fiercely enough to establish themselves as the true voice of the Tea Party; the cant of the disingenuous directed at the aggravation of the credulous.

    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/589f426a-0ee3-11e0-9ec3-00144feabdc0.html#ixzz191ksnRZU (subscription required).

    All the while government debt is getting out of control. The GOP will squeeze the already squeezed poor which will make little inroads overcoming the debt. Defence spending will go on, and on, and on. How long will the credit agencies wait until the unthinkable happens - a downgrading?

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  • 91. At 12:26pm on 24 Dec 2010, Complete Bob Marley and the Wailers wrote:

    A Sociological Analysis Of The Modern Plantation
    The (European American) Tea Party movement may shout the loudest and appeal to the children of slave-masters in Hamburger Heaven but they are still not credible in their blatant assumption that there does exist a natural inferiority and superiority in the grand scheme of things.

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  • 92. At 1:10pm on 24 Dec 2010, PartTimeDon wrote:

    2. At 01:20am on 23 Dec 2010, BienvenueEnLouisiana wrote:

    If my understanding of this is right, all legislation will have to be justified as relevant to the constitution.
    I can't see it getting anywhere. Any legal attempt to restrict its own power could result in inertia on a whole range of topics while the law courts sorted out where responsibility sits. To put a national legislature in such a situation would be extremely reckless. This may look like a quick win for the right wing, but it could do real damage.
    Besides, turkeys don't vote for Christmas...

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  • 93. At 1:12pm on 24 Dec 2010, PartTimeDon wrote:

    90. At 11:31am on 24 Dec 2010, dceilar wrote:
    "How long will the credit agencies wait until the unthinkable happens - a downgrading?"
    __________
    Looking at the state of the Euro, which until recently was the only credible alternative currency in which to trade oil, the US probably has a little longer before the credit card repayments become critical.

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  • 94. At 2:21pm on 24 Dec 2010, Chryses wrote:

    Complete Bob Marley and the Wailers, (#91. At 12:26pm on 24 Dec 2010)

    ”... Tea Party movement may shout the loudest and appeal to the children of slave-masters in Hamburger Heaven but they are still not credible in their blatant assumption that there does exist a natural inferiority and superiority in the grand scheme of things ...”
    Why should anyone pay attention to this vaguely racist statement of yours?

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  • 95. At 2:27pm on 24 Dec 2010, Chryses wrote:

    PartTimeDon, (#93. At 1:12pm on 24 Dec 2010)

    ”... Looking at the state of the Euro, which until recently was the only credible alternative currency in which to trade oil, the US probably has a little longer before the credit card repayments become critical.”
    True, but that only postpones the day of reckoning.

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  • 96. At 2:52pm on 24 Dec 2010, Chryses wrote:

    dceilar, (#90. At 11:31am on 24 Dec 2010)

    ”... the GOP will bemoan QE for creating inflation!! ...”
    The quantitative easing to which you refer does have inflationary potential.

    ”... This is despite the fact that the US is currently dancing on the edge of the abyss of deflation! ...”
    Deflation has not been kind to Japan. What evidence is there that the U.S. economy may experience deflation?

    ”... Ironically, deflation will help the poorest in society while the richest suffer ...”
    Are you sure about that? Wouldn’t deflation also put downward pressure on wage rates?

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  • 97. At 2:54pm on 24 Dec 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re #95


    Euro may yet survive when the Commnunist regime in Beijing, after a massive injuction of its cash into EU bankrupt countries, will take over top management in Brussels.

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  • 98. At 3:05pm on 24 Dec 2010, Complete Bob Marley and the Wailers wrote:

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

  • 99. At 3:21pm on 24 Dec 2010, PartTimeDon wrote:

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

  • 100. At 4:37pm on 24 Dec 2010, LucyJ wrote:

    Complete Bob Marley wrote: Sorry to upset the Tacky Tea Party sensibilities. Elitist European Americans should mix with African Americans, Hispanic Americans Chinese Americans and Native Americans. It wouldn't kill them / it would make them better.
    --------------------------------------

    So there would be none of us left?

    Thanks, but no thanx...



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  • 101. At 4:40pm on 24 Dec 2010, LucyJ wrote:

    Complete Bob marley wrote: ah wanna … ALL AH WANNA
    -------------------
    Part Time Don wrote: Ah really really really really really wanna zig-a-zig ah!
    -------------------

    It makes me think of one of my fave singers, the awesome Sheryl Crow...

    "All I Wanna Do
    Is have some fun
    Before I die
    Says the man next to me
    Out of nowhere."

    But perhaps I should move to a Christmas tune instead,
    "Fa la la la la la la la la!"

    Merry Christmas to all!!! ;)

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  • 102. At 4:48pm on 24 Dec 2010, hms_shannon wrote:

    Dear PartTimeDon, after just glancing at the blog, starting at the bottom
    I came across yours first,to cut to the chase I am some what worried.But then it is Christmas no doubt you like me would benefit by taking more water with it.Rest assured if there are any more strange posts as at 99,I will do my best to cover but its going to be difficult.All that remains is to wish you a very happy Christmas & peace full new year.;)...

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  • 103. At 5:39pm on 24 Dec 2010, Chryses wrote:

    Complete Bob Marley and the Wailers, (#98. At 3:05pm on 24 Dec 2010)

    ”... Chryses most people would not expect you to be open minded to other people stating their opposing views and beliefs in a public forum due to your obvious one-sidedness biases ...”
    Yet more silly nonsense. What “obvious” one-sided biases are you talking about? Of course, as you seem to be one of the posters here who make unsubstantiated claims, I doubt that you can provide an answer.

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  • 104. At 5:47pm on 24 Dec 2010, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #79
    Complete Bob Marley and the Wailers wrote:
    Just who are you to speak for the rest of the world? I find your typification of the "Tea Party" and millions of "European Americans", a term only used by Native Americans, unnecessarily offensive.
    ======================================================
    Sorry to upset the Tacky Tea Party sensibilities. Elitist European Americans should mix with African Americans, Hispanic Americans Chinese Americans and Native Americans. It wouldn't kill them / it would make them better.

    ______________

    How are those of us whose immigrant roots are from Europe elitist?
    You still have not explained that

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  • 105. At 5:57pm on 24 Dec 2010, Chryses wrote:

    Complete Bob Marley and the Wailers, (#98. At 3:05pm on 24 Dec 2010)

    "... Do you fundamentally believe the humbug such as Jes-Us Christ could walk on water (without a surfboard) ..."
    I see that you remain unable to post on-topic. The more things change, the more they stay the same, eh?

    "... So we see Scrooge's real message was : "Bah", Christmas, something designed (by the papacy) to deceive and mislead!
    We agree with Old Scrooge "Christmas: Bah, Humbug!" ..."


    The notion that you could rationally discuss Christianity, much less ethical monotheism does get me to smile.
    Thank you, and Merry Christmas to you and yours.

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  • 106. At 6:02pm on 24 Dec 2010, Chryses wrote:

    MagicKirin, (#104. At 5:47pm on 24 Dec 2010)

    ”... How are those of us whose immigrant roots are from Europe elitist?
    You still have not explained that”

    I doubt that he ever will. He’s just one of the posters to these threads who makes unsubstantiated claims. You know, empty barrels and all that.

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  • 107. At 7:37pm on 24 Dec 2010, Chryses wrote:

    Jay, (#58. At 10:29pm on 23 Dec 2010)

    ”... Is it not mandatory for any elected governor in any state in US (or US president) to work from the designated office? ...”
    Not that I’m aware of, no.

    ”... Can US president work from any office of his choice other than White House (theoretically/ constitutionally)? ...”
    As far as I am aware, yes.

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  • 108. At 7:57pm on 24 Dec 2010, rodidog wrote:

    I'm looking for some simple but creative ideas for holiday appetizers. Right now we often do Brie with a cranberry sauce. Also, what are some of the more unusual (less traditional) diners you might have had? For me it’s been a deep fried whole turkey.

    Here's wishing everyone a merry Christmas! If you celebrate another tradition, happy holiday!

    Cheers

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  • 109. At 8:12pm on 24 Dec 2010, Chryses wrote:

    rodidog, (#108. At 7:57pm on 24 Dec 2010)

    Cooked Shrimp & Cocktail Sauce.

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  • 110. At 9:08pm on 24 Dec 2010, Chryses wrote:

    Interestedforeigner, (#75. At 03:13am on 24 Dec 2010)

    It is encouraging to see that the West Africans are managing together through ECOWAS this two-bit dictator similarly to how they tended to Liberia and Sierra Leone during their civil wars in the 1990s.

    While an unfortunate development for Ivorians, it is good to watch West Africans managing their regional affairs. I read that there is a possibility that ECOWAS might also send in troops as happened in Liberia and Sierra Leone.

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  • 111. At 9:43pm on 24 Dec 2010, quietoaktree wrote:

    #110 Chryses

    The two-bit dictator won 46% of the vote and has 20,000 troops (BBC), ECOWAS 9,000.

    If rats don´t leave a sinking ship -- the picture is not so rosy.

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  • 112. At 10:37pm on 24 Dec 2010, Complete Bob Marley and the Wailers wrote:

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

  • 113. At 10:37pm on 24 Dec 2010, Chryses wrote:

    quietoaktree, (#111. At 9:43pm on 24 Dec 2010)

    ”... The two-bit dictator won 46% of the vote and has 20,000 troops (BBC), ECOWAS 9,000 ...”
    ... and has lost control of the international currency reserves (regional central bank), and communications outside the capital, etc.

    ”... If rats don´t leave a sinking ship -- the picture is not so rosy.”
    You’re quite correct. It could get messy. Still, it is encouraging to see the regional powers trying to manage the situation.

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  • 114. At 10:59pm on 24 Dec 2010, Complete Bob Marley and the Wailers wrote:

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

  • 115. At 11:17pm on 24 Dec 2010, Complete Bob Marley and the Wailers wrote:

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

  • 116. At 11:38pm on 24 Dec 2010, Complete Bob Marley and the Wailers wrote:

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

  • 117. At 00:14am on 25 Dec 2010, Chryses wrote:

    Complete Bob Marley and the Wailers, (#115. At 11:17pm on 24 Dec 2010)

    "@ Chryses and MagicKirin
    It is difficult for me to answer your trivial questions as the BBC mods kept rejecting pertinent points made that may embarrass you with simple but higher intelligence ..."

    Perhaps if you expressed yourself in ways that did not break the House Rules?

    "... I'm not acccusing you of being bent BBC moderators as that would obviously be fraudulent to let low bloggers have that amount of petty minded and trivial power, you will need to work internally within the organisation and read rejected postings to discover your relevant answers ..."
    I trust you will not be disappointed if reading your rejected posts is not at the top of my priority list.

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  • 118. At 00:35am on 25 Dec 2010, mariein wrote:

    A question and a few thoughts about this blog…

    So did I misunderstand, or are some posters here also the moderators?
    I actually very rarely go back and read posters’ histories. I’ve always just remembered some stuff that I see, and read, for a long time. When I started, I read every mark made before I posted anything – that’s my typical reading mode. These days, I only have time to skim – and not much time for that even.

    So this is funny, but I thought Ron Craven and peterbo were the same person. LOL. Hopefully only in a creepier world. I enjoy mysteries a bit too much.

    Note if anyone cares: When IF (I think it was IF) referred to RC as the Doctor, I remember thinking: No. It should be himself. That’s meant as a compliment. Btw, I was disappointed to see the term papal idolaters, but it was a good reminder that I need to re-oil my feathers regarding true derogatory remarks. Indeed, my line also eats a lot of garlic and drank too much wine ;-), although the To-Galveston-survival in our blood must have made us frugal and far from materialistic. Life, indeed, happens (why is that being repeated nowadays?).

    Last weekend, Candy Crowley said something that I wrote here a couple of times recently. Did she get it from me, I wonder? Once colonelartist said something about how these blogs exist mostly for journalists to pinch info. I tend to believe that no one who can do anything about the issues is reading this - other than voters, and journalists and their staff, who influence voters.

    Oh, and about something that was mentioned in this thread or recently… At work, we depend more and more on web conferencing, of course. No doubt, I’ll be working from home 100% of the time in the future. (I will miss seeing my few in-town coworkers – beyond measure.) Our government elected representatives should be travelling a lot less in the future, as well. Or not? There's no online relationship comparable to a face-to-face one. However, video changes that to a degree....

    A dark and rainy, but peaceful, Christmas Eve in my neck of the woods. Meeting my loved ones at Mass in two hours. God bless and peace to all.

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  • 119. At 01:07am on 25 Dec 2010, McJakome wrote:

    RE 18. At 2:01pm on 23 Dec 2010, Chryses vs Sashon:
    My dear Chryses, Sashon was guilty of exaggerating [whether for effect or becaues of PC views], however it would be a quite blind observer who did not note a tinge of racism in and around the Tea Party. There is, however, an error in assuming that all [or even a majority] of TP members are *overtly* racist or prejudiced.

    As to the tinge, or suggestion, of racism:
    the prominent use of monkey images,
    prominent statements that the President is really either a
    Kenyan, a non-Christian, a Muslim, etc. [I admit that all birthers are not TP folks, all TP folks do not sport monkey images, and so on. The fact that some do suggests a tinge rather than full-blown infection.]

    To pre-empt your usual demand for proof, I can't prove what I have seen on TV, or heard on the radio, or seen in the local newspaper, or read on the internet. I am guilty of assuming that a sufficient number or reports indicated the likelihood that such things took place as reported.

    I have also heard and seen proof very close to home from a TP member relative. This relative seems programmed to believe any negative statement about President Obama without proof, and when I question the beliefs, and ask for proof none can be given.



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  • 120. At 01:35am on 25 Dec 2010, Complete Bob Marley and the Wailers wrote:

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

  • 121. At 01:38am on 25 Dec 2010, Complete Bob Marley and the Wailers wrote:

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

  • 122. At 01:46am on 25 Dec 2010, McJakome wrote:

    40. At 6:31pm on 23 Dec 2010, andyparsonsga

    Your reply is historically valid but faith based. You are assuming that all things being equal, the local basing of services like health care will be best. You really have to take into account that a service or product available to a small group will cost more than the service or product available to a mass market. [There is a technical term for this, economies of scale.]

    This idea is the basis for our modern "civilization." Before Henry Ford, automibles were made by hand and were only available to the elite, his invention was not the car, per se, but the application of mass production, i.e. economies of scale, using the mass production to bring down the cost so that the ordinary citizen could afford a car.

    This is, whether or not recognized as such, an iron law of economics. This applies to all goods and services [as far as I can see] and therefore applies equally to insurance. If you belong to a small "pool" then your rates will be much higher than if you belonged to the largest "pool." Ask a specialist in actuarial science if you are unsure of this.

    Now, assume that you live in LA and that LA, being the largest city in the largest state of the US, will have a much larger "pool" and therefore your cost will be lower that if you lived in Billings, Montana, a much smaller place in a much smaller state. This is overly simplified as there are other factors, but you get the idea.

    Insurance was originated as a scheme to share the risk. If the risk is, say cancer, the larger the number of insured the lower the premium to cover that risk. [Again, oversimplified.] SO it is logical that a national health care system would be fairer to everyone [no penalty for living in Montana] and less costly. The largest "devil in the detail" is that the organization and administration of a national health insurance program has to avoid the all too familiar problems of bureaucracy and political shenanigans.

    The usual criticism of the program, inflating the bureaucracy and its associated costs, is well taken. If, however, the present social security, medicare and medicaid were reorganized and slimmed down, the health care would be centralized and administered by a single [rather than multiple] bureaucracy, and thus would also benefit from economies of scale.

