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  • Originally posted by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1912
    The President is merely the most important among a large number of public servants. He should be supported or opposed exactly to the degree which is warranted by his good conduct or bad conduct, his efficiency or inefficiency in rendering loyal, able, and disinterested service to the nation as a whole. Therefore it is absolutely necessary that there should be full liberty to tell the truth about his acts, and this means that it is exactly as necessary to blame him when he does wrong as to praise him when he does right. Any other attitude in an American citizen is both base and servile. To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public. Nothing but the truth should be spoken about him or any one else. But it is even more important to tell the truth, pleasant or unpleasant, about him than about any one else.
    If the above statement is still meaningful and true today, then I don't see a problem with criticism of the administration in regard to the domestic spying debacle.
    RIP Coach Larry Finch
    Thank you Memphis Grizzlies for a great season.
    Play like your fake girlfriend died today - new Notre Dame motivational sign

    Comment


    • Originally posted by Z'ha'dumDweller
      Just some thoughtful observation here...

      The reason that the "Support the War But Not the Troops" motto doesn't fly with me is this: If the LEADERS are the actual Nazis, then what kind of moral standing do the troops have working for Nazis?
      Good one, although you don't hear me call them Nazis. The Nazis were at a wholly different level. For one : I haven't seen Bush slaughter part of his own population... So perhaps short-sighted people will think like that. How about my earlier "Thataway or the firingsquad"-remark?

      I don't believe for one moment that a soldier in the field can actually influence Washington. And I can't believe that anyone would think that.

      @Der Mike 01-07-2006 06:02 AM : You can indeed be sued. But you can only be convicted when you have actually slandered the other. You still have the right to say what you want. Until you get sued. I have to admit that the sueing-culture in the States is of monumental proportions compared to Europe. So I don't think I can have an informed discussion about that topic.

      - Indeed you cannot trust the media to make those decisions but then again: neither can you trust a government! My point is that they are part of the same balance, the same scales. And it is up to YOU as the American people(note: NOT the government) to decide if the actions of both the government AND the media are acceptable. And I fear that you cannot do that when one of the two parties has a hold over the other.

      - Why do you assume that a law is 'good', that a law is 'right'? Don't you think Washington is full of people with their own agenda's? It is the same thing that ZhD and I disagree about; I do Not Trust Any Government Implicitly. ZhD does. Well, let me be precise : He trusts this government.

      - The President has lots and lots of power since 2002, indeed. Granted to him by a Republican Majority in Washington. Do you really think that that has nothing to do with it?

      - Bush does not HAVE to benefit from his actions. He AlReAdY did. Or have you forgotten that this president lost a total of over 300 million dollars of the companies that he worked for/lead? That he had to be bailed out of a private bankruptcy, so his father's friends gave him a sportsclub to run? How he actually made millions of dollars on that deal while the People Of The State Of Texas had to pay Extra Taxes specifically to finance the new stadium? How this stadium was then given to the club? How this made the club very wealthy? How they rewarded him with a sizeable chunk of the shares? How he became rich overnight that way?

      Please, I may not know everything about American politics, but I do know enough about Bush, Clinton and Reagan. To name but a few.

      And it's baffling that Clinton's got no heat, since it was done SPECIFICALLY to American citizens SPECIFICALLY for Clinton's political gain.
      Please elaborate. What personal gain was that? I am always interested in the facts behind such statements.

      Originally posted by Der Mike
      The NSA program, bare minimum, prevented the Brooklyn Bridge from being bombed. People seem to have a belief that the lack of terrorist attacks are a coincidence and not due to serious work by the government. And, it ALSO needs to be noted that the people being "monitored" are people with Al Qaeda ties of some sort.
      Just for the record : I am not saying that surveillance does not help prevent attacks. I am also not saying that you should eliminate the NSA(...). As for your last line : HOw Do You Know That???? This is exactly what I mean; you are giving the government tools that Can Not Be Controlled! Not NOw And Not In The Future! So it may go perfectly now, but what happens when(I'll use democrates this time for your sake ;-) ) a democratic president decides to abuse these options in 12 years? After all ; there is precedent! Bush did it too!

      Speaking as an American, the amount of inbreeding between the state and private life in Europe is truly baffling and intimidating.
      If you say that well, I am sorry, but you will have to put your money where your mouth is. Give me examples. Because I really start to believe that you think that Europe is the New Socialist State or something...

