Comments for en-gb 30 Fri 31 Jul 2015 23:04:05 GMT+1 A feed of user comments from the page found at quietlaurieann Hi Justin I just found this interesting piece about reporter access Sat 26 Jul 2008 18:39:37 GMT+1 quietlaurieann Hiya Justin, You're right things are slow. Now you're back in England you've probably noticed too that there really isn't that much hoo-ha about Barack Obama in Europe. I remember writing s'thing like that in a post on your blog a month ago (I was writing about Italy) and I got shouted down -Europeans LOVE Barack Obama. Sat 26 Jul 2008 17:33:44 GMT+1 MarcusAureliusII paulcrossleyIt doesn't matter what I say, Europeans will dismiss me anyway. Unless I agree with everything they say. But how can I? That is why I am alive and here today, because Europeans dismissed my grandparents. Not just what they said or even tried to do with their lives but the very value of their lives themselves. Some parts of Europe are worse than others but all of them IMO are bad. Fortunately for me, they up and left. It took a lot of guts. They were young and when they got here they struggled. But they made the best possible lives for themselves. Their story is far from unique. More people made better lives for themselves in the USA they were denied elsewhere not only in terms of material wealth and achievement but in terms of happiness than anywhere else ever. To hear it perpetually denigrated by a continent of jealous angry ignoramuses is disgusting. Even more disgusting is to see that go unchallenged. I hear this nonsense about American empire even from some Americans. What is an empire? All we have to go by are the examples of empires of the past. They are characterized by military conquest, perpetual subjugation, exploitation, and ultimately punishment including death for resistance. The goal is economic exploitation through military force for as long as possible. The US does not perpetually control any government or nation. During times of war, the US has prevented some nations from becoming part of an enemy empire. Iran and Chille are examples. Once the threat is over, so is that control. I also hear a lot of nonsense about how America must fight its wars to conform to some sort of moral code or according to some code of law. In war there is only one code, the more effective combatant wins. In war the ends justifies the means especially when a civilized society like the United States is fighting for survival against an implacable barbaric enemy like Nazi Germany, Imperial Japan, The USSR, or militant Islam. Innocent people always get killed and atrocities are always committed in every war, often in large numbers. That is its nature. To shrink from using the means available because of the fear that we will become exactly like the enemy is a very dangerous proposition, it is potentially a prescription for suicide. It says in effect that we must fight for our lives with one hand tied behind our backs. It ignores the rational decision to take the necessary steps for survival for fear that we will become so irrational that we will forget to abandon them when the threat is over. Where I come from, if a burglar invades your house, attacks your family and you have a gun, you shoot first and ask questions later. American law agrees. The right of survival is the first inalienable right, the right to life. When attacked or faced with mortal threats, any and all means are acceptable to defend yourself including a pre-emptive nuclear strike if it comes to that. Europeans don't see it that way do they? And yet that is the only reason they were not swallowed up to become part of the USSR's empire. As I've said here, America is not Europe, it does not think or act like Europe. And having lived there it does not feel like Europe either, not at all. Expectations to find common links are naive and futile. One mistake viewing America Europeans often make including BBC in that pathetic series is that it believes that America and Americans are the way they are because they are rich and powerful. They got it backwards. America became rich and powerful from out of nowhere in no time by historical measure because of what it is. Its creation was the single greatest invention in human history. The most crucial aspect in understanding it is the one BBC did not even try to explore. How amazed its founders would have been to see it after a mere two and a quarter centuries later. And I don't think they would have had any problems with the way it conducts itself at home or around the world. If anything, they would be annoyed at its occasional timidity and self doubts. Its succes especially in contrast to the failures of so many others is the only proof it needs to know that it is on the whole right and should go its own way without listening to outsiders. And by and large, that is exactly what we do. Sat 26 Jul 2008 14:07:48 GMT+1 paulcrossley to Marcus, I can understand how a lot of overseas media might appear to be anti-american at times (espcially to the average bloke who sees the domestic stuff most of the time). Afterall, it can be critical of your government.I DO like your postings - on the whole they're laugh-out-loud funny and occasionally thought provoking. I had a problem with the one that seemed to insult the British peoople who fought in World War II, this one insulted people who on the whole aren't in a position to repsond any longer.A thought for yourself though, aren't they sometimes self defeating? Your rather extreme posts make it easier for those Euro people dismiss you. With reference to Empires, I think you're probably pretty au fait with the idea of an Empire in terms of global power - be it miltary, economic or otherwise, rather than global territories. Feel free to dispute whether this Empire is fading even if you don't recognise it in these terms. Anyway, keep up the good work but maybe ease of the rewriting of history a little.To Texcannuck, was your comment directed at mine? It was hard to tell. Just in case then: I come from the Crumbling British Empire. Which USA do you live in? Not the one I've been to. Sat 26 Jul 2008 11:11:32 GMT+1 MarcusAureliusII paulcrossleyMuch of what I hear, see, and read on BBC and elsewhere that Europans say and write about my country I also find offensive. For one thing they are usually untrue at least in part and often taken completely out of context or without any reference to larger issues. Finally I decided it was time for the other side to speak out. You are offended by what I write? Good, that's what I call balance. As for your family, had they been told the truth about the world and history in the first place, they would not find my words at all shocking. Most of what is written about America in the European press and in their history books is plain wrong. If my postings are repetitive and boring, I'd say they are no more so than the same old anti-American diatribe I get from Europeans. I don't know if most other people are offended by my postings, that is presumptive of you but if Europeans are angry at being contradicted for once because they expect that their point of view will go unchallenged forever then that is exactly what I intend. Time their lies had to be confronted by the truth for once.Is America a crumbling empire? I heard this awful series on BBC "America, Age of Empire." It was ludicrous. It is no empire in the sense