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US sees Gaddafi going, going... nowhere

Mark Mardell | 18:55 UK time, Thursday, 10 March 2011

President Barack Obama has said repeatedly that Col Muammar Gaddafi should go, now his top adviser on intelligence has said the Libyan ruler will probably win his battle to stay in power.

While the Americans aren't going as far as the French and recognising the Libyan rebel leadership, they have broken off relations with the embassy in Washington and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will meet Libyan opposition leaders next week.

The director of national intelligence General James Clapper has told politicians on Capitol Hill that over time, in the longer term Gaddafi will probably prevail because he has better trained and equipped troops. He added that another possible outcome was the break-up of Libya into what he called three semi-autonomous mini states.

The president's National Security Adviser Tom Donilon later rejected this. He suggested this was a "static and one-dimensional analysis", whereas Libya had to been seen through a multi-dimensional and fluid lens. He suggested the pressure of sanctions and the threat of the international community were more important. He said that history was on the side of Libyan people and the "fear dynamic is lost and the overwhelming force analysis changes". Gen Clapper seems to agree with Mao that "power grows from the barrel of a gun", Mr Donilon seems to have a Hegelian view of history, as the "unfolding of the mind of God".

Philosophy aside, politicians told Gen Clapper that his view of the outcome meant that the US should tip the balance. But the general didn't answer the sort of questions that amounted to statements, from politicians who felt his testimony meant imposing a no-fly zone was urgent.

In another committee, Mrs Clinton had answers of a sort. She said her main aim was to build an international consensus for any action. It was critical, she said, "especially for us". She was remarkably frank, saying there was ambivalence because people don't know the best way to get rid of Col Gaddafi and don't know what the opposition represents. She concluded that every option imaginable was being looked into "but if this were easy, we would have already done it".

President Obama wants America to have a new relationship with the world, and this is a critical test of his approach. To some, this looks like hesitation and weakness... It always has and always will irritate those who want an unapologetically aggressive America storming ahead, out front, leading those who have the guts to follow.

That is not Mr Obama's way. In part, he was elected in reaction to the Iraq war and he's very serious about acting in concert with the international community. His style is very deliberative, very rigorous, rather academic. In the White House there are lots of meetings that seem to some almost like study groups; history books are discussed, options examined from every angle. I am told they worry about the questions a distinguished conservative commentator, George Will, set out recently.

For a group who want to base decisions on facts there's a frustration that they are flying blind: there's been very little intelligence about a coming revolution and a shambolic opposition. I suspect Gen Clapper's purpose was to show off how much intelligence had been gathered on the military kit on the ground.

In the White House there's a curious mixture of an emotional attachment to the cause of democracy-loving rebels and a hard-headed pragmatism. Libya is not seen as a vital national interest, in the way that Egypt, Bahrain and Yemen are, and they don't want to get tied down in one country when more important challenges may be around the next corner.

The idea of a no-fly zone, dismissed with scorn by many insiders, has become a bit of a symbol, about how far the world is willing to go. Europeans (deliciously the French in particular) and others seem torn between demanding America doesn't barge around like a bully and wanting it to take action to topple a dreadful dictator when he attacks his own people. The Obama administration is using the crisis as a test case. The key is whether the Arab world, the Muslim world will "cowboy up" and back some action. Although Mr Obama and Mrs Clinton have been crystal clear that UN backing is need, an invitation from the Arab League, or a coalition of Arab nations, to take action might tip the balance, as would an attention-grabbing massacre on the ground: at the UN there talk is of a "Guernica moment".

If neither happens, Mr Obama may simply accept that an autocrat he has called on to go, is going nowhere.

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  • 1. At 7:42pm on 10 Mar 2011, Scotch Git wrote:


    "Meet the new boss - Same as the old boss"

    Pete Townshend

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  • 2. At 7:48pm on 10 Mar 2011, Interestedforeigner wrote:


    Here's the news to which Mark refers:

    http://af.reuters.com/article/energyOilNews/idAFWEN934520110310

    WASHINGTON, March 10 (Reuters) - U.S. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said on Thursday that the better-equipped forces of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi will over the long term prevail.

    Clapper told the Senate Armed Services Committee that Libyan forces loyal to Gaddafi were better equipped and had more logistical resources, and "over longer term, that the regime will prevail."

    (Reporting by Tabassum Zakaria; Editing by Will Dunham)


    And here is a classic example of shooting the messenger, so to speak:

    http://politics.blogs.foxnews.com/2011/03/10/lindsey-graham-calls-general-james-clapper-s-resignation

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  • 3. At 8:11pm on 10 Mar 2011, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    Think back to the war in the western desert in WWII.

    Many times the analogy was made that it was more like a naval campaign than a land war, with the desert being like the surface of the sea.

    There is, west of Agedabia, only one main road. This is the coast road which, then as now, is the spinal chord of the population centers strung out along the coast between Egypt and Tunisia.

    ----------

    Lightly armed civilians can put up very substantial resistance in the built up areas - this is common in urban warfare.

    But there are few communities, and they are strung out like beads on a string, widely separated.

    In the areas between the towns there is little of no cover for infantry. Anything moving is often visible miles away, and is utterly exposed to detection and attack from the air.

    Thus, for covering large distances, this is terrain for air power and armour.

    It is this geography that made the victory at Beda Fomm possible - the British armour cut across country and blocked the coast road in front of the retreating Italians, and just bundled them into the bag.

    ----------

    The opposition fighters can therefore defend points where they are dug in, but can't really attack anything, because they have no air cover for their advance, and no armour to slug it out in the open.

    The more mobile force will simply have the upper hand, no matter what.

    And, one by one, the towns can be isolated, and heavy units brought up to reduce them to rubble.

    ---------

    Long ago, the British developed "brigade boxes" south of Tobruk - sites surrounded by land mines with massed artillery (25 pndrs) in the center, with entrenched infantry holding the perimeter. Bir Hakeim was a famous one.

    Rommel eventually got around them.

    In the end, the British were backed up all the way to El Alamein where they had the sea on one flank, the Quattara Depression on the other flank, and minefields (apparently some never lifted even unto this day) in front of them. There the physical geography finally allowed them to establish a line.

    --------

    Here, the protesters hold Benghazi, which is in the center of a hilly region of significant natural defences (the Jebel Al Akdar?), where armour does not have the full advantage that it has in the open. They should be able to defend territory like that.

    But whether they can defend it or not, they have no way of making forward advances over open terrain against armour and air power.

    When the madman was disorganized and off balance, light units could go anywhere. But he isn't off-balance any more, and he can just slowly and steadily bring his armour down the road under air cover, and, at present, there is nothing the opposition can do about it.

    The fact it, though, the protesters are fighting a naval war in which, in effect, right now the madman owns all the ships.

    That's why the military situation is deteriorating.

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  • 4. At 8:15pm on 10 Mar 2011, Mirino wrote:

    Having said 'he has to go', Obama has at least made what could be considered a verbal commitment that in principle he should somehow stand by. Too much time has been wasted and Gaddafi has used it to his advantage. Now's the time to recognise the opposition, not next week when it might no longer exist.

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  • 5. At 8:19pm on 10 Mar 2011, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    Finally, we have a tendency to think that things will sit still while we get the facts and make up our minds what to do.

    But here, the facts are fluid. That tends to be the mature of mobile warfare. Once the guy has access to fuel, the advantage of heavy armoured units will begin to be felt much more strongly.

    Time is a weapon in warfare, sometimes just as much, or more, than the size of military formations or the weapons they have.

    I very much like that President Obama likes to think things out before acting. That is an excellent quality.

    But part of the calculus that doesn't seem adequately to have been appreciated is that events do not stand still just because we haven't made up our minds yet. The goal posts are constantly moving. "Mission creep" can occur even while we are merely attempting to make up our minds.


    It is wrong to assume that inaction is free of risk. It isn't.

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  • 6. At 8:27pm on 10 Mar 2011, marieinaustin wrote:

    Oh nooo. The White House sounds like this blog:

    “...meetings that seem to some almost like study groups; history books are discussed...a curious mixture of an emotional attachment to the cause of democracy-loving rebels and a hard-headed pragmatism...careful perusals of Mardell’s blog comments....”

    I wonder if they've also found someone to sit at the table and complete his/her thesis.

    Good Luck, Libya.

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  • 7. At 9:07pm on 10 Mar 2011, publiusdetroit wrote:

    Ref 6 Grateful Marie-

    "Oh nooo. The White House sounds like this blog:

    “...meetings that seem to some almost like study groups; history books are discussed...a curious mixture of an emotional attachment to the cause of democracy-loving rebels and a hard-headed pragmatism...careful perusals of Mardell’s blog comments....”"


    Here is a reason one should look at the history books during the planning of an operation:

    GH Bush demonstrated how to run a combat operation. He set a clear objective; Liberate Kuwait. He was confident he had a General who could, and would, plan and carry out the objective; Norman Schwarzkopf. GH Bush had a plan for stabilizing the civilian population while the government of Kuwait could re-establish itself after the liberation; garrison with Arab Coalition troops. He had a exit strategy; Get the U.S. forces out of Iraq as quickly as could be made possible so as not to become embroiled in Iraqi civil unrest.

    I don't see that a clear objective can be ascertained in regard to the Libyan situation. It is unclear whether there is a dominate polity supported by the majority of the Libyan people. There seems to be no consensus as to what the military objective should entail. What polity is capable of stepping in after the fall of Qaddafi that can provide a viable government? How does any nation who have involved themselves into the fray extract themselves from the theater without getting involved in the resulting political situation?

    The Obama administration is right by not committing military forces into the fray until these questions can be reasonably resolved. A lesson GW Bush did not learn from his father. We are still fighting the wars of his folly.

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  • 8. At 9:26pm on 10 Mar 2011, quietoaktree wrote:

    This appears to be similar to when ´father Bush´ called on the Shia of southern Iraq to rise up against Saddam --and then left them hanging when they did.

    ---more history books should indeed be read !

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  • 9. At 9:42pm on 10 Mar 2011, blefuscu wrote:

    . At 8:11pm on 10 Mar 2011, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    "Think back to the war in the western desert in WWII.

    Many times the analogy was made that it was more like a naval campaign than a land war, with the desert being like the surface of the sea."


    Couldn't agree more. Libya is like two islands in an almost featureless ocean of sand and rock.

    The logistics and discipline of Gaddafi's application of relatively surgical force has hardly begun. He is cleverly using his air superiority to break any pockets of resistance with a minimum of casualties...forcing the indisciplined concentrations to run by bombing around them but not on them which would be easy, and running classic flanking movements mopping up prisoners.

    Your naval analogy is quite correct.

    And he is doing this with small force of about 3000 ...meanwhile concentrating his heavy firepower around Tripoli to deal with any 'outside' interventions.

    Gen. Clapper is right.

    The prospect of intervention in support of a Western agenda is looking less and less likely....unless somebody takes the rhetoric seriously and gives intervention a try.

    But they'll have to be prepared to inflict casualties to run a no-fly operation because anti-aircraft will have to be taken out and that won't be possible without innocent civilians being hit.

    Gaddafi will, though, have the problem of the Green Hills of the Barka, but encirclement is his best option (extra troops needed at this stage) and the speed of his current advance could smash the rebel cohesion (hardly had time to form) and morale causing the opposition to melt away.

    That seems to be the strategy.


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  • 10. At 9:58pm on 10 Mar 2011, marieinaustin wrote:

    Points taken.

    And by all means, more reading needs to be done, because who would’ve thought we’d be where we are now? In fact, maybe we need another week to sit around being stunned.

    And I thought I was slow to move. As you hesitate, the music changes.

    But yes, points taken.

    Sorry to repeat, but in the end, it appears we’re going to (sit and) view more suffering in the future. Our actions/reactions/inactions will select which parts of it will be our own.

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  • 11. At 10:08pm on 10 Mar 2011, Scott0962 wrote:

    Are you sympathetic enough towards the rebels in Libya to send your son or daughter off to war to help them? I don't know anyone who is.

    As for getting the other Muslim countries to "cowboy up", good luck with that. Where were they when European Muslims were being systematically massacred in the former Yugoslavia? Most of those Muslim countries are authoritarian regimes themselves, their leaders may not like Gaddaffi but they don't like revolutions even more.

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  • 12. At 10:13pm on 10 Mar 2011, publiusdetroit wrote:

    Ref 8 quietoaktree-

    "This appears to be similar to when ´father Bush´ called on the Shia of southern Iraq to rise up against Saddam --and then left them hanging when they did."

    Many people did not agree with the objective GH Bush set for the campaign. Many expected him to move against the Baathist in Iraq, no matter that he made it clear the objective was to liberate Kuwait only.

    The Shi'a tribes in the south of Iraq took advantage of, what they thought was, a defeated Saddam and Baathist Party to pursue their own ill-planned and ill-equipped bid to move against the government. One had a hint of the type of insurrection that would take place from the southern Iraqi and the northern Kurds rising, without coordination nor viable polity, against a well-coordinated government which had been badly mauled, but not without the military resources to maintain civil obedience. There was a considerable amount of in-fighting within both groups that further led to their own failures.

    GH Bush encouraged the Iraqi people to form together and rise against Saddam. He even committed limited humanitarian aid for both groups. Bush, wisely, did not tell them he would commit military forces in support of their rising. It was for the Iraqi people to form a united front against their government. Something they were incapable of doing because of their own divided self-interests.

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  • 13. At 10:30pm on 10 Mar 2011, MaryMagdalane wrote:

    Here we go again. Start to invade another country with the same excuses they used to invade Iraq. Beside all other lies, they claimed that Saddam was killing his people, so the war was ligitimate. After 8 years, the misery of Iraqis are not over yet. Millions have been killed either by occupiers or by religious conflicts. The country is in ruins and there is no light in sight. Now it is Liby's turn. Some gang groups attack the army and steal heavy weapons and start fighting the government, and suddenly the West sees an oportunity to invade another oil rich country. The excuses are just the same. Gaddafi is killing Libyans, so we should attack it. It starts first with propaganda of media. We hear nothing but lies. We hear every day the rebel's side of story but see no evidence of their claims of massacre and we are supposed to believe them. Of course they have to say those lies in order to fool some idiot governments to join their fight against the Libyan government.
    I just like to know if the same thing happens in Saudi Arabia and the government resists the rebels who have taken up arms, will the West react the same way. Will they call for the King to resign and hand over the power to the rebels. NEVER.
    I am almost sure that the UN will not authorize the no-fly zone, because neither Russia or China will accept it. They know that if they do it, the next will be one of their territory to be the target. Some people of ethnic groups will start a fight against the government and then asks the West for help.
    I am afraid that just like the Iraq case, the West will join the rebels and ingnores again the Internationl Law. With the new Napoleon in France, this time the whole Europe will be united in their aggresion.

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  • 14. At 10:34pm on 10 Mar 2011, vparigi wrote:

    Of your readers, how many have read M. Qaddafi's " The Green Book"?
    or his book of stories : "Escape to Hell" with a foreword by Pierre
    Salinger? These are thoughts from an original thinker who provided
    for the homeless in his country; and tried to equalize wages for those
    employed; who envisioned a system of governance between capitalism and
    communism with representative communities. All this stemming from a
    unique , tribal , familial, Bedouin pride of culture and sovereignty.
    Sadly it would seem that the onset and arrival of instantaneous
    communication via tv, cellphones and the computer have brought over-reaction to the youth, without respect for the traditions and institutions created by their elders.

    History shows us that the strength of the institutions which
    will need to be examined and changed , will take much time and counsel
    from the people who will be affected. M. Qaddafi needs only to rally
    support from those who can deliver his philosophy of the greater good,
    and linking with educators and peace building individuals can achieve
    that.
    Let the focus of the nation states be on M. Qaddafi's good
    achievements, and away from the incidents which they , themselves
    might also be quilty of. He without sin cast the first stone!

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  • 15. At 10:39pm on 10 Mar 2011, marieinaustin wrote:

    12. At 10:13pm on 10 Mar 2011, publiusdetroit wrote:

    “It was for the Iraqi people to form a united front against their government.

    Something they were incapable of doing because of their own divided self-interests.”
    ----------------

    Perhaps It in a nutshell. And I believe any group of people can reach this unfortunate position.

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  • 16. At 10:49pm on 10 Mar 2011, Scott0962 wrote:

    re. #33. At 8:11pm on 10 Mar 2011, Interestedforeigner wrote:
    "Think back to the war in the western desert in WWII"...

    You made some good points about the nature of the terrain and its impact on the tactics that can be used against an oppoenent with air superiority and armor. However, the rebels need not acquire tanks and air cover of their own to defend their territory. SAMs and ATGMs (anti-tank guided missiles) could go a long way toward negating the advantages of the Libyan regular army units fighting for Gadaffi.

    The question then is: "Is removing Gadaffi from power important enough to risk those weapons getting into the hands of terrorists or other national liberation groups in countries where we don't necessarily want to see a regime change?" Since such weapons could be supplied quickly and have not appeared on the battlefront in the rebels' hands in significant numbers we can assume the answer is "No".

    Also, you pointed out that the population centers in eastern Libya are strung out along the coast. I'm not a backer of a no-fly zone but for the sake of argument it seems that if one were to be imposed then concentrating enforcement efforts on the relatively narrow coastal strip where the major population centers are should be effective and simplify the cost and logistics of such an effort. Sounds like a job tailor made for a carrier air group, a pity Mr. Cameron doesn't have one. Perhaps the French?

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  • 17. At 10:51pm on 10 Mar 2011, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    13. At 10:30pm on 10 Mar 2011, MaryMagdalane wrote:

    "Here we go again. Start to invade another country with the same excuses they used to invade Iraq. Beside all other lies, they claimed that Saddam was killing his people, so the war was ligitimate."

    ________

    Huh?

    There is no parallel to Iraq.

    Libyans on the ground have been fighting for two weeks.

    Nobody is having to make up lies to justify intervention: we can see it on our TV screens.

    It is the Libyans themselves who are calling for help, and wondering why it's taking so long.

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  • 18. At 11:01pm on 10 Mar 2011, LucyJ wrote:

    First I was against no fly zone in Libya, as I did not want to invade it or take part as it was their own Civil war and let chips fall where they may, then I thought we should do something feeling some sort of sympathy, now I am back to square one...

    I think now that Gaddafi is winning, we should just stay out of it...

    It will be a sign to other dictators that Gaddafi overcame the protesters, but USA, for hte first time in a long time, sat ont he sidelines and stayed out of other country's business, which is what everyone keeps asking us to do, and now we also decided it would be best not to rush in...(they say fools rush in where Angels fear to tread)

    It sure is a whole lot less expensive to just let other countries have their Civil wars amongst themselves and stay out of it..

    By not taking part in Libyan Civil War, American taxpayers have saved billions...

    And when your politicians are overspending, any amount to save is a lot..

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  • 19. At 11:04pm on 10 Mar 2011, Amr wrote:

    i have no idea what Muammar Gaddafi is hoping to chieve by increasing the death toll like this.. the only reason i can imagine is that he is concerned about his own safety and his family's that he doesn't want to surrender no matter how much the price his people will have to pay.

    now that he has his tribe and the mercenaries supporting him beside his loyalist troops, i don't think the problem will be solved by simply getting rid of him. why? because the loyalists and his tribe are also Libyans. they wouldn't 'like' the fact that their leader was killed by a foreign intervention (even though sooner or later they'll realize he was a madman and a tyrant) however, that would not the problem. what if they have already decided who will 'lead' that tribe or the loyalists when Muammar Gaddafi is gone?

    i think the situation in Egypt is somewhat better, but i'm not sure if the Egyptian army would want to interfere. as for the Arab League and coalition of Arab nations, they're just too busy worrying about themselves. perhaps eventually they will decide to do something more than cheering for their team and cursing the madman.

    we still have problems with the transition phase in Egypt (?) but, i think it will end well eventually.
    (personally speaking, i'm still worried about the Extremists future intentions. perhaps they're not causing much trouble and they seem very cooperative at the moment, but will they remain cooperative, or will they interfere with the progress of events in the future?)

    =====
    Interestedforeigner 3, 5
    i know my humble opinion wouldn't mean much, but your analysis is superb!

    "and minefields (apparently some never lifted even unto this day)"
    if someone has a solution for this, why are these mines still here?!

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  • 20. At 11:06pm on 10 Mar 2011, Scott0962 wrote:

    re. #13. At 10:30pm on 10 Mar 2011, MaryMagdalane wrote:
    "I just like to know if the same thing happens in Saudi Arabia and the government resists the rebels who have taken up arms, will the West react the same way. Will they call for the King to resign and hand over the power to the rebels. NEVER."


    You're wrong. If the Saudi monarch couldn't defend the country's oil production facilities the west would cut a deal with the opposition so fast it would make his head spin.

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  • 21. At 11:06pm on 10 Mar 2011, rodidog wrote:

    Obama’s indecision on Libya is proving beneficial for Gaddafi. While Obama contemplates all the possible scenarios for action, Gaddafi is busy consolidating and advancing. The time for a less messy and quick outcome in toppling Gaddafi has passed. With that said, it appears that USS Enterprise and USS Kearsarge are in position to interdict and/or destroy Libyan military assets when called upon.

    While time is running for those opposing Gaddafi, there is still time to alter the outcome predicted by Gen. Clapper; but not much. At this point, I think actual combat operations by Western powers are needed to topple Gaddafi. This will mean actively destroying Libyan missile defenses, aircraft, and radar installations while jamming Libyan communications. It will also mean arming and supplying the resistance while helping them with command and control. Whether or not boots on the ground are necessary depends on the success the resistance has with this kind of help. Once started down this path, I don’t imagine troops not going in if necessary. The real question for Obama and the West is if they are prepared to live with Gaddafi still in power or not.

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  • 22. At 11:06pm on 10 Mar 2011, valkydon wrote:

    "President Obama wants America to have a new relationship with the world, and this is a critical test of his approach. To some, this looks like hesitation and weakness..."
    And to a lot of us, he seems like Chamberlain trying to forge a new relationship with Germany.

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  • 23. At 11:07pm on 10 Mar 2011, LucyJ wrote:

    Marie: Perhaps It in a nutshell. And I believe any group of people can reach this unfortunate position.
    ------
    Including us...we, too, fought a Civil war against each other, yes different circumstances, but it was Civil war indeed..

    Would we have wanted the English or French or whoever to support one side or the other during our Civil war?

    I think we would have rather kept it to ourselves...

    When it comes to a Civil war, u just hafta let the two sides fight it out..that's the only fair solution...

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  • 24. At 11:10pm on 10 Mar 2011, LucyJ wrote:

    Scott: The question then is: "Is removing Gadaffi from power important enough to risk those weapons getting into the hands of terrorists or other national liberation groups in countries where we don't necessarily want to see a regime change?" Since such weapons could be supplied quickly and have not appeared on the battlefront in the rebels' hands in significant numbers we can assume the answer is "No".
    --------------
    No I don't think it is...imagine if those weapons were sold for high profit and got into the hands of al Qaeda in Somalia and were used against innocent ppl, including ourselves...
    -------------
    Perhaps the French?
    ----------
    Nope, they sold it to Russia...

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  • 25. At 11:12pm on 10 Mar 2011, quietoaktree wrote:

    #12 publiusdetroit

    "GH Bush encouraged the Iraqi people to form together and rise against Saddam. He even committed limited humanitarian aid for both groups. Bush, wisely, did not tell them he would commit military forces in support of their rising."

    --you cannot equate the Kurdish north with the Shia south -- as far as weaponry went. One can only assume that GH Bush had no idea what he suggested.

    --and like his son-- denies the catastrophes they both caused.


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  • 26. At 11:17pm on 10 Mar 2011, BienvenueEnLouisiana wrote:

    There are always consequences to what we do or don't do...
    I suppose we are getting a glimpse of world in which no one leads, & it looks rather bleak for many without our liberties.

    Pres. Obama, I am glad to read that you are consulting with the best,
    but if the Mad Dog of Tripoli does not fall, I will blame you...

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  • 27. At 11:28pm on 10 Mar 2011, rodidog wrote:

    17 IF,
    “There is no parallel to Iraq.
    Nobody is having to make up lies to justify intervention”

    Who made-up lies?

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  • 28. At 11:34pm on 10 Mar 2011, quietoaktree wrote:

    #23 LucyJ

    "Would we have wanted the English or French or whoever to support one side or the other during our Civil war?"

    --- Yep !

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  • 29. At 11:52pm on 10 Mar 2011, quietoaktree wrote:

    #27 Rodidog

    "Who made-up lies?"

    -- every journalist worth his/her salt were posting ariel photographs of garden outhouses and mobile homes --to justify there were WMD down their street !

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  • 30. At 00:05am on 11 Mar 2011, BienvenueEnLouisiana wrote:

    Lucy: "Would we have wanted the English or French or whoever to support one side or the other during our Civil war? I think we would have rather kept it to ourselves..."

    Lucy, you are quite wrong with that assumption. The North was terrified that the British Empire would intervene in our civil war; the South actively courted the world's powers for support & ultimately was unsuccessful for various reasons.

    Read the article below from The American Heritage New History of the Civil War for more detail:

    http://www.civilwarhome.com/europeandcivilwar.htm

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  • 31. At 00:30am on 11 Mar 2011, McJakome wrote:

    22. At 11:06pm on 10 Mar 2011, valkydon wrote:
    "'President Obama wants America to have a new relationship with the world, and this is a critical test of his approach. To some, this looks like hesitation and weakness...'
    And to a lot of us, he seems like Chamberlain trying to forge a new relationship with Germany."

    Riiight, if American charges in like a bull in a china shop, we are evil incarnate, if we have an intelligent, non-cowboy at the controls who wants to plan carefully, attend to the UN and international opinion, and study the terrain before advancing, we are week, Chamberlainesque wussies.......Riight!

    So what are we to do? How about mind our own business, take care of America first, and let the French lead the international interventions, after all they did such a marvellous job in Mexico in 1860!

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  • 32. At 00:37am on 11 Mar 2011, CuriousAmerican wrote:

    25. At 11:12pm on 10 Mar 2011, quietoaktree wrote:
    #12 publiusdetroit

    "GH Bush encouraged the Iraqi people to form together and rise against Saddam. He even committed limited humanitarian aid for both groups. Bush, wisely, did not tell them he would commit military forces in support of their rising."

    --you cannot equate the Kurdish north with the Shia south -- as far as weaponry went. One can only assume that GH Bush had no idea what he suggested.

    --and like his son-- denies the catastrophes they both caused.
    ----------------------------------------------------

    Actually...it was Clintons REFUSAL to support the uprisings started by Bush 41...that enabled Saddam to murder people by the tens of thousands and forced american hand to go in after him ourselves....

    Your time line is missing 8 years on your timeline of cause and effect.....

    why are liberals so blind their own culpability to world history????its like you guys are either crazy, blind or just plain dumb....


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  • 33. At 00:52am on 11 Mar 2011, jmm wrote:

    If Libya's use of the regular army against the Libyan people does preserve Gadhafi's rule, I expect no further serious challenges to other regimes in the region. The pattern for maintaining power will be established and the inaction of the international community in future will be assured, as Gadhafi surely represents both the worst in leadership and the least down-side in oil. If Gadhafi falls in a civil war, the leaders of the whole region will be on notice that they must change rapidly or face the same fate. If the international community does intervene in Libya, all bets are off. Even if the result was swift, clean, and "perfect" from the Western viewpoint, how many more Libyas would follow? The resulting chaos would dwarf what we've seen in Iraq or Afghanistan in both blood and treasure. While it might not live up to the "end of the world" some fear is nearly upon us, it would certainly make the Thirty Years War look mild by comparison.

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  • 34. At 01:04am on 11 Mar 2011, LucyJ wrote:

    Louisiana: The North was terrified that the British Empire would intervene in our civil war; the South actively courted the world's powers for support & ultimately was unsuccessful for various reasons.
    ----------
    So it was a good thing that the world stayed out of our Civil war, then...as otherwise, we could be livin' in a whole different USA!!!

    Personally, I would not want any foreign power to be involved in Americans' debates, ect...our future should be up to us...
    ---------
    Now this is superintense...

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/us_muslims_terror_hearings

    An excerpt:
    Democrats wanted the hearing to focus on terror threats more broadly, including from white supremacists. Republicans said that was nothing but political correctness. At one point, an exchange between Reps. Tom Marino and Al Green grew loud as they talked over each other. Green, a Texas Democrat who is black, said the terrorism hearing should have included discussion of the Ku Klux Klan. Marino, a Pennsylvania Republican who is white, said the subject of the day was terrorism, prompting the chairman to rap the gavel repeatedly as the two argued over whether the KKK was a terrorist organization.
    ------
    Personally, I feel radical Islamic extremist terrorists is USA's number one threat right now, not KKK...

    I haven't heard of any attacks on Americans by KKK since the what 50's, (Before I was born) so why are the Democrats saying that USA should focus our terrorist efforts on KKK and not on Islamic terrorists?

    (Actually, I know why they are, but I won't say cause' will be censored due to reverse racism and political correctness)

    To me, this shows me that the Democrats are soft on national security, while the Republicans put national security at higher standard...




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  • 35. At 01:05am on 11 Mar 2011, LucyJ wrote:

    Can we trust CAIR?

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/us_muslims_terror_hearings

    An excerpt:
    The Council on American-Islamic Relations, for instance, has launched one the most aggressive media campaigns in the country, often making itself the public face of the Muslim community when talking about fighting terrorism. The group has an extremely strained relationship with law enforcement. The Justice Department has linked the group to a terror financing case, and the FBI will not work directly with its members. The group's California chapter recently put up a poster reading, "Build a wall of resistance. Don't talk to the FBI."
    -----------

    Is it me or is this just the start?

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  • 36. At 01:06am on 11 Mar 2011, publiusdetroit wrote:

    Ref 23 LucyJ-

    "Including us...we, too, fought a Civil war against each other, yes different circumstances, but it was Civil war indeed."

    Yes, by definition, we fought a civil war. There were two opposing polity. The United States of America and the Confederate States of America. If the CSA would have won the war, there would have been an existing, viable government in place to govern the lands of the south by the name of the Confederate States of America; fully functioning, recognized, and supported by the people of the south. When the USA won the war there was a fully functioning, recognized, and supported government to continue the governance of the nation. No political power vacuum.

    There is recognition of the Libyan National Transitional Temporary Council by a couple nations; but there is still no certainty that this 21 day-old "Council" does have the backing of the Libyan people, or the political viability to restore order upon the defeat, capture, or death of Qaddafi. We see some of the tribes aligning with Qaddafi. Enough of a force to disrupt the rebel progress in liberating the country. I agree with Amr in post # 19 when he states, "now that he has his tribe and the mercenaries supporting him beside his loyalist troops, i don't think the problem will be solved by simply getting rid of him. why? because the loyalists and his tribe are also Libyans".

    If the Libyan National Transitional Temporary Council [LNTTC] does not have the popular support and political power it so claims; there will most likely be an insurgency inside a political power vacuum as political factions fight against each other to gain the upper hand. Of this there is very little doubt. This is why the U.S. and other nations, that could lend support to the rebels, are standing on the outside looking in at this time. The LNTTC is not giving these nations confidence that an intervening nation will be welcomed by the rebel population, and will not become mired in policing an insurgency once the Qaddafi government is toppled.

    At this time, it is a fools errand for any nation to intervene without anything less then the objective of total victory and complete martial law over all the conquered, Libyan people. I doubt any of the Libyan people would want intervention under such an objective.

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  • 37. At 01:08am on 11 Mar 2011, Scott0962 wrote:

    re. #24. At 11:10pm on 10 Mar 2011, LucyJ wrote:
    "Scott: The question then is: "Is removing Gadaffi from power important enough to risk those weapons getting into the hands of terrorists or other national liberation groups in countries where we don't necessarily want to see a regime change?" Since such weapons could be supplied quickly and have not appeared on the battlefront in the rebels' hands in significant numbers we can assume the answer is "No".
    --------------
    No I don't think it is...imagine if those weapons were sold for high profit and got into the hands of al Qaeda in Somalia and were used against innocent ppl, including ourselves...
    -------------
    Perhaps the French?
    ----------
    Nope, they sold it to Russia..."

    ---
    LucyJ, I doubt the French would even ask such a question before providing arms. President Sarkozy just recognized the rebels' organization as the legitimate representatives of Libya, there was no need to rush into that unless he needed legal cover to sell or provide arms to the rebels.

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  • 38. At 01:08am on 11 Mar 2011, LucyJ wrote:

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/us_muslims_terror_hearings

    An exceprt:
    Melvin Bledsoe, whose son, Carlos, is charged with killing an Army private at a recruiting station in Little Rock, Ark., testified about his son's conversion to Islam and isolation from his family. Bledsoe said he didn't fully understand what was happening as his son became increasingly distant, stopped coming home for holidays and changed his name. He said the United State is not being aggressive enough about rooting radical elements from the Islamic community. "We're talking about stepping on their toes, and they're talking about stamping us out," Bledsoe said. "Why don't people take their blinders off?"
    ---------

    By the way, I saw Mr. Bledsoe testify on the news, it was very compelling and he is a black man, so its not about white and black...

    This is about fighting terrorists, regardless of color!!!

    (Kids of any color can be radicalized, no color is immune)

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  • 39. At 01:31am on 11 Mar 2011, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    20. At 11:06pm on 10 Mar 2011, Scott0962 wrote:

    "You're wrong. If the Saudi monarch couldn't defend the country's oil production facilities the west would cut a deal with the opposition so fast it would make his head spin."

    __________

    LOL. There's a fair amount of truth in that comment.

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  • 40. At 01:31am on 11 Mar 2011, publiusdetroit wrote:

    Ref 32 CuriousAmerican-

    "Your time line is missing 8 years on your timeline of cause and effect.....

    why are liberals so blind their own culpability to world history????its like you guys are either crazy, blind or just plain dumb...."


    And so, according to your curious history, there was no uprising of the Kurdish north, nor the Shi'a south after the ceasefire was declared after the liberation of Kuwait? In April of 1991 Operation Provide Comfort brought humanitarian aid to the Kurds who were in an uprising against Saddam.

    Another very CuriousAmerican roadside attraction.

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  • 41. At 01:54am on 11 Mar 2011, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    30. At 00:05am on 11 Mar 2011, BienvenueEnLouisiana wrote:

    Lucy, you are quite wrong with that assumption. The North was terrified [[a bit strong, but yes, the North was concerned]] that the British Empire would intervene in our civil war; the South actively courted the world's powers for support [[quite true]] & ultimately was unsuccessful for various reasons.

    Read the article below from The American Heritage New History of the Civil War for more detail:

    http://www.civilwarhome.com/europeandcivilwar.htm

    ____________

    This is quite a revisionist article.

    There was never, at any time during the war a realistic chance that the British government would recognize the South, no matter how badly the South hoped and dreamed that it would.

    Both the British government and the Lincoln administration were at pains to avoid any such possibility - most famously over the resolution of the Trent affair, but also over the two warships ordered by the Confederacy, and several other matters.

    The fact is that Britain's huge investments in America's industrial plant and manufacturing capacity were almost all in the north. The British government took the significant loss of employment in Britain's textile mills in stride. It would have been exceedingly difficult for any British government at the time to have sided with a country that continued to accept slavery as an institution.

    The suggestion in the article that the war was "not about" slavery until the end of 1862 is utterly specious. The question of slavery had been the critical fault-line dividing the American body politic from the Missouri compromise onward. The secession in 1861 was driven by the refusal to accept the election of an abolitionist President.

    In any case, while the factual outline of the article is largely correct, the spin it puts on the facts is somewhat misleading.

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  • 42. At 02:33am on 11 Mar 2011, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    26. At 11:17pm on 10 Mar 2011, BienvenueEnLouisiana wrote:

    "There are always consequences to what we do or don't do...
    I suppose we are getting a glimpse of world in which no one leads, & it looks rather bleak for many without our liberties.

    Pres. Obama, I am glad to read that you are consulting with the best,
    but if the Mad Dog of Tripoli does not fall, I will blame you..."

    ---------

    That's just the thing, isn't it?

    Every time you say "I'm never making that mistake again," some new set of facts comes up, and you realize there are worse things.

    The long and the short of it is that the "Mad Dog of Tripoli", as Bienvenue so aptly puts it, has to go. If the western nations can't find the will to dump a two-bit, tin-pot tyrant, and his odious spawn, heaven help them when they face a really serious crisis.

    It's true despite all the really good (and really troubling) points that Publius has been raising this week

    It's true despite all the good points that Pinko raised last week

    It's true despite all the good points that Scott has been raising

    ---------

    President Obama is fundamentally a good, moral, and thoughtful man.
    He hasn't done all that well here, at least not yet, because this isn't his kind of thing.
    He is taking good counsel.
    He has talented people around him.

    There are lots and lots and lots of balls to juggle here - all the way from Oman to Morocco - even without the crushing domestic pressures that go with them. While I consider this small, isolated issue to be easy, and I consider the guiding principles on the larger issues to be clear, the choices are difficult, the timing is difficult, and many of the issues seem to be impossible to reconcile.

    The overall magnitude is comparable to the fall of the Berlin wall, except one joker hasn't understood that his time is up. Notwithstanding my very aggressive postings here for the last two weeks, there is no getting around that the overall situation is the biggest foreign policy challenge America has faced since 1989, maybe even bigger. These challenges are facing America at a time when the American economy has been in trouble, when America is in a financial squeeze, and there is a perception that America's power and influence are waning. What America does here will have consequences for many years, far down the road.

    Any one of these problems would be tough.

    And, since even before he was inaugurated, President Obama has had his plate full of one once-in-a-generation problem after another.

    I don't know how the man gets any sleep, or has time left in his day to breathe or go to the washroom: Good morning Mr. President. At 7:00 a.m. you have a briefing on Libya; at 8:00 a.m. a briefing on Egypt; 8:45 Tunisia; 9:00 Bahrain; 9:15 Oman; 9:30 Saudi Arabia; 10:00 Iran; 10:45 Cote D'Ivoire; 11:15 restructuring the housing market; 12:00 Algeria ...

    Talk about the in-basket from Hell.

    ---------

    On Libya, he has already pulled one diplomatic rabbit out of the hat.

    I have faith that he will eventually come to the right decision.

    Next time he will probably be a bit more ahead of the curve.
    Even Lincoln didn't always get things right on the first try.

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  • 44. At 03:25am on 11 Mar 2011, Illogicbuster wrote:

    "...others seem torn between demanding America doesn't barge around like a bully and wanting it to take action to topple a dreadful dictator when he attacks his own people."
    -------------------------------------------------------------------

    The EU is larger and wealthier than the U.S. Libya is next door and a military midget. Should be no problem. Let us know when you've finished...

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  • 45. At 03:26am on 11 Mar 2011, BienvenueEnLouisiana wrote:

    LucyJ, I agree with you about the Hearings in D.C.
    The only people interested in making the hearings a witch hunt are the people opposing the hearings; their objective is to create a perception of McCarthyism because they know how damaging that perception can be to any Congressional investigation.

    IF, I'm glad you read the article; no doubt you were disturbed by the suggestion that the British Empire would even think of associating with the Confederacy. We can argue intent on the part of the empire from here to kingdom come, but you can't argue with direct quotations from those in the know.

    The chance that the British government would recognize the South came & went; the article made it clear that Palmerston and Russell never brought the proposition up for consideration.

    IF: "The suggestion in the article that the war was 'not about' slavery until the end of 1862 is utterly specious."

    That wasn't the suggestion of the article. I must point out that there is a difference between unspoken policies & openly stated policies. Regardless, the outspoken goals of the North were unity & the containment of slavery until Lincoln gave the Emancipation Proclamation.

    IF: "In any case, while the factual outline of the article is largely correct, the spin it puts on the facts is somewhat misleading."

    If the facts are correct, then the spin is entirely up to the reader.
    I was only interested in the facts relating to LucyJ's previous post on the South's desire for foreign support.

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  • 46. At 03:37am on 11 Mar 2011, rodidog wrote:

    29 quietoaktree,

    “every journalist worth his/her salt were posting ariel photographs of garden outhouses and mobile homes --to justify there were WMD down their street !”

    Oh, it was journalists? I didn’t know that.

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  • 47. At 04:01am on 11 Mar 2011, RPhillips wrote:

    Libya is a desert country, and no fly zones can effectively enforced. Had one been in effect the past week, the rebels would not be in retreat from several towns now.

    An effective no fly zone and the attendant bombing of a few air force bases would probably have weakened Gadaffi even in Tripoli and emboldened the opposition. One bomb by President on his palace in the 1980s quietened the dictator down remarkably well. One during the past week or so would have put him on a jet out of Libya.

    But President Obama, whatever his other reasons, is attached to sub-Sahara Africa and the African National Congress, which supports Gadaffi and has provided him with his murderous "boy soldiers" hardened in the sub Sahara wars since they were pre-teens.

    The only way Obama will intervene in Libya is to assist the immigrants Gadaffi has let in and maybe take control of Libya and its oil.

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  • 48. At 04:21am on 11 Mar 2011, chronophobe wrote:

    Well, it must be a cold day in hell. I agree pretty much completely with George F. Will.

    Miracles do happen.

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  • 49. At 04:32am on 11 Mar 2011, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    45. At 03:26am on 11 Mar 2011, BienvenueEnLouisiana

    Yes, the hard facts are correct, or close enough.
    I wasn't concerned about you knowing or not knowing.

    It's just sometimes it's hard to know how much of this stuff Lucy has, or hasn't read. I didn't intend that to be taken the wrong way.

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  • 50. At 04:36am on 11 Mar 2011, chronophobe wrote:

    re: 47 RPhillips

    Libya is a desert country, and no fly zones can effectively enforced. Had one been in effect the past week, the rebels would not be in retreat from several towns now.

    Oh come on now ... that is pure speculation, and not very convincing at that.

    What big role did the few air strikes play?

    The real issue is that the rebels are no army. Their use of weapons poses more danger to themselves than it does to Ghaddafi's crew.

    No, soon enough there will be calls for hitting ground targets. Which means you will need somebody on the ground to identify and paint them for guided munitions.

    Etc.

