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Agreed. As generalizations.
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Best regards
Han
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Why would it matter? Both are equally useless.
nb
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eschew obfuscation

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On Fri, 23 Dec 2011 02:20:42 -0600, snipped-for-privacy@myplace.com wrote:

If you don't vote for me, it is a wasted vote. If the two parities were so good, they would not worry about a third party and none would exist. It should be sending a message to the two big parties that something is wrong because people are avoiding them.
Personally, I'd go for the Libertarians, but they often go to the extreme the other way. In any case, Congress needs a good flushing. I'm thinking we should change the number of representatives needed also. Give them more people and eliminate half of them. Sheer numbers makes the House unmanageable.
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On Sat, 24 Dec 2011 23:08:26 -0500, "Robert Green"
-snip-

A *Very* long time. Since Ellsworth Gerry, one of the Signers of the Declaration for who the process is named.<g> So I guess at least one of them thought it would be a good idea.
Jim
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s/Ellsworth/Elbridge/
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wrote:

Brain fart alert--- That was *Elbridge* Gerry.
Jim
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There is a lot of provincialism over there too. Apart from the euro troubles (caused by a lack of top-down government rules, which let spending go out of control in the Southern tier), the biggest problem is agricultural subsidies. Ring a bell? In contrast to the US many European governments are much closer to following political philosophy and doing what's deemed best for the country. Of course there have been instances of crazyness, like the Dutch governing coalition collapsing over the way radio and TV broadcasting was divvied up between religions and politics, but that was just fodder for the New Year's Eve comedian of that era (Wim Kan's dittie "lijmen, Jan!", I believe). At least, 40 and more years ago, personal profit bij politicians was less of a factor than it is here now.
--
Best regards
Han
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spending
I've read a lot of different articles about why the Euro is in so much trouble and most seem to imply that it was too much, too fast for a quite divergent set of countries to absorb all at once. I believe the creation of the European Union was one of the factors that pushed the US into the Iraq war. We were really a bit shaken that suddenly a political force appeared on the horizon that represented what some politicians thought was a serious challenge to our position in the world pecking order. By overriding the UN, we were demonstrating that we would remain a very important contender on the world's stage no matter how the EU grew. It's ironic, in a way, because a nuclear Iraq was far more of a threat to Europe than it ever was to us. We have the luxury of two huge oceans to isolate us from most of the rest of the world and a powerful Navy that could remove any seaborne military threat rather quickly and decisively. The only real avenue of attack by Iraq would be shipping a dirty bomb or the materials for one in the thousands of shipping containers that arrive daily. Experts say we're still vulnerable to such an attack because of the difficulty of inspecting all those shipping containers.
Getting back to another discussion where I wondered what historians of the future might say was the cause of WW Three, I am beginning to wonder whether it will turn out that the creation of Israel won't be at the head of the list. Iran's leaders may truly hate the US, but they absolutely loathe Israel. Like that old joke, if they had two bombs, they would probably use both on Israel "just to be sure."
Sadly, Israel's location amidst a sea of hostile neighbors reminds me of a friend who bought a townhouse in a very, very bad part of DC. He thought the neighborhood was on its way to "gentrification" and found a cheap property to rehab. He spend considerable sums to put steel bars on the windows, a steel-bar storm door, alarms, etc.
One day, there was a knock on his door and he answered it, only to be splashed by a bucket of gasoline. He was told to unlock the steel storm door or he would be burned alive. He did, they robbed him, cracked him over the head and left him lying on the floor soaked in gasoline. He moved out the next week. When you're living in an area surrounded by people who hate and envy you, serious trouble is always just around the corner.

Of course, here in America, there seems to be very little agreement on what's best for the country. The spectre of real nuclear war is raising its head and we're knee-deep in arguments about light bulbs. I'd say one our most serious problems is that once laws get passed, there's little if any review of their continuing need or effectiveness.

radio
that
Bij? You're slipping back into Dutch! (-: (Actually, I'm envious. Even though my grootmoeder was Dutch, I only remember a few words, just like I only recall a few words of Italian spoken by my other grandmother who came from Napoli:
Lascia stare - leave it alone! Che schifo - disgusting! I'll breaka you horns! - you little devil!
Tot ziens!
-- Bobby G.
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1. The Greeks lied about their budgets. Plain and simple. If they had told the truth, they wouldn't have been admitted. The structure of the Greek economy was based on lies about taxes (they weren't being paid) and the civil servants were overpaid with too much vacation and early pension. The whole economy was structured on preferential treatments and limiting access to professions via licensing. 2. In Spain, there was a real estate bubble greater than in the US. When it burst, immigrants who had bought lavish homes based on incomes in the construction industry got laid off and were badly "underwater". They drove their Mercedes (bought with loans) to the airport and left for their home countries in South America. On top of that, generous fringe benefits and a large "grey" economy reduced government income, but not outlays. 3. Italy is similar to Spain, but tax evasion is an even greater sport. 4. While incomes and fringe benefits in the Netherlands and Germany are very generous as well, retirement ages are higher, and somehow it seems pride in what you do is more prevalent.
France and other countries are intermediate. In some retirement age should be raised to the same as Germany and Holland. There was an article in the Wall Street Journal were they reported interviews with 6 families in 6 different countries. They didn't say the interviewees were representative, but perhaps they were. The peoples' outlooks and satisfaction with their living conditions were (to me) remarkably different, to say the least. But I can't find a link to that anymore. Sorry.

The generated an economic competitor where there was previously a whole raft of mostly minor competitors. It also generated a single entity to which to export. So, economically Europe (plus the non- countries) was just as much a positive as a negative. I believe the positives did and do outweigh the negatives. Britain as usual is recalcitrant, and may be outmaneuvered soon. Militarily, Europe has never done enough to please the US, and where it did (France) it was counterproductive.
IMNSHO, the current problems have been brought to the fore by the same real estate/banking blunders as occurred in the US (especially Spain). The underlying problem of more outlays than incomes in the Southern tier countries now breaks the bank(s) literally, and the Northern countries have to bail out the Southern ones in order to keep their exports and vacation homes secure.

Sorry. Israel is the only country in the Middle East with anything approaching modern Western style secular democracy. Not that they aren't doing stupid things there, don't misunderstand me. Loathing your neighbor is not sufficient reason to nuke him. When it gets that far, I'm sure Israel will let it be known unequivocally that attacking her will have very dire consequences. The Middle East needs to state unequivocally that Israel has the right to exist. That is a "conditio sine qua non". And they need to make a real peace. Then Israel should restrain those f'ing settlers that they are unlawful and get them out of Palestinian sites. But I'm not holding my breath.

That is a single anecdote, and the person had a moment of inattention. I'm real sorry for him, but that may not have been a trend.

That last thing needs to change. Whether or not nuclear war is now nearer than it was in 1967 is not in doubt - it was then, not now.

I need context to understand Italian. And spoken Italian is not for me. But I can get along when traveling in Italy (if need be, most Italians of consequence for tourists speak enough English).

Hartelijke groeten! Gelukkig Nieuw Jaar!
--
Han
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Han wrote the following:

Israel also has their version of the Taliban. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/12/27/naama-margolese_n_1170655.html?icid=maing-grid7 |main5|dl1|sec1_lnk3%26pLid%3D123182
or: http://preview.tinyurl.com/ckb5kjh
Not that they aren't

--
Bill
In Hamptonburgh, NY
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I'll be the first one to deny that people are perfect. Only my wife is (most of the time) ...
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Best regards
Han
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