    Not doing something like this was my main objection to the chimera of health care reform that came out of our corrupt national legislature in DC.

    In other words, one size fits all can be better if it is a matter of economies of scale.

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  • 123. At 01:47am on 25 Dec 2010, Complete Bob Marley and the Wailers wrote:

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

  • 124. At 01:51am on 25 Dec 2010, McJakome wrote:

    41. At 6:49pm on 23 Dec 2010, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    "This entry is now closed for comments"


    Here, here! [Or is it Hear, hear?]
    I'm in total agereement, in either case.

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  • 125. At 01:52am on 25 Dec 2010, american grizzly wrote:

    Two years of Obama administration: Stimulus for political cronies.,Sealed White House visitors records (Justice Dept needs to wake up). Air Force One buzzing the Statue of Liberty photo op. Trials for 911 in New York City, closing Gitmo? Billions sent to ACORN a fraudulent organization. 2000+ page of healthcare legislation, 15,000 healthcare regulations still to be written 18 member healthcare board to be hired, 9 personally chosen by President. Two costly wars (on and off) consuming lives and billions, plus paying Pakistan billions by signing bills away from the public quietly in office, shhhh! Highest number of paid $$$ CZARs by any President in history. Skipping Senate/Congressional oversight and just appointing them to the budget. Calling Cambridge,MA Police stupid basically for doing their job. Cash for Clunkers, hiring people that didn't pay taxes to government jobs, who paid them after being caught. I guess the Democrats just don't get it. The Tea Party got it, they got the message out in a grass roots movement. Unlike ACORN which just tried to rig the elections. But you still have Obama, Reid, Peloisi, and Bush as the 4 horsemen of the Apocalypse of this barren landscape of America's future. Dependent on two corrupt brokendown machines that lack even the decency to respect the concerns of those that have elected them. Hope and Change? I sure hope it changes for those two dodo parties. When people like Pelosi and the likes of Bill Maher make comments that Americans are stupid, in as so much as they said in their views. But so did Hitler, and he got his comeuppance.

    "The people reign over the American political world as God rules over the universe. It is the cause and the end of all things: everything rises out of it and is absorbed back into it." Alexis De Tocqueville
    or if you prefer
    "For the American people are a very generous people and will forgive any weakness, with the possible exception of stupidity." Will Rogers

    Merry or Happy Christmas to those who celebrate, peace on earth, goodwill to men. Live free of die!

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  • 126. At 01:56am on 25 Dec 2010, Complete Bob Marley and the Wailers wrote:

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

  • 127. At 02:02am on 25 Dec 2010, Chryses wrote:

    JMM, (#119. At 01:07am on 25 Dec 2010)

    "... My dear Chryses, Sashon was guilty of exaggerating [whether for effect or becaues of PC views] ..."
    I am pleased to read that you agree with my reading of Shashon's post, that his claim "this [racism] was one of the main reasons" of the latest Republican success, was unsupported by evidence.

    "... however it would be a quite blind observer who did not note a tinge of racism in and around the Tea Party ..."
    Fortunately, no one made any suggestion to the contrary.

    "... There is, however, an error in assuming that all [or even a majority] of TP members are *overtly* racist or prejudiced ..."
    I am pleased that you and I, if not Sashon, agree about that. Perhaps you can help Sashon past this foolish notion.

    "... As to the tinge, or suggestion, of racism:
    the prominent use of monkey images,
    prominent statements that the President is really either a
    Kenyan, a non-Christian, a Muslim, etc. [I admit that all birthers are not TP folks, all TP folks do not sport monkey images, and so on. The fact that some do suggests a tinge rather than full-blown infection.] ..."

    While it was unnecessary to restate that there was a suggestion of a tinge, rather than "one of the main reasons," I do appreciate you doing so.

    "... To pre-empt your usual demand for proof, I can't prove what I have seen on TV, or heard on the radio, or seen in the local newspaper, or read on the internet. I am guilty of assuming that a sufficient number or reports indicated the likelihood that such things took place as reported ..."
    OK.

    "... I have also heard and seen proof very close to home from a TP member relative. This relative seems programmed to believe any negative statement about President Obama without proof, and when I question the beliefs, and ask for proof none can be given."
    A shared experience, and I presume similarly perplexing!

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  • 128. At 02:10am on 25 Dec 2010, Chryses wrote:

    Grateful Marie, (#118. At 00:35am on 25 Dec 2010)

    "... So did I misunderstand, or are some posters here also the moderators? ...
    One poster has suggested that is true.
    "... Oh, and about something that was mentioned in this thread or recently… At work, we depend more and more on web conferencing, of course. No doubt, I'll be working from home 100% of the time in the future. (I will miss seeing my few in-town coworkers - beyond measure.) Our government elected representatives should be travelling a lot less in the future, as well. Or not? There's no online relationship comparable to a face-to-face one. However, video changes that to a degree ..."
    I feel that the internet is the death of distance. I am uncertain how that will play out, but it should be interesting to watch.

    "... A dark and rainy, but peaceful, Christmas Eve in my neck of the woods ..."
    Were that was true for all!

    "...Meeting my loved ones at Mass in two hours. God bless and peace to all."
    And to you and yours!

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  • 129. At 02:18am on 25 Dec 2010, Chryses wrote:

    Complete Bob Marley and the Wailers, (#123. At 01:47am on 25 Dec 2010)

    ”Chryses the BBC are saving you skin again
    Your amateur rebuttals don't prove a thing”

    Actually, the problem seems to be that you have great difficulty in posting comments that do not break the House Rules. That’s the way this game is played. Learn to play by the rules.

    As for my “amateur” rebuttals, as they seem to be holding their own, you will probably continue to enjoy them, even if you remain unsatisfied.

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  • 130. At 02:25am on 25 Dec 2010, McJakome wrote:

    94. At 2:21pm on 24 Dec 2010, Chryses wrote:
    “Why should anyone pay attention to this vaguely racist statement of yours?”
    An old nemesis has resurfaced under a new nom de plume. It is clear to any reasonable being that reverse-racism is neither different from nor better than that to which it is opposed. Wouldn’t you agree?

    With respect to this poster, nothing positive will be gained by attempting to exchange ideas. You are only likely get insult and incoherent psuedo-intellectual persiflage, as I have found. If you choose to continue, good luck.


    This being Christmas Eve here, I wish all of you the best, and for "peace on Earth" to those of good will.

    Happy/Merry Chriskwanzakah!

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  • 131. At 02:32am on 25 Dec 2010, Complete Bob Marley and the Wailers wrote:

    The Patriotic Tea Party must be full of good liars or aversive racists, those who don’t think that they’re racist. A huge array of research suggests that 50 percent or more of whites have unconscious biases that sometimes lead to racial discrimination. One lesson from this research is that racial biases are deeply embedded within us, more so than many whites believe. Nationalism, extremism, spread-eagleism, patriotism and jingoism are indicative of racism, not subtle, but blatant and overt.
    ======================================================
    so I say to have your say stuff chryses weak rebuttals and repeated requests to substantiate with evidence

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  • 132. At 02:34am on 25 Dec 2010, amaryr wrote:

    Peace and joy to one and all!

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  • 133. At 02:52am on 25 Dec 2010, Complete Bob Marley and the Wailers wrote:

    @Chryses Substantiate what to whom?

    “Never forget that everything Hitler did in Germany was legal.”
    Martin Luther King, Jr. quotes (American Baptist Minister and Civil-Rights Leader. 1929-1968)
    ==========================================================
    If you Support the Tea Party..*

    (*) .. you might get judged racist by some and will have to live with your own conscience as a consequence

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  • 134. At 03:02am on 25 Dec 2010, Chryses wrote:

    JMM, (#130. At 02:25am on 25 Dec 2010)

    "Chryses wrote:
    "Why should anyone pay attention to this vaguely racist statement of yours?"
    An old nemesis has resurfaced under a new nom de plume. It is clear to any reasonable being that reverse-racism is neither different from nor better than that to which it is opposed. Wouldn't you agree? ... "

    Yes sir, I do.

    "... With respect to this poster, nothing positive will be gained by attempting to exchange ideas. You are only likely get insult and incoherent psuedo-intellectual persiflage, as I have found. If you choose to continue, good luck ..."
    Point taken.

    "... This being Christmas Eve here, I wish all of you the best, and for "peace on Earth" to those of good will ..."
    And to you and yours!

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  • 135. At 03:03am on 25 Dec 2010, Complete Bob Marley and the Wailers wrote:

    Chryses the BBC are saving you skin again
    Your amateur rebuttals don't prove a thing”
    Actually, the problem seems to be that you have great difficulty in posting comments that do not break the House Rules. That’s the way this game is played. Learn to play by the rules.
    ======================================================
    Chryses if you are a BBC mod you have corrupted the system completely
    The Game is fixed, your posts do not express any individual views
    The BBC should fire you
    Mindless rebuttals is what low level government employees do in formal complaint procedures and lose their case when taken to a tribunal

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  • 136. At 03:17am on 25 Dec 2010, Chryses wrote:

    Complete Bob Marley and the Wailers, (#131. At 02:32am on 25 Dec 2010)

    "The Patriotic Tea Party must be full of good liars or aversive racists, those who don't think that they're racist ..."
    And why "must" this be true?

    "... A huge array of research suggests that 50 percent or more of whites have unconscious biases that sometimes lead to racial discrimination ..."
    Are you suggesting that this applies ONLY to "whites?"

    "... One lesson from this research is that racial biases are deeply embedded within us, more so than many whites believe ..."
    Are you suggesting that this applies ONLY to "whites?"

    "... Nationalism, extremism, spread-eagleism, patriotism and jingoism are indicative of racism, not subtle, but blatant and overt ... "
    Pure, unadulterated nonsense. You are redefining language to satisfy your prejudices.

    "... so I say to have your say stuff chryses weak rebuttals and repeated requests to substantiate with evidence."
    That's a safe bet. Whenever you spout nonsense, I'll point it out.

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  • 137. At 03:22am on 25 Dec 2010, Chryses wrote:

    Complete Bob Marley and the Wailers, (#133. At 02:52am on 25 Dec 2010)

    ”...If you Support the Tea Party..*
    (*) .. you might get judged racist by some and will have to live with your own conscience as a consequence”

    LOL!
    You are too precious! There are more racists, of many races, who do NOT support the Tea Party!

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  • 138. At 03:30am on 25 Dec 2010, Tinkersdamn wrote:

    Here in Amerikay the big day is moments away- a Merry Christmas to MM and all my fellow posters in this corner of the BBC realm--- and, not St. Nick, but St. Dominick, if you happen to be out there- these threads were always a little better when your informed and patient words were in them- Merry Christmas.

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  • 139. At 03:32am on 25 Dec 2010, Chryses wrote:

    Complete Bob Marley and the Wailers, (#135. At 03:03am on 25 Dec 2010)

    "Chryses the BBC are saving you skin again
    Your amateur rebuttals don't prove a thing"
    Actually, the problem seems to be that you have great difficulty in posting comments that do not break the House Rules. That's the way this game is played. Learn to play by the rules.
    ======================================================
    Chryses if you are a BBC mod you have corrupted the system completely ..."

    As I am not a BBC mod, I have not corrupted the system.

    "... The Game is fixed, your posts do not express any individual views ..."
    Nope. You bring your problems on yourself.

    "... The BBC should fire you ..."
    As the BBC is not my employer, that might be a tad difficult.

    "... Mindless rebuttals is what low level government employees do in formal complaint procedures and lose their case when taken to a tribunal"
    Now you can (perhaps) understand why my rebuttals are not mindless - I am not a low level government employee! LOL!

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  • 140. At 03:42am on 25 Dec 2010, Complete Bob Marley and the Wailers wrote:

    Chryses, (=not a mod)
    You should let everyone state exactly whatever they want and you have no right to criticise them. Some people despise the Tea Party and know what racism is and call it when they see it. If you disagree with them state your own view.

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  • 141. At 03:45am on 25 Dec 2010, Complete Bob Marley and the Wailers wrote:

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

  • 142. At 03:52am on 25 Dec 2010, Tinkersdamn wrote:

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

  • 143. At 03:53am on 25 Dec 2010, Complete Bob Marley and the Wailers wrote:

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

  • 144. At 04:03am on 25 Dec 2010, Chryses wrote:

    Complete Bob Marley and the Wailers, (#140. At 03:42am on 25 Dec 2010)

    "Chryses, (=not a mod) ..."
    Well, at least we have moved beyond THAT mistake.

    "... You should let everyone state exactly whatever they want ..."
    I do let everyone state exactly whatever they want. Your problem is with the Mods, not me.

    "... you have no right to criticise them ..."
    Since you criticize me, you certainly think the YOU have the right to criticize others. Are you saying that it is OK for you to criticize other people, but not OK for them to criticize you? That sounds pretty unreasonable to me. How about you?

    "... Some people despise the Tea Party and know what racism is and call it when they see it ..."
    No doubt about that! Of course those people might be prejudiced themselves.

    "...If you disagree with them state your own view."
    I already have, thank you.

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  • 145. At 04:07am on 25 Dec 2010, Chryses wrote:

    Complete Bob Marley and the Wailers, (#141. At 03:45am on 25 Dec 2010)

    +your rebuttals are totally mindless and you may not even be a low paid government employee.
    Hmmm. Now that you mention it, that was a good example! That was just another empty claim with nothing to back it up, and ending with idle speculation.

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  • 146. At 04:25am on 25 Dec 2010, JClarkson wrote:

    #143

    Complete Boob, give your trolling a rest, today and tomorrow. Find something Kwanzaaish to do, instead.

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  • 147. At 04:35am on 25 Dec 2010, Chryses wrote:

    Complete Bob Marley and the Wailers, (#143. At 03:53am on 25 Dec 2010)

    "The BBC have given too much oxygen to the Tea Party and sympathizers ..."
    Which posts in this thread can you identify to substantiate your claim?

    "...extreme right wing bloggers taking over the BBC threads is unacceptable ..."
    If that were to happen, I would agree with you.

    "... it's time your bile and hate propaganda was eliminated"
    You will fail to find any bile or hate propaganda in MY posts.

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  • 148. At 04:56am on 25 Dec 2010, Complete Bob Marley and the Wailers wrote:

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

  • 149. At 05:23am on 25 Dec 2010, Complete Bob Marley and the Wailers wrote:

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

  • 150. At 05:31am on 25 Dec 2010, Chryses wrote:

    Complete Bob Marley and the Wailers, (#148. At 04:56am on 25 Dec 2010)

    "Chryses.
    1. You never ever were worth replying to ever ..."

    For someone who thinks I am not worth replying to "ever," you certainly have spent a lot of time replying to my posts today, haven't you? LOL!

    "... 2. You think you can kill ideas with your juvenile rebuttals ..."
    You completely misunderstand. I'm not trying to kill ideas. Goodness me, no! I'm merely trying to point out some of your mistakes.

    "... 3. Your screwed up logic never once dispproved anyones views"
    Oh, I don't know about that. How about the one where you think it is OK to criticize other people, but say other people have no right to criticize you? You remember, that was your post #140. I think I pretty much refuted your position there. What do you think?

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  • 151. At 05:34am on 25 Dec 2010, Complete Bob Marley and the Wailers wrote:

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

  • 152. At 06:28am on 25 Dec 2010, BienvenueEnLouisiana wrote:

    A full moon rises into a star filled sky on a clear December night,
    the air is as crisp as the grass and the leaves beneath your feet;
    tonight the street dazzles with columns and doorways festively lit,
    a neighbor's mechanical reindeer bobs its brightly lit head up and down;
    within a few hours the sun will rise on December 25th,
    and many of our homes will be as lively as Christmas eve was calm.

