Comments for http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/back_in_the_uk.html http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/back_in_the_uk.html en-gb 30 Sat 12 Jul 2014 22:10:17 GMT+1 A feed of user comments from the page found at http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/back_in_the_uk.html happylaze http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/back_in_the_uk.html?page=99#comment132 time .... I'll get there ion the blog one day but Fri 03 Apr 2009 14:41:10 GMT+1 Simon21 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/back_in_the_uk.html?page=98#comment131 126. At 06:39am on 02 Apr 2009, amerika_first wrote: Maybe if they want better health care then maybe they should get a better education or a technical education. There are so many loans available that there is no excuse for some one not to get a better education for a brighter future, unless of course all you want is a hand out and not a hand up. Most unions offer their employees retraining. Most amerikans don't really like the government involved in our lives."Really so why do they have so much of it then? The US must be one of the most overgoverned countries in the world. The number of federal institutions is huge and then one gets to the states each with its own petty government, legal system etc But of course those can't, always try to ride on the backs of those that can. In the UK they call it the dole,Yes about 20 years ago. Don't they still call it the susso in the US? Thu 02 Apr 2009 23:42:20 GMT+1 timewaitsfornoman http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/back_in_the_uk.html?page=97#comment130 129 happylazeAnd I was suppose to figure all that out from your question? Try to remember I'm not sitting around the table with you smoking! If you know anything about astrology you should be able to work it out even if it was only Fwt (not that I know what that means other than flirting).Good idea though, as I have mentioned before, to have a back-up plan. Just not that one as there are several obstacles to overcome before you can get here on my passport. Thu 02 Apr 2009 17:52:10 GMT+1 timewaitsfornoman http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/back_in_the_uk.html?page=96#comment129 happylaze I realize there will be a three hour wait, but hope you responded to my 114. Might utilize the time to get a few things (off blog) done. But it's only a thought! Thu 02 Apr 2009 15:26:34 GMT+1 happylaze http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/back_in_the_uk.html?page=96#comment128 So ,TimeWaitsForNoManCute-eWhat sign are you?Now.... where did this come from? Checked to see what I might have said to bring this on but did not find anything. I'm not answering until you explain yourself!! OK time an explanation.Someone wrote"Every person in the world should be able to decide their route in life and yes there are exceptions for those mentally challenged. It's a scary situation here in the US."I saw that he was mentally challenged and that the situation in the US was in dire straits and scary" and so seeing as Bere is in for the job of package sending I thought I would hit on a local with a pass port and nationality of our saner northern neighbours.Just incase."Sorry.just Fwt (flirting while taken)-------------------------128 Lordbeddbelert . yes he has.AmeriKan DimDim was smarter than you and had more sense of humour. Thu 02 Apr 2009 14:52:33 GMT+1 lordBeddGelert http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/back_in_the_uk.html?page=95#comment127 GONE NATIVE GONE NATIVE GONE NATIVE GONE NATIVE GONE NATIVE GONE NATIVE GONE NATIVE GONE NATIVE GONE NATIVE GONE NATIVE GONE NATIVE GONE NATIVE GONE NATIVE GONE NATIVE GONE NATIVE GONE NATIVE GONE NATIVE GONE NATIVE GONE NATIVE GONE NATIVE GONE NATIVE GONE NATIVE GONE NATIVE GONE NATIVE GONE NATIVE GONE NATIVE GONE NATIVE GONE NATIVE GONE NATIVE GONE NATIVE GONE NATIVE GONE NATIVE GONE NATIVE GONE NATIVE GONE NATIVE GONE NATIVE GONE NATIVE GONE NATIVE GONE NATIVE Thu 02 Apr 2009 09:47:37 GMT+1 amerika_first http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/back_in_the_uk.html?page=94#comment126 How about Gretzky, oh I forgot he came to USA to play, how about maple bars or some syrup........ Thu 02 Apr 2009 05:42:14 GMT+1 amerika_first http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/back_in_the_uk.html?page=93#comment125 Maybe if they want better health care then maybe they should get a better education or a technical education. There are so many loans available that there is no excuse for some one not to get a better education for a brighter future, unless of course all you want is a hand out and not a hand up. Most unions offer their employees retraining. Most amerikans don't really like the government involved in our lives. But of course those can't, always try to ride on the backs of those that can. In the UK they call it the dole, but here it is welfare and rather it should be changed to work fare. Thu 02 Apr 2009 05:39:55 GMT+1 timewaitsfornoman http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/back_in_the_uk.html?page=93#comment124 Orvillethird I do not know the answer to your Dr. Who question. From what I read it would seem the answer is "yes", but again I defer to Interestedforeigner.Regarding funding cuts to the CBC I signed a petition today that has close to 100k signatures in 5 days, so hopefully will do some good.As for Stephen Harper: His days are numbered. Thu 02 Apr 2009 04:39:56 GMT+1 bere54 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/back_in_the_uk.html?page=92#comment123 Interest, 121, and timewaits, 123 -I agree about the quality of so many of the comments. I've learned a lot (especially about Canada!) and am glad I found my way here. It's so refreshing. I had been reading some NY Times blogs and the caliber of the postings there simply doesn't compare. I was getting very discouraged because most people seemed to want to talk about Palin's clothes and the Obamas' potential dog and not much else, and the occasional ignorant rants on here are nothing to what I've read on the NY Times site.Interested, I agree with timewaits about not overdoing the curtailing.And as far as I'm concerned, levity is always welcome.I'll have to check the CBC website and see what I come up with. Maybe I'll splurge and buy some speakers for this old laptop. When my kids give me things, they ought to give me everything that works with it! And my magic camera has no owner's manual. It's bewildering me. Thu 02 Apr 2009 03:00:17 GMT+1 timewaitsfornoman http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/back_in_the_uk.html?page=91#comment122 Interestedforeigner"Know where to look"I did look and very quickly gave up. I did not think it was possible you had all that information in your head, down to the re-broadcasting station in Cowansville.I am very impressed by many of the posters, one of the reasons why I am here. Reading their opinions, learning from them. I like the community spirit. Some of the hate filled rants I can do without. But as I do not associate with or know such people, it is educational to hear their opinions (from a distance) - much as I disagree with them. You know I count on you for all things Canadian, and enjoy your posts so please do not overdo the curtailing. I hope from time to time I contribute a bit of levity, that being my intention. Thu 02 Apr 2009 02:17:50 GMT+1 Orville Eastland http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/back_in_the_uk.html?page=90#comment121 A few tangential comments:-In case you want to watch CBC's "The National", you can view it here:http://www.cbc.ca/national/-In regards to Obama, I did not support him or vote for him. I do consider him preferable to McCain (Not to mention Bush and Palin and Clinton). I'd also like to thank the person who pointed out that 38% of Americans didn't vote for anyone...which is a shame.