Comments for en-gb 30 Tue 27 Jan 2015 08:57:47 GMT+1 A feed of user comments from the page found at moionfire bere54 , Er, no it is not hubris. American presidents are a huge target - as are elected officials around the world.The queen is not elected and is not the object of scorn as are prime ministers and presidents.The fact that american presidents are hated the most around the world, warrants huge security...It is the US flat and US president faces in protest around the world that are burnt... Mon 16 Feb 2009 07:41:34 GMT+1 Ed Iglehart Time Waits"Wendell Berry had nothing to say on the subject?"I wouldn't bet on that! ;-) But Elzeard Bouffier always brings me tears of empathy and a warm feeling, not unlike the feeling I got from your wee piece. Thanks for that.There are far more good people than bad.Salaam, etc.ed Wed 11 Feb 2009 10:47:33 GMT+1 timewaitsfornoman bere54Heartwarming isn't it. Does make one proud to be Canadian. He affirms what we like to think about ourselves: "there was also something that struck him about Canada. He said he knew how much Canada gave, said he knew, too, that Canada was one of the few countries that gave without asking for anything in return"and who's to argue with le grand-pere of Vimy, monsieur Devloo.My mother and I went to Juno Beach the Canadian D Day landing site, for the June 6th ceremony. We flew Air France and when the steward realized why we were on his flight, he crouched down in the aisle and in a passionate voice expressed his gratitude to Canada, telling us he was speaking from his heart, not on behalf of Air France. We were speechless.Ed IglehartWendell Berry had nothing to say on the subject? Wed 11 Feb 2009 04:35:24 GMT+1 Ed Iglehart That Reminds me...Peace and quiet dedicationed Wed 11 Feb 2009 03:26:12 GMT+1 bere54 timewaits, that was a very sweet story. Makes me wish, not for the first time, that I was Canadian. By the way, I spent my belated honeymoon in Montreal. We took the Montrealer (sleeping compartment!) from D.C. Very romantic. Except for those attack squirrels. Wed 11 Feb 2009 00:53:56 GMT+1 timewaitsfornoman 248 happylaze"how many of the Blacksmiths out there are smokers"But I only know one! I do regret seanspa's and my comments upset you, you know that was not our intention. And if you were not a blacksmith you would have seen the humour. It was terribly witty.I love the Queen, just thought I'd let you know. I admired her tremendously. My middle name is Elizabeth for a reason. As said previously she has been a constant in our lives, which is the point I was trying to made previously, a continuance. PMs come and go.Here is a Canadian content story I would like to share. Tue 10 Feb 2009 20:10:24 GMT+1 Ed Iglehart I once mt prince Charles. I was to escort HRH around a local craft exhibition, introducing him to each exhibitor in turn....We were all in our places wawiting his arrival (he had two or three factory visits before us), and he was already running late. Then a crew of council workers arrived, dug a hole in the lawn, put up a flagpole and set out some bedding plants in full flower, and retreated. HRH arrived, we did as programmed, and he did his best not to show fatigue and boredom. The Royal party departed, and the workmen came and took down the flagpole, replaced the turf and left. They say the Royals must think the whole world smells of fresh paint.....Peace and a rolling red carpet (which rolls up behind one)ed Tue 10 Feb 2009 19:00:51 GMT+1 bere54 happylaze - Thanks for the info. No leader of any country in the world - be it monarch, president, prime minister - travels with quite the amount of security entourage as the U.S. president and I find it rather absurd and embarrassing. After all, while not wishing anything to happen to him, he, like everyone else, is actually replaceable, as were all presidents before him and will be all presidents after him. It smacks to me of national hubris, this behaving as if the American president is some sort of god-like figure. I'm glad to hear the Queen has some humility and doesn't like to create a fuss. Tue 10 Feb 2009 18:02:04 GMT+1 happylaze And Girls I would wear the Pleather if I could join in that slap fest.On the royal pampering.Just to put this out there into the knowledge base and this I really do KNOW.You could argue with me but I will still Know you are wrong , as in I am Very very sure of my sources on this.When British Queens and Princes are in the US the biggest problem for them is the "security" detail.The SS have no concept of letting them drive somewhere.They do travel around without HUGE motorcades. Queen is looked after pretty well. security is there.But even though obvious targets of terrorism they are not as well protected(or paranoidly protected) as the President is.They request less security. They resent the US ss guards, their goon squad detail that lets everyone know that somethings up.Now if pampering is having loads of old junk in the house they get that.But you be there for a Queens visit and a presidents visit. on their home turf, and watch the pampering. Tue 10 Feb 2009 16:25:44 GMT+1 happylaze Time to say I am sorry again. Sorry to Time,I should have added a few smiley faces to that post.It is an interesting study, and Sean's intro was funny later when I realised just how many of the Blacksmiths out there are smokers.I just have a hard time laughing at disease .So sorry. My views on Hash are real. I think there is a world of difference and would have the good stuff from the Himalayas any day if given the option.Less fibre etc. but America has a contradictory policy on this that criminalises those in Afghanistan more for their product than the local home grown.And also increases the health risks with getting THC into ones system.Probably all smoking it not eating.--------------------then there is the fact that Herb is if I were MA I would say a"and females love to kick men in the balls", but I am not.Like is a give and take.You get somewhere faster with a car, but your less free(you need to be able to run it,buy it).Modern MAjic (Sir Terry. Respect) of glowing bulbs comes at a price.Everything is a trade off.Normally the environment suffers in the trade.I smoke for the now. I loose the later.Same with Drink and so much else.At least I am doing myself in and trying hard not to do the world in.I could make the modern trade.Stay away from smoking without going and start going places. see the world, ski on the weekends. Be so gung ho about the sports team and go to the games where ever.I'll live longer that way. there the planet pays.thats not my trade. Tue 10 Feb 2009 16:14:44 GMT+1 Catrinka The first rule of success is to realize there are many solutions/answers/persons for every question/problem/qualified person.To think otherwise is the problem. There are many talented, intelligent and gifted persons (including women) who might do a much better job than Daschle. Those with big egos, must step aside in these difficult times. Anyone who thinks there is only one answer, one solution is part of the problem.A Seasoned US Citizen Tue 10 Feb 2009 15:36:59 GMT+1 timohio 244. ladycm:204. aquarizonagal:Two women in pleather slapping men around? That sounds kinky. I'm sure Sam will love it. Tue 10 Feb 2009 14:08:29 GMT+1 timohio re. 243. publiusdetroit:I agree. People talk about term limits if they disagree with the officeholder or don't like their political party. We have a good representative in my district, too, who has been in Congress nearly forever. But she really looks out for her district and has never been seriously challenged for re-election. I don't always agree with her positions, but she is a good representative.It's a little different with a president. If a president stayed in office longer than eight years, they start to look more like a king than an