    Merry Christmas everyone,
    BeL

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  • 153. At 06:52am on 25 Dec 2010, tuulen wrote:

    "Will you remember the 111th Congress as a Golden Age?" - MM

    Hmm? What?

    Including the 9/11 tragedy, the following wars, and a massive stock market crash, what kind of a Golden Age could ensue?

    In short, President Obama got stuck with the short end of the stick, and his administration had little choice as to what to do.

    However, and as far as a Golden Age goes, the Obama administration has done well to steer a "middle" path, and congratulations to the Obama administration!

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  • 154. At 07:01am on 25 Dec 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    "assume that you live in LA and that LA, being the largest city in the largest state of the US"




    California - the largest state of the U.S.?


    PHHHLEASE! :-)))

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  • 155. At 07:09am on 25 Dec 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    AmericanGrizzly wrote: When people like Pelosi and the likes of Bill Maher make comments that Americans are stupid, in as so much as they said in their views. But so did Hitler, and he got his comeuppance.





    Some might thing that if Pelosi were replaced with Maher things might not get better, but certainly funnier.

    Personally I doubt it: just look at a sad and depressing record and statements by a former comedian, sen. Al Franken (D).

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  • 156. At 11:43am on 25 Dec 2010, Complete Bob Marley and the Wailers wrote:

    Tea Party Hate should be banned from BBC Blogs.
    Protect our Children from their Hate and Bile.
    Keep the trash and scum out.
    Racist Faces In Racist Places.

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  • 157. At 11:49am on 25 Dec 2010, Complete Bob Marley and the Wailers wrote:

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

  • 158. At 11:49am on 25 Dec 2010, worcesterjim wrote:

    Make best use of your freedom of speech America....and study Neo-Dickensian England for a grim reminder of what happens once you are no longer strong and rich enough to rule the world.

    God bless you ...every one!

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  • 159. At 12:25pm on 25 Dec 2010, worcesterjim wrote:

    Wouldn`t it be festively fair to the rest of us if the BBC admitted that "Complete Bob Marley" is their spokesperson ...and quite possibly the moderator of this thread ....masquerading as one of us hapless punters?

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  • 160. At 12:50pm on 25 Dec 2010, worcesterjim wrote:

    Gosh! It`s gone very quiet around here....perhaps it`s time to pop over to the Afghani Broadcasting Service or Radio Free Iraq for some unbiased free speaking opportunities ....now the Beeb has gone all coy on us!

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  • 161. At 1:16pm on 25 Dec 2010, Complete Bob Marley and the Wailers wrote:

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

  • 162. At 1:35pm on 25 Dec 2010, Chryses wrote:

    Complete Bob Marley and the Wailers, (#161. At 1:16pm on 25 Dec 2010)

    ”... Hi freedom of speech Jim from worcester. No man you wrong, but that's ok I lived around UK racists my entire life, I could straighten you out, get you line speaking out against them too in no time quick fast, easy as 1-2-3.”
    Do you think violence is a useful tool to settle arguments?

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  • 163. At 1:54pm on 25 Dec 2010, Chryses wrote:

    Complete Bob Marley and the Wailers, (#156. At 11:43am on 25 Dec 2010)

    ”Tea Party Hate should be banned from BBC Blogs ...”.
    Can you identify any post to this thread that displays the “hate” to which you refer?

    I think you will fail.

    ”... Protect our Children from their Hate and Bile .
..”
    Can you identify any post to this thread that displays the “hate” or the “bile” to which you refer?

    I think you will fail.

    ”... Keep the trash and scum out ...“
    Can you identify any poster to this thread who is the “trash” or “scum” to which you refer? If you can, what basis do you use to identify them as either “trash” or “scum?”

    I think you will fail.

    “... Racist Faces In Racist Places.”
    Sounds cute; what does it mean? Are you accusing these BBC threads as being racist?

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  • 164. At 2:27pm on 25 Dec 2010, Complete Bob Marley and the Wailers wrote:

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

  • 165. At 3:05pm on 25 Dec 2010, worcesterjim wrote:

    @163...Chrys...after a working lifetime around seriously mentally ill people can I advise you that it`s unwise to employ rational argument when tangling with intellectually challenged and totally brainwashed memmbers of the BBC`s little constituency of "human rights activists (aka bone idle parasites)!.

    Anyway..it`s...er..um ....Multicultural Multifaith (and none) Midwinter Fest...so let`s wish our own tribe a happy time....and a festive death by torture to anyone who disagrees with us...CHEERS!

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  • 166. At 3:20pm on 25 Dec 2010, Complete Bob Marley and the Wailers wrote:

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

  • 167. At 3:30pm on 25 Dec 2010, McJakome wrote:

    154. At 07:01am on 25 Dec 2010, powermeerkat wrote:
    "'assume that you live in LA and that LA, being the largest city in the largest state of the US'


    California - the largest state of the U.S.?"


    Of course, I should have written, "California - the largest state of the U.S. in terms of population," though Texas seems to be catching up fast.
    I assumed that as I was talking about people not square mi. that that would be understood.

    The oversized ice cube [I remember Texans calling it something like this when it became a state], Alaska, with a large fraction of the US land area, is the largest as to size, having eclipsed Texas and California in 1959 [then no. 1 and no. 2 by size]. Alaska used to have the smallest population, but has clawed it's way up to no. 48, hurrah!


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  • 168. At 3:45pm on 25 Dec 2010, LucyJ wrote:

    Mk wrote: How are those of us whose immigrant roots are from Europe elitist?
    ----------------------------

    Sadly, some people think that anyone with white skin is 'elitist'...

    I guess its the just word 'white' combined with past stories...

    But here in America, especially the Midway or Midwest, many white people are about the most down to Earth, friendliest, nicest, farmiest people you will ever meet!!!

    Today is a white Christmas!!!

    Might go sledding later...:)

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  • 169. At 3:57pm on 25 Dec 2010, seanspa wrote:

    Wishing everyone a merry xmas (or whatever you want out of today as long as it's positive) and a happy new year.

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  • 170. At 4:07pm on 25 Dec 2010, LucyJ wrote:

    Grizzly wrote: But you still have Obama, Reid, Peloisi, and Bush as the 4 horsemen of the Apocalypse of this barren landscape of America's future. Dependent on two corrupt brokendown machines that lack even the decency to respect the concerns of those that have elected them. Hope and Change? I sure hope it changes for those two dodo parties. When people like Pelosi and the likes of Bill Maher make comments that Americans are stupid, in as so much as they said in their views. But so did Hitler, and he got his comeuppance.
    ------------------------
    Lol. That was a great blog.

    Either way, the American people will have to live with the mistakes and triumphs of our elected officials the last ten years even more so than the previous ones before them...in the aspect that USA, a beautiful, wonderful country, has been used and abused by our politicians (some taking all that they could, no matter how many it hurt or who they took from) and tis up to us, the American people, to stand up for ourselves, to stand up for our country and to do what we feel is right to turn America back around and to what we are meant to be, which is still the leader of the Free World...

    Some will turn to China in the upcoming decades, but make no mistake: China is China. They already are becoming a global leader. But its their own kind of leader with its own morals and values. China is not USA and never will be USA. China's 'Midas touch' is just that and its not at all like what we have. Some people are already underestimating us, they are looking toward the negative aspect and these people don't understand what's within Americans...that even when we get setbacks, we still keep going and we still have not yet shown what we are fully capable of.

    To the people who feel USA has too much power...you haven't even seen China's fireworks show aka plans for the future yet, so don't go judgin'!

    Anyone who tries to take us down is gonna get one mighty fight!
    That's a promise!

    The tides are shifting and although the Eagle may have one broken wing, it is now bandaged and braced, she is getting it fixed, so that one day she might soar once again in the wonderfully baby blue skies past the sunshiny white clouds with echoes of silver linings where she was born and raised to be a proud, productive, and promising eaglette to Eagle...the Eagles keep soaring and like nature, so do we...

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  • 171. At 4:10pm on 25 Dec 2010, LucyJ wrote:

    JMM wrote: Of course, I should have written, "California - the largest state of the U.S. in terms of population.
    ---------------
    California has not only the highest American population, but also the highest illegal immigrant population...

    About 40% of households in Cali speak Spanish at home...

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  • 172. At 4:15pm on 25 Dec 2010, worcesterjim wrote:

    @166

    You can`t fool us "Bob"!

    Trust the BNP to come on here impersonating members of our hard-working richly diverse multiethnic metroploitan brains trust and trying to make out they are all illiterate and stupid...innit!

    Surely you BNPers should be standing to attention watching the Queen`s speech or sending fraternal greetings to your fellow "humanitarians"..like the Yardies or the Taliban in Afghanistan or the KKK in the USA?

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  • 173. At 4:17pm on 25 Dec 2010, McJakome wrote:

    Chryses,
    I have reread some of my previous posts. I made what could be interpreted as a slap at you, or rank hypocracy. To set the record straight, I do not believe that asking people to provide proof of something alleged, or justification for an opinion is wrong.

    You have actually tended to be a bit milder than I have in this regard. I have told posters that they were writing obvious propaganda, which made them either propagandists or persons duped by propagandists.

    As to CBMW, I was guilty of overgenaralization. The poster actually has some valid points concealed within the overly aggressive ethnocentric posturing. I will restate them in less confrontational language.

    CBMW stated that white people have conscious or unconscious racism. You correctly pointed out that proposition *all white people are racist* is as racist as the proposition *all African Americans are lazy.* You also correctly pointed out that such statements are equally subject to being called racist and can not be proven or justified.

    Having considered what the poster wrote, and assuming that the poster is non-white and has suffered from some form of racism; I can see a kernel of justifiable assumption and an opinion that, if it grossly over generalizes, is at least somewhat understandable.

    One problem is that the terms racist and racism are overused, and are not sufficiently nuanced. In my own experience I have never met anyone of any race that was totally free of some form of prejudice. Prejudice as to race can be broken down, as follows:

    racist = someone whose extreme beliefs and often violent actions deny equal status as human beings to others based on race, skin color or ethnicity.

    prejudiced = someone whose beliefs and actions deny equal status to others based on race, skin color or ethnicity, but may not be always operational.

    biased = someone who prefers members of the same group according to race, color, ethnicity or other identifier.

    I had an uncle who could have been the source for the Archie Bunker character in “All in the Family” and “Archie’s Place.” He used dismissive terms for most minorities, including the very white Poles. He did not act out, and did not, AFAIK use the terms in their hearing.

    Other members of my family expressed the opinion that I should date and marry someone of my own religion and ethnic background [Catholic Irish or German]. However, when I was about 4 or 5 I was admiring some interesting and colorful Halloween costumes [as I thought] in a magazine, I was told those are not Halloween costumes they are KKK and they are bad people.

    The point is that, having been exposed to such things in one’s formative years is one ever really free of the taint? If the taint is there, an educated person can [and must] overcome it. I have seen/heard references to this in psychology and sociology classes in college. I am sorry but college was from the 1969’s through 1980’s, so I am not able to cite sources.

    The same arguments can be made for reverse racism. There are different degrees, ranging from the “white man is the Devil” to “you have to be careful trusting white people.” If one is exposed in one’s formative years [or in a left-wing, Afro-centric college environment], one may have beliefs or attitudes that are not nuanced and should be reconsidered.

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  • 174. At 4:58pm on 25 Dec 2010, Chryses wrote:

    JMM, (#173. At 4:17pm on 25 Dec 2010)

    It is eerie being able to count the number very similar memories we share.

    So …. In general, yes.

    In particular, that CBMW may or may not have felt, or have been in fact treated unfairly for whatever reason, reveling in it before others in public is boorish.

    I discount to a large degree the faith you place in the corrective power of the Ed system. In re a group taint (guilt) of upbringing, I attempt, and recommend to others, that they are best served by interacting with individuals, rather than a collective.

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  • 175. At 4:58pm on 25 Dec 2010, worcesterjim wrote:

    I think the main problem is that the USA draws its population from so many sources that a sort of multicultural/multifaith/multiethnic mythology is necessary to hold the whole coctail together under one flag if you are to avoid serious social fragmentation.

    Fortunately for you Americans you have a vast country with grate economic wealth....but since we British went bankrupt in the Second World War we have not been so lucky.

    While the USA built up Germany and Japan and Israel into prosperous largely monoethnic societies where nationalism and immigration control were used to create strong identities....we English have been robbed of our empire and industry and deluged with people from all sorts of cultures,races and faiths in an attempt to turn us into a mini USA.....while being firmly forbidden to defend our cultural identity or jobs and homes and public services like the other nations mentioned.

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  • 176. At 5:04pm on 25 Dec 2010, Chryses wrote:

    Lucyj, (#171. At 4:10pm on 25 Dec 2010)

    ”... About 40% of households in Cali speak Spanish at home...”
    You post that as if speaking Spanish at home is bad. Why?

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  • 177. At 5:11pm on 25 Dec 2010, Chryses wrote:

    Complete Bob Marley and the Wailers, (#164. At 2:27pm on 25 Dec 2010)

    “Chryses . This isn't Hicksville USA ...”
    Correct. So far so good.

    ”... Our Kids mix in schools ...”
    Yours also? Good for you!

    ”... Get back to your backwoods and go far way”
    Why should I do that?

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  • 178. At 5:15pm on 25 Dec 2010, Chryses wrote:

    Complete Bob Marley and the Wailers, (#166. At 3:20pm on 25 Dec 2010)

    ”yo jim how do spell new york. the national front is the white mans front.. how does the rest of that song go”
    Is that how you respond to everyone who doesn’t agree with you?

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  • 179. At 5:27pm on 25 Dec 2010, worcesterjim wrote:

    To give Americans an idea of the situation in the UK ....we have a weekly national political debate programme on television called "Question Time".... which is our chance to hear our politicians debate current issues.

    In recent weeks the panel have sat there making it very plain that they think it`s empowering to wear a burka across your face in England and racist to object to that idea....and it`s racist to call for "British jobs for British people"!

    Now that`s mainstream political opinion in England...an England where it`s racist to ask for an English political assembly but racist to complain about the Irish Scots and Welsh peoples having a political assembly of their own!?

    We don`t need a Tea Party....we have already got a Mad Hatter`s Tea Party governing us now!

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  • 180. At 5:55pm on 25 Dec 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    JMM: "The oversized ice cube [I remember Texans calling it something like this when it became a state], Alaska"



    JMM, sen. Lisa Murkovski a Republican who's loved every single federal pork program she could push through for her state might not appreciate that comment.


    True, Tea Party folks tried to remove her but failed.

    Pork barreling being popular not only among Democrats. :-(((

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  • 181. At 5:59pm on 25 Dec 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Lucy wrote: California has not only the highest American population, but also the highest illegal immigrant population...





    Arizona and Texas being close second and third.

    P.S. Have I mentioned New Mexico?


    [I understand: that was never a problem in Hawaii, Kenia or Indonesia]

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  • 182. At 6:16pm on 25 Dec 2010, jaceinAZ wrote:

    "the most productive two years that we've had in generations"

    This claim is completely absurd. It is simply stunning that Obama could get the enitre sentance out with a straight face. What has he accomplished?

    Announced the end to the Iraq war? He didn't start it and his announcement didn't end it.

    QE1/Stimulus? Wow, the government agreed to spend astrinomical amounts of taxpayer money on alpaca subsidies and road repairs.

    New START treaty? Please...this should be a passing mention in a daily press briefing.

    New Tax Bill? Again, Washington agreeing to cut taxes and increase spending. Neither fiscally responsible nor a particularly daunting task.

    Obviously, I strenuously disagree with that statement.

    Romney/Thune 2012.

    Merry Christmas to all!!