of Rome as BBC seemed to imply. Except for a scattered handful of islands and territories such as American Samoa, the US Virgin Islands, Guam, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the US has no nations it permanently controls or occupies, no colonies, no extraterritorial lands. But BBC concluded that it will be in a dominant position in the world for the foreseeable future. It's one thing to hear the aveage "bloke" who only knows what he sees on the telly or reads in the paper be so ignorant of the US, and even surprising and disappointing to see how ignorant BBC is of it, but it was a shock to discover that even someone who is well educated and directly involved like Sir Christopher Meyers is so ignorant of it too. He revealed that in his interview on BBC. BBC presents a very distorted picture of the US. It is highly selective in the narrow view it presents and the bias it stamps on it. Does it surprise you that there is an entirely different point of view that may be far more accurate? If you don't like my postings, don't read them. Sat 26 Jul 2008 07:43:05 GMT+1 TexCannuck And what already crumbled empire do you hail from? You need to understand that America was born from a rejection of Europe. The most ambitious people in the world migrate to America. Their skin color doesn't matter like it does in your world. That will never be possible in your world.America should not have military bases in Europe or the Middle east.America has been through a lot during it's short life and I don't see it going down ever.Never again will America be drawn into your ugly wars of extermination. Sat 26 Jul 2008 01:25:52 GMT+1 paulcrossley While the comments of MarcusAureliusII are at first interesting in a kind of provocative "he said what!?" kind of way, once you've read a few they just get boring. At the very least, they smack of the kind of rear-view boastfulness associated with crumbling empires that has been discussed elsewhere on this blog. On a more personal note, I find them offensive to my family, who served in WWII, and apparently might as well have just have left all the hard work to their US cousins. I'm sure most other people of the world have been offended by at least one of the comments. Fri 25 Jul 2008 04:55:46 GMT+1 paulcrossley This post has been Removed Fri 25 Jul 2008 04:43:33 GMT+1 mary gravitt I hope that Matt Frei does not read my last post and become frightened by my outburst. It was so EMOTIONAL! Thu 24 Jul 2008 20:03:58 GMT+1 mary gravitt I feel like Fred Astire today: Heaven--I'm in heaven, listening to Obama speak. If he don't speak no more, he has said it all in Berlin, Germany today.He may not make it to the PROMISED LAND OF PRESEDANCY of the United States, but he has made his mark on the world in any event because he has given people hope. And like faith and charity, hope is necessary in a world where the will of the people never trumps THE TRIUMP OF THE WILL of the MILITARY INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX.Like James Brown: I FEEL GOOD! Thu 24 Jul 2008 20:02:35 GMT+1 moderate_observer for anyone who havnt read this i believe this is an interesting article to read regarding the campaign.,8599,1826064,00.html Thu 24 Jul 2008 19:23:38 GMT+1 jacksforge "The US financed the Taliban, because opposing the Soviet Union was more important to you than the rights of women in Afghanistan."Yes, us, and every other western country as well including the UK! Your country is guilty too!! Blame your country! Blame your country!well I do remember it being an issue for the brits , sorry. it was one of the reason some brits agreed to Afganistan being invaded. not to let america get revenge , but because they were fed up with th talliban stopping equal rights. Thu 24 Jul 2008 14:29:25 GMT+1 Xie_Ming One of the factors to consider inthe forthcoming US election is the number of voters who believe in:ArmageddonEnd TimesThe primacy of IsraelSin as the cause of the World's problemsFor reporting:Will hard times increase or decrease the present ideology of this group? Thu 24 Jul 2008 12:25:54 GMT+1 MarcusAureliusII alanskillcole #138There is nothing the UK or its people could conceivably ever do that woud be sufficient to repay the People of the United States of America for the incredible sacrifices they have main on the UK's behalf. Thu 24 Jul 2008 01:34:24 GMT+1 NoRashDecisions oldnat 104: asks, '"Could it be that since so many Americans believe in a God, they have an unconscious desire that their President have similar qualities (the leader of theother party is, of course, the Anti-Christ)?"Wow!! That wasn't a jab at Christianity at all!!! Look, I'm not going to speek for the religious right-perhaps they do see the president/our political system in this light. But certainly not "all" religious Americans think this, as 'allmymarbles pointed out. While it s a fact that religion is more prevolent in the US than Europe, still, one of the unfair, untrue stereotypes of Americans is that they are all "religious extreemests", and that is certainly not true in the least!!! I do blame the religious right for this unfortionate reality, though. Their looking down their noses at others, pointing fingers, judgeing those of other faiths/no faith, makes Europeans especially think '"Well if some Christians in America are like that, then all of them must be!" And that is certainly not true in the least!! Might I just say, that its all bigotry!! Europeans seeing religious Americans as "evanjelical extreemist", you know, the sort that bomb abortion clinics, is just as judgementle and offensive as those right wing religious people who judge others because they don't share their faith!!!But no, rather I think the reason why Americans expect their president to be an expert on all things all the time, is partly at least, to do with the fact that many Europeans/world citizens expect it. They offten turn to the US to solve problems, or to answer questions. So Americans, or at least this American, look around the world and think, '"Well we best try our best to keep this world peaceful, and if having a knoledgable president helps solve world problems, when they arise to meet the world's expectations and ours, then so be it." In short, they figure if everyone else has these expectations, then we'd better damn well have them as well!! And you're right, threnodio #99, I do think these expectations, both from Americans and world citizens, are a bit high!! After all, that's what a cabinit is for, is it not?So to some up, it is ok to be religious! And it is ok not to be! The important thing, is that we be accepting of each other and each other's beliefs, and that we have an open mind about each other and are open to each other's thoughts/criticisms!!!It is sad, though, that the presidencial candidates feel they have to pander to religious extremeists! That doesn't encourage accepting and openness, it encourages the complete opposite!! I know that there are a lot of right-wing religious people in this country, but they have to realise that religion doesn't cause one to have a clear, calm mind in a position of leadership!! I do wonder, however, how John Attoms would fair in today's world, though. Thu 24 Jul 2008 00:20:56 GMT+1 mary gravitt What? We have been ruled by an alien for the past 7.8 year: Darth Vadar. Everyone knows that our Georgie could not be that stipid unless