    If it's all going to be such a walk in the park, couldn't the Benghazi bunch just hire Executive Outcomes or somesuch? One or two tankers full of crude have to buy something of value in this sad old world.

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  • 51. At 05:06am on 11 Mar 2011, chronophobe wrote:

    re: 45 BEL

    45. At 03:26am on 11 Mar 2011, BienvenueEnLouisiana wrote:

    LucyJ, I agree with you about the Hearings in D.C.
    The only people interested in making the hearings a witch hunt are the people opposing the hearings; their objective is to create a perception of McCarthyism because they know how damaging that perception can be to any Congressional investigation.


    Ooooh, maybe Mark will throw us a bone and do a post on this circus. We can all get hot and bothered, and the fur will fly!

    I call dibs on tagging King as a terrorist supporter!

    And does that then make the GOP a terrorist organization? Hypothetically, of course ... ;p

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  • 52. At 05:12am on 11 Mar 2011, marieinaustin wrote:

    Now that the anti-Gaddafi protestors are retreating, I’m less eager for the US to lead. The moments are passing...have passed. I think if we go into Libya now, it will be going into a kind of civil war between the questionably-organized and waning anti-Gaddafi protestors and Gaddafi’s supporters and his military (winning through mass-murder it appears).
    We could help, but not lead. I also don’t feel comfortable with Obama leading anything. He’s too indirect first of all, and secondly, he’s too indecisive (and weak: ‘Gaddafi must go’-means what?). He may have decided over a week ago that the US would not take the lead to help Libya, but his indirect and ambiguous talk made many think that the US leading was still an option...at least enough to talk about it. When Clinton said a no-fly zone must be internationally supported, we should've taken it at face value: they're saying we will not lead so why even talk about it. Although the word "supported" sounds like "backed," so is she taking lessons in ambiguity from Obama? So Europe, keep us updated and meanwhile let’s have some other news.

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  • 53. At 05:13am on 11 Mar 2011, publiusdetroit wrote:

    Ref 47 RPhillips-

    "Libya is a desert country, and no fly zones can effectively enforced. Had one been in effect the past week, the rebels would not be in retreat from several towns now."

    Once again, tanks and artillery don't fly. Armor has been the key force.

    I have a suspicion we haven't heard all that much about Qaddafi's fixed wing air force is because they have been busy parting out planes to get a couple of them to fly.

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  • 54. At 06:39am on 11 Mar 2011, BienvenueEnLouisiana wrote:

    IF #49: "I didn't intend that to be taken the wrong way."

    Don't worry, it wasn't; I just felt compelled to answer your post.
    The slavery issue is um ... of particular historical importance, & vague phrases such as "the war was 'not about' slavery until the end of 1862" can not go unaddressed even when the author doesn't agree with said phrase.

    Goodnight everyone! (12:39 cst)

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  • 55. At 06:40am on 11 Mar 2011, powermeerkat wrote:

    MM: President Barack Obama has said repeatedly that Col Muammar Gaddafi should go, now his top adviser on intelligence has said the Libyan ruler will probably win his battle to stay in power.






    Now, if Col Muammar Gaddafi has said repeatedly that president Barack Obama should go (although his top adv...etc) would you expect our Commander-in-Chief to promptly resign?


    Or if the president of France would threaten Q. with an imposition of a no-fly zone over Libya - would you start shaking in your boots if your name was Muammar?

    [not that I expect any answer]

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  • 56. At 06:49am on 11 Mar 2011, powermeerkat wrote:

    I'd like to point out that BBC report "How the human penis lost its spines" - does not deal with a lack of testicular fortitude.

    Despite what some might think.

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  • 57. At 07:05am on 11 Mar 2011, powermeerkat wrote:

    "All interventionists should answer some questions:

    The world would be better without Gaddafi. But is that a vital U.S. national interest? If it is, when did it become so? A month ago, no one thought it was.


    How much of Gaddafi's violence is coming from the air? Even if his aircraft are swept from his skies, would that be decisive?


    What lesson should be learned from the fact that Europe's worst atrocity since the Second World War - the massacre by Serbs of Bosnian Muslims at Srebrenica - occurred beneath a no-fly zone?"


    I can see, Mark, why George Will's thoughfull article in WP has created a major headache not only for the White House, but also for interventionists of other political persuasions.

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  • 58. At 07:13am on 11 Mar 2011, powermeerkat wrote:

    MM: "For a group who want to base decisions on facts there's a frustration that they are flying blind: there's been very little intelligence about a coming revolution and a shambolic opposition."






    With Leon Panetta, a Lib Democrat from California with no idea what collecting intelligence entails - in charge of CIA?


    "Shock! Shock!"



    [Just as certain Peanut Farmer from Georgia was shocked that CIA, under the leadership of his own Stansfield Turner, could not predict Iranian Revolution or Soviet invasion on Afghanistan.]

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  • 59. At 07:41am on 11 Mar 2011, Oldloadr wrote:

    41. At 01:54am on 11 Mar 2011, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    It would have been exceedingly difficult for any British government at the time to have sided with a country that continued to accept slavery as an institution.
    ____________________________________________________________
    So you are saying the Brits of the 19th century saw a clear difference of type rather than degree between the economic system of the agrarian South, i.e. slavery of a distinct race, and the economic system practiced by the British Empire, i.e. peonage of an entire nation based on ethnicity and religion. I would be interested in the mental gymnastics that takes.

    And no, this is not a dig at the Brits over Ireland but a purely intellectual dig at IF.

    BTW, even if the Empire never seriously considered intervening in the US Civil war, Lee sure thought they could be persuaded; especially since they sent military observers with Lee's staff to Gettysburg.

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  • 60. At 07:49am on 11 Mar 2011, powermeerkat wrote:

    publius: "A lesson GW Bush did not learn from his father. We are still fighting the wars of his folly."





    Had G.H.W. Bush not stopped Stormy Norman's troops south of Basra, his son would not have to move on Saddam later.

    There would have been no genocide of Marsh Arabs and no need for Operation Provide Comfort to protect Iraqi Kurds, either.


    BTW. The "clear objective' then was not to liberate Kuwait.

    It was to prevent an Iraqi attack on Saudi Arabia, which Saddam, a loony dictator with mania grandiosa (not unlike that Gaddafi has been afflicted with) wanted to move on next.

    [in order to rule over the whole ME]


    BTW. After getting the order to stop Normy ,not exactly a little weak guy, demolished his office by smashing pieces of its furniture against its walls and uttered words I could not possibly quote here;

    then he came out and stated that he "fully agreed with the decision of our Commander-in-Chief".

    As any US general officer would.


    ["ours is not reason why, ours is just to go and die"]

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  • 61. At 07:58am on 11 Mar 2011, powermeerkat wrote:

    "By not taking part in Libyan Civil War, American taxpayers have saved billions..."


    More importantly, Lucy, we've protected ourselves from accusations by "usual suspects" that "U.S. invaded Libya to steal its oil"

    Just as we allegedly stole Yugoslav, Iraqi and Afghani oil earlier. ;-)


    [why we have not invaded and occupied Canada and Mexico, two biggest oil suppliers to US, decades ago - the "usual suspects" refuse to explain]

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  • 62. At 08:02am on 11 Mar 2011, wwterry wrote:

    We Americans can only wring our hands and wait for 2012 and vote our sissy in chief out of office or indict him for numberous high crimes and misdomeaners including voter fraud, campaign contribution fraud, etc, etc, etc. By the time Obama can make up his mind it will be over and only the mass executions of the rebels will remain. The only question remains is why does Obama spend over a million dollars on lawyers to hide his birth certificate and who is Obama, the Manchurian candidate?Ciao, WWTERRY

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  • 63. At 08:16am on 11 Mar 2011, powermeerkat wrote:




    Why is EU not establishing a no-fly zone itself?

    Elementary, Dear Watson!



    'he ostensible purpose of the Libyan Investment Authority - known in Arabic as "the mother of all funds" - was to manage Libya's excess oil wealth for the benefit of future generations.


    Its assets were valued at around £50bn to £60bn ($80-100bn) and included shares in Juventus football club, Italian oil giant Eni, and Pearson, the owner of the Financial Times.' (BBC)


    Sapienti sat.

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  • 64. At 08:22am on 11 Mar 2011, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re #62 "Manchurian Candidate". [whoever he might be]:



    "Listen, Sergey, listen to my voice:

    'for I have promises to keep
    and miles to walk before I sleep' "



    [Robert Frost probably turns in his grave]

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  • 65. At 08:31am on 11 Mar 2011, Maria Ashot wrote:

    The House of Saud are no slouches when it comes to lobbying, and in the US especially -- as in the Arab League -- they have their share of willing dupes.

    It is a mistake not to seize the moment to do to this goon what the Western powers were only too glad to do to Milosevic.

    One cannot be all things to all people: at some point, one has to choose a side. To abandon the brave men and women of Libya who stood up to the ogre and his ogre whelps with their big guns (bought with looted riches) to now be tortured and crushed into the mud and finally exterminated would not only be an unforgivable sin, it will ultimately backfire...

    The US followed that option -- to do nothing -- in the case of Iran. It seems ready to commit this monumental moral offence again, in Libya. If that is the case, then the same advisors who have led the US Administration astray on other critical matters -- the economy, the environment, education -- can add another huge failure to their CVs.

    And let us not forget that the principle, "As ye sow, so ye shall reap," also operates in History.

    In other words, I'm with Tom Donilon -- and Barack Obama's personal instincts. Ronald Reagan would have acted -- and won the accolades that go with acting forthrightly & decisively.

    But of course the GOP would rather Obama look bad than good.

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  • 66. At 09:04am on 11 Mar 2011, champagne_charlie wrote:

    #59

    oldloadr;

    "So you are saying the Brits of the 19th century saw a clear difference of type rather than degree between the economic system of the agrarian South, i.e. slavery of a distinct race, and the economic system practiced by the British Empire, i.e. peonage of an entire nation based on ethnicity and religion. I would be interested in the mental gymnastics that takes."

    Its called moral selectivism, you know , like a bunch of slave owners declaring that "All men are created equal".

    "1776, abolitionist Thomas Day responding to the hypocrisy in the Declaration wrote:

    If there be an object truly ridiculous in nature, it is an American patriot, signing resolutions of independency with the one hand, and with the other brandishing a whip over his affrighted slaves"

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  • 67. At 09:06am on 11 Mar 2011, powermeerkat wrote:

    "Maria Ashot: Ronald Reagan would have acted -- and won the accolades that go with acting forthrightly & decisively.

    But of course the GOP would rather Obama look bad than good.






    And how could GOP stop Mr. Obama from ordering any military operation against Libya, with him not only having a majority in U.S. House, but, more importantly, him being our Commander-in-Chief?

    Whose decisions could be criticised afterwards, but whose orders could not be questioned. [If they were given, of course.]

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  • 68. At 09:24am on 11 Mar 2011, Oldloadr wrote:

    66. At 09:04am on 11 Mar 2011, champagne_charlie wrote:
    #59

    oldloadr;

    "So you are saying the Brits of the 19th century saw a clear difference of type rather than degree between the economic system of the agrarian South, i.e. slavery of a distinct race, and the economic system practiced by the British Empire, i.e. peonage of an entire nation based on ethnicity and religion. I would be interested in the mental gymnastics that takes."

    Its called moral selectivism, you know , like a bunch of slave owners declaring that "All men are created equal".

    "1776, abolitionist Thomas Day responding to the hypocrisy in the Declaration wrote:

    If there be an object truly ridiculous in nature, it is an American patriot, signing resolutions of independency with the one hand, and with the other brandishing a whip over his affrighted slaves"
    ______________________________________________________________

    Of course, that Declaration that you dismiss could be considered the beginning of the end for the "peculiar institution" since it was gone 4 score and 7 years later (OK, 9 years, but the other is more poignant). At least, you seem to agree on the moral gymnastics of 19th Century Britain, as well (although you had to get a dig in while you were doing it). Although, this brings up an interesting thought on the topic provided. What is motivating the rebels in Libya? The apologists for the regime keep telling us that Q had created a socialist paradise in the heart of North Africa. If so, why do the rebels feel the need to risk their lives and their progeny to bring down this benevolent humanitarian? Do they feel that their lot in life is no better than that of a slave, serf or peon?

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  • 69. At 09:38am on 11 Mar 2011, Oldloadr wrote:

    67. At 09:06am on 11 Mar 2011, powermeerkat wrote:
    "Maria Ashot: Ronald Reagan would have acted -- and won the accolades that go with acting forthrightly & decisively.

    But of course the GOP would rather Obama look bad than good.
    _____________________________________________________

    I have to admit that there are some hard-core conservatives that your opinion would apply to. However, for those of us who happen to be a part of that military-industrial complex, we would not want him to fail in this since it’s usually (as has been discussed earlier) the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines that bear the brunt of the Commander-n-Chief failing in foreign policy. I’m too old now to pay the price, but the airmen I trained in my youth are now the Senior NCOs and Officers that would have to lead and motivate their airmen today; I certainly don’t want them to feel that nobody is watching their “6.” We also don’t want another Desert 1 scenario that we got with the president that our current POTUS seems to be reminding more people of every day.


    I have to admit that there are some hard-core conservatives that your opinion would apply to. However, for those of us who happen to be a part of that military-industrial complex, we would not want him to fail in this since it’s usually (as has been discussed earlier) the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines that bear the brunt of the Commander-n-Chief failing in foreign policy. I’m too old now to pay the price, but the airmen I trained in my youth are now the Senior NCOs and Officers that would have to lead and motivate their airmen today; I certainly don’t want them to feel that nobody is watching their “6.” We also don’t want another Desert 1 scenario that we got with the president that our current POTUS seems to be reminding more people of every day.
    Yeah, I love to see The One look like a brain-dead empty suit in the domestic realm and I enjoy his every mis-step more than watching any sit-com, but not past the water’s edge. I really want him to get it right, or at least listen to someone who knows that they are doing.

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  • 70. At 09:39am on 11 Mar 2011, powermeerkat wrote:

    Dont want to interrput but:


    An 8.8-magnitude earthquake has struck Japan, the U.S. Geological Survey says. Tsunami warnings have been issued. [CNN]

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  • 71. At 09:46am on 11 Mar 2011, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re: 8.9 earthquake and subsequent tsunami alert:

    http://edition.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/asiapcf/03/11/japan.quake/index.html?hpt=T1

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  • 72. At 09:49am on 11 Mar 2011, zapbrag wrote:

    wow all the pros for the North African Hitler, after all Hitler did the same for germany created equal wages, elimanated unemployment built a strong military, balanced captialism and communism, sign treaties of friendship with outlaw nations, just a all around good guy, if you ignore the ethnic cleansing and suppression of religion and ind rights, the invasion of ones neighbors when the econ became bad, or the use of terrorist to kill world leaders and overthrow goverments, Austria Cezech, then attack the very people you had a friendship treaty with with out warning, Yes Q is very much like his father HItler and just as evil and full of it and yes we will sit around like france and england in 1938-1939 talking and doing nothing waiting of the so called international community to do something which by the way with their tiny militarys will only to ask the US to do it all and complain the whole time, during WW2 the bulk of the war was on the US not France or mexico or portugal, or any other nothing Nation but we did free you and look how apprecative you are just go around making new little HItlers huh Grow up defend yourselves for once and quit whining none of you europeans or asians or africans or latin americans have ever done anything for any one but your selves you complain of war but never send troops except to kill your own people then whine!!!!!!!!!what does mexico care about Q most people in mexico cant read or write and dont even know where its at the same goes for the rest of the world!!!!

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  • 73. At 09:55am on 11 Mar 2011, Wee-Scamp wrote:

    So let's assume Gadaffi wins. What happens then and most importantly what happens about Libyan oil production?

    Will all those Western companies like BP be allowed back in after their governments have been so vocal about the Gadaffi Govt and even threatening to side with the "rebels"?

    I think not somehow. And who will be the biggest gainer? Who has got billions of $ sloshing around to invest in overseas oil/gas resources?

    Yes folks you got it in one. China will be the big winner here. We Westerners have once again scored an own goal and further weakened our own economic prospects through our inability to make a damn decision. How utterly stupid we are. Bomb those Libyan airfields now!!

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  • 74. At 10:01am on 11 Mar 2011, zapbrag wrote:

    The reason which a brit wont understand why clinton is not going a lone is that the US is torn between the Democrats which are socialist and internationalist and the republicans who are less socialist and much less internationalist, The US has been burned too many times by england and the EU and the so-called UN which a third of the US dosent want us to belong to, we are going through what britian went through during the turn of the 20th century, the feeling that we cant act alone, but we dont trust any one and like britian with good reason, the old saying "god spare me from my allies" is the current feeling in the US. Obuma only has a approval of 44% of the pop so most americans dont trust his judgement on foreign policy, or clintons for that matter after all she was made sect of state because she ran against him and to unite the party for the election so she wasnt anyones 1st choice for her job, so here judgement is suspect, obuma will do just what he has done so bad judgement, a little yellow streak, and say that the world and clinton wouldnt let him do anything. Dont forget both bush and obuma supported Q and still do just like France in 1938!

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  • 75. At 10:12am on 11 Mar 2011, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re #70 8.9 earthquake in Japan.


    That's how it felt in CNN's Tokyo office:


    http://edition.cnn.com/video/#/video/world/2011/03/11/vo.japan.quake.cnn.cnn?hpt=T1

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  • 77. At 10:24am on 11 Mar 2011, Simon21 wrote:

    66. At 09:04am on 11 Mar 2011, champagne_charlie wrote:
    #59

    oldloadr;

    "So you are saying the Brits of the 19th century saw a clear difference of type rather than degree between the economic system of the agrarian South, i.e. slavery of a distinct race, and the economic system practiced by the British Empire, i.e. peonage of an entire nation based on ethnicity and religion. I would be interested in the mental gymnastics that takes."

    Its called moral selectivism, you know , like a bunch of slave owners declaring that "All men are created equal".

    "1776, abolitionist Thomas Day responding to the hypocrisy in the Declaration wrote:

    If there be an object truly ridiculous in nature, it is an American patriot, signing resolutions of independency with the one hand, and with the other brandishing a whip over his affrighted slaves"
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Added to this is Johnson's "why is it that we hear the loudest yelps for liberty from drivers of negroes"

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  • 78. At 10:29am on 11 Mar 2011, Antonio wrote:

    Interested foreigner --

    I agree on your thought on shooting the messenger, but isn't Clapper the same guy who said the "Muslim Brotherhood" is secular?

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  • 79. At 10:30am on 11 Mar 2011, Simon21 wrote:

    42. At 02:33am on 11 Mar 2011, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    ---------

    On Libya, he has already pulled one diplomatic rabbit out of the hat.

    I have faith that he will eventually come to the right decision.

    Next time he will probably be a bit more ahead of the curve.
    Even Lincoln didn't always get things right on the first try.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Or the second. You are prorbably right but it is worth remembering that he is saddled by two problems.

    1. The lies etc that were said about Iraq mean, as some of us predicted at the time, that there is a cry-wolf attitude.

    Some of us pointed out that having lied to the electorate once to get a supposed easily winnable war underway, it would be very difficult to persuade people to tolerate another conflict, even if the case was more pressing.

    2. And of course there is the problem that the vast majority of Americans care not a fig for Libya etc but are still focussed on keeping their jobs and houses. This all comes in the teeth of a recession and it is not surprising that it is proving difficult to summon up the political will.

    Of course the urgency doesn't help but iof the situation is not addressed soon then teh answer will go by default.

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  • 80. At 10:31am on 11 Mar 2011, powermeerkat wrote:

    "the African Union has reiterated its rejection of any idea of foreign military intervention in Libya." [news wires]

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  • 81. At 10:41am on 11 Mar 2011, Wee-Scamp wrote:

    #80

    Of course they have. Doesn't mean to say we have to take any notice.

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  • 82. At 10:53am on 11 Mar 2011, Mirino wrote:

    Terrible earthquake in Japan. The most powerful in history. 8.9. Sometimes Nature or God brutally reminds us that He, or She, is still the boss.

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  • 83. At 10:57am on 11 Mar 2011, Mirino wrote:

    Latest report from France: Paris and London are ready to make targeted air-strikes on Libya under certain conditions. There's no further information yet regarding what the 'certain conditions' are.

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  • 84. At 11:19am on 11 Mar 2011, Marnip wrote:

    No leadership from anyone, complete inaction, moral softness and lacking the courage of convictions all over the place.

    Gadaffi is killing his own people to hold on to power - that is definitively dictatorial. The rebels have inferior weaponry, training, and tactical ability.

    It has been left too long already. We should all have nailed our colours to the mast and said we're with the pro-democracy fighters. Anything else is pure hypocrisy, and applauding them from the sidelines.


    You can compare it to Iraq if you so wish, but whoever made the stupid point that its a myth Gadaffi is killing people: you must have lived under a rock for the past month.

    They've asked for European and US help, and this was - and possibly still is - a chance to repair relations, not damage them. If we stood by our words about democracy and human rights we would be respected in the Middle East and North Africa by those people who desire those things. We could show we're on their side, and do the right thing.

    To me, it couldn't have been a more obvious situation, yet no one has done a single thing for 3 weeks. How about we stop trying to talk to people who make it clear that they will fight to the death?

    Final point for all those of you interested in the economy and oil issues: do you think Gadaffi would sell oil to the West after everyone 'betrayed' him suddenly?

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  • 85. At 11:27am on 11 Mar 2011, quietoaktree wrote:

    Does anyone know what the Arabs (bloggers) are saying about their respective countries getting involved in helping the rebels ?

    I would have imagined the events in Libya are at least comparable with the Spanish civil war -- and volunteers flocked into that fight --from all over the world.

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  • 86. At 11:31am on 11 Mar 2011, Marnip wrote:

    83. At 10:57am on 11 Mar 2011, Nostrano wrote:

    Latest report from France: Paris and London are ready to make targeted air-strikes on Libya under certain conditions. There's no further information yet regarding what the 'certain conditions' are.

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

    They're waiting for Gaddafi to start killing puppies. We'll sit tight through RPG attacks, tanks, aircraft attacks, ground assaults and the killing of women and children simply for being in the vicinity.

    But the puppies...we have to draw a line somewhere if innocent puppies start being massacred.

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  • 87. At 11:35am on 11 Mar 2011, Simon21 wrote:

    84. At 11:19am on 11 Mar 2011, Marnip wrote:
    No leadership from anyone, complete inaction, moral softness and lacking the courage of convictions all over the place.

    Gadaffi is killing his own people to hold on to power - that is definitively dictatorial. The rebels have inferior weaponry, training, and tactical ability.

    It has been left too long already. We should all have nailed our colours to the mast and said we're with the pro-democracy fighters. Anything else is pure hypocrisy, and applauding them from the sidelines.


    You can compare it to Iraq if you so wish, but whoever made the stupid point that its a myth Gadaffi is killing people: you must have lived under a rock for the past month.

    They've asked for European and US help, and this was - and possibly still is - a chance to repair relations, not damage them. If we stood by our words about democracy and human rights we would be respected in the Middle East and North Africa by those people who desire those things. We could show we're on their side, and do the right thing."
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Yes it would make a nice change. Instead of selling pathological dictators weapons and torture devices.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------

    To me, it couldn't have been a more obvious situation, yet no one has done a single thing for 3 weeks. How about we stop trying to talk to people who make it clear that they will fight to the death?"


    It is difficult to invade ex-colonial societies at the best of times as you do not want to hand the ruler a propaganda coup.

    But since the French recognised the opposition presumably they can formally ask for an alliance and defence.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------

    Final point for all those of you interested in the economy and oil issues: do you think Gadaffi would sell oil to the West after everyone 'betrayed' him suddenly?"


    I think he would worry about that for about 2 minutes and then repoen his swiss bank accounts

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  • 88. At 11:45am on 11 Mar 2011, tuulen wrote:


    In the current case of Libya, unilateral military action by the US should be avoided, and US consultation with the UN is a sensible option.

    As one consideration, a no-fly zone might achieve its immediate objective, but apparently Libya has other weapons, too, including tanks and artillery, and if those other weapons become deployed then a mission to enforce a no-fly zone could escalate into all-out warfare against the tanks, the artillery and whatever else.

    As another consideration, today Libya is only one of the nations among the several North African and Middle East nations currently undergoing political upheaval, and the overall balance of governmental powers in that part of the world is considerably more complex than just a consideration of Libya alone, which underscores the need for US consultation with the UN.

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  • 89. At 12:09pm on 11 Mar 2011, Marnip wrote:

    87. At 11:35am on 11 Mar 2011, Simon21 wrote:

    "Yes it would make a nice change. Instead of selling pathological dictators weapons and torture devices."

    Without a shadow of a doubt. Not that I advocate us taking personal responsibility for that, but we are in the situation where we all agree who we want to 'win'. There's no debate, we all want Gaddafi gone, so I fail to see the dilemma.

    "It is difficult to invade ex-colonial societies at the best of times as you do not want to hand the ruler a propaganda coup."

    In this example, I disagree. Worldwide condemnation has been achieved (bar obviously a few examples) for Gaddafis actions; the problem is that's as far as it's gone. Just words, nothing backing them up. Gaddafi doesn't care, he's insane. I don't consider this a contentious intervention, given there's no nonsense about WMDs, 45 minute claims, or doubt over whether the opposition want us to help - we know they want help, and we're not giving it them.

    I must say I would find it unforgivable if it became clear that the hesitation was politically motivated through worrying about comparisons to Iraq/Afghanistan. That would be a disgraceful way to resolve the problem of what we ought to do.

    "But since the French recognised the opposition presumably they can formally ask for an alliance and defence."

    That's the problem really, isn't it? Failure to actually back up words with actions.

    "I think he would worry about that for about 2 minutes and then repoen his swiss bank accounts"

    I think he'd take revenge, like the headcase he is. Not that it would be TOO significant due to Libya contributing between 1 and 2% of the oil we use (if I remember correctly), but he'd sell to others in the blink of an eye. We'll have to see on that one, but it's a risk we take if we don't help to remove him.

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  • 90. At 12:18pm on 11 Mar 2011, Simon21 wrote:

    89. At 12:09pm on 11 Mar 2011, Marnip wrote:
    87. At 11:35am on 11 Mar 2011, Simon21 wrote:

    "Yes it would make a nice change. Instead of selling pathological dictators weapons and torture devices."

    Without a shadow of a doubt. Not that I advocate us taking personal responsibility for that, but we are in the situation where we all agree who we want to 'win'. There's no debate, we all want Gaddafi gone, so I fail to see the dilemma."


    Because not everyone does want to see him gone particularly. Hence the UN deadlock.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    "It is difficult to invade ex-colonial societies at the best of times as you do not want to hand the ruler a propaganda coup."

    In this example, I disagree. Worldwide condemnation has been achieved (bar obviously a few examples) for Gaddafis actions; the problem is that's as far as it's gone. Just words, nothing backing them up. Gaddafi doesn't care, he's insane. I don't consider this a contentious intervention, given there's no nonsense about WMDs, 45 minute claims, or doubt over whether the opposition want us to help - we know they want help, and we're not giving it them."


    You will not get very far if you think Gaddaffi is insane. He patently isn't he is winning a conflict everyone assumed he would lose.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------

    I must say I would find it unforgivable if it became clear that the hesitation was politically motivated through worrying about comparisons to Iraq/Afghanistan. That would be a disgraceful way to resolve the problem of what we ought to do.

    "But since the French recognised the opposition presumably they can formally ask for an alliance and defence."

    That's the problem really, isn't it? Failure to actually back up words with actions.

    "I think he would worry about that for about 2 minutes and then repoen his swiss bank accounts"

    I think he'd take revenge, like the headcase he is. Not that it would be TOO significant due to Libya contributing between 1 and 2% of the oil we use (if I remember correctly), but he'd sell to others in the blink of an eye. We'll have to see on that one, but it's a risk we take if we don't help to remove him."


    It is plainly desirable for him to go, but the situation is more complicated than is commonly understood. If the country breaks up for example that might lead to a bad situation getting worse

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  • 91. At 12:21pm on 11 Mar 2011, Maria Ashot wrote:

    No. 67, powermeerkat:

    On the surface, one would expect things to be as straightforward as you describe. But in reality, as the Carville-Matalin marriage exemplifies (and let's not forget they sealed their union in the middle of a contentious Presidential election campaign) the noise generated by one side or the other can be both distracting and confusing to the man actually charged with issuing the executive order.

    I put it to you, based on what Mr Mardell has accurately described, that there is a zone where the two parties in America overlap and get blurred. Within that zone, there are people advocating positions broadly at variance with the stated platforms of the party they nominally represent.

    Just as there are pro-life Democrats, pro-gay-marriage Republicans and mixed-bag-neocons, there are people serving and advising President Obama who are not at all falling in line with the ostensible Democratic position on Libya. (However one might define that!)

    So you will have VP Biden expressing one position and Gen Clapper expressing another. The impression the world at large is left with is one of chaos. The NYT proclaims the triumph of "pragmatism" but in fact it appears there is a good deal of flux still sloshing around 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue...

    I do not doubt that the Saudis, who have refused to receive Secretary Clinton on the pretext that the King is ill (as if he is ever well?) would be beating the bushes out there to flush out each and every anti-action American of influence they can muster... Because they want to send a clear message to their captive subjects that there is no chance of success for any movement seeking an end to a lopsided system in which only a tiny clique gets any kind of say over the policy of their state, treasury and society...

    The GOP leaders have repeatedly declared their No. 1 Priority is to replace the President in 2012 with one of their own. I am quite certain they would not hesitate to sacrifice the interests of 6.5 million Libyans in order to maintain the illusion that Obama has done nothing right since getting elected.

    Trouble is, American economic clout in the world has become diluted (and that's putting it mildly), and unless America at least lives up to the moral precepts it perpetually preached to everyone else, there really is nothing much left upon which to constitute a positive image of the US of A to large chunks of the global population... That translates into reduced exports, declining dollar valuations and more doldrums for the all-important economy.

    This is not a moment when America can afford to alienate the educated & idealistic young people of this world by being exposed as a hypocrite or pusillanimous equivocator.

    Gen Clapper may be calling the future as he sees it, but that would also imply that he no longer believes America and Americans have any influence to shape the future according to their own interests or anyone else's. And that, by the way, is bad for Israel and Israelis (not that I think they are paying any kind of attention as much as anyone else).

    The choice is stark: either the US joins the EU in forcing "al-Q" out -- and thereby reasserts its rightful claim to "world's leading good guy", or Q stays but the US is forced out of its plum seat as "leader of the free world" -- de facto if not de jure.

    PS: powermeerkat, I read your prior literary comments and was deeply touched...

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  • 92. At 12:35pm on 11 Mar 2011, Marnip wrote:

    "Because not everyone does want to see him gone particularly. Hence the UN deadlock."

    I think most people, whatever they personally want, understand that they cannot justify to the general public a policy that includes Gaddafi staying in power. It's gone too far now.

    "You will not get very far if you think Gaddaffi is insane. He patently isn't he is winning a conflict everyone assumed he would lose."

    Winning a conflict doesn't make him sane. Who thought he would lose assuming no intervention? I certainly didn't; Egypt was successful because the military stayed out. Anyone who thought he would have lost...well I don't know what to say about them. Naive, perhaps.

    He would have lost if we'd have helped (along with other nations), but we haven't.

    "It is plainly desirable for him to go, but the situation is more complicated than is commonly understood. If the country breaks up for example that might lead to a bad situation getting worse"

    I'm not sure there's much worse than risking Gaddafi staying. It's like being attacked by a mugger, but you manage to knock them down. Then you stand back and wait for them to get up, hoping they'll just accept defeat and leave it at that. Dangerous game.

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  • 93. At 1:08pm on 11 Mar 2011, Mirino wrote:

    86. Marnip

    Since the UK and France are the only countries seemingly willing to make a stand on behalf of the Libyan opposition, and this in spite of the obvious difficulties, sarcasm coming from any one who's assumably represented by a 'Yes we could, but I'm not really sure that we should', is a bit out of place and not very constructive.

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  • 94. At 1:39pm on 11 Mar 2011, Simon21 wrote:

    92. At 12:35pm on 11 Mar 2011, Marnip wrote:
    "Because not everyone does want to see him gone particularly. Hence the UN deadlock."

    I think most people, whatever they personally want, understand that they cannot justify to the general public a policy that includes Gaddafi staying in power. It's gone too far now."

    Don't be too sure people do not care about Libya particularly, its not a vote winner in a global recession.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------

    "You will not get very far if you think Gaddaffi is insane. He patently isn't he is winning a conflict everyone assumed he would lose."

    Winning a conflict doesn't make him sane. Who thought he would lose assuming no intervention? I certainly didn't; Egypt was successful because the military stayed out. Anyone who thought he would have lost...well I don't know what to say about them. Naive, perhaps.

    He would have lost if we'd have helped (along with other nations), but we haven't."


    Maybe but he has acted entirely rationally and is playing the cards, such as he has them well. He is not insane of if he is the term has little meaning.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------

    "It is plainly desirable for him to go, but the situation is more complicated than is commonly understood. If the country breaks up for example that might lead to a bad situation getting worse"

    I'm not sure there's much worse than risking Gaddafi staying. It's like being attacked by a mugger, but you manage to knock them down. Then you stand back and wait for them to get up, hoping they'll just accept defeat and leave it at that. Dangerous game."

    Don't agree, you knock the mugger down only to find to your surprise that he has two friends who proceed to hit you and each other, creating a brawl whihc draws in passers by whihc leads to increased violence etc.

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  • 95. At 1:45pm on 11 Mar 2011, Illogicbuster wrote:

    powermeerkat wrote:"All interventionists should answer some questions:
    The world would be better without Gaddafi. But is that a vital U.S. national interest? If it is, when did it become so? A month ago, no one thought it was. "
    ------------------------------------------------------------------

    Excellent points. It is time our country stop dashing off to invade a country every time some gov & its people are killing each other. There isn't a single war since WW2 that we should have taken part in.

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  • 97. At 1:55pm on 11 Mar 2011, Simon21 wrote:

    61. At 07:58am on 11 Mar 2011, powermeerkat wrote:
    "By not taking part in Libyan Civil War, American taxpayers have saved billions..."


    More importantly, Lucy, we've protected ourselves from accusations by "usual suspects" that "U.S. invaded Libya to steal its oil"

    Just as we allegedly stole Yugoslav, Iraqi and Afghani oil earlier. ;-)

    [why we have not invaded and occupied Canada and Mexico, two biggest oil suppliers to US, decades ago - the "usual suspects" refuse to explain]>
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Well our ex-cold war warrior liten and learn. The US controls the oil supply from these countries, it doesn't need to occupy them, where would teh sense be in that? It would cost a fortune.

    Far better to have the government's fully aware of what would happen if they attempted to assue direct control over ht esupplies.

    Oil is traded in US dollars, the US suipplies much of the technology and dmonates teh oil exchanges. US intrigues with OPEC etc are public informaton - at one stage 80% of those in OPEC had governments dependent on US support.

    As is the fact that US Oil companies were lining up to get inot Libya - again public info :-)

    But don't worry, I am sure its all a Soviet/Russkie plot somewhere, according to you most things are. Come back Leonid all is forgiven

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  • 98. At 2:07pm on 11 Mar 2011, Simon21 wrote:

    60. At 07:49am on 11 Mar 2011, powermeerkat wrote:
    publius: "A lesson GW Bush did not learn from his father. We are still fighting the wars of his folly."


    Had G.H.W. Bush not stopped Stormy Norman's troops south of Basra, his son would not have to move on Saddam later."

    Yes given that Bush's coalition would then have fallen apart and the US would have found itself suddenly isolated.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    There would have been no genocide of Marsh Arabs and no need for Operation Provide Comfort to protect Iraqi Kurds, either."

    But possible civil war and choas in which both the Marsh arabs and Krds would have been consumed.

    But such tender regard for a-rabs and Kurds, bless. Pity Bush Junion didn't give a hang about either group.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------

    BTW. The "clear objective' then was not to liberate Kuwait.

    It was to prevent an Iraqi attack on Saudi Arabia, which Saddam, a loony dictator with mania grandiosa (not unlike that Gaddafi has been afflicted with) wanted to move on next."


    Yes there is a difference between "clear objective" and delusional fantasy. The clear objective was stated multiple times (and was therefore "clear"), the delusional fantasy never.

    One can guess you possibly did not go far in your military career if you were unable to make this distinction

    As regards Saddam himself he again was perfectly rational and most of his moves, as is now admitted were aimed at Iran. He tried to position himself as the natural anti-Iranian champion.

    The blundering ignorance of the US has since handed Iraq over to Iran whose RGs apparently even supply the Iraqi cabinet with their private aircraft - and even more private instructions.

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  • 99. At 2:10pm on 11 Mar 2011, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    Here is some more news, completely predictable:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-12709229

    Inaction has consequences.
    We're sending the wrong message.
    Libya is about a lot more than getting rid of mad Muammar.

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  • 101. At 2:28pm on 11 Mar 2011, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    59. At 07:41am on 11 Mar 2011, Oldloadr wrote:

    "So you are saying the Brits of the 19th century saw a clear difference of type rather than degree between the economic system of the agrarian South, i.e. slavery of a distinct race, and the economic system practiced by the British Empire, ..."

    -----------

    Oh, indeed so.

    There was a huge campaign to end slavery in the British Empire. Google the names "William Wilberforce" and "Barham".

    Slavery was outlawed in the British Empire in 1828 (?) or thereabouts.
    The Royal Navy was quite aggressive in stamping out the slave trade. (There is an irony in that, considering John Hawkins and the origins of the Royal Navy, but that's a discussion for another time.)

    At the time, before the abolition of slavery in the US, fugitive slaves who could get to a British ship or British territory considered the Union Jack to be the flag of liberty.


    I wonder if Libyans might not have the same idea today?

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


    "BTW, even if the Empire never seriously considered intervening in the US Civil war, Lee sure thought they could be persuaded; especially since they sent military observers with Lee's staff to Gettysburg."

    I'm not sure that Lee thought so at all.
    I'm not even sure that his political masters thought so.

    I am sure that his political masters hoped it was so, and clung to that hope for a very long time, even though they knew logic was against it.

    General Lee, on the other hand, was remarkably sanguine about it.
    Against long odds he wanted a victory on Northern soil in effect to discourage Northern public opinion and lead to a political settlement of the war. It was a long shot, too, but one not without foundation: there was a northern faction that wanted to end the war on terms, and that faction eventually took General McLellan as its figurehead.

    (The word "Copperhead" comes to mind, but that could be completely wrong. Yet another thing to check out ... oh, the miracle of Wikipedia)

    In any case, the remarkable General Lee gave it his all, but on a Spring day in 1863 fell just a little bit short.


    Slavery was, and is, an abomination, but I have studied military history for far too long not to admire that man's intellect and ability. Head and shoulders more capable than any of his peers, with the possible exception of Winfield Scott.

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  • 102. At 2:46pm on 11 Mar 2011, baircash wrote:

    Why the is the US has to carry the ball. Why can't the EU step up? Where's Italy ?

    If the US does get suckered in, I propose that the adventure & future adventures be funded by a specific tax for that adventure.

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  • 103. At 2:54pm on 11 Mar 2011, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    50. At 04:36am on 11 Mar 2011, chronophobe wrote:

    "No, soon enough there will be calls for hitting ground targets. Which means you will need somebody on the ground to identify and paint them for guided munitions."

    [[True enough. I already have done.]]


    If it's all going to be such a walk in the park, couldn't the Benghazi bunch just hire Executive Outcomes or somesuch? One or two tankers full of crude have to buy something of value in this sad old world.

    [[A very interesting thought. A very dangerous thought, too.

    It's clear that the Libyan people could do with a supply of rally well trained, organized field officers and NCO's. It would stabilize the situation very quickly.

    In the good old days France could have deployed the French Foreign Legion.

    In the really good old days there was a book "Soldiers of Fortune" by Richard Harding Davis ... (there are certain books that carry a lot of political baggage. That book is one of them.)

    There are reasons why mercenaries and privateers went out of fashion and are considered a curse. Right now it would be really helpful to have a volunteer paid force that can be hired by the western democracies on a pay-as-you-go basis, without having to worry about public opinion.

    Do I really want HRH to issues Letters of Marque authorizing, say, the apprehension "with extreme prejudice" of Mad Dog Muammar and his devil's spawn?


    The problem is that just as the "good guys" can hire Executive Outcomes, or similar services, so can the "bad guys".

    And what do you do when private companies can hire private armies? Some people think that is roughly what Tiny Rowlands was able to do in Africa for so many years.

    It's not just KAOS, SMERSH, and Blofeld I'm worried about.
    I'm not all that comfortable with the idea of the idea of an Exxon private army, for example.

    Think about the things that would be helpful here:
    The concept of a private military force, for hire, with the ability to operate aircraft carriers, carrier aircraft, attack helicopters, large armoured formations ...

    Yeah, I'm a bit squeamish about that.

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  • 104. At 2:58pm on 11 Mar 2011, Oldloadr wrote:

    101. At 2:28pm on 11 Mar 2011, Interestedforeigner wrote:
    59. At 07:41am on 11 Mar 2011, Oldloadr wrote:

    "So you are saying the Brits of the 19th century saw a clear difference of type rather than degree between the economic system of the agrarian South, i.e. slavery of a distinct race, and the economic system practiced by the British Empire, ..."

    -----------

    Oh, indeed so.

    There was a huge campaign to end slavery in the British Empire. Google the names "William Wilberforce" and "Barham".

    Slavery was outlawed in the British Empire in 1828 (?) or thereabouts.
    The Royal Navy was quite aggressive in stamping out the slave trade. (There is an irony in that, considering John Hawkins and the origins of the Royal Navy, but that's a discussion for another time.)

    At the time, before the abolition of slavery in the US, fugitive slaves who could get to a British ship or British territory considered the Union Jack to be the flag of liberty.
    _____________________________________________________________

    So you do consider (and apparently the British believed as Charlie pointed out) that the peonage practiced by the Empire upon the Catholics of Ireland to be acceptable behavior and in no way similar to the institution of Slavery. My point is both are equally morally wrong and those types of exploitation never seem to end well for the exploiters. Do you really think it matters one whit to a peon that nobody has a title filed at the courthouse on his/her personage even though the landlord owns him/her body and soul?