-It's a shame that Harper is trying to cut the CBC. (I was hoping the plagarism charge- and the cause he supported with his plagarism- would be enough to defeat him.) I can imagine what the Republicans- or Democrats- would do with a truly well-funded- and independent- PBS. -Anyone who's familiar with CBC, can you tell me if the CBC's funding of Doctor Who qualifies it as Canadian Content? Thu 02 Apr 2009 02:01:30 GMT+1 Interestedforeigner http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/back_in_the_uk.html?page=90#comment120 Bere & Timewaits.I was going to add that you can somtimes get AIH on APR, but you already know that. The information about CBME can directly from the CBC website, so there is no magic in that, other than knowing where to look.While I like electromagnetic field theory, a person with a proper electrical engineering background would probably know far more.Much the same can be said of the other fields you mention. It's true I like history. A lot. But I do not have a history degree, and there are several regular posters on this blog who have far, far more historical knowledge, particularly with respect to the classics. There are people here who read a very great deal. There are some who have been to very good schools - you can see it in their writing. There are a fair number of people who post regularly on this blog who have backgrounds in the sciences. There are also some who have studied law. Most of them keep the throttle well back - they aren't wearing their knowledge on their sleeves, but it comes out now and again.I have sometimes made long, multi-part postings here on different subjects, but I am trying to stop doing it, because long screeds deaden the blog. When I do it, usually it is to provide background information that most readers may not have, or, on several occasions as an attempt to move the string off the mid-east, or like the teleprompters string, to build a longer point rhetorically, almost like "This is the House that Jack Built".The thing is, almost everybody here has some knowledge or experience that adds to the total and makes the thing more than the sum of its parts. There is never a day that I don't learn something here.Like DC, I am always disappointed when the strings spiral down into either the never ending mid-east "hohlraum" (from Eckert, a black room of perfect absorptivity at all wavelengths, into which radiation disappears, and whence only black body radiation is emitted, but no coherent light), or into religious belief tied, typically, inevitably, to abortion. Again, lots of heat, not much light. Those topics usually bring out ignorance and prejudice, rather than education and enlightenment. From those strings we learn next to nothing.In any case, we all contribute our bit.Hope your internet connection works, and AIH comes in clear. Thu 02 Apr 2009 01:17:18 GMT+1 JoMan_B http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/back_in_the_uk.html?page=89#comment119 You say, "By the way, there was exemplary sobriety on the press plane - I suspect because everyone appears to be carrying those little video recorders you can plug straight into a computer and nobody wants to be fired."Isn't that rather cynical, did you not stop to consider that these people are taking their jobs seriously, or that they do not need to drink as heavily as, let's say, your average British worker over a lunchtime (I obviously refer to the endemic alcoholism rampant in Great Britain). I would have hoped that if you did seriously consider other reasons, as opposed to no consideration at all, that you would have commented on those also. So what is it to be? No consideration of reason, or press self-censorship reporting deliberately cynical 'news' for the the sensationalism aspect.My comments regarding your [above] remarks may seem petty, but I use them only in an illustrative sense, I could apply my logic to almost all news stories put out by the general press.This sensationalism that has taken hold of almost all of the world's press and does more to damage society than the good that the press is capable of. Sadly, it is my belief that the Press does not bear it's important responsibilities to society and has become part of the problem. Wed 01 Apr 2009 22:04:33 GMT+1 bere54 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/back_in_the_uk.html?page=88#comment118 118, Gary -Oh, okay. I never tinker with technology myself since I don't know what I'm doing and am bound to screw it up. I'll have to check technological credentials of daughter's boyfriend. Wed 01 Apr 2009 21:16:43 GMT+1 Gary_A_Hill http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/back_in_the_uk.html?page=87#comment117 bere54 (#117), I wasn't intending actually to give advice, only to promote the virtues of conservatism when tinkering with technology. If you need capabilities which you do not now have (wireless internet access, and multiple computer access), then you need to upgrade. As long as it is set up by someone who is knowledgable and who is responding to your actual need, then it should work out fine. Wed 01 Apr 2009 21:09:24 GMT+1 bere54 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/back_in_the_uk.html?page=87#comment116 116, Gary -So are you saying I shouldn't let daughter's boyfriend do a router thing for me? My ulterior motive for the router is so I can make my kids bring their own laptops when they visit and then we can all use the internet at the same time. The way it is now, they hog it the whole time they're here. (But it would also be nice to be able snuggle under the covers, at least partway, on nasty days while using the internet.)Oh dear. Now I'm worried that trying to hook up a router will cause me to lose internet forever.114, timewaits -I do try to be pleasant too, but some people on here just need a crack of the (attempted) (cruel) wit sometimes. Wed 01 Apr 2009 20:53:04 GMT+1 Gary_A_Hill http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/back_in_the_uk.html?page=86#comment115 bere54 and time.., there's an old saying in the computer business which some of us still believe in:If it ain't broke, don't fix it! Wed 01 Apr 2009 19:31:35 GMT+1 Gary_A_Hill http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/back_in_the_uk.html?page=85#comment114 SONICBOOMER (#113), well put."It's rather like defending Jim Jones's church the day after he and 900 of his followers had committed mass suicide in 1978."And murder, particularly of the children. Most of the dead are buried here in Oakland.A Congressman was murdered and his assistant wounded. She holds his seat in Congress today. Wed 01 Apr 2009 19:07:36 GMT+1 timewaitsfornoman http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/back_in_the_uk.html?page=84#comment113 bere54"area of expertise"I know!! He gives fabulous Canadian history lessons, but that's not his area either, says he just enjoys it!! Neither is Canadian Constitutional Law, but you wouldn't know from his answers. I'm more of a "Jack of all trades," myself. And as some bloggers know if challenged I run and hide behind someone!! Let them do the talking... That's why I try to be so pleasant to everyone - I might need them one day!I hope the new boyfriend returns soon for your sake. But...don't let him leave until you are sure it all works and you know how to fix it if it doesn't.happylazeSo ,TimeWaitsForNoManCute-eWhat sign are you?Now.... where did this come from? Checked to see what I might have said to bring this on but did not find anything. I'm not answering until you explain yourself!! But... even though I am a "Jack of all trades" sorry for the pun, I very often give excellent advice [my references:]- many fine, well educated, intelligent people (and others, perhaps not so fine) have told me so. My unsolicited advice - improve your website. Wish I could help, I am surrounded by web designers and "improvers." At the very least get your own site so you will be found when googled. Wed 01 Apr 2009 18:32:20 GMT+1 SONICBOOMER http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/back_in_the_uk.html?page=84#comment112 The BBC is, understandably to many outside the UK, an odd organisation.Like many UK institutions, it's a creature of it's history, founded in the 1920's with a remit to 'entertain, infrom, explain'.Commercial TV to rival it emerged in the 1950's.It does have a tension between having to provide licence payers with as broad a service as possible, but also provide non mainstream, innovative ideas.(ITV1, the UK's main commercial TV station, has really gone almost totally lowest common denominator in recent years but is in more and more financial trouble).The BBC is also under constant attack by rival (usually foreign owned like Murdoch), media organisations to get their snouts in an even bigger trough.Given the crassness, dumbing down that Murdoch is known for, it's worth paying to prevent him having even more influence than he already has.The only reason that his UK news channel Sky, is nothing like the appalling FOX he has in the US, is due to the demands made for UK TV news in being as balanced as possible.As in for real, not as a laughable marketing slogan.Many to, usually on the right, hate the BBC for what they say is 'left wing bias'.Nonsense, how do they explain how both the anti and pro war camps, for the 2003 Iraq invasion, attacked BBC coverage as biased.How do they explain how three separate Prime Ministers, Harold Wilson, Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair, all has serious rows with the BBC?Wilson was Labour - when it was rather more left wing than today.Thatcher of course was the political opposite.Blair was a centre left PM.The real link between the three was that the BBC did not dance to their tune.Quite right too.So despite it's apparent status, the BBC is not a tool of the government.It does a lot of things wrong, it does try, often painfully so, to be as balanced as possible.I suggest that those who imagine otherwise might just be way too used to hearing only what they want to.While it is way too soon to judge properly whether all the plans with the economy will work, all this stuff about 'Obama's Socialism' is just silly.Others have provided examples of this better than I can, but consider, is defending what went on before a good idea?What got us into this mess?It's rather like defending Jim Jones's church the day after he and 900 of his followers had committed mass suicide in 1978. Wed 01 Apr 2009 18:01:14 GMT+1 happylaze http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/back_in_the_uk.html?page=83#comment111 79. At 03:24am on 01 Apr 2009, txgrahawk wrote:73Where's your sense of humor (or Queens English humour)?