controlled by some foregn endity. Wed 23 Jul 2008 21:41:20 GMT+1 NoRashDecisions MagicKirin 16: "How about that the U.S does more in donations to Africa to prevent aidsBy the way Mandela has never mentioned that in his U.S criticsm."Perhaps that is because it was only a couple of weeks ago that Mandela was taken off the US's ‘"most wanted terrorist" list! So perhaps this frustration is clouding his egnoligements of us. Can you blame him?Bryn-UK 18: "Sure, Obama doesn't need to give any interviews to foreign journalists. But seeing as these countries are playing host to him (and his absurdly over-the-top security detail too, no doubt) it would be.. you know.. polite."Yes, I completely agree, and in any other circumstance I would be absolutely repulsed at his refusal to grant an interview!!! But again, this is just too big a risk to take this one time!! I'm sorry! Trust me, should he win in November and the United States have an 80% approval rateing in France of all places! Next year, you'll forgive this bit of rudeness!! O, and yes his security detail is, “obserdly over the top” for a presidencial candidate, but if you don’t already know, unfortionately our nation has a history with assasonateing carosmatic, uniting, peaceful leaders of our nation, so please forgive some people for being a little overprotective."Hillary came across as far gutsier than him during the primaries."Yeah, especially when she threatened to “obliterate” (in her words) Iran!!I don’t care what the potencial circumstances, no US president with that real and obvious power should loosly whield it around!! "he should face a tough inquisitor - either David Dimbleby or Jeremy Paxman (our Justin is too much of a sweetie, I fear)."Well, it depends on how one defines the word "sweetie". If "sweetie" means outwardly expressing a positive opinion of certain things American, then yes he is (but I don’t necessarily think that it's a bad thing). If “sweetie” means pushover, then no, I don’t think he's one at all!! He’s respectful but tough just the same!! Forgive me, but I don't think Paxman, from what I've seen of him, is a good journalist!! He basically just yells at his interviewees!! He doesn't give them time to respond to his shouted questions!! His questions are wonderful, but he is lacking that all important ingreediant in journalism and life...respect!!! I haven't seen the other guy, but may be he's better. "More recently, DD interviewed Rumsfeld in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq. Rumsfeld didn't lose his rag like Clinton, but he at least had some difficult questions to answer."Forgive me, but I get the impression from your post that you want to see politicions "lose their rag". Is that what you want? Because in my opinion that is the wrong desired end!! One should want their leaders to be held accountable for their actions, not humiliated!! If you want to see people embarrissed and humiliated, put them on a reality show!!AndyPost 22: "It is a measure of enduring respect that the standards we're are judged by around the world are so high."Or, it is a measure of the fact that we are the world’s last remaining super power. I too, would like to believe that we are respected (even when we slip up), but the truth is, if we had these same values and enshrinements in our constitution, but weren’t the world’s most powerful nation, I doubt many people would look to us for leadership/hope."The rest of the English speaking world (while having shown a willingness to put their lives on the line alongside us) never initiate action."I beg to differ. The UK is the world's second or third biggest doner for aid everywhere, humanitarian aid for disasters, and if we're not already “iniciateing action”, they are doing so themselves and pleeing for us to do so as well (for instance on climate change)!"A sure sign that the world has lost respect for the U.S. will be when they no longer look to us for justice."Which will be when we're no longer the super power. I mean perhaps they still will, but not nearly as much as they do now.oldnat 24: "I recognise that individual US citizens have been generous in their charitable donations. Your government has been less than generous for many years, though. I know that your political system makes this difficult."I'm not the biggest fan of Bush, but I feel you should know, he has tripled our aid to Africa alone in the past 7 or so years! And the last time I checked, humanitarian aid (via government) was a bipartisan issue. No, our political system does not make it difficult to give aid.""Islamic terrorism"?” Oh, please! This was no issue with you guys until you suffered the first attack on US soil, since the British burned the White House in 1812."Yeah, because if we had taken preemptive action, we would’ve been accused of being "war mongars!!" At least the world will support you if you allow yourself to be attacked first, so that people believe what you say!!"The US financed the Taliban, because opposing the Soviet Union was more important to you than the rights of women in Afghanistan."Yes, us, and every other western country as well including the UK! Your country is guilty too!! Blame your country! Blame your country!"I have no problem with any country acting in it's national interest, but claiming some moral superiority is not acceptable from any country."I second that!Kecsmar 26: "you have now lost the moral higher ground, if indeed there was any to occupy."O there was, believe me! Remember Clinton? When Turks were interviewed in a pole to state their most favorite US president, the overwhelming majority of them said ‘Clinton, and truly seemed like they actually liked his policies!! I only hope it can be somewhat restored!!Oldnat 34: "Boastfulness (especially if not substantiated by reality) is really sad. Ou remind me of the British - living in an unreal past of imperial Glory."MagicKirin was not being "bosteful"!! They were merely expressing their opinion that they think that our political system of government is (one) of the best in the world!! That is allowed, isn't it? And for what its worth, I concur with them!! The two political forms of democratic government are ours and a parliamentary one (the form held by all other countries except South America.) I personally, if I could choose, prefer the parliamentary system, but there's no doubting that these two systems have proven to be the strongest and most enduring forms of government throughout history!! That’s not bostefulness! Its fact!Bryn-UK 37: "The UK still aspires to be a world player, I guess, when the best she can hope for is to punch above her weight; but since when have the Yanks disdained being a wannabe?"The UK is still a world power!! It really frustrates me, those British citizens who denigrate themselves because they are technically no longer a "empire"!! That doesn’t mean that they aren’t influencial anymore!! It just means that they are no longer the soul super power!! And for my two cents, I most certainly "disdain" being a wannabe!!! I'm not sure about the current administration, but I certainly do disdain it!! Who are you talking to to get these ideas?!ImpostorWatcher 51 "Obamashares the very same personality flaws of George W. Bush. He is arrogant, stubborn, dismissive of criticism (like Bush he never admits to making even theslightest of mistakes), vindictive (demonstrated by his treatment of Hillary and the reporter for the New Yorker) and just like Bush, Obama is self-absorbedin his own distorted sense of historical importance."Are we talking about the same Obama? And news flash!! Few politicions (world wide), rarely, if ever, admit to "making the slightest of mistakes"!! Wed 23 Jul 2008 21:04:36 GMT+1 allmymarbles 52, Impostor.I am not so familiar with Pakistan, but Iran's southeast province is called Baluchistan. Perhaps the name across the border is the same since the Baluchis are a tribe. Wed 23 Jul 2008 18:18:18 GMT+1 alanskillcole There's no free lunch.Certainly the UK repaid what it owed the US PLUS ceded bases - in its then colonies - to the US.It got creaky old ships to continue the war effort. It fought when it gave its assurances that it would do so when another nation was invaded.