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  • 105. At 3:15pm on 11 Mar 2011, Mirino wrote:

    98. Simon21

    I wonder if it wasn't the opposite, if GW Bush wasn't influence by his father. Maybe his father had never forgiven himself for allowing Saddam Hussein to get away Scot free after the Kuwaiti war, to then use his chemical arms to massacre the Kurds.

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  • 106. At 3:37pm on 11 Mar 2011, The Cool Ruler Rides Again wrote:

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

  • 108. At 3:56pm on 11 Mar 2011, escapedfromny wrote:

    97. At 1:55pm on 11 Mar 2011, Simon21 wrote:

    "Well our ex-cold war warrior liten and learn. The US controls the oil supply from these countries, it doesn't need to occupy them, where would teh sense be in that? It would cost a fortune.

    Far better to have the government's fully aware of what would happen if they attempted to assue direct control over ht esupplies."
    --------------------------

    You mean like the way RUSSIA recently threatened Europe on supplying natural gas?

    Or how OPEC threw the world into a total mess in 1974?

    Maybe they don't teach this where you are but the SUPPLIER of a commodity can control the relationship with the buyer.

    ---------------------------
    "Oil is traded in US dollars, the US suipplies much of the technology and dmonates teh oil exchanges. US intrigues with OPEC etc are public informaton - at one stage 80% of those in OPEC had governments dependent on US support."
    -----------------------------

    US Dollars are now like doubloons and florins and any universally accepted means of trade. It does not mean that the US "controls" what happens with then inside or outside the country.

    And if things were so cozy between the US and OPEC, WHY EVER WORRY ABOUT OIL SUPPLIES? Do you really believe that stuff, or is it something you read somewhere in a pamphlet written by a disgruntled political science prof?
    ----------------------------

    "As is the fact that US Oil companies were lining up to get inot Libya - again public info :-)"

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

    Yeah, US oil companies, like Shell and BP (what does that "B" stand for again??) and Total and Citgo (owned 100% buy Venezuela) and Gazprom. Yup, all those "American" companies.

    ------------------------------------
    "But don't worry, I am sure its all a Soviet/Russkie plot somewhere, according to you most things are. Come back Leonid all is forgiven"
    ------------------------------------

    Nah, it's not a plot when Vlad and Medvedev are doing it in the open.

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  • 109. At 4:01pm on 11 Mar 2011, Simon21 wrote:

    105. At 3:15pm on 11 Mar 2011, Nostrano wrote:
    98. Simon21

    I wonder if it wasn't the opposite, if GW Bush wasn't influence by his father. Maybe his father had never forgiven himself for allowing Saddam Hussein to get away Scot free after the Kuwaiti war, to then use his chemical arms to massacre the Kurds. "

    I seriously doubt if the suffering of the Kurds caused him a moment's disturbance.

    He never batted an eye when the Turks were bombing and shooting them and arresting people for speaking Kurdish etc. The struggle of the Kurdish people was simply an excuse, as was the curious obsession with poison gas, (as if carpet bombing etc makes any difference to the victims). When Saddam threatened to use it agains the Iranians, where was the indignation then?

    That Bush was in part effected by his father's experience though is not to be doubted.



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  • 110. At 4:06pm on 11 Mar 2011, Simon21 wrote:

    104. At 2:58pm on 11 Mar 2011, Oldloadr wrote:
    _____________________________________________________________

    So you do consider (and apparently the British believed as Charlie pointed out) that the peonage practiced by the Empire upon the Catholics of Ireland to be acceptable behavior and in no way similar to the institution of Slavery."

    In that practically all forms of social domination can be like slavery then yes, otherwise no.

    Not sure what "peonage" means in this context, teh Irish wanted to be peons, it was when the British started clearing them that the "land war" started.

    "My point is both are equally morally wrong and those types of exploitation never seem to end well for the exploiters. Do you really think it matters one whit to a peon that nobody has a title filed at the courthouse on his/her personage even though the landlord owns him/her body and soul? "


    Well an Irish peasant couldn't be sold, he could not be executed without due process(though in practise he often was), and his subservience related to the land, not to his actual body. He was not a possession, his land was.

    Some southern slaveowners argued the irish would be better off as slaves, so they recognised the difference.

    You would be on better ground with indentured labour



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  • 111. At 4:22pm on 11 Mar 2011, Simon21 wrote:

    108. At 3:56pm on 11 Mar 2011, escapedfromny wrote:
    97. At 1:55pm on 11 Mar 2011, Simon21 wrote:

    "Well our ex-cold war warrior liten and learn. The US controls the oil supply from these countries, it doesn't need to occupy them, where would teh sense be in that? It would cost a fortune.

    Far better to have the government's fully aware of what would happen if they attempted to assue direct control over ht esupplies."
    --------------------------

    You mean like the way RUSSIA recently threatened Europe on supplying natural gas?"


    Not quite old son but you get th e general idea. Russia didn't need to reoccupy Warsaw did it?
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Or how OPEC threw the world into a total mess in 1974?

    Maybe they don't teach this where you are but the SUPPLIER of a commodity can control the relationship with the buyer. "


    The buyer can if the SUPPLIER needs the buyer to stay alive and be a supplier

    eh?

    And the OPEC strife, what happened there, oh yes.

    Tip don't quote examples that suit your opponent's arguemments

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    "Oil is traded in US dollars, the US suipplies much of the technology and dmonates teh oil exchanges. US intrigues with OPEC etc are public informaton - at one stage 80% of those in OPEC had governments dependent on US support."
    -----------------------------

    US Dollars are now like doubloons and florins and any universally accepted means of trade. It does not mean that the US "controls" what happens with then inside or outside the country."


    Not the US point of view don't you remember the outrage when Saddam et all proposed dealing in another currency?
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------

    And if things were so cozy between the US and OPEC, WHY EVER WORRY ABOUT OIL SUPPLIES? Do you really believe that stuff, or is it something you read somewhere in a pamphlet written by a disgruntled political science prof?"


    No common sense. Unlike the above which makes no sense. What are you gibbering about? The US owns millions of houses, but still worries about housing. God you could make fifteen volumes lisiting everything the US worries about, its the republic of fear.

    But as regards Opec US needs its puppets etc to stay in charge and that can be a worry.

    Simples.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------
    "As is the fact that US Oil companies were lining up to get inot Libya - again public info :-)"

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

    Yeah, US oil companies, like Shell and BP (what does that "B" stand for again??) and Total and Citgo (owned 100% buy Venezuela) and Gazprom. Yup, all those "American" companies.



    Hmmm who is in charge of BP ah yes. I won't give you a list of the US companies that pressured Bush to let them into Libya, its fairly public knowledge.

    Oh and do try to learn something about the nature of the oil industry.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    ------------------------------------
    "But don't worry, I am sure its all a Soviet/Russkie plot somewhere, according to you most things are. Come back Leonid all is forgiven"
    ------------------------------------

    Nah, it's not a plot when Vlad and Medvedev are doing it in the open. 2


    Are you sure? Sure its not the iranians as well? Commies?, Catholics etc.

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  • 112. At 4:33pm on 11 Mar 2011, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re #105 "Maybe his [W"s] father had never forgiven himself for allowing Saddam Hussein to get away Scot free after the Kuwaiti war, to then use his chemical arms to massacre the Kurds."






    Nostrano, what are you talking about?

    What chemical weapons?!

    Chemical weapons are weapons of mass destruction (just like nuclear and biological ones).

    And we've been told dozens of times that Saddam did not have any WMDs, and we therefore invaded his Iraq under false pretenses.

    Saddam and Chemical Ali must have poisoned those thousands of Kurds in Halabja and elsewhere with Chanel No5 or something similar.


    BTW. I don't know what IAF has destroyed not long ago in northern Syria.

    It couldn't have been a breeding reactor built by N. Koreans, since Syria has never had any secret nuclear weapons program.

    [Just like Islamic Republic of Iran hasn't. :-)]

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  • 113. At 4:36pm on 11 Mar 2011, hms_shannon wrote:

    104. At 2:58pm on 11 Mar 2011, Oldloadr wrote:

    So you do consider (and apparently the British believed as Charlie pointed out) that the peonage practiced by the Empire upon the Catholics of Ireland to be acceptable behavior and in no way similar to the institution of Slavery. My point is both are equally morally wrong and those types of exploitation never seem to end well for the exploiters. Do you really think it matters one whit to a peon that nobody has a title filed at the courthouse on his/her personage even though the landlord owns him/her body and soul?
    ------
    Terrible things were carried out in Ireland in times past.My country was
    over run & we were held in serfdom by land owners appointed by the Crown.
    If any one should get bitter re the past it should be me a Welsh man whos
    native language was forbidden to be used in schools on fear of the lash.
    But why spend ones time in dredging up the ghosts of the past so that one can point the finger & plead victim.Thats like drinking poison & hoping the other guy dies.

    Ps, if it was not for the English tax payers Wales could not afford its
    Hospitals,Schools, Roads, Power grid ,ect ect ect.Learn ones history yes!
    but be thank full its no longer like that.

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  • 114. At 4:43pm on 11 Mar 2011, Mirino wrote:

    109. Simon21

    Re. the bombing of Kurds by the Turks. The US seem to prefer to regard the Kurds who fight the Turks to defend their culture, freedom and independence as terrorists, whereas those who fight Iran to defend their culture, freedom and independence are regarded more as freedom fighters. Those who use such double standards would naturally include Obama, who was a bit pushy at one time in expecting Europe to greet Turkey into the EU with open arms.

    I also made this point before on this blog. (And by the way, I've replied to your accusation of my ignorance being 'breathtaking' regarding Afghanistan, in the previous thread. No harm in giving yourself a breather from time to time..)

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  • 115. At 4:45pm on 11 Mar 2011, hms_shannon wrote:

    My thoughts for the poor folk in Japan.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8TsPiNkj6DA

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  • 116. At 4:49pm on 11 Mar 2011, escapedfromny wrote:

    European and North American liberals (and by extension, the UN) are proving yet again that they don't mind dictators wiping out opposition.

    So what's the big deal - are we to believe that France and England do not have enough to topple one tin-pot dictator?

    The Chinese and Russians must be laughing their heads of, knowing that if they cannot swindle liberals out of everything, all they have to do is rattle a saber REAL loud, and they will cave in a flash.

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  • 117. At 4:51pm on 11 Mar 2011, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    104. At 2:58pm on 11 Mar 2011, Oldloadr wrote:

    "So you do consider (and apparently the British believed as Charlie pointed out) that the peonage practiced by the Empire upon the Catholics of Ireland to be acceptable behavior and in no way similar to the institution of Slavery. My point is both are equally morally wrong and those types of exploitation never seem to end well for the exploiters. Do you really think it matters one whit to a peon that nobody has a title filed at the courthouse on his/her personage even though the landlord owns him/her body and soul?"

    __________

    I have Scottish ancestors who left Scotland for this reason.
    I have Irish ancestors who left Ireland for this reason.

    Long, long ago.

    ----------

    Sharecropping continued in the US long after the Civil War, and the rights of the landed gentry in the UK took a long time to diminish, too.

    The same point can be made about the treatment of industrial workers in company towns - whether working for Pullman or for any of the big coal companies in Appalachia, or coal mines in France, as most famously depicted in Germinal by Zola.

    That problem wasn't, and isn't, peculiar to the US, the UK, France or any other industrial nation.

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  • 118. At 5:23pm on 11 Mar 2011, LucyJ wrote:

    Publius: At this time, it is a fools errand for any nation to intervene without anything less then the objective of total victory and complete martial law over all the conquered, Libyan people. I doubt any of the Libyan people would want intervention under such an objective.
    ----------
    I agree with ur statement that there is no guarentee that this temporary council is actually what hte Libyan ppl want and b/c of this, it would be a silly move to support that side if we don't know if its even what they want...on tv, I have seen just as many Libyans say they don't want any intervention as I have seen ones that do...

    USA does things full-scale, Gates even stated this, so we should only go into Libya if they are prepared for us to go full-scale, no holding back, and in all honesty, I do not think USA intervening in Libya's Civil War would benefit us or them...

    Most likely, they woudl blame us for intervening, then years of bitter feelings and possibly potentially in the wrong way leading to more Islamic terrorism, so its not even worth it...
    --------
    Scott: LucyJ, I doubt the French would even ask such a question before providing arms. President Sarkozy just recognized the rebels' organization as the legitimate representatives of Libya, there was no need to rush into that unless he needed legal cover to sell or provide arms to the rebels.
    --------
    The French can do whatever they want, if they want to sell weapons to rebels and recognize them, go for it, but for us, its up to us to make up our own minds and many Americans, including myself, are not interested in intervening in other countries Civil Wars or in recognizing a tribe that we don't know hte ppl actually want as leader...

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  • 119. At 5:25pm on 11 Mar 2011, Simon21 wrote:

    112. At 4:33pm on 11 Mar 2011, powermeerkat wrote:
    Re #105 "Maybe his [W"s] father had never forgiven himself for allowing Saddam Hussein to get away Scot free after the Kuwaiti war, to then use his chemical arms to massacre the Kurds."



    Nostrano, what are you talking about?

    What chemical weapons?!

    Chemical weapons are weapons of mass destruction (just like nuclear and biological ones)."


    Are they? Isn't the whole idea just a stupid cod?
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    And we've been told dozens of times that Saddam did not have any WMDs, and we therefore invaded his Iraq under false pretenses.

    Saddam and Chemical Ali must have poisoned those thousands of Kurds in Halabja and elsewhere with Chanel No5 or something similar."

    Yes just a pity no one could find them when they had the chance. And the US admitted to listening to one Iraqi taxi driver

    Opps!
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------


    BTW. I don't know what IAF has destroyed not long ago in northern Syria.

    It couldn't have been a breeding reactor built by N. Koreans, since Syria has never had any secret nuclear weapons program.

    [Just like Islamic Republic of Iran hasn't. :-)]


    But the "jewish" state of Israel has - and has threatened to use!




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  • 120. At 5:28pm on 11 Mar 2011, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re #108 escapefromny: US oil companies, like Shell and BP (what does that "B" stand for again??) and Total and Citgo (owned 100% buy Venezuela) and Gazprom. Yup, all those "American" companies.






    Are you suggesting that Gazprom and Total are NOT American companies?

    As for BP, a believe the 'B' stands for Belorussian which would explain the company's secret dealings with Muammar Gaddafi.

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  • 121. At 5:28pm on 11 Mar 2011, Simon21 wrote:

    114. At 4:43pm on 11 Mar 2011, Nostrano wrote:
    109. Simon21

    Re. the bombing of Kurds by the Turks. The US seem to prefer to regard the Kurds who fight the Turks to defend their culture, freedom and independence as terrorists, whereas those who fight Iran to defend their culture, freedom and independence are regarded more as freedom fighters. Those who use such double standards would naturally include Obama, who was a bit pushy at one time in expecting Europe to greet Turkey into the EU with open arms."


    Well to be fair no one supports the Kurds and any claim to do so is almost certainly pretence.

    The fact the US let the Turkish forces cross the Iraq border to kill and bomb tells you all you need to know about their supposed liberation.

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  • 122. At 5:31pm on 11 Mar 2011, Simon21 wrote:

    116. At 4:49pm on 11 Mar 2011, escapedfromny wrote:
    European and North American liberals (and by extension, the UN) are proving yet again that they don't mind dictators wiping out opposition."


    You mean the US surely didn't you just sell the Saudis a few billion pounds of weapons?
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------

    So what's the big deal - are we to believe that France and England do not have enough to topple one tin-pot dictator?

    The Chinese and Russians must be laughing their heads of, knowing that if they cannot swindle liberals out of everything, all they have to do is rattle a saber REAL loud, and they will cave in a flash."


    Don't think the Chinese and Russians really care, but they will be laughing at neocon yanks who pretend to have the welfare of "a-rabs" at their heart

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  • 123. At 5:35pm on 11 Mar 2011, powermeerkat wrote:

    IF: The same point can be made about the treatment of industrial workers in company towns - whether working for Pullman or for any of the big coal companies in Appalachia, or coal mines in France, as most famously depicted in Germinal by Zola.

    That problem wasn't, and isn't, peculiar to the US, the UK, France or any other industrial nation.






    Perhaps we should discuss a predicament of miners in coal and uranium mines of "new improved" China, and "new improved, democratic" Russia? :)

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  • 124. At 5:37pm on 11 Mar 2011, Simon21 wrote:

    120. At 5:28pm on 11 Mar 2011, powermeerkat wrote:
    Re #108 escapefromny: US oil companies, like Shell and BP (what does that "B" stand for again??) and Total and Citgo (owned 100% buy Venezuela) and Gazprom. Yup, all those "American" companies.






    Are you suggesting that Gazprom and Total are NOT American companies?

    As for BP, a believe the 'B' stands for Belorussian which would explain the company's secret dealings with Muammar Gaddafi.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Does this mean tjat its US CEO will be arested?

    Oh dear :-)


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  • 125. At 5:43pm on 11 Mar 2011, LucyJ wrote:

    Lousiana: I agree with you about the Hearings in D.C.
    The only people interested in making the hearings a witch hunt are the people opposing the hearings; their objective is to create a perception of McCarthyism because they know how damaging that perception can be to any Congressional investigation.
    -----------
    I think Mr Bledsoe's statements are the most telling of everything, more than any Congress ppl's debates about KKK and whatnot- Mr Bledsoe is someone who lost his son to Islamic terrorism also- but by his son becoming a terrorist himself after radicalizing at a mosque and online, isolating himself from family, then killing an army recruiter in Arkansas- so this tells us how easily ppl can be converted- if it can happen to someone like him, it can happen to most anyone...and the fact that CAIR is telling ppl not to work with FBI and that FBI has linked it to a potential questionable group, that they won't cooperate and want to build a wall between them and FBI as stated in that yahoo article says a lot...

    No one is saying this is an attack on a certain religion, but we are all aware that no other religions have attacked us in recent years besides radical Islam- at least none, I can think of...

    So no one is saying its Islam, we are saying its radical Islam and the majority of terrorist attacks in USA 9/11 and onward here and overseas have been Islamic terrorists...

    And I say all colors cause' there was Jihad Jane, who was white, this Carlos was black and of course there are also tan, like Hassan, the Fort Hood shooter, the guy who tried to blow up part of Times Square, the Christmas airplane guy who tried to blow it up, the guy they have in custody now who was from Saudi Arabia and he was going after Bush, the list goes on and on...oh yeah, also that guy in Germany who murdered the two American Air force officers, they said that guy had converted to radical Islam...

    Its all the same story...every time..converting to radical Islam...
    --------------
    Lousiana: The chance that the British government would recognize the South came & went; the article made it clear that Palmerston and Russell never brought the proposition up for consideration.
    ----------------
    Even so, if hte South had won, then likely the British govt would have recognized them if they wanted to do business, including the North; and if they didn't want to associate or recognize the South, USA and Britain would probably not be hte friends we are today!!!

    Wink. ;)

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  • 126. At 5:46pm on 11 Mar 2011, Mirino wrote:

    The Japanese earthquake and the cataclysm it has caused seems to dwarf all
    other considerations, but also knowing this, Gaddafi would probably be using the occasion to his advantage.
    The Japanese are only just beginning to realise how many casualties there might be, and the catastrophe is not over yet by any means. Some of the sights are incredible, apocalyptic.

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  • 127. At 5:56pm on 11 Mar 2011, LucyJ wrote:

    Pmk: [why we have not invaded and occupied Canada and Mexico, two biggest oil suppliers to US, decades ago - the "usual suspects" refuse to explain]
    ---------
    With the mounting violence, who would want to occupy Mexico>?

    Even many of the Mexicans don't want to- some are even claiming they need asylum in the good ole' USA...how are we supposed to give asylum to the entire country of Mexico>?

    In Mexico, over 35,000 ppl have died as a result of violence this last year- would Mexico's drug violence be considered a Civil war between the drug/guns cartel and non-drug/guns cartel?
    ---------
    Pmk: And how could GOP stop Mr. Obama from ordering any military operation against Libya, with him not only having a majority in U.S. House, but, more importantly, him being our Commander-in-Chief?
    ---------
    Many believe the reason why Obama does not want to intervene in Libya also has to do with the fact that Russia and China are highly against it/veto power and b/c we owe China so much money, we do not want to start trade war...

    That being said, I think if we really wanted to do it, we would, regardless of Russia or China, but it has to be something really, really worth it and many Americans do not want to start trade war with China just to save a few lives in a Civil War that has nothing to do with us and everything to do with them, when there's over 35,000 ppl who died last year South of our border in what some might also call a Civil war...

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  • 128. At 6:13pm on 11 Mar 2011, powermeerkat wrote:

    Nostrano wrote:
    The Japanese earthquake and the cataclysm it has caused seems to dwarf all other considerations.





    Not here,, particularly since even kangas know it's been caused by yet other secret US test of HAARP. :-)



    P.S. Some would like us to believe that what's just happened in Wisconsin (and is about to be repeated in many other U.S. states) was a veritable cataclysm.

    But since there was no mention of it in North American blog - I doubt it.

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  • 130. At 6:20pm on 11 Mar 2011, LucyJ wrote:

    Nostrano: The Japanese are only just beginning to realise how many casualties there might be, and the catastrophe is not over yet by any means. Some of the sights are incredible, apocalyptic.
    ---------------
    The images are like something straight out of a movie, but its not a movie, its real and these are real ppl, they are our allies, our friends, our brothers and sisters...

    May God be with Japan and its ppl on this ruthless day of destruction...

    As USA has some bases there, we may be able to help Japan quicker htan if we were not, also, so no country will take advantage of Japan while htey r down and out..

    Japan, u r in my prayers...

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  • 131. At 6:22pm on 11 Mar 2011, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re #127


    Lucy, how do you dare mention Mexico and an increasing violence on our southern border in the North American blog?!

    Which, by definition, deals with Libya and other MidEast countries.

    [that's why there's never any topic here pertaining to Canada, either]

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  • 133. At 6:30pm on 11 Mar 2011, publiusdetroit wrote:

    Ref 60 powermeerkat-

    "BTW. The "clear objective' then was not to liberate Kuwait.

    It was to prevent an Iraqi attack on Saudi Arabia, which Saddam, a loony dictator with mania grandiosa (not unlike that Gaddafi has been afflicted with) wanted to move on next."


    You are confusing two separate and distinct military operations.

    Operation Desert Shield had as its objective to prevent an invasion into Saudi Arabia by Iraqi armed forces; which it succeeded in doing. Thus, the end of Operation Desert Shield.

    Operation Desert Storm had as its objective to liberate Kuwait from the Iraqi armed forces which occupied the country. This military operation was also successful and ended Operation Desert Storm.

    During Operation Desert Shield it was always intended that there would be a second military operation to drive the Iraqi forces from Kuwait. Thus, Operation Desert Storm. A third military operation could have been planned and executed to drive Saddam and the Baathist Party from power in Iraq; but that never occurred. GH Bush understood there would be a political power vacuum resulting from such an adventure. It would require a large garrison force to administer the nation until the Iraqi people could form a viable government. The adventure would be extremely expensive. The Coalition forces, particularly the forces from Arabic nations that would be needed to successfully garrison Iraq, were not interested in supporting such a third military operation; although the subject had been presented and discussed at length.

    GH Bush, wisely following the advice of his advisors, did not order a third military operation into Iraq.

    Gen. Norman Schwartzkopf was very disappointed he was not allowed to continue Operation Desert Storm military operations for another three to four hours at the time he was ordered by his Commander in Chief to cease operations. Schwartzkopf was about to achieve a "double envelopment" of the Iraqi forces retreating from Kuwait. Another three to four hours of military operations would have allowed him to complete the double envelopment. Students of military history will understand the significance of such an achievement.

    GH Bush had already seen advanced imaging of the horrid destruction along the "Highway of Death" as the road leading north out of Kuwait City would become coined. GH Bush knew that a glorious triumph could become a political nightmare to allow military operations to continue a moment longer after the first envelopment closed the door out of Kuwait, thus completing the liberation of Kuwait by encapsulating the remnants of a defeated Iraqi army in Kuwait. He ordered his General to cease the attack and mop-up resistance; thereby ending the military objective of Operation Desert Storm.

    Your statement, "After getting the order to stop Normy ,not exactly a little weak guy, demolished his office by smashing pieces of its furniture against its walls and uttered words I could not possibly quote here" suggests the actions of an indulgent child throwing a tantrum in response to not getting his own way. You dishonor Norman Schwartzkopf if you were not present in his office or, at least, in the command center during the tirade to witness events in the way you allege it to have been.

    Schwartzhopf was frustrated that the President would not allow him just a couple more hours to complete the "double envelopment". He did vent his frustration by kicking chairs and sweeping papers from desks and tables; even cursing his misfortune at not being allowed to complete his personal objective. His actions were that of a man who had been under considerable strain for many long months. Not the actions of an indulgent, out-of-control child.

    The point here is: GH Bush listened to his advisors; not only those in the Oval Office, but also those of his Coalition partners, and recognized the political power vacuum that would result from driving Saddam and the Baathist Party from power by an invasion of the nation of Iraq. GH Bush choose not to order a subsequent military operation with that objective.

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  • 134. At 6:34pm on 11 Mar 2011, powermeerkat wrote:

    LucyJ wrote:
    Nostrano: The Japanese are only just beginning to realise how many casualties there might be, and the catastrophe is not over yet by any means. Some of the sights are incredible, apocalyptic.





    Are you kidding?!


    An 8.9 earthquake more important than Libya?

    Particularly since everybody and their grandmother has already sent their crews there to report on Gaddafi's imminent demise?

    Thus having to make it into a earth shattering event?


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  • 135. At 6:41pm on 11 Mar 2011, powermeerkat wrote:

    The Cool Ruler Rides Again wrote:
    @128 pmk Is this what you banging on about, vibrations from microwave thingy's
    japan 8.9 EarthQuake HAARP... JAPAN THREATEND IN PAST WATCH






    Yes, I suggest you put on that protective tin-foil hat ASAP.

    Then "duck and cover"

    [American militarist imperialists aren't joking]

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  • 136. At 6:48pm on 11 Mar 2011, Simon21 wrote:

    125. At 5:43pm on 11 Mar 2011, LucyJ wrote:
    Lousiana: I agree with you about the Hearings in D.C.
    The only people interested in making the hearings a witch hunt are the people opposing the hearings; their objective is to create a perception of McCarthyism because they know how damaging that perception can be to any Congressional investigation.
    -----------
    I think Mr Bledsoe's statements are the most telling of everything, more than any Congress ppl's debates about KKK and whatnot- Mr Bledsoe is someone who lost his son to Islamic terrorism also- but by his son becoming a terrorist himself after radicalizing at a mosque and online, isolating himself from family, then killing an army recruiter in Arkansas- so this tells us how easily ppl can be converted- if it can happen to someone like him, it can happen to most anyone...and the fact that CAIR is telling ppl not to work with FBI and that FBI has linked it to a potential questionable group, that they won't cooperate and want to build a wall between them and FBI as stated in that yahoo article says a lot..."

    What a load of far right tripe. And explain to us who converted the smiling loon who shot a nine year old girl in the stomach in Arizona, or the mean minded gun maniac who shot 30 of his fellow students in a campus in Virginia.

    And the FBI I've never got over the fact that it was apparently started by a gambling addicted transvestite who told his fellow citizens the mafia didn't exist.

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

    No one is saying this is an attack on a certain religion, but we are all aware that no other religions have attacked us in recent years besides radical Islam- at least none, I can think of..."


    Whatever one is saying it is an attack on a certain religion made by a man who feted and supported a terrorist organisation.

    He had better never come to Omagh or Inniskillen and talk to the relatives of these victims, they are going to have some hard questions for him.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    So no one is saying its Islam, we are saying its radical Islam and the majority of terrorist attacks in USA 9/11 and onward here and overseas have been Islamic terrorists..."


    Gibberish. To translate to 1950s garbage "I like blacks, its only the radical blacks I don't like and guess what, everyone of them is a radical black."

    And I say all colors cause' there was Jihad Jane, who was white, this Carlos was black and of course there are also tan, like Hassan, the Fort Hood shooter, the guy who tried to blow up part of Times Square, the Christmas airplane guy who tried to blow it up, the guy they have in custody now who was from Saudi Arabia and he was going after Bush, the list goes on and on...oh yeah, also that guy in Germany who murdered the two American Air force officers, they said that guy had converted to radical Islam..."


    We know what colour is in the frame here, the nation of Islam what colour are most of its adherents, ah yes.

    The Rosenburg's judge was carefully selected to be jewish, but no one needed any reminding what lay behind that particular lynching."

    Its all the same story...every time..converting to radical Islam..."


    yes all the other thousands of christian nutters who murder and maim do not count?

    Because ah there we have the problem again...--------------"

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  • 137. At 6:50pm on 11 Mar 2011, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re: vote on Libya in UN Security Council...



    A friendly poster from St.Petersburg [Alice in Wonderland] has just posted that map of Europe according to Russia:


    http://www.flickr.com/photos/alphadesigner/5049109893/

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  • 138. At 6:52pm on 11 Mar 2011, Simon21 wrote:

    128. At 6:13pm on 11 Mar 2011, powermeerkat wrote:
    Nostrano wrote:
    The Japanese earthquake and the cataclysm it has caused seems to dwarf all other considerations.





    Not here,, particularly since even kangas know it's been caused by yet other secret US test of HAARP. :-)



    P.S. Some would like us to believe that what's just happened in Wisconsin (and is about to be repeated in many other U.S. states) was a veritable cataclysm.

    But since there was no mention of it in North American blog - I doubt it."



    You would like to beleive that hundreds of people in Wisconsin have been killed by earthquakes?

    Wow, one for homeland security. I wouldn't pplan on needing any clothes



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  • 139. At 6:57pm on 11 Mar 2011, Simon21 wrote:

    137. At 6:50pm on 11 Mar 2011, powermeerkat wrote:
    Re: vote on Libya in UN Security Council...



    A friendly poster from St.Petersburg [Alice in Wonderland] has just posted that map of Europe according to Russia:


    http://www.flickr.com/photos/alphadesigner/5049109893/
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I wouldn't worry about Russia so much, though clearly it is on your brain.

    So the US has blundered on like a drunk for the last 8 years, losing two wars and falling into recession? The russians didn't appoint the US government did they?

    Get over it.

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  • 140. At 7:00pm on 11 Mar 2011, LucyJ wrote:

    Pmk: P.S. Some would like us to believe that what's just happened in Wisconsin (and is about to be repeated in many other U.S. states) was a veritable cataclysm.
    But since there was no mention of it in North American blog - I doubt it.
    -------
    Well, if u r saying Mardell's blog is the definition of what is going on in America, I would say u guess wrong cause' Mardell writes about stuff that affects not America always only, but usually writes about stuff that could affect Britain in some way...so its not necessarily all American eyes and ears...its British take on America...maybe they don't have the unions like we do in Britain..

    Or perhaps there are simply too many stories going on in America and its tough to keep up with all of them! (that's America for ya)

    Regardless, it was very ironic to hear about Obama giving speeches against bullying while going on at the same time was the Wisconsin Gov and Repubs pulling a move in which they passed a bill with hte Dems being not present and thousands of protesters (I believe they said 25,000 plus yesterday)...is that not bullying as well?

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  • 141. At 7:19pm on 11 Mar 2011, LucyJ wrote:

    Pmk: An 8.9 earthquake more important than Libya?
    ------------
    The press really loves to build up certain stories, now don't they?
    When they do it like that, u hafta ask, who owns the networks and what do they have to gain from certain stories?

    The megaearthquake just goes to show that no person is above God and nature...

    But just think if we lost our tsunami center, as GOP proposes to save money...

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110311/ap_on_re_us/us_congress_tsunami_warnings

    An excerpt:
    A spending plan approved by the House would slash funding for a tsunami warning center that issued an alarm after the devastating earthquake in Japan. The plan approved by the GOP-controlled House last month would trigger deep cuts for the National Weather Service, including the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Hawaii. A union representing workers at the tsunami center said the proposed cuts could result in furloughs and rolling closures of National Weather Service offices.

    --------
    And here's something unsettling...

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110311/ap_on_re_us/us_obama_energy

    An excerpt:
    Some in Congress have been calling on Obama to tap the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. And the president made clear Friday that that was an option, although he indicated he wasn't yet prepared to exercise it. He declined to specify the conditions that would trigger the step, but said it was teed up and could happen quickly if he chooses to call for it.
    The government is cautious about going to the petroleum reserve, typically holding off except in very extreme cases such as hurricanes.
    -------
    President Obama, please be smart about this...that oil is reserved for emergencies like hurricanes or wars and this is NOT an emergency!!

    It would be sad if we used it all up and then when we need it most, did not have it all cause' of some unpatient ppl...

    Also, why isn't Obama lookig at the Middle men who make all the money from the oil gouging?

    I'm talking about the stockholders and corps who buy the oil from other countries at normal price, then double it to sell it to us...

    President Obama, will u stop the American Middle Men from gouging the American Middle Class?

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  • 142. At 7:29pm on 11 Mar 2011, LucyJ wrote:

    Pmk: Lucy, how do you dare mention Mexico and an increasing violence on our southern border in the North American blog?!
    ---------
    Doesn't Mexico's Civil War with over 35,000 deaths the last year SOuth of our border spilling into our country concern us more than an African country's Civil war in which less have died? What about the fact that our American border agents and diplomats are being systematically hunted down and murdered there?
    Don't the American ppl want to stand up for themselves against the Mexican drug/gun cartels and not let them push us around???

    Cause' thats' what they r doing...
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110311/ap_on_re_us/tx_texas_border_farms_3

    An excerpt:
    This month the Texas Department of Agriculture, going beyond its usual purview that includes school lunches and regulating gas pumps, launched a website publicizing what it calls a worsening situation "threatening the lives of our fellow citizens and jeopardizing our nation's food supply."
    ----------
    The Mexican drug/gun violence will likely continue to get worse and worse until we finally find a politician brave enough to secure our borders...

    But when we do get a brave enough politician like the New Mexico Gov, the reps shut it down...

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20110310/us_nm/us_newmexico_drivers_1

    An excerpt:
    The New Mexico state Senate rejected a proposal that would have outlawed driver's licenses for illegal immigrants, a change that the new Republican governor has pushed since taking office. Instead, the Senate late on Wednesday night passed a measure to maintain driving privileges for illegal immigrants while imposing tougher penalties for falsified documentation and requiring them to reapply for a license every two years.
    --------
    So does this mean that New Mexico will give driving priviledges to ppl who illegally enter our country and break our laws? What about hte fact that they may not speak our language and may not be able to read our signs? What about the fact taht all illegal immigrants are criminals and the bill they passed rewards criminals?

    Why are American politicians in New Mexico and some other states rewarding illegal immigrant criminals for breaking our laws?

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  • 143. At 7:31pm on 11 Mar 2011, powermeerkat wrote:

    "Simon says" : The russians didn't appoint the US government did they?




    Nope. Neither have kangas.

    You know, animals living somewhere between US Guam and US McMurdo?

    In a former British penal colony?


    [can't be more precise, being geographically challenged]




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  • 144. At 7:39pm on 11 Mar 2011, GH1618 wrote:

    Re post 133 by publiusdetroit concerning operation Desert Shield:

    It certainly the objective of the initial military response to deter Iraq from moving against Saudi Arabia, however two weeks later a National Security Directive was issued which stated the objective of evicting Iraqi forces from Kuwait and restoring the Kuwait government, which was done.


    http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB39/

    Saudi Arabia might have been protected while ceding Kuwait, but in my opinion there was a larger purpose here -- the defense of the principle that it is not acceptable for a nation to take what it wants from others by force.

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  • 145. At 7:43pm on 11 Mar 2011, LucyJ wrote:

    K, here's one more really intense true story...
    Anyone remember hte Fort Dix attack plot?

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ac/20110227/us_ac/7951212_look_who_is_sneaking_across_the_mexican_border_now_1

    An excerpt:
    Already there is a report that the U.S. Border Patrol has arrested Sharia-law follower Said Jaziri, a Muslim cleric deported from Canada to Tunisia, in San Diego. In this case, the Muslim cleric is said to have paid $5,000 in Tijuana for safe passage into America. Well before this imam made it into the United States, the Duka family sneaked into the U.S. across the Mexican border in 1984. The Dukas would become infamous in the 2007 Fort Dix attack plot that targeted military personnel.
    --------------
    Simon: yes all the other thousands of christian nutters who murder and maim do not count?
    ----------
    Do you care to name any the last ten years?

    And please, don't say Tim McVeigh (of course that happened in the 90's anyway, not the last ten years..)

    The school shooter and the guy who shot Giffords were both mentally ill, which is different than someone who is killing for their religion...

    In general the majority of the attacks on USA at home and overseas have been by Islamic extremist terrorists...

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  • 146. At 7:46pm on 11 Mar 2011, powermeerkat wrote:

    Lucy: "Or perhaps there are simply too many stories going on in America and its tough to keep up with all of them! (that's America for ya)"





    Well, Lucy, U.S. is slightly bigger than Belgium.

    And North America is slightly bigger than even EU.


    I guess it'll take couple of years for correspondents formerly stationed in Brussels to realise that there are not only places like D.C., but also like Colorado, Dakotas, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Texas, Utah and Wyoming where folks don't give a damn about what's going on in Washington, D.C.



    By which time those corespondents will be posted somewhere else.

    [Perhaps to Algeria. Or Egypt. Or Libya. Or Sudan. Or Yemen.]

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  • 147. At 8:06pm on 11 Mar 2011, escapedfromny wrote:

    120. At 5:28pm on 11 Mar 2011, powermeerkat wrote:

    Are you suggesting that Gazprom and Total are NOT American companies?

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

    Boy, more evidence that education in the US is not that different from the rest of the world. I don't know how to do the Cyrillic letters, but that might have confused you. And I am sure that those in France would be surprised at Total not being French. But again, the use of what appears to be an English word may have caused your confusion.

    --------------------------
    As for BP, a believe the 'B' stands for Belorussian which would explain the company's secret dealings with Muammar Gaddafi.

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

    I did not know that Svanberg, Grote, Dudley and London were Belorussian names.

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  • 148. At 8:18pm on 11 Mar 2011, publiusdetroit wrote:

    Ref 105 Nostano-

    "Maybe his father had never forgiven himself for allowing Saddam Hussein to get away Scot free after the Kuwaiti war, to then use his chemical arms to massacre the Kurds."

    Your adaptive chronology of historic events is very stunning.

    You are making reference to the Halabja poison gas attacks against the Kurds by Saddam which took place 16 MAR 1988. The Persian Gulf War did not begin until 2 AUG 1990.

    The United Nations Special Commission on Iraq [UNSCOM] was charged with rounding up and destroying all chemical and biological weapons in Iraq at the end of the Persian Gulf War on 28 FEB 1991. UNSCOM fulfilled that mission. There is no record nor evidence showing that Saddam used chemical or biological weapons against the Kurdish uprising which followed the Persian Gulf War in 1991.

    GH Bush may have been interested in unseating Saddam from power; although he never initiated military operations to obtain that objective. Once again; GH Bush was aware of the consequences of creating a political power vacuum in Iraq if Saddam and the Baathist Party were driven from power without a viable government able to step into the vacuum before civil disorder and insurgency broke out in the nation.

    His son, GW Bush, ignored the consequences of creating a political power vacuum in Iraq by driving out Saddam and the Baathist Party without a viable government to step into the resulting vacuum. That is why the U.S. military has been entangled in Iraq since GW Bush issued orders to attack Iraq on 20 MAR 2003 without a clear plan for handling the civilian population after Saddam and the Baathist Party were removed from power.

    I would suggest that you do, at least, rudimentary research before re-writing history.

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  • 149. At 8:51pm on 11 Mar 2011, publiusdetroit wrote:

    Ref 144 GH1618-

    "It certainly the objective of the initial military response to deter Iraq from moving against Saudi Arabia, however two weeks later a National Security Directive was issued which stated the objective of evicting Iraqi forces from Kuwait and restoring the Kuwait government, which was done."

    Operation Desert Shield began on 7 AUG 1990 with U.S. troops landing in Saudi Arabia, at the request of Saudi Arabia's King Fahd. The sole military objective at that time was to prevent the Iraqi armed forces from invading Saudi Arabia.

    The National Security Directive 45 was not signed by GH Bush until 20 AUG 1990. Operation Desert Shield was already initiated with a clear objective. That is why, from a military standpoint, a second military operation needed to be planned and initiated with the clear objective of liberating Kuwait.

    The National Security Directive 45 [NSD45] was a political statement of objectives. Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm ordered the military objectives. NDS45 included attaining resolution using diplomatic and political means, as well as extending use of military means as a way of defending Saudi Arabia against attack and freeing Kuwait from the conquering forces.

    NSD45 does not disrupt the point I have been stating all along that a military operation needs clear, well-planned objectives in order to be successful. NSD45 was the statement of overall political objectives.

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  • 150. At 9:09pm on 11 Mar 2011, The Cool Ruler Rides Again wrote:

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

  • 151. At 10:04pm on 11 Mar 2011, Mirino wrote:

    148. publiusdetroit

    You are perfectly right. I had persuaded myself of this, a bit blindly. Obviously I was confusing the Kuwaiti war with Iraqi-Iranian war, therefore I was wrong to conclude that GW Bush was influenced by such a particular regret his father may have had about not getting rid of Saddam. Thank you for correcting me.
    (Nevertheless his father may well have regretted not seeing things through as finally as he could have, when he could have).

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  • 152. At 10:36pm on 11 Mar 2011, LucyJ wrote:

    Does freedom of speech mean freedom to shout at and disrupt foreign Ambassador's speeches at universities in a disrespectful way?
    Is this America or is this the Middle East?

