Talking Points for 20 May

Goodmorning..It’s Karnie…

Thank you to Brett in Virginia for looking after the blog overnight.  Will has mentioned one story we’re likely to discuss…more about that in a bit, first up though, a story that Ros mentioned last night which have many of you already engaged.  MPs here in the UK will vote today to lower the limit on abortion.  The current limit is 24 weeks.  In this country 200, 000 women a year have abortions.  Angela in Washington says:

“I do not believe it is too easy to obtain an abortion her in the United States. I understand that men think it is wrong that a woman can choose to keep or abort her child but he has no say. I believe it is a woman’s body and choice to have an abortion”.

Ros has already asked you if it’s too easy to have an abortion in your country?  If a baby born at 22 weeks CAN survive, is it right to have an abortion at that time?  What about fathers?  Do they get to have a say?

The South African story is still fresh in our minds, due to the vivid images of a man being set alight.  The South African Human Rights Commission chairperson,  Jody Kollapen said today the SA government might have to seriously consider engaging the army because the police may not be able to cope..President Thabo Mbeki has called for an immediate end to the attacks.  The Times newspaper here in the UK calls this “The Shame of Mbeki”.  Blaming it it on his complacency when it came to Zimbabwe.  Is Mbeki entirely to blame? We also had hundreds of texts last night from across Africa calling on Africans to  boycott the Football World Cup (that South Africa will host in 2010).  Do you think SA still deserves to host the World Cup ? 

Now onto Will’s suggestion..A special public holiday (bank holiday) to celebrate the armed forces?  The UK government will be deciding on whether the country should put aside a day to celebrate it’s troops.  In America despite opposition to the Iraq war there is still open support for their troops.  Other countries that publicly support their troops?  India, Canada, Australia, China, Russia and Bulgaria.  Is it time British public showed respect for their troops?

Another story that caught my eye…who would have thought and I certainly didn’t even realize this..it just goes to show how we all can forget..BUT the UN says 6 million children are at risk of acute malnutrition following failure of rains. They also say over 140 million dollars is needed to help tackle the crisis. But with major disasters devastating Burma and China, where would aid come from?

34 Responses to “Talking Points for 20 May”

  1. 1 steve
    May 19, 2008 at 19:32

    Is anyone else getting sick of hillary and her fake southern accent? How much more proof do we need about how mentally ill politicians are? Hillary Clinton speaks in a southern accent, a fake one, when she’s campaigning in southern states. Just like she lied about being under sniper fire in bosnia, she is now lying with just her voice, regardless of the words she spouts.

  2. 2 Shirley
    May 19, 2008 at 21:00

    Hello, Brett
    A couple of the topics on the 19 May Talking Points page seemed to grab you. You commented that cluster bombs can never be justified, but that it wouldn’t stop the U.S. from using them. You also commented on pollution and responsibility.

    It interested me that you mentioned the use of DU by the United States. I am only now beginning to become aware of centrist and conservative opinions, so I do not know at all what other people besides liberals and progressives think. Could someone let me know whether centrists and conservatives think that the U.S. has indeed been using DU munitions?

    I know, of course, that liberals and progressives acknowledge the use of DU by the U.S. in various places and denounce it. Some of us wonder if it is being used intentionally to cause long-term biological damage to the regions in which it is used. I once read of an eyewitness account of a direct hit using DU, and it sounded sci-fi. It was also terrifying. Call it sci-fi/horror. I have also heard of some reports coming from Iraqi vets from both Desert Storm and the current occupation about reproductive failures and genetic deformations; and I have heard parallel reports from Iraqi civilians. Granted, it has been a very long time since I have heard these reports, so it would take quite a bit of effort to pin down those reports again.

    What confuses me about the question posed by Priya is that I thought that international consensus had already rendered the use of cluster bombs as a violation of international law. Obviously, we leftists despise the use of cluster bombs.

    What is the current status of the use of cluster bombs, though? Have there been any resolutions or other kinds of statements from the United Nations or other international governing bodies? In fact, what kinds of international bodies would one look to for texts of international law regarding such matters?

    What kind of strength will the Dublin conference have in terms of regulating or prohibiting the use of cluster bombs and other munitions that effectively constitute collective punishment? What kind of process would an average person affected by these munitions have to go through in order to prosecute someone or some government for their use?