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  • 183. At 6:57pm on 25 Dec 2010, LucyJ wrote:

    Jim wrote: While the USA built up Germany and Japan and Israel into prosperous largely monoethnic societies where nationalism and immigration control were used to create strong identities....
    -----------------------
    Did they not also build up themselves by a lot of their own innovation?

    What does modern day Great Britain desire now?

    To be themselves...Great Britain does have a strong identidy...you guys are like the oldest of the old, the fairest of the fair, the ones that helped start it all, are you not already?
    -----------------------
    Jim wrote: we English have been robbed of our empire and industry and deluged with people from all sorts of cultures,races and faiths in an attempt to turn us into a mini USA.....while being firmly forbidden to defend our cultural identity or jobs and homes and public services like the other nations mentioned.
    -------------------------------
    I notice you call yourself English, not British?
    Interesting...

    Robbed of your empire by who?
    Us?
    Robin Hood?
    The immigrants you are discussing, of which your country let into your country, not ours!!!
    And I will be the first to tell ya that USA does have an illegal immigrant dilemma...
    Many Americans like myself think of Great Britain as Great Britain and no one else, so why the hostility?
    You don't hafta be like us jut like we don't hafta be like you, you can be whoever you want to be because you already are what you are.

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  • 184. At 7:00pm on 25 Dec 2010, LucyJ wrote:

    Jim wrote: In recent weeks the panel have sat there making it very plain that they think it`s empowering to wear a burka across your face in England and racist to object to that idea....and it`s racist to call for "British jobs for British people"!
    --------------------------

    Personally, I am against the burka for security purposes and also because I believe it lowers a female's worth by not allowing her to show her face, hence, not allowing her to expand and transcend...but that's just me...

    I am all about calling for American jobs for the American people, especially in a day and age of mass illegal immigration...

    Its outta control here and beyond intense...






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  • 185. At 7:02pm on 25 Dec 2010, LucyJ wrote:

    Chryses wrote: You post that as if speaking Spanish at home is bad. Why?
    --------------------

    Because there is no stat to determine whether or not these people are able to speak English also...

    What if someone is injured and you can't help them because you don't know what they are saying?

    What if someone is telling you there is a terrorist or human smuggler but you don't know what they are saying?


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  • 186. At 7:52pm on 25 Dec 2010, hms_shannon wrote:

    179. At 5:27pm on 25 Dec 2010, worcesterjim wrote:


    To give Americans an idea of the situation in the UK ....we have a weekly national political debate programme on television called "Question Time".... which is our chance to hear our politicians debate current issues.
    ------
    At least we agree on some thing,its a good program.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In recent weeks the panel have sat there making it very plain that they think it`s empowering to wear a burka across your face in England and racist to object to that idea....and it`s racist to call for "British jobs for British people"!
    ------
    If they looked like some of the locals around here it should be compulsory !,I don't know if you are totally right with the second point.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------


    Now that`s mainstream political opinion in England...an England where it`s racist to ask for an English political assembly but racist to complain about the Irish Scots and Welsh peoples having a political assembly of their own!?
    --------

    Life is a bummer,Old Edward 1 gave us a hell of a time,all these massive
    castles here in Wales were not built for post card back drops,we fought hard & lost,lost our lands & culture for a while.But no hard feelings,
    when we beat you guys at rugby its not just a game ;).Giving us an assembly takes the heat out of the Welsh Nationalists longing for a time
    that they romanticise about,Lost causes = pain in the arse.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    We don`t need a Tea Party....we have already got a Mad Hatter`s Tea Party governing us now!
    ---------
    I`m late, I`late,for a very important date, no time to say hello, goodbye
    I`m late I`m late I`m late..

    Best wishes from Wonder land...

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  • 187. At 7:54pm on 25 Dec 2010, Chryses wrote:

    LucyJ, (#185. At 7:02pm on 25 Dec 2010)

    ”Chryses wrote: You post that as if speaking Spanish at home is bad. Why?

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


    Because there is no stat to determine whether or not these people are able to speak English also...
”

    I’m sorry – what is a “stat?”

    ”... What if someone is injured and you can't help them because you don't know what they are saying?
...”
    I suspect that non-verbal communicatition is up to that task. Pointing at the blood oozing from the gash on the face and loudly verbalizing “Aiiiiiiiii” would suffice, at least in most instances. If one or another appendage has an extra angle in it, many people would guess correctly that medical attention should be scheduled. If the individual in question is inert and still, even if English was their native tongue, the issue would be mute.

    ”... What if someone is telling you there is a terrorist or human smuggler but you don't know what they are saying?”
    Ignorance is biss!

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  • 188. At 8:16pm on 25 Dec 2010, Curt Carpenter wrote:

    OK listen.

    What I don't understand is why God would want to terrorize shepherds on a silent night, holy night and make them quake. I mean, let's face it, shepherds are usually pretty nice, harmless people that tend their flocks and don't cause trouble for anyone. They're often children, for crying out loud!

    It just doesn't make any sense!

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  • 189. At 8:18pm on 25 Dec 2010, BK wrote:

    It is time for "regressive" government in the U.S., meaning: government which busies itself undoing the regulatory maze which burdens businesses, in particular small businesses; and, government which eliminates social regulations which create divisiveness and special rights...Executive Order 11256 (Affirmative Action) comes to mind; and, government which eliminates usless departments which have no current function, Selective Service? Department of Energy? and on, and on.

    We do not need more laws, more rules, more regulations...we need fewer, and we need the few we have to be reasoned, cogent, and pragmatic rules resulting in what they intended when written.

    This Congress also needs to enforce single-subject legislation...no riders, no earmarks, no off-topic additions in future legislation...that elimination alone would reduce the Obamacare legislation by about 400 pages.

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  • 190. At 8:18pm on 25 Dec 2010, McJakome wrote:

    174. At 4:58pm on 25 Dec 2010, Chryses wrote:
    JMM, (#173. At 4:17pm on 25 Dec 2010)

    "It is eerie being able to count the number very similar memories we share."

    I agree. That is why I was so sure we had met. There are three people that I know who could be posting as you post and in the way that you post [i.e. who could be you]. We have probably visited, if not worked, in some of the same places [KSA: Abha-Khemis, Jeddah, Riyadh, Tabuk; Iran: Rasht, Teheran, Zanjan; Japan: Fukuoka, Toyama; Korea: Seoul, Suwon, Taejon; Turkey: Gaziantep; U.A.E.: Dubai]. Remember how I quizzed you a while ago?

    And, to answer some of the paranoid suspicions above, no, I am not now nor have I ever worked for the BBC. For a few years I worked for a company owned by the Daily Mail. However, I am not a journalist.

    I am also not at all fond of censorship, and have never used the "complain about comments" button as a consequence. I did once suggest [as a reflection of another poster's "get lost"] that said poster might want to take own advice. This being a British site, paid for by British fee payers, posters, especially non-British posters, are guests who should mind their manners.

    I suspect that our Weltanschauung is reflective of those experiences and may be quite similar, including [to judge by myself and other expats] a somewhat weird sense of humor.

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  • 191. At 8:38pm on 25 Dec 2010, worcesterjim wrote:

    183/184...Lucy..

    Great Britain is the bigger island of the two "British Isles"...Ireland being the smaller one...the "great" is a reference to it being bigger not better....or a country.

    The UK is the Union of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.The British Isles are run from the USA....see Washington/Wall Street and Queen Hilary Clinton and Wikileaks for details.

    Europe`s empires were effectively taken over by the CIA after WW2 ...the EU is a creation of American interests...look up Bilderberger and George Soros and NATO and read between the lines of Wikileaks for a better appreciation of US involvement in the EU ..in which the UK is a hostage and milch cow.

    The Irish can be a nation and so can the Kosovon Albanians...if it suits the USA....but the English have a precious possession of Wall Street in our capital London...called the City of London....and you lot aren`t going to let the English control that any more than you will let us leave your EU project."You" being your rich american elite....not peasants like you and me.!!!

    While I appreciate your views on the burka and migration please don`t imagine that I can agree with you without risking imprisonment for some form of alleged hatred.Watch BBC broadcasts for further details of what I can and can`t think say and do in what we used to call "my own country"

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  • 192. At 8:44pm on 25 Dec 2010, Complete Bob Marley and the Wailers wrote:

    So this Tea Party movement which grew since / because of the new President, screeching mantras such 'take the country back', is trying to say they are not racist.
    Well folks, you can fool some of the people some of the time.. but you cant fool all of the people all of the time.

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  • 193. At 8:56pm on 25 Dec 2010, Complete Bob Marley and the Wailers wrote:

    Jim. Immigrants have been in the UK for over 60 years now so get over it. Many are well educated and qualified working as doctors, accountants and in other professional fields. The fact many local british have not achieved the same qualifications is testimony they are far too complacent, when they are just as intelligent in fact.

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  • 194. At 9:35pm on 25 Dec 2010, chronophobe wrote:

    Holy Christmas miracle, Batman! I agree with something Krauthammer says: "Obama came back with a vengeance. His string of lame-duck successes is a singular political achievement. Because of it, the epic battles of the 112th Congress begin on what would have seemed impossible just one month ago - a level playing field."

    Let the games begin ...

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  • 195. At 9:42pm on 25 Dec 2010, chronophobe wrote:

    And Mark, I would add my voice to IF and others lamenting the quick closure of threads. As someone who is perennially late to the party, I'd certainly appreciate it if they were open longer.

    I don't know if this is something over which you have control. But if it is, please consider letting threads live a longer life.

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  • 196. At 9:58pm on 25 Dec 2010, chronophobe wrote:

    Happy Christmas and Happy Holidays to all!

    I'm about fed up with the usual drivellish 'Xmas' music, so here's something genuine.

    It's maybe a bit gloomy for Christmas, but it seems to me to affirm from the darkness.

    My best wishes for peace, prosperity, health, and happiness to all.

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  • 197. At 10:17pm on 25 Dec 2010, worcesterjim wrote:

    @193Bob..immigrants have been drifting in for thousands of years in wave after wave... and many took root by killing off those who preceded them ..and later by ethnically cleansing whole towns like Luton and Leicester.
    No ..I am not getting over it...because "it" has been a huge social injustice to folk whose ancestors may have been here for thousands of years.
    Nor will I casually accept the destruction of what was until recently an advanced western secular rational educated democratic society by people who are corrupt and dishonest and fascistic and believe in religious and social ideas I find alien and in some cases barbaric (see reports into deaths of Victoria Climbie ans Damilola Taylor or the suppression of the expenses scandal involving Lord Paul and Baroness Uddin).

    But don`t worry...apparatchik Bob...the BBC and Westminster are under your stewardship now....so I wish you good luck with what remains of my children and grandchildren`s birthright....and may God help them because I very much doubt you will!

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  • 198. At 10:40pm on 25 Dec 2010, Complete Bob Marley and the Wailers wrote:

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

  • 199. At 11:07pm on 25 Dec 2010, Complete Bob Marley and the Wailers wrote:

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

  • 200. At 11:07pm on 25 Dec 2010, worcesterjim wrote:

    Don`t waste your time "Bob"...it`s no good thinking up smarmy condescending replies in grammatically correct English ...when your earlier posts were delivered in a ghetto "English" meant to suggest you were an effnik bruvver..Yo Relax!I`m outa here!

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  • 201. At 00:04am on 26 Dec 2010, JClarkson wrote:

    #192

    "Well folks, you can fool some of the people some of the time.. but you cant fool all of the people all of the time."


    Someone has been fooling you, all of the time. How do you explain that?

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  • 202. At 00:33am on 26 Dec 2010, Chryses wrote:

    Curt Carpenter, (#188. At 8:16pm on 25 Dec 2010)

    ”... It just doesn't make any sense!”
    The Mods move in mysterious ways their wonders to perform!

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  • 203. At 00:34am on 26 Dec 2010, Complete Bob Marley and the Wailers wrote:

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

  • 204. At 02:06am on 26 Dec 2010, american grizzly wrote:

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

  • 205. At 02:33am on 26 Dec 2010, american grizzly wrote:

    Oh, Merry Christmas Jay, I got a new semi-automatic pistol, for target practice. Until the day the UN comes to strip the sovereignty of the US, in the NEW ein, zwei, drei, World ORder of George Soros and the rest of the leftist fascists. I will be here until I breathe my last.

    "Instead of sitting down satisfied with the efforts we have already made, which is the wish of our enemies, the necessity of the times, more than ever calls for our upmost circumspection, deliberation, fortitude, and perseverance. Let us remember that 'if we suffer tamely a lawless attack upon our liberty, we encourage it, and involve other in our doom.' It is a very serious consideration, which should deeply impress our minds, that millions yet unborn may be the miserable sharers of the event." Samuel Adams

    "He that lives on hope will die of fasting." Benjamin Franklin

    Live Free or Die.

    Today was a wonderful day, full of family, friends, traditions, and goodwill to others. Merry/Happy Christmas to all and to all a good night.

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  • 206. At 02:57am on 26 Dec 2010, american grizzly wrote:

    Why does the BBC remove comments that are recorded facts, or when they are published in respected News organizations. I find that odd. Lastly will the UN indigenous people policy protect Britians from immigrant invasion and grant them special rights, as they are trying to use this now in other countries? I mean whats good for the goose is good for the gander no? The UN does the BBC have an office there to get what to print, after it is reviewed?

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  • 207. At 10:15am on 26 Dec 2010, worcesterjim wrote:

    Good questions American Grizzly....sadly the BBC doesn`t trouble its almighty righteous ego with introspection.

    Imagine a bunch of insufferably smug smart-arse puritans abroad in the world putting every other nation (except USA/Israel) to rights while supporting a decadent libertarian sleezy neo-dickensian society at home.Hypocrisy doesn`t begin to describe it.

    If you can bear to watch him just imagine that Graham Norton is the beating heart and conscience of the real British BBC..(`spose you Yanks just luuuurv the way he adores you all and represents British manhood over there!)

    Meanwhile our "serious" BBC commentators can be found going through the dirty linen of everyone and ever nation that your friend Mr Soros seeks to replace with his new-enlightenment capitalist "open(secret?)societies"......except (of course)the real dirt-poor USA ..or Israel...or sink estate Britain.(They have a blind spot for their own backyard!)

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  • 208. At 1:04pm on 26 Dec 2010, Complete Bob Marley and the Wailers wrote:

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

  • 209. At 1:08pm on 26 Dec 2010, amaryr wrote:

    @205 -208 (and others!)

    Good grief, the lunatics have taken over the asylum!

    As LucyJ might say - go BBC! Free speech rules - yaaay!

    Oh! The irony!

    ( Groans - turns over, goes back to sleep)

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  • 210. At 1:11pm on 26 Dec 2010, worcesterjim wrote:

    Come on moderator...let Completely Batty Bob Marley have his say....what`s freedom of speech for if you can`t use it?

    You can always edit the bits lawyers would object to having published.
    It`s the season of good will...smile and give him a chance....I am certainly not afraid of him!

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  • 211. At 1:24pm on 26 Dec 2010, John_From_Dublin wrote:

    # 209 amaryr wrote:

    "@205 -208 (and others!)

    Good grief, the lunatics have taken over the asylum!"

    Well put.

    Maybe not taken over, but certainly making the most noise.

    Wasn't it a founding slogan of the Beeb that 'nation shall speak unto nation' or some such?

    It's so nice that the web is allowing the tinfoil hat brigade on both sides of the Atlantic to join hands and sing 'the BBC/liberals/gays/UN/foreigners are coming to get us'...


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  • 212. At 1:24pm on 26 Dec 2010, Chryses wrote:

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

  • 213. At 1:35pm on 26 Dec 2010, Chryses wrote:

    John_From_Dublin, (#211. At 1:24pm on 26 Dec 2010)
    With Christmas greetings as the refrain!