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110311/ap_on_re_us/us_university_tension_3

    An excerpt:
    Eleven Muslim students charged with disrupting a speech by the Israeli ambassador at a California university sought Friday to have the district attorney pulled from the case. The students were arrested on Feb. 8, 2010, after shouting in protest at a speech on U.S.-Israeli security, forcing Ambassador Michael Oren to halt his remarks for 20 minutes.
    The case has stoked an intense debate about freedom of speech. "These students merely stood up and expressed deeply rooted political dissent in a manner that was peaceful and tempered," said lawyer Reem Salahi, who represents one student. About 150 people packed the courtroom Friday to show support for the defendants, including relatives, community leaders and students.
    ------------
    So shouting at and disrupting an Ambassador's speech is considered 'peaceful and tempered'? If they wanted to protest against him, why didn't they do it outside so the ppl who wanted to hear the speech could actually hear it? Personally, I feel the protesters were intimidating the speaker into not speaking aka intimidation against freedom of speech...
    ------------
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20110311/us_nm/us_usa_mexico_guns
    An excerpt:
    The U.S. Attorney's office in New Mexico said the mayor of Columbus, Eddie Espinoza, the town's police chief Angelo Vega, and village trustee Blas Gutierrez were among those arrested on an 84-count indictment.
    Columbus is a small town just north of the border from Palomas, in Mexico's northern state of Chihuahua, where more than 4,400 people were killed by drug cartels last year.
    --------
    Hispanics selling guns to hispanics...
    Go figure..

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  • 153. At 11:07pm on 11 Mar 2011, Scott0962 wrote:

    re.#53. At 05:13am on 11 Mar 2011, publiusdetroit wrote:
    Ref 47 RPhillips-

    "Libya is a desert country, and no fly zones can effectively enforced. Had one been in effect the past week, the rebels would not be in retreat from several towns now."

    Once again, tanks and artillery don't fly. Armor has been the key force.

    I have a suspicion we haven't heard all that much about Qaddafi's fixed wing air force is because they have been busy parting out planes to get a couple of them to fly.

    -----------

    Correction: armor is the key force only when it can operate unmolested from the air. A handful of A-10s could stop any armored offensive by Gadaffi's forces dead in their tracks (pun intended).

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  • 154. At 11:16pm on 11 Mar 2011, publiusdetroit wrote:

    Ref 151 Nostrano-

    "(Nevertheless his father may well have regretted not seeing things through as finally as he could have, when he could have)"

    I will agree with you here.

    I am sure GH Bush would have been elated if Saddam would have been sitting in one of the targets leveled during the air war.

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  • 155. At 11:38pm on 11 Mar 2011, publiusdetroit wrote:

    Ref 152 LucyJ-

    "Hispanics selling guns to hispanics...
    Go figure.."


    So what do you think of the United States Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms abetting in the transport of guns into Mexico?

    From the article in your link:

    "The operation comes days after U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder ordered an investigation into a controversial ATF operation that allowed guns bought in the United States to slip into Mexico, in the hope of nabbing major drug kingpins."

    Maybe the Sheriff of Columbus, New Mexico was just setting up his own sting operation to catch illegal gun smugglers. If the ATF can set up stings, why can't the local sheriff?

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  • 156. At 11:52pm on 11 Mar 2011, Chryses wrote:

    Simon21, (#136. At 6:48pm on 11 Mar 2011)

    ”... yes all the other thousands of christian nutters who murder and maim do not count?

    Because ah there we have the problem again...--------------"

    To what are you referring?

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  • 157. At 11:52pm on 11 Mar 2011, publiusdetroit wrote:

    Ref 153 Scott0962-

    "Correction: armor is the key force only when it can operate unmolested from the air. A handful of A-10s could stop any armored offensive by Gadaffi's forces dead in their tracks (pun intended)."

    The rebels have not had any air support and have been molesting tanks. A few A-10's would certainly be more effective against armor; but the rebels have no A-10 aircraft.

    You've just escalated the intervention from a "no-fly zone" to a ground attack intervention.

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  • 158. At 01:58am on 12 Mar 2011, HabitualHero wrote:

    #130 "May God be with Japan and its ppl on this ruthless day of destruction..."

    Why? It's too bloody late now.



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  • 159. At 02:05am on 12 Mar 2011, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    157. At 11:52pm on 11 Mar 2011, publiusdetroit wrote:

    "The rebels have not had any air support and have been molesting tanks. A few A-10's would certainly be more effective against armor; but the rebels have no A-10 aircraft."

    "You've just escalated the intervention from a "no-fly zone" to a ground attack intervention."

    __________

    The rebels have had some success stopping tanks (at least for a time) in built-up urban areas. True enough.

    Stopping them out in the wide open country is, of course, not the same thing. And not the same thing at all if they also have unchallenged air cover. The cities are like islands with jungle; the desert is like the sea.

    A-10's would do quite a job in open country, though. Scott's right about that.

    The A-10 is an exceedingly well designed aircraft. Not very pretty to look at, but supremely effective in the role for which it was designed.

    My idea of shooting up Libyan armour was more pedestrian: use drones and stand-off weapons to avoid putting western military personnel at risk.

    The whole point is to deny mobility. In the famous phrase of Alfred Thayer Mahan, if you control the sea, you carry the war to the enemy's shore. Well, if you can prevent the guy from moving out in the open in the desert or along the coast road it's exactly the same thing.

    At some point he is going to have to move those tanks on their transporters along the coast road. There is virtually zero risk of civilian casualties out in the middle of the desert, on the coast road.

    ---------

    To my way of thinking, all the fussing-about required to make a no-fly zone work is just way too much trouble. The guy doesn't seem to have very many serviceable aircraft. When he loses those, he has no way of replacing them.

    Eventually the aircraft have to land to be refueled and re-armed. Destroy them on the ground and be done with it. They can't operate without fuel and maintenance facilities, so destroy those for good measure, too. None of those tasks need to put western military personnel at risk. There is virtually no risk of civilian casualties in destroying aircraft, on the ground, at a military airfield.

    The other important task is cutting off communications, and to shut down any kind of radar system. That can be done pretty effectively without any risk to western military personnel.

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  • 160. At 03:36am on 12 Mar 2011, Tinkersdamn wrote:

    Yesterday I heard an activist from the Libya February 17 movement request 'only a no-fly zone, no boots on the ground', and then go on to give the locations of military barracks in several Libyan cities that were to be taken out as part of the 'no-fly zone'. A similar "definition" of 'no-fly zone' can often be heard among our own officials if you give them the time.

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  • 161. At 04:49am on 12 Mar 2011, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re #148 publiusdetroit wrote:

    "GH Bush was aware of the consequences of creating a political power vacuum in Iraq if Saddam and the Baathist Party were driven from power"



    Although obviously not of consequences of leaving SH and Baathists in power.

    [And of leaving the word "helicopters" out of the ceasefire agreement]



    "His son, GW Bush, ignored the consequences of creating a political power vacuum in Iraq by driving out Saddam and the Baathist Party without a viable government to step into the resulting vacuum. That is why the U.S. military has been entangled in Iraq since GW Bush issued orders to attack Iraq on 20 MAR 2003 without a clear plan for handling the civilian population after Saddam and the Baathist Party were removed from power."



    Those few Southern Iraqi Shia (sometimes called Marsh Arabs) who survived a massacre ordered by Saddam left in power - could on the other hand confirm that the dictator had a very clear plan for handling civilian population after U.S. troops were ordered to stop south of Basra.

    And that he handled its implementation quite effectively. :-(



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  • 162. At 05:01am on 12 Mar 2011, powermeerkat wrote:

    In #152 Lucy reports:

    "Eleven Muslim students charged with disrupting a speech by the Israeli ambassador at a California university sought Friday to have the district attorney pulled from the case. The students were arrested on Feb. 8, 2010, after shouting in protest at a speech on U.S.-Israeli security, forcing Ambassador Michael Oren to halt his remarks for 20 minutes."





    On the other hand, Lucy, I recall that Islamic Republic of Iran's president, Ahmadinejad, has not not been heckled by students (or anybody else) during his speech at Columbia University.

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  • 163. At 05:12am on 12 Mar 2011, powermeerkat wrote:

    Lucy quotes http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20110311/us_nm/us_usa_mexico_guns

    "An excerpt:
    The U.S. Attorney's office in New Mexico said the mayor of Columbus, Eddie Espinoza, the town's police chief Angelo Vega, and village trustee Blas Gutierrez were among those arrested on an 84-count indictment.
    Columbus is a small town just north of the border from Palomas, in Mexico's northern state of Chihuahua, where more than 4,400 people were killed by drug cartels last year.
    --------
    Hispanics selling guns to hispanics..."






    What makes you think that Messrs Espinoza, Vega and Gutierrez are Hispanics and not, for example, Anglo-Saxons?

    We should avoid profiling, which is not politically correct at all.

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  • 164. At 05:35am on 12 Mar 2011, powermeerkat wrote:

    publiusdetroit wrote:

    " The rebels have not had any air support and have been molesting tanks."



    Is tank molesting legal? Has it been authorized by UNSC?




    On a more serious note: one cannot effectively enforce a no-fly zone without destroying enemy's ground-based radar stations and anti-aircraft batteries first. [and strafing airfields/runways -second]

    And that's exactly what USAF did in N. Iraq.

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  • 165. At 07:00am on 12 Mar 2011, Mirino wrote:

    Latest from Fance: The EU recognises the Delegation of the Libyan Opposition for Transition, but not officially. A sort of, 'we recognise them but we don't recognise them.'

    Sarkozy doesn't rule out action without a UN mandate. He also alludes to creating a security zone in North Africa for refugees. Naturally Libya has cut off all diplomatic relations with France for her having officially recognised the legitimacy of the delegation of the Libyan opposition.

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  • 166. At 07:37am on 12 Mar 2011, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re #165


    Drole de guerre?

    Again?

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  • 167. At 08:10am on 12 Mar 2011, BienvenueEnLouisiana wrote:

    powermeerkat: "On the other hand, Lucy, I recall that Islamic Republic of Iran's president, Ahmadinejad, has not not been heckled by students (or anybody else) during his speech at Columbia University."

    Actually, you're mistaken..don't you remember the crowd's reaction when President Ahmadinejad denied the existence of gays in Iran...& then insulted the audience by saying..."maybe you think that being a woman is a crime. It's not a crime to be a woman." Heckler's are fine so long as the speaker gets to finish his speech.

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  • 168. At 08:44am on 12 Mar 2011, publiusdetroit wrote:

    Ref 159 Interestedforeigner-

    "The whole point is to deny mobility. In the famous phrase of Alfred Thayer Mahan, if you control the sea, you carry the war to the enemy's shore. Well, if you can prevent the guy from moving out in the open in the desert or along the coast road it's exactly the same thing."

    Ref 164 powermeerkat-

    "On a more serious note: one cannot effectively enforce a no-fly zone without destroying enemy's ground-based radar stations and anti-aircraft batteries first. [and strafing airfields/runways -second]"

    Both of you have a clear understanding of the size of a mission to create a "No-fly Zone". It is not just a matter of waiting for a plane to get up in the air from a Libyan airfield, then shoot it down from a 'safe' distance. Air command and control must be eliminated, or the Libyans shoot back.

    What the rebels seem to want is an air arm to support their ground attacks. Not just an air umbrella to keep the skies clear of Libyan air power. They want someone to provide them with air superiority with ground assault capabilities.

    A very reasonable request with a definite need. Eliminate fixed-wing aircraft, helicopters, armor, and artillery; then the field of battle becomes more level for the rebel forces. They would likely have a reasonable chance in a small-arms battle with the Qaddafi forces.

    Leaders who come to power by means of a military coup, such as Qaddafi, never trust the their military. They may provide good equipment to their armed forces; but they keep a measure of control by not providing quality training. A poorly trained military cannot operate their equipment with the level of confidence needed to be successful in battle. They cannot effectively coordinate movements and attacks. They have to climb a learning curve at the same time someone is seriously trying to kill them. Not an optimum training scenario.

    As I have followed the military actions of both sides over the past few weeks it has become evident that the Libyan armed forces are at a combat-ready status comparable to the rebel forces. Of course in an national uprising there are defections from the standing armed forces to the rebel forces. They bring a certain level of training and ability to compliment the enthusiasm of the rebel forces. They usually bring their arms with them when they defect.

    I had stated earlier that it appeared the Libyan air force has been unable to utilize much of its fixed-winged aircraft. This coincides with Qaddafi's mistrust of his military. An airbase with a lot of attack fighters parked around the field gives the impression of force even if the aircraft are inoperable, or there are a shortage of qualified pilots. The Qaddafi forces have been effectively using attack helicopters against the rebels. Helicopters can keep below ground-based, or ship-based radar; though not aerial-based radar. Could be that Qaddafi doesn't want to advertise his fixed-wing capability to the gathering of naval ships along the coast. Could be the planes just can't fly.

    At this time period the "No-fly Zone" the rebels appear to be requesting is ineffective. An air assault force to aid them with aerial ground support is what they really need. Of course for any nation to even think of providing this type of air assault would require complete aerial superiority, thus elimination of air command and control with attacks against airfields to destroy aircraft and runways. The opposing forces become more level in capabilities with the aerial ground support eliminating armor and artillery.

    Use of mercenaries may give Qaddafi a slight advantage in a war of small-arms. The poorly trained ground forces of the Libyan army place them in a situation where they are climbing a learning curve in tactical coordination and use of force along with the rebels climbing a learning curve in tactical coordination and use of force. They will be relatively equal in combat capability as they climb this curve together. It will come down to which side can come up with the better command leadership.

    The rebels seem to be making progress convincing the leadership of other nations that they have a viable polity that will bring stability to the nation once the Qaddafi regime has been eliminated. This is perhaps the key issue they must resolve before any nation is going to step in to aid them with military force. The rebel polity must also be able to state just what it is they want from other nations in the way of military support, then be willing to adjust their 'ideal' scenario to allow any outside force the latitude to operate as they need to insure their forces are not exposed to any unnecessary limitations causing undo vulnerability.

    One must keep in mind that nations are dealing with a recently organized polity still wet behind the ears as to how to negotiate with other nations. The rebel polity may be the ones responsible for preventing military assistance because of 'ideals' like prohibiting foreign boots on the ground. The U.S. relies on Special Forces units to identify certain targets and light them up with lasers to guide advanced munitions on target. If the rebel polity is not going to allow foreign Spec Ops boots on the ground, this could very well be a stop-gap in the negotiations.

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  • 169. At 08:47am on 12 Mar 2011, Mirino wrote:

    166. powermeerKat

    The Gaddafi defiance and the lack of united resolution on the part of Europe and the USA, has made Gaddafi more popular. At the beginning there was a great deal of uncertainty and he was seriously lacking in popular support for his brutal reaction against the demonstrators, but as time goes by this support is building up to a point where civil war is now inevitable. Naturally this greatly complicates things for any nation who doesn't recognise Gaddafi's legitimacy and wants to take action on behalf of the opposition forces.

    The EU had an opportunity to show itself as a united force. It has failed miserably, maybe due to a poor selection of unsupportive, Defence ministers (German and Dutch amongst others) and the unsurprising lack of persuasive clout of the President of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy.

    http://mirino-viewfinder.blogspot.com/2009/11/high-hopes-for-europe.html

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  • 170. At 09:13am on 12 Mar 2011, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re #167

    Bienvenue.



    Ahmadinnerjacket was not heckled at Columbia.

    Simply his remark that " there are no homosexuals in Iran" caused at one point a spontaneous, unvoluntary erruption of laughter in the audience.



    [watch the pertinent video - yes, there is one - if in doubt]

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  • 171. At 09:19am on 12 Mar 2011, powermeerkat wrote:

    Nostrano: "The EU had an opportunity to show itself as a united force."




    Do not feel bad. So has Arab League. As usual.

    And so has OAS - ditto.


    So... what else is new and different?

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  • 172. At 09:48am on 12 Mar 2011, Mirino wrote:

    171. powermeerkat

    We do tend to get up tight about such frustrating situations.

    It seems to underline one's conviction that across history human nature never changes, although history is punctuated with exceptional leaders, either of highly noble, or of lowly ignoble intentions, objectives and ambitions.

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  • 173. At 09:51am on 12 Mar 2011, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #152
    LucyJ wrote:
    Does freedom of speech mean freedom to shout at and disrupt foreign Ambassador's speeches at universities in a disrespectful way?
    Is this America or is this the Middle East?

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110311/ap_on_re_us/us_university_tension_3

    An excerpt:
    Eleven Muslim students charged with disrupting a speech by the Israeli ambassador at a California university sought Friday to have the district attorney pulled from the case. The students were arrested on Feb. 8, 2010, after shouting in protest at a speech on U.S.-Israeli security, forcing Ambassador Michael Oren to halt his remarks for 20 minutes.
    The case has stoked an intense debate about freedom of speech. "These students merely stood up and expressed deeply rooted political dissent in a manner that was peaceful and tempered," said lawyer Reem Salahi, who represents one student. About 150 people packed the courtroom Friday to show support for the defendants, including relatives, community leaders and students.
    ------------
    So shouting at and disrupting an Ambassador's speech is considered 'peaceful and tempered'? If they wanted to protest against him, why didn't they do it outside so the ppl who wanted to hear the speech could actually hear it? Personally, I feel the protesters were intimidating the speaker into not speaking aka intimidation against freedom of speech...
    ____________

    Cal Berkley's student goverment has allowed anti Israel and pro Palestinians terrorist students free reign. The Israel aparthied week is one example as is not allowing a respected amabassador to speak at a Jewsih students group invitation. You can go on youtube when the Jewish student address their concerns.

    Allowing anti Israel arapthied week is no worse than a anti gay or the Westboro Baptist Church

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  • 174. At 10:37am on 12 Mar 2011, The Cool Ruler Rides Again wrote:

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

  • 175. At 11:07am on 12 Mar 2011, Chryses wrote:

    MagicKirin, (#173. At 09:51am on 12 Mar 2011)

    ”... Allowing anti Israel arapthied week is no worse than a anti gay or the Westboro Baptist Church”
    That may or may not be true, but even if it is, that does not make their behavior acceptable.

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  • 176. At 11:35am on 12 Mar 2011, Mirino wrote:

    In my post 169 I referred to 'Defence ministers'. It's more probable that they were Foreign ministers.

    173. MagicKirin

    Freedom of speech seems to depend on whose side you're on, or where one should finally draw the line. The Muslim students would have the right to show no respect whatsoever for the freedom of speech of an Israeli ambassador, for an example of the former. (In the same way as Israel is the only State in the world expected to tolerate a terrorist movement as its next door neighbour). And for an example of the latter, it took the British Government too long to realise that allowing Muslims the right to incite hate, at Speakers' Corner, Hyde Park, renowned for its freedom of speech, is going a shade too far. (Apparently this famous corner was once used by Marx, Lenin and many other notables).

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  • 177. At 11:53am on 12 Mar 2011, powermeerkat wrote:

    A massive explosion has struck a Japanese nuclear power plant after Friday's devastating earthquake.

    Japanese officials fear a meltdown at one of the plant's reactors after radioactive material was detected outside it.

    A huge relief operation is under way after the 8.9-magnitude earthquake and tsunami, which killed more than 600.

    Hundreds more people are missing and it is feared about 1,300 may have died.



    The earthquake was 8 thousand times for powerful than the one that destroyed much of Christchurch in NZ.


    And what are preoccupied here with? :-(

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  • 178. At 12:01pm on 12 Mar 2011, Chryses wrote:

    powermeerkat, (#177. At 11:53am on 12 Mar 2011)

    ”... And what are preoccupied here with? ...”
    Ideals

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  • 179. At 12:19pm on 12 Mar 2011, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #176
    Nostrano wrote:
    In my post 169 I referred to 'Defence ministers'. It's more probable that they were Foreign ministers.

    173. MagicKirin

    Freedom of speech seems to depend on whose side you're on, or where one should finally draw the line. The Muslim students would have the right to show no respect whatsoever for the freedom of speech of an Israeli ambassador, for an example of the former. (In the same way as Israel is the only State in the world expected to tolerate a terrorist movement as its next door neighbour). And for an example of the latter, it took the British Government too long to realise that allowing Muslims the right to incite hate, at Speakers' Corner, Hyde Park, renowned for its freedom of speech, is going a shade too far. (Apparently this famous corner was once used by Marx, Lenin and many other notables).

    __________

    you are missing the point, the Moslems student are given to conduct their hate speech and slander of Israel. But they don't want Jewish students to have the same right.

    These student represent a vocal minority of moslems who reflect the most intolerant people of the world. But unlike most academia and the media gives them a free ride. If the Jewish students had done a counter Arab aprthied or racism week it would not be permitted.

    Just as ROTC has not been permitted on many campus for their freedom of expression.

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  • 180. At 1:00pm on 12 Mar 2011, escapedfromny wrote:

    Why is it so hard for the political left to admit that they don't really mind dictators?

    The every people who scream and protest and demand action against the likes of Pinochet and Milosevic and Mubarak yawn at people like Mugabe and Castro and Gaddafi.

    Had Gadaffi suddenly mutated in the last few weeks into something that is annoying? Clearly, actually putting some effort into removing him is not something the Left and other Progressives is interested in doing. Let's face it; sanctions only hurt those people already being oppressed, while those doing the oppressing still get their satellite TV and canned fruit from Fortnum and Mason.

    So what's the deal - Why will the Left tolerate Gadaffi while hating Mubarak?

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  • 181. At 1:02pm on 12 Mar 2011, powermeerkat wrote:

    Chryses wrote:
    powermeerkat, (#177. At 11:53am on 12 Mar 2011)

    ”... And what are preoccupied here with? ...”

    Ideals





    Right. Fiddling Nero comes to mind.

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  • 182. At 1:07pm on 12 Mar 2011, Chryses wrote:

    powermeerkat, (#181. At 1:02pm on 12 Mar 2011)

    ”... ‘And what are preoccupied here with?’ ...

    ‘Ideals’

    ... Right. Fiddling Nero comes to mind.”

    We all have ideals. Some consider Free Speech important, others Fiddling.

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  • 184. At 1:39pm on 12 Mar 2011, The Cool Ruler Rides Again wrote:

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

  • 185. At 2:12pm on 12 Mar 2011, hms_shannon wrote:

    157. At 11:52pm on 11 Mar 2011, publiusdetroit wrote:
    Ref 153 Scott0962-

    "Correction: armor is the key force only when it can operate unmolested from the air. A handful of A-10s could stop any armored offensive by Gadaffi's forces dead in their tracks (pun intended)."

    The rebels have not had any air support and have been molesting tanks. A few A-10's would certainly be more effective against armor; but the rebels have no A-10 aircraft.
    ------------------------
    Just a quick question,whilst very effective against light armored vehicles as the tragic Blue on Blue resulting in the destruction of two
    Scimitar light tanks & the death of Matty Hull from the Blues and Royals show.Would the A10 wart hog be as effective against a Main Battle tank of Abrams or Challenger 2,with Chobham composite armor?.

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  • 186. At 2:32pm on 12 Mar 2011, Mirino wrote:

    179. MagicKirin

    You seem to have missed the irony of my comment.
    It's 'politically correct' for many Americans and Europeans to give Muslims, especially Palestinian Muslims, the right of non respect of freedom of speech when it directly concerns Israelis, even in democracies where the principle is supposed to be rigourously upheld.

    Many people seem to have guilt complexes regarding the Palestinians which might also be why it's normal that they receive regular handouts, have the right to abuse all the rules of democracy, kidnap, murder and elect to be represented by a terrorist organisation mandated to destroy their neighbours. The UN seems to confirm this status quo by it's tacit complicity.

    (A far more admirable quality, although Japan has to contend with earthquakes more often than most nations, it seems remarkable how poised, calm and even in good spirits, so many of the Japanese appear to be in the midst of this apocalyptic cataclysm that is by no means over yet. God bless them).

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  • 187. At 2:41pm on 12 Mar 2011, LucyJ wrote:

    ny: So what's the deal - Why will the Left tolerate Gadaffi while hating Mubarak?
    ----------
    B/c the left would rather side with the bad non-US ally...

    Personally, I feel that Mubarack, a US ally, only stepped down b/c of President Obama pressuring him...he did not want to go against USA...

    Gaddafi, on the other hand, a non-US ally, was pressured by Obama but ignored him and now he is winning against the protesters...

    Ironic, eh?

    The 'good' dictator gets overthrown and the 'bad' dictator stays...one makes the other look like a saint...

    I say good b/c did anyone see Mubarack fire at the protesters?
    Nope...if so, it was rare...most of hte violence, like what was shown to Lara Logan, was from the crowd itself...

    I say bad b/c we have heard and seen Gaddafi fire on the protesters, ect, and of course, he has his mercenaries and whatnot...most of hte violence is coming from him...

    This is just another example of how Obama's got his priorities wrong...

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  • 188. At 2:52pm on 12 Mar 2011, LucyJ wrote:

    Lousiana: Heckler's are fine so long as the speaker gets to finish his speech.
    -----------
    The speaker was unable to be heard due to the loud and aggressive heckling for at least twenty minutes and the only way he could finish it was to remove all the hecklers, who would not let him finish the speech until they were gone...isn't freedom of speech the right to be able to say what u want without being heckled so much that u cannot say ur speech?

    What about the ppl who wanted to hear the speech and were unable to b/c of the hecklers continual rant for twenty minutes?

    I can understand minimal heckling for maybe 5 mins, but to the point where its at least twenty minutes and the speaker cannot say his speech unless they are removed should be considered intimidation against freedom of speech...

    Altho even I have to admit that its ironic that Ahmaffpdoid was shown more respect by students in NY in which there was no heckling, just laughter, than the Israeli ambassador was shown by the hecklers in Cali, in which for twenty mins he could not even say his speech...

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  • 189. At 3:00pm on 12 Mar 2011, Mirino wrote:

    183. The Cool Ruler..

    How can one make such a comparison of South Africa's 'racial segregation' with the Israeli-Palestinian problem? Which side in South Africa was mandated to destroy the other in order to Islamise the whole territory? Which side never ceased in producing and importing arms to systematically use against the other side? Which side elected a listed terrorist organisation to represent them?

    For many people the UN no longer has any credibility concerning this problem, for very good reasons. Many so called human-rights groups also seem to favour a unilateral way of seeing things regarding the Israeli-Palestinian problem.

    The whites of South Africa never imposed segregation for security reasons. They were imposed for the exactly the same reasons why they were once imposed in the USA.

    For its survival Israel apparently feels obliged to establish more and more restrictions which stem directly from the bellicose behaviour of its neighbours. One makes one's own bed.

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  • 190. At 3:21pm on 12 Mar 2011, LucyJ wrote:

    publius: Maybe the Sheriff of Columbus, New Mexico was just setting up his own sting operation to catch illegal gun smugglers. If the ATF can set up stings, why can't the local sheriff?
    -----
    I think they r both wrong...and just b/c one person does something wrong does not give another the right to somethign wrong as well..

    Two wrongs don't make a right...
    ---------
    Meerkat: What makes you think that Messrs Espinoza, Vega and Gutierrez are Hispanics and not, for example, Anglo-Saxons?

    We should avoid profiling, which is not politically correct at all.
    -------
    I am not, never have been politically correct as politically correct to me is another way of saying ultraliberal...

    When u hear somebody's last name, u get an impression...
    ----------
    MK: The Israel aparthied week is one example as is not allowing a respected amabassador to speak at a Jewsih students group invitation.
    ---------------
    If they have an Israel aparthied week, they should also have a anti-Hamas or anti-terrorist week, as well, as that would only be fair since USA designates Hamas as a terrorist organization and Hamas is accepted and protected in Palestine...regardless of whtehr its a pro-Israel or anti-Israel Ambassador, tho, both should have the right to freedom of speech without being heckled so bad they can't speak their speech, which is intimidation against freedom of speech...
    -------------
    Allowing anti Israel arapthied week is no worse than a anti gay or the Westboro Baptist Church
    ----------
    Some ultraliberals say that any anti gay group is a hate group, but as shown by the USA court's recent decision, the court ruled in favor of freedom of speech for everyone, including westboro's anti-gay, anti-soldier slogans which were in middle of controversy...

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  • 191. At 3:30pm on 12 Mar 2011, LucyJ wrote:

    Nostrano: The Muslim students would have the right to show no respect whatsoever for the freedom of speech of an Israeli ambassador.
    -----
    Yes, but not showing respect is not the same thing as heckling so loud hte speaker cannot speak for twenty mins and had to remove the hecklers so the guy could finish his speech...
    -------
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/as_japan_earthquake
    An excerpt:
    An explosion at a nuclear power station Saturday destroyed a building housing the reactor, but a radiation leak was decreasing despite fears of a meltdown from damage caused by a powerful earthquake and tsunami, officials said. Virtually any increase in ambient radiation can raise long-term cancer rates, and authorities were planning to distribute iodine to residents in the area, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency. Iodine counteracts the effects of radiation.
    --------
    That is a worry for sure...its tough b/c the cooling system broke down and also tough for hte ppl there b/c its freezing conditions outside...much farmland in Japan has also been destroyed...it will take some time for them to recover...

    The good thing for Japan, overall, tho, is since they have 20% of the world's estimated largest earthquakes every year, they are more prepared than most...

    Of course, no one expects this kind of devastation, but even tho many of their large buildings swayed they did not fall down...

    First, New Zealand, then Japan's plates shifting...will Alaska or Cali's plates shift next?
    (Is it a pattern?)

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  • 192. At 3:45pm on 12 Mar 2011, publiusdetroit wrote:

    Ref 185 ukwales-

    "Would the A10 wart hog be as effective against a Main Battle tank of Abrams or Challenger 2,with Chobham composite armor?."

    The front mounted 30mm Gatling Cannon fires depleted uranium rounds at a rate of about 4,000 rounds a minute. The Gatling will chew through armor. If that doesn't get the job done, the "Wart Hog" is also armed with Maverick air-to-surface missiles which can be configured with a number of different loads. The A-10 was designed and built to be a tank killer, proving itself in the Persian Gulf War by chewing up T-72 and T-55 Russian-built tanks.

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  • 193. At 3:56pm on 12 Mar 2011, The Cool Ruler Rides Again wrote:

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

  • 195. At 4:08pm on 12 Mar 2011, Chryses wrote:

    The Cool Ruler Rides Again, (#183. At 1:15pm on 12 Mar 2011)

    ”... a peaceful protest in the same way British students protested against apartheid in South Africa in the 80's ...”
    While it was peaceful, it still appears to have the intent of preventing Free Speech, and thus illegal.
    http://www.voanews.com/english/news/usa/Muslim-Students-in-California-Charged-with-Violating-First-Amendment-Rights-of-Campus-Speaker-117557538.html

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  • 196. At 4:24pm on 12 Mar 2011, Chryses wrote:

    The Cool Ruler Rides Again, (#194. At 4:03pm on 12 Mar 2011)

    ”... illegal assumptions of WMD's ...,” “... revenge sentiments after 9/11 ...“
    You really are a most entertaining individual, second only to worcesterjim. How is an assumption ‘illegal’? Are you suggesting that the 2003 invasion was as a result of ‘revenge sentiments’?

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  • 199. At 4:32pm on 12 Mar 2011, The Cool Ruler Rides Again wrote:

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

  • 201. At 4:55pm on 12 Mar 2011, Chryses wrote:

    The Cool Ruler Rides Again, (#200. At 4:44pm on 12 Mar 2011)

    Amusing, but as is so often the case, utterly irrelevant. Not once did you substantiate your claim that the assumption was illegal.
    Not that I ever expected you to do anything other than fail.
    LOL!

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  • 202. At 4:59pm on 12 Mar 2011, Chryses wrote:

    The Cool Ruler Rides Again, (198. At 4:29pm on 12 Mar 2011)

    ”... White settlers in South Africa, like Zionist pioneers, colonised a land already inhabited ...”
    Are you suggesting that there was no Jewish state in Biblical times? After the Romans conquered Jerusalem about 2,100 years ago, Jewish people were expelled and dispersed to the Diaspora, and that land was ruled by Rome, by Islamic and Christian crusaders, by the Ottoman Empire, and by the British Empire. So since the Jewish state pre-existed Islam, wouldn’t you agree that the Islamists have attempted to steal what was not theirs?

    If you do not agree, please explain why it is OK for one group of people to lay claim to territory previously the possession of another, but not OK for some other group.
    Good luck.
    LOL!

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  • 203. At 5:13pm on 12 Mar 2011, publiusdetroit wrote:

    Ref 190 LucyJ-

    "I am not, never have been politically correct as politically correct to me is another way of saying ultraliberal...

    When u hear somebody's last name, u get an impression..."


    So what heritage would you determine Russell Means to be? How about Joseph Brant?

    Interesting that in Post #152 you used the politically correct term, Hispanic, when making reference to the heritage of the elected officials of Columbus, New Mexico as "Hispanics selling guns to hispanics..."; then Post #190 you claim to never be politically correct "as politically correct to me is another way of saying ultraliberal...". Hispanic is a politically correct term that came into popular usage during the 1970's.

    As to your ability to determine heritage from the impression you get from a surname; it is possible Mr. Espinoza, Mr. Vega, or Mr. Gutierrez may not have a drop of Spanish blood in their heritage. Christian missionaries created European surnames for the tribal people they encountered. These men may be Yaqui, or Nahua, or Otomi; not of Spanish heritage at all.

    LucyJ! The ultraliberal!

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  • 204. At 5:15pm on 12 Mar 2011, Chryses wrote:

    The Cool Ruler Rides Again, (#198. At 4:29pm on 12 Mar 2011)

    ”mo' stuff
    ======
    BISHOP DESMOND TUTU, ... in the land that became Israel in 1948,”

    If you insist on copying someone else’s work, word fo word, at least have the decency to attribute what you are copying.
    http://www.rabbisforpalestine.org/2009/12/20/end-the-israeli-apartheid-state/

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  • 205. At 5:25pm on 12 Mar 2011, LucyJ wrote:

    cool: The Right Wing (most Ignorant) Bloggers down here seem to imply the Left Support Gadaffi which is typical of the poo poo coming out of their mouths.
    --------
    Cool, as I like and dislike things about both parties, I cannot claim to be either Repub or Dem, especially when both sides have so many ties to corporations/lobbyists. And in all honesty, I still feel that Obama should not have pressured Mubarack to resign (at least under Mubarack women and Christians could peacefully protest wihtout being harmed by the counterprotesters) and the fact that Mubarack did not attack or harm the protesters just tells u what kind of a ruler he was...even if some felt he was corrupt, he was nothing like what Gaddafi/Qaddafi/Khadafi is...
    ---------
    Today there was a very sad story in the newspaper. There were three Indian students and one white student that died in a car accident caused by a white St Louis female police officer who was excessively drunk driving and driving the wrong way on the Interstate. They had the trial and sentenced the police officer to eight years prison with time potentially cut in half if she has good behavior. Its just not right. I worked with these students, they were very nice ppl, spoke good English, respectful and very hard workers, very smart. They never talked religion or politics and I never did either. They were good ppl, not a bad bone in their body. I don't care if she was police officer or not, I don't understand how in our justice system a police officer can drunk drive and kill four ppl and potentially get four years in prison??? Those parents will never get to see their kids again, USA is losing that talent and we have lost good friends we cannot replace.

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  • 207. At 5:35pm on 12 Mar 2011, The Cool Ruler Rides Again wrote:

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

  • 208. At 5:38pm on 12 Mar 2011, Mirino wrote:

    198. The Cool R

    Ok, I follow the logic more this time. However there are a couple of details missing in the parallel.
    The first is that the Israelis have never disputed the Palestinian right to exist (since the Romans banished the Jews and renamed The Land of Israel 'Syria Palestrina' after the Bar Kokhba rebellion in 132 AD). But if the Jews recognise the historic rights of the Palestinians, the Palestinians should also recognise those of the Israelis. They don't, hence the problem.
    The more they refuse, and show their refusal in the most aggressive of ways, the more Israel has to retaliate for security reasons.

    If you are for the 'Palestinian cause', what it really comes down to, is supporting the idea that Israel should be destroyed and that the whole of the Holy Land be Islamised. Would that be a satisfactory way for you of settling the dispute?

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  • 209. At 5:43pm on 12 Mar 2011, LucyJ wrote:

    Publius: politically correct term, Hispanic, when
    ------
    So what's the non-pc term, Mexican?
    Some ppl like to use more deroggatory words, that's not me...
    To me, hispanic extends to all Spanish speaking ppl...
    In modern day, I don't think hispanic is considered to be pc term..
    --------
    pb: As to your ability to determine heritage from the impression you get from a surname; it is possible Mr. Espinoza, Mr. Vega, or Mr. Gutierrez may not have a drop of Spanish blood in their heritage. Christian missionaries created European surnames for the tribal people they encountered. These men may be Yaqui, or Nahua, or Otomi; not of Spanish heritage at all.
    -------------
    And many black ppl have last names after our first presidents, like Washington, Jackson, Johnson and so forth...

    Possible ur explanation, but not very likely...

    Its just the way it is...there's a city east of here in which I watch the city news every other night and there is much violence, killings, robberies, meth crimes, rapes, assaults, ect and 90% of the time its black ppl on the news who does it...that's just hte way it is, I'm not just saying it to be non-pc, I'm saying it b/c its true...
    ---------
    pb: LucyJ! The ultraliberal!
    ----------
    My many stances clearly show that occasionally at times I can be moderately liberal, but I have never reached tat ultraliberal stage where pc is more important than national security...

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  • 210. At 5:49pm on 12 Mar 2011, Chryses wrote:

    The Cool Ruler Rides Again, (#206. At 5:26pm on 12 Mar 2011)
    ”The original name for the people we now call Jews was Hebrews ... Currently, the largest Jewish community in the world is located in the United States, with 5.3 million or 6.4 million Jews by various estimates ... Uruguay, Venezuela, Chile, and several other countries

    Hope this is helpful”

    Not particularly, as it provides nothing pertinent to the issue of prior claim. But hey, feel free to keep posting these factoids.

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  • 212. At 5:57pm on 12 Mar 2011, Chryses wrote:

    Nostrano, (#208. At 5:38pm on 12 Mar 2011)

    ”... If you are for the 'Palestinian cause', what it really comes down to, is supporting the idea that Israel should be destroyed and that the whole of the Holy Land be Islamised ...”
    That does seem to be where that ‘logic’ takes some.

    “... Would that be a satisfactory way for you of settling the dispute? “
    While it may not be a satisfactory resolution, it would be a final one.

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  • 214. At 6:14pm on 12 Mar 2011, Chryses wrote:

    The Cool Ruler Rides Again, (#213. At 6:11pm on 12 Mar 2011)

    "Chyses do you suffer from learning difficulties? ..."
    No. Do you find medication helpful?

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  • 215. At 6:17pm on 12 Mar 2011, Chryses wrote:

    The Cool Ruler Rides Again, (#213. At 6:11pm on 12 Mar 2011)

    ”... The Jews in the State of Israel established in 1948 are mainly Ashkenazi Jews, i.e German Jews, with no prior claim ...”
    Are you suggesting that they are not ‘real’ Jews, heirs to the Jewish Diaspora? If you ARE suggesting this, then please explain WHY you are suggesting this.

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  • 217. At 6:32pm on 12 Mar 2011, publiusdetroit wrote:

    Ref 209 LucyJ-

    "And many black ppl have last names after our first presidents, like Washington, Jackson, Johnson and so forth...

    Possible ur explanation, but not very likely..."


    African slaves brought to America would sometimes take the surname of their master. That surname might change if they were sold to a new master. Since the South had became populated mainly by people of the British isles a number of slaves ended up with the European surnames you have noted. Many more former slaves, without a surname after the War Between the States either took the surname of their previous master, chose a name they admired, or were given a surname by someone else.

    If there is a public library in your town, you should visit it regularly. Check out some books and read them. There is a wealth of knowledge within those walls.

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  • 218. At 6:47pm on 12 Mar 2011, Chryses wrote:

    The Cool Ruler Rides Again, (#216. At 6:31pm on 12 Mar 2011)

    "Ashkenazi Jews are non-Melanin-ted European's who adopted the religion ..."
    You seem to be like another poster to these threads, one who assumes that he can post any link he feels like, as no one will bother to check up on his claims.

    Guess what? I did. I then searched the pages for "adopted the religion". Guess what? No hits! LOL! Of course!

    But wait, let me check the first link for "adopted." Guess what?
    "... Conversion to Judaism, rare for nearly 2,000 years ..."
    You're Busted!
    Wrong again!
    LOL!

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  • 219. At 7:00pm on 12 Mar 2011, hms_shannon wrote:

    192. At 3:45pm on 12 Mar 2011, publiusdetroit wrote his reply.

    Thanks for taking the trouble to reply.May be the UK defense planers actually know what they are doing by moth balling 50% of our fleet of
    Challenger 2 MBT.That leaves about 400 ,with such effective anti tank weapons to day,may be tanks have reached the end of the road.
    Who knows,any way thanks once again...

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  • 222. At 7:28pm on 12 Mar 2011, Scotch Git wrote:


    King David was ginger.

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  • 224. At 7:44pm on 12 Mar 2011, Chryses wrote:

    The Cool Ruler Rides Again, (#220. At 7:09pm on 12 Mar 2011)

    "... Chryses you must be Babylon ..."
    Nope. I'm here on Terra Firma, pointing out your repeated mistakes. Where are you?

    "... However, numerous historians have looked into this issue and discovered that most of these Zionists are not descendants of the original Jews ..."
    Name some. Give references. Substantiate your calim.

    "... Rather, most Zionists are "Ashkenazi Jews"; a race of people from Asia ..."
    Wrong! "Ashkenazi Jews ... are the Jews descended from the medieval Jewish communities along the Rhine in Germany from Alsace in the south to the Rhineland in the north. Ashkenaz is the medieval Hebrew name for this region and thus for Germany."
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ashkenazi_Jews
    Did SOMEONE neglect to read the reference he posted? LOL!