------------------------------------some say to know your opponent. You obviously didn't hear that part. too busy saying "do it my way"And just about every punk band sang a better version of "My way" Wed 01 Apr 2009 16:30:43 GMT+1 happylaze http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/back_in_the_uk.html?page=82#comment110 Where are the American adults?they emigrated ! Wed 01 Apr 2009 16:21:22 GMT+1 bere54 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/back_in_the_uk.html?page=81#comment109 96, timewaits -Interested is a little scary; one has to wonder what information he could give in areas where he is an expert, since he knows so much in areas outside his expertise. I can quite truthfully say "outside my area of expertise" on just about any subject under the sun (and not a soul would question it!).I did know I can listen on-line; the problem is that the sound on this computer is not very good (my daughter kept her speakers when she gave me the computer!), and I'm tethered to an ethernet cord, whereas I used to carry my little shortwave radio around from room to room while listening to "As It Happens" and anything else. I was spoiled by that. The 88.5 frequency is VPR here.My daughter says her boyfriend was upset to see something so old-fashioned as the ethernet cord, so he plans on getting me a router and doing whatever magic needs to be done with that next time they come up. Isn't that sweet? I sure hope he knows what he's doing, because whenever I turn off my modem (which I don't do anymore), my internet signal vanishes (even though I remembered to turn on the modem!) and I have to spend three hours with tech support getting it back. Wed 01 Apr 2009 16:19:02 GMT+1 happylaze http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/back_in_the_uk.html?page=81#comment108 41. At 11:57pm on 31 Mar 2009, txgrahawk wrote:Obama is NO MESSIAH...do not buy into that, OK!-Phew, I thought He was. Again thanks such a wealth of information. So glad to see this.All my atheist friends said he was the messiah. Wed 01 Apr 2009 16:14:32 GMT+1 happylaze http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/back_in_the_uk.html?page=80#comment107 98. At 3:39pm on 01 Apr 2009, Hesiodos wrote:Obama praises Gordon Brown! Oh, well, it is April 1st!------------------lol Wed 01 Apr 2009 16:11:20 GMT+1 happylaze http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/back_in_the_uk.html?page=79#comment106 44 MARYGRAVOOHHH I Love it when you talk dirty.;) Well Said.I heard that fellow on the radio .A good interview.Many well put points and with humour.53" Every person in the world should be able to decide their route in life and yes there are exceptions for those mentally challenged. It's a scary situation here in the US."Yes it is. How true.It becomes more apparent every day here on this blog.Thanks for helping to educate me.HEELLLPPPSo ,TimeWaitsForNoMan Cute-e What sign are you? Wed 01 Apr 2009 16:10:47 GMT+1 happylaze http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/back_in_the_uk.html?page=78#comment105 41. At 11:57pm on 31 Mar 2009, txgrahawk wrote:Obama is NO MESSIAH...do not buy into that, OK!? My country is going crazy over what has come down in the past 18 months and partially it has because of a liberal agenda that has taken over our Congress...eg. Parliment! He has some good ideas, but bottom line it drives us into Socialism and we are people that thrive on doing on doing our own thing!----------------------------------------Oh you are new o the world aren't you?How quaint.Seeing as it is your country and none of us have ever been to the US do tell us more.Doing things your own way seems to have led to the problem WE ALL face now.Your car companies ignored the future . maybe now that GM have given up with rickety wagons they will do better , but still I predict Italian cars in your future.(and not the testosterona )."WE don't need no regulation...We just love our thought control."Not that any here have any experience with the USA.Did you hear that Fox just got the world journalistic excellence prize?"anyone want a bowl...?"Now that"s more civil Wed 01 Apr 2009 15:56:44 GMT+1 happylaze http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/back_in_the_uk.html?page=78#comment104 41. At 11:57pm on 31 Mar 2009, txgrahawk wrote:Obama is NO MESSIAH...do not buy into that, OK!? My country is going crazy over what has come down in the past 18 months and partially it has because of a liberal agenda that has taken over our Congress...eg. Parliment! He has some good ideas, but bottom line it drives us into Socialism and we are people that thrive on doing on doing our own thing!----------------------------------------Oh you are new o the world aren't you?How quaint.Seeing as it is your country and none of us have ever been to the US do tell us more.Doing things your own way seems to have led to the problem WE ALL face now.Your car companies ignored the future . maybe now that GM have given up with rickety wagons they will do better , but still I predict Italian cars in your future.(and not the testosterona )."WE don't need no regulation...We just love our thought control."Not that any here have any experience with the USA.Did you hear that Fox just got the world journalistic excellence prize? Wed 01 Apr 2009 15:43:49 GMT+1 happylaze http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/back_in_the_uk.html?page=77#comment103 37. At 11:41pm on 31 Mar 2009, txgrahawk wrote:Making Texas Chili at this moment...anyone want a bowl...?No, I never eat from an ........(whole donkey).. Wed 01 Apr 2009 15:31:18 GMT+1 happylaze http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/back_in_the_uk.html?page=76#comment102 34 fair enufBUT you see the TV in the states is so full of commercials. And they frankly are not often very amusing commercials at that. they start to increase in frequency and length As I pointed out before until they reach a critical mass where by it is no longer entertaining.Now your local PBS station asks for money and some of the decent people interested in a more diverse world outlook rather than the Foxes in the co op give money to that. about the same as the tax in some cases (but I doubt this year).If you don't get it Fine you live in the free to pay way more for cable USA or you can pay by wasting half your free time watching commercials about "gegads chevy and their new deal or how Micky D will fulfil your nutritional requirements,. When I sit down in the evening , munching away (as I am a lazy hippie) and ads for haemorrhoid creams , jock and shock itch, this drug for female incontinence and this one for male,are you having a cialass (funny spell check said coal could be an option for this one) moment, period products, deepends, Just Imagine how many less fat and unhealthy people there would be without ads. How many kids would not be decieved into thinking that they will get healthy at the burger bar, how many fewer people would be having adverse reactions to drugs that frankly they shouldn't be taking anyway , but the Ad told them the symptoms to describe to the Doc. then Imagine how many less people would have access to the biggest problem drugs in the USA those drugs sold legally and misused .Wow just Imagine if TV had entertainment not marketing and commerce and CRAP.We LOVE you AUNTY WE do.LOL Wed 01 Apr 2009 15:24:36 GMT+1 Gary_A_Hill http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/back_in_the_uk.html?page=75#comment101 KS.. (#89), that would be Oliver Wendell Holmes. No Brit, he. Wed 01 Apr 2009 15:18:08 GMT+1 MinnesotaTim http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/back_in_the_uk.html?page=75#comment100 #62 publiusdetroit:I agree with you regarding the woefull number of Americans who vote.Not to brag (I am bragging) my fine state had voter turnout of almost 80%. MInnesota always has the highest voter turnout in America. Thats how we got Jesse Ventura.