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chocolat steve

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Everything posted by chocolat steve

  1. I'm a rarity. I saw the original The Office (or the UK Office as we say here). It was always talked about on the 'soccer' forums I went on so I got to see a few episodes from DVDs Brit friends had. I actually like the American version and watch it religiously. No accounting for taste perhaps but its a subjective thing. If most people agree or disagree on any thing that is subjective, it doesn't make it fact. I do think the UK version was better but I don't think the American version is bad. I like Carrell and I love Will Farrell. I was never a big fan of Carey. To show you just how out there I am, I never got or liked Monty Python. Sacralege, I know but I recall being bored senseless anytime that or Dr. Who was on. Okay, please throw fresh fruit and veggies. :nahnah:
  2. Generally, I've found the same about Brits on my 'soccer' forums. I hzve a few very dear Brit friends and they are the exceptions. However, on the forum I go to which is largley Londoners as well as going to a British pub in LA for several years, I am not sure who the Brits like. I can't think of one country generally speaking that the majority of them have a kind word about. That includes America. Americans love the Brits and have a positive feeling generally to a few other countries. Canada to some extent, Sweden, Austrailia, New Zealand, Scotland, Ireland to some extent. I wold include Brazil, most of the english speaking Caribbean islands. We are neutral to positive on a few European countries like Holland, Belgium, Norway, Portugal, etc. However, although they visit it quite often, even Spain is not spoken of in high regard other than a fun holiday. History may have something to do with that. Overseas and my LA pub would iclude this, they congregate according to where they are from in England. Londoners with Londoners and within that, south of the Thames v. north of the Thames, northerners with northerners and that is broken down to the midlands, peninines, northeast, etc. to some extent. As for Ricky Gervais, I cringed but loved it. He did cross the line but he didn't care. Crossing the line to me meant what the audience thought and they were uncomfortable.
  3. Sarkozy loves all things American though. The french aren't too happy about that. I can certainly understand the Brits being miffed. I have to assume Obama likes Britain as other Presidents have as well. However, I do recall some flap when he 1st went there. can't remember what it was and then the demonizing (fair or unfair) about BP and the oil spill.
  4. Yesterday, I saw a CNN clip where it showed several people, including Bush, Rice, Hillary Clinton, Cheney and a few others saying the same thing as Obama about Israel, Canada, Korea and several other countries. Almost quoting each one said 'no greater friend and ally' Apparantly its said quite a few times but this one got ink. I was shocked initially but see it in a different context now. Still, its not a good thing to do. The word 'special' is only used for England as far as I know.
  5. I'll take one on the knuckles if this was reported as well on here but Obama has upset our British friends by saying that Sarkozy and the French are our strongest allies. Maybe he didnt' really mean it. Maybe he does. I don't know. But its not going down well. http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/nilegardiner/100071241/barack-obama-france-is-americas-strongest-ally-the-president-gives-britain-the-boot-again/ http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/top-stories/2011/01/12/barack-obama-snubs-britain-by-saying-france-is-his-biggest-ally-115875-22842843/
  6. Admittedly, I have not read all the posts regarding mines so this may have been said already. I'm not gonna comment on the merits of it or the ethics of it, we can all make our own opinions on it. I will say this though, its a non starter in terms of it actually coming to frution and being a reality. There is no way on God's green earth that America will lay land mines on the border. From the ACLU to what ever group that starts with Z, it won't ever happen. The international community will be up in arms (if we care to even heed them). I am no expert on border patrol but I do know if we wanted to we could secure it. There just isn't the motivation. I said this before, if we knew that al Qaida or some such similar threat are planning to come across the border or a domestic act of terrorism happened from someone coming across the southern border, you can bet pretty damn quick, we'd secure it pronto. There would b a public demand and I fear that is the only way it will ever be secured. Lives will have to be lost first...well, at least American lives.
  7. Personally I think Palin is unelectable in a national election. She could get the nomination. Its Republicans that vote in those things and lately people have been voting emotion and not who is electable. The 'machine' may have another person but she's linked into the machine from her stint as a VP nominee. I don't think she'll get it though. Romney looks a good bet. Huckleby won't get elected but he will take votes and may be a kingmaker.