    "... The real, original Jews were physically and genetically similar to the Arabs, specifically, dark skin, dark eyes, and dark hair. The Hebrew and Arabic languages have a lot of similarities, also ..."
    While interesting, and quite possibly true, "the Y chromosome of some Ashkenazi and Sephardic Jews contained mutations that are also common among Middle Eastern peoples, but uncommon in the general European population."
    Another mistake! LOL!
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ashkenazi_Jews#Male_lineages:_Y_chromosomal_DNA

    "... The real homeland for the white, Ashkenazi Jews is near the Caspian and Black Seas, not Palestine ..."
    Wrong again! "Although the historical record is very limited, there is a scholarly consensus of cultural, linguistic, and genetic evidence that the Ashkenazi Jewish population originated in the Middle East."
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ashkenazi_Jews#History_of_Jews_in_Europe_before_the_Ashkenazim

    "... Their ancestors picked up the Jewish religion many centuries ago ..."
    It is difficult to believe that any one human can be so consistently mistaken. Do you even read the links you claim support your claims? "They brought with them both Rabbinic Judaism and the Babylonian Talmudic culture that underlies it."
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ashkenazi_Jews#History_of_Jews_in_Europe_before_the_Ashkenazim

    "... Due to the widespread ignorance of people in that era, after a few generations they assumed that they were the descendants of the Jews that lived in Palestine ..."
    They did, did they? I presume you have some evidence to support THIS claim, or should I toss it into the pile labeled "Unsubstantiated Fantasies?"

    "... Yes my friend they set me free again"
    Yeah, free of facts.

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  • 225. At 7:49pm on 12 Mar 2011, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    177. At 11:53am on 12 Mar 2011, powermeerkat wrote:

    "Japanese officials fear a meltdown at one of the plant's reactors after radioactive material was detected outside it."

    "And what are preoccupied here with?"

    ----------

    PMK:

    It isn't that people aren't concerned about the earthquake in Japan.
    But it isn't controversial.

    Japan has the best earthquake warning and damage prevention regimes in the world - probably the very best.

    Japan has a competent government, with excellent disaster relief agencies. Japanese society is attuned to dealing with earthquakes.

    There is no question about what foreign assistance to send (i.e., send it all, now), or the need to act quickly, or whether there are people on the ground in Japan who know what to do with any assistance that arrives.

    If this had happened in almost any other country, the death toll would be in the tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands.

    Everybody is doing what they can to help, and work is ongoing.
    The nuclear plant issue is a scary one, for sure. But there is no question that the Japanese government will respond responsibly.

    It isn't that nobody cares. It's that the right things are already being done, without fuss, by a government and a people who know what they are doing.

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  • 226. At 7:51pm on 12 Mar 2011, Chryses wrote:

    The Cool Ruler Rides Again, (#223. At 7:33pm on 12 Mar 2011)

    ”For those who zoom in on single sentences with zero overstanding and LOL a lot ...”
    OMG! “zero overstanding?!?!?!” “overstanding?!?!?!”
    ROFL!
    You are priceless!

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  • 228. At 8:02pm on 12 Mar 2011, Chryses wrote:

    The Cool Ruler Rides Again, (#223. At 7:33pm on 12 Mar 2011)

    For those who zoom in on single sentences with zero overstanding and LOL a lot
    =============
    The Thirteenth Tribe
    =============


    Guess what? I went out to the web site you reference. It turns out that that it is a conspiracy theorists dream!
    http://www.iamthewitness.com/
    Are you and worcesterjim members of the same group?

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  • 229. At 8:03pm on 12 Mar 2011, LucyJ wrote:

    pb,
    yes I knew that many slaves took the names of their slaveholders after being freed obviously...my point was that that it was possible ur answer for the hispanic last names with other genes, but that it was not very likely...
    ---------

    Japan is going through serious difficulties right now. We need to help them the best we can, cause' they can use any help they can get...They say now there's over 10,000 missing and who knows how many also went missing from sea, with the whirlpools and giant waves. I guess pmk was right about the nuclear meltdown as now it looks like could face some jeapardy..

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/as_japan_earthquake

    An excerpt:
    An explosion at a nuclear power plant on Japan's devastated coast destroyed a building Saturday and made leaking radiation, or even outright meltdown, the central threat menacing a nation just beginning to grasp the scale of a catastrophic earthquake and tsunami.

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  • 230. At 8:09pm on 12 Mar 2011, Chryses wrote:

    The Cool Ruler Rides Again, (#227. At 8:00pm on 12 Mar 2011)

    ”... An Analogy To Ponder
    ===============
    If some Chinese leaders ...
    Would it be right ?“

    Hard to say, but it WOULD be boring.

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  • 231. At 8:13pm on 12 Mar 2011, McJakome wrote:

    Chryses,
    I hate to mention this, but I have an Irish name, though my mother's maiden name is, depending on whose opinion is asked, German, Russian, Polish or Jewish. No doubt Cool rider would be comfortable calling me French, based on my coloration and educated [lots of French origin words] vocabulary.

    To make things even more silly, I must be Catholic because I am not allowed to change my religion, even though half of my family is protestant and the other half Catholic. Come to think of it, on the
    Cool rider's planet, that would make me Italian, wouldn't it?

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  • 232. At 8:21pm on 12 Mar 2011, LucyJ wrote:

    What better way for USA to boost our economy than marijuana?

    http://www.businessweek.com/news/2011-03-10/marijuana-ipos-provide-investors-with-gateway-to-cannabis-boom.html

    An excerpt:
    We’re better off by being in the public arena and showing a face of professionalism,” said Jim Pakulis, chief executive officer of General Cannabis, who says medical marijuana could be a $60 billion industry nationwide. “The market will just continue to expand.”
    Marijuana, produced from the cannabis plant, can be smoked or ingested. Advocates of medical use say marijuana can ease cancer patients’ nausea from chemotherapy, help treat glaucoma, stimulate AIDS patients’ appetites and ease pain for multiple sclerosis sufferers.
    ------------

    ANd just think how many ppl it could help...

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  • 233. At 8:23pm on 12 Mar 2011, publiusdetroit wrote:

    Ref 229 LucyJ-

    "yes I knew that many slaves took the names of their slaveholders after being freed obviously...my point was that that it was possible ur answer for the hispanic last names with other genes, but that it was not very likely..."

    I am not clear as to what you are saying is not very likely in your statement in the above quote. Is it that you don't believe people with hispanic surnames may not be the descendants of people with Spanish origins?

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  • 234. At 8:30pm on 12 Mar 2011, escapedfromny wrote:

    222. At 7:28pm on 12 Mar 2011, Scotch Git wrote:


    King David was ginger.

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

    KUDOS!!!

    I Sam 17:42: And when the Philistine looked about, and saw David, he disdained him: for he was [but] a youth, and ruddy, and of a fair countenance.

    We have been abused for 3,000 years, and we STILL can't get a break . . .

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  • 235. At 8:32pm on 12 Mar 2011, Chryses wrote:

    JMM, (#231. At 8:13pm on 12 Mar 2011)

    Chryses,
    I hate to mention this, but I have an Irish name ... on the Cool rider's planet, that would make me Italian, wouldn't it?”

    Zounds! You’re right!

    Perhaps George Soros is behind this. Or perhaps I’m just a dupe of the capitalist, zioinst, racist, sexist [[yourpsychobabblegoeshere]] system, eh?

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  • 238. At 8:52pm on 12 Mar 2011, Chryses wrote:

    The Cool Ruler Rides Again, (#236. At 8:35pm on 12 Mar 2011)

    "... The Zohar says, 'A little light pushes away a lot of darkness' ..."

    If you had read just a teeny, weeny bit further, you would have read, "... Before you start with the Zohar, meditate on being one with everyone with the same consciousness ..." [emphasis mine]
    But hey! Go do yo thing! LOL!

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  • 239. At 8:59pm on 12 Mar 2011, escapedfromny wrote:

    221. At 7:13pm on 12 Mar 2011, The Cool Ruler Rides Again wrote:

    Jesus was not white
    If there had been any white-skinned people living in Palestine 2000 years ago, the Romans and Arabs would have mentioned them in their writings, and they would have pointed out that the white folks get sunburned very easily.
    --------------------------------

    This is one of the FUNNIEST things I have read in ages!

    If everyone in the area were not white, how could someone be identified as "Simeon that was called Niger" (see Acts 13).

    More importantly, they don't mention sun burn for Arabs today, do they? Is Coppertone or Bain De Soleil sold by the boat-load in Abu Dhabi?

    And according to the US Census (and we ALL know that Obama and his team cannot ever be wrong), whites are those having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, the Middle East, or North Africa.

    Finally, paintings and sculptures from that time prove you wrong.

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  • 242. At 9:46pm on 12 Mar 2011, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    168. At 08:44am on 12 Mar 2011, publiusdetroit wrote:

    "Air command and control must be eliminated, or the Libyans shoot back."

    [[It isn't only that.

    If you blind them electronically, you know where they are, but they do not know where you are: like the Scharnhost sailing into a trap on Christmas Day 1943. You can communicate, and they can't (although, with considerable truth, General Kammhuber once had a saying "all radio communications are treason"). The electronic warfare capabilities of any US carrier group would vastly exceed anything that could be required here.]]

    "What the rebels seem to want is an air arm to support their ground attacks. Not just an air umbrella to keep the skies clear of Libyan air power. They want someone to provide them with air superiority with ground assault capabilities."

    [[Yep. And it's precisely what they need, too, or they will never be able to liberate territory.]]

    "As I have followed the military actions of both sides over the past few weeks it has become evident that the Libyan armed forces are at a combat-ready status comparable to the rebel forces."

    [[Yep. The rebels have a lot of enthusiasm but little organization, and no fire discipline whatsoever. Idiots walking around celebrating by discharging weapons into the air, or wasting anti-aircraft ammunition when they have no chance of hitting the aircraft in question. No crew member to provide correction ... Guys firing recoil-less weapons into the air at something vague 3 miles away ...]]

    [[They desperately need trained NCO's to establish discipline and order. And they need some trained officers who know how to organize and deploy significant numbers of troops. Suspect that recent reverses may have made the urgency of that issue apparent.

    They could do with wire-guided anti-tank munitions, too, but it takes well-disciplined troops to use weapons like that effectively. These weapons have been around for a long time, so no worries about advanced weapons falling into unintended hands.]]

    "The Qaddafi forces have been ... using attack helicopters ... Helicopters can keep below ground-based, or ship-based radar; though not aerial-based radar."

    [[They take a lot of maintenance, though, and lots of spare parts. I'm guessing that isn't Muammar's strong suit.]]

    "Could be the planes just can't fly."
    [[That's my thinking, too.]]

    "Of course for any nation to even think of providing this type of air assault would require complete aerial superiority,..."

    [[Not sure about that. Both the Russians and the Germans did a lot of aerial tank-killing when neither could really be said to have had air superiority. I'm thinking that a lot of drones can be operated successfully even where you don't have air superiority.

    "... thus elimination of air command and control with attacks against airfields to destroy aircraft and runways."
    [[An important task all the same.]]

    "The rebels seem to be making progress convincing the leadership of other nations that they have a viable polity that will bring stability to the nation once the Qaddafi regime has been eliminated. This is perhaps the key issue ... "

    [[How true.]]

    "The rebel polity must also be able to state just what it is they want from other nations in the way of military support, then be willing to adjust their 'ideal' scenario to allow any outside force the latitude to operate as they need to insure their forces are not exposed to any unnecessary limitations causing undo vulnerability."

    [[I suspect that the idea of refusing the assistance of people who know what they are doing will diminish inversely as the square of the distance the tanks are from Benghazi or Tobruk.

    The guys who are playing around at Tobruk right now need to get their heads a lot straighter on their shoulders.]]

    "One must keep in mind that nations are dealing with a recently organized polity still wet behind the ears as to how to negotiate with other nations. ..."

    [[Quite so. When the "engine fire" warning light comes on is a bad time to still be reading chapter 1 of the operating procedures manual.]]

    ---------

    [[Here's a thought for you:

    A number of states in Western Asia (e.g., Saudi Arabia), and Egypt, have good numbers of modern, well-equipped US-built aircraft that would very significantly outclass the small number of aircraft Mad Muammar seems to be able to keep flying. Many of those states just voted in favour of a no-fly zone. What's wrong with some of those aircraft being used to suppress Mad Muammar's boys?

    Co-operation by England, France, and Egypt? Would that do it? (Italy's leadership is useless, if not outright unhelpful: another accordion not needed while duck hunting.)

    What about Germany, Poland, and Spain? Angela Merkel has been steady - and she knows about living under a ruthless police state. The Polish foreign minister was pretty clear on that in Washington, too. If the Poles were in, would Spain want to be left out? Would Turkey still be opposed if it were that kind of arrangement?)

    If those nations were involved, perhaps some other NATO states might be inclined to assist. All of those nations have inter-operable equipment. If half a dozen states were on the same page, and the provisional government in Benghazi had invited them (like it's going to do anything else?), that would be more than enough, in my view, UN or no UN; EU or no EU.

    China has twice now signaled that it is onside with anything half-way reasonable - and, if I read the signal correctly, they are a bit impatient for the western nations to get on with it.

    Russia has also twice now indicated that it will go along - although, if I understand the equivocal position of Russia expressed in the news yesterday correctly, they expect to be paid a "sweetener" for not causing trouble. China almost certainly has the same idea, but is far more discreet. (It's funny: China will be able to extract concessions for co-operating in something that is in China's interest, and that China wants done, too. You've got to admire that kind of diplomatic skill.)

    Bases in western Egypt? NATO bases in Sicily, Crete and Malta? Maybe a base or two in Libya? ... maybe with some aerial re-fueling and electronic help from a big friend standing off-shore?

    Why wouldn't that be more than enough? Wouldn't that give the right kind of prominence and responsibility to the Europeans, Egypt, and perhaps others in the neighbourhood?

    Wouldn't that allow America to play more of a background supporting role that many would find more suitable?

    Wouldn't that be more of the kind of multi-national effort with which America, and perhaps others, would be far more comfortable?

    Why is that a bad idea?]]

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  • 243. At 10:01pm on 12 Mar 2011, Chryses wrote:

    The Cool Ruler Rides Again, (#240. At 9:30pm on 12 Mar 2011)

    ”... There is one God and One People ...”
    Aha! Now you’re denying the religious beliefs of 950 – 1,000 million Hindus.
    http://www.religioustolerance.org/hinduism5.htm
    You’re GREAT!

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  • 244. At 10:24pm on 12 Mar 2011, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    187. At 2:41pm on 12 Mar 2011, LucyJ wrote:

    "Personally, I feel that Mubarack, a US ally, only stepped down b/c of President Obama pressuring him...he did not want to go against USA..."

    ----------

    Lucy,

    What makes you think he "stepped down"?

    Let me ask you some questions:

    (1) Have you heard a word out of Hosni Mubarak since he was flown to Sharm el Sheik?

    (2) Have you seen any signed letter of resignation from Hosni Mubarak published, for example in El Ahram?

    (3) How do you know that the Egyptian armed forces didn't put him and his family on the two helicopters, whether he liked it or not? Have you seen him interviewed in the press recently?

    ----------


    "Gaddafi, on the other hand, a non-US ally, was pressured by Obama but ignored him and now he is winning against the protesters..."

    "Ironic, eh?

    "The 'good' dictator gets overthrown and the 'bad' dictator stays...one makes the other look like a saint..."

    "I say good b/c did anyone see Mubarack fire at the protesters?"

    [["The good dictator" ???

    Mubarak order his tank crews to move forward into the square and to fire upon, or crush, any protesters that didn't move. According to reports here on the BBC, the tank crews refused to obey orders.

    As for not firing on the protesters, do you think the attacks on the protesters by the armed thugs of the security services were accidental? It was when those failed that the tanks were ordered to move.]]

    ---------

    "This is just another example of how Obama's got his priorities wrong..."

    [[Huh? What are you talking about?

    The removal of Hosni Mubarak was a diplomatic triumph for the Obama administration. He got what America needed, and wanted, without having to deploy military force; without spending money or risking lives; and all the while maintaining good relations with both the Egyptian Army and the people who were protesting for democracy.

    There is a saying that "it is better to be lucky than good".

    Well, the protesters in Tahrir square handed President Obama a stunning diplomatic victory.

    It was a victory over the oil industry.
    It was a victory over AIPAC/Likud.
    It was a victory over Saudi Arabia.
    All in one go.

    It hugely served America's interests in the region.
    He got to stand up for America's core values of democracy and human rights the whole time while doing it.

    Gosh.

    It is difficult to imagine how he could have had a more glowing or more complete victory.

    I have been watching international affairs for a long, long time, and I have studied history for just as long. Whether actively or by accident, that was one of the slickest and most complete diplomatic victories I have ever seen.

    America in general, and President Obama in particular, came out of that smelling like a rose.


    He followed it up two weeks later by pulling a rabbit out of the hat at the UN.


    I don't know how this business in Libya is going to turn out.

    I do know that the western powers would have to be crazy to allow madman Muammar to stay in power. It goes against every strategic interest they have.

    I do know that two glorious opportunities to remove the madman from the equation have been completely missed, (and, I would guess, something well over a thousand extra Libyan civilians have died as a result).

    ----------

    How President Obama is going to pull the next rabbit out of the hat, I don't know. Maybe it will look like what I have sketched out above.

    Maybe he won't succeed.
    The oil industry is clearly working against him, again, and, by default in favour of Madman Muammar.

    But he is showing himself to be a very, very smart guy.
    Which is why the oil industry hates him so much.

    He seems to be a fair bit out of his depth in military stuff, and yet ...
    Maybe, just maybe, there's another rabbit in that hat.

    I don't know how he's going to do it, but my guess is that, one way or another, he will find a way to solve the problem in Libya.

    I certainly wouldn't bet against it.


    As they say, "Watch this space".

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  • 246. At 10:46pm on 12 Mar 2011, hms_shannon wrote:

    32. At 8:21pm on 12 Mar 2011, LucyJ wrote:
    What better way for USA to boost our economy than marijuana?
    ANd just think how many ppl it could help...
    -----------
    My walking buddy is a paramedic,with experience of over 20 years.Its his opinion,using that stuff heavy & long term causes psychosis & mental health issues in some folk.
    After reading some of the contributor`s here I can only agree :).

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  • 247. At 10:58pm on 12 Mar 2011, Chryses wrote:

    The Cool Ruler Rides Again, (#245. At 10:35pm on 12 Mar 2011)

    "OK Creepy Chryses ..."
    One can always tell when ones opponent is well and truly trounced - and knows it. Instead of using rational arguments, he is reduced to ad hominem attacks.
    You whupped!

    "... Hindus worship several gods or deities (or demi-gods) ..."
    But ...
    "... There is one God and One People ..." Your post #240.

    So are you now contradicting yourself? LOL!

    "... You most probably know all this already ... "
    Unlike YOU, I don't claim to know too much about God.

    "... as you know everything about everything and are so worldly and clever (in your own mind) ..."
    As I pointed out above, unlike YOU, I don't claim to know too much about God - or Gods.

    "... it feels a bit similar as going to a hippy rock festival"
    ... and you would know that HOW? Better luck next time! LOL!

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  • 249. At 11:30pm on 12 Mar 2011, escapedfromny wrote:

    241. At 9:35pm on 12 Mar 2011, The Cool Ruler Rides Again wrote:

    Simeon that was called Niger ...
    "Niger" means "black"; but there is no greater necessity for making this term a description of Simeon's physical appearance than there is for alleging that Shirley Temple Black is BLACK, this being one of the commonest names in history.
    ----------------------------------

    So 1st Century Imperial naming conventions are identical to those of 1950 California.

    Amazing. Have you solved the grand unified field theory too?

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  • 250. At 11:33pm on 12 Mar 2011, The Cool Ruler Rides Again wrote:

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

  • 251. At 11:52pm on 12 Mar 2011, escapedfromny wrote:

    241. At 9:35pm on 12 Mar 2011, The Cool Ruler Rides Again wrote:

    Simeon that was called Niger ...
    "Niger" means "black"; but there is no greater necessity for making this term a description of Simeon's physical appearance than there is for alleging that Shirley Temple Black is BLACK, this being one of the commonest names in history.
    ------------------------------------

    And what of the Ethiopian eunuch? While his color is not mentioned, neither is Pilate's nor Cornelius, Festus or Felix. Nor that of Bernice nor Lydia or Luke or Timothy or Alexander the High Priest, or Dionysius the Areopagite, or even Agrippa. None of them ever noticed anything about skin color, because that is not how they saw the world then.

    When Paul and Barnabas were in Lystra, the people called them Hermes and Zeus. Did the folks of Lystra (a GREEK city) expect to see two of their gods show us two Black guys, and no one would think twice about it?

    But you are smarter than them all - you can see back in time and know exactly what they were thinking, in spite of every painting, sculpture and reference to the contrary, for you know some much more than anyone else who has ever lived, right?

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  • 252. At 00:17am on 13 Mar 2011, LucyJ wrote:

    If: The removal of Hosni Mubarak was a diplomatic triumph for the Obama administration. He got what America needed, and wanted,
    -----------
    U r right that Obama got what he needed and wanted, but what America wanted and needed was for Mubarack to resign or not resign on his own outside of us- us not interfering...
    ------------
    If: while maintaining good relations with both the Egyptian Army and the people who were protesting for democracy.
    --------
    How many Egyptians like America?
    -----------
    If: Well, the protesters in Tahrir square handed President Obama a stunning diplomatic victory.
    --------
    By showing that USA's interference can help overthrow dictators?
    Point taken...
    -----------
    If: It was a victory over the oil industry.
    It was a victory over AIPAC/Likud.
    It was a victory over Saudi Arabia.
    ----------
    So do u think Obama is trying to dismantle AIPAC and Saudi Arabia?
    Have u ever asked urself why, if?
    What hidden agenda or motives does Obama have?

    As for the oil industry, I highly doubt that, just a short time before the BP oil spill, Obama was making hte motions to drill more...he's got ties just like everybody else..
    ----------
    If: It is difficult to imagine how he could have had a more glowing or more complete victory.
    -------
    Maybe if he was there himself to see the victory through and lead the protesters?
    --------
    If: I do know that the western powers would have to be crazy to allow madman Muammar to stay in power.
    --------
    We would have to be crazy to invade a country like Libya...
    -----------
    If: But he is showing himself to be a very, very smart guy.
    Which is why the oil industry hates him so much.
    ---------
    Then why does Obama say we need to drill more and use America's reserve oil reserved for an emergency, even if this is not an emergency and when we need it, it won't be there or very expensive to replace?

    To me, Obama using our reserve oil would help the oil industry b/c hten we would have to buy it back at double, perhaps triple or quadruple the price, plus I think if Obama uses our reserves, it would send some ppl into a panic and throw gas prices higher...
    -------------
    If: I don't know how he's going to do it, but my guess is that, one way or another, he will find a way to solve the problem in Libya.
    --------------
    Well, his statement saying that Gaddafi should step down sure didn't work...

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  • 253. At 00:28am on 13 Mar 2011, marieinaustin wrote:

    Who cares about rabbits? Let’s see him levitate.

    Better still: I DARE him to take away one of my hours tonight!

    P.S. I don’t recommend getting a tattoo. His face probably wouldn’t make a good future butterfly.

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  • 254. At 00:30am on 13 Mar 2011, LucyJ wrote:

    uk: My walking buddy is a paramedic,with experience of over 20 years.Its his opinion,using that stuff heavy & long term causes psychosis & mental health issues in some folk.
    After reading some of the contributor`s here I can only agree :).
    --------
    Lol...u mean hippie syndrome?
    What about all those ppl from the 60's and 70's?

    (If they were all mentally ill like ur friend thinks, wouldn't that be a third of the USA population- the baby boomers who were teens in sixties?)

    Well, there is lots I could say, but some things simply can't be said. That being said, I will admit I myself am partially crazy due to the surreal beauty of the rural countryside and glad for it. :)

    U and ur walking buddy are absolutely entitled to ur opinion and I respect it...does he have friends this has happened to or what led him to believe this, some 'researcH' like the one in USA from the 50's where they put monkey's heads in smokeboxes, where they could not get enough 02, and they said it caused the brain to die from marijuana?

    (today some reexamined the research and said most likely the monkeys died due to lack of 02)

    Just ask urself this has too much marijuana ingested ever killed anyone the way that too much alcohol can cause blood poisoning?

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  • 255. At 00:32am on 13 Mar 2011, Chryses wrote:

    The Cool Ruler Rides Again, (#248. At 11:21pm on 12 Mar 2011)

    "Chryses, it may blow your mind, but I am not contradicting myself, you are just performing your usual anal analysis, focusing on one or even half sentence without comprehending the overall point made ..."
    That does assume that you have one to make.

    "... I am a Christian and relate with all Abrahamic faiths as they are basically worshiping the same god. i.e. Monotheism (belief in the existence of one god, as distinguished from polytheism) ... "
    If you are a Christian, then why go on about
    "... Hindus worship several gods or deities (or demi-gods)
    e.g.Ganesha: Lord of Success - (likened to Education - Input)
    Buddhism: Meditation, (Likened to Processing)
    Kali: which means black, time, death, lord of death - (Likened to Output or the Manifestation of Power from Ganesha and Buddhism) . . "

    In post #245? Nope. I'm afraid your zigging when you should be zagging.

    "... I've been to Kataragama at least 5 times (and even more rock festivals) ..."
    I'm truly impressed! But you didn't say 'rock festival' in post #245, did you? Nope. It was 'hippy rock festival' wasn't it? And since hippies were a social phenomenon before you were born, I rather doubt you know what you're talking about. But hey, don't let a detail like THAT slow you down. It hasn't so far.

    "... To be honest I couldn't care less what you think about anything and find you a complete @£&T"
    Your last dozen or so posts contradict THAT claim very eloquently. They also expose you as plagiarizing other people's writing, having a complete ignorance of Ashkenazi Jews, and accepting double standards, one for the Palestinians and one for the white settlers in South Africa.

    If I had been whupped as long and as hard by you as you have been by me, I daresay I also would be somewhat wanting in Christian forgiveness. Of course that would be a sin on my part. How about you? Is that different because it happened to you?

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  • 256. At 00:36am on 13 Mar 2011, LucyJ wrote:

    pub: Is it that you don't believe people with hispanic surnames may not be the descendants of people with Spanish origins?
    ---------
    I'm just saying the last name says a lot...not always accurate, but often it tis'...ur last name is like a badge...

    U can trace ancestry a long way...

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  • 257. At 00:44am on 13 Mar 2011, Chryses wrote:

    escapedfromny, (#251. At 11:52pm on 12 Mar 2011)

    ”. . . But you are smarter than them all - you can see back in time and know exactly what they were thinking, in spite of every painting, sculpture and reference to the contrary, for you know some much more than anyone else who has ever lived, right?”
    Yore durn tootin’ he does! He not only knows that there is either one or more God(s), depending on what he wants to say at the time he wants to say it, but he also knows that “black” is “one of the commonest names in history.” Yessiree! That’s why more than 50% of them thar Chinese folks are named Black. Ain’t that right? Yup. Oh, an them Indians too. Most of them are named Black. Yup. That’s why he says that ‘Black’ is one of the commonest names in history!

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  • 259. At 01:14am on 13 Mar 2011, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    253. At 00:28am on 13 Mar 2011, Grateful Marie wrote:

    Better still: I DARE him to take away one of my hours tonight!

    __________

    LOL.

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  • 260. At 01:24am on 13 Mar 2011, Chryses wrote:

    The Cool Ruler Rides Again, (#258. At 01:10am on 13 Mar 2011)

    ”Nobody really noticed color as being any significance until the Global Power System Of Racism was introduced to justify African Slavery and introduced the concept of de-humanisation of Africans as sub-humans like animals who's life's were considered of less worth than others ...”
    Fantasy or Reality? We’ll never know, because he assumes that his opinion is all that is needed.
    LOL!

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  • 262. At 01:44am on 13 Mar 2011, Amr wrote:

    i'm really sad about the Libyan people. there're like whole generations of people who never learnt the meaning of 'freedom'. it's sad that some of them are even fighting for the tyrant.

    even now, as a former Egyptian slave, i'm still having a very hard time learning the truth of the world view, how it was all about circles, dominance and authority... it even took me a while to see how the police was treating people as if people were their slaves and now i have to live with my regrets that i wasn't a part of the revolution. without 'media' that shows them the truth in a way that convinces them that everything they learnt since they were born was a lie, they won't be able to see how horribly unfair they were treated.

    how to help those who were brainwashed and the generations of people who see the misleading view of the world learn the truth without resorting to violence? it won't be an easy task, specially that the madman won't let it happen

    those who are free and learnt the meaning of freedom in Libya won't accept to live as slaves and would prefer to die .. it would take some of the enslaved generations more time than the others, depending on how much they were isolated from the 'circles'. i know i can understand only what 'some' of them would see the world like. one of the reasons that would hinder a real understanding is the 'false pride' that was taught over the years by the media. (it made it harder to accept the truth)
    also, some idiots still want to gain some false authority, so called extremists and politicians. as if people would accept to give up their freedom once again to another kind of tyrants

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  • 263. At 01:53am on 13 Mar 2011, Chryses wrote:

    The Cool Ruler Rides Again, (#261. At 01:38am on 13 Mar 2011)

    ”... Chinese Blacks. yee har them dumb good ole boys sure nuff makes rooting tooting ssh.t kicking good points, must be whupping them fererners axes, ...”
    Correction. That would be “whupping them fererners axes” AGAIN. LOL!

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  • 264. At 02:11am on 13 Mar 2011, The Cool Ruler Rides Again wrote:

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

  • 265. At 02:21am on 13 Mar 2011, Chryses wrote:

    The Cool Ruler Rides Again, (#264. At 02:11am on 13 Mar 2011)

    "... I now nothing about Hinduism even though I been to several Hindu temples ..."
    You've made a believer out of me! Your posts have also exposed you as plagiarizing other people's writing, having a complete ignorance of Ashkenazi Jews, and accepting double standards, one for the Palestinians and one for the white settlers in South Africa.

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  • 266. At 02:35am on 13 Mar 2011, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    252. At 00:17am on 13 Mar 2011, LucyJ wrote:

    "...but what America wanted and needed was for Mubarack to resign or not resign on his own outside of us- us not interfering..."

    [[There is still no real evidence that Mubarak resigned.
    The point is that he is gone, America did not have to interfere to get it done.
    The protesters achieved what they wanted.
    And the result was what suited America (and, to be fair lots of others), best.

    Who didn't this result suit?
    (1) The oil industry
    (2) AIPAC/Likud
    (3) The Government of Saudi Arabia
    (4) Any tin-pot dictator ripe for removal.


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

    "How many Egyptians like America?"

    [[A lot more than before.]]
    -----------

    --------
    "By showing that USA's interference can help overthrow dictators?"


    [[Not at all. Quite the opposite.
    Their victory was overthrowing a dictator.

    President Obama's victory was forcing two evil forces in American politics to retreat: The Oil industry, and AIPAC/Likud

    This was a huge victory for America, although you seem determined not to realize it.



    Both the Oil Industry and AIPAC/Likud have been successful for 30+ years, in getting America to follow policies that are not in America's interest, and never have been.

    This is the first time I can remember where the US government has sent AIPAC/Likud packing with a bloody nose, a black eye, and a fat lip. Gosh, does it ever look good on them.

    Ditto for the oil industry.

    -----------

    So do u think Obama is trying to dismantle AIPAC and Saudi Arabia?
    Have u ever asked urself why, if?
    What hidden agenda or motives does Obama have?

    [[Dismantle?? No. Hardly.]]

    [[Maybe he would like to see peace in the Middle East, or, at the very least, see America follow policies that actually reflect America's interests in the world.

    Peace will not come in the Middle East as long as Likud forms the government of Israel. Not going to happen. Likud is against peace. Always has been. Always will be.

    For America to support the policies of Likud - as it has done, very nearly blindly and unquestioningly, for 30 years - is completely contrary to America's interests in the world.

    AIPAC exists for one reason, and one reason only: to subborn through electoral patronage America's elected representatives to serve the policies of a foreign state, contrary to America's interest.

    If the Soviet Union had tried that there would have been public outrage. In fact, in the 1950's that is a good deal of what the "red scare" and the House Un-American Activities Committee were, ostensibly, about.

    President Obama is the first President I can remember who has applied anything like an objective test to America's relationship with Israel.

    For the first time in at least a generation, American diplomacy in the Middle East is starting to follow the interests of America, not Likud.

    Hallelujah.


    As for Saudi Arabia, well, that really is a bargain with the devil.

    How is it that America has placed itself in a position where it is the principle ally, protector, and guarantor, of a country whose government is, in terms of the rule of law, democracy, and human rights, abhorrent to everything upon which America was founded, and for which America stands?

    How is it that America is dependent for energy supplies upon any country in which that is true?

    Why does America run a disastrous trade deficit with that country?

    Why does America continue to subsidize the use of the product that gives rise to this huge deficit?

    Why does America's government not take steps to end America's vulnerability to political pressure from that country?

    Why does America's government not takes steps to end its exposure to the risk of overthrow of a government based on principles that are, as noted, abhorrent to virtually all Americans?

    Again, America's relationship with Saudi Arabia, like it's relationship with Israel, is one that is dysfunctional, and that is profoundly contrary to America's long term strategic interests.

    But, that bizarre relationship is driven by the oil industry ...

    ----------

    "As for the oil industry, I highly doubt that, ..."

    The Oil Industry has spent more money, and devoted more effort, than any other group to trying to prevent President Obama from being elected. (and that's saying something, when you begin to realize how much money and effort AIPAC/Likud and the medical industry have spent on the same goal). The oil industry has campaigned against President Obama every step of the way, with every breath, at every moment of the day. It is an endless campaign.

    Why?

    Because for the first time in at least a generation -

    There was the possibility of America following a rational energy policy that actually reflects America's long term strategic interests, instead of the whim of the Oil Industry.

    There was a possibility that something might be done about global warming.

    There was a possibility that America might follow a transportation policy that did something other than consume oil as fast as possible.

    There was a possibility that America might take real steps toward energy self-sufficiency.

    There was a possibility that oil might be priced to capture at least some of its negative externalities, instead of being constantly subsidized through the defense budget, through health care costs, and through damage to the environment.

    There was a possibility that America might adopt policies that would lead to the greater development of non-oil sources of energy, or that might promote energy conservation.

    All of that is anaethma to the oil industry.

    And what was the first cry by the Republicans when they won the mid-terms? That it was the end of "cap and trade".

    For all practical purposes, the Oil Industry owns the Republican Party.
    Even more so the Tea Party, for that matter. As if there's a difference.

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



    "Well, his statement saying that Gaddafi should step down sure didn't work..."

    [[We'll see. Maybe President Obama isn't done quite yet ...]]

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  • 267. At 03:11am on 13 Mar 2011, Amr wrote:

    i have a question and i hope someone would give an answer. Is America supporting Extremist Muslims? Is this how you want Egypt and Libya to become in the end?
    Egypt now seems to be going to split in two: Extremist Muslims and Extremist Christians. (i'm not talking about possible clashes) i don't know if this can be called freedom (seriously?!). the Brotherhood decisive influence and gradual takeover is very annoying.
    what a short-lived freedom
    i really want an answer because i almost feel like my life is threatened (if i don't give up my freedom)

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  • 268. At 03:59am on 13 Mar 2011, McJakome wrote:

    267. At 03:11am on 13 Mar 2011, Amr wrote: "Is America supporting Extremist Muslims?"

    Amr,
    That is a very good question that InterestedForeigner's post #266 answering LucyJ's questions deals with. It sometimes seems like the US is subsidizing and supporting Islamic extremists [i.e. Saudi Arabia's Wahabbists].

    US politics is as complicated as politics in Byzantium or the Ottoman Empire. We don't have an imperial court, but we have factions within factions and plenty of special interests [domestic and foreign] competing for influence in Byzantium on Potomac [i.e. Washington, D.C.].

    The short answer to your question is that the US does not deliberately support them. Americans really do believe in democracy and really want to help other countries. However, our bureaucracy may be less corrupt than Egypt's but is probably just as difficult to deal with.

    It may appear that President Obama is the most powerful man on Earth, but his ability to use power is severely limited. The US government was designed to prevent dictatorship from ever taking over; the method was to divide power so that no one would be able to become too powerful. It has worked well for over 200 years, but one result is to make it difficult to coordinate power. Everything has to be negotiated, like business in an old-fashioned "souq."

    The present US government has been in power for almost all of the history of the US. You know how difficult it is to change things in Egypt after only 30 years, we have had the same government for 2 centuries, and policies are very difficult to change. We also have a three way power struggle going on between corporate interests, the Republican Party, and the Democrat Party.

    Now-a-days it almost takes a miracle to get anything done. "Inshallah" President Obama will be able to get a few things done, but the next election campaign is already starting, and change that was already difficult will become nearly impossible.

    I hope this will help you understand the situation a little better.

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  • 269. At 04:49am on 13 Mar 2011, Amr wrote:

    268. At 03:59am on 13 Mar 2011, JMM wrote:
    "InterestedForeigner's post #266 answering LucyJ's questions deals with."
    i read the comment and the subsequent comments. it was really enlightening, but it did not lessen my worries.
    =====
    "It has worked well for over 200 years, but one result is to make it difficult to coordinate power. Everything has to be negotiated, like business in an old-fashioned "souq."
    Firstly, i'm really grateful that you took the time and replied to me. secondly... wow! that's a much bigger view! so that's how the bigger circles are interacting. i wanted to say a few days ago that i understood why "United States of America" existed and what role it played (even though my view was still distorted). but now i'm actually even more thankful.
    =====
    "we have had the same government for 2 centuries, and policies are very difficult to change. We also have a three way power struggle going on between corporate interests, the Republican Party, and the Democrat Party."
    i somewhat understand the need for representatives of each group view. i realized it is difficult for people to understand and accept that even though humans are different, they have equal rights. perhaps it is essential to keep a balance of powers and mutual interests.
    =====
    "but the next election campaign is already starting, and change that was already difficult will become nearly impossible."
    you mean you're worried too or that because of the elections there won't be any changes done?
    =====
    P.S. i read "heart of darkness" before (more like had to study it) so, i know how resources such as ivory, (or oil nowadays?) could greatly affect intentions. i don't understand why the EU is not willing yet to give all the support needed to Africa.
    =====
    one final question:
    this is somewhat personal. if freedom is not a right that we're born with, should i try to earn it and how?

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  • 270. At 05:10am on 13 Mar 2011, powermeerkat wrote:

    IF wrote: "If this [tsunami in Japan] had happened in almost any other country, the death toll would be in the tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands."



    1800 deaths have been already confirmed, and over 10 000 "missing" persons are most likely dead as well.

    [since their town cannot be seen on current sat photos at all]


    IF: "It isn't that nobody cares. It's that the right things are already being done, without fuss, by a government and a people who know what they are doing."



    You right: US Army and USAF is already there, and so are experienced rescue teams from LA Fire Department.

    But that does not make the calamity any smaller. [8.9 is still 8.9]

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  • 271. At 05:34am on 13 Mar 2011, McJakome wrote:

    269. At 04:49am on 13 Mar 2011, Amr wrote: "this is somewhat personal. if freedom is not a right that we're born with, should i try to earn it and how?"

    Almost any American you might ask will tell you that we are born free. But that ignores the necessary rule of law, family rules and religious belief. In the US it is easy and not uncommon to change one's religion. I was born and raised Catholic, but when I became an adult at 18 I decided to change my religion. Some of my family weren't too happy about that but it was my choice.

    I also make my own political decisions. I do not belong to one of our parties, I vote based on my evaluation of the person and program. A few years ago my mother tried to tell me who to vote for. I didn't want a family fight, and didn't want to lie to her, so I had to make some very careful remarks. So as you probably already know, the US has, compared to other countries, particularly traditional ones, very weak social controls, which makes it easy to think you are free. The more control a country has, the less easy it is to be really free.

    Freedom starts in your mind. Get as much education and knowledge as possible and learn to find the truth in it for yourself. You may need to develop the necessary social skills to protect your freedom once you have it. It helps if you are a member of a group of free thinkers, but every group develops an ideology of its own, so you have to be careful not to give up your freedom to the group.

    Everyone deserves to be free, and when born into a free society it is unnecessary to earn it. To become free when one is in a more restrictive society is difficult and must be achieved, sometimes at great cost, by individuals and groups.

    Nobody can give another freedom, the person who wants to be free has to make it happen. I can't tell you how to be free, you will have to decide that for yourself, that is one of the important characteristics of freedom [as Americans view it] individual responsibility.

    Good luck in your quest. You are asking the right questions, and now you must make it happen, "inshallah."

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  • 272. At 06:04am on 13 Mar 2011, The Cool Ruler Rides Again wrote:

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

  • 273. At 08:09am on 13 Mar 2011, publiusdetroit wrote:

    Wow! I step out to enjoy the community of the people in my 'new' State of Wyoming and return to find one of the most interesting set of correspondences on this blog in a long time. I would like to salute Interestedforeigner, LucyJ, JMM, Powermeerkat for their recent contributions to this blog. I would like to single out a special salute to Amr. While reading through one of Interestedforeigners postings I thought, 'I'd love to hear Amr's thoughts about this.' Then you, Amr, joined in with a marvelous posting at #262. Thank you for your words.

    [A note to Interesteforeigner before I attempt to address other postings]

    We have been posting together for such a period of time that you are very aware of my Detroit, Michigan origins and the economic, political, and social environment from which I emigrated across the Mississippi River. The 'New World' as it seems to me.

    Once again I had to keep pinching myself as a means of remembrance that I was not enjoying the kind company of people in Ontario, Canada; but that I was enjoying the company of people in Wyoming. So many social similarities. The wonderful, natural respect people show to one another mirrors that of the places I so love in Ontario. Cities like Sarnia, London, Windsor, Stratford, Leamington, Tobermory, Toronto, and many more.

    Having not tippled a drop of anything more powerful then the heavily caffinated "Mountain Dew" soda pop. I raise a dram of some of Hiram Walkers good Rye to the friends I have known in Canada. I will swear that my frequent crossing of the St. Clair and Detroit Rivers did wonders to maintain balance while living a city in a head-long rampage to destroy itself. I feel a certain affinity with Amr in the new environment our poster is experiencing. Salute!