#82 Sam: I might be mistaken but I believe the saying is: "All hat and no cattle."Of course yours is funnier. Wed 01 Apr 2009 15:08:54 GMT+1 ikamaskeip http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/back_in_the_uk.html?page=74#comment99 It is an interesting little aside by you, "The White House Travelling Press do not appreciate queueing."I consider it is an exact micro-representation of a part of the macro-political-social credibility problem between the relatively small 'elite' of the world and the immense majority in this modern era: Why should the 'travelling press' not queue? What is their job that puts them above the teacher, nurse, plumber, soldier, unemployed, disabled..?Why did PM Blair presume that his cavalcade of cars could use the M4 Bus Lane and no one else when there was an immense queue for Heathrow?Why did David Cameron think it okay to bicycle along the street with a personal car behind him and think the average citizen would not object?Why do Politicians in the UK not pay all their Taxes on time or fail to properly apply Expenses Claim regulations whereas average employees commit a criminal act if they do the same?Why is a UK Teacher, Nurse, Police Officer suspended after an allegation of inappropriate conduct but not a Politician?Why do UK Politicians of all 3 main Parties and their MEPs constantly claim the high moral ground when unlike the average citizen they virtually all have high salaries, 2 or 3 homes, vastly higher pensions, ridiculously high allowances and consequently little or no understanding whatsoever of the lives of those they claim to represent? If a sober Press Corps could somehow manage to convince by their attention to the details of Politicians' lives that there is a huge gulf between their reality and that of their Constituents then we would forgive them their alcohol fuelled indiscretions!I know it all sounds relatively minor and petty but on the other hand the average citizen could justifiably ask: Why would the Politicians and the sycophantic hangers-on (excluding the noble members of the Press) not realise they are to coin a phrase literally getting up everyone's noses with their antics!? Wed 01 Apr 2009 15:03:52 GMT+1 canadacold http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/back_in_the_uk.html?page=73#comment98 For those of us lucky enough to be able to get CBC radio and up late at night, the overnight programming on radio1 gets independent news and culture from all over the world. A visitor from the uk. going through jet lag, maintained that should she live here. she would never want to miss it Wed 01 Apr 2009 14:49:58 GMT+1 Hesiodos http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/back_in_the_uk.html?page=72#comment97 Obama praises Gordon Brown!Oh, well, it is April 1st! Wed 01 Apr 2009 14:39:29 GMT+1 TheFirstRalph http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/back_in_the_uk.html?page=72#comment96 1: 'It's not the American governmental machine as much as it is the Obama administration'Obama is no more useless at filling these positions than another president. It does seem odd though that the person in place doesn't stay there until a new person arrives.44: 'Obama is the only thing, person, standing between America becoming a Banana Republic and solvency on a low if marginal level'It's an unusual approach to spend more to become solvent. Wed 01 Apr 2009 14:14:42 GMT+1 timewaitsfornoman http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/back_in_the_uk.html?page=71#comment95 bere54 Did you notice Interested #86? Tells us it is, "not my area of expertise" and then proceeds to go into detail. The station he talks about is of course "my" CBC radio! and Cowansville is close to Knowlton where my mother lived, so I should know these things! As chrono says you can listen online. I will not post the link as he was moderated. cbc.ca/listen There are "hints" below the map. Open a "new tab" from "file" and you can have it on in the background. CBC TV is at cbc.ca/television/ Wed 01 Apr 2009 13:11:13 GMT+1 bere54 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/back_in_the_uk.html?page=70#comment94 That guy from Texas seems to think we wouldn't have had a thought in our heads if it wasn't for him. Wed 01 Apr 2009 12:49:01 GMT+1 Schwerpunkt http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/back_in_the_uk.html?page=69#comment93 44. marygrav wrote:"Obama is the only thing, person, standing between America becoming a Banana Republic and solvency on a low if marginal level. This is roughly the thought of Simon Johnson, former Head of the IMF. Somehow the Republicans and Blue Dog Democrats don't get this.American people are so used to be treated like children until President Obama can't tell them the truth about the dire financial situation we are in. We have reached the end of capitalism and must fall back on every financial slight of hand trick there is to survive as a nation."What gibberish! The toxic debt meltdown happened through the intervention of government. Through allowing politicians of a certain bent to enforce loans to people in poor financial situations on the basis that not to do so would be discriminatory. Now we are supposed to believe that government, and by that I mean the broad sense and not just the Executive branch, is able to sort it all out? Even with the sainted Obama I see no cause for optimism on government's abilities outside of the narrow bands of defense, taxation and methane production. There is no risk of the US nor any other western country becoming a banana republic due to the financial situation. Banana republics become so due to corruption, the long term control by a single party and an inability or lack of desire for the situation to be corrected. What would cause the nation to cease to be then marygrav? Seccession? We sorted the question over that right in 1865.If the value of a dollar is so much lower than the Rem it just means it is easier to export our cheap crud to them instead of the other way around. Ah, except of course the PRC has been permitted to artificially peg its currency to the dollar at a favorable rate to prevent competition. Sorting out that sort of thing would do more to boost business at home than government hand outs we are going to be paying off for years to come. Assuming govenment does become attached to doing things that way of course. Much as the temporary expedient of income tax was retained long after the crisis it was introduced for had passed. Wed 01 Apr 2009 11:51:36 GMT+1 U13889349 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/back_in_the_uk.html?page=69#comment92 You no Kris, I'm Kros, y'all ran, we walkedStill tru to tha gizame Wed 01 Apr 2009 11:35:59 GMT+1 Worldcitizen1 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/back_in_the_uk.html?page=68#comment91 Well, rgardless of what many think of Txgrahawk, one thing is certain: He will probably have more fun in his one lifetime than most in here will have in three lifetimes. You have to admire him for that alone. Wed 01 Apr 2009 11:15:16 GMT+1 U13889349 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/back_in_the_uk.html?page=67#comment90 txgrahawk what it dewain't nobody tripping(chopped and screwed) Wed 01 Apr 2009 08:21:39 GMT+1 BienvenueEnLouisiana http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/back_in_the_uk.html?page=66#comment89 Right now I am primarily concerned about two things that the Obama Adm. has pursued; I am highly concerned about the $3 Trillion in debt, higher than all the previous Presidents combined, and I am alarmed that Sec. of the Treasury wants the power to limit executive pay for all businesses, even those that have not received a bailout. I have no problem with the Feds regulating bailout receiving companies to this extent because it the people's money they’re using, but to even suggest these "long-term compensation restrictions" for "companies that don’t receive government assistance" is anathema to American capitalism and chillingly similar to Soviet and/or Chinese style central planning.As for my President's trip to Europe, I wish him well and good luck, and I would tell him not to stress out over Sarkozy's threat to walk out of the G20; if it happens, then its Sarkozy's loss, not his. Wed 01 Apr 2009 06:19:39 GMT+1 KScurmudgeon http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/back_in_the_uk.html?page=66#comment88 Some wise Briton said, now two centuries ago:I like paying taxes. With taxes I buy civilization.Someone here must remember his name....KScurmudgeonfundamentalist conservative for Obama Wed 01 Apr 2009 05:10:28 GMT+1 KScurmudgeon http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/back_in_the_uk.html?page=65#comment87 60. At 01:39am on 01 Apr 2009, bere54 wrote:You know those folks from Texas -- they are never wrong and you can't tell them anything 'cause they know it all.Gross generalization of course. I'm sure there are some perfectly nice, humble, modest people in Texas. Some of them even voted for Obama.There are a great many wonderful folks in Texas - My impression is that they mostly can't afford the gasoline to get out of the state so that they can be seen. The blowhards with the longhorns on their cars are all you see and hear from unless you go there yourself.And those who know it all - all they know is Texas, viz the present example. All our kids live in Texas, heaven for men and dogs, hell for women and horses, it has been said.....KScurmudgeon - buffered by the indian territory.... Wed 01 Apr 2009 05:07:51 GMT+1 BienvenueEnLouisiana http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/back_in_the_uk.html?page=64#comment86 The responsiveness of the American Federal government is not ludicrously slow; it is ingeniously slow. The whole point of a bi-cameral Congress and all other checks and balances are to slow the speed of government down to prevent unwise and unnecessary decisions from being made at the Federal level for all states. The idea is that the individual states would take care of themselves most of the time and be the laboratory for good and bad domestic law and policy; if things get out of hand then the states with the more successful policies become the model for domestic Federal policy