Comments for en-gb 30 Thu 23 Oct 2014 09:43:35 GMT+1 A feed of user comments from the page found at MarcusAureliusII noisy little acorn;I don't have the slightest idea what you are talking about. You babble on about affording air travel in the 1950s, Europeans sending troops to Afghanistan and Iraq, Americans going to Europe for medical treatment, Europeans sending hospital ships to waters off the US, the territory covered by the British empire many decades ago, British warlords. Is there a connection or coherent point to this somewhere? BTW, what organization am I supposed to belong to? The only one I can think of is AAA which will tow my car up to 75 miles for free if it breaks down and give me free maps. Oh yeah, and AARP with about 50 or 75 million other Americans for about 10 dollars a year. They warn me Congress is trying to tinker with Medicare to pay for President Obama's health care scheme like there's something I can do about it besides writing a letter. I wasn't aware either of them wanted to disrupt discussion on BBC blog sites and that I am their agent. I'll have to contact them about this to see if they have any instructions related to it."This is Emperor Marcus Aurelius II calling Central Control, come in Central Control. What are your latest orders regarding the disrupt BBC blog site discussion mission? Over!" Mon 25 Jan 2010 03:53:34 GMT+1 quietoaktree Marcus Aurelius II, If you wish to discuss then reply to my dissenting opinion. Thats normally how democracy functions.As previously mentioned your spam level is very annoying and disrupts any useful discussion. Unfortunately that appears to be your function in your organization.(still not denied).As previously mentioned Also British Flag waving spoils discussions, the reason is simple.Look at a pre-1945 map of the world and notice the usual red color depicting the size of the British Empire controlled and plundered by a few British warlord families, America has never and will never achieve such power. (which for some unknown reason is your ideal) I have been to a few of those countries who are still victims of the Divide and Rule tactics used centuries ago.After WW II Britain introduced its ´Free´ health system and in the 50´s America was the only nation whose citizens who could afford air travel, American tourists were everywhere and the free medical care paid for the family´s holiday. I am sure no Briton was against this behaviour after the sacrifice of American troops on European soil.Instead of killing in Iraq and Afghanistan I am sure European taxpayers would rather have their taxes spent savings lives.I suggest again bringing Americans over to Europe for free medical care or position medical ships outside of your territorial waters the need is there, in your paradise. Unfortunately you are not aware that the reverse Care packets are necessary. Sun 24 Jan 2010 16:19:40 GMT+1 MarcusAureliusII noisy little acorn;First, Barack Obama is not FDR. Second, the Republicans could not obstruct anyone. In the House of Representatives the President's political party had the majority they needed to vote any bill into law they wanted. In the Senate, they had a sufficient majority not only for that but to quash any procedural attempts to delay or thwart them unique to the Senate's rules. That is what they lost this week, the so called supermajority. The Democrats' failure has been due to their in-fighting, false priorities, unrealistic assessment of the world, inexperience of the President, and arrogance. Now they will pay the political penalty for failure true democracy inflicts. We don't know how long it will take to recover from the economic depression now gripping America and the world, nobody does. But nobody forced Europe to jump off the edge of the cliff with America, that was its own idea. And not only did they jump too, they jumped harder and faster because while American banks leveraged themselves about 10:1, European banks leveraged themselves 20:1, 30:1 even 40:1. The world is a far more complex place than simple GDP numbers suggest. Even as simple a notion of what countries are worth or what they produce is no easy thing to measure quantitatively. Here's one you might consider; is in some ways a more accurate picture than GDP. It considers not only what a nation produces within its own borders but adds what it profits from and takes home from elsewhere while subtracting what others take out in profit from itself. By this measure, the US still produces one third of the world's wealth, is appears by my rough calculations to be still slightly larger than the aggregate of the EU countries and its economy is not 4 times larger than China's as GDP would suggest but almost 9 times larger. Much of China is a subsidiary of USA Inc.You may look around America and see decay and crumble in many places as you say and there is much worry and anger but there is still great inventiveness, energy, and power. And there are vast untapped resources of all kinds, both natural and human. America has climbed out of much worse in the past than it's in now and I'm confident it will climb out of this too although I have no idea how long it will take. Europe without