    Now I will ask the posters I have mentioned to forgive me not addressing their previous posts in order so that I may address Amr first. The hour here is late. So many things to state.

    Peace be upon thee.

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  • 274. At 08:10am on 13 Mar 2011, cl123456 wrote:

    I don't think that the U.S. will get involved with the Libya struggle. The U.S. is involved in two wars in the Middle East that have been going on for over 10 years with no end in sight (that George the Younger got us in to). Both wars were started under false information with no clear objective as how the governments would be structured after the endless wars were completed. These extended wars are the main reason behind the current budget problems with big black holes into which the military funding is going...so the Libya issue is at the wrong place at the wrong time. The U.S. needs the Libyan oil and is willing to put up with Gaddafi and will continue to overlook the human right violations..as long as the oil keeps flowing---ignorance and greed always prevails.

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  • 275. At 09:27am on 13 Mar 2011, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re #273 Wow! I step out to enjoy the community of the people in my 'new' State of Wyoming and return to find one of the most interesting set of correspondences on this blog in a long time. I would like to salute Interestedforeigner, LucyJ, JMM, Powermeerkat for their recent contributions to this blog.






    publius, I thought you were still detroit.



    I sincerely congratulate you on your "new state".

    Particularly if you're a skier or a trekker.

    [Some of the best skiing and snow-mobiling I've done was in "the great state of Wyoming" (no offence Colorado, Montana and Utah)]

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  • 276. At 09:56am on 13 Mar 2011, publiusdetroit wrote:

    Ref 262 Amr-

    "i'm really sad about the Libyan people. there're like whole generations of people who never learnt the meaning of 'freedom'. it's sad that some of them are even fighting for the tyrant."

    I share your sadness. I have often quoted to veterans I have worked with as they struggle to comprehend their surviving the horrors of war when some, if not many of their comrades fell, with these words of the poet, John Donne: "...any mans death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankind; And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee." I feel you humbly struggle with very similar misgivings.

    If you are not familiar, quietly struck bells in a church tower are sometimes used to sound the death of a person during the funeral march to the grave. The muffled tone reminding us of our own mortality. It also reminds us, the living, that we must forgive our past and live each new day with responsible vigor so that we may share ourselves with our kindred beings in a way most rewarding for ourselves and others.

    You state, "a former Egyptian slave, i'm still having a very hard time learning the truth of the world view, how it was all about circles, dominance and authority... it even took me a while to see how the police was treating people as if people were their slaves and now i have to live with my regrets that i wasn't a part of the revolution."

    I ask you, 'Can you change that what was?' Regrets are futile if you try to change the image in your mind of your behavior in the past. Regrets are beneficial if you learn from them; then stand erect and proud from the weight of your regrettable emotion...and your own survival. Learn, contemplate, truly forgive yourself, and move forward. You, and many within your country, stand upon the threshold of a dream. It is not too late to join the revolution. To be; even a simple factor in the transformation of seeing yourself as a slave, to that of a well-informed, thoughtful citizen within the community of your transforming nation. Participating in the future of your community as a well-informed, enthusiastic, citizen is a magnificent leap towards the success of the rebellion which is still ongoing. Your nation stands upon one of many steps which must be surmounted in order to succeed beyond that which was.

    Remember what was left behind in a way that propels you to dream your own personal dreams with the advent of a belief they may well be obtained by what has been obtained through the persistence of those so enthusiastic, and careless, to rid themselves of their oppressor. Quietly; you have been a part of the rebellion. Although the time for quiet rebellion is passing quickly.

    You say, "those who are free and learnt the meaning of freedom in Libya won't accept to live as slaves and would prefer to die .. it would take some of the enslaved generations more time than the others, depending on how much they were isolated from the 'circles'.", in a way that appears to speak for yourself, and those you know around you in your neighborhood, in Egypt. Your country is currently delighted by the feeling of a new experience. People feel euphoric and vindicated for their participation in a triumphant moment in history. Yet wisely you recognize,"...also, some idiots still want to gain some false authority, so called extremists and politicians. as if people would accept to give up their freedom once again to another kind of tyrants".

    Thus far, your country is following the steps of a successful revolution. It has gone well past the stage of, what is called 'the liberal intervention' in the process of a revolt. An attempt to rectify and negotiate resolutions in a last ditch effort to find accord without open, even violent, rebellion as you have just experienced. The 'new', young Egypt is in what is called the, 'conservative backlash'.

    [At this juncture I do hope that I am holding your attention. I am making a lengthly statement. Additionally, I hope the good moderators of this blog are equally attentive and will publish it on this blog. There is more to come. Please indulge me, if you will.]

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  • 277. At 11:17am on 13 Mar 2011, Mirino wrote:

    Re. the interminable, epic argument some of the above post have alluded to.
    The idea of returning to 'the land of Israel' didn't suddenly come about thanks to the timely generosity and noble good-will of the United Nations in 1947. It has been the aspiration of the Jewish people right across history. One can easily find historic records of this. Many Jews, for example, left Spain in the 15th century to settle in the Holy Land. More information regarding this can be found here:

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

    The interpretation of 'Zionism' as expansionism isn't really justified. Today, because of the hateful accusations of people like Ahmadinejad, too many people like to attach negative connotations to the word, almost as if it represented Nazism. 'Zionism' simply means the conviction that the Land of Israel belongs to the Israelis. Is it so preposterous, in view of recorded facts of history?

    Neither does it necessarily mean that the Jews want everything for themselves, nor does it mean than they would expand the 'Land of Israel'- which is miniscule enough compared to the surrounding countries- beyond its borders, given half the chance. Not only Israel has had plenty of opportunities to do this, one could argue that they also had the right, by the rules of war.

    Apart from the massacre and banishment of the Jews by the Romans after the Hebraic-Roman wars, before the arrival of Jesus, followed much later on by the Prophet (circa 630), the latter exhorted the Jews to drop their more ancient religion, substitute it with Islam and to follow him. Before the Romans and then the Prophet, the Jews and the Arabs lived together for thousands of years in this region. If the Prophet was accused by intellectuals of the Middle Ages (Dante, amongst others, for example) of being a scissionist, it was because he declared the Jews (and the Christians) enemies for not accepting to drop their religions in favour of Islam. This, of course, set a precedent, and consequences from which the world still suffers today.

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  • 278. At 11:40am on 13 Mar 2011, publiusdetroit wrote:

    As I continue my response to Amr:

    We humans like stability, resist change; even though the only thing that doesn't change, is that everything is always changing. The "Conservative backlash" step in a revolution is a result of our resistance to change. The initial euphoria of a great event begins to fade like the memory of a young love. Politically, economically; during the steps of a revolution we begin to doubt why we left the familiar, no matter how abusive, to venture into the unknown. We become nostalgic, forgetting the pain to embrace the stability. Often creating a fantasy that bears little resemblance of that which was real.

    During the stage where civil, even violent, disruption rallied against the political power upon the throne and the people showed their great courage; some of those holding prominent positions close to the throne of power take the risk of jumping to another ship in midstream still carrying the baggage of their own personal, political ambitions. Their intent is to resume the dominance of the previous regime with themselves as the one seated upon the throne of dominance. I believe you are witnessing this type of political 'ship' flying false colors at this time in Egypt.

    There are other candidates flying a false flag to lure the weary into running aground on sand reefs so they can enforce their will. Thomas Paine warns us, "THESE are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman."

    If a nation of people can endure the fear of change. If they can step beyond the pall of doubt in themselves; then they can rally a nation to new heights of liberty, with a new constitution of rights that will set them free of oppressors. They, as a community, as a nation, will liberate themselves into a lawful, prosperous entity the likes of which they have only dreamed. I hear in your own words the seed of that dream. Now you must act to fulfill the dream. If it is nothing more than spreading your new feeling of freedom to those within your community. One person can plant the seed that takes root and bears fruit.

    Obviously, you read the postings of my fellow United States citizens on this blog. You are seeing us in the "Winter of our discontent". We are passionate about our politics. Often infantile in our treatment of one another. Passionate to the point we seem on the verge of tearing the fabric of our nation to ribbons. Yet; in each our own way, we are passionate for the life of our nation. This is nothing new.

    Our national, political history has witnessed far worse than the vitriol we lavish upon each other day after day on this blog, and many others. We have survived much worse divisiveness because we, each in our own way, are passionate for the liberty we enjoy in this nation. We fought against each other in a horrid, bloody civil war; yet were able to reunite into a nation that became an international power within the lifetimes of those who fought against one another. Because we love our liberty more than our politics. We antagonize each other like rival siblings. Yet, like siblings there is a deep seated love of something greater than ourselves. A nation of laws based on the ideal of personal liberty. Not freedoms. Liberty. There is a difference.

    My father's family supported and fought in the American Revolution. We, literally, gave up our large fortune in support of an idea. Ships we owned, monetary wealth we freely contributed, lives we gave, lands we lost; all for an experiment in liberty. A heritage of which we are proud of to this day, guarding it with zeal, passing it on to the next generation.

    The need to stand up for ones liberty never ends. There are always those who are jealous of freedom because they want more personal power to control all that surrounds them.

    I smiled when I read the correspondence JMM addressed to you at posting #268. In it, he opened the soul of America for you to see. I admire JMM. Have learned much from his postings. Even the ones I may not agree with on certain points. His posting at 268 reflects his depth of thought and good sense. I hope I have added something to his words.

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  • 279. At 11:53am on 13 Mar 2011, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re #270

    Japanese Meteo Office has upgrade the tremor to 9.0 on Richter scale.

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  • 280. At 11:59am on 13 Mar 2011, powermeerkat wrote:

    [publiusdetroit reminds us: " Thomas Paine warns us, "THESE are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.""





    publius, you should have dedicated that quote to those who come to this blog to denigrate and ridicule U.S. military.

    [Whom they later beg for help when push comes to shove.]

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  • 281. At 12:22pm on 13 Mar 2011, publiusdetroit wrote:

    Ref 275 powermeerkat-

    "I sincerely congratulate you on your "new state"."

    One more posting before I hit the rack.

    I don't care if the proverbial "Pearly Gates" exist. Don't even fret about roasting in Hades. I'm living in Paradise.

    I hunt, fish, backpack, mountain climb, rock climb, kayak, nordic ski, snowshoe, and am a photographer. I have the Laramie Mountain Range to my south, the Wind River Range to my west, the Big Horn Range to my north, and wide-open, rolling prairies to my east that don't stop until Chicago, about 1,500 miles over the horizon. I wonder if I'll ever tire of the gorgeous sunsets I see every night.

    Was out about a month ago to the "Hole in the Wall", made famous by Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. All open range. Stopped to take a picture of the "Hole in the Wall". Was surrounded by a herd of close to 50 horses looking for a a treat. They were a mile away when I stopped.

    Stepped out of the reception center I was at this evening. Two antelope sniffed along a low ridge as they grazed about a hundred yards away from where I stood. A mule deer was standing in the neighborhood street when I came home, with four others relaxing on a lawn in front of a house a block away from my place. It's so quiet at night I can hear the night train coming into town from miles in the distance. Sounds like a lazy, languid tornado with a low, bellowing horn.

    It's been in the 50's for the past week. Still 6-8 foot of beautiful base snow on the mountain nordic trails 15 minutes from my front porch. Had a good laugh a week ago when my son skied off the groomed trail to read a landmark informative sign. He sank 3 feet into the un-groomed snow. Had a heck of a time getting back on the trail.

    I love Wyoming! "Cowboy up", partner.

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  • 282. At 12:35pm on 13 Mar 2011, concernedexpat wrote:

    In this case I'm afraid that with Mr. Obama that it's a case of "damned if he does,damned if he doesn't". It's not easy to walk a tightrope.
    We may not have wanted foreign help during the Civil War but we certainly did during the Revolution.

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  • 283. At 12:37pm on 13 Mar 2011, publiusdetroit wrote:

    Ref 280 powermeerkat-

    "publius, you should have dedicated that quote to those who come to this blog to denigrate and ridicule U.S. military."

    Do you think they would ever understand the scenes playing behind the eyes in a "2,000 yard stare"?

    Can't play anymore. I have to go to bed.

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  • 284. At 1:05pm on 13 Mar 2011, Mirino wrote:

    278. publiusdetroit

    Interesting and lofty post. But surely the citation/warning of Thomas Paine should be applied directly to those who hesitate in doing what they know is right. This, far more than as suggested by 280. powermeerkat, 'that it should have been dedicated to those who come to this blog to denigrate and ridicule US military (who later beg for help when push comes to shove)'.

    Surely by not shedding light on certain facts that may not be willingly revealed by the Pentagon, one is denigrating not only all the military involved (in Afghanistan, for example) but also their effort, without considering the possibility of endangering their lives even more, and needlessly so.

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  • 285. At 1:20pm on 13 Mar 2011, Amr wrote:

    273. At 08:09am on 13 Mar 2011, publiusdetroit wrote:
    "I feel a certain affinity with Amr in the new environment our poster is experiencing. Salute!"
    thanks for your kind and encouraging words! sorry that i couldn't reply sooner. (i'm trying to catch up, but the flow of information is overwhelming.)
    =====
    276 publiusdetroit

    "I ask you, 'Can you change that what was?' Regrets are futile if you try to change the image in your mind of your behavior in the past."
    i really appreciate your comment. i agree that regrets would not help make things get better. i hope tomorrow will be better than yesterday and today's hopes will replace yesterday's regrets.

    "Regrets are beneficial if you learn from them; then stand erect and proud from the weight of your regrettable emotion...and your own survival. Learn, contemplate, truly forgive yourself, and move forward. You, and many within your country, stand upon the threshold of a dream. It is not too late to join the revolution."
    yes, now that i'm starting to learn the rights i should have had, i'm not willing to give up them just because of being uninformed, or because of my ignorance. sometimes a confirmation is needed that i'm not going the wrong way but at the same time i know i shouldn't blindly believe all that i hear (specially after 30 years of Mubarak's regime)
    i'll always remember that many lost their lives so that Egypt would become free.

    "in a way that appears to speak for yourself"
    some Libyans may be condemened just because they were ignorant about the truth and i know the situation in Libya was even more extreme; that's why i hoped my experience in this case may help.
    at the same time, i can only imagine the pains that the rebels suffered. i hope they will obtain victory somehow.
    =====
    it's kinda ironic that i said a few weeks ago that i 'graduated'. i thought i learnt enough, but it was only a first step. also, i was planning to post another comment a few days ago, then i delayed it and finally it became irrelevant. (sorry!) i'm thankful to a lot of people here and to the BBC. i hope you'd forgive me for not showing my gratitude properly. i'm not intentionally ignoring anyone and i really learn a lot from posts here.

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  • 287. At 2:01pm on 13 Mar 2011, McJakome wrote:

    269. At 04:49am on 13 Mar 2011, Amr wrote: "'we have had the same government for 2 centuries, and policies are very difficult to change. We also have a three way power struggle going on between corporate interests, the Republican Party, and the Democrat Party.'
    i somewhat understand the need for representatives of each group view. i realized it is difficult for people to understand and accept that even though humans are different, they have equal rights. perhaps it is essential to keep a balance of powers and mutual interests."

    Amr,
    Your comments are very perceptive. I hope I didn't mislead you. It is more complicated than the simplified picture I gave you. The US itself is large and varied; it is at least as complicated as the government that tries to run the country.

    Much of what Americans think is not really useful to people in different countries. Where we fail is often trying to teach people to be like us when their history, thinking, social structure and political process are too different. Canada, Switzerland and Australia are the most like us and do not need our "help." In fact we could learn from them if we would only listen.

    First, the US is really a federation, and the states were intended to be more powerful than the central government, even though the federal government is now much more powerful than it was intended to be. Most of the government functions are local, and the states are autonomous in many ways. This is almost incomprehensible to many foreigners, but it is very real to us.

    Some of the disagreement you can read here, between American posters, is due to this. We seriously disagree about how much power the central government has and how it uses it. Few of us would try to "enslave" the others, and if faced with foreign attack, we would unite against it.

    Yes I am worried, because the divisions are as bitter and in some cases extreme as I can remember from the 1970s. I have to caution myself not to contribute to the bitterness, but I am not always able to keep my opinion as balanced as I should. Freedom of speech and thought are very old, and our most cherished and used freedoms. Occasionally we forget that freedom is not free, it requires the people to act and speak responsibly. It is difficult for an individualistic people to keep in mind that they are not just individuals but members of a community.

    The US is so large and varied that we don't really have one ruling circle, one business circle, one religious circle, etc. Our biggest political parties, the Republicans and Democrats, are actually collections of factions competing for power inside the organization. To make things more complicated, Republicans believe in democracy, and the Democrats are committed to republican institutions.

    The US is one of the richest countries in the world, by some but not all measures. Because the US is rich, developed and powerful, everyone either wants to use this for their own purposes or is afraid that someone else will use it against them. What happened in Egypt, what is happening in Libya and what is happening everywhere in the world is a reflection of this.

    Egyptians are afraid that the US will interfere and try to influence or control their government, Israelis are afraid that they will lose influence with the US government, Canadians [as InterestedForeigner will tell you] are not afraid that we will attack them but that anything we do will impact their economy. Taiwan wants to persuade the US to help protect them from China, and China wants to influence the US to support their economy and persuade the US not to interfere with their plans for Taiwan. I doubt you can find a single country whose government does not try to get something from or to influence the US government.

    In addition to the international circus I have just described, US states compete against each other and sometimes make economic agreements with other states and with foreign governments. Our industries, banks and business people are also divided and may work together or oppose each other. It requires a great effort [and sometimes a lot of money and influence] to get enough support for any project or change.

    These are some of the reasons why it is difficult to understand, much less control, the US. President Obama has great prestige. He may be able to influence most governments, but has little power inside the US. If he invited me to visit him in Washington, I would be happy to do so. But there are some Americans who would not cross the street to meet him or who would refuse to shake his hand.

    I hope this helps to counter any oversimplification in my previous posts. Please feel free to ask for information and explanations. InterestedForeigner knows the US very well, and as a Canadian he can give you a realistic outside view. PubliusDetroit and other posters will also be happy to give you their opinions. Since this is Mark Mardell’s America site, I doubt the BBC would find questions like yours “off topic.”

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  • 288. At 2:37pm on 13 Mar 2011, Mirino wrote:

    Maybe Mr. J. Clapper, would have done better to have kept it clapped, but he will be proved wrong in any case, even in the long run.
    The opposing forces will probably be receiving foreign aid, if they are not already. Apparently, according to the BBC, the Arabian Gulf Oil Company, Libya's second largest state-owned company- 'has announced plans to use oil sales to fund the opposition'. One wonders if it was wise to make such a public declaration that might encourage Gaddafi to target that particular company.

    If Gaddafi's forces stretch far enough across either to the East or West, perhaps the opposition forces could try, with small, mobile but well armed troops to cut off their supply lines and isolate them more, assuming they have the necessary arms and enough mobility to try this out.

    Meanwhile there is still the danger of a second nuclear explosion in Japan. Again the BBC reports the Japanese crisis to be the worst since WW2. The Richter scale apparently reached 9. Unprecedented.

    http://mirino-viewfinder.blogspot.com/2011/03/tsunami-cataclysm.html

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  • 289. At 2:44pm on 13 Mar 2011, Chryses wrote:

    The Cool Ruler Rides Again, (#286. At 1:55pm on 13 Mar 2011)

    G.W. Bush (The Dirty American Warmonger) and Iraq ..."
    Always good to read penetrating insight like the above.
    LOL!

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  • 290. At 2:44pm on 13 Mar 2011, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    270. At 05:10am on 13 Mar 2011, powermeerkat wrote:

    "But that does not make the calamity any smaller. [8.9 is still 8.9]"

    __________

    Quite so.

    On the news this morning they reported that there is a 70% chance of a 7.0 after-shock. There was a 6.1 after-shock yesterday. In most places those would be considered fairly severe earthquakes in their own right.

    The videos and photographs say it all. The destruction is so vast, it is hard to get your mind around it.

    And now this really scary nuclear plant issue ...

    I know that all of Japan's friends and allies have sent, or are in the process of sending, everything they can. It will all be needed.

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  • 291. At 3:14pm on 13 Mar 2011, LucyJ wrote:

    If: Peace will not come in the Middle East as long as Likud forms the government of Israel. Not going to happen. Likud is against peace. Always has been. Always will be.
    ----------
    U say likud has been around for thirty or so years?

    What about the fact that Bill Clinton tried to make a deal with Palestine and Israel in the 90's, but Palestine turned it down b/c they wanted more, even tho its probabaly the best deal they will ever get?

    This proves that Likud has gone along with peace b/4...
    ----------
    If: How is it that America has placed itself in a position where it is the principle ally, protector, and guarantor, of a country whose government is, in terms of the rule of law, democracy, and human rights, abhorrent to everything upon which America was founded, and for which America stands?
    ------------
    Well, there's the oil obviously...yes, America is addicted to oil, just like China, ect are addicted, as well...much of the world is addicted to oil...at some point it will run out and we will be forced to come up with new means...personally, I think geothermal energy is the wave for the future heating/cooling wise in houses and cars are going to have to go electric or something, but I know I watched a documentary on electric cars (Who killed the electric car? or something like that) and it showed how the oil industry lobbyed the politicians who voted down the funding for electric cars and then the ppl were forced to crush all the good runnign electric cars which were already selling b/c the oil industry has powerful ties to lobbyists and I personally believe they will do everything in their power to prevent ppl from driving cars from something htat does not run on oil b/c oil companies make billions from Americans and then they get tax breaks, too, thanx to Obama and Congress...A story going around in Illinois is that they are able to make gas from corn stalks- so we can still sell the corn to ppl for food and use the stalks for gas...that would be awesome!!!

    I think we have this stance with Saudia Arabia b/c if their rulers were overthrown and an Islamic extremist who was against us in power there (such as bin Ladin type or Ahmajifdsjkldf) got elected, it could potentially be worse...so I guess we are taking the lesser evil...

    We do not criticize Saudi Arabia's human rights like the other ME countries, b/c the rulers in power are some of the only ME countries who like America and do not want to attack or harm us or our allies...

    I do not agree with their human rights, but I do personally believe the leaders of Saudi Arabia are preventing Islamic extremists from taking over that country...

    Is that right to support someone like that b/c its the lesser of two evils and potentially preventing nuclear or a ME war in which we would likely defend Israel against the extremists?

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  • 292. At 3:21pm on 13 Mar 2011, LucyJ wrote:

    Amr: i have a question and i hope someone would give an answer. Is America supporting Extremist Muslims? Is this how you want Egypt and Libya to become in the end?
    ----------
    No and no!

    America is against the extremists...

    Ppl like me, I am hopeful for Egypt and Libya to have moderate leader who would treat all religions equally and not put one above the other...I am hopeful that there can be churches in Egypt and Libya that will not be burnt down...I am hopeful for peace b/t the two...
    ----------
    Amir: Egypt now seems to be going to split in two: Extremist Muslims and Extremist Christians. (i'm not talking about possible clashes)
    ----------
    Well, it may be a case of cause and effect...when one group becomes more violent and extremist, it may cause the other group to do the same in order to defend themselves against hte original extremists...so in some way the second group it could be self defense after being intimidated..I read a story about how a bunch of Christians sheltered Muslims during the protests and then a week later read a story about Christian church being burnt down...I would love to hear a story in which the Muslims are helping or protecting Christians from extremists...
    -----------
    Amir: i don't know if this can be called freedom (seriously?!). the Brotherhood decisive influence and gradual takeover is very annoying.
    what a short-lived freedom
    i really want an answer because i almost feel like my life is threatened (if i don't give up my freedom)
    ------------
    What does freedom mean to you, Amir?

    (or what would you consider freedom to be?)

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  • 293. At 3:30pm on 13 Mar 2011, LucyJ wrote:

    Pmk: 1800 deaths have been already confirmed, and over 10 000 "missing" persons are most likely dead as well.
    --------
    Right now the greatest fear is the radiation...

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/as_japan_earthquake_nuclear_crisis
    An excerpt:
    "First I was worried about the quake," Kenji Koshiba, a construction worker who lives near the plant. "Now I'm worried about radiation."
    -------------
    USA should be looking at our own nuclear plants to make sure we have super back up systems to make sure our energy works to cool the plants and avoid meltdown...

    I am glad to know our military/LA dept/ect is there and more air carriers are arriving, so we are able to help them the best we can...of course its wonderful to know that GB, Austraila, South Korea and other countries are helping as well, so it is combined effort...

    As for the radiation, they just have to keep working on it...I have no idea how long it will take to repair the cooling system as it sounds like the whole system and back up systems were damaged, so that may take some time...I hope the sea water works and will keep my fingers crossed...

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  • 294. At 3:37pm on 13 Mar 2011, LucyJ wrote:

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20110312/bs_nm/us_brazil_sarkozy_dassault

    An excerpt:
    "The offer that we made is accompanied by the unrestricted transfer of technology guaranteed by the French state," Sarkozy said, "which neither of the other two competitors have the condition to do with credibility."
    ----------
    What is more important in such a trade, getting the better plane or learning the techonology, so u can have it for life and give it to ur allies for life?

    After all, Brazil is in BRIC...

    BRIC is uprising, even the upcoming Olympics- 2 of them are in BRIC's countries, Russia 2014 and Brazil 2016 and of course China had 2008, so that makes 3 BRIC countries hosting Olympics in the span of 8 years...will India get the next Olympics?

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  • 295. At 3:54pm on 13 Mar 2011, Amr wrote:

    i was always fascinated by the Japanese culture. (even took a Japanese course before) it's sad that they had to face this catastrophe. i hope i will see an even stronger and better Japan tomorrow.

    278 publiusdetroit
    thanks for sharing these moments from American history. i think the debates and discussions that take place in this blog are actually admirable. the feelings you have towards the USA are a lot different from what i 'used to' feel towards Egypt.
    the word 'Egyptian' was so hollow and meaningless. people had jobs they did not like but they worked anyway because they had to. students went to school because they were forced to go to school. the majority of Egyptians were just barely living and dying in the shadows.
    after the revolution, some Egyptians were protesting to demand things like 'being allowed to make tea at their workplace'. they were living on less than $ 1 a day and deprived of most of their rights. when they finally found out that they can protest, that was their demand: 'to be allowed to make tea'...
    however, now i understand what it means and what it is like to be responsible for one's country.
    =====
    287. At 2:01pm on 13 Mar 2011, JMM wrote:
    "Freedom of speech and thought are very old, and our most cherished and used freedoms."
    sadly we acquired these rights only recently.
    "I hope this helps to counter any oversimplification."
    it did help me understand a lot that i did not know and it is really comprehensive. thanks
    "InterestedForeigner knows the US very well"
    actually i'm always amazed by the depth of his analysis specially that it involves several aspects. (for example military tactics, history)
    =====
    by the way, Mohamed El-Baradei is much more acceptable now (if no one better came up, i think he'll get my vote)

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  • 296. At 4:16pm on 13 Mar 2011, Mirino wrote:

    292. LuciJ

    As the Copts and the Coptic churches and Monasteries represent an important part of the roots and identity of Egypt, dating from the Byzantine era following that of ancient Egypt, the Muslims set on destroying them seem to have the same pathetic, degenerate mentality as that of the Taliban who wanted to destroy the Buddhas of Bamiyan. With the same illogic they might try to destroy their pyramids, temples, sphinxes and all valuable vestiges and art of Ancient Egypt.

    When the question was put to the Libyan opposition forces whether there were elements of al-Qaida in their ranks, they just burst out laughing. It seems to me that the average member of the opposing forces looks a lot more intelligent than any of those who support Gaddafi. But then this could hardly come as a staggering surprise.

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  • 297. At 4:19pm on 13 Mar 2011, Oldloadr wrote:

    295. At 3:54pm on 13 Mar 2011, Amr,


    I know you have seen JMM and I argue about everything but the color of grass on this blog; so I thought it would help you in your understanding of our country for me to just jump in to say that I can’t find anything to argue with in JMMs civics lesson. That should tell give yo a little more insight on what an "American" is and what our beloved country is.

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  • 298. At 5:02pm on 13 Mar 2011, marieinaustin wrote:

    Once you get a good grasp on your own personal freedom, don’t continue to grasp the cage you left. You may think that by continually recalling it, the memory will help you to appreciate your new freedom. And you may think that by continually recalling it (your past object or situation of oppression), you may be helping others to escape. That’s nonsense. Don’t suppose anyone else’s cage. If you don’t leave your old cage behind (or the constant mentioning of it), it will hinder you from advancing in your new freedom. This is quickly learned once you let go. And it’s the witnessing of you living in and advancing in your freedom that helps others move forward to their own freedom as well.

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  • 299. At 5:05pm on 13 Mar 2011, Amr wrote:

    292. At 3:21pm on 13 Mar 2011, LucyJ wrote:
    "Amir: Egypt now seems to be going to split in two: Extremist Muslims and Extremist Christians. (i'm not talking about possible clashes)
    ----------
    Well, it may be a case of cause and effect...when one group becomes more violent and extremist, it may cause the other group to do the same in order to defend themselves against the original extremists"
    - sorry, i think i used the wrong expression. i did not mean that Egyptian Christians here are Extremists. the one friend i'm consulting nowadays regarding political options is Christian. why? because it is our country whether we're Christians or Muslims. what i'm worried about is that many people may just move from moderate to extreme views just because some of the political parties promote it. i think combining politics with religon is dangerous.
    this is not the only reason i'm discussing political options with this friend in particular. i cannot really speak freely about some of my political moderate view in the presence of Extremist Muslims.
    =====
    "Amir: i don't know if this can be called freedom (seriously?!). the Brotherhood decisive influence and gradual takeover is very annoying...

    What does freedom mean to you, Amir?
    (or what would you consider freedom to be?)"
    (you meant i should be using the word 'liberty'?) well, i'm a Muslim. that's my religion, but i think every person have the right to decide what religion he or she believe in and people would still be equal. the reason i think Extremism contradicts freedom is when some Extremists try to have a stronger influence on others around them. for example when they decide what is right and what is wrong sometimes only because they decided it should be right or wrong. (so they impose restraints on actions and thoughts.)
    basically, i hope Extremists would not to force others to change their moderate view.
    =====
    296 Nostrano
    thanks! some people claim it may have been the doing of the old regime so that the unity of Egyptians would shatter. (i think they're right. however, some Muslim Extremits' views in Egypt are alarming even though they are not dangerous. however, i do not want to overestimate my worries)
    =====
    297 Oldloadr
    as a guest, i'm really grateful for everyone's hospitality here.
    i realized lately the need to learn as much as possible about hisotry and politics. my past education had no relationship to what the real world education is like. that's why i'm trying my best to catch up now.
    =====
    (i won't be able to post more comments today)

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  • 300. At 5:10pm on 13 Mar 2011, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    291. At 3:14pm on 13 Mar 2011, LucyJ wrote:

    "U say likud has been around for thirty or so years?"

    "What about the fact that Bill Clinton tried to make a deal with Palestine and Israel in the 90's, but Palestine turned it down b/c they wanted more, even tho its probabaly the best deal they will ever get?"

    "This proves that Likud has gone along with peace b/4..."

    [[No, not at all.
    Ehud Barak, the Prime Minister of Israel who negotiated at Camp David
    was then the leader of the Israeli Labor Party. Likud was in opposition at the time.]]

    ----------
    ------------
    Well, there's the oil obviously...yes, America is addicted to oil, just like China, ect are addicted, as well...much of the world is addicted to oil...at some point it will run out and we will be forced to come up with new means...

    [[The first country to wean itself off oil with have a huge competitive advantage in the world economy. The less dependent you are on oil, the better off you are.]]

    "Who killed the electric car"
    [[And think where GM would be now if they had pursued development of that product?]]

    ----------

    "I think we have this stance with Saudia Arabia b/c if their rulers were overthrown and an Islamic extremist who was against us in power there (such as bin Ladin type or Ahmajifdsjkldf) got elected, it could potentially be worse...so I guess we are taking the lesser evil...

    "We do not criticize Saudi Arabia's human rights like the other ME countries, b/c the rulers in power are some of the only ME countries who like America and do not want to attack or harm us or our allies..."

    "I do not agree with their human rights, but I do personally believe the leaders of Saudi Arabia are preventing Islamic extremists from taking over that country..."

    [[No. The government of Saudi Arabia is why we have problems with Islamic extremists. Get rid of the House of Saud, and the problems with Islamic extremists may also wither away.]]

    "Is that right to support someone like that b/c its the lesser of two evils and potentially preventing nuclear or a ME war in which we would likely defend Israel against the extremists?"

    [[No, it isn't the lesser of two evils. It is the root cause of the very evil we are trying to prevent. The first step is getting rid of the monstrous affront to human rights and justice that is the House of Saud. Democracy and Justice may not bloom in Saudi Arabia the next morning, but be patient. It may take 20 - 30 years. There may be governments that arise in the meantime that we do not like. That is part of the growing pains of a democracy.

    In the meantime, America could limit its exposure to the harm that might come from political upheavals by making a credible effort to reduce dependence on oil as a fuel, by promoting alternative energy sources, and by promoting conservation. That would be wise policy. It is what a reasonable and cautious person would do. But it's never going to happen.

    ----------

    Why, for example, did it take 30+ years to raise the CAFE standards? In that 30 year period, Japanese manufacturers all but drove their American competitors out of the small and mid-sized car market.

    The failure to raise the CAFE standard did NOT protect American manufacturers. On the contrary, it is one of the factors that ghettoized them in less competitive sectors of the market - i.e., the only North American markets that continued to be dominated by North American manufacturers were the ones for the biggest, heaviest, most inefficient gas-sucking pigs. They ceded market share, inch by inch, year by year, everywhere else. It made their products uncompetitive in every other market in the world where fuel was more expensive. It was a very stupid mistake.

    ----------

    It is also a very stupid mistake not to price gasoline realistically. US gasoline should be taxed at least $ 1.50/gal more, probably $ 2.00/gal., more, maybe more than that. The number of ways that America harms itself by failure to tax gasoline properly ...

    Under-priced gasoline is NOT helping the American economy. It has been hurting the American economy for at least half a century.

    America's economy would be far healthier, its trade deficit would be substantially smaller, its level of external debt would be very much smaller, and its exposure to political risk in far-away foreign hell-holes would be far less. America's defense and security problems would be far, far smaller.

    The amount of money that America spends through its defense and security budgets to subsidize the oil industry is staggering.

    ----------

    Without America's dependence on oil, and without America's policy of supporting the unjust tyrannies that are the Middle Eastern oil potentates, would America have any worries about Islamic extremism?

    Not very likely.

    (And the only source of doubt as to whether it is 100% certain, or not, is how much American support of Israel contributes to that risk - a "foreign entanglement" in which America has no genuine strategic interest, at all.)

    The cost of under-priced American gasoline has been huge.
    It isn't just money, either: it includes the deaths of every single person who was murdered on September 11, 2001.

    It includes the cost of Gulf War I
    It includes the cost of Gulf War II
    It includes the cost of Afghanistan
    It includes the cost of the ill-fated intervention in Somalia, and the piracy that has followed.
    It includes the cost of the fallout from installing, and supporting, the Shah of Iran.

    But because the financial cost of those adventures ultimately comes out of income tax (and, worse, is financed by borrowing until you children and grandchildren can be taxed to pay for it), instead of sales tax at the pump, Americans believe that the price of gasoline is merely the price shown on the pump.

    Wrong, wrong, wrong.

    ----------

    Let's think about that:

    Which party is most strongly against raising gas taxes?
    The Republicans.

    Which party is most strongly opposed to any and every measure that would force the negative externalities of burning oil to be captured in the price of oil?
    The Republicans.

    Which party opposes every attempt to lessen America's dependency on oil?
    The Republicans.

    Which party is in favour of essentially unlimited defense spending?
    The Republicans.

    Which party is effectively owned by the Oil Industry?
    The Republicans.

    Which industry is most strongly subsidized through the defense budget? The Oil Industry.


    Gosh, nothing incestuous there, at all.


    ----------

    Commodity subsidies and price supports always cause distorted allocation decisions in the market. It is an iron truth of economics that the cost of commodity subsidies to the economy is always, and without exception, greater than if the subsidies did not exist.

    It does not matter whether the subsidies are explicit or implicit. It doesn't matter if you call them "the defense budget" or "the oil industry protection racket". It's all the same thing: You know, for certain, that, overall, more jobs in the American economy are being destroyed by those subsidies than they are "saving".

    But people continue, foolishly, to think that raising the tax on gas will "hurt the American economy". Utter nonsense.

    Get rid of the subsidies, smoothly and steadily at 5 cents/gal/per month, and the American economy won't be harmed in the least. It will be way better off. And in future America won't be so vulnerable to oil price "shocks" that occur when oil prices rise too rapidly.


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  • 301. At 5:18pm on 13 Mar 2011, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    296. At 4:16pm on 13 Mar 2011, Nostrano wrote:

    "292. LuciJ

    As the Copts and the Coptic churches and Monasteries represent an important part of the roots and identity of Egypt, dating from the Byzantine era following that of ancient Egypt, the Muslims set on destroying them seem to have the same pathetic, degenerate mentality as that of the Taliban who wanted to destroy the Buddhas of Bamiyan. With the same illogic they might try to destroy their pyramids, temples, sphinxes and all valuable vestiges and art of Ancient Egypt."

    __________

    There are people who are trying to hi-jack the Egyptian revolution by promoting violence against the Copts as a way of polarizing the population. That's how extremists win. They want polarization.

    It is that very mind-set that tells you they do not believe in democracy.

    It is hard for moderates to fight polarization. That is why Egypt needs elections as soon as they can possibly be arranged, and why the Egyptian army, in its de facto role as a steward ushering in democratic reforms, needs to get on with it in an orderly manner.

    Democracy is about government based on reasoned, and reasonable, public discussion, leading to rational choice. Protecting the right of the people to make that choice either directly or through their elected representatives, by marginalizing extremists, is the critical task.

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  • 302. At 5:40pm on 13 Mar 2011, LucyJ wrote:

    Nos: When the question was put to the Libyan opposition forces whether there were elements of al-Qaida in their ranks, they just burst out laughing. It seems to me that the average member of the opposing forces looks a lot more intelligent than any of those who support Gaddafi. But then this could hardly come as a staggering surprise.
    ----------------
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/af_libya_al_qaida

    An excerpt:
    A top Libyan al-Qaida commander has urged his countrymen to overthrow Moammar Gadhafi's regime and establish Islamic rule, expanding the terror network's attempts to capitalize on the wave of unrest sweeping the region.
    --------
    I don't know if the rebels necessarily have ties, but clearly al Qaeda is waiting in the wings to exploit them...


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  • 303. At 5:45pm on 13 Mar 2011, Mirino wrote:

    299. Amr

    Your observation regarding the possibility of elements of the old Egyptian regime inciting division is an interesting one. In fact your participation on this web-log (it sounds snobbish but I hate the word 'blog' which has unfortunate connotations in English when one uses double barrels like 'blog-rolls', for example) is precious, obviously also in view of what's taking place in North Africa.
    Europe and the US get so much negative feed-back from the behaviour of radicals, (which must include extremists of all religions) that having the opportunity to exchange opinions with an intelligent, moderate Muslim, which presumably you are ('moderate') is an occasion for many of us to obtain a more exact idea from your view point on various issues.

    For example, your tolerance of other religions could be considered by certain Muslims as an 'infidel attitude', but to us it would represent far greater hope for more realistic coexistence between people of diverse religions. But do you not think that Islam needs to be 'updated' in order not to hypocritically clash with modern developments and with the evolution of science, technology, economical and social issues? Or do you think that it just comes down to a question of how the Koran is interpreted, that there is simply a right way or a wrong way of interpreting it?

    Looking forward to receiving your response to this if possible, tomorrow, and thanks in advance.

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  • 304. At 6:01pm on 13 Mar 2011, powermeerkat wrote:

    Lucy: "I don't know if the rebels necessarily have ties, but clearly al Qaeda is waiting in the wings to exploit them..."





    Situation (and violence) in Yemen (a safe haven for al-Qaeda) is worse than in Libya and potentially much more dangerous.



    But since media flocked to Libya, it's a little like with that tree which fell in the woods when there were no people around.

    [not that the violence in Ivory Coast gets much coverage these days.]

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  • 305. At 6:28pm on 13 Mar 2011, LucyJ wrote:

    Amr: because it is our country whether we're Christians or Muslims. what i'm worried about is that many people may just move from moderate to extreme views just because some of the political parties promote it.
    ------------
    Its hard to go against a group of ppl who is both powerful and far-reaching, stretching out into community/family life...

    And I imagine more than even being hard, its dangerous...

    They say that during Nazi Germany, many Germans went along with Hitler and his men b/c he/the regime would threaten to harm them or their families if they did not follow them or went up against him...could Hitler be considered an extremist?

    And that is what u r up against...
    ---------
    Amr: this is not the only reason i'm discussing political options with this friend in particular. i cannot really speak freely about some of my political moderate view in the presence of Extremist Muslims.
    -------
    Thats the nice thing about Internet, u can speak freely (well, for the most part- sometiems ppl get censored) on BBC, which is worldly...

    In this day and age where its hard to trust, u r living proof that not all Muslims are extremists...
    --------
    Amr: i realized lately the need to learn as much as possible about hisotry and politics. my past education had no relationship to what the real world education is like. that's why i'm trying my best to catch up now
    --------
    I also am learning much on BBC, so u r def not alone on that one!
    :)

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  • 307. At 6:48pm on 13 Mar 2011, LucyJ wrote:

    If: It is hard for moderates to fight polarization. That is why Egypt needs elections as soon as they can possibly be arranged, and why the Egyptian army, in its de facto role as a steward ushering in democratic reforms, needs to get on with it in an orderly manner.
    ---------
    Isn't the Egyptian election in four or five months?
    Have u heard much about who is running?
    --------
    If: No, not at all.
    Ehud Barak, the Prime Minister of Israel who negotiated at Camp David
    was then the leader of the Israeli Labor Party. Likud was in opposition at the time.
    --------
    I'm sure Bill wasn't worried...
    Regardless, it does show that Likud is not everything in Israel and that the Israeli ppl themselves have a mind of their own...
    ---------
    If: And think where GM would be now if they had pursued development of that product?
    --------
    Its sad not how oil industry lobbies the politicians to shut down electric cars and other means of transporation without oil, but how the politicians have let greed get int he way and not done the right thing...that being said, could they potentially receive threats from some in such an industry if they do not do their bidding?