(After the war, it found itself basing more on the US$...that BBC4 documentary vaguely remembered...)Anyhow, to each their own.It's all a matter of perspective. History, revisionist history, evolution, intelligent design...all be over soon. Thank "God". Wed 23 Jul 2008 17:02:14 GMT+1 alanskillcole If SOME americans don't like the comments, odd to be on the blog of the BBC...As for who benefitted after WWII, it was also in US self-interest (much as entering the war after Pearl Harbour was) to do what they did - ostensibly, fighting the spread of communism, having a market for their goods and services, etcIf US felt she shouldn't have helped, then she shouldn't have...MacMillan's "wind of change" - the writing on the wall as in ceding empire to the new kid on the block...Suez...changing of the guard...nothing lasts forever in the schoolground "my nation is better than yours" gets tiresome...what's the point? Live where you want to live. Chill. Or move to a place you prefer. Doesn't mean that someone other side of the pond is any better/worse. But even if they are, who gives a ? Wed 23 Jul 2008 16:35:00 GMT+1 MarcusAureliusII Ed Itlehart #135I don't hate anyone. I merely acceot them for what the are and don't pretend that they are anything else. They may not like hearing the truth about their nation or their society but that is their problem, not mine. Why would I nuke Iran? Because it is a growing dangerous threat to my welfare and existance. Why would I nuke Europe economically? Because it has lived off the money that should have supported my welfare, my environment, my quality of life and then it has the gall to tell me my government does not treat me well enough. If the American taxpayer hadn't wasted trillions on defending and rebuilding Europe after WWII, we'd have a social safety net here that would make France's look like a sieve...only we'd be able to afford it. Wed 23 Jul 2008 13:19:43 GMT+1 Ed Iglehart Marcus,Who do you hate more, Europe or Persia?Salaam, etc.edYou need serious help. Wed 23 Jul 2008 12:43:35 GMT+1 Xie_Ming #132The basic tactic in the manipulation is to instill, from a very early age, an intense sense of guilt.To release this wound up spring, the guilty must pay the minister (10%) and then project the induced self-hate by attacking the targets the minister indicates.School teachers, single mothers, and Democratic candidates are the current targets of choice.[You ask why Obama supports "faith-based initiatives"?] Wed 23 Jul 2008 12:08:51 GMT+1 MarcusAureliusII allmymarbles, if they told me my first mission would be to nuke Teheran, I'd be down there to sign up by 9 AM today. Wed 23 Jul 2008 10:40:37 GMT+1 allmymarbles 131, Xie.When talking about southerners and religion, keep in mind that southern women have abortions. Sometimes religion is inconvenient. Wed 23 Jul 2008 05:20:59 GMT+1 Xie_Ming #129The religious vector will be another factor in the US election, especially in the Bible Belt and the retarded areas of the Midwest.In the past, ministers had been well funded to convince the faithful that Jesus Christ was a Republican.Now, there is a considerable group that thinks the message of Jesus was quite a different thing.Financial and sexual misdeeds among the TV evangelists, coupled with Iraq and the deteriorating financial situation are causing many to reassess.It would make for interesting reporting. Wed 23 Jul 2008 04:33:42 GMT+1 allmymarbles 126, Marcus.I know you love war so I have a suggestion for you: put your body whee your pen is. Join the army. Go to Iraq. Make the world safe for democracy.Maybe you will start a movement. You can make up your own division and call it, "Hawks for War." Wed 23 Jul 2008 03:45:21 GMT+1 allmymarbles 125, oldhat.Thee is another aspect to religion in the States and it is not religious.In small towns (of which we have untold thousands) much of the social life revolves around churches. No church, and you are out of the loop.This was brought home to me when my parents decided that the big city was not good for five young chidren. So we went to live in a small market town (pop. 5,000). Not everyone in town could have been religious, but they all went to church and joined in the social activities (there wasn't much else to do anyway). Small towns did not suit us, and we returned to the city where we belonged. Wed 23 Jul 2008 03:39:24 GMT+1 MarcusAureliusII oldnat"Fortunately, on my frequent visits to the USA, I meet intelligent pleasant people."The only thing you left out is that they are all British ex-pats.I have no desire to insult you. You do that well enough yourself without my help every time you post a message. Wed 23 Jul 2008 03:00:22 GMT+1 Ed Iglehart adiliberal (62).You betchya. I do. But I never miss a comment from Xie, Marbles, Aquarizona, Doug, Guns'nReligion, Noble, nor some others I might have momentarily missed out.Keep it up, y'all!xxed Wed 23 Jul 2008 01:05:43 GMT+1 MarcusAureliusII allmymarbles, maybe the reason you always agree wtih Xie Ming is that he is actually...a closet Ayatollah. Wed 23 Jul 2008 01:02:24 GMT+1 oldnat #121 allmymarblesThanks for the info. Much appreciated. I probably get a distorted view, as most of my visits to the USA are to NC. That may be like judging Scotland's religious patterns by visiting the Outer Hebrides. Wed 23 Jul 2008 00:52:46 GMT+1 allmymarbles When a post is too long or too esoteric, I skip over it, unless it is a subject I am particularly interested in. Most long posts would profit from editing. Wed 23 Jul 2008 00:31:35 GMT+1 oldnat #118 MA2I don't normally resort to insults in my posts - but in your case, I'll make an exception. That you were ignorant was always abundantly clear, but you are also clearly stupid. You understand neither language, politics, nor the realities that exist outwith your narrow existence. Fortunately, on my frequent visits to the USA, I meet intelligent pleasant people. Wed 23 Jul 2008 00:25:00 GMT+1 DougTexan Azgal,I so agree, war fogs the mind, drains the soul.Property and investments you might sell=retirement. Capital gains tax is anti retirement tax.peace. love,.. i wish I still lived there Wed 23 Jul 2008 00:13:07 GMT+1 allmymarbles 104, oldhat.It is not clear how many Americans believe in a god. According to the last statistics I saw (it may have been the census), seven percent were athiests and about 15 percent (Idon't remember the exact figure) claimed no church affiliation. I should think the latter group comprised agnostics, I-don't-careists and closet atheists.If the figures are accurate (and I suspect