elected official. Tue 10 Feb 2009 14:03:11 GMT+1 ladycm 204. At 05:59am on 09 Feb 2009, aquarizonagal wrote:To#199 Ladycm"If you are going after McCain, can I help? I may be old but I am told I can still wollop with the best of them. I am feeling very angry with him. I am not exactly sure what "pleather" is but would agree to wear it if I get the first punch. Please"!Pleather is an amazing garment that you do not wear when it's hot outside. Oh, and it's shinny. And yes, you can help. We'll call it Slapathon 2009. SamTyler will like this title. Tue 10 Feb 2009 07:36:29 GMT+1 publiusdetroit Ref 241 timohioRef 242 timewaitsfornomanMost voters have not taken the opportunity to directly interact with the Congressional representatives from their district. It has been my experience that a good representative will help their constituents when you need the gears turned in Washington, and will listen to your issues; no matter what your party affiliation.I have known two, long term Congressional representatives who have intervened directly for my family and myself when we needed representation to cut through governmental red-tape. Former Republican Congressman Jim Harvey (deceased) and Democratic Senator Carl Levin.We the people of their districts had, or have kept them in office because they represented us well, and have been good for the country.There has not been anyone who ever ran against them that the people of their districts felt could do a better job. Term limits would have taken away the fine representation we have had from these two political titans. Tue 10 Feb 2009 04:27:32 GMT+1 timewaitsfornoman 241 timohio"an informed electorate that votes"I agree, but also for the electorate to insist their elected officials do what they were put there to do. Voters cannot go back to sleep for another four years. Write letters, protest if necessary so that the Senator, Rep. the voters put into office remembers who they are working for. And it's not big business!We do not have term limits in Canada, so I am not an advocate, although I must admit I was thankful the US does after eight years of Bush. Sorry to criticize your President but I anticipate you will forgive me. Tue 10 Feb 2009 03:14:21 GMT+1 timohio re. 239. seanspa:Who are the old hands if you're not relying on staff and term limits are in place? There's no one left and everyone's fumbling around. There's no institutional memory. You wouldn't try to run a sports team that way--all rookies and no experience. Why should government be any different?I think term limits are a misguided attempt to put government on autopilot. It's one of those things that people grab at as a solution. Everything will be okay if we just get some new blood in there. It's not us, it's the politicians. No, it's us. The best route to good government is an informed electorate that votes. That's been our problem. Voters don't start to learn about the issues and don't get involved until disaster is at the door. That's not a liberal or conservative issue, it's a basic lesson of democracy. Tue 10 Feb 2009 01:56:14 GMT+1 bere54 232, Gary -I don't think anybody was talking about pampering. It's more about the glitz and the fawning attention over minutia, not to mention the palatial residence (a bit more opulent than 10 Downing St.). But I'm not sure any snippiness is called for. Tue 10 Feb 2009 00:52:55 GMT+1 seanspa Tim, if the elected official knew they had say a maximum of 8 or 10 years, that should be plenty to get to know the ropes, achieve something and then move on. Old hands would always be available to give advice to how to get things done in any event. The staffer doesn't have to rule.The focus must be on what the country needs, not what the official needs (fundraising) to stay in power. Tue 10 Feb 2009 00:34:55 GMT+1 timohio re. 236. timewaitsfornoman:Tip O'Neal was an old-fashioned politician. He and Ronald Reagan would have drinks together, even though they were on opposite sides of the ideological spectrum. But he knew the House and he knew how to get things done. People who talk about term limits forget about the need to get things done. It's not always pretty; the old joke about laws and sausages still applies. If you don't have politicians who are in office for a long time, you are at the mercy of political staffers who do stay around for a long time. They write the briefs that the politicians use to make decisions, and with a new politician, they are the ones who know the ropes. If one politician goes, the staffers just work for another. Who would you want determining your legislation, a career politician or a career staffer? At least the politicians have to stand for re-election. The staffers are anonymous. Tue 10 Feb 2009 00:20:03 GMT+1 timohio re. 235. SamTyler1969:Some calamine lotion might help with those hives. Best tackle it now while you only have a few.Sorry, I couldn't resist.I have a mind that collects trivia too. It's the important stuff that I forget. Mon 09 Feb 2009 23:40:30 GMT+1 timewaitsfornoman 231 timohio"rugged individualism is more popular during boom times."That is well said. I truly hope for your and your country's sake, you will all be able to pull together. It is a shame that it had to take such a monumental event to change people's way of thinking.Amusing anecdote about Tip O'Neal. I liked that man. Didn't know much about him but to me he had an air of confidence, not arrogance, about him.230 aquarizonagalWhatever has been happening in Arizona? I used to like McCain (from what little I knew) until the campaign and all of a sudden he came across as a different person. 233 seanspaThank you. I attempted to explain myself in 234. Mon 09 Feb 2009 23:35:06 GMT+1 SamTyler1969 #230Aqua,Nah, I just have a few hives. And a mind that collects a lot of trivia. Plus I like chicks, umm, I mean Honey.Apiarist Sam Mon 09 Feb 2009 22:20:01 GMT+1 timewaitsfornoman 228 happylaze"I'll remember your mirth"Come now, you do not for a moment think I was laughing at you!! What I found funny was seanspa's presentation. I grew up in the sixties. That's all I'm saying on that topic! I do not think cancer is a laughing matter and certainly do not wish it on you or anyone. You should know me better than that by now.Also someone told me the article only said (as I did not bother to read it once I realized it was not about blacksmiths), they are both on the rise, not that one necessarily had anything to do with the other."crack addicted peers turning up to vote." Is that true? Or did you make that up? Mon 09 Feb 2009 22:19:17 GMT+1 seanspa happy, I passed on the link because I thought you might find it interesting, even if in a bad way. I'm sure timewaits was laughing at the way I introduced it, not at the thought of you suffering. Apologies if you took offense at this. The disease itself is not a laughing matter. Mon 09 Feb 2009 22:05:49 GMT+1 Gary_A_Hill Anybody who thinks that our (US) president is pampered in any way comparable to the Queen of England just doesn't know what she's talking about.I mean no disrespect to the UK way of doing things, but it's not our way. Mon 09 Feb 2009 21:20:57 GMT+1 timohio re. 220. timewaitsfornoman:Tip O'Neal, the Democratic Speaker of the House during Ronald Reagan's presidency, used to joke that Democratic policies up until then had been so effective that the Democrats' constituents could now afford to become Republicans. I wonder if it works the other way 'round? Republican policies have had such a miserable impact on the middle class that perhaps now there are now more Democrats.Basically, rugged individualism is more popular during boom times. Mon 09 Feb 2009 20:55:10 GMT+1 aquarizonagal I am thinking that many are on the new thread but I have some things to add. If they are read this is good, if not I will have had my say.To#190 