help it won't get from America this time has not. One thing numbers can't tell you are the enormous qualitative differences in societies and in that regard, America still has a huge advantage over everyone else. Sun 24 Jan 2010 15:02:56 GMT+1 quietoaktree Marcus Aurelius appears to have a belief that that Rome was built (rebuilt) in a day.America has been living on its substance and credit for the last decades, and has finally dragged itself and the world into a financial abyss. Any visitor to America can see the destitution and crumbling infrastructure all over the country.And Marcus A. ( or his lobby) blames the messenger and is only a prosperous observer?? That statement is rather strange.The rebuilding of East Germany has taken 20 years, his one year time-frame for a similar American infrastructure catastrophy is ONE ´Obama Year´. An observant observer he is NOT, while conveniently forgetting Obamas´warning that to put Marcus´ Great country on its feet would take years. While Marcus´ list of international events are sound, the mis-information as to the causes of slow progress approaches ` A Stranger to the truth´ dimension.The active obstruction by the republicans ( and their most intelligent Ms. Palin) is also conveniently swept under the carpet. Likewise the opposition of the czech and Pole citizens to the Missiles and the sabotage of any peace initiative by Israel ( Maybe his Lobby? ) etc.etc. As Churchill said ´The truth should be protected with a bodyguard of lies´ Marcus A. appears to be doing the opposite with half-truths as a bodyguard, while at the same time using Macarthyism to silence dissenting opinion. (See next Haiti Blog) Sun 24 Jan 2010 11:53:00 GMT+1 MarcusAureliusII ghost of a szechuan chicken;"The American political system has decayed into a collection of individuals who had campaigns financed by private business interest and do their bidding."That happened a little over 200 years ago and the place has been going down hill ever since. Sun 24 Jan 2010 02:42:54 GMT+1 MarcusAureliusII noisy acorn;I'm just an observer. I will prosper no matter what political turn the US takes. But it does seem to me the honeymoon is over, the bloom is off the rose, and the Obama-nation is coming to an end. America has discovered what it should have known all along but seemed to have forgotten. Experience counts. Don't get me wrong. I like President Obama very much. He is a very smart man with a very nice family. But he is way out of his depth in his job and his political allies on the extreme left wing of the Democratic Party are an anathema to most Americans. Their policies have failed to improve the lot of the average American which is what they promised. That disappointment has led to more of the same frustration and anger that got Barack Obama elected in the first place. But don't take my word for it, listen to what President Obama said himself in reaction to the election of the new Senator from Massachussets and why a Republican won a Senate seat that had been easily carried by Democrats for over 50 years. And no, the fact that Coakley was an incompetent campaigner was not the decisive factor, anger at the way the Democrats have run the country is.While Barack Obama has not lived up to hopes and expectations of many Americans, the chance that Europeans were hoping for have also faded. That is because whatever his shortcomings, Barack Obama is no traitor, he would not sell out America to Europe or anyone else. Sun 24 Jan 2010 02:41:00 GMT+1 quietoaktree Now America has its ´Night of long knives´ , except this political assasination of Obama and his supporters. was in daylight and in front of the world.I can see Marcus Aurelius II clapping his hands and jumping up and down with glee?Unfortunately, in Germany it led to Fascism. Sat 23 Jan 2010 23:00:35 GMT+1 smartsceptic In an important addendum and caveat to my last comment #11 on the campaign finance issue in the US, the Supreme Court of the US ruled today in the case of Citizens United vs Federal Election Commission, that there can be no limit to the campaign contributions made by corporations to political candidates. This unprecedented ruling opens the floodgates to corporations to fund their favorite candidates in political elections. Since corporations (large or small) tend to favor the Republican party the result could be a totally unbalanced political climate in future elections with the Republicans heavily favored by the deep pockets of corporate boards. The vote was made along right-left ideological lines with conservatives Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, and Chief Justice John Roberts voting for the majority opinion. Anthony Kennedy not generally thought of as a right wing ideologue provided the swing vote in favor of the majority. The four dissenting justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, John Stevens, Stephen Byers, and the recently appointed Sonia Sotomayor warned in their dissenting opinion that the ruling endangered democratic government in the US. Sat 23 Jan 2010 04:58:07 GMT+1 smartsceptic I want to raise an issue with John-from-Hendon in comment #5 where he states, ".........remember that