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n/a
deleted

1483 Posts

Posted - 10/09/2008 :  15:21:11  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I'll start by saying that I'm no fan of John McCain ... but...

When evaluating McCain's body language it's important to consider that he had both arms and one leg broken during hs service in Vietnam, and due to being a POW he never received the care required for his injuries to heal properly. As a result, he now bears a permanent limitation of his motion. He is not able to walk as easily as many people, nor is he able to raise his arms above a certain point. So despite appearances, he was not "walking off a leg cramp," nor was he necessarily angry or uptight. He moves the way he does becaue he has scars. I guess in an age where our leaders need to look good on television, that can be a liability.

Edited by - n/a on 10/09/2008 15:41:24
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Siobhan
Chief Healer

USA
2157 Posts

Posted - 10/09/2008 :  15:59:32  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
And in such an age, his advisors should have mentioned that sitting would draw attention away from his phsyical limitations and lessen the appearance of being old-- that is what I was driving at. It was an appearance that was only emphasised by the comparative grace and ease of the younger man. If McCain had stayed comfortably seated, instead of shuffling (there is no way around it-- that's how he walks) around the stage, the image wouldn't have been so remarkable. I was not attempting to be insensitive to his injuries. Then again, there is the point that it would not have been so distracting had the message been more impressive. Perhaps the image would not have been important.

Deliberatley causing mayhem in Snape's Potions class.
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diricawl
Looney

United Kingdom
1078 Posts

Posted - 10/09/2008 :  16:00:24  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
My opinion of John McCain has never been influenced by his body language. It has been mainly influenced by his inability to deal with crises. His attempt to cover up the flub about the fundamentals of the American economy being strong reminded me of a guy trying to explain his condition to a proctologist: "Well doc, ya see, there was this ladder, and I was carrying a pizza to a treehouse, and one of the kids had dropped some applesauce on a rung, and there was this bottle on the picnic table..." His shameless pandering to the fundamentalist right and pissed off Hillary supporters by nabbing someone as patently unqualified as Sarah Palin also makes me question his convictions.

AMC, we have the same people here, and yes, they also have one person one vote. But for some reason there simply aren't the kind of populist loonies in the British media that there are in the US media. I mean, yes we have the tabloids and there are some "characters" like Boris Johnson, but there's no one on the scale of Rush or Ann here. I don't really know why. It's not like there's not a market for them.

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"They don't want the Easter Bunny's power; The children in our generation want Harry's power, and they're getting it." - Laura Mallory
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JKRisSuperior
Mediwizard

USA
694 Posts

Posted - 10/10/2008 :  20:38:25  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081011/ap_on_el_ge/palin_troopergate;_ylt=AnpKZdQB3eqigFuyKxbEyQ6s0NUE

Sarah Palin has been found to have abused her power as Alaska Governor. It will be interesting to see what, if anything, will happen in the next coming days/weeks. Would McCain have time to pick a new running mate?
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Siobhan
Chief Healer

USA
2157 Posts

Posted - 10/11/2008 :  21:15:47  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Oh heavens no! He and the staunch Republicans will stick with her and defend her. Never mind those stupid ethics rules, they only apply to other people (Democrats)-- and they'd better not violate those very rules or they will have their butts handed to them. It's double standards that ticks me off no matter who is applying them to whom. Can you tell?

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Theowyn
Looney

1078 Posts

Posted - 10/14/2008 :  12:09:35  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thank God - and Britain - that we finally have a genuinely potent strategy for shoring up our financial market. Why the heck didn't Paulson think to invest in the banks directly two weeks ago? This will do far more good than buying up bad loans as the stock market attested yesterday.

I generally listen to the debates on the radio rather than watch them, so I miss the body language. Perhaps I'll have to try to watch Wednesday's debate to catch some of that.

As for our electorate here in the US, I think what sets us apart is not just how many ignorant people there are (there are ignorant people everywhere); it's how many PROUDLY ignorant people we have. It's this anti-intellectual strain in American politics that poisons our country. These people shun the bright, well educated, serious thinkers in favor of someone "like them" who they'd like to have a beer with. This idea is utterly irrational and consequently immune to rational argument. I have no idea how to root it out of our political system, but it is probably the single most destructive impulse driving people.