MagickirinI have not always agreed with Ted Kennedy but he is very ill. Why did you add him to your list of those to go? Being re-elected is not really an issue for him. I will borrow a saying from one of my grandchildren: McCain sucks! You might try living (or trying to do so) in the state he is supposed to represent!To#209 AllmymarblesTry reading my post #207 more carefully. I did not suggest that homeless people occupy empty houses and then freeload. I suggested that perhaps they could turn them into mini-farms for producing their own food. The coming days may be more about survival than about property values.To#211 Samtyler1969Do you know everything? So very intimidating for one such as me. You are so correct that small bee keepers are nearly gone. When I was a child, nearly every farmer and rancher kept a few hives for pollination and that wonderful honey. Not so anymore.To#215 and 216 HappylazeBig is not always better and often less can be so much more. I have hope to keep our very small enterprise alive but every day seems to make it so much harder.I am finished here! Mon 09 Feb 2009 20:26:07 GMT+1 bere54 221, seanspa -Is it possible, do you suppose, that those with a predisposition for the disease (gene perhaps?) have a predilection for the weed? Perhaps to develop a taste for future medicinal purposes? How come they never do these studies from the other way round? Mon 09 Feb 2009 19:27:03 GMT+1 happylaze 223 I'll remember your mirth when you write you have cancer one day.I'd never smoke weed again if it were not for the ludicrous laws on hashish here in the states where it is the same offence as heroin.Not weed by Hash. In the UK Hash was seen as better than "skunk"those with Hash in their culture did so for many reasons. the adverse side effects of smoking chlorophyl and cellulose filled weed is known to many pot heads, and I for one am not happy that legal smoking in the US does not include Hash.Or that the penalties for drugs mean ever increasingly strong weed is available, but not good old smoke it for years hash.Apples and oranges. but not funny.Go down your cancer ward and laugh at them .The crappy extraction at the welding firm that I worked for will do more damage. But they don't research that much. tooo inconvenient for business. Mon 09 Feb 2009 19:09:29 GMT+1 bere54 222, timewaits -I don't disagree with you but didn't reply earlier because I didn't think anyone would jump on you over that.Our White House looks like a palace. Our president and his family are treated like monarchs what with all the perks they receive, their every action (and article of clothing) is fodder for tabloid-style "news" organizations (a la young William and Harry), there is much bowing and scraping (on the part of many if not all) figuratively rather than literally. I've always thought that whoever is the American president gets far more of the red carpet treatment than the monarch of almost any country. And that's because the American populace wants it that way; I think it's clearly due to monarch-substitution complex.And it's far more apparent and overt with Obama than many other recent presidents. Mon 09 Feb 2009 18:19:30 GMT+1 happylaze as to the impartial observer.with no party. basically right. funny that the head of state has been a woman for all my life which may account for part of the reason Brits had thatcher at a time when america was trying to figure out of women should get Equal pay.(and look what she did for women.nothing really) Mon 09 Feb 2009 18:18:13 GMT+1 happylaze 222 time. similar thoughts from me on the head of state.In the UK they went from hereditary peerages to these new fangled life time jobies.great in theory but too american. I liked the days of seeing crack addicted peers turning up to vote.the others are drunk, so why not have some other views.If the country went too far down a silly path there is a bully pulpit there. Prince Charles getting organic to be taken seriously. Mon 09 Feb 2009 18:15:41 GMT+1 timohio re. 220. timewaitsfornoman:"So, how to get the majority of 300m to agree? And once in agreement, move forward."Adversity of the type we're experiencing now should help build consensus. By comparison, it wasn't until the depths of the Great Depression that Americans were ready to accept Roosevelt's New Deal legislation. As this recession bites further into everyone's lives, people will begin to understand that pooling resources for the common good makes sense. The middle class was perfectly okay having health insurance tied to employment because the middle class had good-paying jobs with health benefits. The fact that others had jobs without health insurance or with inadequate health insurance didn't bother them. Now that the middle class is losing jobs, they can begin to understand that tying health care to employment isn't good policy. It would have been better if people could have agreed on programs like that when times were good, but understanding their importance now is a beginning. I'm just glad the Democrats stuck to their guns and refused to let Social Security be privatized. The Republicans kept pointing to how 401k accounts were earning and forgot that markets can go down as well as up. Can you imagine where we would be now if huge numbers of retirees had switched? Mon 09 Feb 2009 17:32:02 GMT+1 timewaitsfornoman 221 seanspaToo funny! I thought the article would be about blacksmiths and could not see the connect - at first! Mon 09 Feb 2009 17:03:58 GMT+1 timewaitsfornoman 217 happylaze"lol on the monarchy"Glad you agree. I don't think many others did, but fortunately for me were polite about it! Which I appreciate. I'm thinking: Some position of semi authority that continues for longer than four/eight years. An impartial overseer who has the interest of the country (not a political party!!) at heart. A la Queen. An American Wiseman/woman. Just an idea I'm throwing out."Debtors to the UN"Glad to see Canada rarely (once?) made the list. Nice to know we pay our bills. Mon 09 Feb 2009 16:34:22 GMT+1 seanspa Bad news for blacksmiths! Mon 09 Feb 2009 16:10:29 GMT+1 timewaitsfornoman 213 timohio"Risk-taking to a certain degree keeps the culture vibrant"I agree, (I wanted to say something about the "American Spirit" but could not think how to phrase it) but perhaps that is what is coming back to haunt you. We have laws against risky mortgages which have served us well. A few years ago we might have complained, but now are ever so thankful! "Why are we not allowed to borrow the way the Americans can?" We now know the answer.But I do think the majority must agree for plans to go forward. Health care is a provincial jurisdiction in Canada with Federal guide lines. Each Province has a different system but all have Health Care. The debate in the US still seems to revolve around - what kind, who is covered, etc. So, how to get the majority of 300m to agree? And once in agreement, move forward. Mon 09 Feb 2009 16:10:12 GMT+1 happylaze hmm Mon 09 Feb 2009 16:04:02 GMT+1 happylaze Mon 09 Feb 2009 16:02:39 GMT+1 happylaze 123 Time. lol on the monarchy. too true.independence from guaranteed holidays and health care.Nancy should bow before everyone out there. she brought us the bloody untold war . Mon 09 Feb 2009 15:59:00 GMT+1 happylaze Where will banks start investing. In little local Mom and Pop business? or with the big plan people who have done so well at defending the individual (enough to ban them having a fag at home in some cases). Mon 09 Feb 2009 15:47:33 GMT+1 happylaze 212 and with the demise of personal responsibility went the personal opportunity. not greed butt he chance of personal business growth as opposed to corporate growth. the bigger "teams" have attacked the individual farmer,blacksmith;) etc.small farms with diverse crops to big mono cultures.all these threads