  3. 3 Janet T
    May 19, 2008 at 21:17

    We hear stories of illegal immigrants doing the jobs “Americans” will not do- I was raised working in the fields all summer, picking strawberries, then blackberries, then beans. I started when I was 9 years old-was this demeaning work? We considered it a job, nothing more and nothing less. All of my friends were out there with me.
    So what are the jobs we Americans will not do? Is it different in other countries? Isn’t there pride to be found in a job well done? Regardless of what that job is?

  4. 4 steve
    May 19, 2008 at 21:21

    Hey Brett, do you ever listen to Opie & Anthony? They got a call from a 46 year old women who was in rehab for cocaine and meth. Since O&A think exactly like I do, they asked her, “did you have sex for drugs” and of course she said yes. Then they went briefly into who guys don’t have that option, but then didn’t consider that men will commit crimes of violence such as muggings or burglary to get drug money, whereas women will have sex for drugs. Which is worse?

  5. 5 steve
    May 19, 2008 at 21:34

    @ Janet

    I think many illegals work in construction, and if I could ever repay my loans, I would love to quit and work in construction. I love being outside, getting exercise, and get paid to do it? I cannot remember the last time I have seen a construction worker that spoke English.

  6. 6 Brett
    May 19, 2008 at 21:37

    Good evening to all!

    This story jumped out at me this afternoon while browsing some articles:


    (RIYADH, Saudi Arabia) — Saudi Arabia’s leaders made clear Friday they see no reason to increase oil production until customers demand it, apparently rebuffing President Bush amid soaring U.S. gasoline prices.

    It seems that Bush and others are calling for increased oil production to lower prices. Saudi leaders are largely refusing the calls for increase.

    I support this and am excited to see prices continue to rise. Hopefully economic pressures will light a fire under those responsible for improving mass transit systems, mpg requirements for cars, etc. and at the same time foster a more responsible use of fossil fuels.

    Any thoughts or feelings on this?

  7. 7 steve
    May 19, 2008 at 21:42

    @ Brett

    The left will not allow more nuclear reactors to be built. Electricity is what fuels mass transit in some places, at least in DC. They could introduce electrical busses also if nuclear power were used to generate the electricity. I wouldn’t count up on giving up on fossil fuel energy any time soon. They will only do it once oil runs out.

  8. 8 Brett
    May 19, 2008 at 21:45

    Could someone let me know whether centrists and conservatives think that the U.S. has indeed been using DU munitions?

    I don’t really think that theres much to debate if you are indeed looking into facts. It seems the responses given by those in charge or those who defend the US about DU allegations are:

    “Not to my knowledge or “Not that I’m aware of

    This stance saves them from a bit of embarrassment when more facts amount and the truth comes out that the US has used DU munitions in large quantities, in irresponsible ways (as if they can ever be used ‘responsibly’, right?), and without proper cleanup. Though I doubt that US will ever admit it. They like to ignore it and use that as a tool to ‘make it go away’.

    Youtube has a few decent documentaries on DU.

    When the facts finally come out about all of the DU munitions the US has used in modern conflicts, they will still deny the health FACTS.

  9. 9 Brett
    May 19, 2008 at 21:52

    Opie and Anthony? I don’t have XM 😦 Is that an XM only programme?

    People will claim violent crimes are worse because they affect someone immediately.

    Whereas the spread of STD’s may not affect someone right away and “oops, no harm no foul, she didn’t know she had anything” right? Instead of one person getting beat up or killed, the spread of HIV will certainly kill AT LEAST the two involved… and anyone else they transfer it too before their death, and anyone else they transfer it too, and anyone else they transfer it to, and so on down the line.

    But then there are those who will argue, serves them right, they both were doing something immoral and illegal, if they both contract HIV, its their fault.

    Tell that to the innocent wife or girlfriend who’s husband cheated on her who is now positive.

    Which is worse? Whew, tough call…

  10. 10 Dennis
    May 19, 2008 at 21:53

    @ Brett:

    Good Evening!

    Dennis~Madrid, U.S.A.

  11. 11 Will Rhodes
    May 19, 2008 at 22:01

    In Canada remembrance day is a day off work. I believe the same can be said for the USA with veterans day.

    But what do you think of this?