Regarding McCain, his campaign really has been erratic. It seems he shifts gears every few days and his selection of Sarah Palin was nothing but blatant pandering to the religious right and the gun lobby. But McCain is an odd duck. I'm not sure if he's running his campaign or if the campaign is running him. Take the smear tactics he was using against Obama last week. He was obviously uncomfortable with this and pretty much refuted them himself in one of his appearaces over the weekend - calling Obama a decent, Christian, family man people don't need to be afraid of. I can just imagine his handlers sitting backstage thinking, "What the heck!!"

So this week, McCain is supposed to be dropping the smear tactics and refocusing on his life story and assorted economic proposals. I'm not sure it'll help him in the polls, but at least maybe we won't have idiots at his rallys shouting slurs against Obama.

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diricawl
Looney

United Kingdom
1078 Posts

Posted - 10/14/2008 :  16:29:53  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
How strange it must be for Gordon Brown. Three weeks ago he was a political zombie; his refusal to call an election and gain a mandate for his rule alienated him utterly from his country's entire population. Two weeks ago he was declaring Iceland a terrorist state and using the UK's version of the Patriot Act to freeze its UK assets in retaliation for its refusal to back UK savers. Now all of a sudden he's a visionary world leader. I guess there are times when it pays to be a Scottish tightwad.

The funny thing about anti-intellectualism in America is that I kinda understand it. You see similar strains of thought in other countries with a frontier tradition, like Australia, South Africa and Brazil. Such a history breeds people who see more value in doing than in thinking. Better to build your life up from the dust with your own blood, sweat and tears than debate philosophy in the agora. To a certain extent, that ideology is admirable. But we don't have any frontiers left now; the world is becoming, if not a village, a country, and the urban, tolerant, settled, educated, old-world ideology is better suited for the future. At least until such time as we colonise Mars.

I don't get the whole "Obama loves terrorists" thing. Bill Ayers was brought out and roundly beaten on the stump during the primaries. People seemed to think it was a dead horse then. Now people are saying, "Obama hates America! Kill him!" Why the change, I wonder. I know America has ADD but I didn't think it was that bad.

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As to the avatar, well, if you girls can all have Alan Rickman...

"They don't want the Easter Bunny's power; The children in our generation want Harry's power, and they're getting it." - Laura Mallory
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Theowyn
Looney

1078 Posts

Posted - 10/14/2008 :  18:58:47  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by diricawl

How strange it must be for Gordon Brown. Three weeks ago he was a political zombie; his refusal to call an election and gain a mandate for his rule alienated him utterly from his country's entire population. Two weeks ago he was declaring Iceland a terrorist state and using the UK's version of the Patriot Act to freeze its UK assets in retaliation for its refusal to back UK savers. Now all of a sudden he's a visionary world leader.
Well, everyone has their strengths.

quote:
The funny thing about anti-intellectualism in America is that I kinda understand it.
Yes, the whole self-reliant "frontiersman" mythology looms large in the American psyche, and in some forms (entrepreneurialism for instance), itís great. But boy, is it counterproductive in its anti-intellectualism form. We really need to find a way to redirect that spirit into attitudes and behaviors that are more useful in an ever shrinking world. That, or step up the planning for those colonies on Mars.

quote:
I don't get the whole "Obama loves terrorists" thing. Bill Ayers was brought out and roundly beaten on the stump during the primaries. People seemed to think it was a dead horse then. Now people are saying, "Obama hates America! Kill him!" Why the change, I wonder. I know America has ADD but I didn't think it was that bad.

Ah, but Bill Ayers hasn't affected Obama's poll numbers precisely because that horse was beaten to death in the primaries. McCain's just desperately throwing anything he can at Obama in the hopes that something will stick. The only people this resonates with are the fringe, lunatic element of his base.

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"Always"
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diricawl
Looney

United Kingdom
1078 Posts

Posted - 10/15/2008 :  04:09:54  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Poor McCain. I really do feel sorry for him. He used a dead issue to fire up his base, and instead transformed his audience into subhuman bloodthirsty monsters calling for death. And then, when he tried to appeal to his audience's better nature in a desperate attempt to stem the evil tide, he was booed. And THEN came the "He's not an Arab; he's a decent family man" comment.

