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UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

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sjb
826209.  Thu Jun 23, 2011 1:22 pm Reply with quote

Well, first of all, that doesn't really clear it up for me. The poll there asked, "How likely is it that people in the federal government either assisted in the 9/11 attacks or took no action to stop the attacks because they wanted the United States to go to war in the Middle East?" Active vs. passive, still.

Second, there is no "University of Ohio." There is an Ohio State University (OSU) and an Ohio University (OU), but no UofO. I think he meant OU, since if you click through you eventually get to this, with a link to OU's website up top. But since I'm feeling nitpicky, that just don't sit right with me. :P

 
clack
826210.  Thu Jun 23, 2011 1:26 pm Reply with quote

Quote:
He may genuinely believe that having created the initial impression which he sought to create in Europe, no one would notice if he subsequently moved away from it. That may be irrational
OK, we have 2 conflicting views of the same situation.

One view -- Obama made a promise in good faith that he was unable to keep. This view has the advantage of corroborating evidence : among many other things, Obama's 2009 executive order.

And then there's your view. Obama had no intention of fulfilling this promise, he just made it to fool Europeans. This view has the epistemological disadvantage of being something you just made up in your head with no corroborating evidence. Plus, when the illogic of this view is pointed out to you, you acknowledge that it is indeed illogical, but that's because Obama and his advisers are crazy.

So, which view is the more likely? I'd say the straightforward, common sense one that has real world corroboration.

 
PDR
826215.  Thu Jun 23, 2011 2:29 pm Reply with quote

clack wrote:
Quote:
Which issues?
Hereditary monarchy?

A hereditory *constitutional* monarchy with no legislative or executive power isn't really a right-wing thing - more a matter of tradition. In that sense you could argue that america isn't a democracy because it's president is chosen by a group of unaccountable, unelected people who somehow became part of the electoral college. In reality the electoral college don't render the president unelected and in the same way the UK's constitutional monarchy doesn't negate our democratic processes.

So that was a bad example - are there any others?

PDR

 
sjb
826216.  Thu Jun 23, 2011 2:46 pm Reply with quote

I was always taught that the US is a democratic republic, but I think that's a bit of an Americanism. Constitutional republic might be more accurate.

 
clack
826217.  Thu Jun 23, 2011 2:47 pm Reply with quote

Having an hereditary monarch as head of state isn't conservative? If you want to play that game, I can say that gun control is right-wing authoritarian and that the right to bear arms is a liberal position. But where would that get us?

How can there be a debate about whether the Republican party is more conservative than the UK Tories when each side of the debate can change the terms of the debate to conclude "our traditions are ideologically neutral, your traditions are conservative?"

 
suze
826239.  Thu Jun 23, 2011 3:47 pm Reply with quote

clack wrote:
But you can't say that a Tory, for instance, would be a Democrat in an American context.


It's not a perfect match, but in the majority of cases I think you probably can say that.

If David Cameron were transposed into American politics, he would be a Democrat. And if Hillary Clinton were transposed into British politics, she would be a Conservative. (Barack Obama just might have chosen Labour in the days of Tony Blair, but probably not now.)

Sure, there are Conservatives who would fit better with the Republican Party - but of the current prominent Tories, the list is little longer than Boris Johnson and Iain Duncan Smith. And even they would be uncomfortable with quite a lot of the things that one hears from the GOP.

There are rather more within the Labour Party who would fit well enough into Canada's NDP but in the USA would be forced to join Bernie Sanders in a party that doesn't actually exist. And although it's not the case in the UK at present, in most of Europe there are mainstream parties which use the word "socialist" and mean it.


As for the hereditary monarch, well first of all by no means all of Europe persists with the idea. And in all bar two of the European nations which do, the monarch has little to no political power. (The exceptions are Liechtenstein and the Vatican City, both very small nations with little international influence.)

Mind you, in modern times it's not possible to buy the position of head of state in a European nation. Even more difficult to steal it.

 
suze
826245.  Thu Jun 23, 2011 3:57 pm Reply with quote

clack wrote:
How can there be a debate about whether the Republican party is more conservative than the UK Tories when each side of the debate can change the terms of the debate to conclude "our traditions are ideologically neutral, your traditions are conservative?"


This is a fair point, so let us consider economics - a subject in which it is easier to define what is capitalist and what is socialist.

The government of GWB allowed a major bank to fail and hang the consequences - classic laissez-faire capitalism. In the UK, that did not happen - the government invested large amounts of public funds into ensuring that none of the major banks failed.

Nationalization of struggling industries is generally seen as a socialist policy, and is by now largely out of favour even among European social democrats. But in the circumstances, the Conservative Party accepted that it was preferable to the alternative. Whether it would have taken the same action itself had it been in power, we shall never know - but the consensus seems to be that it probably would have done.

When that happened, there were no full page advertisements in The Times denouncing the government's "communism". But when GWB unveiled his financial stimulus package - and then had to add sweeteners to get it through Congress - the New York Times accepted a full page ad which stated that the USA had become "a socialist communist country".

 
Zebra57
827372.  Mon Jun 27, 2011 8:18 pm Reply with quote

Another Illinois Governor bites the dust:

In the past 35 years, 4 elected governors of Illinois have been sent to prison for crimes relating to corruption and bribery. Is this a US record?

 
Zebra57
832672.  Tue Jul 19, 2011 4:53 am Reply with quote

In 1917 the USA purchased the Danish West Indies from a near bankrupt Danish Government. Affected by the WW1 the Danes were feared to be negotiating a sale with Germany.

The territory now the US Virgin Islands potentially would have given Germany a naval base in the Caribbean.

Was this the last example of territorial transfer by purchase?

 
Zebra57
833840.  Sat Jul 23, 2011 4:45 am Reply with quote

Can anyone explain to me the origin of the word used in the USA; Gubernatorial = relating to a governor?

 
Leith
833848.  Sat Jul 23, 2011 5:23 am Reply with quote

Google suggests this explanation:
The Mavens' Word of the Day: gubernatorial

 
Zebra57
835339.  Thu Jul 28, 2011 7:51 pm Reply with quote

QI is a programme currently being shown on the History Channel which investigates early explorers who it is claimed reached the Americas before Columbus.

 
suze
835423.  Fri Jul 29, 2011 6:15 am Reply with quote

Who does it claim to have done so? We had a long discussion about Vikings and Chinese eunuchs a couple years back; was it either of those?

 
Zebra57
836137.  Mon Aug 01, 2011 7:21 pm Reply with quote

suze wrote:
Who does it claim to have done so? We had a long discussion about Vikings and Chinese eunuchs a couple years back; was it either of those?


The programme looked at a number of claims for pre-Columbian discovery. QI were these claims:

Japanese pottery found in Ecuador supports a Japanese settlement

Polynesian remains in South America point to them venturing further than Easter Island.

Also included was Eric the Red, St Brendan and a Welsh Prince amongst others.

Chinese - yes. eunuchs not mentioned

 
suze
836141.  Mon Aug 01, 2011 7:32 pm Reply with quote

That earlier discussion starts at post 441699. Plenty of digressions, quite apart from the stuff about (in particular) Vikings and Chinamen.

 

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