BBC BLOGS - Justin Webb's America
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Health, guns and Unity

Justin Webb | 22:37 UK time, Tuesday, 1 July 2008

What can be going on here?

I am still getting through the Health Check postings - lordBeddGelert and others take me (and the Fox News fellow) to task for not living in the real world. What interested me about the piece was his recognition that there was terrible waste in the US system and huge personal investment of effort in the UK system - and that the kind of triumphalist approach (ours is best!) just does not wash. Though I take your point that if I were very very poor I would prefer to live in the UK - and my chances of surviving serious illness (even getting it diagnosed) would surely be higher.

On guns I intend to reflect some of this in the book I am writing about life in the US and for the very reason that sings out from the postings: it's complicated! Guns do not equal violence as the rural posters such as ruralhills point out. And yet they cause terrible bloodshed in an essentially rather peaceful nation as Ozbloke1 rather poetically adds. I am intrigued by the suggestion made by bluejay60 that martial arts training might be an answer.

I must say my cynicism about the Hillary Obama Unity trip (someone wrote to me to suggest Intercourse, PA as the next venue. Err, why, exactly?) somewhat faded as I talked to people afterwards. I now wonder whether she might be VP. I am so fickle.

On Obama's foreign travels I think gunsandreligion gets it right - Americans are sometimes rather isolated but they are not hostile to the outside world. Wish the same could be said of the outside world as it regards America. I think I may well be in the UK when Obama is and it'll be fascinating to see how he goes down. Cross between Jesus and Mick Jagger I shouldn't wonder (MagicKirin would agree) - with only Gerry Baker at the Times (he's their US Editor) holding out for the sceptics... Pleasingshareman begs the BBC to be fairer in its US coverage: we are trying my friend! It takes time. I think overall we are not as hostile as you suggest and nor should we be ....

Peterm99 (Gutsy Gates) says Gates has no veto over war and of course he is right in theory but my point is that in practice at this moment in time he does. The White House would be devastated by his resignation/sacking. The Nixon/Cox analogy is interesting but I suspect that is not the historical place Bush wants to be ....

Finally hiboutoo - you decide !!!!


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