      Facts, not impressions please. Both you and I can get impressions by the dozen just surfing around...

      Every European state has their own surveillance system that the state-owned media has no desire, whatsoever, to report on.
      Yeeessss, and were would the facts be? Because in the Netherlands there ARE no state-owned media! except for three national tv-stations as opposed to 8 commercial ones and around 45 international ones like CNN andsoon. The idea that something like SBS6 would be state-owned is enough to make me smile!

      I am obviously not denying that there are things in Europe that cannot see the daylight. But your statement is so beautifully strong that I can ask you for facts and figures. Because I really think that the States now have more surveillance going on then Europe has. Also : Europe consists of loads of countries, not all of their intelligence-agencies work together. It is not integrated like the NSA, the FBI and the CIA are in the States. These institutions used to be separated, but nobody can possibly say that this is still that case. It wouldn't work; against terrorists you need to work together. But that does not change the fact that the military picks up people and the CIA moves them around the globe. Everything can be used for good or for bad.

      And who's to determine which deep national secret is worth keeping? Who makes the decision that a secret is immoral and which is necessary?

      I do not, remotely, trust the press with that one.
      Nor the State. Reminds me too much or Orwell. So in your case "Who watches the watchers"??? Because THAT was exactly what your media did : Watch the government.

      Also because it bastardizes the Holocaust, as nothing we've done approaches that.
      Something we can both agree on. America today is no match for Nazi-Germany back then. And I don't believe it ever will be. If only because Nazi-germany did everything on purpose and had a fantastic propaganda-machine. And they still only lasted for about 12 years. I think every politician knows that it won't work.

      Ow Shit! This is getting ridiculous ! We have to get this topic reduced....
      "En wat als tijd de helft van echtheid was, was alles dan dubbelsnel verbaal?"

      Comment


      • Topic now dead

        I know it's a dodgy source (wikipedia), but, IMHO goodwin's law has now been breached, and the discussion must end here viz:
        Godwin's Law (also Godwin's Rule of Nazi Analogies) is an Internet cultural adage originated by Mike Godwin on Usenet in 1990, stating

        As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1.

        There is a tradition in many Usenet newsgroups that once such a comparison is made, the thread is over and whoever mentioned the Nazis has automatically lost whatever argument was in progress.

        It is considered poor form to arbitrarily raise such a comparison with the motive of ending the thread. There is a widely recognized codicil that any such deliberate invocation of Godwin's Law will be unsuccessful.

        There, we can all go home now
        phaze ,
        on the "waaaaaaaay too tierd to be reading stuff this heavy" ID
        "There are no good wars. War is always the worst possible way to resolve differences. It degenerates and corrupts both sides to ever more sordid levels of existence, in their need to gain an advantage over the enemy. Those actively involved in combat are almost always damaged goods for the rest of their lives. If their bodies don't bear scars, their minds do, ofttimes both. Many have said it before, but it can't be said to enough, war is hell. "

        Comment


        • No phazedout, Godwin's Law is abused time and time again. There must be a comparison between 'a participant in the discussion and the nazi-regime', that was the original law as I can remember it. Which is something completely different then agreeing that the U.S. does not resemble Nazi Germany in any way.

          If we would apply Godwin's Law to every sentence with the word Nazi in it we would stifle any discussion about the era. Something that would defeat the purpose of Godwin's Law.

          Just as I don't believe politicians or the media just because they are that, I do not blindly follow any 'internet-law' that seemed like a good idea at the time.

          Now if I were to say to YOU "You SEE what you have DONE??? This is EXACTLY how Nazi Germany was started you little HITLER!"...

          Then you would have a point...
          "En wat als tijd de helft van echtheid was, was alles dan dubbelsnel verbaal?"

          Comment


          • Besides which, if I remember anything out of this thread, he'd have been at least 30 Hitlers too late...
            Radhil Trebors
            Persona Under Construction

            Comment


            • I think you'd better go back and reread the other 750+ posts to make sure, Radhil.

              Jan
              "As empathy spreads, civilization spreads. As empathy contracts, civilization contracts...as we're seeing now.