today seem linked around a central problem of big hasn't served us well. Mon 09 Feb 2009 15:43:42 GMT+1 timewaitsfornoman 198 gunsandreligion"7. Scoop Dick Cheney up in a black limo, andmake him tell us where all that money thatwe paid Haliburton went."Great idea - I don't think it will ever happen, although it should! Mon 09 Feb 2009 15:31:42 GMT+1 timohio re. 202. timewaitsfornoman:People outside the US tend to overestimate how centralized the country is. Individual states retain a lot of autonomy. The constitution says that powers not explicitly given to the federal government are retained by the states. And aside from the legal powers of the states, regions of the country have distinctly different cultures. I don't think it's a matter of getting everyone in the country to agree on things. The US has evolved a culture of risk-taking, but not a culture of taking responsibility. Risk-taking to a certain degree keeps the culture vibrant and is certainly necessary in some areas of business. But taking big risks while remaining blissfully unaware of the consequences of failure is irresponsible. Mon 09 Feb 2009 14:40:03 GMT+1 Ed Iglehart Hi folks,On the demise of personal responsibility, I'll just note that those who are so eager to claim their individual rights are often also those quickest to avoid the correlated responsibilities.Capital gains relief for assets held over three years is an excellent idea. Ms Marbles, part of the point is to provide stability.If the Sens and Reps get a 50% pay cut, the cut can be replaced with bank share options with a striking price around 90% of the 24 month high. These can be issued by the govmint because it's now a major stakeholder.As to asking the Iraqis to pay for the cost of repairing the damage we have done (to the great profit of some of our corporations) how is that in any way just?Peace and responsibilityed Mon 09 Feb 2009 10:41:00 GMT+1 SamTyler1969 #206Marby,Yes it is. 1975 was the last time we suffered something like 'Sudden Colony Collapse', though it likely had a different cause. Now we have more hives in large commercial operations and fewer amateurs with 3-5 in their back yard, the chances of this happening are much higher (amateurs tend to check their hives more often, often a simple intervention can save a weak or dying colony).Personally, I blame Michael Caine. 'The Bees' may have paid for a new kitchen for him, but it scared a lot of people away from beekeeping. We need to get folks back into this low maintenance and rewarding passtime. Why do it? Simple.Chicks dig honey.Sticky Sam Mon 09 Feb 2009 10:13:27 GMT+1 allmymarbles 198, guns; 208, clarification.The beginning of the last paragraph should read, "Tax only those PORTIONS of interest payments that exceed the rise in the cost of living." Mon 09 Feb 2009 07:08:38 GMT+1 allmymarbles 207, aqua."I will add that I think our homeless should occupy empty houses where ever they find them since the shelters are full."It is unfortunately true that people who do not pay for their lodgings are not good tenants and misuse the property. Before I left Manhattan I lived in a very nice neighborhood. There was one small building nearby that was covered with graffiti litter and looked like it belonged in a slum. Guess who lived there? Except for the ill and elderly I do not favor handouts (except as a stopgap). Mon 09 Feb 2009 06:50:55 GMT+1 allmymarbles 198, guns.#1. Good idea, except people may be wary of the three-year period given the uncertain times.#2. The idea is good since banks don't want to be stuck with real estate. But the renting business would make the banks renting agents. This is outside their experience and something they are not equipped for. I guess they could turn it over to realtors. (Can they do this legally?)#3. "Eliminate waste in government apending." HaHa. Hasn't Obama already created new positions, complete with staffs, perks, etc.?#4. "Cut all congressional pay by 50% until the economy is out of recession and the budget is balanced. Make them pay taxes on bribes." How about making them cut their staffs? That's a big, expensive perk.#5. Which pesky neighbors did you have inmind?#6. "Make the Iraqi government clamp down on corruption, and pay for their own reconstruction." Government=corruption. I am not sure what is happening with the second half.#7. Can we use torture?#8. No comment on China. I have not been following it closely. But the peanut butter is a good idea.#9. Good idea.#10. "Make the UN pay their back rent." (Weren't we behind in UN payments?)And here is a suggestion of mine.Tax only those interest payments that exceed the rise in the cost of living. For instance, a CD of 4 per cent or a little better this past year was considered good. Unfortunately the cost of living rose 5.8 per cent. The tax resulted in a greater net loss for anyone investing CD's. Mon 09 Feb 2009 06:43:32 GMT+1 aquarizonagal To#198 GunsandreligionI consider what you think to be important.I will add that I think our homeless should occupy empty houses where ever they find them since the shelters are full. They could plant gardens for food, get a few chickens, maybe a goat or two.This would be interesting, no. Mon 09 Feb 2009 06:10:27 GMT+1 allmymarbles 201, aqua.Is the dying off of bees a cyclical phenomenon? I seem to remember it happending before. Mon 09 Feb 2009 06:09:21 GMT+1 seanspa Some great recent posts. The law has removed the concept of personal responsibility. The law is an ass. A very well paying ass for some. At the expense of most of us. Mon 09 Feb 2009 06:07:13 GMT+1 aquarizonagal To#199 LadycmIf you are going after McCain, can I help? I may be old but I am told I can still wollop with the best of them. I am feeling very angry with him. I am not exactly sure what "pleather" is but would agree to wear it if I get the first punch. Please! Mon 09 Feb 2009 05:59:52 GMT+1 aquarizonagal To#184 TimohioExcellent post!Personal responsibility seems to me to be something that has been tragically lost. Mon 09 Feb 2009 05:53:28 GMT+1 timewaitsfornoman 184 timohio "In the real world, there are consequences."It is hard for me to respond to that. Even though our two countries are so similar, there are many differences and I just don't see the same happening in Canada. We each have a slightly different mind set. I could go on and on, but for example: In the US there are so many "safety signs." Do this, Don't do that, always "for your safety," which we just don't have in Canada. I have often wondered why that is? Decided it had something to do with law suits, (I don't know?). We are not big on suing.Do people need signs saying "Don't walk on thin ice" or they will just go ahead and do it? A big sign in front of the bank, "don't borrow more than you can repay." We have much stricter banking rules, in fact Canadian banks are still posting huge profits (down but still massive). We did not go to Iraq and really, really did not want our friends and neighbours to go either but there was little we could do. Here motorcycle helmets and seat belts are mandatory. When first introduced we grumbled but now don't even think about it. We do not consider them impinging on our "Civil Liberties" which seems to be such a common phrase in the US.If someone spilt hot coffee on themselves they would get free medical attention and perhaps a new pair of pants. That's it! Not millions of dollars from a law suit. Now we have cups saying "Caution contents may be hot." We find that ridiculous! Bottom line - and I have said this before, I think the US is just too big. How to get over 300m people to agree? Divide the country in at least half, that's my advice. Try to be in the half the owes the least!! Mon 09 Feb 2009 05:38:22 GMT+1 aquarizonagal To#183Samtyler1969I have not the scientific mind nor grasp of statistics, I only know