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  • 214. At 1:41pm on 26 Dec 2010, amaryr wrote:

    @ 211

    Love it!

    Looking forward to a new thread from Mark Mardell, and hoping a blow will be struck for sanity.

    Until then I'm staying on my porch with my nice new automatic pistol - peace to all mankind at this festive time - just awatchin' them bends in the road in case a sneaky liberal minces up and attempts to educate me.

    Happy Boxing day! Enjoy the cold cuts and bread sauce.

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  • 215. At 1:49pm on 26 Dec 2010, Chryses wrote:

    amaryr, (#214. At 1:41pm on 26 Dec 2010)

    ”... Happy Boxing day! Enjoy the cold cuts and bread sauce.”
    And to you and yours!

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  • 216. At 3:57pm on 26 Dec 2010, LucyJ wrote:

    amaryr wrote: Please end the "This thread is closed for comments". At the least it stops potentially interesting "conversations", and at the most it limits free speech.
    -----------------------------
    Guess they didn't 'hear' you...

    I wonder if its on a time limit, comment limit, or if they stop the blog just when they feel like it?
    -----------------------------
    amaryr wrote: Posters like Lucy certainly add spice and interest to the blog, but if I had a student in my class who exhibited the same inability to adapt and grow I would indeed despair. Reading the utter confusion of thought on the previous few entries on her perceived need for separate quarters for gays feels as though one has stepped through the mirror and joined Alice through the looking glass!
    ----------------------------
    Depends on what class it tis...philosophy or psychology? Yeamp....I can see that...actually, my mind is very expansive, but in an American way, which is simply different than the way European minds work...
    We just don't think the same, but that's a good thing, because it brings more to the table when we put our minds together to work on a project.
    You guys seem to think your way is the right way, but its all simply people's opinions of what's right and wrong, so who is to say one is actually better than the other or what is right, when right and wrong is all in one's mind and often much comes from the way being raised?

    Aren't laws reflections of that particular era?
    Just the way movies reflect a particular era?

    Laws change, movies change, life changes, all while some things stay the same...so due to this, maybe everybody and everything makes sense, but sometimes it does not translate the way it was meant to be.

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  • 217. At 4:01pm on 26 Dec 2010, LucyJ wrote:

    John wrote: I initially assumed that your whine was about straight people having to use the same quarters as gays. Now it appears that it is with gays using the same quarters as gays. And your claim that, if this is allowed, straight males and females must be allowed – or is it compelled? – to share the same quarters. [Or is it that no 2 gays should be allowed in the same barracks?]
    -----------------------------
    The military separates straight males and straight females due to not wanting 'distractions' right?

    So if a straight male and straight female's relationship together is considered to be equal to two gay males or two lesbian females, then why would we not treat them the same housing wise?

    After all, when women were integrated into military, they were put into separate housing than males- why? Because they were not the same as males...

    Some straight people join the military to meet spouses, so why wouldn't gay people do the same?

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  • 218. At 4:04pm on 26 Dec 2010, LucyJ wrote:

    John wrote: I should firstly say I naturally assume that, in any military where gays serve openly, the rules on sexual relationships are the same for straights as gays. I understand that they tend to be frowned on at best, & forbidden in some cases [eg between a superior & subordinate, to prevent any harassment or intimidation.]
    ----------------
    What would a single straight man likely love?

    To be housed with a lot of beautiful single girls!


    What would a single gay man likely love?

    To be housed with a lot of hot single guys!


    You get the picture, John?

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  • 219. At 4:10pm on 26 Dec 2010, LucyJ wrote:

    John wrote: How does that differ from when Truman introduced racial integration over 60 years ago? And please don’t churn out more of your irrelevant and ridiculous non sequiturs and twaddle...
    ------------------
    I happen to like non sequiturs and twaddle...
    And what's better than being 'ridiculous'?

    What happens if some gay males in a unit or some lesbian females in a unit get 'distracted' by each other because they are attracted to each other and it throws off the mission, thus harming the mission because they are housing together with people they are attracted to?

    If straight males and straight females are not allowed to be housed with the opposite sex because the military does not want distractions or attractions, why allow gays a priviledge that straights can't have?

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  • 220. At 4:25pm on 26 Dec 2010, worcesterjim wrote:

    I suppose you could all ask what your military are doing and whether it really reflects what you believe they should be doing by way of protecting your way of life?

    A lot of modern so-called politics is really a distraction from what truly matters....what the Romans called Bread and Circuses.

    Do you believe in the wars your military and ours are engaged in?I don`t ....and I grieve for the hundreds of thousands of dead people far more than I care about silly gender/sexual politics.

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  • 221. At 4:27pm on 26 Dec 2010, LucyJ wrote:

    Chryses wrote: I’m sorry – what is a “stat?”
    ---------------------
    A statistic...which is different than a poll, which is opinions by a select group- not whole population, while statistics are facts...
    ---------------------
    Chryses wrote: I suspect that non-verbal communicatition is up to that task. Pointing at the blood oozing from the gash on the face and loudly verbalizing “Aiiiiiiiii” would suffice, at least in most instances.
    ---------------------
    Lol @ your description, which does bring about a laugh.
    But seriously, what if they had swallowed poison on accident or the kid was a diabetic? What if a child was trapped somewhere, you couldn't see them and method of speaking English was only way to save the person?
    What if that person had some unusual medical condition which could not be seen?
    What if a child wanted to tell someone they or someone else were being abused or hurt, but you could not understand them?
    How would you tell then?
    
----------------------
    Chryses wrote: Ignorance is biss!
    ----------------------
    So if an illegal was telling you a terrorist was about to set off a bomb that was gonna blow up your entire town and you could not understand them due to them not knowing your language despite crossing illegally, would you simply say ignorance is bliss?
    ---------------------
    Jim wrote: Europe`s empires were effectively taken over by the CIA after WW2 ...the EU is a creation of American interests...look up Bilderberger and George Soros and NATO and read between the lines of Wikileaks for a better appreciation of US involvement in the EU ..in which the UK is a hostage and milch cow.
    ---------------------
    Bilderberger is the Europeans, too, Jim, not just Americans!
    In fact, the Europeans are the ones running most everything!

    As for EU, personally, I don't like it, because it makes the individual countries not seem as individual by grouping them all as one, hence, losing the originality of what makes Europe Europe, but that's just me!

    BS. BTW, What is a 'milch cow'?
    -----------------------
    Jim wrote: but the English have a precious possession of Wall Street in our capital London...called the City of London....and you lot aren`t going to let the English control that any more than you will let us leave your EU project."You" being your rich american elite....not peasants like you and me.!!!
    ----------------------
    The English...hmmmm...anyhew, London belongs to you, so ultimately, its your land, not ours or anyone else's...
    --------------------------
    Jim wrote: While I appreciate your views on the burka and migration please don`t imagine that I can agree with you without risking imprisonment for some form of alleged hatred.Watch BBC broadcasts for further details of what I can and can`t think say and do in what we used to call "my own country.
    --------------------------
    You get 'imprisonment' for expressing your views?

    I guess I just don't understand that...

    Unless you mean its the ultrraliberal politically correct police who only accept one method or way of life?

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  • 222. At 4:42pm on 26 Dec 2010, LucyJ wrote:

    Jim wrote: Do you believe in the wars your military and ours are engaged in?I don`t ....and I grieve for the hundreds of thousands of dead people far more than I care about silly gender/sexual politics.
    -----------------------
    I believe Great Britain is here for a reason, to start the world a 'going', I believe that USA is here for a reason, that we were created to stop bad intentions, such as world takeovers...every country is here for a reason, some reasons unknown. However, as other countries can be corrupted, if we are not careful, we can be, too...the American people are a very trusting bunch and we let our guard down just long enough for some to take much advantage over us and use it simply to make money and for power...

    I believe that USA should have had a short war with a lot of power and bursts, using all weaponry we had, then brought our people back within one to two years.

    I do believe in the war against fighting terrorists, however, I believe we went about it the wrong way and we should have been gone within two years...

    The mistake was in making it long-term.
    But I can say all this in hind-sight.
    Its too late now to do-over.

    But do I believe anyone died in vain?
    No, I do not.
    I believe they all died fighting for our country and I do not believe a single person died in vain, because they were fighting for us, for what they believed was right, and for what they believed was worth fighting for. There is no greater gift from God than one's family and country...
    Is it worth fighting for?
    Yes.

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  • 223. At 5:45pm on 26 Dec 2010, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    169. At 3:57pm on 25 Dec 2010, seanspa wrote:

    Wishing everyone a merry xmas (or whatever you want out of today as long as it's positive) and a happy new year.

    __________

    Dear Seanspa:

    Long time, no hear.
    Hope you had a good Christmas, with lots of snow in sunny Idaho.

    Yours,

    IF

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  • 224. At 5:48pm on 26 Dec 2010, quietoaktree wrote:

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

  • 225. At 5:58pm on 26 Dec 2010, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    222. At 4:42pm on 26 Dec 2010, LucyJ wrote:

    "I believe that USA should have had a short war with a lot of power and bursts, using all weaponry we had, then brought our people back within one to two years."

    "I do believe in the war against fighting terrorists, however, I believe we went about it the wrong way and we should have been gone within two years..."

    __________

    Lucy:

    Wars against terrorists are not won quickly, and they are not won with overwhelming firepower. You do not win wars against terrorists be increasing the body count. Increasing body counts is a measure of increasing polarization in the population, which equates to a more deeply entrenched resistance, and more recruits for the terrorists. When that happens, the terrorists have won.

    You win wars against terrorists by decreasing the body count and making it easier for the general population to get on with their lives. A government fighting terrorism wins by showing that its reactions are measured and reasonable, by being careful and patient. It must not over-react.

    These struggles are won be the slow, steady and consistent application of two principles:

    First, if you would have justice, you must do justice.

    Second, security services are most effective where they discretely present, and least lethal.

    There's a really good book, written a century ago by a Joseph Conrad: "The Secret Agent".

    __________

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  • 226. At 6:18pm on 26 Dec 2010, quietoaktree wrote:

    LucyJ

    "I believe they all died fighting for our country and I do not believe a single person died in vain, because they were fighting for us, for what they believed was right, and for what they believed was worth fighting for. There is no greater gift from God than one's family and country...
    Is it worth fighting for?
    Yes."

    --- You allow other people countries and systems to hold the same ´Belief ´?

    -- What does 1000´s innocents murdered in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan to do with this ´gift from God´?

    --the mind boggles at this simplicity justifying continual American wars.


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  • 227. At 6:57pm on 26 Dec 2010, Chryses wrote:

    LucyJ,(#221. At 4:27pm on 26 Dec 2010)

    All of what you had to say failed to get me to understand why you seem to think that speaking Spanish at home is somehow bad. One of my wife’s grand uncles spoke German at home with his wife until they passed away. They seemed to me to be OK folk.

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  • 228. At 7:05pm on 26 Dec 2010, Chryses wrote:

    quietoaktree, (#226. At 6:18pm on 26 Dec 2010)

    ”... the mind boggles at this simplicity justifying continual American wars.”
    Reality often differs from theory.

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  • 229. At 7:39pm on 26 Dec 2010, hms_shannon wrote:

    If the war on terrorism was so vital so absolute how come Blair & Bushes
    kids are not on the front line? or better still Blair & Bush them selves.At least prince Harry was on the sharp end until his cover was blown.If you want respect lead from the front...

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  • 230. At 7:48pm on 26 Dec 2010, Chryses wrote:

    JMM, (#190. At 8:18pm on 25 Dec 2010)

    "... That is why I was so sure we had met .. ."
    Perhaps, but I think it is only a similarity.

    "... We have probably visited, if not worked, in some of the same places [KSA: Abha-Khemis, Jeddah, Riyadh, Tabuk; Iran: Rasht, Teheran, Zanjan; Japan: Fukuoka, Toyama; Korea: Seoul, Suwon, Taejon; Turkey: Gaziantep; U.A.E.: Dubai] ..."
    Our experiences overlap in the M.E. Most of my expatriate background lies in East Africa.

    "... I suspect that our Weltanschauung is reflective of those experiences and may be quite similar, including [to judge by myself and other expats] a somewhat weird sense of humor."
    Humor often doesn't travel well.

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  • 231. At 7:56pm on 26 Dec 2010, Chryses wrote:

    ukwales, (#229. At 7:39pm on 26 Dec 2010)

    "... At least prince Harry was on the sharp end until his cover was blown.If you want respect lead from the front..."
    I think it has been a while since that's happened!

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  • 232. At 8:01pm on 26 Dec 2010, dceilar wrote:

    SeansPa @ 169

    A merry Christmas and a happy new year to you too. In fact merry Xmas and happy new year everyone. Let's hope 2011 is peaceful!!

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

    Chryses @ 96

    The GOP, with their support of tax cuts which they believe will stimulate growth, have policies that are inflationary. They oppose QE because it creates inflation!! I have a nose that tingles when contradictions come my way and I can spot a contradiction here. Besides, inflation in the US is very low, deflation is a real threat for the GOP political and business elite.

    Deflation is good for the low paid or those on fixed incomes. It is unlikely that the minimum wage will be cut because of deflation. That would deflate the economy even further. The US would be trapped in a mire unable to move whilst it steadily sinks. I've said it before and I'll say it again: the US needs to stimulate economic activity in the working and middle classes not the top. Wealth has never trickled down to eradicate unemployment and it never will. The richest will always go to where the money is.

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  • 233. At 8:17pm on 26 Dec 2010, Complete Bob Marley and the Wailers wrote:

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

  • 234. At 8:24pm on 26 Dec 2010, worcesterjim wrote:

    Does the USA "need" to stimulate economic activity in the working and middle classes dceilar?

    Surely the American rich rely on investing in the efforts of cheap foreign labour and Chinese industry? Why should they care about employing Americans?

    Same in Britain....where organised labour and our Labour Party seem as keen to draw in cheap immigrant labour and export our industry as the "free traders" on the so-called right of politics.

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  • 235. At 8:38pm on 26 Dec 2010, Complete Bob Marley and the Wailers wrote:

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

  • 236. At 8:51pm on 26 Dec 2010, worcesterjim wrote:

    I`m struggling with the concept of a Glasweigan rastafarian "Bob" ..and it`s not a pretty sight so far!

    BTW...When I was a social worker one of my clients was an old white man who had been Haile Selassi`s driver in Ethiopia....respek!

    Very few people "blame" Indians or immigrants...they can see what is going on Bob....but when their kids are unemployed and in debt and Flash Bob comes past in his untaxed Merc.....well thinkit ou fo yousel Ska Baby!

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  • 237. At 11:35pm on 26 Dec 2010, amaryr wrote:

    @217-8-9

    Lucy, I say again. Gays and straights have been housed together in the military always. Simply because common sense has prevailed - and common courtesy to fellow human beings come to that - and, should some of the gay military population now feel free to be open about their preferences, discipline will be no different than it has always been. In fact it wouldn't be surprising to find the more open tolerant society resulting from the repeal of DADT, that the secrecy taken away from potential relationships will make it far easier for everyone, gay and straight, to relax and concentrate on the mission as you call it.

    I get the impression from your postings that you think gays are predatory and bound to seek out sexual favours right left and centre. And I expect there are a few who conform to this. But all my gay friends enter into long term relationships, and would be horrified to be so maligned. They are not sexual perverts, do not prey on small boys (or girls in the case of lesbians) are no threat to the straight population.

    In any closed society, like the military, relationships, whether same sex, opposite sex or close friendships are bound to be heightened. With the addition of danger on active service in the military, people will lay down their own lives to protect their buddies, their unit. So how you think that by some of the members of a unit caring deeply for one another would be threatened by gay comrades (who you must remember, have always been there anyway) I fail to fathom.