              Comment


              • Hell, I think my first response would've done it.

                http://jmsnews.com/forums/showpost.p...10&postcount=2

                Yep.
                Recently, there was a reckoning. It occurred on November 4, 2014 across the United States. Voters, recognizing the failures of the current leadership and fearing their unchecked abuses of power, elected another party as the new majority. This is a first step toward preventing more damage and undoing some of the damage already done. Hopefully, this is as much as will be required.

                Comment


                • http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/13657303.htm


                  You see? This is EXACTLY how Nazi-Germany was started! *rofl* sorry, couldn't resist. The topic is serious enough though. Google's next? *shudder*
                  "En wat als tijd de helft van echtheid was, was alles dan dubbelsnel verbaal?"

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by WillieStealAndHow
                    Just an interesting item I found on my surfing the Net a few days ago, but waited a week to post it.

                    Top 12 media myths and falsehoods on the spying scandal
                    I'll ignore how insipid that psychotic Brock and his minions are and undress their insipid insinuations:
                    1: Timeliness necessitated bypassing the FISA court

                    Various media outlets have uncritically relayed President Bush's claim that the administration's warrantless domestic surveillance is justified because "we must be able to act fast ... so we can prevent new [terrorist] attacks." But these reports have ignored emergency provisions in the current law governing such surveillance -- FISA -- that allow the administration to apply to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court for a search warrant up to 72 hours after the government begins monitoring suspects' phone conversations.
                    The requirements for a warrant are as follows:
                    (a) Submission by Federal officer; approval of Attorney General; contents

                    Each application for an order approving electronic surveillance under this subchapter shall be made by a Federal officer in writing upon oath or affirmation to a judge having jurisdiction under section 1803 of this title. Each application shall require the approval of the Attorney General based upon his finding that it satisfies the criteria and requirements of such application as set forth in this subchapter. It shall includeù
                    (1) the identity of the Federal officer making the application;
                    (2) the authority conferred on the Attorney General by the President of the United States and the approval of the Attorney General to make the application;
                    (3) the identity, if known, or a description of the target of the electronic surveillance;
                    (4) a statement of the facts and circumstances relied upon by the applicant to justify his belief thatù
                    (A) the target of the electronic surveillance is a foreign power or an agent of a foreign power; and
                    (cool.gif each of the facilities or places at which the electronic surveillance is directed is being used, or is about to be used, by a foreign power or an agent of a foreign power;
                    (5) a statement of the proposed minimization procedures;
                    (6) a detailed description of the nature of the information sought and the type of communications or activities to be subjected to the surveillance;
                    (7) a certification or certifications by the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs or an executive branch official or officials designated by the President from among those executive officers employed in the area of national security or defense and appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Senateù
                    (A) that the certifying official deems the information sought to be foreign intelligence information;
                    (cool.gif that a significant purpose of the surveillance is to obtain foreign intelligence information;
                    ® that such information cannot reasonably be obtained by normal investigative techniques;
                    (D) that designates the type of foreign intelligence information being sought according to the categories described in section 1801 (e) of this title; and
                    (E) including a statement of the basis for the certification thatù
                    (i) the information sought is the type of foreign intelligence information designated; and
                    (ii) such information cannot reasonably be obtained by normal investigative techniques;
                    (8) a statement of the means by which the surveillance will be effected and a statement whether physical entry is required to effect the surveillance;
                    (9) a statement of the facts concerning all previous applications that have been made to any judge under this subchapter involving any of the persons, facilities, or places specified in the application, and the action taken on each previous application;
                    (10) a statement of the period of time for which the electronic surveillance is required to be maintained, and if the nature of the intelligence gathering is such that the approval of the use of electronic surveillance under this subchapter should not automatically terminate when the described type of information has first been obtained, a description of facts supporting the belief that additional information of the same type will be obtained thereafter; and
                    (11) whenever more than one electronic, mechanical or other surveillance device is to be used with respect to a particular proposed electronic surveillance, the coverage of the devices involved and what minimization procedures apply to information acquired by each device.

                    Feel free to get that together in a time crunch.
                    2: Congress was adequately informed of -- and approved -- the administration's actions
                    You obviously can't tell all Congressmen --- you know, the whole SECRET aspect of it should tell ya that --- but they told the leaders of the Select Intel Committee (and, mind you, Rockefeller said in 2002 he'd politicize the Committee).
                    3: Warrantless searches of Americans are legal under the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act
                    Check out that war powers thing the President has in time of war.
                    4: Clinton, Carter also authorized warrantless searches of U.S. citizens
                    Read up on Echelon, which is factual and actually happened. And it happened to ALL Americans, not just people whose numbers were recovered from Al Qaeda laptops and cell phones.
                    5: Only Democrats are concerned about the Bush administration's secret surveillance
                    Clearly a lie. After all, the Dems haven't moved to make it illegal. No resolutions. No nothing.
                    6: Debate is between those supporting civil liberties and those seeking to prevent terrorism
                    Notice how the Brooklyn Bridge is standing? Notice how many terrorist rings inside the US have been broken up?