although Wall Street provides election finances main street has the votes!" Recall that during the 2008 presidential campaign, Obama in a new record raised most of his finances from small contributions made on the Internet by his grassroots supporters. The grassroots and netroots also turned out in huge numbers in the battleground states like Ohio, Indiana, NC, Pennsylvania, Virginia to ring doorbells and circulate flyers for Obama's campaign. And typically labour unions made large contributions to Congressional Democratic candidates. It is my contention that it is these core supporters that Obama has neglected as President that accounts for his worsening popularity and faltering health care reform legislation efforts. On health care reform he has turned to the private insurance corporations and the big pharma drug companies along with compromised Congressional Democrats like chairman Sen Max Baucus of the Senate Finance Committee to draft the language in the Senate version of the bills. The less compromised House committees have drafted bills that are far better for the American people and that have been largely ignored by Obama's minions in the White House. Although it is true that Wall Street provides a good chunk of the campaign financing for (both) political parties, it is far from the truth to say that the non-corporate public contributors play no role or only a small role. Fri 22 Jan 2010 23:42:12 GMT+1 Steve "If you were giving Barack Obama an examination grade for his foreign policy record during his first 12 months as US president, what would you decide on? 75 per cent? 85 per cent? Fail?"I'd give him a pretty low mark when it comes to Central and South America. The US has just continued its policy of undermining socialist governments, e.g. attempts to destabilise Bolivia by funding separatist groups.Then we have to consider the US failure to take any real action over the coup in Honduras. The US government refused to even officially identify it as a coup. They even admit they were talking to the coup leaders right up to the coup itself but never warned the democratically elected president. President Zelaya visited Washington six times after he was overthrown but Obama couldn't even spare 5 minutes to see him. Fri 22 Jan 2010 02:14:08 GMT+1 quietoaktree You can take horses to the trough,but you cannot make them drink.Obama has offered discussions on all topics from his election campaign, both nationally and internationally and at every step he has been sabotaged by the myriad of lobbyists, Republicans and even by some of his own party.The comments on many blogs resemble the ideals of White Supremacy and Macarthyism as poor Americans cry after receiving free medical care at town fairs.The latest Republican election victory comments on American radio do not negate the suspicion.Obama deserves an ´A´ rating, the American public an ´F´ Thu 21 Jan 2010 15:47:53 GMT+1 Apple-Eater My big question is, why did Robin Lustig and the BBC think it was necessary for him to fly to the US to do a programme there about Obama's first year?The BBC spends a lot of time lecturing the rest of us about Global Warming, and it's publicly funded.It has more than enough staff in the US. Shouldn't it be thinking about our money, and its carbon footprint? Thu 21 Jan 2010 08:53:59 GMT+1 ghostofsichuan The American political system has decayed into a collection of individuals who had campaigns financed by private business interest and do their bidding. Obama has put forth the ideas he ran on, yet it has been the Democrats in congress who have deluted all this effort and made sure that special interest of businesses were the major beneficinaries. It is the Democrats in Congress who get the failing grade as they are nothing more than hadmaidens to the wealthy and big business. Another generation is disillusioned by the politcal system and that is just what the political system wants. Wed 20 Jan 2010 17:23:11 GMT+1 MarcusAureliusII "It is never going to be possible to achieve much in a society where the President proposes and the Congress disposes."Yes, the American system doesn't work, that's why in over 200 years American hasn't gotten anywhere. Perhaps Haiti should be sending aid to America instead of the other way around."I would hope he would institute a public audit of the money and find out where all those dollars go"We know where a lot of it went, it went wasted straight to Helldom for defending Europe from the USSR and subsidizing European economies by granting favorable one way trade policies and tax benefits for American corporatoins to invest there and elsewhere abroad. Countless trillions over the years, just wasted. That will end soon as America just can't afford it anymore. Sun 17 Jan 2010 18:00:16 GMT+1 John_from_Hendon Obama B- (mainly for not being Bush, or a Republican of any hue)It is never going to be possible to achieve much in a society where the President proposes and the Congress disposes. I did not expect much from him, but he has avoided too many really bad mistakes. His best effort must be looking like he may get some from of rudimentary health care for the 20 percent (50 million) or so poor in the USA. He