and law. In fact bad laws passed by Congress usually result from a breakdown in the checks and balances and a mob driven rush to act, e.g. the TARP bill. A good example of the checks and balances working properly to slow the speed of government can be seen in the curious birth and death of the outrage fueled AIG executive tax bill passed by the House of Reps and killed by the Senate. Wed 01 Apr 2009 04:57:05 GMT+1 Interestedforeigner http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/back_in_the_uk.html?page=63#comment85 70 Bere and 81 TimewaitsRF is not my area of expertise.Not sure why you aren't receiving CBC/SRC. CBME (CBC Radio Montreal) broadcasts on 88.5 MHZ from an 11,510 W transmitter. There is a 2700 W re-broadcasting station at Cowansville, 12 miles from the US border. The signals are, however, directionally polarized, which means the signal will not be picked up equally well in all directions. In any case, radio is a line-of-sight medium (or close enough for our purposes) and if you are down in a valley in Vermont, and the CBC transmitter is weak or aimed the wrong way, you may not pick it up very well. Wed 01 Apr 2009 04:39:28 GMT+1 chronophobe http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/back_in_the_uk.html?page=63#comment84 bere, about the CBC -- it's available online. Google cbc radio. I tried to post a link above, but it was moderated (????!!!!).Cheers,Pinko Wed 01 Apr 2009 02:49:43 GMT+1 txgrahawk http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/back_in_the_uk.html?page=62#comment83 ROFL, goodnight y'all...stimulated your thoughts...a good thing, I believe. Wed 01 Apr 2009 02:41:48 GMT+1 bere54 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/back_in_the_uk.html?page=61#comment82 72, Via-Media -Excellent explanation.I tried using the streets analogy in discussing health care with an acquaintance (who thinks universal care is "socialism" and therefore evil). I asked him what he thought would happen if everyone who lives on a street or road was responsible for paying a private company to maintain that road, and those who couldn't afford it just had to watch their road crumble; those who could afford to pay would still suffer if the neighbor couldn't afford to fix the huge car-swallowing pothole in front of his house; through traffic would be impeded. There would be myriad plows each trying to clear a block or two. What a mess it would all be. As is our current health care structure. It's not a perfect analogy, but it worked with this guy. It was as if a light had come on, to use a cliche. He had simply never thought of it in those terms before.This guy is a small (tiny) business owner, and if his employees can't afford health insurance, can't go to the doctor, if affects him and his business. If he has to help pay for their health insurance, it cuts into his profits. So he gets hit either way. Just like he would if his neighbor couldn't pay to repair the pothole.What I find amazing is the number of people who drive on these roads every day of their lives and scream that they don't want to pay taxes. And these are the same people who don't realize that they are already paying in many ways for the entire screwed up health "care" system, but not getting all that much for their money. Wed 01 Apr 2009 02:33:18 GMT+1 SamTyler1969 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/back_in_the_uk.html?page=60#comment81 #61Tex dude,Which poll? Every accredited poll runs 59% to 68% approval for the last week. Give us a link so we can have some fun.As we say in Texas, are you all hat and no trousers?Texan Sam Wed 01 Apr 2009 02:29:26 GMT+1 timewaitsfornoman http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/back_in_the_uk.html?page=60#comment80 70 bere54"Radio Signals"I do not know but if Interestedforeigner is still around perhaps he knows the answer. If not, I will try to find out. Hate to think of you being deprived.Interestedforeigner is correct yet again, the US is not a "foreign" country to me, but I certainly would not tune in to hear "the news." The number of times I have been asked which state I am from; I really should think up a clever answer, other than my standard, "I'm not from a State, I'm Canadian." Wed 01 Apr 2009 02:29:23 GMT+1 MagicKirin http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/back_in_the_uk.html?page=59#comment79 ref #44You have alot of faith in a comunity activist who can't even do a good job vetting his staff.Considering how poorly the goverment runs things(the U.S post office comes to mind) nationlization would be a disaster. Wed 01 Apr 2009 02:25:50 GMT+1 txgrahawk http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/back_in_the_uk.html?page=58#comment78 73Where's your sense of humor (or Queens English humour)? Wed 01 Apr 2009 02:24:39 GMT+1 David Cunard http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/back_in_the_uk.html?page=57#comment77 #34. txgrahawk: "Taxes, licenses, whatever...if I buy a TV, I don't have to pay a license fee to watch it."You buy a car and you have to have to have a licence to drive it - and are obliged to pay annual fees to the state. Without those you may own the vehicle but you cannot drive legally. Of course, you may ride a bicycle or use a cart and horse, for which there might be no additional charge.63." I'm a couple of notches right of the middle"From your posts, I'd say the notches were engraved into your skull, with the obvious effect on what (little?) there is inside. Wed 01 Apr 2009 02:15:00 GMT+1 Via-Media http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/back_in_the_uk.html?page=57#comment76 I failed to add something important. Those who insist on looking at "government" as something "outside," being imposed on us, are being sold a bill of goods. If we depersonalize it, and make it part of the "other," we lose our critical sense of ownership in all of our decisionmaking and policymaking, and ownership of the problems. In a democracy (even the representative kind,) we ARE the government. So we as a nation, and as a society, have already started to lose ourselves.Certain conservative/libertarian voices frequently claim that the government wants to think and make decisions for people. Their answer is the exact wrong one- they just want to be left alone. The only real and correct answer is for us to think and make decisions for our government.This isn't as naive as it sounds. Look how quickly our politicians listened about the AIG bonuses (right or wrong...) Wed 01 Apr 2009 02:12:44 GMT+1 txgrahawk http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/back_in_the_uk.html?page=56#comment75 Just wanted to say goodnight y'all. This has been an enlightening and stimulating converse with everyone, may your higher power be with you! Wed 01 Apr 2009 02:08:29 GMT+1 chronophobe http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/back_in_the_uk.html?page=55#comment74 re: 70 bere,If you have broadband, just go to the cbc radio website. Programming is streamed live, and past shows are archived. No antenna required!! Cheers,Pinko Wed 01 Apr 2009 02:06:44 GMT+1 David Cunard http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/back_in_the_uk.html?page=54#comment73 #18. txgrahawk: "The internet is meant to be a source of expression"Not so - the internet/World Wide Web is an additional source of communication. That does not mean that every expression (of opinion) is permissible. Hate sites can be stopped by sovereign nations together with child pornography sites. There's no such thing as 100% "free expression" even in the USA - you can't shout "fire" in a crowded theatre, unless of course there really is one. Wed 01 Apr 2009 02:01:51 GMT+1 bere54 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/back_in_the_uk.html?page=54#comment72 69, ViaMedia -Oh yeah, Molly Ivins! I miss her too, and sometimes wonder what she would have felt on seeing Obama win the election. Well, we know what she would have felt; I would have liked to read her reaction. It's sad she didn't live to see the ignominious exit of the Shrub.71 -Hoo-yah? Aren't you overdoing it a bit with the folksiness? There are some former Texans here in the village and they don't talk like that. Wed 01 Apr 2009 01:59:34 GMT+1 Via-Media http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/back_in_the_uk.html?page=53#comment71 Before we devolve into another endless debate on socialism, perhaps we need to define the terms. Many Americans are still hung up so much on the term that they haven't truly considered what it really means (not what they've been told it means.)Every highway and street we drive on is paid for, repaired, and plowed (is that "ploughed", I think, in the Queen's English?) by Federal, State, and local taxes.Every time the Coast Guard rescues someone, it's paid for by Federal taxes.Every time the police incarcerate a criminal, it's our taxes.Every action we take to regulate business, or to promote fair hiring practices, or fair housing, it's taxes. The "our" is the thing. All these things like it or not are paid for by taxes... Everyone grumbles about paying taxes- but consider the alternatives.My point: all of these examples are instances in