    A special Bank Holiday [national holiday] is being considered by the Government to honour and celebrate the work of the Royal Navy, Army and RAF, as part of a new drive to draw the military and the public closer together.

    To encourage members of the Armed Forces to wear their uniforms in public as often as possible, legislation is also to be introduced to make it a criminal offence to discriminate against military personnel in Service dress or combat fatigues.

    Good idea or bad? Would you want this to be a part of your country?

  12. 12 Brett
    May 19, 2008 at 22:14

    @ Steve:
    I wouldn’t count up on giving up on fossil fuel energy any time soon.

    I know, its all wishful thinking 😦

  13. 13 Brett
    May 19, 2008 at 22:18

    @ Will’s article:
    Anyone who physically attacks a serviceman or servicewoman in uniform will also be charged with an “aggravated offence”

    So am I to believe that it will be a worse offence than attacking someone not wearing a uniform? If so, I’m not a big fan of that…

  14. 14 Dennis
    May 19, 2008 at 22:19

    @ Brett regarding Steve !

    I will not be counting on NOT using FOSSIL FUEL anytime soon…

    Dennis>Madrid, United States of America

  15. 15 Will Rhodes
    May 19, 2008 at 22:35

    From reading the article, Brett, I believe it will be. 😯

  16. May 20, 2008 at 00:06

    @Jobs Americans won’t do. There is no such thing. There are only jobs that the benefit does not equal the financial gain. Most of the illegals I know are mowing lawns, installing drywall, picking fruit, or working in sweat shops for a wage that no family could survive on. People willing to work really hard for wages that are less then a humane standard of living hurts my economy. The problem of Americans not having enough money is so bad that the government is starting to send it back.

    Until the politicians realize that wage disparity is the biggest problem with the economy, we will continue to slip further into ruin.

  17. May 20, 2008 at 00:06

    Hey Brett,

    The oil issue you suggest is pertinent. it can be discussed from different points of views, especially its ramifications on the world economy and how it affects poor countries. Oil can also be discussed as an economic weapon. The current prices are still seen as low by many. Previously the Iranian president considered that oil should be at $150 a barrel. it’s reaching that target within the current price at about $127 a barrel.

    For Saudi Arabia not bowing to the US demand for increased oil production can raise the question if it doesn’t want to be seen as the US economy puppet and it is trying to get US concessions on matters related to the situation in the Middle East.

    Actually, as you have pointed out, it is the rich who are driving the prices up because of their excessive consumptions from cars to electricity. As China and India are getting richer, the demand for oil won’t stop. Which means more carbon emissions and more worries about climatic changes.

    If there aren’t foreseeable solutions to the equation of economic prosperity and climate changes, the world economy will continue to fluctuate between oil prices and unpredictable weathers.

  18. 18 Brett
    May 20, 2008 at 00:06

    Ok, I know there are plenty posts on here about Israel and Palestine, but have a look at this article:


    PARIS — France confirmed Monday that it had been engaged in contacts with the leaders of Hamas, the radical Islamic group that is running Gaza, for several months to try to better understand its positions.

    The Bush administration, which recently likened talks with Hamas and other groups to appeasement of the Nazis, quickly criticized the French for the contacts, calling them unhelpful. There was no immediate comment from the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas of Fatah, who has said he will not talk to Hamas, which he accuses of carrying out a bloody coup in Gaza last June…

    Is ignoring ‘enemies’ really going to help anything?

    No one says you have to go along with their ideas or support them or even ‘appease’ them as Bush puts it. But I don’t see what the problem is in engaging in dialogue with your ‘enemies’ to see if you can better understand them and work through it before you go straight to a military offensive.

    Talking can be alot cheaper than going to war… You may even save a few lives.

    This ties directly into todays “Talking Points” topic:


    An issue that came up on the blank page… is diplomacy better than military action? Does it always work? They were talking about ex US President Jimmy Carter talking to Hamas a few weeks ago among other things, but the issue is relevant to some of todays stories:

    A leading Commander of the FARC rebels in Colombia has surrendered to the authorities. A BBC correspondent in Colombia says her surrender is a triumph for President Alvaro Uribe who had made her a priority target for the security forces.

    The Colombians have used a combination of diplomacy with some paramilitary groups such as the right wing AUC, and military action against a=others such as the FARC, who appear to be losing a lot of their senior members recently. Which one has worked better?