                    That trumps the frisbee-deep analysis of Andrea Mitchell.
                    7: Bin Laden phone leak demonstrates how leak of spy operation could damage national security
                    Yes, the story didn't say we were listening in to bin Laden. It just said EXACTLY how he keeps in communication. Stunningly enough, he might be able to put 2 and 2 together.
                    8: Gorelick testimony proved Clinton asserted "the same authority" as Bush
                    Congress lacks the authority to restrict the authority of the President.

                    You know, that whole checks and balances thing.
                    9: Aldrich Ames investigation is example of Clinton administration bypassing FISA regulations
                    Hmm, so they now oppose policies that stopped a massive US spy to be used against terrorists? Did they read #6 before they posted this?
                    10: Clinton administration conducted domestic spying
                    He did. End of story.
                    11: Moussaoui case proved that FISA probable-cause standard impedes terrorism probes
                    So, even with suitable evidence, the warrant got denied.

                    Yeah, no reason to actually do something that needs to be done.
                    12: A 2002 FISA review court opinion makes clear that Bush acted legally
                    To be technical, they didn't, you know, disprove this.

                    Try harder next time, Davey.
                    -=Mike

                    Comment


                    • You can indeed be sued. But you can only be convicted when you have actually slandered the other. You still have the right to say what you want. Until you get sued. I have to admit that the sueing-culture in the States is of monumental proportions compared to Europe. So I don't think I can have an informed discussion about that topic.
                      If what you write is illegal to write, then you can be indicted. If I somehow got a copy of a NOC list and I printed it, I'd be thrown in jail. Even if I received it through no illegal actions of my own, I'd STILL be thrown in jail for doing so.

                      It's just baffling to see the same brigade that popped blood vessels over a no longer covert agent being "outed" has no problem with CURRENTLY covert agencies and behaviors being "outed".

                      Again, the press can't suffer prior restraint. They can suffer legal consequences for their stories.
                      - Why do you assume that a law is 'good', that a law is 'right'? Don't you think Washington is full of people with their own agenda's? It is the same thing that ZhD and I disagree about; I do Not Trust Any Government Implicitly. ZhD does. Well, let me be precise : He trusts this government.
                      One of the key aspects of civil disobedience is that you suffer for your actions.

                      And, please note: NOBODY has called to make this program illegal.
                      - The President has lots and lots of power since 2002, indeed. Granted to him by a Republican Majority in Washington. Do you really think that that has nothing to do with it?
                      The Democrats DEMANDED that a vote be taken so they could be on record giving Bush the powers before the 2002 election.
                      Bush does not HAVE to benefit from his actions. He AlReAdY did. Or have you forgotten that this president lost a total of over 300 million dollars of the companies that he worked for/lead? That he had to be bailed out of a private bankruptcy, so his father's friends gave him a sportsclub to run?
                      He actually sold Harken Energy stock to pay for the Rangers.

                      Unless you're attempting to argue that he bought the Rangers to cover up for insider information or something.
                      How he actually made millions of dollars on that deal while the People Of The State Of Texas had to pay Extra Taxes specifically to finance the new stadium?
                      A practice he did not originate and which the useless legislature (at the time, very Democrat dominated) approved. Blame them for spending the money, not the team for accepting the stadium.
                      Please elaborate. What personal gain was that? I am always interested in the facts behind such statements.
                      He used it to compile information on economics and political desires of the electorate. It was used similarly to opinion polls --- except they intercepted such things as transmissions from baby monitors.
                      As for your last line : HOw Do You Know That????
                      The fact that the gov't lacks infinite resources and lacks the manpower, money, or resources to spy on every conversation in the country.
                      So it may go perfectly now, but what happens when(I'll use democrates this time for your sake ;-) ) a democratic president decides to abuse these options in 12 years? After all ; there is precedent! Bush did it too!
                      It's been done. By Carter and Clinton.
                      If you say that well, I am sorry, but you will have to put your money where your mouth is. Give me examples. Because I really start to believe that you think that Europe is the New Socialist State or something...