they are higher because in some segments of society it is disreputable to be an atheist), that would mean that almost a quarter of the population would prefer not to have religion foisted upon them.It is unfortunate that a candidate (of any party) feels required to inject god into all his speeches. I don't think John Adams, our second president, could survive today. He said, "In the best of all possible worlds there would be no religion." Antichrist! Antichrist! Tar and feather him! Tue 22 Jul 2008 23:45:40 GMT+1 allmymarbles 116, XieI always seem to be agreeing with you. If you are in the armed forces you are trained for war, not peace. Of course McCain's choice of action is war. Without war a military man feels he has no reason for being.McCain can call Obama a wuss if he wants, but he is my wuss. He is on the side of peace. Tue 22 Jul 2008 23:29:42 GMT+1 nobleFloridian Aqua: Yes, I do get it and I am humbly sorry. You have no reason to apologise - anyone who thinks war is anything but repugnant and a terrible waste of human life is void of human feeling. My father was in WWI, the so-called "War to End All Wars", and look what has happened since then. Tue 22 Jul 2008 23:27:51 GMT+1 MarcusAureliusII oldnat, you think the UK is not one nation? How many seats does it have at the United Nations? I've been there at the UN. I've never seen a separate seat for Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, or England. Just one seat that says UK in front of it on the desk. If the UN doesn't know how to define a nation, who does? One seat, one vote. If it were multiple nations, it would get multiple seats and multiple votes. How many votes does it have in NATO? in the EU? You can put lipstick and a dress on a pig but it still oinks and stinks. Perhaps Scotland will vote to break away from the UK but if it does, it will cost it a bundle because England pays tax subsidies which find their way to Scotland resulting in lower taxes to provide government services there. It's not like the Scots in my experience to give money away just like that. I'm sure they will think long and hard about it before they do.adliberal"Does anyone else just skim over the long-winded diatribes in what would otherwise be a lively enough debate?"Not me. I just skip over the one sentence pointless entries. Tue 22 Jul 2008 23:01:51 GMT+1 oldnat #114 aquarizonagalThat's perfectly understandable. No apology is required. I don't imagine I would be as decent as your posts show you are, if I had suffered like you. Tue 22 Jul 2008 23:01:25 GMT+1 Xie_Ming #96Rather than attributing his mental quirks to incipient senility, one should consider that McCain was, from infancy, always in a military environment and his funds always came from the state. This produces a basic automaton with superficial human relations skills. Tue 22 Jul 2008 22:41:25 GMT+1 Andy Post 'The "Old Boys" of course being the Democrats who have squandered their majority power in both House and Senate ever since they took over.'Yeah, that one seat majority in the Senate sure did go to waste. Tue 22 Jul 2008 22:34:39 GMT+1 aquarizonagal To all postersPlease forgive my post. I feel war to be so repugnant that I lose all perspective in a rational discussion. Tue 22 Jul 2008 22:17:01 GMT+1 aquarizonagal DougtexanWhat retirement? Tue 22 Jul 2008 22:02:29 GMT+1 allmymarbles Please read #91 before reading this.In my opinion:Barack Obama is a white man in blaclface.Joe Lieberman is a sanctimonious weasel.John McCain is too old to be president.Hillary Clinton is dishonest. Tue 22 Jul 2008 22:02:24 GMT+1 aquarizonagal #106NoblefloridianYou misunderstood me completely! You do not agree with me at all! My parents were legal immigrants, as well, but our current immigration policy is totally absurd. I do not think that we should continue the 'sweeps,' racial profiling and so forth that is happening where I live. This is causing untold damage to my state.My definition of 'OLD BOYS' is: any politician from either party who has contributed to the mess we are in now. This nasty war KILLED MY CHILD. DO YOU GET THAT? Tue 22 Jul 2008 21:58:31 GMT+1 aquarizonagal Noblefloridian I will be an octogenarian very soon, myself, but would not want the job of POTUS if it came with bells and whistles and a billion dollars.Maybe we should consider any contender for that office insane and have them committed! This looks to be an interesting discussion. Tue 22 Jul 2008 21:48:49 GMT+1 threnodio #104 - oldnatCould be. As an American friend pointed out recently, you don't get as many Euros for the Almighty as you used to.I thought he meant the Almighty Dollar. Tue 22 Jul 2008 21:45:09 GMT+1 oldnat McCain "It's when you win wars that the troops come home".So US troops are still in Vietnam then? Tue 22 Jul 2008 21:21:25 GMT+1 aquarizonagal The issue of McCain's age has not really been openly debated and it should be. There have been covert insinuations about race, religion etc. regarding Obama. No one has problems openly attacking his youth and inexperience. (Ageism, anyone?) I say it is well beyond time that a frank discussion of McCain's age and his ability to discharge the office of president be considered. Tue 22 Jul 2008 21:19:53 GMT+1 nobleFloridian Aqua: The "Old Boys" of course being the Democrats who have squandered their majority power in both House and Senate ever since they took over. And, believe it or not, I absolutely agree with you about the illegals. As a legal immigrant 50 years ago, I want the government to quit coddling them and send them home. Also, I am far from the point where I can feel good about my finances, especially if Obama wins the election.I wish you well! Tue 22 Jul 2008 21:04:32 GMT+1 DougTexan #100 Aquarizonagal,Sorry to inform you that your retirement will not only erode, but will be stolen through taxes. You see, the lid was put back on Pandoras box, before Hope could escape.lust, greed, war, famine Tue 22 Jul 2008 20:53:51 GMT+1 oldnat #99 threnedioAs a fellow outsider. Could it be that since so many Americans believe in a God, they have an unconscious desire that their President have similar qualities (the leader of the other party is, of course, the Anti-Christ)? Tue 22 Jul 2008 20:53:11 GMT+1 aquarizonagal #99ThrenodioYou are like a ruby that is beyond price! This is why we need perspective from outside our country. It is sad, but too many Americans may look on a president as some kind of perfect person who knows all, sees all and does all. It is so good to be reminded that whoever wins this office is just a MAN. Just a human being with faults and failings, not perfect, but saints preserve him , he had better not FAIL! Tue 22 Jul 2008 20:51:32 GMT+1 aquarizonagal #89IbbnowI agree that our government has failed to really help Africa but I think that Magickirin may have meant individual Americans and humanitarian groups who do all they can to help people there. Sometimes we have to look beyond governments and see that the people of a country really do care about others and want to connect in positive ways. Tue 22 Jul 2008 20:42:11 GMT+1 aquarizonagal #91AllmymarblesYou are right on! And I will keep saying what I think and I enjoy that you do, as well. Tue 22 Jul 2008 20:30:40 GMT+1 aquarizonagal #95NoblefloridianYour life must be very different from mine. Over the last nearly eight years I have experienced a terrible erosion of my so called