  8. I blame the perp in this case as well. By just about all accounts save his parents, he was described as being mentally disturbed. As I stated before, with that kind of person anything could have set him off. If we're talking joe sixpack, normal life, etc. then I could see it but ths guy could be influenced by a church, rock music, or a break up with a girl, etc, and after examining his state of mind, we would conclude he was just a disturbed mind. I'm on record as being no big admirer of Palin and the rest. Infringments on free speech is a huge issue with me. Its one of the cornerstones of what we believe in, in this country. I think a lof of us are way too quick to label some of the rhetoric as not being protected by free speech. Its a little scary frankly. We have a recent history of using tragedy to curtail civil rights and liberties. 911 being the most obvious. As I said, ironically enough, some of the very rhetoric of the people that created and approved free speech in the constitution may be deemed not free speech going by the curbs I'm reading on this thread.
  9. When Cam fumbled i turned it off. I just knew Oregon would win. It wasn't his best game but the guy is legit.
  10. I remember that case actually. As crazy as it sounds at the time I don't think he incited the guy but I'm fuzzy on the details. I have a very high standard though I must admit.
  11. Free speech is a cornerstone of all the western republics and its probably the most protected in the USA than anywhere else in the western world. Its a dangerous, slippery slope when we start talking about limiting free speech. Any action MUST be made without any emotional reaons and never in the heat of the moment from any tragedy that involves free speech. What eventually comes from any limits on civil liberties and civil rights is someone or some group....or some political party that uses it in ways it was not originally intended. History, especially, American histoy is replete with such examples. Although some think McCarthy era actions are in the past and we've advanced as a society to prevent such things again, only have to look around you. We're told we have no presumption of privacy and authorities can pretty much do what ever they want. We can't even move freely in our society any longer. Ever move is monitored directly or indirectly. Talk of a national ID card, etc. Under such a scenario, even quoating one of our founders own words 'the government should fear the people' could easily be labled as speech promoting violence. If what some of us are proposiing becomes liable, then the British were right in that the speech by the colonists were inciteful and promoted violence. Essentially isn't that the same thing? We honor a history and honor events and speech leading up to our independence from Britain that are illegal by standards proposed on this forum ironically enough.
  12. If it doesn't meet the standard of violaton of free speech then its acceptable. End of story. It may be unpopular to some but the standard INCLUDES speech that will incite violence or cause harm. Therefore, the Rush, Palin and other such people's words can not be blamed. Can't have it both ways. Blaming them but then agreeing it doesn't meet a legal standard for blame criminally. Again, there is speech done by militias in Idaho, NOI, Supremists, etc. that aren't widely listened but have a hard core audience. These speeches are often way past the standard and do incite violence. Nothing happens. It takes a helluva lot for a normal person to pick up a gun and go kill someone based on someone's rhetoric. There has been vandalism done to property and just to do that for your average working stiff who is pissed off takes a lot. Its why only a few will even do that. Those folks rarely pick up a gun and shoot. Many of us on here and on this thread are very, very pissed off at some things but wouldn't even come close to doing something like that or even destroy property. As far as gun control. I grew up in a city that was very violent and had a lot of guns. I also spent my college years in a city and a county that I would guess had more guns per capita and a gun crime was almost non existent. If America ends gun ownership constitutionally (4/5 of Governors, 2/3 of Congress, President signing off) then to me that would indicate its the will of the people and our culture has changed. Just like a lot of other amendments. Slavery being one, women's vote another. Society changed. People's minds changed. If you want to reduce gun crime the best way to do it is not taking away guns. Improve society. People with jobs, people with hope, people with a decent education, people who come from a family with a loving mother and father generally do not commit gun crimes. Hell, resolve the drug situation and you'd cut a lot of gun crime significantly. Improve the human condition in America and crime will go down. Easier said than done obviously, but lets not blame the existence of guns for the real problem. There are areas of Montana, Idaho, the Dakotas where just about every home has a shotgun or some weapon and nothing happens. These areas have a community, strong family bonds and a culture of mutual respect.
  13. LK, you have your opinion and I respect that. It doesn't make it fact. Neither does mine. The kind of person that will carry out things like that can be influenced by just about anything. Even rhetoric that is not 'hate filled'. Millions of folks listen to Rush and company and only one has pulled a trigger. I'm tellin' ya, if that guy was in a church he'd have done the same thing but to a doctor who did abortions. I can't in no way see the rhetoric, as bad as it seems to approach anything close to the yelling fire in a crowded theater that the framers used as an example. I'm confident even the most liberal supreme court would agree that Palin, Rush and company aren't to blame. Heck I've heard much worse stuff from Nation of Islam guys with a speaker at a corner in Philly do that for hours every day ad nauseum and no one went out to kill 'whitey'. Trust me, these guys, many of whom were ex cons didn't mince words. They were explicit. Same with some of the stuff you hear from guys out in the middle of Idaho. I have a feeling had it been some liberal guy who shot a conservative you'd be taking my stance. Just a guess.