                      Facts, not impressions please. Both you and I can get impressions by the dozen just surfing around...
                      The gov't controls your health care, whether you wish to admit or not. The EU is actively seeking to have its Constitution imposed IN SPITE of voter rejection of it time and time again and the power it PRESENTLY wields with little actual popular support ought to terrify people.

                      But, I personally don't care as Europe doing silly things is the norm.
                      Yeeessss, and were would the facts be? Because in the Netherlands there ARE no state-owned media! except for three national tv-stations as opposed to 8 commercial ones and around 45 international ones like CNN andsoon. The idea that something like SBS6 would be state-owned is enough to make me smile!
                      Umm, if you have to say there is no state-owned media EXCEPT --- it means you have state-owned media. Heck, here, as bad as ETV is, the amount of actual original reporting it does is virtually non-existant.
                      Nor the State. Reminds me too much or Orwell. So in your case "Who watches the watchers"??? Because THAT was exactly what your media did : Watch the government.
                      Except they didn't. They haven't in decades. The media has portrayed the story they wish to portray, reality be damned.
                      -=Mike

                      Comment


                      • My link was solely to further the discussion. I never said anywhere where I agreed nor disagreed with what was said. Providing a link in a thread is a purely neutral matter.

                        I'll wait to see how providing a link becomes "taking a side in a discussion"
                        RIP Coach Larry Finch
                        Thank you Memphis Grizzlies for a great season.
                        Play like your fake girlfriend died today - new Notre Dame motivational sign

                        Comment


                        • @Der Mike : Sorry man, I tried. But you have the utmost pre-conceived and dead wrong notions. Let me explain before I switch this one off :

                          a) You talk about Europe and it's political situation(which you tend to judge from 3.000 miles away and apparently without reading or talking about it first, like maybe...with a European?). Some(SOME!) politicians are indeed trying to 'sell' their failed constitution but what is NEW?? It will not work anyway, not in this form.
                          How many times do American politicians re-start a law-making procedure when they don't get their way the first time? How many times have we read the expression "Roe v. Wade" and how many times has that subject been on the table??? Why do the same topics turn up again and again and again in American politics? Roe v. Wade, The F.E.C., and-so-on? If that's o.k. then what is wrong with doing the same in Europe? Do people lose the right to try to change the world as they think it should be changed, just because they suffered a defeat? Open your mouth once and then never again?

                          And while I am at the subject of 'the pot telling the kettle it's black'': We do not have an N.R.A. nor a Big Tobacco etcetera to bribe everything and everyone, and then politically destroy the opponents who are left. Compared to the States ours is a political system relatively(!) free of Big Corporations money. As a matter of fact one of the most efficient European institutions is the one that checks these things.

                          Anyway : In my opinion it is simply bigotry to heckle European politics and at the same time not look at America. Why do you consider the splinter in your neighbour's eye but refuse to see the beam in your own?

                          b) You seem to see the world in terms of 'Democrats' as opposed to 'Republicans'. As is 'Democrats Ba-a-a-a-d, Republicans GooD!' or something. Well, that's what you get in a two-party system. This is for instance quite evident in your comment about spying on your own people : 'Clinton and Carter did it too'. Yessss, and so did Reagan, so did Ford, so did Nixon, so did Bush Sr. etcetera. The extent to which they did it was very very very different from today. But please do not believe me. Me just ignorant European socialist peasant... I think not mentioning these presidents in that sentence(as I did do by the way), makes me think you are not really interested in a pure factual discussion. That you have already made up your mind about as good as anything. I don't mind that, but it makes any discussion meaningless.

                          c) I get the feeling that - although I am not an American - I know more about politics in the United States then you do about Europe. And I am talking about political history, historical turningpoints, political system, etcetera. As I understand it, this is quite normal. Americans "do Europe in three days", whereas Europeans take a month "to start exploring America". Three days isn't even enough to check out Amsterdam, let alone Europe. I don't mind people who are not interested in the facts about Europe. I do mind people who state factual errors as if they were written in stone.


                          And let's not get into a discussion about 'objective sources', as far as there are any truly objective sources of course. I don't see much lines in your postings that go : "Clinton spied on his own people just like Bush( url : www.wikipedia.org/clintonandbush)".