which society has decided that it is for the common good to cooperatively fund that which we believe shouldn't be items for commerce. These public efforts are pure and simple modern expressions of cooperative effort for the common good, or- socialism. Since it occurs in a democratic republic, we have checks and balances and safeguards to make sure it isn't abused, and try to shine light on the darkest recesses to flush out corruption and inefficiency.Of the latter, I think that those who claim that the government is too inefficient to be trusted either haven't looked closely for themselves, or, perhaps for some, choose rather to believe it for political reasons.But could government (note I didn't say elected officials) be more inept and inefficient than AIG? Bear Sterns? GM or Chrysler? Wed 01 Apr 2009 01:59:26 GMT+1 txgrahawk http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/back_in_the_uk.html?page=52#comment70 right on "publius"...now you are talkin'...LOL! Sad truth is you are right about the voting populous and where we (US) directed our feelings. By the way, my chili was darn good and Jack and Pearl would go a long way...hoo-yah! Wed 01 Apr 2009 01:35:52 GMT+1 bere54 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/back_in_the_uk.html?page=51#comment69 66, jackflash -Thanks for that info. I hadn't realized it was so high. My opinion of Texas has just gone up a notch.64, timewaits -I don't understand why, being so close to the border, I can't pick up the CBC on regular radio. I know that people in Montreal can get Vermont Public Radio. And when I first moved here I was able to pick up at least one Canadian station on the car radio (which I can't now). I was out getting lost on country roads and heard someone on the radio say "pissed" and was quite startled because back then you just didn't hear that on American radio; then I realized it was a Canadian station. I wonder if I splurged and got one of those HD radios if I would be able to pick up CBC. Wed 01 Apr 2009 01:35:39 GMT+1 Via-Media http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/back_in_the_uk.html?page=51#comment68 60 bereI miss Molly Ivins. Definitely not your stereotypical Texan. Wed 01 Apr 2009 01:30:26 GMT+1 Interestedforeigner http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/back_in_the_uk.html?page=50#comment67 49. TGHSee 54. Sam made the point I was going to make, too. Mathematics matters.You can send me some of that chili, too.The comments above are pretty much correct - there are a fair number of clever people who post on this blog, and while there is a broad range of views here, for the most part the posts tend to be good natured.The US is, and will no doubt remain, a long, long way from socialism by any reasonable definition of the term.53. St. D - I agree. Pres. Obama is cleaning out the Augean stables, and he sent a message yesterday. (I feel a bit bad for Rick Wagonner, because even if he deserved it, he was on the receiving end of a lightning bolt that lots of AIG and other folks deserved just as much, yet his head is the only one now impaled on a stake in the center of the public square). 56. Bere54 The program is called "As it Happens". It started in about 1974 (?) and made Barbara Frum and Alan Maitland famous. The same format has been largely adopted on the Newshour, CBC's "The Journal" and SRC "Le Point". The show runs from 6:30 to 8:00 e.s.t. Mo Kaufman plays the distinctive theme. An institution in broadcasting.38. Philu74 - Agreed, too.America is not a foreign country to me, or, I suspect, to Timewaits, or lots of others here, but we do find US TV and print news frustrating. It is very hard to find hard news on US TV - that's why we're here on the Beeb. The Newshour on PBS is the best of the lot, but you can't get it everywhere. And, invariably, you can tell a good hotel from a bad one really easily - the bad ones all have USA Today. Would it really cost so much more to have the Chicago Tribune or the New York Times?The problem is that the US does not have an independent, publicly funded TV news service. When news is provided by commercial services there are lots of things that just don't get said because they offend either the advertisers or the consumers of the advertisers' products. The CBC may be a little too far to the left for my liking (except for HNIC), but I wouldn't for a moment want to lose it. Then we would be stuck with only CTV or Global (think Kent Brockman, but worse, and much worse, respectively. Sometimes life really does imitate art, first as tragedy, then as farce).Right now it seems, to me at least, that the federal government that is trying to exterminate the CBC, and it is a partisan political attack on free speech. This is a long way of saying that political discourse in the US would be richer and more balanced if there were a state funded, non-commercial public broadcaster with resources comparable to NBC or CBS. Wed 01 Apr 2009 01:27:22 GMT+1 txgrahawk http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/back_in_the_uk.html?page=49#comment66 Cadrolls, I got them all stirred up and that's good. This Obama "Messiah" thing is a bunch of "HS AND THE WORLD BETTER KNOW IT"! My chili was darn good, but I have no luck with duck. The last time I tried doing duck or was it goose, I literally came close to burning down my BBQ pit, LOL! Wed 01 Apr 2009 01:19:48 GMT+1 Jack http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/back_in_the_uk.html?page=48#comment65 # 60 (bere54) -"Some of them even voted for Obama" ~ Obama received 44% of the vote in Texas.(CNN: http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2008/) Wed 01 Apr 2009 01:14:37 GMT+1 arclightt http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/back_in_the_uk.html?page=48#comment64 @50 (tednol) Just because the BBC doesn't have shareholders does not mean it doesn't have vested interests, or an editorial bias. Since it's made up of human beings, it does by definition. That doesn't change the fact that the commercial-free aspect of the programming is quite attractive.@44 (marygrav) I gently suggest that Obama is not the savior you are making him out to be. Obama can't pass a law, set the budget, or set the taxes. The Congress does all of those things. I'd like to be able to say that Congress is up to this challenge, but since their consistent failures have placed us $55 trillion in debt (even though they only acknowledge about 20% of that), it's plain that they aren't and won't be without massive replacement of personnel.The financial community isn't either. They set this mess in motion by being completely reckless with regard to accountability for underlying assets. The regulators didn't help either. Unfortunately this has been warming up for 20+ years (right through Reagan, Bush 1, Clinton, and Bush 2). It's finally flowered, and what an ugly blossom it has become.These two groups of incompetent folks would be bad enough, but on top of that there are actors on this stage that are inclined to use this tragedy to further agenda items that have nothing at all to do with correcting our financial difficulties, but have a lot more to do with redirecting the country without proper representation or deliberation. Rahm Emmanuel's behavior here ("You never want a serious crisis to go to waste") is completely despicable here, but is representative. Anyone who uses or advocates the use of the misfortune of others to advance his own agenda deserves implacable, relentless public condemnation, around the clock, until their pride is shattered and they are ready to once again act like responsible adults.There is no reason to change the form of government we have, or significantly alter the correct relationship between government and business and the rest of society. There IS a real requirement, however, for adults across this society, and particularly in any place of leadership, to decide whether or not they will once again begin to carry out the responsibilities of citizenship or not. We are the guarantors of each other's rights, but we have failed to do that. We are the ones who are responsible for leaving behind for future generations a society (physical, mental, moral, social, spiritual, etc.) that functions correctly, but for the past 40+ years we have instead insisted only on our rights and what we deserve, and coasted on the huge sacrifice that our parents made for us. We've "enjoyed" one whale of a party, but now all the bills are coming due. America has the most expensive form of government in all the world and in all of history, because (a) the primary cost is the ongoing commitment of its citizens to govern their own behavior, and (b) there is no way to pay that cost than to carry it out day by day. We haven't accepted that in a long, long time; whether or not we recover will depend much more on what we do with paying THAT bill than with the financial issues we are struggling with.Where are the American adults? Wed 01 Apr 2009 01:12:30 GMT+1 timewaitsfornoman http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/back_in_the_uk.html?page=47#comment63 bere54 Your memory does not deceive you, As it Happens. Quite right, fabulous show. It is interesting how