    Military units are controlled by an agreed and mutually respected set of rules, and officers and non-commissioned officers oversee this. Any perceived infraction arising from the repeal of DADT will be dealt with in the same way it always has
    been.

    Serving military, men and women, do share housing units when on active service, but most feel happier to room apart. Out in the field women are fighting alongside men now. No problem. Gay men and women are first and foremost men and women. They too would be more comfortable rooming with their own gender (Remember - men, women).

    Would it be a surprise to you to know that many gay people are attracted to the opposite sex? And value women (in the
    case of women, men) friends deeply.

    You need to stop being afraid of the differences that define us as human beings. Take away 'gay' and try substituting 'black', 'jew', 'Muslim', 'catholic', 'protestant' and perhaps you will see then how offensive and unnecessarily devisive your views are. You damage yourself holding these views, and others around you are damaged hearing them, particularly youngsters who need to learn to live in a fast changing, more tolerant society.
    '

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  • 238. At 11:44pm on 26 Dec 2010, amaryr wrote:

    Does anyone know what's happened to Saint Dominic? I miss his comments. He mentioned ill health occasionally, I do hope he's alright.

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  • 239. At 00:04am on 27 Dec 2010, JClarkson wrote:

    #237


    "Gays and straights have been housed together in the military always."

    Always is a mighty long time. Before Clinton's DADT, homosexuals were kicked out of the military and prevented from joining to begin with. During the Vietnam War draft days, homosexuality was your ticket off the draft.


    Maybe "always" means something like the last 15 years to you.

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  • 240. At 01:11am on 27 Dec 2010, amaryr wrote:

    @239

    Always means always. Those who were and are still silent about their sexuality have always been part of the military.

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  • 241. At 01:22am on 27 Dec 2010, JClarkson wrote:

    No doubt. But they weren't "housed together" as if anyone was aware of their existence. That's like saying that you and the fleas in your carpet are roommates. Yes, technically you are but only if you are aware of their existence and you tolerate it.

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  • 242. At 02:14am on 27 Dec 2010, Chryses wrote:

    worcesterjim, (234. At 8:24pm on 26 Dec 2010)

    "... Surely the American rich rely on investing in the efforts of cheap foreign labour and Chinese industry? ...
    As a rule of thumb, investment follows opportunity wherever it is discovered.

    "... Why should they care about employing Americans? ...
    There is lower risk in local versus foreign investment.

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  • 243. At 02:29am on 27 Dec 2010, amaryr wrote:

    @241

    Explain how they 'weren't housed together'.

    My fleas and I get like a house on fire. Don't change the subject.

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  • 244. At 05:24am on 27 Dec 2010, JClarkson wrote:

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

  • 245. At 05:39am on 27 Dec 2010, JClarkson wrote:

    #243

    "Explain how they 'weren't housed together'."


    Well, it's very simple really. There were no homosexuals in the military, before DADT. Not officially. The US military's system was quite simple. When enlisting or being drafted, every recruit was explicitly asked about homosexuality. And they signed on the form that said that they were not homosexual. If they lied, and then later on were caught*, they were dismissed from the military. Why? Because they lied on the recruitment form. The system was designed to allow the military to kick out the homosexuals for lying, not for being homosexuals. Being a homosexual kept you out of the military IF you did not lie about it. If you lied about it, the lying got you kicked out. It's a fine distinction.

    Clinton came along and banned the military from asking, in effect taking the military's ability to kick them out as liars. You can't be a liar if you are not asked about something you feel like lying about. Now Obama and the Democrat controlled congress, finished what Clinton has started. I got a laugh out of how they marketed it though, "we are repealing DADT" when in fact they were completing the plan put into place by DADT.

    So, there were no homosexuals "housed together" with the other soldiers, except by accident, before DADT. But they were homosexuals housed together with the straight soldiers SINCE DADT. Officially. See what I mean?

    Same as you and your flees, you are roommates accidentally, as long as you are not aware of them, they don't exist.


    "Don't change the subject."


    It's called an analogy.


    *edited for BBC consumption

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  • 246. At 07:58am on 27 Dec 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

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

  • 247. At 08:30am on 27 Dec 2010, Complete Bob Marley and the Wailers wrote:

    What a palaver it reminds me of all the unproductive conference calls and business meetings with americans where everyone is talking loud and saying nothing. This is all petty negotiations with no major changes. The rich have to pay 35% tax instead of 39% because Republicans claim it would help the economy if they pay less tax & now gays can fight in (illegal) wars (but should not sexually molest and torture prisoners like Tracie Lyndie England did).

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  • 248. At 08:35am on 27 Dec 2010, worcesterjim wrote:

    Well..as a person who took part in this debate in good faith may I register a complaint that overnight it as been edited in a way that removes the honestly expressed views of some participants.

    In 245 there`s a reference to the post being "edited for BBC consumption" but my fear is that the BBC is simply a tool of an American administration that planned to spy on and collect details of UN staff`s bank accounts,etc.

    The question the BBC has to answer in the court of human history and the age of Wikileaks is "who do THEY really speak for?"....I can tell you this...the BBC have not spoken for an ordinary British person like me for a very long time.

    Quite possibly the Beeb have been speaking for folk like George Soros and Hilary Clinton and the IRA and our so-called human rights and immigration industry ....but definitely NOT ME!!

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  • 249. At 08:46am on 27 Dec 2010, d_m wrote:

    246. At 07:58am on 27 Dec 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    "Just like many a pedophile loves to assume a position of a teacher in an elementary school. Or even a nursery."



    Now that's an interesting question. Are paedophiles gay? Or are they gay with a pathology? Or are they straight with a pathology? I don't know.

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  • 250. At 08:57am on 27 Dec 2010, d_m wrote:

    246. At 07:58am on 27 Dec 2010, powermeerkat wrote:


    "Just like many a pedophile loves to assume a position of a teacher in an elementary school. Or even a nursery."


    I vote for straiaght with a pathology.

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  • 251. At 09:41am on 27 Dec 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

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

  • 252. At 09:41am on 27 Dec 2010, worcesterjim wrote:

    And can I also register a complaint about the way people`s personal lives are being cynically used by politicians and the media as a smokescreen and a way to make it appear that the American administration are achieving important objectives when they are obviously hostages of global moneylenders and currency speculators and a capitalist elite that couldn`t give a damn about gay rights or feminism ...or even democracy itself.

    We went through all this "social enlightenment" honeymoon with Bill Clinton .....but once he had won the election the people who financed his campaign got him under their thumb and behaving like a Republican and repealing the Glass-Steagal Act....and that led to the biggest global financial meltdown since 1929.

    Now if you Americans are wise you will stop being suckered with stuff about gays in the services and find out why that financial meltdown happened and why the Madoffs of this world are still free to prey on us.

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  • 253. At 09:56am on 27 Dec 2010, d_m wrote:

    252. At 09:41am on 27 Dec 2010, worcesterjim wrote:

    "We went through all this "social enlightenment" honeymoon with Bill Clinton .....but once he had won the election the people who financed his campaign got him under their thumb and behaving like a Republican and repealing the Glass-Steagal Act....and that led to the biggest global financial meltdown since 1929.

    Now if you Americans are wise you will stop being suckered with stuff about gays in the services and find out why that financial meltdown happened and why the Madoffs of this world are still free to prey on us."

    ----

    I think you are confusing the best of all possible worlds with the real one.

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  • 254. At 10:00am on 27 Dec 2010, Complete Bob Marley and the Wailers wrote:

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

  • 255. At 10:02am on 27 Dec 2010, Complete Bob Marley and the Wailers wrote:

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

  • 256. At 10:25am on 27 Dec 2010, worcesterjim wrote:

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

  • 257. At 10:30am on 27 Dec 2010, worcesterjim wrote:

    Bob...I know you live in a New Labour induced fantasy world ...but the fact is that being black doesn`t make you an undiscovered genius ...any more than it makes you stupid.....now get over the fact that you and I are just ordinary mediocre people ....who do jobs like ambulance driving and selling things in shops ..and GET A JOB!

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  • 258. At 10:31am on 27 Dec 2010, Complete Bob Marley and the Wailers wrote:

    Jim, unfortunately you are wasting your time. No one here understands banking regulations for Hedge Fund's or the impact of US Banks buying and merging with UK and European Banks trading in Globals Markets, or the lack of transparency in underlying fund compositions and lack of regulation trading in Asset and Mortgage Backed Securities and Collateralized Debt Obligations Instruments and the amounts of money that US Credit companies used to put into the UK markets on a daily basis until they suddenly stopped lending etc.

    Additionally Americans prefer not to think by themselves out of the box independently and would rather wait until their favored party publishes the story line that they have to learn and then tell everyone about, especially when it comes to times of war

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  • 259. At 10:35am on 27 Dec 2010, hms_shannon wrote:

    238. At 11:44pm on 26 Dec 2010, amaryr wrote:
    Does anyone know what's happened to Saint Dominic? I miss his comments. He mentioned ill health occasionally, I do hope he's alright.
    ------------------------
    I hope so too,along with bepa whose husband was very ill.Not forgetting that awful but some how likeable MA2.With so many crazies out there one has to be careful,but over time some thing of the writer is revealed,can one become friends on the blog ?.I tended to think not,but may be I am wrong.

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  • 260. At 10:38am on 27 Dec 2010, Complete Bob Marley and the Wailers wrote:

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

  • 261. At 10:44am on 27 Dec 2010, d_m wrote:

    re 258 Complete Bob:

    Thinking of yourself as a victim absolves you from personal responsibility. I'm sure it's comfortingto do so, but not very realistic.

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  • 262. At 10:46am on 27 Dec 2010, d_m wrote:

    ukwales:

    What is the best time to visit Wales. How is it in the spring?

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  • 263. At 10:57am on 27 Dec 2010, Complete Bob Marley and the Wailers wrote:

    The Victims are the decimated Pension Funds with everyone elses life savings. You need to watch, understand and trace the Cash Movements into Client Accounts out of jurisdiction to understand the winners and losers in the great big financial swindle (zero sum game).

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  • 264. At 10:59am on 27 Dec 2010, Complete Bob Marley and the Wailers wrote:

    Some marks are stupid and don't know when they've been played.. but that's blind unquestioning trusting patriotism for you

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  • 265. At 11:06am on 27 Dec 2010, d_m wrote:

    re 283 Complete Bob:

    I didn't lose any money. I didn't make a lot of money for a while, but I didn't lose any. I don't want to sound callous, because I'm sorry for people lost the savings. Still, good investments remained good investments.

    Some people can always game the system. To paraphrase an old line: You can game some of the system all of the time and all of the system some of the time...

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  • 266. At 11:17am on 27 Dec 2010, Complete Bob Marley and the Wailers wrote:

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

  • 267. At 11:18am on 27 Dec 2010, worcesterjim wrote:

    Perhaps Bob could use his cnnections in the world of casino capitalism and get George Soros to join in the thread ...so we can get aquainted with this "open society" borderless future he has so kindly mapped out for us?

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  • 268. At 11:27am on 27 Dec 2010, d_m wrote:

    re 267 worcesterjim:

    That's the second time in less than a week that I've heard the term casino capitalism. I guess it just doesn't figure prominently in the stuff I read.

    We may well be evolving toward a borderless society, but it's not going to happen any time soon.

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  • 269. At 11:37am on 27 Dec 2010, worcesterjim wrote:

    d-m......could you elaborate on points 263 and 268 please? I don`t get your drift!
    Imagine that I am a rather simple elderly English chap who doesn`t have your background in American society or your grasp of matters financial.

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  • 270. At 11:41am on 27 Dec 2010, worcesterjim wrote:

    Do you Americans know anything about Wikileaks?If you have been reading that stuff and still imagine we aren`t moving to a borderless world perhaps you just assume that America rules the world regardless of our national boundaries?

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  • 271. At 11:45am on 27 Dec 2010, hms_shannon wrote:

    262. At 10:46am on 27 Dec 2010, d_m wrote:
    ukwales:

    What is the best time to visit Wales. How is it in the spring?

    ------------------------------
    The weather here in Wales is crucial for a successful visit.We get 4 seasons here, & some times in the same day.It seems to rain & rain but
    at least in summer that rain is warmer.
    Wales compared to the south of England is not as affluent & poverty can be a great preserver.The coast path is a simple path but the views are beautiful & totally unspoilt by development of any kind,I reckon world class.The accommodation here in Pembrokeshire when its good its very very good but when its bad its horrid .Keep away from pubs & clubs at closing & this is a quiet easy going place.So best time to visit is summer.

    Ps.There are ugly industrialised places in Wales,but travel a few miles & one would not know they existed.(but none in Pembrkshire)
    Lots of our roads go around things that used to be there, that & driving on the left makes for an interesting experience to the unwary,:)..

    Wales would suit a traveller with its lack of amenity's more so than a
    tourist.Hope this has been help full.
    Best wishes for the new year...



    http://www.visitpembrokeshire.com/content.asp?nav=4
    http://www.pembrokeshirecoast.org.uk/default.asp?PID=9

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  • 272. At 12:12pm on 27 Dec 2010, d_m wrote:

    re 269 worcesterjim:

    I would elaborate on post 263, but that was Complete Bob's post. So it would probably be better for him to do that.

    As for post 268, well, I was reading Gavin Hewitt's blog a few days back and someone there mentioned casino capitalism. First time I'd ever heard of it. Turns out it was British academic who coined the term--sometime in the nineties. And now you just mentioned it again. I guess it's current on your side of the Atlantic. I don't encounter it here. It just struck me as an interesting coincidence.

    It also strikes me that the world might eventually have a single goverment and no borders, but at some distant point in the future. Global corporate capitalism all ready acts in some ways beyond borders and national governments. But, I have no theory and certainly no conspiracy theory about it. It just strikes me, all things being equal, that the world is evolving that way.

    I'm no financial expert.

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  • 273. At 12:22pm on 27 Dec 2010, d_m wrote:

    re: 271. At 11:45am on 27 Dec 2010, ukwales wrote:

    Thanks. I was thinking May or possibly late April, while the kids are still in school. Rain, well that sounds like what we get here in western Washington state. On the Pacific coast, not far, as the crow flies, from where I live, there is a rain forest that gets upwards of 260 inches of rain a year. Fortunately we're drier than that where I am--more like 30 to 40 inches a year. Temperate marine is what they used to call this climate. I think the name has changed though.

    It was your descriptions of Wales that got me interested in visiting. I spent some time using Google to get a feel for the countryside. Looks beautiful. I'm sure I'll enjoy it.

    Thanks again.

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  • 274. At 12:26pm on 27 Dec 2010, worcesterjim wrote:

    Sorry ..er (can I call you "d" for short?)...I was having a senior moment...it was 253.
    Thanks for 272 and the news that you ...like me...are vaguely speculating... and don`t know much for sure ...and are avoiding conspiracy theories ..like I do.
    For a moment there I wondered if we were in multilogue with some real experts...but there`s something reassuring about all being equally in the dark together... with Bob!

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  • 275. At 12:39pm on 27 Dec 2010, lancelot83 wrote:

    I would disagree that it is the Republicans that will regard this as a 'period of unmitigated disaster'. Conservatives of either party preference will. (...and this is the part that always gets lost by those numerous Americans who cannot think in depth) The U.S. Constitution and it's fore fathers designed the framework of this country and also wrote warning future generations about the element of greed and how it can unravel the very fiber of our country.

    Limit the size of the Federal Government and you leave the people in power. Grow the size of the Federal Government and the people lose power.

    Create entitlements for people such as Social Security, Obamacare, and Medicare etc. and you create dependency on the Federal Government and have to grow the size of the Federal Government to run such entitlement programs and the people become more and more reliant on the Federal Government to make decisions for them.