                          So with all due respect : what do you want from me or other people in this thread who do not agree with you? Keep hammering away the same 'facts' until they cave in? Sorry, it's just not the way I was taught how to have a discussion. A somewhat open mind is a requirement.
                          I have tried to keep an open mind about the U.S.A. and if I may say so : I admire the country. NOT the politics, NOT the international bullying, etcetera. I admire the country, and most of the people who built it. In return I yet have to hear a single positive remark about Europe, the Netherlands, or for that matter: about ANY country except for America.

                          Do you remember who started your country at all?

                          So I switch off now. Because I have no desire to be seen as the eternal America vs. Europe-guy and your style of discussion polarizes to no end. And because I really don't believe that you will come my way a bit in this discussion. Not even when I try to come your way a bit. It is called a discussion and it is a dying artform.


                          And as a last bit of advice I suggest you read "Fortunate Son". The book about George W. Bush that they actually BURNED IN TEXAS under pressure of the Bush-clan. Burning books, it shouldn't get any more insane, g*dd*mnit.
                          Anyway : the book couldn't be banned for inaccuracy and You Bet They Tried! Please read the chapters about Harken Energy and the Rangers, they are quite informative.


                          So...anyone else who wants to step in?
                          Last edited by Towelmaster; 01-20-2006, 07:58 AM.
                          "En wat als tijd de helft van echtheid was, was alles dan dubbelsnel verbaal?"

                          Comment


                          • I have tried to keep an open mind about the U.S.A. and if I may say so : I admire the country. NOT the politics, NOT the international bullying, etcetera. I admire the country, and most of the people who built it. In return I yet have to hear a single positive remark about Europe, the Netherlands, or for that matter: about ANY country except for America.
                            There isn't much to say that is positive.
                            Recently, there was a reckoning. It occurred on November 4, 2014 across the United States. Voters, recognizing the failures of the current leadership and fearing their unchecked abuses of power, elected another party as the new majority. This is a first step toward preventing more damage and undoing some of the damage already done. Hopefully, this is as much as will be required.

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by Z'ha'dumDweller
                              There isn't much to say that is positive.
                              Now there's a comment designed to bring conversation to a halt. Want to share any details as to *why* you think so, or is it just a general 'the USA is better in every way' thing?

                              One thing I've noticed is that a good many of the east-side-of-the-Atlantic folks are much better versed in issues and news items than most of the people I interract with daily over here.

                              Jan
                              "As empathy spreads, civilization spreads. As empathy contracts, civilization contracts...as we're seeing now.

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by Towelmaster
                                How many times do American politicians re-start a law-making procedure when they don't get their way the first time? How many times have we read the expression "Roe v. Wade" and how many times has that subject been on the table??? Why do the same topics turn up again and again and again in American politics? Roe v. Wade, The F.E.C., and-so-on?
                                Roe v Wade was decided by judicial fiat. That is why it keeps coming up. And the people have never voted on the FEC and have never cared about campaign finance rules. That was simply done by the gov't and was never something the populace gave a damn about.
                                If that's o.k. then what is wrong with doing the same in Europe? Do people lose the right to try to change the world as they think it should be changed, just because they suffered a defeat? Open your mouth once and then never again?
                                When you have a body with, literally, NO popular mandate still dictating the policies of several countries, you have a significant problem.
                                And while I am at the subject of 'the pot telling the kettle it's black'': We do not have an N.R.A. nor a Big Tobacco etcetera to bribe everything and everyone, and then politically destroy the opponents who are left.
                                No, you just have a history of tyranny and bloody violence that is seldom matched. And your knowledge of "big tobacco" and the NRA is a bit comical, considering that the NRA is out to protect a right specifically mentioned in the Constitution and big tobacco is protecting a perfectly legal product.
                                Compared to the States ours is a political system relatively(!) free of Big Corporations money.
                                No, you just have a system where nobody wishes to face the ugliness that exists within. And that is fine.
                                As a matter of fact one of the most efficient European institutions is the one that checks these things.