    In Spain, car bomb exploded in the northern Basque seaside town of Getxo – nobody was hurt, this time, but Basque separatist group ETA have been blamed.

    Prime Minster Zapatero has attempted to talk to ETA, but the process has been marred by hte bombings and by political opposition to talks. Would military action work better here? Are there any other solutions?

  19. May 20, 2008 at 00:16

    @ Steve May 19, 2008 at 7:32 pm,

    Concerning Hilary faking a southern accent reminds me of 2000 presidential elections when Al Gore and George Bush tried to reach out to the Hispanic voters by addressing them in Spanish. Some joked about this and said the one with a better Spanish accent could get their support. Maybe George Bush from Mexico felt he could outdo Al Gore.

    I think trying to mimic the voter’s way is rather unconvincing. The Americans know where Hilary is from. They don’t want to see her speak like them, but if she can speak about their needs and have a vision how to realize them.

    I wonder when she was making her campaign in New York, did she attempt to use New York different accents, especially of that of the black?

  20. 20 Brett
    May 20, 2008 at 00:52

    @ Abdelilah:
    If there aren’t foreseeable solutions to the equation of economic prosperity and climate changes, the world economy will continue to fluctuate between oil prices and unpredictable weathers.

    Great point and an interesting take on the lack of solutions in a stagnant energy market.

  21. 21 Shirley
    May 20, 2008 at 01:07

    Hello again, Brett
    In another post of yours from the 19 May TPs, you mentioned that both individuals and corporations need to be held responsible for pollution. I have seen the chase to keep up with the Joneses and know the kinds of trouble that it can cause in terms of mortgage messes, credit crunches, running from repos, and the financial finagling that must occur in order to support that kind of lifestyle. (The alliteration was intentional. Sorry.) It’s odd to see the battle of wills that happens in a person when he realises that he needs to compromise his standard of living in terms of the kind of food he eats, or the clothing that he wears, or the kind of car that he drives, etc. You most certainly have a point when you talk about what it takes for a person to heat/cool the huge house and drive the huge gas guzzler.

    I see the onus of responsibility lying with the corporations in terms of how much pollution is spilled into our air and water, though. Yes, extravagant persons do have quite a bit of responsibility. But I think that even if more people were to adopt environmentally friendly lifestyles, corporate pollution would still be so vast as to continue to cause major damage to the environment. I cannot get out of my head the ways in which the corporations are connected to each other in the kinds of services that they provide for each other. It seems to me like a sort of self-supporting beast that no longer requires any assistance from us to continue its survival. GE is connected to Universal Studios, Boeing, and the military, and it is an energy supplier and appliance manufacturer, even if only for a little while more. Universal and NBC are basically the same thing. Boeing has its own ties to the military, which also has contracts with several other corporations. So it seems that in addition to reforming our own lifestyles, we also need to pressure our governments to tighten the screws on our major corporations and force them to similarly tighten their own belts.

    Some questions to ponder:
    What are some viable ways for corporations to reduce their pollution? What are some of the ways that we average people can encourage them to do so? What kinds of lifestyle changes are possible for normal people to make in order to reduce our own carbon footprints? How much impact would those changes have on our carbon footprints?

    And since this is perhaps slightly related, a question of my own that I simply cannot figure out yet: do those grasses in our lawns produce grains that are edible? I have been able to eat wheat off the stalks from the crops of neighbouring farmers, so can we do that to the grasses in our backyards, too? Just for the fun of it, of course.

  22. 22 Shirley
    May 20, 2008 at 01:34

    An interesting excerpt. I’m not fond of the mixing of civilian and military. Military-inspired fashion, for example, turns me off. War games for PC and various TV-incorporated systems really turn me off. The way that certain restaurants are frequented by both military personnel and civilians in Israel, and the way that their mass transport systems are used by both, bothers me. I am certain that there are plenty of military personnel who live off-base, and as long as they are active enough that they could be called on at an moment to serve somewhere, I might be able to live with them wearing military uniforms. However, it seems to me that what is being described in the article is an attempt at glorification of military life, which to me is the same as glorification of war. And it is the glorification of war that really disgusts me. To me, war is a necessary evil: it exists as the last resort, something hated and despicable that we only use if we absolutely must. I feel that war has become a glorified concept in recent years, something to celebrate and to use in order to demonstrate our military, economic, and political power and to cow the rest of the world into acquiescing to our will.