What's even more shocking is how slowly the press picked up on that particular flub. Arab Americans must be running pretty low on faith in the public sphere right now.

Order of the Bookmark

As to the avatar, well, if you girls can all have Alan Rickman...

"They don't want the Easter Bunny's power; The children in our generation want Harry's power, and they're getting it." - Laura Mallory

Edited by - diricawl on 10/15/2008 04:31:24
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Theowyn
Looney

1078 Posts

Posted - 10/15/2008 :  13:24:29  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by diricawl

Poor McCain. I really do feel sorry for him. He used a dead issue to fire up his base, and instead transformed his audience into subhuman bloodthirsty monsters calling for death. And then, when he tried to appeal to his audience's better nature in a desperate attempt to stem the evil tide, he was booed. And THEN came the "He's not an Arab; he's a decent family man" comment.

What's even more shocking is how slowly the press picked up on that particular flub. Arab Americans must be running pretty low on faith in the public sphere right now.

Yes, that whole rally was really a low point for McCain. I actually feel sorry for him, too. I think he's a decent fellow and a better man than his campaign has made him out to be. Eight years ago he would have been a much better choice for the presidency than Bush. But he's 72 now and I truly don't believe he has the energy and judgement to even run his campaign, much less the country. Sarah Palin was a ridiculous choice for VP. Picking her was shameless pandering, of course. But far worse than that, she was a really, truly bad choice. McCain wasn't thinking past wowing his base to the reality of governing. The woman is not fit to serve and McCain should have known that. If he didn't or if it didn't matter to him, then that is a huge problem. This goes beyond ideological differences in fiscal or foreign policy. McCain does not think ahead; he has no foresight. He is reactionary and we simply can't afford such myopia.

As for Arab-Americans, yes, there is still suspicion and fear out there, though nothing close to what we experienced right after 9/11. Reality, as usual, is much more complicated than soundbites suggest. In the context of public rallies like McCain's, "Arab" is code for "Anti-American, Muslim terrorist" and that is the meaning that McCain and the media - and let's be honest, everyone else too - understood in context.

But how we understand code words is a far cry from the way we live our lives. Some people are prejudiced against Arabs (and/or Blacks, hispanics, etc., etc.). Others aren't. I can understand the code word without harboring any prejudice myself, so can John McCain. While his response was a political faux pas, I doubt it said much about his own personal prejudices.

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"Always"

Edited by - Theowyn on 10/15/2008 13:39:18
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diricawl
Looney

United Kingdom
1078 Posts

Posted - 10/16/2008 :  03:11:27  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Oh I don't blame McCain for that. I probably would have said something similar under those intense circumstances. What bugged me was that the fact that "Arab" is code for "terrorist" has become so normalised that people accept it unconditionally. Even Obama plays off it. Whenever anyone says, "I can't vote for him because he's Muslim", his response has always been, "I'm not a Muslim, I'm a Christian." Why has he never said, "I'm not a Muslim, and so what if I was?"

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As to the avatar, well, if you girls can all have Alan Rickman...

"They don't want the Easter Bunny's power; The children in our generation want Harry's power, and they're getting it." - Laura Mallory
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Theowyn
Looney

1078 Posts

Posted - 10/16/2008 :  16:30:15  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Well, because to a large number of people, religion does make a difference. This goes beyond the stupid "Arabs are terrorists" nonsense. This gets back to people wanting their leader to be "like them" which is to say someone who understands them, thinks like them, holds the same values, etc. To the religious right, being Christian is a big deal and it likely matters to many more moderate voters too. I think it's a bigger issue than race. I fully expect that America is ready for a non-White president. I don't believe it's ready for a non-Christian president. That's a shame, but true nonetheless.

Out of curiosity, how do you think a Muslim running for PM in Britain would fare?

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s.i.n.e. qua non

"Always"

Edited by - Theowyn on 10/16/2008 16:34:06
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diricawl
Looney

United Kingdom
1078 Posts

Posted - 10/17/2008 :  06:27:50  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Not well. Britain isn't very far advanced in racial integration. It's far more advanced than the rest of Europe (France doesn't even acknowledge that racial minorities exist, Germany grants passports to ethnic Germans born in Kazakhstan but demands citizenship tests for ethnic minorities born in Germany, and Italy is still in the "throwing bananas at black footballers" stage) but not anywhere near where America (at least liberal America) is. Britain may be secular, but there is still a very strong sense of "us vs. them" as regards immigrants in general, and, especially since 9/11, Muslims in particular.