  14. Tragic events regarding the shooting in Arizona. If there is anytihng good can at least come out of it, I hope its it reduces the harsh rhetoric from both sides. I'm no fan of Sarah Palin. However, I don't think her Facebook page can be blamed and neither can the Republcan party. I've been no big fan of the party for some time now so this is not coming from a member of the party. Nutcases like this guy, are going to do things like that for whatever demented reasons their minds can come up with. You can't blame a political party for motivating him anymore than you can someone who shoots someone because they played a rock record backwards. As angry as some of us have been about what politicians or a party does, we are not going to consciously pick up a gun, leave our homes with the intent of shooting someone. The actual physical process of going through all that can only be done from a truly disturbed mind. Therefore I'm leaving Palin blameless as well as the sometimes over the top comments from Republicans.
  15. http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,2039945,00.html Booker turned the microblogging site into a public-service tool. Residents of the city, which has a population of around 280,000, swarmed Booker's account (@CoryBooker) with requests for help, and the mayor responded. He and his staff have bounced around Newark shoveling streets and sending plows to areas where residents said they were still snowed in. I love this guy. I wrote about him during the election as s future political star. He and Ron Paul are the only two I would trust in the white house. This guy is young but has the two things you want (and perhaps only need) in a pol. He's very smart and very principled. This may be the only mayor whom the city may not deserve. Yes, he's that good.
  16. What I find disgusting is are the pols that makes these cuts, speak ill of people getting this and that and give themselves packages that only CEOs would not be envious of.
  17. Chinese close to stealth plane capability http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703808704576061674166905408.html?mod=yhoofront
  18. Not probably. We have. Many times.
  19. http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110104/ap_on_re_us/us_dna_exoneration_texas 30 years in prison and was found innocent. Problem with a lot of DA offices is that its not about finding the truth its about conviction rates. The elected ones run on that. The system is screwed.
  20. Okay, this sounds draconian. The child has a right to be in the USA, the mother doesn't. She has a choice. She can take her child back to where ever or let the baby stay and be the ward of the state with visiting rights under some sort of family visa. If the child is broguht back the child is still a USA citizen and when of age can visit on its own or be brought to the border to be picked up by a family friend or relative. The child has a right to be with its parent, yes, but that child can be with its parent in another country.
  21. http://news.yahoo.com/s/yblog_thelookout/20110103/us_yblog_thelookout/14-states-may-target-birthright-citizenship 14 states looking to repeal birth citizenship. I sympathize with the issue. Totally. However, emotions aside, its a slippery slope. These things always devolve to the lowest common denominator. The way to address the immigration issue ISN'T this way. I am as angry as anyone else but its just seems un-american and legally, unconstitutional. Someone will expand it to any offspring of an illegal. So, if ones grandparents were illegal then their grandchildren can be denied as well. Trust me, someone will suggest it (maybe on here...lol). There are plenty of european immigrants who weren't kosher. There are a number of soldiers who are either here illegally or parents of illegals who have/are serving in Afghanistan and/or Iraq. Same with the Gulf War and did serve in Vietnam as well. Someone will want to make naturalized citizenship revokable next. This messing about with the 14th Amendment is not good business. I'd rather leave it out of the immigration debate.
  22. What I don't know is if the fraud is the norm or the exception. Just my guess and I'd have to say the exception based on what I saw. Most families on aid growing up didn't abuse it. The facts may bear out different. I don't know. We qualified for aid, that much I know. We struggled without it but perceverd. I can't say the next family in our situation should have done the same. Life would have been a whole lot easier had we had less pride.