that when bees die our fruits and vegetables do not get pollinated. I felt angry that bees should be dismissed as unimportant just because they are small. Mon 09 Feb 2009 05:35:57 GMT+1 aquarizonagal To#174Samtyler1969You are the voice (post) of reason. Mon 09 Feb 2009 05:24:16 GMT+1 ladycm 126. At 7:55pm on 07 Feb 2009, gunsandreligion wrote:"#107, ladycm, as far as your not being able to stop,I'd be interested in hearing which of our esteemedrepresentatives would beg you not to stop.Does somebody have a spare riding crop thatthey can bring"?McCain for one. You are asking a lot of me. I personally would like to slap them all. McCain seemed creditable before his latest run for president and he picked Sarah Palin. I mean, what the hell was he thinking? Tom Delay is not in the House of Reps anymore but, I would still like to slap the crap out of that slime ball liar; regardless of the fact he isn't "serving" anymore. I happen to like Ron Paul, so I won't slap him. he seems to have sense, which doesn't happen that often in politics. Mon 09 Feb 2009 05:02:42 GMT+1 gunsandreligion Ms. Marbles, I have some ideas. (not that itmatters what I think.)1. Cut capital gains temporarily for money putinto the stock market over the next 6 monthsand held there for 3 years. This would pull moneyout of T-bills, and put it back in the stock market,so that all of our retirees with 401k's would beable to relax again.2. Pass a bill requiring banks to offer homeownerswho are about to be foreclosed upon the optionof being able to stay in their homes as renters.The banks can't get rid of their foreclosed properties,anyway.3. Eliminate waste in government spending. That'swhere the real stimulus in the economy needs tocome from, anyway. If a few million people needto be laid off, it's time that they earned honestlivings, anyway.4. Cut all congressional pay by 50% until theeconomy is out of recession and the budgetis balanced. Make them pay taxes on bribes.5. Rent out our spare aircraft carriers to peoplewho have beefs with the neighbors. No morepaying someone else's defense bill!6. Make the Iraqi government clamp down oncorruption, and pay for their own reconstruction.7. Scoop Dick Cheney up in a black limo, andmake him tell us where all that money thatwe paid Haliburton went.8. Get the Chinese to let their currency float,or else (and I haven't figured out the "else" part.)Perhaps we can sell them peanut butter to makeup for all of the lead-contaminated toys they sentus.9. Expand tax-deferred accounts for small savers.(This was actually one of Hillary's ideas.)10. Make the UN pay their back rent. Mon 09 Feb 2009 05:00:26 GMT+1 allmymarbles 194, guns.Like you I fiscally conservative and socially liberal, and no political party fits the bill (Ross Perot, where are you?).I have been wondering about the stimulus package. No one seems to like the idea (including me) but we can't seem to come up with anything else. FDR never really took us out of the depression (although he provided government jobs), and Obama is more or less following his lead, but with added gusto. One wonders what would happen if we did NOTHING. I can't picture it. But neither can I picture what the bailout would produce.Let's hear from our blogger economists. Maybe some of you are clearer-headed than I am. All I can see is muddled. Mon 09 Feb 2009 04:22:37 GMT+1 SamTyler1969 #194Amen to that.Libertarian sam Mon 09 Feb 2009 03:25:31 GMT+1 SamTyler1969 #187Saint,So what's left if we don't help small farmers and businesses? Tax cuts? Bail out big business?Looks like Mrs Sam may get a GT2 after all.Perplexed Sam Mon 09 Feb 2009 03:24:55 GMT+1 gunsandreligion #185, saintD, I agree with what you have said,but remain a fiscal conservative (and socialliberal) at heart.Ron Paul makes my point here. It's going to take a currency crisis to bring theAmerican public and the politicians that weelect to face up to the problem: which is,by the way, one that we have created forourselves, and not one which has beenimposed on us. Mon 09 Feb 2009 02:56:45 GMT+1 Via-Media I really don't have a strong opinion about Daschle, but do think that it is far too early to prophecy doom on this presidency. Or for that matter to prophecy a New Hope. In this age of instant media and instant gratification, I think we've become impatient and out of sync w. the cycles of the world- and politics is like other cycles, and sometimes takes time.I'd rather they take a few extra weeks to make the best package they can, than to rush madly forth and deal with the consequences later.As for the package itself, I really don't think anyone knows what it's effect will be when passed. I do cringe at the pricetag- even FDR's programs were started over the course of more than a decade. And yet I see no viable alternatives... Mon 09 Feb 2009 02:32:11 GMT+1 frayedcat "Corrupt politicians make the other ten percent look bad"... to my mind Daschle is easily replaced. Health care reform is a necessity that has its own legs - nice if Obama found a brilliant outsider (like Dr Chu) who is immune to the health care and insurance industry lobbiests. "Opponents are not being cowed" - likely those thick as a bag of rocks and in love with the sound of their own finance-industry-backed refrains. Too bad the 'opponents' can't chip in with some worthwhile fact-based ideas.There won't be any avoiding the pain of correcting this economy-the main industry in the US is parasitism-which has been feeding the politicians - hard to use harsh medicine on your own self, the rich people can't even bear to be taxed to save themselves. Mon 09 Feb 2009 02:25:36 GMT+1 Via-Media #165 timohioI think these same people are the ones who get themselves loaded (not their rifles) during deer season every year and either shhot themselves or their hunting buddies, after thrashing about in the woods loud enough for any self-respecting deer to head for the next county. Every year in Western PA there are a couple tragic stories in the local papers. The Lake Erie story might have just been concentrating the numbers.I agree that some might have been fishing out of need- but some of them do have their priorities wrong, and spend more on the equipment, shack, snowmobile/quadrunner, and decked out pickup than they did on their house. Mon 09 Feb 2009 02:24:38 GMT+1 MagicKirin ref #175Then lets see Kennedy,Dodd, Pelosi, Frank and even though he was a great Senator and a war hero McCain, Graham and a couple of long time Republicans go Mon 09 Feb 2009 02:03:38 GMT+1 junkmonkey Give me a break! NO hack politician is irreplacable! And Daschle is the 'Hackest' of all! Mon 09 Feb 2009 01:43:15 GMT+1 Ed Iglehart Guns, "It would require a Gramm-Rudman typeagreement to come into force after 2 quartersof economic recovery.Why on earth the Democrats would opposesuch a measure is beyond me. "Hasn't there been criticism that FDR let up a couple of quarters too soon?Aquqgal, "I have said in a previous post that Senator McCain is an excrescence.He represents no one but himself."I agree on the first point, but I think he also represents the interests of his father-in-law's dodgy pals...And I join you in wishing our Aussie cousins success in coping with what seems to be horrific.Peace to alled Mon 09 Feb 2009 01:16:26 GMT+1 saintDominick Ref 173, Aqua"So you believe that spending money to protect honey bees and discover just why whole colonies are dying out is frivolous pork?"No, spending like that, as well as items such as funding for contraceptives, and Pell grants are worthy endeavors that must be pursued, but not in an stimulus package designed to create new jobs and save our industry and economy from total collapse. Many of the line items removed from the recovery plan should be introduced again in the annual budget where they belong, but by including them in the recovery