    We're talking billions, even trillions here in oil industry...and the oil industry determines our economy in many ways...
    ----------
    If: It made their products uncompetitive in every other market in the world where fuel was more expensive
    ----------
    Americans like big cars b/c they r nice and safe...

    But I think its possible to make a big car with fuel efficient standards still...it will cost more, of course..
    ----------
    If: Without America's dependence on oil, and without America's policy of supporting the unjust tyrannies that are the Middle Eastern oil potentates, would America have any worries about Islamic extremism?

    Not very likely.
    ---------
    I disagree with ya here, as Russia has problems with Islamic extremism not relating to oil and I think it is about world domination, not oil...
    -----------
    If: (And the only source of doubt as to whether it is 100% certain, or not, is how much American support of Israel contributes to that risk - a "foreign entanglement" in which America has no genuine strategic interest, at all.)
    -----------
    It does, but America fought against Hitler and we will fight against the Islamic extremists, too...

    Just b/c ur friend is small and gets picked on by bullies, don't u still stick up for him>?
    ----------
    It isn't just money, either: it includes the deaths of every single person who was murdered on September 11, 2001.
    ----------
    I disagree, I believe they came after us b/c we stand for freedom...
    -----------
    If: Which party opposes every attempt to lessen America's dependency on oil?
    The Republicans.
    --------
    Obama gives good speeches, but what action has he taken to increase electric car production in a way that ppl can afford it?

    How is Obama fighting the oil industry?
    -----------
    If: Which party is in favour of essentially unlimited defense spending?
    The Republicans.
    -----------
    Now they r drawing down and also Dems have been in power from halfway or so thru Bush term til just last election cycle, so the Dems have spent just as much money in support, plus many Dems supported defense spending after 9/11, as well, so I think that point is moot...
    -----------
    If: Which party is effectively owned by the Oil Industry?
    The Republicans.
    ---------
    Why can't there be Repubs who are not owned by oil?
    ----------
    If: Which industry is most strongly subsidized through the defense budget? The Oil Industry.
    ---------
    So it should not be called military-industrial complex in ur eyes but rather military industrial oil complex?

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  • 308. At 6:57pm on 13 Mar 2011, LucyJ wrote:

    Pmk: Situation (and violence) in Yemen (a safe haven for al-Qaeda) is worse than in Libya and potentially much more dangerous.
    -----------------
    How many Yemenese are moderates?
    ---------------
    Pmk: But since media flocked to Libya, it's a little like with that tree which fell in the woods when there were no people around.

    [not that the violence in Ivory Coast gets much coverage these days.]
    --------------
    Nor does the violence in Somalia or Darfur...

    Africa probably needs more help than most everybody but its a fine line between helping them and exploiting them, as some companies want to do...which is why teh Africans should be more wary than most, but b/c many are desparate they probbaly do whatever they can to survive..

    Is the violence in Ivory Coast due to Islamic terrorism?

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  • 310. At 7:54pm on 13 Mar 2011, Mirino wrote:

    301 Interestedforeigner.

    I agree with you. Amr also thought similarly, and he's right in the front row.
    The same tactics were used in Iraq to try to create civil war after the first elections. It's not going to be easy for all those who want the 'freedom' (that we're now a bit too blasé about) to succeed.
    Radical Islam isn't compatible with democracy. The Radicals also seem to have an ideological argument, because for democracy to function as it should, there has to be a separation between politics and religion. This is already what Ataturk stipulated and established between the two world wars. Much of the Muslim world seems to have regressed since then.

    303. LuciJ

    There are bound to be al-Qaida elements waiting behind the scenes, if not already infiltrated, perhaps not only within the opposition forces, but even with the Gaddafians, waiting to see how things swing before they try to create their own havoc.

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  • 311. At 8:52pm on 13 Mar 2011, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    310. At 7:54pm on 13 Mar 2011, Nostrano wrote:

    "Radical Islam isn't compatible with democracy. ...."

    It isn't just "Radical Islam", it is "radical" anything. It is the absolutists, fundamentalist thinking that goes along with any of these ideologies that are impervious to reason.

    We actually have the same problems here, different only magnitude but not in fundamental nature.

    We also have people of fundamentalist views who are utterly impervious to reason, whether it pertains to the teaching of science in school (inability to distinguish religion from science) or to the failure of "tough on crime" policies (that cost a lot, and tend to make crime worse, rather than better) or to any number of policies that attempt to defy the laws of economics.

    These people are the great threat to the Rule of Law and government based on reason.

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  • 312. At 8:56pm on 13 Mar 2011, _marko wrote:

    To Nostrano #310

    but you agree that Islam is compatible with democracy.

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  • 313. At 9:17pm on 13 Mar 2011, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    Continuing from 311, here's an example of what happens when you get an absolutist government, reported in the papers this week:

    There is broad consensus that our refugee asylum system is subject to many abuses. It needs reform.

    Three or four years ago our federal government appointed one of its supporters to the Immigration Review Board. The job of IRB panelists is to review files of refugee applicants to grant refugee status, or not.

    At the time of the news report, one particular political appointee had heard 169 IRB appeals. And he had rejected the applicants appeal in all 169 cases.

    In the case that was appealed to the Federal Court of Appeal, the applicants wife had been killed. His 10(?) year old son had been shot (photographs of the entry and exit wounds were submitted in evidence), and he himself had all sorts of scars from various wounds. He submitted that if he were returned to the country in question he had a well founded fear that he would be killed.

    The IRB appointee rejected the evidence, and the submission.
    Among the grounds for rejection was a statement that if the boy really had been shot, the applicant should have submitted the medical records, and that the photographs were not credible.

    In a scathing judgment, this decision was overturned on appeal.

    A person sitting as an IRB panel member has a duty to act in a judicial manner. It is a basic issue of administrative fairness that they must hear the facts with an open mind, and must decide the cases according to the law.

    When someone rejects 169 appeals out of 169 appeals, there is a clear apprehension that (a) the cases are not being judged on their merits (b) that the member hearing the appeals has a pre-determination to reject all appeals; and (c) that the appeals are not being adjudicated according to law.

    Effectively, the panel member was refusing to accept that he was governed by the rule of law, or that he had any obligation to conduct himself in a judicial or even quasi-judicial manner as a member of an administrative agency. It is not difficult to infer that he simply decided he was going to apply his own personal political beliefs in deciding every case that came before him.

    That he had heard and decided 169 cases in that way not been fired of course leads to reasonable inferences about the government that appointed him, too:

    They simply do not believe in the Rule of law.

    This is how the institutions of our democracy are being undermined in a death-by-a-thousand-cuts.

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  • 314. At 9:40pm on 13 Mar 2011, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    Continuing on from 311, again, here's another example:

    The Patent Office is, like the Immigration Refugee Board, an administrative agency of the federal government.

    A while ago the Commissioner of Patents (a appointee of the federal cabinet) refused a patent application of Amazon.com, on the ground that what Amazon wanted to patent was not the kind of thing that could be patented. The problem was that there was no basis in law for denying the application.

    Amazon, of course, appealed to the Federal Court of Appeal. The court overturned the Commissioner. So far, no surprises. What was extraordinary, though, was that the Court of Appeal had to admonish the Commissioner, repeatedly, for failing to follow the law. It was a real wood-shedding.

    Now, it is fairly rare for an appellate court to have to have to remind the head of an administrative agency of government that they are required to obey the law of their own enabling statute. In fact, I don't think I've ever heard of that happening before. Certainly not like this.

    You might think that it would have ended there, with a very chastened Commissioner of Patents.

    But you would be wrong.

    It was subsequently announced that while the Commissioner would abide by the outcome of the one case, nonetheless, the Commissioner would continue to apply the very same policy that had been overruled by the court as the day-to-day policy of the agency.

    In effect, the Commissioner of Patents was telling the Courts that she did not consider herself to be bound by the Rule of Law.

    How bizarre is this?

    Well, it's as if the Commissioner of the RCMP had one day decided that he didn't like the Canada Evidence Act, or the Criminal Code, or the Charter of Rights, and simply announced that he wouldn't be obeying them anymore.

    These people simply do not understand or accept that they are governed by the Rule of Law.

    It was a bare-faced, frontal attack on one of the most fundamental principles of a democracy.

    This is how the institutions of our democracy are being attacked and undermined, day, after day, after day, by the Harper government.

    It's this same radical fundamentalist, absolutist, extremist mind-set that they will impose their views on everybody, whether it is in accord with the law or not.

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  • 315. At 9:47pm on 13 Mar 2011, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    Still carrying on from 311, here's another example:

    Two weeks ago a minister in the federal cabinet admitted that she had lied when giving testimony to a Parliamentary committee.

    She also admitted to being responsible for the insertion of the word "NOT" in a document that had previously been signed by two senior civil servants to approve a funding proposal of an aid group. I.e., on her authorization the document had been altered to reverse its meaning, over the signatures that had already been placed on the document.

    The Minister has refused to resign.

    Her boss has refused to fire her.

    Notwithstanding that she has admitted that she knowingly gave false testimony to a Parliamentary committee.

    She has now been held in contempt of Parliament by the Speaker of the House.

    ... And she still hasn't resigned !!!!

    It's unbelievable.

    It is, yet again, an attack on the integrity of the institutions of our democracy.

    Yet this is what happens, day, after day, after day, with the Harper government.

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  • 316. At 9:57pm on 13 Mar 2011, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    Still carrying on from 311 ...

    The government has been in hot water because it wants to spend a pile of money on building new prisons when the crime rate has fallen roughly 40% over the last 20 years.

    So in Parliamentary committee hearings the opposition demanded that budget projections for the cost of the various "tough on crime" measures be presented for scrutiny by the House (or at least by the Committee).

    The government refused.

    A couple of months ago the Speaker of the House of Commons delivered a careful, well prepared legal opinion that refusal to produce evidence to a Commons Committee is contempt of Parliament.

    The government still refuses to provide the information.

    This is, roughly, equivalent to refusing to show up in court after having been served with a subpeona, or refusing to produce documents after having been served with an order to produce them in court. Except here, the court is Parliament.

    Effectively, the government has decided that it doesn't have to obey the law.

    So, last week, no surprise, the Speaker held the government to be in contempt of Parliament.

    In my lifetime, I cannot remember the last time a government was held in contempt of Parliament. I don't think it has happened.


    Yet for this government, it's twice in one week.

    Again, this is how the institutions of our democracy have been under attack, day, after day, after day with this government.

    These people do not accept that this country is run according to the Rule of Law.



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  • 317. At 10:11pm on 13 Mar 2011, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    Still carrying on from 311, here's another example:

    In 2006 it appears that Canada's forces in Afghanistan may have either been complicit in, or turned a blind eye to, the torture of Afghan detainees by the Afghan government in Kandahar.

    This is a very serious issue, and particularly so in light of an incident that occurred in Somalia 15 years ago where troops murdered a Somali teenager.

    The government refused to provide, to a committee of Parliament, the documentary evidence pertaining to various detainees turned over to the Afghan government.

    When a ruling was made that it had to turn the information over, it then took six months, and more, to produce an incomplete set of documents, in which the documents produced were very heavily redacted (i.e., blacked out).

    The government alleged that opposition MP's sitting on the Commons committee could not be trusted, and so it did not wish to produce the evidence.

    When that was also found not to comply with the rights of Parliament, a year ago the Prime Minister went to the Governor General and had the House prorogued for two and a half months. Prorogued in this context means they closed the joint and locked the doors.

    That's right, the locked the doors of Parliament to avoid having to provide evidence to a Parliamentary Committee. They terminated a Session of Parliament, and let all the pending legislation die on the order paper, to avoid producing evidence to Parliament.

    In America, this would be the equivalent to the White House locking the doors of the Senate to avoid having the CJCS or the Budget Director having to answer an order from the Senate to appear and testify.

    ... and then giving, as justification, that certain US Senators were national security risks.

    Again, it's unbelievable.

    Yet this is how the institutions of our democracy are under attack, day, after day, after day.

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  • 318. At 10:14pm on 13 Mar 2011, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #293

    the ideological environmentalist who have far too much influence with this President will use the Japan tradegdy as a way to stop nuclear plant building in the U.S.

    These very selfish intolerant people are one of the main reasons we have so high energy prices.

    The Democratic party should ignore these lepers.

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  • 319. At 10:17pm on 13 Mar 2011, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    Still carrying on from 311,

    Three years ago the government was afraid it was going to lose a confidence vote in Parliament, just after an election. The opposition would then have been well within its rights to have sought to form a government.

    So, to avoid a vote in the House, in a move unprecedented in Canadian history, the Prime Minister went to the Governor General and demanded that the House be prorogued - on a Parliamentary Session that was less then four months old!

    I have commented on this before, and I think the Governor General had no business granting the request without the government first showing that it had the confidence of the House. But, on the advice of eminent constitutional counsel, she did it.

    Again, it was an attack on the very basis institutions of our democracy.
    We get this day, after day, after day with this government.

    But that ain't all, not even close ...

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  • 320. At 10:28pm on 13 Mar 2011, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    Last Summer we had a big to-do over the Census.

    Yes, the Census.
    You'd think that would be pretty dry stuff.

    The government wanted to cancel the so-called long form census. Apparently the census produces information that the government doesn't want collected or published.

    They alleged that people had complained about the compulsory nature of the long form census, and the criminal penalty that follows from refusal to comply.

    It turned out that out of millions of forms there had been a handful of complaints, none of which had ever results in any kind of prosecution.

    The government alleged that it had been advised by Statistics Canada that it didn't need the long form census, and that using a voluntary survey would be just as good. It turns out that (a) it is not just as good, and statisticians across the country said so, very loudly; and (b) Statistics Canada had given no such advice.

    The Chief Statistician, a highly respected 40 year public servant resigned over the false allegation that he had given advice supporting the policy.

    The provincial governments complained. Major business and social services groups complained.

    The government pressed on, regardless, notwithstanding the inanity of their rationale, and notwithstanding the solid consensus of professional opinion against them.

    Because they were going to force their irrational beliefs on the country, come what may. These people do not believe in government based on reason, which is the essential principle of a representative democracy.

    This is how professional career civil servants are under attack.

    This is how the institutions of our democracy are under siege day after day after day.

    Oh, but that's not all ...

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  • 321. At 10:45pm on 13 Mar 2011, quietoaktree wrote:

    #318 Magickirin

    -- I see you survived Three Miles Island

    -- or did you ??????

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  • 322. At 10:57pm on 13 Mar 2011, quietoaktree wrote:

    317. At 10:11pm on 13 Mar 2011, Interestedforeigner wrote

    "In 2006 it appears that Canada's forces in Afghanistan may have either been complicit in, or turned a blind eye to, the torture of Afghan detainees by the Afghan government in Kandahar."

    - Do you really believe you are going to get massive sympathy on this blog with such statements ??


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  • 323. At 10:58pm on 13 Mar 2011, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    I'm going to end this string here, without telling more stories in detail. I will, however, simply list a bunch of other incidents:

    There is an experimental reactor at Chalk River that dates from the early 1940's. it is used to produce medical isotopes. The government refused to agree with the professional advice of the career civil servant in charge of the nuclear agency involved. Gone.

    There is a water quality monitoring station on the Athabaska river downstream from the tar sands. It could be used to collect health and safety data to show whether tar sands development is causing health problems in the fish. No funding for that project. Let's make sure people can't obtain information pertaining to their health - especially not if it might cast a bad light on government policy promoting the tar sands.

    There is an environmental monitoring station on Ellesmere Island in the high arctic. It produces data useful in determining the effects of global warming. Better cut off the funding for that right away.

    The various "tough on crime" measures have been studied to death by academics and civil servants, who have shown that almost all of the proposed policies are either a waste of money, a waste of time, or counter-productive. Better cut their funding.

    Both the current and former Chief Electoral Officers of Canada testify before a Senate committee that there has never been a single documented case of a voter fraud conspiracy in Canada, but we bring in a voter ID law anyhow - the fact that it skews the electoral results toward the Conservatives was, of course, irrelevant to a decision that effectively disenfranchised thousands and thousands of voters in the last two elections.

    All of these things, and many, many more, are all attacks on the professional civil service, on the Rule of Law, on the very institutions of our democracy.

    And they all stem from the same absolutist mind-set.

    We have a doctrinaire maniac in the East Block.
    And the institutions of our democracy have been under threat in a way that has never been seen before in the history of this country.

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  • 324. At 11:11pm on 13 Mar 2011, quietoaktree wrote:

    #323IF

    "And the institutions of our democracy have been under threat in a way that has never been seen before in the history of this country."

    -- You have a national health scheme and a reasonable pension scheme !

    -- and welcome to the club with your complaints !

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  • 325. At 11:42pm on 13 Mar 2011, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    324. At 11:11pm on 13 Mar 2011, quietoaktree wrote:


    -- You have a national health scheme and a reasonable pension scheme !

    -- and welcome to the club with your complaints !

    __________

    Funny you should mention those two programs.

    There is going to be a federal election, very, very soon. The government is likely to fall on March 21 or March 22. The election will then be on either May 2, or May 9.

    First, if this government wins a majority it is very likely that they will gut public health care and disembowel the Canada Health Act.

    How can you tell? Because every single night on prime time TV there are public advocacy ads by the government's allies in the health care industry.

    Second, the government has proposed changing the Canada Pension Plan, in effect to supplement the public scheme with a semi-private scheme that would be run by the banks and financial institutions. Lots of people think that this would be the beginning of the end of the Canada Pension Plan as a public entitlement program (I.e., the public portion of the program will simply be left to wither).

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  • 326. At 11:58pm on 13 Mar 2011, quietoaktree wrote:

    #325 IF

    ---see you at the barricades !

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  • 327. At 00:09am on 14 Mar 2011, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    Q. Oak

    - I forgot to mention some other items

    First, if this government ever gets a majority, it will be the end of the CBC/SRC as we know it. Why? Because it is the only national broadcasting service that isn't owned or controlled by the government's friends in the media. So it is the only place where you ever hear anything other than slavish obeisance to the governing party line.

    As far as I am aware, there has not been one single open press conference by the Prime Minister since the last election. I could be wrong, but if there have been any, there have been very, very few.

    Major spending programs are no longer announced in the House of Commons if it can possibly be avoided - they are scripted announcements made at controlled party events in front of tame invited audiences. I.e., the announcements are free of heckling or opposition, opposition party leaders never get a chance to comment or to ask questions.

    The whole thing is designed to prevent public scrutiny of policy, or the airing of any opposition voices. It is about controlling the message, and controlling access. And this government is obsessively secretive.

    (This, after all, is the government that forbade its candidates from attending all candidates meetings during the last two election campaigns. They were afraid that some of the candidates would go "off message" on things like abortion.)


    Second, if this government ever gets a majority, it will be the end of any fair public financing of elections. It will be the end of any limits on election spending.

    How do we know this? Well, first, just after the last election they tried to cut public funding to knee-cap the other parties. Further, long ago, before becoming leader of the party, Stephen Harper was the named plaintiff in a court case attempting to have Canada's election spending laws (i.e., restrictions) struck down.

    Further, four government members were charged with criminal offenses under the Canada Elections act last week for playing games with election contributions. I gather these charges are roughly equivalent to electoral spending fraud. These are serious charges. (And this from a government that complained about electoral fraud as an excuse to bring in voter ID - what a laugh.) If the government is re-elected, you can bet, for sure, that law will be changed.

    Third, if they ever get a majority we will have an elected senate that will lock in the anti-democratic distribution of electoral power - just like in the US.

    Fourth, over the last five years we have seen an endless 24/7/365 election campaign where only one party has any voice, because they have all the money.

    In the last six months we have had election advertising on TV almost every night, where the governing party is using the entire advertising budget of the federal government to spread its message, and the opposition parties have no ability to respond.

    We have seen the recession stimulus package used as an almost infinitely large campaign goodies piggy bank to fund every stupid club, arena and playing field in the country (well, at least where they think there might be Conservative votes).


    It has been one long, continuous attack on any sense of fairness, or fair play, or reasonableness. It is a continuous attack on our electoral system.

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  • 329. At 00:19am on 14 Mar 2011, quietoaktree wrote:

    #325 IF

    I´m not up on present Canadian politics -- I can´t imagine Quebec taking this lying down (health and pensions changes) ?

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  • 330. At 00:31am on 14 Mar 2011, The Cool Ruler Rides Again wrote:

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

  • 331. At 00:47am on 14 Mar 2011, quietoaktree wrote:

    #327 IF

    -- My friends in Quebec are the ´English speaking remnants´and rather apolitical for (it seems) that reason --so they don´t convey much political news.

    -- I was in Quebec (Montreal) for a few of years in the 60´s when the Partie Quebecois(?) was gaining strength -- as far as I can gather the same social mentality exists today in Quebec, as then ?

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  • 332. At 01:10am on 14 Mar 2011, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    329. At 00:19am on 14 Mar 2011, quietoaktree wrote:

    #325 IF

    I´m not up on present Canadian politics -- I can´t imagine Quebec taking this lying down (health and pensions changes) ?

    __________

    If Harper gets a majority, he can change the Canada Health Act unilaterally.

    The critical thing here is the division of powers under ss. 91 and 92 of what used to be called the BNA. Effectively, by a quirk of history clearly unforeseen in 1867, it gives all the spending obligations over big ticket items e.g., health care, to the Provinces, but keeps general taxing ability to the federal government.

    So all the feds have to do is to cut payments to the provinces, and end the prohibition on private health care services i.e., open up what is called "two tier health care". Anybody can guess what will happen then: all the money and resources will go to the private system for those who can afford to pay, and the public system will be bled white.

    At present health care it accounts for more than 50% of provincial spending. Thus the vulnerability.

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  • 333. At 01:42am on 14 Mar 2011, GH1618 wrote:

    InterestedForeigner (#327), the U. S. Senate is not "anti-democratic." The essential characteristic of democracy is merely that the people have political power. My Oxford American Dictionary defines it thus:

    government by the whole people of a country, especially through representatives whom they elect.

    The senators represent states and they are elected by the people of their respective states, therefore the Senate is a democratic institution with regard to its constitution.

    One can find all sorts of other definitions of "democracy" claiming it means this or that, but they just add to the confusion about what is or isn't democracy. When someone says something is not democratic, or worse, "anti-democratic," without saying what in particular is objectionable and why, it seems to me that they are trying to avoid a substantive discussion on the merits.

    In any case, the United States is a republic, meaning that the people are sovereign. There is a lot of room for variation in the details of how republican government is implemented.

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  • 334. At 01:53am on 14 Mar 2011, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    331. At 00:47am on 14 Mar 2011, quietoaktree wrote:

    "-- I was in Quebec (Montreal) for a few of years in the 60´s when the Partie Quebecois(?) was gaining strength -- as far as I can gather the same social mentality exists today in Quebec, as then ?"

    ----------

    Well, Quebec has an interesting mix of political viewpoints and parties.

    What is completely absent from Quebec is the right wing evangelical Christian social conservative base upon which the Harper Conservatives rely (it formed 5/6 of their voting base in the last election) elsewhere in the country. The Conservatives curse this all the time, because it is what stands between them and the majority after which they lust. It radiates from them: "If only this country didn't have so many French people, we'd have a majority". Of course, exuding that message from every pore (as they do, oh, boy, do they ever) doesn't really do them much good in Quebec. What a laugh.

    The idea of weakening gun control - a big Conservative plank elsewhere in rural Canada - is a huge turn-off in Quebec. The whole "tough on crime" thing has no cultural resonance, at all, in French Canada. It's regarded as a stupid anglo thing. Quebecers also tend to be more environmentally conscious, too, and the Harper government is possibly the most intentionally environmentally destructive in the G20.


    There are left-wing nationalists with a very strong social justice aspect all over Quebec. That is the core constituency of the PQ, and so therefore the BQ as well.

    There are centrist federalists, most heavily on the Island of Montreal, and the West Island, but also in the Eastern Townships, and on the Quebec side opposite Ottawa (i.e., in the Outaouais). Those are the regions where the Liberal vote is strongest in Quebec.

    There are also small-business Conservatives in the Beauce south of Quebec City, so there may be some interesting three-way races.

    There are even right wing nationalists in sort-of-rural Quebec. They usually vote PQ (i.e., for the Bloc Quebecois federally), but their roots are Creditiste/UN.

    I can't tell what's going to happen in Quebec.

    In Gilles Duceppe the Bloc has, by far, the most effective leader of any of the federal parties. I expect the Bloc will get 40% of the vote and about 50 of 75 seats, as they usually do.

    The Conservatives are trying to buy votes in Quebec City by promising a hockey arena for an NHL team - but the NHL has no intention of putting a team in Quebec City again. Let's see: White Elephant Arena v. Health Care. Hmmm. Tough choice. The Harper Conservatives are notoriously tone deaf when it comes to Quebec.

    The Liberals ? They need a leader who is really effective in French. Is Michael Ignatieff that guy? I have no idea. But if they want to get rid of Harper, they need a bunch more seats in and around Montreal, and they need a big enough vote in areas like the Beauce to prevent the Conservatives from winning. Just don't know if that's going to happen.

    The NDP? They think they might win two seats, but every vote they get in Quebec is a vote the Liberals lose, and everybody knows that the only way to keep Harper out is to vote Liberal. Might be slim times for the NDP in Quebec.

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  • 335. At 02:02am on 14 Mar 2011, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    333. At 01:42am on 14 Mar 2011, GH1618 wrote:

    "The senators represent states and they are elected by the people of their respective states, therefore the Senate is a democratic institution with regard to its constitution."

    [[Quite so.]]

    "When someone says something is not democratic, or worse, "anti-democratic," without saying what in particular is objectionable and why, it seems to me that they are trying to avoid a substantive discussion on the merits."

    [[No, I was just in a hurry there. The aspect to which I was referring was that small states with small populations have just the same representation in the US Senate as large states with large populations, the classic comparison being between California and Wyoming.

    I understand the historical basis for it, but, nonetheless, whether there or here a chamber composed on that basis strikes me as prone to being anti-democratic in the larger sense - particularly so when, as under our rules, the less densely populated provinces are already institutionally permanently over-represented in the rep-by-pop house, too.

    I understand that the rep-by-pop house is the House of Representatives, and that a number of federations have upper houses whose composition is based on territorial equality or some other not purely rep-by-pop principle.

    That's a discussion for another day.]]

    ----------

    Welcome back, by the way.
    It seems you've been away for a while.

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  • 336. At 03:04am on 14 Mar 2011, Trollicus wrote:

    322. At 10:57pm on 13 Mar 2011, quietoaktree wrote:

    317. At 10:11pm on 13 Mar 2011, Interestedforeigner wrote

    "In 2006 it appears that Canada's forces in Afghanistan may have either been complicit in, or turned a blind eye to, the torture of Afghan detainees by the Afghan government in Kandahar."

    - Do you really believe you are going to get massive sympathy on this blog with such statements ??
    "

    If you replace the word Canada with USA you'll be a hero.

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  • 337. At 03:13am on 14 Mar 2011, Trollicus wrote:

    Trying to swing the conversation back to at least somewhat near the topic.

    If you want something real to gripe about the USA try this. The recently passed ACTA treaty pushed through by the US government and multinationals like the RIAA spending tens of millions on lobbying and political donations has spurred on the development of technologies needed for compliance.
    These new systems will hep track dissent among the population and eliminate the anonymity of the Internet that has lead to this kind of democratic uprising.

    ACTA may yet save the next dictator from the will of the people.

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  • 338. At 04:35am on 14 Mar 2011, The Cool Ruler Rides Again wrote:

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

  • 339. At 05:04am on 14 Mar 2011, Trollicus wrote:

    @338

    My point is the anonymity of the Internet has played a key role in the protests in Egypt, Libya and elsewhere. It seems ACTA(and now TPP) run contrary to the ideals of a free and open society, while pretending the motivation is the prevention of "Piracy"(not the killing people at sea kind but the 7 year old girl downloading songs kind) the actual ACTA treaty seems better suited to spy on and suppress the free exchange of information ideas and opinions.

    The really interesting thing is the total lack of news coverage of these very important and far reaching agreement. The major news outlets in the USA didn't report on ACTA at all with the minor exception of a propaganda piece buried in a commentary on CNN that looks to be written by the RIAA and doesn't even mention any opposing view.

    ISP's now rush to implement and create technologies with the help of companies like Cisco that helped create the great firewall of China. The new technologies will enable the suppression of the very people we should be supporting by autocrats and dictators.

    That's a BIG price to pay for some dubious gains to a few large multinational corporations profit margins.

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  • 340. At 06:39am on 14 Mar 2011, Amr wrote:

    it's funny how it feels like layers of abstraction are disappearing one after another with time. i woke up with renewed regrets and tried to blame someone else for my ignorance (that i found out the truth later than the others and didn't even celebrate with them) before i finally came to the conclusion that most people spent even more years than me in the same circumstances. (i feel sorry for all the humans who built the pyramdis)
    why am i against Extremism? what is religion if some people use it to kill other humans, to make them their slaves, to have extra rights that belong to others or to raze houses, churches or mosques?
    i'm still not sure if it's the 'old regime's' doing or some crazy Extremists' doing. perhaps it's the Brotherhood or Salaf (wrong spelling?)... after all, it gives them some 'extra advantage' and makes people (like myself) afraid of saying what they really think. if it's proven that it was the Brotherhood, i don't think they should be 'ever' allowed to be ruling Egypt. (who would want some crazy opportunitics who kill others and raze a church just so that they'd be able to enslave people with their 'teachings'?)
    =====
    303 Nostrano
    i was taught everything i know since i was born. i was never given a chance to see for myself if it's true or not, wrong or right. but, in my religion (the one i was taught and born with) people are supposed to be different yet equal and only 'hard work and being good to others' is what makes one human better than another. (logically when you work harder you're supposed to get more resources) there was no text that encouraged hurting others or taking their rights! i've seen many Extremists in my life. they were lying, being dishonest, deceiving others, enslaving others and taking rights from those that didn't belong to their 'circle'... isn't there a better use of human life than this?
    "For example, your tolerance of other religions could be considered by certain Muslims as an 'infidel attitude'"
    that's why i'm worried or even afraid and that's why i feel my life would be threatened if i said my opinions.
    "But do you not think that Islam needs to be 'updated' in order not to hypocritically clash with modern developments and with the evolution of science, technology, economical and social issues?"
    i think it's similar to what happened with every other religion. it starts 'good and pure'. the simple 'morals', 'learning the truth', 'good intentions', 'equality' and 'freeing people' are perhaps the 'core of every religion'. i don't think 'these' need an update. the problem is that later on people start to use it to gain extra resources or rights. then it gets totally distorted. i know how churches were like in the medieval age... (also other religions in old times, ancient Egypt, Rome, Greece etc...) i don't think the problem is with religion. i think the problem is with people who misuse religion.
    "Or do you think that it just comes down to a question of how the Koran is interpreted, that there is simply a right way or a wrong way of interpreting it? "
    yes. i think it is easy to find out what could be a 'naturally and logically good' interpretation. but many people prefer the 'not so good' specially when 'opportunities' pop up from that interpretation.
    by the way, i'm thankful because i found your questions really interesting and perhaps they're very good indicators for the truth of the world system.
    =====
    305. At 6:28pm on 13 Mar 2011, LucyJ wrote:
    "And I imagine more than even being hard, its dangerous..."
    Exactly
    "Thats the nice thing about Internet, u can speak freely (well, for the most part- sometiems ppl get censored) on BBC, which is worldly..."
    that's why i'm here in the BBC, in this particular blog and using English not Arabic.
    "In this day and age where its hard to trust, u r living proof that not all Muslims are extremists..."
    i think i represent only 10% or less of the Egyptians and many of them are even corrupted.
    in the past years i used to think that people are walking and acting like clones. they were all identical copies thinking exactly the same, males or females. (identical fashions, ideas etc) learning more than what you were supposed to learn was 'forbidden', 'insanely boring' and 'dangerous'. houses were like prisons.
    even now, i'm still in my prison while all Egypt is free. but i'm going to get my freedom one day.
    =====
    (P.S. after our discussion yesterday i researched liberty, freedom and communication skills. it may still take me years to actually learn all this, specially that the chance to practise it is limited)

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  • 341. At 07:07am on 14 Mar 2011, Mirino wrote:

    340. Amr

    Thank you for your reply, which I agree with. I have an Italian friend who lived in Oman and changed her faith to Muslim. She has a 'blog' and did a lot to try to help people understand. She also said it comes down to the way Islam is interpreted, either the right way, or the wrong way. She too thought that any idea of 'updating' the Muslim religion could lead to abuse. It's true also regarding all religions. Each one has a degree of ambiguity which could be politically exploited, depending on the good or bad will of people who profess to follow their religion.

    To return to Libya:
    If heads of States, including the USA, publicly denounce the Libyan leader and proclaim that 'Gaddafi must go', but don't even recognise the legitimacy of an interim Delegation of Transition, which is the only possible option available (other than continue to recognise the leadership of Gaddafi), it seems to me to be incoherent hypocrisy. This could even be interpreted more as an effort to isolate France, an ally, and delegitimise her commitment, than isolate and delegitimise Gaddafi.

    This delegation is not a political party, it's simply a delegation for transition of power. Not seizing the chance to support the idea of transition is absurd, and seems more to be a manifestation of indecision and weakness than anything else. This applies to the many countries who held back, but naturally the USA has more exemplary responsibility in this regard than most.

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  • 342. At 07:42am on 14 Mar 2011, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re #235 "Perhaps George Soros is behind this."


    Judging by his name -obviously a v. important consideration here to some - he's probably a Belorussian of Nenets descent.


    [Neither in Soros, nor in Anka... etc., as the Bard says...]

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  • 343. At 07:44am on 14 Mar 2011, Amr wrote:

    if Gaddafi is replaced with Extremists, that wouldn't be a huge upgrade... however, Gaddafi is a murderer and an oppressor and he deserves punishment. perhaps the USA thought it's better to wait for the results of the revolution in Egypt.. many Egyptians (perhaps Libyans too) still do not regard the American intervention as a friendly one yet. (specially some crazy Extremists and their followers)

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  • 344. At 07:52am on 14 Mar 2011, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re #290

    Interested Foreigner, an update to my much earlier post.


    Remember those 10 000 missing and presumed dead I've mentioned?

    It looks like this is just in one prefecture.

    With a likely total figure of those killed by 9.0 earthquake and subsequent tsunami (waves were 7.5 meter high) to be at least several times higher, according to Japanese officials :-(


    [and in the meantime in Ivory Coast, Somalia and Yemen...]

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  • 345. At 08:03am on 14 Mar 2011, Amr wrote:

    341 Nostrano
    what if all religions are real and valid? why would people be deprived of a fair chance to choose what they believe in? what if people are 'meant' to be different? why advertise for one religion? isn't this considered a try to take an extra advantage?
    i don't think any religion promotes 'selfishness' or 'enslaving' people.

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  • 346. At 09:41am on 14 Mar 2011, The Cool Ruler Rides Again wrote:

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

  • 347. At 10:15am on 14 Mar 2011, Chryses wrote:

    Amr, (#343. At 07:44am on 14 Mar 2011)

    if Gaddafi is replaced with Extremists, that wouldn't be a huge upgrade... however, Gaddafi is a murderer and an oppressor and he deserves punishment ...”
    True, but justice is sometimes late in coming - sometimes very late.

    “... perhaps the USA thought it's better to wait for the results of the revolution in Egypt.. many Egyptians (perhaps Libyans too) still do not regard the American intervention as a friendly one yet. (specially some crazy Extremists and their followers)”
    Engaging in acts of war should be very deliberate. Military intervention – including the NFZ advocated by some – brings large risks, particularly if the military is American. Unfortunately, the European nations are no longer up to the task at hand.

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  • 348. At 10:53am on 14 Mar 2011, The Cool Ruler Rides Again wrote:

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  • 349. At 11:20am on 14 Mar 2011, Amr wrote:

    347 Chryses
    yes, i totally understand. I still think France and UK in particular should have helped us.
    i was trying to convince a Polish friend a few minutes ago that the ministry of manpower is not supposed to be the ministry of unemployment. (you know what i mean?)

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  • 350. At 11:26am on 14 Mar 2011, The Cool Ruler Rides Again wrote:

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  • 351. At 11:39am on 14 Mar 2011, Amr wrote:

    why would a human who was born on the European land, then got education from UK, be unable to neither get a job in UK nor get further education in Poland?

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  • 352. At 11:43am on 14 Mar 2011, Simon21 wrote:

    351. At 11:39am on 14 Mar 2011, Amr wrote:
    why would a human who was born on the European land, then got education from UK, be unable to neither get a job in UK nor get further education in Poland?
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Numerous, maybe they do not speak Polish, maybe their UK education wasn't in the right subjects etc

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  • 353. At 12:00pm on 14 Mar 2011, Amr wrote:

    i meant they have problems too in the European Union. as far as i know there is a high unemployment rate in both Poland and UK. the Polish are not exactly treated like the British in UK. as for wealth distribution, i don't think it's exactly fair. so, if they don't help their own citizens, what kind of help should i expect for the Egyptians?

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  • 354. At 12:00pm on 14 Mar 2011, The Cool Ruler Rides Again wrote:

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

  • 355. At 12:49pm on 14 Mar 2011, Amr wrote:

    352. At 11:43am on 14 Mar 2011, Simon21 wrote:
    "Numerous, maybe they do not speak Polish, maybe their UK education wasn't in the right subjects etc"
    so it's the citizen's fault.
    among the reasons that the Tunisian, Egyptian and Libyan revolution broke out was that the 'citizens' were 'serving the government'. while the government is supposed to take care of the citizens. they get paid to take care of people
    =====
    353. At 12:00pm on 14 Mar 2011, you wrote:
    "what kind of help should i expect for the Egyptians?
    Libyans**
    =====
    sorry the last 4 posts were irrelevant to the topic

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  • 356. At 12:54pm on 14 Mar 2011, The Cool Ruler Rides Again wrote:

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  • 357. At 1:47pm on 14 Mar 2011, MagicKirin wrote:

    Interestedforeigner wrote:
    Q. Oak

    - I forgot to mention some other items

    First, if this government ever gets a majority, it will be the end of the CBC/SRC as we know it.
    _____________

    the CBC like the soon to be destroyed NPR is extremly biased.

    You get the CBC in Buffalo and in Vermont and they are only slighlly more moderate than MSNBC.

    Canada can get rid of it as the U.S is going to rid itslef of the Corporation for Public Brodcasting.

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  • 358. At 1:57pm on 14 Mar 2011, Simon21 wrote:

    357. At 1:47pm on 14 Mar 2011, MagicKirin wrote:
    Interestedforeigner wrote:
    Q. Oak

    - I forgot to mention some other items

    First, if this government ever gets a majority, it will be the end of the CBC/SRC as we know it.
    _____________

    the CBC like the soon to be destroyed NPR is extremly biased.

    You get the CBC in Buffalo and in Vermont and they are only slighlly more moderate than MSNBC.

    Canada can get rid of it as the U.S is going to rid itslef of the Corporation for Public Brodcasting.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    This from someone who feels Fox news is fair and balanced. Which employs a broadcaster Glen Beck.

    is there any need to say more?

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  • 359. At 2:13pm on 14 Mar 2011, The Cool Ruler Rides Again wrote:

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

  • 360. At 3:10pm on 14 Mar 2011, The Cool Ruler Rides Again wrote:

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

  • 361. At 3:11pm on 14 Mar 2011, marieinaustin wrote:

    340. At 06:39am on 14 Mar 2011, Amr wrote:
    “i don't think the problem is with religion. i think the problem is with people who misuse religion.”

    I agree.
    _______________________
    345. At 08:03am on 14 Mar 2011, Amr wrote:
    “why advertise for one religion? isn't this considered a try to take an extra advantage?”

    Since no one has died and come back and recalled it, we’re all perhaps part-agnostic if not part-atheist. Whether it’s religion or something else, people want to be assured of themselves and their choice, by being in some sort of company. Therefore, they convince others to accept their belief so they can feel a little better about their own belief. I think.

    And then there is a much smaller but significant number of people who see an opportunity to use and abuse others.

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  • 362. At 3:21pm on 14 Mar 2011, marieinaustin wrote:

    Re CPB being defunded for the portions they give to PBS and NPR: More than anything else, that’s The Thing or last straw that would turn me against both parties, first Republicans, then Democrats.

    People need to fight for the freedom to make their own decisions about whether or not to believe what they hear.

    I thought I read that NPR only gets 2% of its funding from CPB. If CPB is defunded, are Democrats bright enough to keep these stations on the air, by realizing that they (once again) need to give less of their money to the government and instead fund their member stations out of their own pockets?

    P.S. I hope everyone owes taxes this year! Refunds are for suckers! ;-) (Unless that's the only way you know how to budget, which is okay.) :-)

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  • 363. At 3:32pm on 14 Mar 2011, powermeerkat wrote:

    GM #362: "I thought I read that NPR only gets 2% of its funding from CPB. If CPB is defunded, are Democrats bright enough to keep these stations on the air, by realizing that they (once again) need to give less of their money to the government and instead fund their member stations out of their own pockets?"





    It seems that lib Dems didn't want to fund even Al Franken's radio.

    Forcing the comedian to get a job in the U.S. Senat.

    [not that Al Franken is a better comedian than Barney Frank]

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  • 365. At 3:35pm on 14 Mar 2011, marieinaustin wrote:

    Oh, except for that one guy who said and did all the right stuff about 2000 years ago.

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  • 366. At 4:19pm on 14 Mar 2011, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    344. At 07:52am on 14 Mar 2011, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re #290

    Interested Foreigner, an update to my much earlier post.


    Remember those 10 000 missing and presumed dead I've mentioned?