The problem is fairly simple. There are three ways of dealing with immigration: the first is assimilation, in which everyone, whatever their religion or race, is to conform to the culture and ideology of the majority. Minority ethnic cultures are ignored. This is France's position, and, as the recent riots in the suburbs of Paris have shown, it doesn't work. The second is the "melting pot", in which cultural diversity is encouraged as long as all citizens adhere to a given set of established cultural norms. This is America's position, and, for all its faults (blacks and Native Americans, who, unlike recent immigrants, never had a choice in the matter, are understandably reluctant to take it up) it is probably the most successful strategy ever adopted. However, America has spent a great deal of time and effort constructing a detailed civic religion and folk history with which to connect everyone in the country to a core of shared values. Britain, which since the collapse of Empire and the dropping of the white man's burden has yet to sit down with itself and figure out what it stands for, decided on a third option in dealing with immigration, multiculturalism, which was basically means that everyone can do whatever they want and behave however they want and as long as they don't kill each other we'll pretty much leave them alone. This seems pretty tolerant and enlightened until you realise that it effectively destroys any sense of national identity on the ground. Muslims live with Muslims, Hindus with Hindus, and whites with whites. No one has any cause to identify with the country they were born in. But since the country they were born in hasn't figured out what it identifies with either, this problem hasn't gone away.

Order of the Bookmark

As to the avatar, well, if you girls can all have Alan Rickman...

"They don't want the Easter Bunny's power; The children in our generation want Harry's power, and they're getting it." - Laura Mallory
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Theowyn
Looney

1078 Posts

Posted - 10/17/2008 :  17:58:09  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Iíve heard about Britainís (for lack of a better term) identity crisis. Iím actually surprised that more European nations havenít experienced something similar given how many changes Europe has been through in the last century. Really, when you think about all the social, political and economic upheaval that has taken place, itís staggering.

In the realm of racial integration, America has a couple of advantages over Europe. To begin with, our nation wasnít founded upon a particular ethnic identity. Even though the original Americans were overwhelmingly English, that didnít last long and so many different nationalities have come to the country over the last two centuries that we really are a truly multi-ethnic bunch. Which leads to our second big advantage: we have been at this multi-ethnic business a lot longer than Europe Ė or anyone else for that matter.

Weíve been assimilating huge waves of immigrants for over 150 years and weíve been through some very ugly periods. Weíve spilt plenty of blood and behaved despicably towards immigrants, especially in the early days. Thatís why we had to develop a solid means of integrating all these new cultures into American society. The country would have disintegrated otherwise; hence the whole melting-pot mythology and larger-than-life folk history. Weíre veterans at this stuff now and even though weíre far from perfect at it, we know that we can absorb new cultures into our own without destroying them or losing ourselves in the process, because weíve done it plenty of times before.

Truthfully, I think this may ultimately be Americaís real gift to the rest of the world. This example of a nation built on a shared social and political philosophy rather than ethnicity is an important one. We are all far too mobile for ethnic groups to remain intact forever. Eventually every nation will need to define itself by its culture rather than by the ethnicity of its population.


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diricawl
Looney

United Kingdom
1078 Posts

Posted - 10/20/2008 :  04:08:36  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Theowyn

Iíve heard about Britainís (for lack of a better term) identity crisis. Iím actually surprised that more European nations havenít experienced something similar given how many changes Europe has been through in the last century. Really, when you think about all the social, political and economic upheaval that has taken place, itís staggering.


Plenty of European countries have that problem, but they tend to deal with it by resorting to hypernationalism. Hence Yugoslavia. And Russia. And the current wave of anti-Roma legislation being passed in Italy. Britain has a hypernationalist wing, mostly visible in the tabloid newspapers, but it's never really made much headway, mostly because the British are a.) too cynical and b.) too reserved to get sucked into nationalistic fervor.

Order of the Bookmark

As to the avatar, well, if you girls can all have Alan Rickman...