plan the Dems allowed the opposition to define the debate in ideological terms, and damaged the credibility of the administration - and the effectiveness of the package itself - by making it look like a typical exercise designed to bring the bacon home to democratic districts. Mon 09 Feb 2009 00:49:55 GMT+1 bere54 180, aquarizonagal:I second that. Just saw some aerial photos and it looks ghastly. Mon 09 Feb 2009 00:48:07 GMT+1 saintDominick Ref 176, Guns"...there is also the matter of abalanced-budget ammendment to the billthat the Republicans insisted upon."The claims of fiscal discipline suddenly embraced by the Republican party would have more credibility if they had exhibited that virtue during the past 30 years. The trickle down economic theory embraced by the Reagan Administration, so aptly described by Bush I as "voodoo economics", and by the Bush II administration helped bankrupt our country. Bush II inherited a $5T national debt (excluding unfunded liabilities), and by the time he left office our national debt was over $10T with nothing to show but an unnecessary war and a bankrupt nation. In those short years we went from being the largest creditor nation to becoming the largest debtor nation in the world.If the GOP has a magic wand that could be used to save our economy and restore our financial solvency without borrowing and spending, perhaps they should let us know, because at this point they appear to be nothing more than a bunch of obstructionists more interested in their personal and party interests than the well being of our country.Fiscal discipline must be the ultimate goal, but considering the magnitude of the problems we are facing, the probability of further economic contraction and financial deterioration, and additional job losses and bankruptcies, the only recourse available is to continue borrowing and spending with one difference, this time the spending must be focused on projects that benefit the American people rather than rebuilding what we helped destroy overseas. It may sound callous, but our families and friends must come first. Mon 09 Feb 2009 00:41:33 GMT+1 timohio 168. timewaitsfornoman172. publiusdetroit I think the ice fishermen are fine examples of the mindset that has gotten this country into the mess it's in. An awful lot of people in this country never seem to consider the risks they are taking and expect someone to come to their rescue when their bad decisions come back to bite them. I don't want to go into a rant, but you see this everywhere, with decisions great and small. We would be a lot better off as individuals and as a country if we would stop to carefully consider the downsides as well as the upsides before we engage in risky behavior. And decide whether the benefits are worth the risks. Think: the Iraq war, mortgage-backed securities, building your house on a flood plain without flood insurance, unsafe sex, motorcycling without a helmet, etc., etc., etc.In the real world, there are consequences. Mon 09 Feb 2009 00:12:54 GMT+1 SamTyler1969 #162, 173Saint, Aqua,This is a good one to pick on because it is an issue in some communities and is exactly the type of thing a lot of folks are screaming about.Sudden die off in bees is a real problem right now. We figured out what was causing the sudden colony die off over the last couple of years. This was happening mostly in commercial operations who were requeening during winter using imported queens which had very limited resistance to US insect parasites and diseases. The queens were dying at exactly the time of year the colony could not replace them (since in the depth of winter queens don't lay, even in the south). By the time the colonies were inspected in spring they were too far gone to save. there are a couple of other ways colonies can die out, one is a particularly nasty disease called Foul Brood. Once it gets into an apiary it tends to spread. Once infected not only do you lose the colony but you have to burn the equipment.There are about 212,000 bee keepers in the US. 200,000 are hobbyists, about 10,000 keep bees for supplemental income and about 2,000 are full scale commercial beekeepers. Each year the commecial guys transport hundreds of hives each to the key agricultural areas of the country, and they are essential to crop yields.The legislation reads:"the Trust Fund to provide emergency relief to eligible producers of livestock, honey bees, and farm-raised fish to aid in the reduction of losses due to disease, adverse weather, or other conditions, such as blizzards and wildfires, as determined by the Secretary"It's a wee bit unclear but it looks like the intent is to provide replacement livestock and equipment to commercial operations that are wiped out by an act of nature, beekeepers being a small part of the total. Is it worth $10-15m to keep some of our commercial beekeepers in operation? I suspect so. We do the same for corn farmers already. This is part of bringing the stimulus package to suffering businesses outside of Wall Street and on to Main Street. In this case onto County Road 552.I think what is a shame is that folks latch onto one line item, don't understand it, then spout off. Michael Steele was a prime example yesterday when he railed against not knowing why a $45m fish barrier removal project would provide a stimulus. Not 'I have asked and not received adequate answers', just I don't get it. The project in question would provide immediate manual labor work in rural areas and help restore some of the nations wild fisheries, providing long term jobs that otherwise wouldn't exist. A continuance of the politics of ignorance. 'I don't get it so it must suck'.Something sucks.Apologies for the long post.Apiarist Sam Mon 09 Feb 2009 00:12:11 GMT+1 gunsandreligion about our congressmen... they ought to haveexpiration dates stamped on their foreheads,like dairy products.As for Byrd, he is actually an interesting character,having quite vocally opposed the Iraqi invasion,claiming that the Bush administration had "failedthe nation by not pursuing diplomacy."As for his KKK membership, he recanted andI believe that it was genuine. At least, itsounded genuine. If one believed thatit was impossible for a group of people,like white Southerners, to change theirminds about something, then I would haveto point out the number of Black politicalleaders who have won seats there overthe last few decades.So, sometimes experience is good, and sometimesit is bad. Good people tend to become better,and bad people worse, although anybody canturn around and make a fresh start. Sun 08 Feb 2009 23:54:13 GMT+1 kiki_dread If the war on terrorism or the war on drugs were nebulous concepts the war on debt and bankruptcy across the world is real although it may be unsolvable. Sometimes the right people trying or doing the right things is not enough with long term financial issues unless the circumstances change. Sun 08 Feb 2009 23:19:06 GMT+1 aquarizonagal To any Australian posters;Your brush fires seem to be really bad. I hope all of you and your families are safe. Sun 08 Feb 2009 22:32:54 GMT+1 aquarizonagal To#170 SaintdominickI have said in a previous post that Senator McCain is an excrescence. He represents no one but himself. I think that he is a bitter, sick, angry, vindictive man who lost an election to which he considered himself entitled. I doubt he will work with President Obama, the Democrats, or even his own party no matter how it will hurt this country.Once, I considered him honorable but I am losing all respect. He does not care about Arizona or the future of the US, only about being obstructive. Sun 08 Feb 2009 22:11:27 GMT+1 bere54 170, saintdominick -I agree with you. As I posted earlier and someone else ridiculed, it certainly looks as if the Republicans were determined to oppose this bill