has yet to get to grip with the Pentagon and to grasp the essentials of how to progress US foreign policy so as to make the USA and the World safer - I would hope he would institute a public audit of the money and find out where all those dollars go and ensure that the country gets value for money and stop shipping pallet loads of dollar bills to dubious regimes all round the World as all that happens is that a few years down the line the money buys arms to use against Americans!He must (continue to) be firm with Wall Street and remember that although Wall Street provides election finances main street has the votes! Sun 17 Jan 2010 17:45:17 GMT+1 smartsceptic In response to Marcus Aurelius grade of F minus for President Obama's foreign policy record, I would give him a C minus, though I had higher expectations when he came to office. I agree with MA that he has performed poorly in most areas but in his defence, I believe you have to admit that President Bush left him with a bunch of the worst choices any new president has had to face. However, I disagree with MA that relations with Russia have been made worse. By pulling the missile defences out of Poland and the Czech Republic, Obama made the rational decision that it served no useful purpose and in fact would dismay many Poles and Czechs to continue GWB's irrational decision. Russia responded positively almost immediately by reversing their decision to move their own missiles closer to the border with Central Europe. Sat 16 Jan 2010 22:30:28 GMT+1 voice_germany Mr Obama has a psychological advantage because for a long time Mr Bush was - at least - unloved all over the world and there was a great relief that this period of time has passed now, according to the next president can´t do it even worse. It has to be taken into consideration that the conditions are not easy, the economic and social climate is stormy and leaves not much room or money to take further actions. So his new health system can be seen so far as a success - as we are not in school I find it a bit inappropiate by the way and even ridiculous to use examination grades to judge in "per cent". It looks like superior teachers that are knowing it all better.For the Nobel Peace Prize he has been much overrated: ok, he has charisma and knows how to thrill people. But the Nobel Prize is not the Oscar, he is the President and not a charming Holywood star. Political actions require a lot of time, he needs the congress and other political institutions. One year is an early stage, a too early stage to judge the president. Sat 16 Jan 2010 15:19:25 GMT+1 MarcusAureliusII President Obama gets an F minus. He has not solved even one foreign policy problem since he took office. In fact every one of them has gotten worse. He promised to close the outrage of Americans who don't want the terrorist prisoners on our soil. If his plan backfires and even one incident of escape occurs he will be impeached. Failed with Megrahi, failed to prevent the nearly successful attack on the plane in Detroit. Retreat from Iraq will be on the same timetable as President Bush. His expert on Afghanistan told him if he didn't send at least 40,000 more troops to Afghanistan to fight, within a year our defeat would be certain. After much delay, he sent only 30,000 rationalizing the difference by counting the largely useless drones our fair weather Nato allies will send also. He was snubbed by Russia on his visit. Relations with China are growing more tense. He humiliated the Czech Republic and Poland by making one sided concessions about missile defense. He was snubbed by Iran and they are one year closer to having an atom bomb. He didn't even give token public support to the demonstrators there. He snubbed Europeans at Copenhagen and was totally ineffective at getting a climate change agreement. No progress with China and India on their compliance with committment to CO2 reductions, in fact they won't even agree to inspections of what they promise or will actually claim they do. South America, no change. Africa, no change. The Arab world heard and applauded his speech...and then nothing changed. The Palestinian Israeli conflict...gone backwards and closer to another war. Japan, no change. India, no change. There is not one single area where things have not remained the same or gotten worse. Not one shred of hope that will change in the future. He's insulted and abused America's friends like Israel, Poland, the Czech Republic, kowtowed and made outrageously undeserved apologies and supplications to America's enemies. He runs foreign policy from a position of weakness not strength even though America is still by far the strongest nation in every regard in the world. He tries to win over enemies by being their friend with empty words after which they probably laugh at his naivete behind his back. How does he earn anything better than F minus. And the domestic economy...still very shaky with a very uncertain future. So far a failed presidency no matter how much you like him personally...and I do. Fri 15 Jan 2010 16:09:17 GMT+1 dennisjunior1 Robin:I would give President Obama a grade of C.....~Dennis Junior~ Fri 15 Jan 2010 14:51:39 GMT+1