    I can’t find a convenient spot to make a paragraph break, so I apologise to those who had to read it as it is.

  23. 23 Shirley
    May 20, 2008 at 02:15

    I was referring to the article that Will posted in my previous post. I’m sorry. I also didn’t see that one of the posts went through hours ago. Brett, please don’t feel that you need to allow through repeat posts.

    Perhaps the attitude that I have preceived as a glorification of war is directly linked to the attitude that one does not communicate with one’s declared enemies? I think that refusing to talk or negotiate with certain groups is immature. Isn’t it possible that repeated contact with those whom we view as contenders could result in some form of agreement between us and them?

  24. 24 Shirley
    May 20, 2008 at 02:17

    May 20, 2008 at 12:06 am
    Word has it that American Axle has forced its employees to take a wage cut by threatening to move jobs overseas. According to the living wage calculator at http://www.livingwage.geog.psu.edu , the living wage for some communities is around $20 per hour for a family of four. I think that American Axle actually slashed wages to below that rate. And my fmaily think that union workers want to live like kings and are forcing those poor corporations to ship jobs to China and Mexico. I think that it is absurd that while our CEOs are earning millions and billions of dollars every year in waes alone, they are trying to slash the wages and benefits of the rest of us on the threat of throwing our jobs at China and Mexico.

    I view fuel or energy of some sort as one of those necessities of life, along with food, air, water, health care, and shelter. It is a vital necessity for many people that they maintain certain temperatures in their homes. What would happen if we as a society began to treat certain necessary things as “the commons” – something that should be made accessible to all of the people in accordance with their need of it to survive. Would it be necessary to give certain amounts of these free of charge? Should there be a sliding scale system of cost for certain amounts, beyond which a person would have to pay standard fare for it? Should various means (luxury taxes, etc.) of restricting access to extravagant amounts be imposed? What would distinguish a equal opportunity of acces to vital resources from the communism that turns so many people off?

    Nuclear energy worries me. Aren’t the nuclear facilities in the States somewhat under par in terms of physical safety measures, as well as security enforcement? And there is also the question of waste displosal. My understanding is that DU is actually one of the nuclear waste byproducts. Are wind, sun, and other natural and reusable sources of energy not enough? Is it not possible to modify our lifestyles in combination with changing our sources of energy?

  25. 25 Brett
    May 20, 2008 at 02:27

    I was referring to the article that Will posted in my previous post. I’m sorry. I also didn’t see that one of the posts went through hours ago. Brett, please don’t feel that you need to allow through repeat posts.

    No worries Shirley, I had caught that and held off on approving it. Someone else must have approved it. I have deleted it for you so as not to cause any confusion.

    My understanding is that DU is actually one of the nuclear waste byproducts. As far as I know this is correct.
    From: http://www.stopnato.org.uk/du-watch/rokke/rokke.htm

    “Uranium hexaflouride is the non-fissionable residue or by-product of the uranium enrichment process during which fissionable Uranium 235 and Uranium 234 are separated from natural uranium. Depleted uranium is refined from Uranium Hexaflouride (UF6). The United States Department of Energy has so much UF6 stored at various sites that any use that increases disposal of this waste product is welcome. Consequently economic recovery may supersede health and environmental concerns. “

    Below is a DU FAQ:

  26. 26 Brett
    May 20, 2008 at 02:57

    @ Shirley:
    What are some viable ways for corporations to reduce their pollution?

    I think it is evident to most people except for the policy-makers and the corporations themselves on what needs to be done to reduce the pollution from various industries. Or most likely evident to all, but ignored by the few in power. I think the big hurdle is how to make the reductions needed in various industries without impacting the economy or the corporation too much through increased costs which are then passed to the customer. It seems change is something many companies fight fiercely against when it comes to sacrificing profits for the greater good of the people or environment. The greater good that most companies care for is the shareholders.

    What are some of the ways that we average people can encourage them to do so?