no matter what it contained. I suspect to them it's a kind of game, and they don't seem to realize there's a country at stake. Which is not to say that Democrats haven't behaved similarly at times.MAII said above somewhere that every two years all the members of the House and 1/3 of the Senate are "replaced." Well, no. They are up for re-election but they're not replaced; too often the bozos who ought to be replaced are re-elected. I'm so tired of the same old people pulling the same old stunts. Sun 08 Feb 2009 21:57:04 GMT+1 NYCKATE Daschle's attempt at self-justification was that he was trying to get enough money to leave his children a nice legacy - oh and buy himself a cool new BMW convertible too!We've seen way too many politicians use their own influences to make themselves and/or their families rich, whether its too sweet real estate deals or outrageous payments for board seats.They've come an awfully long way from Obama's hero of Lincoln and Lincoln's log cabin haven't they.What they don't understand is that the very things they praise about Lincoln is what they themselves have insulted with their greediness and need to live in mansions and drive expensive cars. Sun 08 Feb 2009 21:49:53 GMT+1 gunsandreligion #170, saintD, there is also the matter of abalanced-budget ammendment to the billthat the Republicans insisted upon.It would require a Gramm-Rudman typeagreement to come into force after 2 quartersof economic recovery.Why on earth the Democrats would opposesuch a measure is beyond me. If this is "obstructionism," then I am all in favor of it.Younger people are going to pay an enormousprice in the decades ahead if our electedrepresentatives continue to pursue the courseof ever-increasing deficits.I'll be fine, by the way. Sun 08 Feb 2009 21:49:09 GMT+1 aquarizonagal To#161 MagickirinYes!I have long supported term limits for Congress.I think that it is ridiculous to believe any politician is more effective the longer he or she is in office.The new broom sweeps clean. Sun 08 Feb 2009 21:22:41 GMT+1 SamTyler1969 #159Relawman,What is funny here is the Republicans yelling and screaming that Mr Obama is doing a bad job and carrying on the same practice of the past 8 years of repeating it over and over again until they believe themselves that it is true.As the good Doctor would say, 'What?'Going back over the past few weeks, more has been done to establish America as a moral leader in the world than in the entire previous administration. A stimulus package has been crafted and generally agreed, with the whackier sections redacted. Obama has shown himself to be statesmanlike, and human enough to go on a date. A tough balance. He also apologized for the mistakes made in selecting two appointees and took the blame. That takes a grown up, and it is one of the characteristics of the most successful business leaders. The new Chair of the Republican party has claimed to be a man of the middle and followed up with some of the daffiest statements about economics since the Golgafrincham B Ark survivors decided to use leaves as currency, then wondered why they siffered hyperinflation.Meanwhile Limbore has wished the President to fail, the Republicans in Congress have lurched to the right (who knows how but they managed it), Dick Cheyney has said Torture is OK and the economic fallout from the last administration has reached a crescendo. The House Republicans have thrown a tantrum that more of the same policies they followed is the only answer. Bush has dissapeared, consigned to history and it's judgements. The Democrats are probably very happy with the first few days. If I were turning around a troubled company and had managed so much so fast, I would be very optimistic.Optimist Sam Sun 08 Feb 2009 21:13:06 GMT+1 aquarizonagal To#162 SaintdominickSo you believe that spending money to protect honey bees and discover just why whole colonies are dying out is frivolous pork?When about 60% of our agriculture is gone because we have to hand pollinate most fruits and many vegetables you might like to eat. We will then discuss just which is pork and what is another person's bread and butter. Perhaps we could just clone or replicate food and there is always Soylent Green. Sun 08 Feb 2009 21:00:49 GMT+1 publiusdetroit Ref 165 timohioRef 168 timewaitsfornomanI agree that there were sportfishers out on the lake. As I stated, the usual number taken off an ice sheet like that are about a couple dozen. These are the same people every year. They expect that they will be rescued.I hold a low regard for such people.The official count was 134. That was unusual. It meant that there were a lot of people out on the ice that do not know how to read ice.I based my premise on conversations I have had with ice fishers over the past two weeks with ice fishers on the Saginaw River and Bay, Tawas Bay, and Anchor Bay. I have met a lot of people who do not usually ice fish, but have told me they were out trying their luck hoping to bring home fish to help feed their families. Sun 08 Feb 2009 20:53:13 GMT+1 bere54 137, timohio -Perhaps the Darwin award should go to those who roar onto a thawing lake on their snowmobiles. This has happened here.139,nessie - love your list!153, gunsandreligions - love your list too!relax_man has no sense of humor. What a shame. Sun 08 Feb 2009 20:49:51 GMT+1 saintDominick During an interview on Face the Nation this morning Sen. McCain confirmed he does not plan to support the recovery plan because, in his opinion, the solution depends on tax cuts, investment in infrastructure, and more focus on the mortgage crisis.Considering the fact that tax cuts and infrastructure investment represent over 2/3 of the recovery plan, and that the remaining $350B of TARP money is going to be spent on solving the mortgage crisis and promoting credit he is, obviously, focusing on less than 30% of the package; a fact that he acknowledged when he voiced his opposition to building new schools because, in his opinion, that would not create jobs. So much for construction workers and Joe the Plumber!Sen. McCain also stated that the bill is being written and modified by Democrats. Apparently the Republican senators that have been working with Democrats the last few days switched party affiliation. After listening to him, it is obvious that the GOP leadership made up their mind based on ideology and as part of a deliberate strategy based on the hope that the proposed plan will not produce the desired results so that they can improve their chances of winning congressional seats in 2010 and 2012. I think it is sickening to see elected officials put party and personal interests ahead of our national security, which involves a lot more than crusades and checking bags at airports. The danger for them, obviously, is that if the economy turns around they will be perceived as obstructionists or worse. Sun 08 Feb 2009 18:52:58 GMT+1 american grizzly Just goes to show censorship and omission is done quite a bit on blogs....even sponsored by the BBC. Sun 08 Feb 2009 18:47:19 GMT+1 timewaitsfornoman 165 timohioMust say I like your version of the story better than publiusdetroit's.I find it hard to believe it happens every year. Do these people have a slow learning curve? After all it is their lives they are putting in jeopardy. And the Coast Guard, come to think of it. Sun 08 Feb 2009 17:27:31 GMT+1 timewaitsfornoman 157 publiusdetroitI'm sorry but I am having a hard time "wrapping my head around" the fact they were fishing to feed their families! That is tragic. Is not Lake Erie polluted?I thought they were out there for sport not necessity. Sun 08 Feb 2009 16:53:30 GMT+1 Jeebers76 Mr Webb,Where the Democrats are concerned, this is normal behavior for people to argue with power, both from within the party and from without. It's simultaneously