    These entitlement programs cannot be paid for so the U.S. Government speeds up the printing press cranking out money faster and the media refuses to achknowledge that this not only devalues the U.S. dollar, it buries the U.S. for generations in debt while providing an excuse for generations to come to continue raising taxes to pay for these programs.

    Did anyone ever look at the states that Obama (Illinois - Democratic majority and bankrupt) and Pelosi (California - Democratic majority and bankrupt) come from?

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  • 276. At 12:43pm on 27 Dec 2010, worcesterjim wrote:

    I have a Welsh name and live close to the borders of Wales/England "d" and know Wales well.They can be a charmless insular lot and if you are used to American standards of hospitality UKW is right to suggest the relatively anglicised part called Pembrokeshire as a good bet.Look out for accommodation that advertises in the States ..and avoid "bargains"!
    Our western seaboard does have its share and more of wet weather...and our idea of summer can be an acquired taste!

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  • 277. At 12:49pm on 27 Dec 2010, Chryses wrote:

    worcesterjim, (#270. At 11:41am on 27 Dec 2010)

    ”Do you Americans know anything about Wikileaks? If you have been reading that stuff and still imagine we aren`t moving to a borderless world perhaps you just assume that America rules the world regardless of our national boundaries?”

    I would suggest that nothing of substance has changed in international politics since Lord Palmerston’s stated that “Her Majesty’s government has no permanent friends and no permanent enemies — only permanent interests.”

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  • 278. At 1:10pm on 27 Dec 2010, d_m wrote:

    re 274 worcesterjim:

    Sorry, I guess 253 was a bit cryptic, but I don't have time to elaborate now. I was alluding to Voltaire's Candide and the best of all possible worlds, which of course it isn't. Perhaps tomorrow night I can do a better job, assuming this thread is still open for comments and you are still interested.


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  • 279. At 1:38pm on 27 Dec 2010, worcesterjim wrote:

    275 and 277....Lancelot and Chryses..I think Lancelot may be forgetting that reducing the size of federal government doesn`t automatically empower the people...there`s a logical fallacy in their somewhere.

    You are assumimg that there are no other factors in the equation and that reducing one factor will necessarily bring an increase in the other.
    It`s a game our politicians play all the time....but here`s the truth....

    NEITHER the federal government NOR the people run our Anglosaxon virtual one-party states...as the recent financial crisis has established beyond argument.

    Doubtful? Well you could also ask:

    Why have your millions of unemployed got no health care in the richest nation on earth?

    Why are you fighting in Afghanistan in search of an Osama bin Laden who used to be a CIA operative?

    Why did Osama BL attack the World Trade Centre?

    You will be told I am a conspiracy theorist...but what if I am not one?
    Chryses

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  • 280. At 2:02pm on 27 Dec 2010, worcesterjim wrote:

    Chryses...a lot has changed since Palmerston`s time.Our permanent(?) interests have altered with our station in the world and rise of America and global capitalism and now Germany and China and Russia...and the devastating effects of world wars on the UK`s fortunes.

    We Brits might have won the wars in a technical sense but the USA got more powerful and we ended the last century as a puppet state run largely by American "interests"!

    Lord Palmerston would not recognise modern Britain as the world power he ran.

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  • 281. At 2:05pm on 27 Dec 2010, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #270
    worcesterjim wrote:
    Do you Americans know anything about Wikileaks?If you have been reading that stuff and still imagine we aren`t moving to a borderless world perhaps you just assume that America rules the world regardless of our national boundaries?

    _____________

    I know that Assange cares nothing about any lives lost due to his actions and that his protestations aside; his action help international terrorism

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  • 282. At 2:12pm on 27 Dec 2010, hms_shannon wrote:

    276. At 12:43pm on 27 Dec 2010, worcesterjim wrote:

    They can be a charmless insular lot and if you are used to American standards of hospitality UKW is right to suggest the relatively anglicised part called Pembrokeshire as a good bet.
    -----------------
    Ha ha ha of course you would find us insular,you being English & calling
    my county Anglicised is fighting talk.But actually you are not far off the truth,my northern country men as I have said before never came to terms with the Romans & still have that same mind set.I just want to tell
    the truth on this blog,with out painting false pictures.If any one is interested in walking/hiking & seeking out little jems, Barafundle bay, St Davids or Preseli hills then Pembrokeshire in good weather takes some beating.If one is not interested & the weather is poor its a wasted trip.
    There is nothing so dreary as Wales in the wet,well,may be Worcester ;).

    Regards UKW..




    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K4Wf5_EZsiE

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YGJWMFRI3WI&feature=related

    http://v-g.me.uk/Trips/T0716/T0716.htm

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  • 283. At 2:13pm on 27 Dec 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    "Why have your millions of unemployed got no health care in the richest nation on earth?"




    I didn't realise Lichtenstein and Monaco have millions of citizens.

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  • 284. At 2:59pm on 27 Dec 2010, Complete Bob Marley and the Wailers wrote:

    James. Any theory has to be analyzed investigated and proven which is relatively easy with accessible data from financial systems where trades and cash movements are kept on the books. Hedge funds like Madoff's are not regulated and trade off books. Likewise dubious transactions involved in fraudulent trading will have been layered and by now the holdings of guilty parties have been migrated and relevant financial systems archived and shut down. You need to identify which major global banks have merged, de-merged, migrated their client holdings including offshore accounts and archived systems in the last +10 years..i.e. before data has been shredded and destroyed to identify the perps who have already closed their accounts.

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  • 285. At 3:28pm on 27 Dec 2010, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    Returning to another end-of-year theme, it is, again, time to nominate a news service for its performance throughout the year.

    We have three national networks.

    The CBC is largely paid for by taxpayers. It is an arm's-length Crown corporation with a national mandate to produce programing reflecting the country. It is also something of a news service of record that takes its public affairs mandate quite seriously. While it is over-unionized and sometimes painful in its determination to produce programs reflecting the regional (some might say "provincial") nature of our federation, it is, by-and-large, a pretty good news service, and a network that does a pretty good job of developing interesting, high quality programming. All in all, the CBC is a national gem.

    From HNIC to Don Messer's Jubilee, the CBC has always produced great programming. The "Mother Corp." as it is sometimes known has been a repository of our cultural touchstones. It has been the development ground of hugely creative talent. It is the network that brought us Barbara Frum and Rick Mercer, Foster Hewitt and Ron McLean.

    One of CBC's most brilliant recent coups was to invade the figure-skating franchise of one of its competitors in "Battle of the Blades", a "Dancing with the Stars" style show. A combination of well known hockey stars with well known figure skaters, without the crooked judging of international skating competition, hosted by Ron McLean. Pure, undiluted, genius.

    ----------

    There are also have two commercial networks, CTV and Global.

    Roughly speaking, they are so bad, the Indian Head and Map of Canada test patterns look good in comparison. Indeed, thinking about it now, the adjective "bad" is accurate, yet nonetheless so woefully inadequate.

    Global is a shoe-string network. It has brought distinctive characters to light: This is the network that once brought us the Church of the Winnebago and Glow-Ball News with Don Harron. It also brought us Second City TV and Bob and Doug Mackenzie. For quite a while it seemed to survive on the basis of endless re-runs of The Simpsons and a license to broadcast the NFL on Sunday. A scrappy little network that survived on many years, often seemingly on the edge of bankruptcy, it is hard to remember what leading news stories it has ever broken, or any serious TV dramas it has ever produced and broadcast.

    The prize for true mediocrity, though, goes to CTV.

    CTV is the definitive argument for why it is essential to have a publicly funded, arm's length, national broadcaster. It is the clinching, convincing argument why we need the CBC, and should fund the CBC/SRC generously.

    If there were a lifetime achievement award for continuing mediocrity in broadcasting, it would have "CTV" written all over it. Even Global would be a distant also-ran - and that's saying something.

    The award for imported, continuous-loop gratuitous violence, vapid scripts and leaden dialogue in a dramatic series for the purpose of selling guns and automobiles?

    It could be given to almost any program CTV runs in prime time, any day of the week.

    Or how about the Ted Baxter - Kent Brockman prize for vacuous news broadcasting?

    CTV in a walk. The local news, in particular, can often be mistaken for a black humour self-parody.

    The prize for cheapskate network of the year determined to make sure that not one extra penny is spent on producing anything that might be mistaken for high quality production values?

    CTV would win every year.

    The prize for how many scenes from movies can we cut short to get even one extra ad for a two bit jewelry store or used car lot?

    CTV, by a mile.

    Or the related prize of how many critical plays from an NFL game can we miss while presenting one-commercial-too-many?

    CTV has no peer.


    Usually on Christmas Eve, the CBC runs old movies without commercials. It's an old Christmas tradition.

    Not CTV.

    This is a network that, on Christmas eve, ran "It's a Wonderful Life", and packed it with so many interruptions for commercials, and so many commercials in total, that you'd think they were running for a record in the Guinness Book: The evils of "Potterville", presented by the network that embodies the "Mr. Potter" vision of the world.

    What irony.

    ----------

    This year's prize for worst broadcast of a sporting event?

    And the winner is ...

    CTV, for its Olympic hockey non-coverage, where on occasion after occasion it managed to lose sight of the puck, or have the camera staring into the stands or aimed at center ice while the entire crowd of spectators in the arena was clearly watching something exciting in the corner of the rink - that, of course, the viewers couldn't see.

    Somebody needs to do the decent thing, and put CTV out of its misery.




    (Of course, the same thing needs to happen at MLSE, but in that case an anti-trust investigation resulting in the granting of three or four additional NHL hockey franchises in the golden horseshoe would solve the problem fairly quickly, too.)

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  • 286. At 4:42pm on 27 Dec 2010, worcesterjim wrote:

    284 and 285....Pardon?I feel as though I have just been trapped in a revolving door for five minutes! What was all that about... who is James and when did President Obama`s fortunes relate to the state of Canadian broadcasting?

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  • 287. At 4:43pm on 27 Dec 2010, Chryses wrote:

    worcesterjim, (#280. At 2:02pm on 27 Dec 2010)

    While I share your suspicion that Lord Palmerston would scarcely recognize today’s Great Britain, my reading of his opinion is that his principle aim in foreign policy was to advance the national interests of England.

    In that sense, I believe HM’s current government, led by Prime Minister Cameron pursues the same overarching policy.

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  • 288. At 4:49pm on 27 Dec 2010, worcesterjim wrote:

    281...That`s rubbish man. What he has done is confirm what we vassals in the USA`s global empire knew all along....that the Washington and Wall Street elites hold the Average american in as much contempt and disregard as they do us foreigners to your shores.
    What do you say to them breaking the UN charter and trying to get blackmailing material about UN personnel then Magikirin? Seems a pretty low activity for a people that pride themselves on their decency and integrity....doesn`t it??

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  • 289. At 5:03pm on 27 Dec 2010, worcesterjim wrote:

    287...Chryses....I am sure DC would like to give that impression....but there isn`t one major British government policy that I ever had a chance to debate or contribute to forming....or that I really agree with.

    Find me any current foreign policy objective of our Foreign Minister Mr Haigh (who got his job by applying for it at the US Embassy... according to Wikileaks!)that you imagine is in my interests and I will cheerfully disabuse you.

    As I see it we are nothing more than a puppet regime of the USA...but do point out what parts of "our" foreign policy are beneficial to us... because they all seem disasterously ruinously disadvantageous to me!

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  • 290. At 5:31pm on 27 Dec 2010, Chryses wrote:

    worcesterjim , (#279. At 1:38pm on 27 Dec 2010)

    "... NEITHER the federal government NOR the people run our Anglosaxon virtual one-party states...as the recent financial crisis has established beyond argument ..."
    Pardon me for belaboring the obvious, but would you flesh out why the recent financial crisis established beyond argument that neither the federal government nor the people run/are in control of our countries.

    "... Why have your millions of unemployed got no health care in the richest nation on earth? ..."
    Because they have not purchased the product.

    "... Why are you fighting in Afghanistan in search of an Osama bin Laden who used to be a CIA operative? ..."
    Because it was in Afghanistan that ObL's organization al-Qaeda was headquartered, and that was where he resided.

    "... Why did Osama BL attack the World Trade Centre? ..."
    Osama bin Laden said he did so because of injustices against the Lebanese and Palestinians by Israel and the United States.
    http://legacy.signonsandiego.com/news/nation/terror/20041029-1423-binladentape.html

    "... You will be told I am a conspiracy theorist...but what if I am not one?"
    OK. What if you are not a conspiracy theorist?

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  • 291. At 5:49pm on 27 Dec 2010, Chryses wrote:

    worcesterjim, (#289. At 5:03pm on 27 Dec 2010)

    "... Find me any current foreign policy objective of our Foreign Minister Mr Haigh (who got his job by applying for it at the US Embassy... according to Wikileaks!)that you imagine is in my interests and I will cheerfully disabuse you ..."
    Advancing democracy in lieu of alternative forms of government. Advocating Human Rights and Nuclear Non-Proliferation in lieu of the alternatives. Being a proponent of international trade, and the lowering of barriers thereto.

    "... As I see it we are nothing more than a puppet regime of the USA...but do point out what parts of "our" foreign policy are beneficial to us... because they all seem disasterously ruinously disadvantageous to me!"
    Perhaps it reduces to a POV, but I think that all the items I identified above operate to your advantage.

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  • 292. At 5:55pm on 27 Dec 2010, hms_shannon wrote:

    It may or may not be of interest,some may or may not have noticed, but there is a distinct difference between the English & Welsh :) ....

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  • 293. At 6:11pm on 27 Dec 2010, MagicKirin wrote:

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

  • 294. At 7:43pm on 27 Dec 2010, worcesterjim wrote:

    290 Chryses...I understand that we have a fundementally different perspective on what appears to be joint foreign policy.

    My position is that the British and other European nations created wordwide empires and allowed the development of Iraq and Israel and other middle eastern countries with a view to controlling the world for strategic and economic reasons ....and that when we were bankrupted by the second World War country after country gradually fell into the hands of the CIA ...although the fiction was that they were independent countries.

    The same is gradually happening throughout Europe as the EU s being used by the CIA and Soros and financiers to add Europe and the old Soviet Union countries to America`s empire....which is maybe starting to include Russia and China as the battle to spread "freedom and democracy" (so called) is used to allow international financiers and western friendly political and religious groups take over one country after another across the world.

    Whatever your opinions about these developments might be the question we should be asking is where it all leaves us as ordinary people in the Anglo Saxon countries.

    For example:

    Is it really in our interests to be fighting an unwinnable war just yards from the Chinese and Indian borders or constantly interfering in the Middle East?

    Why are our young people dying in wars and is it really to defend us or someone else?Is it really about freedom and democracy or money?

    To what extent was 9/11 OUR doing in the sense that we constantly interfere in the Muslim World?

    How can we working people hope to compete with workers in the slave economies ( Vietnam,China,India,etal)created by our financial elite as profitable investments for themselves....or with the millions of immigrants who our elites protect and traffick into our countries because they are cheap and they destabilise organised union labour trying to protect our jobs?

    Does "lowering the barriers to free trade" really help us?

    Have you ever heard any of these wealthy human rights folk bothering about your human rights?Or is it yet another means for our elites to interfere in other countries?

    How democratic are our countries when the only policy differences between the electable parties are truthfully very small ....and they break all their promises the moment they win the election anyway?

    Should an election campaign worthy of a democracy be more than the endless repitition of the word "change"?

    OK ..I could go on...but I sense we are using the same language but operating out of significantly different mindsets..so let`s leave it there!