life style. In our old age, we are raising a young child because of a stupid war. We feel daily the effects of an incompetent immigration policy (that McCain is now hiding from, I might add) Energy costs have skyrocketed and this hurts us in many ways, though we try to conserve as much as possible. Our children, grandchildren and our land are our only 'INVESTMENTS!' Lets give youth a chance! I will say again that the 'OLD BOYS' have failed us ignominiously. I think McCain is too old! Tue 22 Jul 2008 20:28:48 GMT+1 threnodio As an outsider, I am somewhat bemused by this 'Jack of all trades' mentality. No leader can be expected to be a diplomat, an expert on homeland security, a commander in chief, an economist, a social welfare expert, an environmental planner and an international lawyer.Surely a good president would play to his strengths, recognise his weaknesses and build his team accordingly. Or is the next president going to run the place all on his own? Tue 22 Jul 2008 20:18:37 GMT+1 aquarizonagal ThrenodioI may be idealistic but I don't think I am naive. My comment was somewhat sarcastic, in that, perhaps those who have fed from us for so long may be realizing that they have 'milked this cow until she is dry.' Now they may have to find some other way to MILK us. Sorry, my rural roots are always there. Maybe will get something positive out of this for a while. Tue 22 Jul 2008 20:14:14 GMT+1 oldnat #93 aquarizonagalThe delay was almost 2 hours on some threads. I'm presuming a technical fault, but it would be nice for the BBC to post an explanation. Tue 22 Jul 2008 20:09:59 GMT+1 aquarizonagal XiemingOn your #84I agree with you wholeheartedly here.On your #86: I think this makes my point. How could a man who experienced imprisonment and torture not speak out against that?How could a man who experienced war, not consider this a last resort?How could a man whose own children are in the military not question the squandering of our precious blood in useless wars? If this is not senility I'm not sure what is! Tue 22 Jul 2008 20:06:39 GMT+1 nobleFloridian Dominick: As an octogenarian who has so far managed to avoid the signs of the senility you seem to detect in John McCain, I am sad that you prefer to support a candidate who has none of the qualities that we need in a president. Surely Obama's limited experience in national politics and his abyssmal voting record in the Senate should give you pause, without the other distractions that have caused him problems during the campaign. His arrogance in purporting to be an expert on military matters during his recent trip should be very off-putting to a seasoned elder like you. I hope that yours is the kind of financial situation that can withstand the assault we can expect on our life savings that Obama will unleash if and when he makes it to the White House. If you cannot then I suggest that you might regret that blog about McCain being too old to be our President. Tue 22 Jul 2008 19:24:08 GMT+1 aquarizonagal Dear Moderators (Powers That Be)I say: "Publish and be damned."If someone doesn't like a post, they can complain and that post may be removed. Tue 22 Jul 2008 19:05:48 GMT+1 aquarizonagal Why have we waited nearly an hour to see posts #84 through #92? Tue 22 Jul 2008 18:48:33 GMT+1 threnodio #83 - aquarizonagalI would like to share your vision of altruistic business folk suddenly waking up to their responsibilities but alas, I think you may be naive. The bottom line is that people and corporations are waking up to the fact that there are big bucks in alternative energy.Or maybe all those nasty foodstuffs were dug up and replaced by biofuel crops just to save the planet after all. Tue 22 Jul 2008 18:36:07 GMT+1 allmymarbles If you criticize a black, you are racist. If you criticize a Jew, you are anti-semitic. If you crticize someone for being old, you are ageist. If you criticize a woman, you are sexist.These are tricks to discredit honest opinions. I prefer to risk false condemnation and say what I think.. Tue 22 Jul 2008 18:14:58 GMT+1 aquarizonagal #82Addendum: Only a few posters here seem to get caught up in the "school yard" stuff you mentioned. Most of us here, while patriotic, have respect for other countries and other cultures. Some of those posts you many be referring to are not worth reading. Just skip over them if they bother you. Tue 22 Jul 2008 18:08:26 GMT+1 ibb_now To MagicKirin and Co: Please leave Africa out of this idea that the US helps other countries out. The annoying thing about this is that if the US really wants to help Africa out, the US government would freeze the bank accounts of the thieving African leaders with Billions (trillions maybe) of dollars in US banks. How can you justify America touting it's niceness to Africa whenever it gives $50 Million to eradicate malaria for instance, while turning a blind eye to the $Billions of stolen funds by African leaders sitting in US Banks? Force the African leaders to invest that money in their respective countries and you would see the difference. Then again that might be the monies sustaining America’s welfare and social security handouts!It is just a no win situation for the poor people of Africa isn’t it? Tue 22 Jul 2008 18:05:36 GMT+1 aquarizonagal #82AlanskillcoleI don't think that most US posters here consider posts from non-Americans to be an attack on the USA. I, for one, welcome your comments because I can get a better perspective on our country and the rest of the world. It is in communicating with each other that we can come to understand how little difference there really is between most of us. Tue 22 Jul 2008 18:04:34 GMT+1 aquarizonagal #81DominickvilaAmen! This is an issue that I believe has not been adequately addressed. Maybe because one doesn't want to be accused of 'ageism.' I have no problem with that. I'm old. I know that people can be active and vigorous well into their nineties. My grandparents were a case in point but they were also aware of their limitations as they aged. So am I!Americans can be obsessed with clinging to their youth and denying limitations. We do live better, longer and healthier lives but like or not age and its limitations are a fact and a reality. Tue 22 Jul 2008 17:57:06 GMT+1 Xie_Ming Concerning McCain:Yes, we know the failing capacities of age.More important:(1) He still claims that America should have stayed in Viet Nam and "won". (As he claims for Iraq).(2) He made speeches about evangelism and then went to the infamoum "University" of Jerry Falwell and made a speech in favor of fundamentalism.