a strength and a weakness. Moreover, it's a sacred American right to be able to criticize power, which is why Bush and the GOP just got ousted. Bush was the Republican leader, and he forgot what it means to be American when he encouraged oppressive tendencies and broke the Constitution. So, the GOP got blamed too. Hopefully, peer pressure will prompt great change within the Republican party.Oddly, if the USA had voted in EXCLUSIVELY Democrats, there would still be bickering. This means decisions take longer, but they are usually well thought out once they take effect. This is the exact opposite from the Republicans, who go by "What the leader says, goes".Of course, I doubt you'll ever get so far into the blog that you'll read this. Most people don't have the time nor inclination. Sun 08 Feb 2009 16:24:54 GMT+1 timohio 142. and 145. aquarizonagal:146. timewaitsfornoman:155. publiusdetroit:Aquarizongal, you're sweet to actually apologize for not expressing happiness that I wasn't out on Lake Erie. I had been joking.Yes, as Publius says, the image of a lonely fisherman sitting on a box next to a hole cut in the ice is from an earlier generation. The modern ice fisherman goes out fully equipped to do battle with the wily walleye: snowmobile, fish finder (capable of tracking a nuclear submarine), shanties of various sizes and levels of luxury and, of course, an adequate supply of beer. You're not really engaged in the manly pursuit of game or fish if you don't have beer. Sometimes the hunters completely dispense with the hunting and proceed directly to the beer.Looking at the ages of the men interviewed after being rescued, they mostly appear to be of retirement age. They're not laid-off auto workers. And if you add up the cost of all the paraphernalia taken out onto the lake, it ends up being a pretty expensive fish dinner. It's a hobby. Nothing wrong in my eyes with hunting or fishing if you eat your victim, but the average American sportsman isn't desperate to put food on the table. Visit a sporting goods store that specializes in hunting and fishing--you'll be amazed. If they were desperate for food, the ice fishermen would have been better off selling all their equipment on eBay and going to the market with the proceeds. A snowmobile alone costs enough to feed a family for several months.And if they would have waited a few weeks, the walleye would have been running on the Maumee River. Just like salmon running on the Columbia River. All you need then are waders and a fishing pole. Although the fishermen are practically elbow to elbow on the river, so you can be in danger from someone else's bad cast.Some of those idiots actually put down wooden pallets to bridge the gap in the ice to go out on that floe. As Publius says, something like this happens every year on Lake Erie. The Coast Guard prepares for it, but they only rescue the people. The gear ends up on the lake bed. Sun 08 Feb 2009 15:52:16 GMT+1 american grizzly This post has been Removed Sun 08 Feb 2009 14:41:49 GMT+1 Ed Iglehart Never mind the stories! What a collection of snapshots!;-)ed Sun 08 Feb 2009 14:28:01 GMT+1 saintDominick Everything I have read or heard about the "American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan" indicates that the original package was submitted by the Administration to Congress shortly after the Inauguration. The initial reaction to the bill included an acknowledgement by most members that something needed to be done, but concerns about the cost and scope of the package. Republicans advocated for greater focus on tax cuts and the mortgage crisis, while Democrats pushed for a mixture of tax cuts and spending.IMO, making the Bush II tax cuts to the rich permanent will not solve anything. It didn't last year and I doubt it will now. Furthermore, while tax cuts to the middle class would help millions of Americans meet their obligations, I doubt it will mitigate the effects of the real estate crisis and it certainly will not create new jobs. At best we will be able to pay our bills. The GOP does have a point in recommending a greater focus on solving the mortgage crisis and providing incentives for new house buyers.The only way to stop our economic decline and rising unemployment is through investment, and since the private sector is currently gasping for air the only recourse available is public investment to stimulate growth. The immidiate goal should be to stop the decline and strengthen the solvency of our banks, followed by an economic recovery strategy focused on credit availability to stimulate personal and corporate spending, resumption of industrial R&D and creation of small business in areas that offer long term growth. Spending on honey bees, the national endowment for the arts, and other pet projects should be removed, as well as worthy projects such as increases in Pell grants which belong in the annual budget package, not a stimulus package presented, ostensibly, to create jobs and prevent the total collapse of our economy and capitalist system. Sun 08 Feb 2009 13:56:01 GMT+1 MagicKirin ref #148 and 152then do you also want to be rid of senile former KKK member and king of Pork the despicable Robert Byrd? Sun 08 Feb 2009 12:40:18 GMT+1 Ed Iglehart Relaxman, Bush may be gone, but his legacy lingers on. It's a bit like a house which has had a fire and almost burned down. I'm sure some of us know how long the stink lingers...As to Niccolo's observations, let's hope the 'defenders' are numerous and more than lukewarm....Count me in! Sun 08 Feb 2009 12:16:04 GMT+1 relax_man Just listen to yourselves democrats. Have you not heard that Bush is gone? Many of you - not all - seem to have reverted to your comfort zone: Bush bashing. You were looking forward to the arrival of Mr Hopeandchange. You should be enjoying watching the oceans rise, and the global love-in.The truth is, you're finding it difficult to talk in a positive way about the Messiah. That's a good measure of the extent to which he has screwed up so far. So you revert to the easy option. Coming up with ice cream flavours to bash the guy who is supposed to have left. That requires no analysis, no argument, and no ideas. It suits you rather well.As I keep saying, the fact that you are reverting to this in week 3 is more telling than you care to admit.Gary Hill: no you have your facts wrong. Pelosi & co wrote this bill, Not Obama. An Obama bill would have had a lot that Republicans will have objected to, but they could have lived with it with gritted teeth. That itself would have made for a great Obama victory. Bu the resulting bill is something that they just cannot vote for - and neither should any honest democrat. Sun 08 Feb 2009 10:11:00 GMT+1 ikamaskeip Jeepers76 and Comment74 on Obama's Presidential methods.Yes, 'I do' (lower case), realise Pres Obama is appealing over politicians heads to public opinion as he has such a convincing electoral mandate. That is not quite the same as actually having a policy grounded in what is attainable as opposed to what is desired.No, 'I pray' (lower case), there is nothing wrong with this early effort by Pres Obama to get things done, but, it will not do over 4 years.Untried, untested Pres Obama could be the best thing since your under-rated Hollywood actor and over-rated President Reagan, however, that is all in the future. As I wrote before (#48): Obama's selection of tax dodging leaders of his economic team was "unlucky" rather than misguided. The sort of bad luck that can start to smell really off if repeated with other representatives of vested-interest groups and the populous begin to get the idea their 'man in the Whitehouse' isn't too different in his Washington Oval Office from all that came before!And, as I said in #48, I "really, really hope," I am wrong. Sun 08 Feb 2009 09:43:39 GMT+1