"They don't want the Easter Bunny's power; The children in our generation want Harry's power, and they're getting it." - Laura Mallory
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Theowyn
Looney

1078 Posts

Posted - 10/20/2008 :  16:35:54  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by diricawl

quote:
Originally posted by Theowyn

Iíve heard about Britainís (for lack of a better term) identity crisis. Iím actually surprised that more European nations havenít experienced something similar given how many changes Europe has been through in the last century. Really, when you think about all the social, political and economic upheaval that has taken place, itís staggering.


Plenty of European countries have that problem, but they tend to deal with it by resorting to hypernationalism. Hence Yugoslavia. And Russia. And the current wave of anti-Roma legislation being passed in Italy. Britain has a hypernationalist wing, mostly visible in the tabloid newspapers, but it's never really made much headway, mostly because the British are a.) too cynical and b.) too reserved to get sucked into nationalistic fervor.

Yes, two very different reactions to the same stimulus. Of the two, I'd say Britain's is the safer. Nationalistic fervor is rarely a good thing. It usually just whips up the "us vs. them" mentality.

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Starling
Confunded

United Kingdom
701 Posts

Posted - 10/21/2008 :  04:50:24  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I think forcing kids to spend a year abroad after they've left high school would solve an awful lot of problems in the world.

I wuv multicoloured werewolf puppies.
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Siobhan
Chief Healer

USA
2157 Posts

Posted - 10/21/2008 :  10:13:56  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Yeah, but that's only for the ones with the money who have their passport handed to them after they throw their cap-- according to Sarah Palin. Apparently she was so middle class *how middle class was she?* that she didn't even aspire to see the rest of the world and therefore feels free to insult those of us who have, thanks to parents who cashed in life insurance so that we could. When did it become so hip to be ignorant? I guess I should have seen it coming, since I've always been on the fringe and I apparently qualify for the label "elitist intellectual."

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Theowyn
Looney

1078 Posts

Posted - 10/22/2008 :  15:17:14  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
You probably also live in one of those parts of America that isn't the "real" America and are one of those liberals who "hate" America. Sheesh! The mud is so deep this election season that it's nearly impossible to wade through it. Obama would have my vote for no other reason than that, everyday, amidst all this insanity, he still manages to stand up and give intelligent speeches about issues like national security and the economy.

As for students traveling abroad, I agree completely with Starling that it would help our society immensely. My older son spent two weeks traveling in France and Italy after his sophomore year and it really did give him a more sophistocated perspective on the world. Not only did it show him the differences in language and culture, it showed him - crucially - that despite those differences, people are all essentially the same.

Often, even if we know this intellectually, we may not truly understand it deep down. When I went to Europe right after college I was already an internationalist in my thinking, but even so, I will never forget stumbling off the plane at Heathrow at 7:00 a.m., taking one look at the congested traffic and overcast sky and wondering if I'd spent the last 24 hours flying in circles - San Francisco, which I'd left at 7:00 the previous morning, and London have remarkably similar weather in June.

In retrospect of course, it was ridiculous for me to expect London to be vastly different from S.F., but what is noteworthy is that I hadn't actually realized that I expected the two cities to be different. It was only in seeing the similarities between them (and indeed the people) that I realized how provincial my subconscious expectations had been.

As far as possible, high-schools should promote low-cost, foreign travel for their students - even if only to Mexico for a week - but even more important, EVERY student should participate in mandatory international internet correspondence. These days, we don't have to travel to meet people from other countries. The internet provides a perfect opportunity for students to talk with their contemporaries around the world. Instead of simply teaching world history, current events and civics, the schools should have students talk with their peers in other countries about their lives and views on the issues that effect us all. This would take very little money or organization and it would engage students and produce the sophistocated, internationally-aware citizens we need in the 21st century and beyond.


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Edited by - Theowyn on 10/22/2008 15:22:49
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Siobhan
Chief Healer

USA
2157 Posts

Posted - 10/22/2008 :  18:04:23  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Theowyn

You probably also live in one of those parts of America that isn't the "real" America and are one of those liberals who "hate" America.
I used to. Now I live in an all too "real" America and have to be one of those underground terrorist liberal intellectual elitist subversive homeshooling parents with control issues.