    [[And the situation at the nuclear plant is still very uncertain. I admire the Japanese enormously. They are competent, and orderly, and they take pride in knowing how to run things well. But for all that, it is clear that even they have their hands full.]]

    ---------

    "[and in the meantime in Ivory Coast, Somalia and Yemen...]"

    [You already know my views on that].

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  • 367. At 4:36pm on 14 Mar 2011, Maria Ashot wrote:

    Act.

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  • 368. At 4:58pm on 14 Mar 2011, Mirino wrote:

    355. Amr

    Thomas More wrote the same thing in his Utopia (Book 2. Religions) in the 16th century. The 'King Utopus' thought that God would prefer various forms of worship, etc..

    Ataturk separated religion from politics between the two world wars, yet there still seems to be a strong tendency today for more extreme Muslims to reject all ideas of separating Islam from politics. As Islam can be considered a way of life, is it possible and preferable, in your opinion, to separate religion from politics. And in your view, is Islam fundamentally compatible with Democracy?

    http://mirino-viewfinder.blogspot.com/2010/05/sir-thomas-more.html

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  • 369. At 4:59pm on 14 Mar 2011, Simon21 wrote:

    363. At 3:32pm on 14 Mar 2011, powermeerkat wrote:
    GM #362: "I thought I read that NPR only gets 2% of its funding from CPB. If CPB is defunded, are Democrats bright enough to keep these stations on the air, by realizing that they (once again) need to give less of their money to the government and instead fund their member stations out of their own pockets?"





    It seems that lib Dems didn't want to fund even Al Franken's radio.

    Forcing the comedian to get a job in the U.S. Senat.

    [not that Al Franken is a better comedian than Barney Frank]

    or Sarah Palin (what does "blood guilt" mean again?)


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  • 370. At 5:02pm on 14 Mar 2011, Mirino wrote:

    Sorry, it's possible that the last comment was badly referenced. It alludes to: 345. Amr.

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  • 371. At 5:12pm on 14 Mar 2011, Simon21 wrote:

    368. At 4:58pm on 14 Mar 2011, Nostrano wrote:
    355. Amr

    Thomas More wrote the same thing in his Utopia (Book 2. Religions) in the 16th century. The 'King Utopus' thought that God would prefer various forms of worship, etc..

    Ataturk separated religion from politics between the two world wars, yet there still seems to be a strong tendency today for more extreme Muslims to reject all ideas of separating Islam from politics. As Islam can be considered a way of life, is it possible and preferable, in your opinion, to separate religion from politics. And in your view, is Islam fundamentally compatible with Democracy?

    http://mirino-viewfinder.blogspot.com/2010/05/sir-thomas-more.html "


    Christiniaty is also supposed to be a way of life, we are reminded of that everyday by US dreary politicians endlessly going on about christian "values".

    And democracy (the representative farce that masquerades as it) is compatible with almost any belief system.

    And More was a catholic martyr (saint) who flogged and burnt heretics. Not a model of tolerance

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  • 372. At 5:17pm on 14 Mar 2011, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    362. At 3:21pm on 14 Mar 2011, Grateful Marie wrote:

    Re CPB being defunded for the portions they give to PBS and NPR: More than anything else, that’s The Thing or last straw that would turn me against both parties, first Republicans, then Democrats.

    People need to fight for the freedom to make their own decisions about whether or not to believe what they hear.

    I thought I read that NPR only gets 2% of its funding from CPB. If CPB is defunded, are Democrats bright enough to keep these stations on the air, by realizing that they (once again) need to give less of their money to the government and instead fund their member stations out of their own pockets?

    _________
    _________

    Your second point is the one that really matters.

    The CBC/SRC is a public broadcaster just like the BBC or Australian Broadcasting. It is an arm's length Crown corporation. It has a national public mandate to serve, and reflect, all parts of the country.

    CBC/SRC is governed by very strict rules about the fairness and balance in its political coverage. No other broadcaster in this country, and I suspect in North America, other than possibly the BBC Americas service, operates under tighter guidelines.

    (If FOX's news coverage were put through the same rules, they'd likely have trouble broadcasting anything except the test pattern. But I digress.)

    The public mandate of the CBC requires it, effectively by law, to present a full range of viewpoints. No commercial broadcaster, in Canada or the US, operates under anything like those ground rules.

    (Although irrelevant to this point, the CBC/SRC also produces vastly higher quality programming than any of the commercial networks. "chintzy", "tinny", "two-bit", "sensationalist" and "shallow" would all be appropriate adjectives for CTV. Global isn't much better, or much worse. For example, no commercial network in this country would ever produce a program like "The Nature of Things" - a flagship program for 40(?) years. The commercial networks are, really, regional affiliates of the big American networks. The CBC/SRC is not.)

    The comparison with CPB, NPR, and PBS is completely uninformative. They are minnows with no real influence or effect on the market for public affairs programming in the US. In essence, they are just way too small. For all practical purposes, they are irrelevant.

    Like the BBC, CBC/SRC is a giant in its market as compared to any of them. To abolish CBC/SRC would be the equivalent of maybe CBS+ABC disappearing from US broadcasting.

    The importance of having a public broadcaster - and a public broadcaster with ample, secure, arm's length, multi-year funding - is that it keeps the commercial networks honest.

    The very presence of the CBC/SRC forces the commercial networks to cover stories that they would not otherwise cover. It forces them to give air-time to views on those stories that they would otherwise probably not air, at all.

    The existence of the CBC/SRC permits coverage of news that the owners of the commercial channels would prefer to ignore, either because it does not match the political views of the owners, or from fear of losing advertizing by offends either the advertizers or a significant sector of the viewing public.

    These are critical roles in protecting political freedom of speech in a democracy. None of the large US commercial networks performs these roles, or is even institutionally capable of performing them.

    One of America's great weaknesses, or blind spots, arises precisely because America does not have, and very badly needs, a national public sector broadcaster of comparable size to CBS, NBS, ABC, CNN or Fox.

    It isn't the viewpoint that matters. It is the very existence of a large, well funded broadcaster that is not owned or influenced by private owners.

    Even if you do not like the views presented (and many do not) what is important is that the very existence of a non-private-sector broadcaster of significant size and heft. It is a critical bulwark of a democracy in the electronic information age.

    That, of course, is no doubt precisely why the Conservatives want to kill it.

    ----------

    What is a reasonable budget for a public broadcaster in America?

    Well, I sure wouldn't get rid of any of America's carrier groups...

    ... and a public broadcaster is at least as important to defending democracy as any of those carrier groups.

    That would give a hint about an appropriate level of funding.

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  • 373. At 5:44pm on 14 Mar 2011, Mirino wrote:

    311. Interestedforeigner

    In principle you're perfectly right, but if Islam is essentially a way of life, it would be more difficult, if not impossible to separate the Muslim religion from politics, certainly in it's more radical form. By European standards, Roman Catholicism has more clout than say Anglicanism, but it has far less influence concerning politics, than it had before the Napoleonic wars and the French Revolution.

    However dangerous fundamentalists or radicals of anything are considered, they don't have any influence in democracy, unless they have enough clout to incite rife anarchy.

    The list of examples you've given is impressive, but (he writes naively) one assumes that the US have laws that protect their citizens of such abuse. The people still have the right to shout 'scandal', as you have done here, and if there's enough noise, eventually justice might even become a gained cause.

    312. _Marko

    I'm not certain yet. I would like to think so. I've asked more or less the same question to Amr. But Islam can be interpreted to be an intolerant religion, and a fundamental principle of democracy is religious tolerance.

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  • 374. At 5:59pm on 14 Mar 2011, Mirino wrote:

    371. Simon21

    As we all know, in the US and Europe there's no official connection between religion and politics. One is free to practice, or not practice religion. One is also free to refer to religion, or to anything else for that matter, if it's thought pertinent to one's argument. Naturally it's all part of our freedom of expression.

    More refused to sign the Act of Supremacy. Even though Henry VIII promised him that if he agreed to become his Chancellor, he would spare him from such considerations, he never kept his promise, because he very much admired More and wanted his benediction to be able to marry Anne Bolyne. More would not revoke his Catholicism, and a new Act of Treason was enough to have him condemned to death. But never did he "flog or burn heretics". That's rubbish. He was very much against all forms of torture, if you care to read his books. Even in his own life time he had an international reputation for his writing.

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  • 375. At 7:58pm on 14 Mar 2011, marieinaustin wrote:

    Re 372. Interestedforeigner,

    That was very informative. I hope you don’t lose the CBC. To me, that’s your best reason for you to be against conservatives gaining power in Canada.

    Additionally, in the US, all the available garbage on cable has made it easier for public broadcasting to be attacked like this.

    I see it everywhere lately: If people don’t prevail over their inventions, technology giveth freedoms, and technology taketh freedoms away.

    We are incapable of forming a united front against losing our freedoms because of our divided self-interests.

    I find it hard to imagine Anyone wants to get rid of the minnow PBS -- that is my self-interest-? And due to their self-interest, the Republicans would dissolve CPB? I loathe saying that because it sounds like the Democrats are any better about their self-interests, and they are not.

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  • 376. At 10:14pm on 14 Mar 2011, McJakome wrote:

    345. At 08:03am on 14 Mar 2011, Amr wrote:
    341 Nostrano
    “what if all religions are real and valid? why would people be deprived of a fair chance to choose what they believe in? what if people are 'meant' to be different? why advertise for one religion? isn't this considered a try to take an extra advantage?
    i don't think any religion promotes 'selfishness' or 'enslaving' people.”

    Amr,
    One of your worries is a worry that I and many Americans share. It is a worry that has been with us throughout history, the proper relationship between religion and the state. Those people who believe strongly that they know what God [or the gods] want, have never been shy or reluctant in trying to force others to follow the rules that they believe in. This is true in America today as it is in Egypt.

    I believe, as did the founding fathers of the US, in the separation of church and state. This is one of the few issues that would cause me to take up a weapon and oppose my fellow Americans in arms. The reason I would do so is that I swore an oath to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the US against all enemies, foreign and domestic. The Constitution clearly establishes a secular state.

    As one of the founding fathers John Adams wrote, "The United States of America have exhibited, perhaps, the first example of governments erected on the simple principles of nature, and if men are now sufficiently enlightened to disabuse themselves of artifice, imposture, hypocrisy, and superstition, they will consider this event as an era in their history. ... It will never be pretended that any persons employed in that service had any interviews with the gods, or were in any degree under the inspiration of heaven, any more than those at work upon ships or houses, or laboring in merchandise or agriculture. It will forever be acknowledged that these governments were contrived merely by the use of reason and the senses."

    There are those in America today, as in other countries, who do not believe this, who do not realize that to be free to believe as they wish, others must be free of their beliefs. They do not understand that the separation is necessary to protect each religion from the others, to protect the state from the undue influence of any religion, and to protect religion from the corrupting influence of the state. Those who would not accept another religion’s beliefs forced upon them MUST agree not to attempt to force their beliefs on others, especially by using the power of the state do do so.

    As stable as the US is and has been, the one issue that could divide us against each other is religious fanaticism, the death of toleration, the attempt to force a specific belief or set of beliefs upon others. It has not yet come to this, and, God willing, reason will prevail in the end.

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  • 377. At 10:23pm on 14 Mar 2011, LucyJ wrote:

    Amr: i think i represent only 10% or less of the Egyptians and many of them are even corrupted.
    --------
    Truthfully, Amr, a lot of our politicans r corrupted but the ppl themselves r just ppl, we have learned to have different religions get along, but when u repeatedly get attacked by the same religious extremists, it gets old fast...

    I feel for the ppl caught in between, like u, who actually make sense...
    -------
    Amr: in the past years i used to think that people are walking and acting like clones. they were all identical copies thinking exactly the same, males or females. (identical fashions, ideas etc) learning more than what you were supposed to learn was 'forbidden', 'insanely boring' and 'dangerous'. houses were like prisons.
    ----------
    A house should never be a prison...

    Ppl's uniqueness is what makes life special, cause' if we were all the same it would be very boring world, indeed.. ;)
    ----------
    Amr: even now, i'm still in my prison while all Egypt is free. but i'm going to get my freedom one day.
    =====
    ---------
    Bob Dylan's got some great lines...one of them from the song Jokerman is 'Freedom just around the corner for you But with the truth so far off what good will it do?'

    And one of my other favorite lines from Dylan's Blowin' in the wind, the lines..'Yes n' how many years can some people exist Before they're allowed to be free? The answer my friend, is blowin' in the wind'

    I'm one of those strange ppl that doesn't fit in with today's modern society b/c I stubbornly listen to the music my parents loved as teenagers, stuff from the 50's and 60's, sometimes 70's, and its my fave..I do listen to some modern, but not much, I like the oldies...

    -------------
    Amr: (P.S. after our discussion yesterday i researched liberty, freedom and communication skills. it may still take me years to actually learn all this, specially that the chance to practise it is limited)
    -------------
    Well, I'm sure there's no test...

    When u get freedom, u will know what it is..b/c its something u feel within urself..a sense of satisfaction and peace with the world..

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  • 378. At 10:34pm on 14 Mar 2011, LucyJ wrote:

    Marie: Additionally, in the US, all the available garbage on cable has made it easier for public broadcasting to be attacked like this.
    ---------
    Truthfully, PBS is the only educational show I watch..I've learned more from PBS than I have in school...its the best channel of every channel I have in our rural area...

    In the rural areas of America, we don't get all the different channels, we only get a few and there is nothing that could replace PBS...


    Its got something educational for EVERYBODY!!! Sesame Street and tons of learnign shows for kids, ya got nature- before I never knew what a cuddlefish was and its one of the coolest animals int he world, its got science shows like NOVA (the BEst!) and that science show with Alan ALda where he does all those experiments, that black guy deGrasse who knows all about space and is really smart, loves black holes and so do I, it shows ppl who go around and take measures of the ice melting, its got the singing Celts from Ireland who are really good, calm and relaxing- I love Irish music, when the Olympics are on, PBS runs shows about the prior Olympics and I learned and got to see real black and white footage, it gave me lots of American pride, about the Olympics Winter that we had in NEW York and we beat the Russians at hockey! :)

    If I never had got to watch PBS, I would have never learned the history of our Olympics and known we created a bunch of Olympic stuff and beat Russians at hockey, (USA has always been athletic) I would have never learned about teh black holes or that the Japanese also atacked us underwater at Pearl Harbor, which is new history, I would have never learned how to cook some things, I would have never learned the history of America without PBS...

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  • 379. At 10:41pm on 14 Mar 2011, LucyJ wrote:

    Marie: I see it everywhere lately: If people don’t prevail over their inventions, technology giveth freedoms, and technology taketh freedoms away.
    ------
    But this is not techonology, its politicians- in this case, Republicans- taking our only education channel away!

    Is it the Republicans goal to make Americans as least smart as possible?

    Cause' if they take PBS away from us, that's what will happen- many of us will be less smart and educated! and more unhappy!

    Ironically, PBS is also what shows the BBC in the rural areas, but sadly the local college station overtook the BBC timeslot, so now I can only watch local news and RT on another channel, but between the two, I would rather watch BBC than RT...
    ---------
    Marie: We are incapable of forming a united front against losing our freedoms because of our divided self-interests.
    -----------
    What about our corrupt politicians?

    I do not believe its technology nor even divided interests, but rahter its the corrupt politicians in cahoots with corporations trying to take over America and make us their non educated slaves!
    ----------
    Marie: I find it hard to imagine Anyone wants to get rid of the minnow PBS -- that is my self-interest-? And due to their self-interest, the Republicans would dissolve CPB? I loathe saying that because it sounds like the Democrats are any better about their self-interests, and they are not.
    ---------------

    I will say taking PBS- the best and most educational station on tv- away from the American ppl who learn about the history of America, it makes the Republicans look really, really bad and they shoudl be ashamed of themselves...

    If u take PBS away, Repubs, I will NOT vote for u in 2012!

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  • 380. At 01:09am on 15 Mar 2011, GH1618 wrote:

    IF (#335), agreed that political theory is a complex subject for another day.

    Yes, I was "away" in a hospital for four months, but am now sufficiently mended to be interested in this forum.

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  • 381. At 01:32am on 15 Mar 2011, GH1618 wrote:

    InterestedForeigner (#372), you seem to be overlooking Voice of America. It wasn't always,so, but today VOA is as independent and objective as any broadcaster. Perhaps you will object that it is not as large as CBS, or that it does not broadcast television, or something. Nevertheless, it is the way it is done in the US. The VOA does not try to compete directly with private broadcasters, because that would be objectionable policy to many Americans.

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  • 382. At 01:35am on 15 Mar 2011, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    380 Gary.

    All the best.

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  • 383. At 02:10am on 15 Mar 2011, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    375. At 7:58pm on 14 Mar 2011, Grateful Marie wrote:

    "I find it hard to imagine Anyone wants to get rid of the minnow PBS -- that is my self-interest-? And due to their self-interest, the Republicans would dissolve CPB?"

    __________

    PBS presents a view of the world that is calm, and rational, and sensible.

    It presents programming that doesn't involve:

    guns;
    big overpowered trucks;
    killing;
    good-looking young women in very-skimpy-and-impossibly-tight clothes;
    more guns;
    car crashes;
    police;
    big overpowered cars parked on mountain peaks;
    explosions;
    more guns;
    giggly people (usually youngish women, but not always) jumping up and down like trained seals to win a trip to Hawaii;
    more cop shows;
    more guns;
    hospital emergency shows;
    people shouting at each other;
    fires;
    lots of shooting;
    women who are dying-from-an-incurable-disease-while-caring-for-a-dying-parent, raising troubled teenagers, longing for the forbidden stranger, and stoically staying with the boring overweight lout-who-cheats-with-his-white-trash-secretary;
    badly behaved teenagers;
    more people shouting at each other;
    expensive fast, overpowered cars;
    lots of cold beer;
    more guns, cops and women in tight clothes;

    or better yet, women who are cops, in tight clothes, with guns, driving overpowered expensive cars ...



    PBS is not controlled by people who are trying to sell sex, cars, guns, beer, cigarettes, electronic gadgets, pop music, or right-wing political views. Of course the commercial broadcasters hate it.

    What would you expect?

    Anybody who likes to watch the Newshour, or NBR, or BBC America, or Wall Street Week, or any of the kinder, gentler children's programming, must be a communist-socialist-pinko-liberal. We can't allow that.

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  • 384. At 02:12am on 15 Mar 2011, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    379. At 10:41pm on 14 Mar 2011, LucyJ wrote:

    "I will say taking PBS- the best and most educational station on tv- away from the American ppl who learn about the history of America, it makes the Republicans look really, really bad and they shoudl be ashamed of themselves..."

    "If u take PBS away, Repubs, I will NOT vote for u in 2012!"

    ___________

    Lucy, the ultra-Liberal, unmasked.

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  • 385. At 02:23am on 15 Mar 2011, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    373. At 5:44pm on 14 Mar 2011, Nostrano wrote:

    "... but if Islam is essentially a way of life, it would be more difficult, if not impossible to separate the Muslim religion from politics,..."

    _________

    The Economist once printed an article pointing out how hard it is for democracy to establish roots in cultures that have no democratic or egalitarian history.

    Well, maybe.

    But you have to start somewhere, sometime.

    And when I was a kid, everybody knew that if you ever let Roman Catholics or French Canadians get elected the government would be completely corrupt, we'd lose our English heritage, we'd all be ordered around by the Pope, they'd ram French down our throats ... the whole world was sure to go to Hell in a hand-basket.

    ---------

    Well, we're still here, and the sun still comes up in the morning.

    In my lifetime, religious prejudice in our society has all but vanished. Why should Islamic societies be incapable of the same transformation?

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  • 386. At 03:02am on 15 Mar 2011, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    381. At 01:32am on 15 Mar 2011, GH1618 wrote:

    "... you seem to be overlooking Voice of America. It wasn't always,so, but today VOA is as independent and objective as any broadcaster."

    Perhaps you will object that it is not as large as CBS, or that it does not broadcast television, or something. Nevertheless, it is the way it is done in the US. The VOA does not try to compete directly with private broadcasters, because that would be objectionable policy to many Americans.

    -----------

    Hmm. Hadn't thought of that.

    The thing is, though, how many Americans listen to VOA regularly?
    I wouldn't even know where to look for it.

    For it to work as a counterweight, the public broadcaster has to be in generally the same market as the commercial broadcasters.

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  • 387. At 03:20am on 15 Mar 2011, marieinaustin wrote:

    Lucy,
    I was totally addicted to Grover when I was a kid. He was my first true love. Tu me gustas! Me gustas tu! Nowadays it’s more like the NewsHour. I think Grover appears elsewhere these days…on DVDs, for example. I’ve never seen him on the NewsHour.
    ______________________________________________________________
    379. At 10:41pm on 14 Mar 2011, LucyJ wrote:
    “Is it the Republicans goal to make Americans as least smart as possible?”
    Both parties seem to do this. Extreme capitalism (if someone loses her job because you’ve got someone working 70 hours a week, and your industry doesn’t create a new position for that person who just lost her job,...and there are thousands like her... or if you buy out your competitor and therefore flatten innovation and creativity... Or: you know, there are a lot of small car drivers in Texas, too! Lots of SmartCars and Priuses in Austin! A ton of mini’s and scooters, so get on it, US factories. Etc. Etc.) is next door to socialism (...the government will plan and control the economy because people can’t take care of themselves). Extreme capitalism is next door to socialism. Extreme right is next door to extreme left?
    Don’t get too caught up bashing only one party, in case you become too trusting of the other! –says the tag inside a certain shiny hat.
    Btw, your dad was right. Lucy wrote: “My dad says a good country is one with a large middle class.” That was an industrial revolution success.
    ______________________________________________________________
    Lucy wrote: “Marie: We are incapable of forming a united front against losing our freedoms because of our divided self-interests.
    -----------
    What about our corrupt politicians?”
    Yes, I was thinking of our representatives, more than their favorite phrase: “the American people.”
    ______________________________________________________________
    Lucy wrote: “If u take PBS away, Repubs, I will NOT vote for u in 2012!”
    Don’t forget about NPR!
    Cutting funds for CPB has been on/off/on the table for a long time…always by the Republicans – to my knowledge. I wonder if you’ll vote for Obama again. If the Republicans put up a true Unelectable, I will probably shut up and throw my vote away on a write-in. I’ve only thrown my vote away (in my 20/20 hindsight opinion) once before, in 2000. The only time I registered with a party was to vote for some Democrats in my state’s primary election (that is no longer necessary). I would love it if a brilliant Independent would appear, but that’s a dream. About Trump – I like him to some degree, but I wonder if he is too much of a blabbermouth. We wouldn’t have to be concerned about Wikileaks anymore. I agree with whoever said that when Romney comes out, people are going to ask themselves if they trust him. I wonder what will happen with Pawlenty. I keep having this feeling that as soon as candidates announce themselves, we’ll be able to say right away whether or not he stands a chance at beating Obama. But I would love to be surprised, or it will be a boring election year. I wonder if the Republicans will be out (of House majority) again in two years, and it’ll be total control by Democrats.
    ______________________________________________________________
    Too bad the two parties (i.e., the politicians in office) can’t put their respective good qualities together.

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  • 388. At 03:53am on 15 Mar 2011, marieinaustin wrote:

    383. At 02:10am on 15 Mar 2011, Interestedforeigner wrote:
    “What would you expect?”
    I don’t know. Don’t they have any loyalty to their own childhoods? They can’t all enjoy that garbage. Really?...Only Democrats and Independents get news and information and enjoyment from PBS?? All Republicans like that other stuff?? I don’t believe it. They’re shooting themselves in the foot. Politicians are so stupid (LOL). On regular TV and real life, the Northern Exposure kind of days are over and gone. The End.

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  • 389. At 06:46am on 15 Mar 2011, Mirino wrote:

    385. Interestedforeigner

    I would like to believe you're right, but under radical pressure it's not going to be easy. Democracy also means religious tollerance, which is not something that Islam easily allows. If more and more Muslim communities want true democracy, it should incorporate the reforms of Ataturk, for example, or similar reforms enforced earlier by the Afghan King Amanullah in the twenties and thirties. His bold commitment lost him the throne, and the British colonialism of that time wasn't supportive enough.
    The Shah of Iran wanted the people to accept the same modern reforms which were rejected by the Ayatullahs and the conservative proletariat. He was also considered the stooge of the USA.

    There can only be one form of valid democracy. It's a myth to believe democracies can vary. It either exists, or it doesn't.
    Assuming the Tunisians, Egyptians and eventually the Libyans want true democracy, it's bound to engage an enormous Muslim reform which will isolate certain Arab States and perhaps even associate them more with Islamic extremism. The latter will lose much of its former political power. Nations such as Syria and Iran will be more isolated than ever.
    Alternatively, religious extremism will be the outcome of these revolutions. It can only go one way or the other.
    There is so much at stake at this time, which is why France and the UK should have received more international support, especially regarding the recognition of the Libyan Delegation of Transition. What other alternative is there? Europe and the US should do all it can to help democracy come about, as effectively, and as discretely as possible. Hopefully this is already being done in Libya, even though it's not at all evident.

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  • 390. At 07:12am on 15 Mar 2011, powermeerkat wrote:

    And in the meantime GCC countries started to intervene militarily in Bahrain.

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  • 391. At 09:25am on 15 Mar 2011, Amr wrote:

    361. At 3:11pm on 14 Mar 2011, Grateful Marie wrote:
    "Therefore, they convince others to accept their belief so they can feel a little better about their own belief. I think."
    i think this is one of the explanations. i know some who like the idea of having followers and some who just misuse 'donations' and 'charity' to take over people's money and property. i'm not against advertising for religions. however, this depends on the conditions that the propaganda is not exclusive to one religion and more importantly, if, and only if, it is done with good intentions. (helping people does not mean using them for personal achievements or for personal gain) even more importantly is that humans should still be equal and have equal rights no matter what their beliefs are.
    =====
    368. At 4:58pm on 14 Mar 2011, Nostrano wrote:
    "Ataturk separated religion from politics between the two world wars, yet there still seems to be a strong tendency today for more extreme Muslims to reject all ideas of separating Islam from politics."
    i heard many opinions about Ataturk. Many Turkish are proud of him. on the other hand, many of the Extremist Muslim Egyptians totally reject him or perhaps even consider him a traitor. i keep repeating to everyone i talk with that combining religion with politics is extremely dangerous because it almost gives some people 'divine' powers. however, expressing an opinion like this is 'unwise' because it almost poses a threat to one's life. well, some people are more courageous about such opinions than the others.

    many people think and keep thinking they know the truth and everyone else is wrong. but, what gives them that 100% certainity? if they have such certainity that everything they know is true, then why do they not even want to allow others to have a fair chance to find out the truth on their own without forcing them to follow what they believe? doesn't this mean that even they, themselves, are uncertain and afraid? (similarly to what Grateful Marie mentioned)
    (P.S. i'll try to read about Sir Thomas More later on today, but it won't be possible right now)

    "And in your view, is Islam fundamentally compatible with Democracy?"
    i think it is, as long as there is equality and the ideas of taking the rights of others and forcing others to do things they don't want to are rejected.
    =====
    sorry that i didn't reply sooner, i realized that i had much learning to do and a future to work on, not only my future, but my country's as well since i'm a part of it.
    i still hope i could help at a global level since we're all humans and borders are only lines and dots drawn on maps because someone thought it is better this way. (with a good reason probably)
    =====
    - i wrote the previous comments before i read #376, so now i understand the reason.
    =====
    376. At 10:14pm on 14 Mar 2011, JMM wrote:
    "Those who would not accept another religion’s beliefs forced upon them MUST agree not to attempt to force their beliefs on others, especially by using the power of the state do do so."
    thanks for the post, i learnt a lot by reading it. i hope we could reach this level of acceptance, understanding and collaboration in Egypt too.
    =====
    377. At 10:23pm on 14 Mar 2011, LucyJ wrote:
    "Well, I'm sure there's no test..."
    i realized it's important for me to know my rights and the limits of my freedom very well since i also realized that if i don't know them there is no guarantee that i will have them. so, perhaps the test is life itself

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  • 392. At 10:00am on 15 Mar 2011, Chryses wrote:

    Nostrano, (#389. At 06:46am on 15 Mar 2011)

    ”... There can only be one form of valid democracy. It's a myth to believe democracies can vary. It either exists, or it doesn't ...”
    While I’m sure you didn’t mean anything by it, democracy come in various forms, the most common being representative democracy. It can also be a tricky getting the division of power effectively distributed.

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  • 393. At 11:04am on 15 Mar 2011, Maria Ashot wrote:

    Ever since 9/11, official US policy has been to draw a sharp distinction between the extremists in Islam who support and fund jihad against non-Islamic societies, and the average Muslim who is peace-loving and not a threat.

    To now abandon the brave people of Libya who have risen up to overthrow their sociopathic tyrant to be tortured and exterminated by him and his clan (which is what defeat for the legitimate government of Libya, that France has correctly & with foresight recognised, will mean) can only lead to greater portions of the Islamic community around the world becoming enraged against "hypocritical Crusaders." It will be said, as already has been alleged by many for decades, that Q/G/K was actually someone's operative, a puppet installed 41 years ago and then kept in power even when he ought by rights have toppled over...

    In the US, one reads claims that "more Libyans than any other Arab nationality" have fought against US forces in Iraq; that "compensation was paid to victims of Pan Am 103" (!) -- as if any compensation can ever repair a terrorist attack, any more than an act of genocide; or the silliest argument of all: "we don't know these people" -- the same argument used to tolerate the untenable reign of terror in Iran when those students marched and fought for their freedom.

    Once again, I would like to remind not only the United States of America, but also Turkey, and Russia, and even Italy and the united Germany that has only re-emerged 21 years ago, that at critical moments in your own history, it was the support and even the military might of others that helped you secure the gains that enabled your own countries to form those governments & political systems that currently they have.

    So for any of you to stand in the way of Libyan self-determination and the liberation of a people from a cruel and bloodthirsty narcissistic sociopath would be the height of hypocrisy and indeed a rash misstep.

    History does not tend to forgive rank hypocrisy.

    The price you may be called upon to pay for a callow act may be far higher than you imagine, and may come sooner than you expect.

    For Turkey, who was so glad to encourage the bombing of Belgrade, and who lent its support to the much less urgent American action against Saddam Hussein, to attempt to shield a regime now exposed as no better and possibly even worse than North Korea's is not only unintelligent and immoral, but highly suggestive that your own place in the community of advanced, Western societies is far from ensured. You are acting like a repressive state whose animosity towards Israel is such that you would support a monster only because he coincidentally on occasion made anti-Israeli pronouncements. That puts you in the same category as the present illegitimate usurpers of Iran.

    For Russia, it is quite obvious that the Medvedev and Putin tandem and its key ministers are torn inside between the need to appear Western and democratic and the desire to reserve for themselves the possibility of crushing violently any movement that might emerge for the liberation of Russian lands from kleptocrats who have looted the national assets. See them squirm in their seats as they try to make it appear that they would like Q/K/G to go away while at the same time doing whatever they can to hinder help from reaching the liberation forces.

    How much less willing was Russia to get in the way of the bombing of Belgrade than it is to get in the way of the bombing of Tripoli! Is this because "Russia" is rapidly becoming more and more latently Muslim and less and less actually Christian? In 2009, after all, someone decided to name the capital of Tatarstan, Kazan, Russia's most populous Muslim city, "the Third Capital of Russia" -- putting it on a par with the Imperial capitals of yore, Moscow & St. Petersburg. Russia's chief law enforcement officer, Minister of Internal Affairs and Putin ally Nurgaliev, is a Muslim and a Tatar; Mr Putin's affinity for Tatara is well known.

    Be that as it may, Russia has nothing it can hold over the Western powers as a disincentive to Nato action against the lunatic in Tripoli. This is clearly a case of hygiene -- of intervention in the name of global public health. Not even the Pyongyang agoraphobes are quite as blood-curdling as the Q/K/G clan, on this date in history.

    As far as China is concerned, surely they recognise the need to distance themselves from any appearance of backwardness. Look at how a single dreadful earthquake has devastated not only one of the world's great powers, but shaken all of us to the core, and rattled the global economic system wherein all members are utterly interdependent.

    Surely, in the year 2011, we have much bigger fish to fry in building successful international collaborative systems than to sit there and watch, dumbfounded, while an aging enfant terrible, actually enfant atroce, throws an explosive tantrum because he refuses to accept the sound of the referee's whistle announcing that his game is over?

    Is Italy, about to undergo the inevitable change in government, the nation that will cast the deciding vote to preserve the Q/K/G clan in power? And allow them to continue torturing with impunity?

    Will the nations and people who were scandalised by Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib allow something infinitely worse to continue operating from its base in Tripoli?

    And why is it that, in crucial times, we find the Axis Powers of just a few generations ago -- Germany, Italy, Turkey -- banding together to shield a genocidal narcissist from just consequences? And why is Russia suddenly with them, and not with Britain and France? Is it because the Kremlin as presently occupied is actually a very different kind of organisation than the one it continuously seeks to claim as its true inspiration?

    I am seeing, increasingly, the world sharply dividing along lines of criminals vs. defenders of law, order and human rights.

    Now is not the time for anyone with good intentions to stand on the side of the ogres and trolls against the helpless victims of their addictive villainies, and barbarism.

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  • 394. At 2:28pm on 15 Mar 2011, Mirino wrote:

    392. Chryses

    Apart from such technicalities which don't, or shouldn't have any effect regarding the fundamental principles of democracy. The principles that democracy itself professes to uphold.
    Sadly in certain cases, such as in Afghanistan, these principles seem to have been casually waved. Afghanistan must be an exception to the rule, at least as long as Karzai and his Pashtun clan benefit from the support of the West.

    (Incidently, I absolutely agree with Maria Ashot, 393.)

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  • 395. At 2:43pm on 15 Mar 2011, LucyJ wrote:

    If: Anybody who likes to watch the Newshour, or NBR, or BBC America, or Wall Street Week, or any of the kinder, gentler children's programming, must be a communist-socialist-pinko-liberal. We can't allow that.
    ----------
    No, we're just regular Americans who want to watch something we can learn from instead of a reality show, game show, crime drama with dead bodies and violence, ect (sometimes I can handle only so much death and want to see life and laugh instead- I love watching old Seinfeld episodes, they are just simply really funny)...now I like these cheesy other shows sometimes but not all the time, with PBS u at least have the option to watch something that can affect ur life or give u knowledge u did not previously have, including lots about animals and nature, includng the disappearence of bees, also hte history of America, history of all holidays, history of America's wars, (one of hte coolest I saw on PBS was about the weapons in WWI, WWII and Revolutionary War- taped those ones, cause' they were so amazing) told from a truly non-biased perspective...its like watching history, which for me is easier to watch history than to read it...if u want to learn, does it really matter the same info is read or watched? Its still history, right?

    I mean, really, just think what we have these days on our main networks: SVU (Special Victims Unit, I refuse to watch b/c its grotesque what crimes they talk about and I simply cannot watch such horrible things for entertainment), Celebrity Apprentice (funny u mentoned taht Marie, as I sadly did watch the last episode and it broke my littel heart, as Marlee Matlin who is hearing impaired was degraded by Dionne Warwick, who told her they did not want her in the children's story b/c hte children would feel sorry for her and take pity on her and it would be a sad story, and it truly hurt my feeligns when she said this, like she was saying Marlee's story was sad and Marlee is very inspirational, she has actually written childern's books herself, and when Marlee told Trump and he did not say anything, acted like he didn't care), and the ironic thing is there are four black females and four white females on the team, this last episode all four black females said they wanted Lisa fired and the white females wanted Dionne fired...so who did he fire?
    Lisa...

    The whole show teems with reverse racism, so I refuse to watch ppl gang up on others b/c of their skin color...it is not fun to watch...

    I would rather watch Nova, or ScienceNow, or almost anything on PBS- with the exception of hte immigration shows, which I do not agree with- that's about it...
    -----------
    If: Lucy, the ultra-Liberal, unmasked.
    ---------
    Standing up for educational shows in which u actually learn something is not ultraliberal, its American!!!

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  • 396. At 3:02pm on 15 Mar 2011, LucyJ wrote:

    Marie: I was totally addicted to Grover when I was a kid. He was my first true love. Tu me gustas! Me gustas tu!
    -----------
    I love Sesame Street...its a part of America...now the most popular one is Abby Cadaby, but my favorite was always Cookie Monster...I think he might be the Veggie Monster now?

    It is still a great show, tho!!! Still very popular in America and it hasn't lost its touch!
    ---------
    “Is it the Republicans goal to make Americans as least smart as possible?”
    Marie: Both parties seem to do this. Extreme capitalism (so get on it, US factories. Etc. Etc.) is next door to socialism (...the government will plan and control the economy because people can’t take care of themselves). Extreme capitalism is next door to socialism. Extreme right is next door to extreme left?
    -------
    I think u hit the nail on the head, Marie, cause' its like who do u turn to when both parties are corrupt?

    How do we stop the polticians/corporations from turning us into slaves, when there's no good politicians to vote for?

    I don't really like Obama, and I was all ready to vote for Repubs, but if the Repubs take away PBS, the best channel in America, it will make many ppl, including myself, very, very sad b/c instead of learning shows, we will only have reality shows with bad morals such as making fun of deaf ppl and no one sticks up for her, crime dramas with death and dead bodies, crime shows about despicable crimes, ect...taking away PBS is one of the worst things the Republicans could do to America and hte negative effects will only further separate the rich from the poor, not to mention it will make America, as a whole, less smart, and we will have less inventions, b/c many inventions have come from poor, rural ppl trying to make better lives for themselves, ect...taking away PBS is not in our best interest...and its true, its amazing how PBS does not have commercials throughout the show, only at the end of the show, its awesome to watch a show without the advertiesements...

    For us rural folk who don't get all the channels, PBS is almost all we have...
    -----------
    Marie: Don’t get too caught up bashing only one party, in case you become too trusting of the other! –says the tag inside a certain shiny hat.
    Btw, your dad was right. Lucy wrote: “My dad says a good country is one with a large middle class.” That was an industrial revolution success.
    -----------
    My dad is smart man...he has a big heart...

    I was hoping Obama could bring hte middle class back, he is trying, but I guess its harder than what we all thought...

    The most disappointing thing that Obama did, for all of us, was renewing Bush tax cuts...

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  • 397. At 3:08pm on 15 Mar 2011, LucyJ wrote:

    Marie: Too bad the two parties (i.e., the politicians in office) can’t put their respective good qualities together.
    -------
    If they did, that would be the best America we could possibly be...

    But the greed is too tempting for them...b/c of thier greed and corruption and wrong agenda, we are losing out of what would carry us into the future...

    One day our kids and grandkids will ask us why did they take away all the educational shows about American history>?

    And I will say Because of the Republicans' greed and corruption...

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  • 398. At 4:02pm on 15 Mar 2011, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    393. At 11:04am on 15 Mar 2011, Maria Ashot

    The deal is slowly being made, even as we speak.
    It looks as if the price of Arab League support may have been the betrayal of the protesters in Bahrain, and probably elsewhere.

    "30 pieces of silver?"

    Nah. More likely gold and oil.

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  • 399. At 4:14pm on 15 Mar 2011, marieinaustin wrote:

    397. At 3:08pm on 15 Mar 2011, LucyJ wrote:
    “Marie: Too bad the two parties (i.e., the politicians in office) can’t put their respective good qualities together.
    -------
    If they did, that would be the best America we could possibly be...

    But the greed is too tempting for them...b/c of thier greed and corruption and wrong agenda, we are losing out of what would carry us into the future...”
    -------------------------------------------------
    It sounds like a bad marriage. They need marriage counseling before they destroy the family. :-/
    Meanwhile, Lucy, I’ve been placed in the intermediate ballet class, and I’m going three days a week! Last Wed. due to spring break, our class combined with some teens and early 20-somethings from the Ballet Company – talk about intimidating. My body is just not like that anymore. I’ve got it down in my head still and my feet have it, but my body is mad at me for all the donuts I’ve eaten. My turn-out is not great; my hip and knee bones turn in a bit too much for a dancer. But I’m careful not to twist them – it would not be worth it. But these teachers are so much nicer to me than the ones of my youth. (I also had one with giant eyes, who could demo anything perfectly in her clumpy clog shoes, and who pulled out a long wooden yardstick to check the straightness of our passe turnouts!) Oh! By some miracle, I kept my pirouettes - I can land them perfectly still! It was a total surprise! Who cares about politics-lol. :-P Thanks for encouraging me, Lucy. I hope you have a great day! I gotta run.

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  • 400. At 5:19pm on 15 Mar 2011, Maria Ashot wrote:

    If the current Commander-in-Chief of the US chickens out, essentially, of standing up to the Q clan in Tripoli in any kind of meaningful way, I find it seriously difficult to imagine him winning a second term in the White House. He just won't seem terribly effective, and the Democratic Party will certainly be even more demoralised than they currently are.

    It's not like there are too many options here. It's do or die, act or become an footnote in history -- intervene, or allow the emboldened dictator to slaughter thousands upon thousands upon thousands of those who refuse to be sycophants to his lunacy any longer.

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  • 401. At 5:47pm on 15 Mar 2011, GH1618 wrote:

    InterestedForeignrt (#386),

    Not many Americans listen to VOA, I expect. Its main focus is world-wide radio broadcasting in shortwave bands, where it can be found easily. Many years ago, I listened to it on shortwave, along with the BBC and others. It is not the purpose of VOA to provide a "counterweight" to domestic commercial broadcasters, but to convey information about the United States to the world. Expanding its mission to compete directly with domestic media would never fly. I don't think that's a bad thing, merely different.

    Incidentally, it seems the BBC no longer has shortwave broadcasts directed at America. A pity. Now that I am retired, I have been considering getting back into shortwave listening, but without the BBC I am not sure its worth it.

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  • 402. At 6:23pm on 15 Mar 2011, Amr wrote:

    368. At 4:58pm on 14 Mar 2011, Nostrano wrote:
    "Thomas More wrote the same thing in his Utopia (Book 2. Religions) in the 16th century."
    after reading - wow! his theory is surely more comprehensive (and to think that he wrote it back then)

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