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  • 295. At 7:45pm on 27 Dec 2010, Complete Bob Marley and the Wailers wrote:

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

  • 296. At 8:24pm on 27 Dec 2010, Tinkersdamn wrote:

    I've just been reading US Senator Bernie Sanders' filibuster from Dec. 10, 2010 (the transcript is available from his official government website by clicking on "newsroom" and then typing "filibuster" into the search box) and found many observations demonstrating a lack of corporate loyalty for any particular nation when the corporation didn't perceive it to be in its interests, government subsidies and bailouts notwithstanding, among thoughts on trade treaties and so much else. I found the following on page 5 of the transcript:

    "We bailed out Wall St. because they were too big to fail, three out of four of the largest financial institutions- all of whom were bailed out very significantly- are larger today than they were before the bailout.

    "Incredibly, since the start of the financial crises, Wells Fargo has grown 43% bigger, JP Morgan Chase has grown 51% bigger, and Bank of America is now 138% larger than before the financial crises began.

    "Instead of breaking up these folks, these institutions, we let them get bigger. In fact, according to Simon Johnson, former chief economist of the IMF: 'As a result of the crises and various government rescue efforts, the largest six banks in our economy now have total assets [he claims] of 63% of GDP... This is a significant increase from even 2006 when the same banks' assets were around 55% of GDP... a complete transformation from just fifteen years ago- when the six largest banks had assets of just 17% of GDP'.

    "Do you understand what this is about?... You talk about economic power, you talk about political power, that is what we're talking about.

    "According to the Washington Post: the four largest banks in America now issue one out of every two mortgages, two out of every three credit cards, and hold $4 out of every $10 in bank deposits in the entire country.

    "...Four large financial institutions [now with larger profits and bonuses than prior to the banking crises] that have assets that are more than half the GDP of the USA, places us, A, in a very dangerous position in terms of too big to fail, and, B, it is just bad for a competitive economy."

    There's a lot in this piece, and on a down snowy day... well why not.

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  • 297. At 8:46pm on 27 Dec 2010, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    286. At 4:42pm on 27 Dec 2010, worcesterjim wrote:

    "... when did President Obama`s fortunes relate to the state of Canadian broadcasting?"
    __________

    In a sense, every single day.

    The lack of an arm's length public broadcast service in the US has had a profound affect on American politics.

    CTV is the equivalent of a second or third rate, cheapskate, US regional broadcaster. The failings of CTV are the failings of the US broadcast media, particularly as those failings apply to public affairs programming. CTV is very nearly a caricature, or a parody, of what is bad about US broadcasting, with almost none of the redeeming features of what is good about US broadcasting.

    To watch CTV is to see the failings of the US broadcasters paraded endlessly before your eyes - the lack of "hard" news content; the sanitized, pasteurized pandering to advertisers that is "infotainment"; the persistent avoidance of anything remotely resembling or requiring thought; the constant diet of guns and car crashes; the over-emphasis on hot-button distraction issues, often presented in a grossly mis-leading manner, accompanied by the near silence on issues that pertain to how the bulk of our taxes are raised and spent; and the endless facile political slant of the programming whether news or drama.

    If you visit the US frequently, you will be aware of how hard it is to get news on TV - the concise, well presented news that you may take for granted because you can get the BBC, or Radio Netherlands, or DW, for example.

    All of the major US networks have "news" programs that present a very, very small amount of news buried in mountains of if-it-bleeds-it-leads dross. Well, if it were up to commercial networks like CTV, Canada would have the same problem.

    This is one of the problems whose combined effect is steadily to undermine the ability of America's democratic institutions to function. That is not a small issue, and it is not a parochial Canadians-only issue, either.

    America's inability, to date, to come to terms with its financial problems, and to take effective actions to put its financial house in order are, at root, problems of its institutions of governance. Think: most of the steps the Fed has taken to haul the country back from the brink of disaster, are ones that it had to take because Congress was unable to get its act together.

    America's inability to trim its foreign policy committments, and its defense budget, to reflect America's genuine interests in the world, rather than the influence and funding of powerful lobby groups and political action committees is, underneath, a problem of America's institutions of governance.

    America's inability to converge on a system of health care that consumes, say 10% of GDP instead of 17% of GDP, is, ultimately, a problem of America's institutions of governance.

    America's inability to do anything that offends the oil industry - an inability with huge negative consequences for American national security, energy policy, transport policy, taxes, health care, and environmental policy - is, ultimately, a problem of America's institutions of governance.

    Those problems bedeviled the first two years of President Obama's term.

    The rejuvenation and reinforcement of America's democratic institutions ought to be at the top of President Obama's agenda going forward.

    That means fixing the senate filibuster rules. It probably means an overhaul of the process by which judges are appointed to the Supreme Court. It means addressing the Gerrymandering problems. (How is it that the Supreme Court has not taken a whack at Gerrymandering in the last half century? How is it that over the last 25 years the Supreme Court has consistently sided with individual litigants whose activities, taken as a whole, have steadily undermined American democracy?) For certain it means addressing campaign finance reform. For certain it means resurrecting the fairness doctrine in broadcasting.

    ---------

    Yes, if the day should ever come that the CRTC pulls CTV's license, and auctions it to somebody who will do a better job, it would be a happy day for Canadian broadcasting, and an even better day for the health of our institutions of democracy.

    But if you think this is a Canadians-only problem, or one that doesn't have huge resonance in America, well, think again.

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  • 298. At 9:24pm on 27 Dec 2010, John_From_Dublin wrote:

    # 246. At 07:58am on 27 Dec 2010, powermeerkat wrote:
    “Lucy wrote: What would a single gay man likely love?

    To be housed with a lot of hot single guys!


    Just like many a pedophile loves to assume a position of a teacher in an elementary school. Or even a nursery.

    [As police records show]”

    Wow

    Pretty low, even by PMK standards.

    The fairly obvious reason it is not ‘just like ‘that is that paedophilia is illegal and immoral, since all civilised societies accept that children are not capable of giving informed consent to a sexual relationship.

    Adult soldiers are. The idea that gays will flock to join up so that they can ‘groom’ adult males, who will statistically speaking be very largely straight, is as ludicrous as it is offensive.

    Then again, as I have previously proved, facts bolstered by evidence are not PMK’s strong point.

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  • 299. At 9:27pm on 27 Dec 2010, John_From_Dublin wrote:

    # 238. amaryr wrote:

    “Does anyone know what's happened to Saint Dominic? I miss his comments. He mentioned ill health occasionally, I do hope he's alright.”

    Seconded.

    Even if I didn’t agree with a StD post, they were always thoughtful and well argued.

    Not something that can be said for all contributors...

    Unfortunately, I doubt if anyone does know – AFAIK it is prohibited to post email addresses here. Hopefully he’s just pursuing other interests – like a lot of others who have dipped in and out.

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  • 300. At 9:29pm on 27 Dec 2010, John_From_Dublin wrote:

    # 259 ukwales wrote:

    “Not forgetting that awful but some how likeable MA2”

    Well – half right...

    ;-P

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  • 301. At 9:51pm on 27 Dec 2010, Tinkersdamn wrote:

    IF #297:

    Amen- and a caveat: The rot from our corporate sponsored television news "shows" begins with we the people, and then gets to our institutions. The democratic reform must start with us, the people.

    Sometimes I fear we're being privatized straight to hexx.

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  • 302. At 10:00pm on 27 Dec 2010, JClarkson wrote:

    #297


    "For certain it means resurrecting the fairness doctrine in broadcasting."


    Hehe. That is one thing that is not going to happen. There is no implicit requirement that broadcasts be "fair", only that the speech be free.

    It's a fundamental principle of the US constitution and the SC has favoured the "marketplace of ideas" doctrine when it comes to free speech. If you are unfamiliar with the doctrine, Google it.

    Every idea (speech) has a market. The "fairness in broadcasting" crap is based on the idea that every market MUST have at least two (competing and opposed) ideas and that these competing ideas should be given equal airtime, in that broadcaster's market, in order that life become "fair"...

    It's as ridiculous as it sounds. To extend the metaphor, implementing F.I.B (heh!) would be like demanding that every market sell Pepsi and Coca-Cola or that every car dealership sell Ford and Chevrolet cars and so on.


    It's a feeble minded idea that has already been killed and buried, in the US, and will not be resurrected. It may be something that the European socialists may be interested in though. The US isn't.

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  • 303. At 10:06pm on 27 Dec 2010, JClarkson wrote:

    #301


    I suppose you would rather have the government meddle into your life, to a greater extent than the evil corporations already do and to a greater extent than it already has. You would prefer the government to give you the "news", your credit cards and tell you which brand of hot dogs to eat.

    Sucking on the governmental teat is a lot more noble that the the corporate abomination, isn't it? Of course it is. 10 out of 10 infants agree.

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  • 304. At 10:09pm on 27 Dec 2010, quietoaktree wrote:

    #292 UKWales

    -- with THAT chosen name and your lack of fervor for Welsh nationalism and independence --- you fooled me (and probably many others).

    Considering Marcus (bless his soul) -- I reached the (wrong ?) conclusion that he was a professional blogger for some American far right-wing Jewish organization.

    ---any other ideas ?

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  • 305. At 10:29pm on 27 Dec 2010, McJakome wrote:

    297. At 8:46pm on 27 Dec 2010, Interestedforeigner

    My old friend, I hate to leave you with a holiday nightmare, but if "the CRTC pulls CTV's license, and auctions it to somebody" Could you end up in even worse shape? I.e. could News Corp, FOX or Mr. Murdoch on his own take it over, which actually might please your current PM?

    Peace and have a happy remainder of your holiday weekend.

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  • 306. At 10:35pm on 27 Dec 2010, Tinkersdamn wrote:

    #303:

    What happens when government becomes little more than an appendage of corporate interests? I believe this is incrementally what we've been witnessing for decades.

    Though, if they wish to 'interfere' to ensure our food is safe to eat, our bridges able to withstand traffic, our water uncontaminated, our working environments as least hazardous as possible, or by even allowing us to buy medicare instead paying for comparatively inflated private insurance, then yes, if that's 'interference'- I'll take it.

    If you mean 'interference' in a negative way, could you give me some examples and show me when or if 'conservatives', once governing, have lessened any such 'interference'.

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  • 307. At 10:54pm on 27 Dec 2010, Chryses wrote:

    worcesterjim, (#294. At 7:43pm on 27 Dec 2010)

    Yes, it does seem that we have fundamentally different POVs. You do seem to be a bit of a conspiracy theorist.

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  • 308. At 11:07pm on 27 Dec 2010, quietoaktree wrote:

    #303 JClarkson

    -- I believe some countries´governments are better than others --as is their media and informed public.

    A problem arises when `Freedom of speech´ is dominated by ´Freedom of lies´ --dumbing down.

    I presume you did not call for government help after Katrina or the oil blow-out ?
    ---charity can solve Americas´ problems of unemployment, poverty and health ?

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  • 309. At 11:11pm on 27 Dec 2010, worcesterjim wrote:

    I must confess not to have known that much about US politics and the media...but your posts are beginning to explain the gradual errosion of political choice over here.
    I remember reading about US politics in the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century and being impressed with how enlightened you were over things like prison reform and the treatment of offendors and ensuring that working people got fair wages...but something regressive seems to have happened in th latter half of the twentieth century and now everything in the USA and Britain has to be done by private enterprise at the lowest cost...with inevitable results.
    A people who don`t own their own country can`t govern it.Anyone in the world with the money can buy us English people and our jobs and politicians and media and political parties and homes from under our feet courtesy of the principles of free trade.How "free" is that....and who gets to be free?
    We are wanted to fight wars and work for peanuts until an immigrant will do the job for less money...but what then?
    Everything that gives us a fair deal is classed as socialism and we are told "the country can`t afford it".....but we can afford wars and bailing out the bankers and foreign aid to every shyster in the rest of the world.
    Something stinks in Europe and America....maybe it`s time we asked when we are getting some of the freedom and democracy we are shoving down the throats of foreigners who don`t seem to want it anyway....perhaps they took a look at us and thought to themselves...NO THANKS!

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  • 310. At 11:15pm on 27 Dec 2010, JClarkson wrote:

    #306

    It has nothing to do with "conservatives" or "democrats", although I find it telling that you invoked the former, as if you perceived my comments as some sort of affront to the latter.


    Think about that.

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  • 311. At 11:24pm on 27 Dec 2010, worcesterjim wrote:

    Yes Chryses...whatever you say...I am a conspiracy theorist if it saves you the trouble of thinking outside your familiar comfort zone!!!!

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  • 312. At 11:27pm on 27 Dec 2010, quietoaktree wrote:

    #309 worcesterjim

    You appear not to be cursing a British Feudal system that existed BEFORE any foreigners bought anything ?

    -- a rather one-sided criticism.

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  • 313. At 11:30pm on 27 Dec 2010, JClarkson wrote:

    #309


    "Everything that gives us a fair deal is classed as socialism and we are told "the country can`t afford it".....but we can afford wars and bailing out the bankers and foreign aid to every shyster in the rest of the world."


    A deal, by definition, involves an exchange of goods or services, between two parties, for other consideration. That consideration is usually money.


    As a member of society, you are owed no "fair" deal. You may only fight for the best deal you can get. This expectation of a "fair" deal from the government, just because you happen to inhale oxygen and expel carbon dioxide in a particular society, is the root of all entitlement demands.


    Are you worried about companies letting you go in exchange for some cheaper immigrant labor? Get off your arse and make sure you stay competitive, in skills, to justify your higher wages. Otherwise you bring nothing to the table, over the immigrant, to even begin to hope for a "fair" deal.

    Oh but I was born here, I should be given preferential treatment. Yeah right. Accidents of birth have no economic value. But I paid taxes all of my life here! And you got some services for them. Paying taxes is not employment insurance. Paying taxes is not part of a deal where you pay the taxes and the government, in exchange for you taxes, will then guarantee your job and higher wages. That is not the "deal" and it never was.

    "A people who don`t own their own country can`t govern it."


    Wonderful. That is the Socialist slogan. People don't "own" countries, they can only own property. The property they pay for. People may own governments though. And the governments in turn own the people. But not their property.

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  • 314. At 11:34pm on 27 Dec 2010, JClarkson wrote:

    #308

    "A problem arises when `Freedom of speech´ is dominated by ´Freedom of lies´ "


    That's terrific. Fortunately, everyone is entitled to make up their own minds about what it true and what is a lie. It's part of being an adult. You don't like the product in a market? Shop elsewhere or open your own shop.

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  • 315. At 11:38pm on 27 Dec 2010, Tinkersdamn wrote:

    #310:

    I've read your comments, whether Clarkson, May, and some others. I think I have at least some understanding of the context of what you're suggesting.

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  • 316. At 11:41pm on 27 Dec 2010, Complete Bob Marley and the Wailers wrote:

    The best way to fight against corruption (and incompetence) in the system is to work within the system. That's the way the system works, raise issues against individuals and government agencies under Freedom of Information (FOI) and formal complaints to government departments and public authorities. Become active and get involved in government investigations and white papers as a stakeholder submitting views and receiving feedback, speak to MP's are raise issues with regulators and Ombudsman.

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  • 317. At 11:52pm on 27 Dec 2010, worcesterjim wrote:

    313..Mr Clarkson...I see we are back down to the basics of Victorian capitalism and all that "get off your arse" stuff that I had hoped we threw out after we had been bankrupted by the Second World War and the moneylenders of the USA.
    Well we always have plan B I suppose.....we gave the world Karl Marx and you gave us the economics of the Madoffs and Marx Brothers...shame we couldn`t have put our heads together and come up with something more sensible ...before your Frankenstein`s monster (China) takes over using all your old usurers tricks!
    We may all have much slimmer arses when they crack the whip Mr Clarkson!

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