I agree on the world travel idea. Nonetheless, I congratualte myself on having talked my in-laws out of a trip to England. It would all have ended in tears-- or at least in years of stories of dissatisfaction. Their expectations are based on James Herriot novels (and we know what era those are set in, right?) and public broadcasting's television fare (not BBC America, even). Add in the firm belief in the intrinsic superiority of all things American and a stubborness to accept that anything different is not necessarily bad and you have a recipe for regret which would have put me in a very delicate position as chief fan of Europe/England in their family.

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diricawl
Looney

United Kingdom
1078 Posts

Posted - 10/23/2008 :  04:34:07  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
"Democrats hate America; Republicans love America, they just hate half the people in it."

I actually think that Americans would get a far greater sense of "difference" travelling to Mexico than to the UK.

This is something I've never got: When people think of India, do they still think of Mowgli and Gunga Din? Do people base their opinions of Africa on King Solomon's Mines? When people think of Mexico, do they still think they'll run into Emilio Zapata? When people think of Japan, do they still think that it's ruled by shoguns and samurai? I imagine not. So why are everyone's opinions of England 100 years out of date?

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As to the avatar, well, if you girls can all have Alan Rickman...

"They don't want the Easter Bunny's power; The children in our generation want Harry's power, and they're getting it." - Laura Mallory

Edited by - diricawl on 10/23/2008 05:54:49
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Siobhan
Chief Healer

USA
2157 Posts

Posted - 10/23/2008 :  10:20:19  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Honestly diri, aside from Mowgli (thanks only to Uncle Walt), I'm not sure how many Americans would recognise and of the figures you mention. It seems general perceptions are based on what is seen on the tele and the silver screen and a generally romanticised version of the truth. See, it's a lot easier to feel superior if one thinks everyone else is at least a hundred years behind the times. In a way, yes, many Americans see India as it was pre-Ghandi (no, I'm afraid they don't have a handle on British Empirialism-- that would be history), Africa as they see it in safari/nature shows or ads for starvation aid, and Mexico as full of banditos, sombreros, chihuahuas, and Speedy Gonzales (except for the modern resorts on the coasts). Japan is an odd exception-- probably because they are at the forefront of electronics technology.

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Theowyn
Looney

1078 Posts

Posted - 10/23/2008 :  18:20:20  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by diricawl

"Democrats hate America; Republicans love America, they just hate half the people in it."
I actually laughed out loud at this, Diri.

quote:
I actually think that Americans would get a far greater sense of "difference" travelling to Mexico than to the UK.
Of course, but I don't think that's the point. As Siobhan says, it's all about expectations. It's not about how much more different from the U.S. Mexico is than Britain. It's about the difference between expectations of Britain and the reality on the ground.

I personally don't know anyone who has an antequated view of Britain, but then we all watch a lot of BBC America.

And Siobhan, in general, I'd say the transforming power of foreign travel only works on the young. My in-laws would probably do okay in most of Europe, but I can't even imagine my m-i-l traveling to Africa or even Mexico. Actually, I can and it would not be pretty.

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Starling
Confunded

United Kingdom
701 Posts

Posted - 10/24/2008 :  07:04:21  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
You know Siobhan, if you go to the heart of the Yorkshire Dales, it isn't that dissimilar from the James Herriot days. But you also have to remember that Yorkshiremen aren't fond of newcomers (even if they've lived there for the past 30-odd years!).

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Siobhan
Chief Healer

USA
2157 Posts

Posted - 10/28/2008 :  11:26:26  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
So when is terrorism not terrorism?-- It's all in your point of view, apparently. If the tables were turned and Syria had done this to a US village, it would be an intollerable act, but when the US does it somehow it becomes excusable?
quote:
An unprecedented American airborne attack on a Syrian village was intended to send a warning to Damascus to take stronger action against Iraq-bound foreign jihadists operating on its soil.

The warning came as senior officials in Washington gave their clearest briefings yet on the purpose of the raid, despite the continued official silence from the Pentagon and State Department.

ďYou have to clean up the global threat that is in your backyard and if you donít do that, we are left with no choice but to take these matters into our own hands,Ē one senior official told reporters on conditional of anonymity. --reported by Times Online


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diricawl
Looney

United Kingdom
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Posted - 10/28/2008 :  13:02:21  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
What? The US is hypocritical? How do you think America's been handling the Middle East since we deposed Mossadeq in 53? Hypocrisy is policy. Brutality is basis.