(3) He made inspiring words against torture-and then signed a bill continuing the practice and setting up the kangaroo "courts" in Guantanamo.Much as I would like to believe that he has integrity, I conclude that this shows he does not have it! Tue 22 Jul 2008 17:55:01 GMT+1 SaintDominick The term elitism is normally applied to people with personal attributes that set them apart from their peers. Those attributes typically include pedigree, wealth, intellect, outstanding education or training, special physical abilities, or experience.Considering Obama's family background, humble beginnings, and average physical abilities I can only surmise that some people refer to him as an elitist because of his intelligence, excellent education, and...experience?Bush and McCain inherited that distinction at birth, a fact that gave them a head start over their peers. Tue 22 Jul 2008 17:52:32 GMT+1 Xie_Ming #80It really is essential that news organizations get out and report from Iran. As far as I can make out, the BBC has only one regular there and the Christian Science Monitor does much better.If all we get are the propaganda pitches from the Israeli Foreign Ministry, we are missing a tremendous opportunity for a better worldand, it would seem, risking a stupid aggression. Tue 22 Jul 2008 17:48:30 GMT+1 aquarizonagal I would be interested in people's comments regarding T. Booth Pickens personal investment in wind power. This promises to be a great boon for Texas. Maybe it will encourage other 'elitist' corporate types to do something positive. They have been biting the hands that fed them for too long. If there are no people left to buy your product, you are effectively out of business! Tue 22 Jul 2008 17:29:15 GMT+1 alanskillcole What's with this talk of "Black Liberation Theology" stuff? What does it mean?Is it like "commies under the bed" scary tales?Or what does the fearmonger think it means?Would the candidate have to assuage the whites by marrying one?Also, considering it's a BBC blog, and so has a take from a non-american, why do some take any comment by other non-americans as an attack on the USA? Or why does the schoolground "my nation is better than yours" crop up? Tue 22 Jul 2008 17:24:26 GMT+1 SaintDominick Ref #73I agree with your conclusion. In fact, what worries the most about McCain is not his record and qualifications, but his age. I am a septuagenarian and I see lapses in his behavior that are typical of aging. The last thing we need is a President that needs someone by his side whispering answers to questions. Putting our future in the hands of a man whose biggest liability is his youthful inexperience is better than putting it in the hands of someone showing signs of senility. Tue 22 Jul 2008 17:17:47 GMT+1 aquarizonagal My National Geographic arrived yesterday. This issue is focused on Iran. Interesting timing isn't it? Worth a reading, I think. Tue 22 Jul 2008 16:40:41 GMT+1 aquarizonagal #75AndypostRight on again! I like the BBC because I get better foreign news coverage. This is important to me because I have family living outside the US. However, for matters concerning America I read, view and listen to all the local sources and networks that I can. Tue 22 Jul 2008 16:32:28 GMT+1 aquarizonagal DougtexanElitist? That term could easily be applied to most any of our government leaders and many CEOs. I agree that our government has been 'protectionist' for companies that should have been hung out and left to dry!The excuse is always that it would hurt the people more if these companies were not rescued. However, we pay! We always pay in one way or another. I believe that if you 'do the crime, you pay the time.' There have been no real consequences for irresponsible or downright criminal behavior by our ELITIST corporate pirates so they will continue to behave as usual and wait for the FED to bail them out! Tue 22 Jul 2008 16:26:12 GMT+1 aquarizonagal I will add:If my phone rang at 3AM, my first question would be: Who died! Tue 22 Jul 2008 16:08:17 GMT+1 aquarizonagal #72AndypostThe muckrakers will muck. I wish I could send them out to my barn! Tue 22 Jul 2008 16:04:03 GMT+1 Andy Post "Let me get this straight: the more we approach the election, the fewer foreign journalists will be close to the candidates? Does that mean that any news' reporting will be second-hand i.e. coming from domesticnews channels and papers?"No, the objection is with having the foreign press question the candidates, not cover them. The BBC is free to cover the U.S. as it sees fit.Americans have for all of their history received their news from the press, and we're cognizant of the significant power that gives the press to shape our views. So, while we generally agree that a free press is vital to our system of government, we're on guard to keep it as neutral as possible. The posts on this board about the major networks being "in the tank" for Obama are a reflection of this. While I don't agree this time, I do think the question of whether yellow journalism is rising it's ugly head again should always be asked.We simply can't allow even such a well respected foreign press organization such as the BBC to have the power to shape the dialog that is our election process. The American press may be biased (everyone's entitled to his opinion), but they are Americans and owe allegiance to no foreign power.I'm sure some around the world will see this as paranoia. Maybe it is, but I agree with my countrymen on this. Tue 22 Jul 2008 16:02:27 GMT+1 DougTexan How about elitist? Is that racist?I just hope that whoever is next president will not be to much of either to cap CEO salaries in banking and corporations that John Q Public has to bail out.The Freedie and Fannie Mac debacle where CEO's and top managers are knocking down Millions of dollars, losing money and yet we're going to be bailing them out.Enron, Worldcom, Auto industries, Airlines and Banks are embarrassing for us, more so when the top Elitist CEO's take home millions and a full retirement package worth even more. the golden parachute Tue 22 Jul 2008 16:02:26 GMT+1 aquarizonagal #69FablondontownI agree with you, absolutely. I suppose if you read my post #70, I could be accused of ageism. However, I will stand by what I have said. Maybe I am weak, old and wimpy but I can only imagine how physically, mentally and emotionally grueling the office of president would be for John McCain.This worries me, as I believe it should every American who supports him. Tue 22 Jul 2008 15:54:55 GMT+1 Andy Post 'He has billed himself as a uniter, but was complicit in fomenting the root causes of the Kenyan atrocities last January by serving as an agent provocatuer for his first cousin Raila Odinga whose political actitities have been bankrolled by Muammar Gaddafi.Obama is a disciple of radical Saul Alinsky, and like his mother and farther, is a Marxist. He is a proponent of Black Liberation Theology, which is really a racist and divisive political ideology masquerading as "theology."Do you dispute any of the facts I have stated? If you do please set forth what you dispute."Yep, I dispute those two facts. You have either the scoop of the century or you're deluded. Somehow none of the media (including Fox) has managed to pick these stories up. How is that? Both of them would crater Obama's candidacy. Is Fox part of the vast left wing conspiracy? Do tell. Tue 22 Jul 2008 15:50:49 GMT+1 MikeIL Obama has headed up the Senate committe responsible for Afghanistan for more than two years now. Hillary chastized him earlier for not calling even one hearing on the war there; and now the Liberal media are all "ga-ga" over the fact that Obama has finally gone. Typical really.As for "no foreigners" -- Support for Obama from outside the US will actually work againts him among many voters in the US who frankly don't care what the rest of the world thinks. In fact many view support for a US presidential candidate from people in places like London, Paris and Ottawa as reason NOT to vote for that candidate. "Foreigners" don't have the best interest of the US at heart, the thinking goes. Tue 22 Jul 2008 15:50:35 GMT+1 aquarizonagal To #64JacksforgeThe 'black guy' part does not concern