many Americans call and write in. Wed 01 Apr 2009 01:08:10 GMT+1 txgrahawk http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/back_in_the_uk.html?page=46#comment62 bere, I'm a couple of notches right of the middle, not totally right-winged and yeah, I have to question where we (US) are headed. By the way, y'all missed out on some damn good "BEEF" Texas Chili tonight..."Got 'er done"...LOL! It would even make those "stiff upper lips" drool! Wed 01 Apr 2009 01:00:25 GMT+1 publiusdetroit http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/back_in_the_uk.html?page=45#comment61 Ref 49 txgrahawkIt is the duty of every citizen in a republic, with democratic principles, such as The United States of America; to be enlightened, and exercise their enlightened franchise. (Note: we are not a democracy. There is a difference.)Our communities provide public education to meet the duty of enlightening the citizentry. There are other options available to gain enlightenment. It is up to the citizen to become enlightened and exercise their franchise.Only about 62% of eligible voters exercised their franchise and voted in the 2008 election. Of those responsible citizens who exercised their right to vote; 53% voted for Obama, thus giving him the majority vote.38% of the eligible voters failed their nation by not exercising their right to vote. It is too late for them to express their opinions in a productive manner. Maybe they will recognize their duty next election and become enlightened citizens who exercise their franchise.Until those who refuse their rightful duty to our nation choose to be responsible citizens, they should sit on the bench and watch reality shows on the television.Polls consistantly show that of the 62% of active voters, well more than 51%, support President Obama.I'll have a bowl of your Texas chili. Is it hot enough? I'll bring along a case of Pearl and a pint of Dr. Jack to share. Wed 01 Apr 2009 00:53:59 GMT+1 txgrahawk http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/back_in_the_uk.html?page=45#comment60 Sam, Sam, what do you say? The latest polls show Bogama at 46% approval after less than 100 days in office. Wuzzup wid that? Wed 01 Apr 2009 00:44:20 GMT+1 bere54 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/back_in_the_uk.html?page=44#comment59 Sam, saint, et al -You know those folks from Texas -- they are never wrong and you can't tell them anything 'cause they know it all.Gross generalization of course. I'm sure there are some perfectly nice, humble, modest people in Texas. Some of them even voted for Obama.It's somehow comforting to know that there are some die-hard right-wingers who now know what it's like to be scared of their own government. Wed 01 Apr 2009 00:39:15 GMT+1 Worldcitizen1 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/back_in_the_uk.html?page=43#comment58 #53, Txgrahawk: Just so you will know, many in here are liberal. I, myself, am a moderate. On some issues, I am extremely conservative and on others I am very liberal. I'm still holding my opinion on Obama. The duck hasn't finished roasting yet. Wed 01 Apr 2009 00:34:59 GMT+1 txgrahawk http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/back_in_the_uk.html?page=42#comment57 Let the BS fly...LOL!! Bring it on Sam's e.g.!! Obama, Wama...damn! Wed 01 Apr 2009 00:31:58 GMT+1 Worldcitizen1 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/back_in_the_uk.html?page=42#comment56 #37, Texgrahawk: You can send me a bowl of your Texas Chili anytime you want to. The hotter and spicier, the better!! I live in Connecticut. Just over-night it. Fed-ex (Chili-express). Wed 01 Apr 2009 00:29:38 GMT+1 bere54 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/back_in_the_uk.html?page=41#comment55 46, timewaits -Our public radio station carries the BBC from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. Sunday through Thursday, and from midnight to 7 a.m. on the weekend. They started this a year or so ago, which was wonderful, because I used to get BBC on shortwave and then about three years ago they stopped broadcasting on shortwave to North America. CBC stopped broadcasting to us on shortwave at about the same time, so I was bereft.I used to listen to a great evening program on CBC Radio with two women hosts. Can't remember what it was called. Could it have been something like "As It Happens"? Do you know this program? I listened to CBC and BBC in the years following 9/11 because NPR was terrible -- all rah rah Bush and war everywhere and the most canned inane "interviews" with public officials. One thing I particularly like on BBC Radio is The Interview, but for some reason VPR runs it at 5:30 a.m. on Saturdays (now with the time change I think it's at 6:30) and so even if I'm awake I drowse through it. I think to myself, "Oh this sounds interesting" and that's the last thing I remember until it's long over.NPR has seen the error of its ways, but it still doesn't compare with the BBC. I am annoyed most of the time with VPR but give them money because of the BBC at night. Wed 01 Apr 2009 00:28:36 GMT+1 SamTyler1969 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/back_in_the_uk.html?page=40#comment54 #41Texas Dude,He isn't. But he does have the advantage of being a bit like Ted Kaczynski's brother. 'Mom, I'm not perfect. I may even be a bit incompetent and I'm learning on the job. But I'm not Ted'.Metaphoric Sam Wed 01 Apr 2009 00:22:09 GMT+1 SamTyler1969 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/back_in_the_uk.html?page=39#comment53 #49Texas dude,Ironic that of the 100% of Americans who are American, the more than half of the people who don't buy into him include some of the 60% who approve of him.Venn would make a wonderful diagram of that. But then we are back in an Eddie Izzard skit.Statistician Sam Wed 01 Apr 2009 00:18:15 GMT+1 txgrahawk http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/back_in_the_uk.html?page=39#comment52 Don't have to pay for local channels...which are 20 in this metro area...some espanol, but what the hay? I will tell you that Obama and Hilary are taking my country down to socialism and it's a God Damned shame. Every person in the world should be able to decide their route in life and yes there are exceptions for those mentally challenged. It's a scary situation here in the US. Wed 01 Apr 2009 00:13:14 GMT+1 saintDominick http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/back_in_the_uk.html?page=38#comment51 Ref 49, TX"...more than half of the people in the US don't buy into Obama..."53% of us did, that's why he is our President. I was one of them, and I am glad I did. He has done more in 9 weeks to help solve our domestic problems and repair our credibility abroad than anyone could realistically expect. Wed 01 Apr 2009 00:13:07 GMT+1 timewaitsfornoman http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/back_in_the_uk.html?page=37#comment50 44 marygravUnfortunately - I believe you are so right. I do not know the answer as to how the American people are going to all pull together, but I must say it shocks me they don't seem to have started. Still quibbling over details. Putting a sticker on a car is not going to work this time. Many things are nationalized in Canada and we are getting on just fine. In many ways there is a sense of pride in "our" CBC, "our" health care system, etc.Scroll up and read Stephanie Flanders' blog. (on the right)P.S. Truly enjoyed your take on Michelle Obama's outfit! Wed 01 Apr 2009 00:12:01 GMT+1 tednol http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/back_in_the_uk.html?page=36#comment49 @ txgrahawkNot sure how the comments became about TV licenses, but I want to respond to some of your comments. If the news over the last 12 months have told us anything, it is that privately run entities are incredibly fallible. All the TV networks in the US that you pay to watch, or have to sit and watch adverts on (or both) are privately owned. This includes your news channels. Now clearly, anything that is owned by an individual, or a group of individuals, may well have vested interests. Watching the news on these channels, you are not being fed an unbiased account of what is going on. If the owners have the power to shape public opinion to meet their own needs then they are largely free to do so.What the license fee in the UK does is fund the BBC. There are no share holders. The BBC is ultimately accountable not to owners, it is not rewarded for the size of it's profits, but to the license fee payers. This, I'm sure you can see, it a critical difference. The vested interests of the BBC are far more closely aligned with those of it's viewers than any commercial operation. Tue 31 Mar 2009 23:59:59 GMT+1 txgrahawk http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/back_in_the_uk.html?page=36#comment48 bere...more than half of the people in the US don't buy into Obama...obviously I did not. I'm sorry You won't sample my chili with all it's beef...damn good! Tue 31 Mar 2009 23:51:33 GMT+1 saintDominick http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/back_in_the_uk.html?page=35#comment47 Ref 39, Bere"I don't think anyone has ever attempted this, but