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Edited by - diricawl on 10/28/2008 13:04:52
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Siobhan
Chief Healer

USA
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Posted - 10/28/2008 :  14:28:22  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hypocricy, it would seem, is the American way.


UPDATE: There's a new development! An Israeli intelligence expert has reported that Damascus gave the US permission to cross their border to perform this "raid." Now I know this expert will be of questionable value (to the Arab world) in that he is Israeli, but he contends that his US sources told him that the raid was OKed because Syria did not want to appear to be giving help to the US. He goes on to say that Syrian air defence of its border is more than sufficient to take out a few helicopters but that no action was taken. I'm not sure that I believe this, but it sure would be nice to be able to. I really hate hypocricy.

The full article is here:
http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/babylonbeyond/2008/10/syria-did-damas.html

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Theowyn
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1078 Posts

Posted - 10/29/2008 :  18:27:23  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I wouldn't be surprised either way, frankly. The Middle East is a policy swamp. We're waging war against largely invisible enemies who move in and out of multiple countries while having no real affiliation with any of them. It's a wonder we haven't had more of these incidents.

I don't think I'd call this hypocricy, though. Hubris is the word I would choose. For good or ill, we're fighting a war and no military force in the world is going to let a border stop them from chasing down the enemy in such circumstances. But the fact that we are fighting a war on terror half a world away is an act of hubris. For every terrorist we kill, two more will rise up to take his place. American military force cannot win this war. The only people who can bring lasting stability to the Middle East and stem the terrorism that breeds in the region are the people who live there.

Radical wingnuts are not the sole povence of the Middle East. (God knows we've seen a few of our own crawling out of the woodwork in recent weeks.) But stable nations who uphold the rule of law keep such dangerous idiots in check. Alas, the Middle Eastern governments have for too long turned a blind eye to their radicals and even encouraged them. Now they're out of control and it will take a great deal of effort to suppress them and the hate they spew. That can't be done by a foreign power. The local governments have to step up and make a commitment to stop the insanity that overwhelmingly hurts their own people and national interests. Unfortunately, the governments in the area have little ability to cooperate to achieve this goal and it will take all of them working together to do it. Because of this, it's understandable that the U.S. has the urge to step in and try to solve the problem, but without solid commitment from the locals, it's a futile effort.

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Edited by - Theowyn on 10/29/2008 18:32:10
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Siobhan
Chief Healer

USA
2157 Posts

Posted - 10/29/2008 :  20:49:20  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
This is the hypocrisy as I see it:

"You can't come across our borders into our country to wage a war against an ideological enemy causing "collateral damage" and expect us to accept it as OK."

The US makes this statement daily about terrorists. In this instance, however, we did exactly the same thing. I understand the US intentions and point of view, but it is also fairly easy to see the mirror image of it. Why, if the US knew where these operatives were located, couldn't they use surveillance to catch them on the Iraqi side of the border? It would have made the whole thing much clearer and "cleaner."

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diricawl
Looney

United Kingdom
1078 Posts

Posted - 10/30/2008 :  06:47:19  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I agree with Theo that military force was never going to solve the issue. You can't use a fist to beat down a bubble in your wallpaper. But if Al Qaeda can claim any victory in the last seven years, it is the collapse of all forms of American power except military might. Not that the Bush administration had nothing to do with it. But the next president, whoever he is, will inherit a nation whose political, economic, cultural and moral authority have been severely dented. As Fareed Zakaria, a man who I respect even when I don't always agree with him, noted, "To the man with only a hammer, every problem soon resembles a nail."

America is not the only guilty party in the Middle East. Everyone with power has tried to claim it for a hundred years, for as long as we've known what we can do with what's under it. Oil is the poison. Take oil out of the equation and much of America's (and indeed the Western world's) Middle Eastern policy would be far more rational. But ever since the Brits carved up the Ottoman Empire in 1922 we've been tweaking for the oil like the most pathetic addict imaginable, willing to lie, cheat, steal and kill just to get us a bit more. The first mass air bombing of civilians in history was conducted against the Kurds in Iraq- by Winston Churchill in 1920.

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As to the avatar, well, if you girls can all have Alan Rickman...

"They don't want the Easter Bunny's power; The children in our generation want Harry's power, and they're getting it." - Laura Mallory
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