me at all! The 'old' part does! We are older than McCain. We are very active, raising an orphaned grandchild, caring for our gardens, our live stock and, remodeling our older house ourselves but we know our own physical and mental limits. Like it or not, we are just not as strong as we were at 25, 35, 45 even 55! We don't have the stamina any more. What would have taken us six months to do, even ten years ago, has now taken us two years!I believe that age and experience deserves respect but at some point we must trust in our youth to pick up the torch and carry on. Consider this: Regan was already experiencing the effects of Alzheimer's disease during his last years in office. I am sorry to all who may support McCain but I think this guy is just too OLD for the rigors of the presidential office. Tue 22 Jul 2008 15:47:45 GMT+1 fabLondontown #65Any criticism of Obama is racist - you need to live in the real world and stop throwing around the world racist, as it demeans the word racist. Let's call out racism when we all see it but let's not use the word ' racist' as a poitical tool as some Obama supporters do Tue 22 Jul 2008 15:37:12 GMT+1 oldnat #67 ImposterWatcherI don't know enough about India, to know if there are secessionist movements within it. However, constitutional entities exist in response to political "identity". Most people have multiple "identities" - Georgian/Southern/American, Scottish/British (OK New Yorkers are probably different, in that they only have a single identity!).The point I was trying to make to the US Imperialists, was that sovereignty is a different thing from nationality. The UK is an example of "pooled" sovereignty, as is the European Union, India and the USA. Sovereignty can also be "unpooled" as well as pooled - hence the American Revolution, when (if I remember my US history correctly) around one third of the colonists changed their primary identity from "British" to "American", but their status in the colonies was enough to bring about the USA. Tue 22 Jul 2008 15:30:43 GMT+1 ImpostorWatcher # 58 oldnat:You are correct that the UK is a group of "nations" in the one sense that is is not a "nation state, " however "The United Kingdom of Great Britian and Northern Ireland is a unitary soverign state composed of several kingdoms that are of seperate nationalities, just as India is comprised of well more than 20 "states" that contain more than 30 different nationalities in the socialogical semse. Tue 22 Jul 2008 15:08:01 GMT+1 aquarizonagal #62AdliberalSome longer posts are well worth reading and perhaps responding to, certain others are decidedly NOT.Skim those you don't care to read. It is usually the same 'rant and cant!' Tue 22 Jul 2008 15:05:27 GMT+1 jacksforge 64. At 3:14pm on 22 Jul 2008, fabLondontown wrote:#49Shady past = Obama - Clinton vetted for the last 16 years. Clinton would have beaten McCain this Nov - Obama has no chanceShe was vetted the white water deal and all that not even mentioned. lets all get back to where some have not been for a while. tell me if he was an old black guy would you vote for him. because it is hard to know if racists hide behind his age inexperience or if that is just the front for the fact that they are racists who are scared of black power or something.back to the the observation that white people often do not like to see more than one coloured person together , they see a conspiracy. Tue 22 Jul 2008 14:51:27 GMT+1 fabLondontown #49Shady past = Obama - Clinton vetted for the last 16 years. Clinton would have beaten McCain this Nov - Obama has no chance Tue 22 Jul 2008 14:14:33 GMT+1 Xie_Ming A young school child will do as his classmates do. One who travels may have practiced five religions.Also, babies are often formally enrolled in a faith before they can talk.Making an "issue" of such matters suggests an entirely different agenda (common in election campaigns).___________________A better question is Pakistan/India/China.How many are aware of the record of the BJP (former national governing party) in India? Tue 22 Jul 2008 12:55:40 GMT+1 adliberal Does anyone else just skim over the long-winded diatribes in what would otherwise be a lively enough debate? Tue 22 Jul 2008 12:34:51 GMT+1 DougTexan 7% solution #57Holmes by golly, I think you've done it. Why you giving the Britts a reason to start another war??In the defence of 'thier' empire they to are offensively defencive.the good, the bad and the uglypast, present and future Tue 22 Jul 2008 11:53:25 GMT+1 threnodio What bridges and highways in Hungary, MA2? I live in Hungary, I see plenty of new highways and bridges. I don't see them branded as EU projects. Tue 22 Jul 2008 11:52:34 GMT+1 Parrisia Let me get this straight: the more we approach the election, the fewer foreign journalists will be close to the candidates? Does that mean that any news' reporting will be second-hand i.e. coming from domestis news channels and papers? Tue 22 Jul 2008 11:40:52 GMT+1 oldnat #57 MA2I won't bother to deal with all your errors. I'll repeat, however, that the UK is not a nation. It is a grouping of nations.There will be no taxation without representation, since all European countries are represented in Parliament, and the Council of Ministers. Tue 22 Jul 2008 11:38:20 GMT+1 MarcusAureliusII oldnat funny, I guess my idea of sovereignty is different than yours. In my idea of it, the nation that is sovereign can; make its own laws which govern it, control who may and may not enter its territory (even if it chooses not to exercise that right), print its own money, enter into treaties whose terms it has sole authority to agree to, choose its own leaders, enforce its own laws, protect its own citizens from authorities beyond its borders if it chooses to including declaring and waging war. Well you get the picture. How many of those rights has the UK ceded? So far it has escaped adopting the Euro but perhaps one day it will succumb to that too. To an increasing degree, it has ceded some or all of the rest. The difference between having 12 million illegal aliens in your nation and 650,000 Polish plumbers is that if you want to, you can throw the illegal aliens out because they are not citizens of your country while the 650,000 Poles can stay if they want to and there is nothing you can do about it because while they are not citizens of the UK, they are citizens of the EU. As the EU assumes increasing power, the constituent nations more and more resemble not American states but provinces ruled by the center of a super state. This is a European concept of a government, not an American concept where the balance of power between the local and central authority which we call division of powers is very carefully figured out and fought over at the margins. Once the Constitution is adopted however it is called when they finally figure out how to jamb it down 540 million throats whether they like it or not, the struggle will be all but over. How ironic that a handful of Irishmen gave them a reprieve but that will end when some EU Parliamentarian invents some ingenious new way around it. The EUSSR will become a reality and UK taxpayers will be paying to build bridges and highways not just in Hungary but all over Eastern Europe with not one word to say about it. The UK will be on the receiving end of taxation without representation. How ironic. Tue 22 Jul 2008 11:24:38 GMT+1