American ambassadors act as if they are sent to tell the natives how to live (and they usually do it in English, rarely speaking the local language)."I guess that's one of the reason they are usually ignored by the natives. An exception, of course, involves ambassadors in countries occupied military, in which case these political appointees become modern-day Roman Praetors. Tue 31 Mar 2009 23:43:19 GMT+1 OldSouth http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/back_in_the_uk.html?page=34#comment46 Well, I'm jealous! If we could convince both the powers-that-be on the ground in the UK and the US airlines that Stansted could be used for reasonably-priced flights from the US, I think we'd all see an increase in traffic and (dare I say it?) profits for all concerned. It was attempted half-heartedly by American Airlines, charging minimally $1200 per seat, who then publicly wondered why no one would fly with them on the route. I guess we'll get to bail them out with our grandchildren's livelihoods as well. Tue 31 Mar 2009 23:35:19 GMT+1 timewaitsfornoman http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/back_in_the_uk.html?page=33#comment45 Canada is inundated with American shows. We struggle to have our own TV programs and meet with some success, but I agree, nothing compares to British television. We do not pay a licensing fee but the CBC is government owned and therefore supported by our tax dollars. It airs many BBC shows; a year or so behind, but we don't know the difference!While travelling, I love to hear the words, "This is the BBC World Tonight." So I thank you. Tue 31 Mar 2009 23:22:21 GMT+1 bere54 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/back_in_the_uk.html?page=33#comment44 41, txgra -Never mind, I don't want your chili, even if happened to be vegetarian. You really do not need to be lecturing people on this blog on what to think of Obama, and we all already know that the socialism charge is false. People don't thrive on doing their own thing when they're sick and can't get health care, don't have jobs, or have jobs that pay so little they can't feed their children properly, Perhaps you should go back and read some older posts on other threads before you decide to lecture what is mostly a well-read, well-educated, thoughtful, intelligent group of people. I suppose you think that because they're not from Texas they don't know anything. You would be mistaken. You have blustered on here with typical American hubris, thinking you have to teach others how the world works. It is a very unfortunate attitude and exactly the attitude that gives all Americans a bad name. Tue 31 Mar 2009 23:17:50 GMT+1 mary gravitt http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/back_in_the_uk.html?page=32#comment43 Obama is the only thing, person, standing between America becoming a Banana Republic and solvency on a low if marginal level. This is roughly the thought of Simon Johnson, former Head of the IMF. Somehow the Republicans and Blue Dog Democrats don't get this. American people are so used to be treated like children until President Obama can't tell them the truth about the dire financial situation we are in. We have reached the end of capitalism and must fall back on every financial slight of hand trick there is to survive as a nation.The Republican Noise Machine and the Blue Dogs don't want to face this. They want to talk about debts passed on to our children and grandchildren. What if there is no America? What if we become the Banana Republic that we have turned so many South American countries into? These so-called patriots worry about chump change while the whole world needs whatever financial input and control over what little assets are left. Money is a safety net. It has no intrinsic value other than to rescue US at this time.This financial crisis is our American Holocaust. We must face the fact that the Great Depression will seem like a picnic compare to the outcome for US if we don't start acting like we know how to deal with adversity. Face facts it may be Nationalize or die. As for me and my family, we take the former. Tue 31 Mar 2009 23:14:04 GMT+1 U13889349 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/back_in_the_uk.html?page=31#comment42 txgrahawk you're stupidmaybe obama is moses not jesus Tue 31 Mar 2009 23:13:11 GMT+1 txgrahawk http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/back_in_the_uk.html?page=30#comment41 Sorry about the typing stuttering...bottom line is, we in America do not have to pay for what we view...unless it's premium channels such as movie channels and such. That's HS or BS however you want to look at it about just viewing metro stations...local...whatever. Tue 31 Mar 2009 23:06:37 GMT+1 txgrahawk http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/back_in_the_uk.html?page=30#comment40 Obama is NO MESSIAH...do not buy into that, OK!? My country is going crazy over what has come down in the past 18 months and partially it has because of a liberal agenda that has taken over our Congress...eg. Parliment! He has some good ideas, but bottom line it drives us into Socialism and we are people that thrive on doing on doing our own thing! Tue 31 Mar 2009 22:57:39 GMT+1 bere54 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/back_in_the_uk.html?page=29#comment39 37 -Is it vegetarian chili? Oh, probably not, since it's Texas. Tue 31 Mar 2009 22:54:31 GMT+1 bere54 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/back_in_the_uk.html?page=28#comment38 35, timewaits -I could be Ambassador to Canada! How does one get nominated? That guy who was once governor of Massachusetts I thought was quite rude. What was his name? Started with a C I think. You know, if an ambassador to the U.S. tried to lecture us, there would be an uproar. I don't think anyone has ever attempted this, but American ambassadors act as if they are sent to tell the natives how to live (and they usually do it in English, rarely speaking the local language).34, txgra -Don't all those cable channels that you pay for also have commercials? I ask because I don't have TV, but I could swear that when I have occasionally glimpsed something on cable (someone else's), there have been commercials. So aren't you sort of paying twice for it? I know I'm paying for the advertising whenever I buy something; it's factored into the price. But at least I don't have to watch the damned commercials. Tue 31 Mar 2009 22:52:55 GMT+1 philu74 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/back_in_the_uk.html?page=27#comment37 txgrahawk, I think the British TV license is a small price to pay for having really good TV. I lived in the US for a couple of years, and I have to say that although I loved your country very much I thought that the TV was really awful. Only a very tiny fraction of what was on was worth watching, mostly on expensive channels like HBO. The problem is that commercial channels usually play to the lowest common denominator, and if you want to watch anything smart, PBS simply can't afford to make it, so nobody gets a chance to see it and discover that they like it. I have known people from all over the world who lived in the UK and uniformly agree that the TV here is really good compared to wherever they are from. The reason is the TV license. I think it's unique to here too, it isn't common in the rest of Europe - their public TV is funded by government, and in those cases there is the big issue of whether their TV is independent of government....give me the TV license any day.... Tue 31 Mar 2009 22:41:41 GMT+1 txgrahawk http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/back_in_the_uk.html?page=27#comment36 Making Texas Chili at this moment...anyone want a bowl...? Tue 31 Mar 2009 22:41:25 GMT+1 popefridge http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/back_in_the_uk.html?page=26#comment35 txgrahawk: Yes, we pay a tv license in the UK, but that is why our radio and TV via the BBC is so much better quality than American TV. The only American channels that rival BBC quality are subscription based like HBO which work out as worse value for money than the BBC. Tue 31 Mar 2009 22:34:52 GMT+1 timewaitsfornoman http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/back_in_the_uk.html?page=25#comment34 With all this talk of there being no US Ambassador to the UK thought I should look to see who is the Ambassador to Canada. Appears we don't have one either. But I do look forward to a Democrat appointment. The Republicans often tried to tell us what to do. I believe we were polite about it, but not at all appreciative. Tue 31 Mar 2009 22:18:11 GMT+1 txgrahawk http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/back_in_the_uk.html?page=24#comment33 Taxes, licenses, whatever...if I buy a TV, I don't have to pay a license fee to watch it. If I opt to BUY additional programming, I do so... There are area TV stations that do not not charge for their programming, that is where commercials come into play...that encompass all the major TV networks in America. So, if I want to view BBC, or any across the globe stations, then I pay a for that just as I pay for the internet Tue 31 Mar 2009 22:07:51 GMT+1