  23. I used to buy food stamps for 50 cents on the dollar downtown LA and use it to buy a lot of meat to put in my freezer. Beef is expensive as you know. The new card limits that. I was buying the old paper stamps. Also, the welfare reform of the '90s from Clinton further limited how long you could be on welfare and made it tougher to get it. I totally agree that social welfare has a lot of holes and scammers even with all the changes. However, being a small L libertarian I am for limiting welfare in all its forms. Corporate welfare continues to dwarf the amount we spend on social welfare but because those same corporations, corporate farms, etc. have clout in Washington they still get their perks. I recall reading once years ago how Dole Foods got paid for importing fruit as if they needed help doing that. They and other food companies practically owned large parts of central america. The ExIm Bank and others gave low or no interest loans to companies that didn't need it. Corporate farms using farm subsidies that were set up for the family farmer and at the same time through their lobbyists trying to kill the small farmer off so they can get their land. The companies that could use it don't get it a lot of the time because the large companies get the money. There are many families who need social welfare. I grew up with many of them. Families where the father left, jailed or became an addict. The kids didn't ask to be there. Churches like the ones I went to as a kid acted as a kind of social net for a lot of families. (for some of you anti religion types...lol). On a side note, my fervent belief that the best way to cut social welfare is improve schools from K-12. Especially K-6. Doesn't matter how much you spend on HS, if the kids don't have the foundation early it means very little. Give a kid a good education early on that girl or boy won't risk messing up their chance to go to college by having a kid out of wedlock. The most careful girls I knew about who insisted on condoms or didn't have sex at all were the girls that were college bound. I guarantee you that you won't find many straight A teenage girls in the inner city getting pregnant. Early education in the inner city is appallingly bad. HS is not much better. I had to go to a school in the burbs to take calculus for example (didn't help I suck at math...lol).
  24. Its a huge problem but I think the biggest problem (and this problem is a byproduct of it) is that the special interests own the politicians and by extension the country. We won't pay down the debt because we will be taking money away from the projects, etc. of the groups that own the pols. Until the politicians act in the true best interest of the people, NOTHING will happen. Doesn't matter if its Republican or Democrat. Although they both have different ideas, if they were both their own party, doesn't matter who was in charge we'd not be as deeply in the big pile of poo as we are now. Not even close. Conservatives can say 'tax and spend' democrats and it may be true but it wouldn't be nearly as much if the people they were taxing and spending for weren't in the picture. Reverse for the conservatives. If they really would adhere to their principles of small government and anti nation building, etc. and basically being the small L Libertarian that they claim we wouldn't have that kind of debt. It all comes down to the people who own the pols I think.
  25. http://www.carnegieendowment.org/publications/index.cfm?fa=view&id=24404&zoom_highlight=incumbent This guy says I've got it wrong and China is not a super power and their future isn't as bright as I think it will be. Some very cogent points. However, my take....He is in the minority view. I would even contend 'minority' is kind and he's almost a 'sole' voice against the overwhelmingly vast amount of experts in government, think tanks, etc. that have already factored in what he points out. America surpassed England with the biggest GDP at the turn of the last century but it took WW2 to show everyone. America had a sizeable underclass as well. There were still many poor immigrants living in squalor in America's cities as well as very poor people in the rural areas still using out-houses and a large segment with no electricity. The writer talks of impendng economic problems but that is the norm for rising powers. America went through near economic collapse a few times prior to the Great Depression (1816, 1825, 1837, 1857, 1873, 1893 and 1907). A few of those were similar to the one we faced a couple year ago and had a 1930s depression like potential. One in particular was saved by JP Morgan and a group of wall street bankers that brought the country on the brink of total financial collapse. ALL great nations were to some extent built on slave and/or cheap labor. Roman Empire, British Empire and yes, America. Not saying its right, its totally wrong but it is a fact and China is no different. Their large underclass in some respects follows the same model and gives them a cheap labor force. Their government will change. Another fact is that great powers always have a civil war or some great divide to determine its future. Again, the Romans, British and America had civil wars during their rise as well. All the experts back when we were on the rise pegged us to be a major power. The British knew it. Hitler knew it and that's why he wanted us out of the war. The Japanese wanted a quick war because they knew a prolonged war with our resources would work against them. Many don't know but China owns a significant portion of Africa's resources. Its called ChinAfrica by experts. China has replaced America as the biggest trading partners for South Korea, Brazil, India and Japan. A few of whom the article cites as those fearing China. With economic dominance comes great political influence. Who do you think those sides will choose if push comes to shove and a choice has to be made on some UN vote or some world issue? You go with who pays the bills and its the very same reason why a lot of countries have sided with us. It was in their economic best interest even thought they were opposed. The U.S. is terminally ill. In 10 or 20 years its China that will be better placed globally than America. Also with the amount of trade between the two countries the old adage of 'when America sneezes (economically) the world catches a cold' will apply to China. Its America that will suffer more than China if/when China has an economic downturn. They buy a shed-load of America's debt and its America that will suffer when trade declines.
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