                                Anyway : In my opinion it is simply bigotry to heckle European politics and at the same time not look at America. Why do you consider the splinter in your neighbour's eye but refuse to see the beam in your own?
                                Yes, because America has never criticized its own government.
                                b) You seem to see the world in terms of 'Democrats' as opposed to 'Republicans'. As is 'Democrats Ba-a-a-a-d, Republicans GooD!' or something. Well, that's what you get in a two-party system. This is for instance quite evident in your comment about spying on your own people : 'Clinton and Carter did it too'. Yessss, and so did Reagan, so did Ford, so did Nixon, so did Bush Sr. etcetera.
                                Never said they didn't. It's best to not argue points I did not make.
                                The extent to which they did it was very very very different from today. But please do not believe me. Me just ignorant European socialist peasant... I think not mentioning these presidents in that sentence(as I did do by the way), makes me think you are not really interested in a pure factual discussion.
                                I have no concern if you wish to make incorrect assumptions about me. I lack the energy or desire to worry what people I don't know think of me.
                                c) I get the feeling that - although I am not an American - I know more about politics in the United States then you do about Europe. And I am talking about political history, historical turningpoints, political system, etcetera.
                                History, I'll pretty well guarantee you do not.

                                Presently? Probably. Europe is of no consequence to the US, so we don't obsess over the assorted scandals over there.
                                As I understand it, this is quite normal. Americans "do Europe in three days", whereas Europeans take a month "to start exploring America". Three days isn't even enough to check out Amsterdam, let alone Europe. I don't mind people who are not interested in the facts about Europe. I do mind people who state factual errors as if they were written in stone.
                                Said the person making absurd allegations about Americans and their knowledge of European history. Got it.
                                And let's not get into a discussion about 'objective sources', as far as there are any truly objective sources of course. I don't see much lines in your postings that go : "Clinton spied on his own people just like Bush( url : www.wikipedia.org/clintonandbush)".
                                A compendium of numerous stories, in the "legitimate press", about project Echelon.
                                http://fly.hiwaay.net/~pspoole/echres.html#newsarticles
                                So with all due respect : what do you want from me or other people in this thread who do not agree with you? Keep hammering away the same 'facts' until they cave in? Sorry, it's just not the way I was taught how to have a discussion. A somewhat open mind is a requirement.
                                You know, if you REALLY want to make this personal, it will become quite ugly. I have managed to avoid personally attacking you, but you seem woefully unable to do the same. C'est la vie.
                                I have tried to keep an open mind about the U.S.A. and if I may say so : I admire the country. NOT the politics, NOT the international bullying, etcetera.
                                And your lack of knowledge about US politics and absurd beliefs about US foreign policy is --- well, typical, to be perfectly honest.
                                I admire the country, and most of the people who built it. In return I yet have to hear a single positive remark about Europe, the Netherlands, or for that matter: about ANY country except for America.
                                Not much worth praising. There, I said it.
                                Do you remember who started your country at all?
                                We left Europe for a reason. And the reason you're not a Nazi right now is us.
                                So I switch off now. Because I have no desire to be seen as the eternal America vs. Europe-guy and your style of discussion polarizes to no end. And because I really don't believe that you will come my way a bit in this discussion. Not even when I try to come your way a bit. It is called a discussion and it is a dying artform.
                                When you're wrong, no, I won't "come to you". Sorry.
                                And as a last bit of advice I suggest you read "Fortunate Son". The book about George W. Bush that they actually BURNED IN TEXAS under pressure of the Bush-clan. Burning books, it shouldn't get any more insane, g*dd*mnit.
                                Fortunate Son.

                                Do you have the first clue about the author of that book? We're supposed to take allegations with zero evidence from a man convicted of attempted murder and credit card fraud seriously? Feel free to google James Hatfield. The info is not exactly unknown.

                                And I suppose proof of Bush forcing the burning of the book in Texas will soon be forthcoming, right?

                                Right?

                                News: When a publishing company decides to destroy a book they published that they are embarrassed that they published is not the fault of the person they slandered.
                                Anyway : the book couldn't be banned for inaccuracy and You Bet They Tried!
                                That whole pesky First Amendment thing.

                                Of course, nobody tried to ban the book. They simply pointed out that the author had zero evidence and had enough of a track record that one could not actually trust the man.

                                But you have an open mind, right? *snicker*
                                Please read the chapters about Harken Energy and the Rangers, they are quite informative.
                                I'll wait for somebody NOT convicted of fraud and attempted murder to write about it, thanks just the same.

                                But feel free to feed your Bush derangement.
                                -=Mike

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