    Refuse to by products from the companies or industries in question until they change. What is especially important though is that the pollution impact throughout the life-cycle of the product or commodity is taken into account. It does little if a corporation manufactures a product for you and is friendly to the environment in doing so, but the subsequent use and disposal of the product by you, causes pollution.
    I think it is evident and has been said time and time again that some major changes will need to take place on all levels, starting with the individual, for any real change to take place. Most people are simply unwilling to change and give up their current lifestyle to either reduce their carbon footprint, or encourage companies to do so through selective consumerism.

    What kinds of lifestyle changes are possible for normal people to make in order to reduce our own carbon footprints?

    This can be everything from what seemed to start the carbon-footprint-green-pop-revolution, the CFL, to going completely solar, wind, geothermal with battery backup to remove yourself from dependence on the grid.
    It all depends what you are willing to sacrifice for the environment, your geographic location, local laws, and most importantly [and unfortunately] how much money you have to spend. Many people want to do alot, but are lacking in information on what they can do individually without spending thousands of dollars they don’t have.

  27. 27 Brett
    May 20, 2008 at 03:09

    @ Shirley:
    But I think that even if more people were to adopt environmentally friendly lifestyles, corporate pollution would still be so vast as to continue to cause major damage to the environment.

    Exactly, a very good point. Which is why you can’t strive for one change without striving for the other. An attitude of “Well, I’ll have no impact alone”, if embraced by millions will have no [positive] impact. But if everyone thinking that stopped searching for an excuse or scapegoat as to why they are not living more environmentally-responsible lives, and owned up to their own actions AS WELL as demand change within corporate entities; Well then real change could be had.

    The best way in my opinion is start with your own life, make the changes you feel are needed. Then go after bigger fish. It does little to argue with MNC’s about pollution if your willfully and happily consuming their products and polluting, yourself.

    The reduction in personal carbon foot-print and pollution, and the economic pressure through your purchasing power as an individual go hand in hand to help facilitate change from within and from corporations.

  28. 28 Dennis
    May 20, 2008 at 07:04

    Good Night Brett….

    Dennis~Madrid, U.S.A.

  29. May 20, 2008 at 08:24

    I don’t know if this would qualify for a discussion.

    – Yesterday there was another breach of the 2003 ceasefire agreed upon by India and Pakistan. This was the third in the last 10 or 14 days. The suscpicion is that Pak Rangers / regular troops are firing to give protection to terrrorists who are sneaking into India. It’s still not quite clear if the firing is from terrorists or the regular Pak soldiers. Of course, Pakistan is denying that their troops fired. But more significantly, they aren’t saying Indian troops fired. Whatever be the reality, it’s a grave sitution, since terrorism is now not just an Indo-Pak issue.

    – Why this resurgence in border firing when things should actually be moving to normalcy? With Pakistan too a vicitm of terrorism (unlike in the past), how does the situation pan out now?

    – Incidentally, today, the foreign ministers of India and Pakistan are meeting in Islamabad to review the progress of the fourth round of the Composite Dialogue Process.

  30. 30 Virginia Davis
    May 20, 2008 at 08:31

    Regarding anti-personnel weapons, specifically land mines. http://www.survivorcorps.org is a good reference. I, too, am curious to see what comes out of the Dublin conference.


    I admit, never having driven but I do use taxis, unabashed glee as the price of crude oil rises. And have to laugh when the Saudi responds to George W’s whine for more gas with “I’m happy – more demand, more gas, more money.”


    The disparity in wages, all over the world, especially here in the US between CEOs and “workers”, is an aberration. I have just glommed onto the phrase “shareholder democracy.” Could investors unite to the point of demanding pay cuts for CEOs and those funds going to benefits? To begin to play an active role in the reform of corporate structures?

    In middle school I wanted to “cut cots” in the Santa Clara Valley. My mother wouldn’t let me – scars on my hands. I began work the summer after my high school freshman year – $1 an hour, cleaning cabins in the Santa Cruz Mountains.
    I got my Social Security card. The next summer I got a five cent an hour raise.


    Hilary’s “accent” doesn’t bother me – her voice does, though. I mute George W and have been for a couple of years. Couldn’t stand his father’s voice either. I won’t listen to any of the local politician’s ads anymore. Oregon votes today.
    Thank gosh!

    Virginia in Oregon

  31. 31 adam in portland
    May 20, 2008 at 09:20

    @ Lubna
    from the Blank page #7, just wanted to express my condolences at hearing of the professor’s assination.
    It is very worrisome that educators have been targeted so much during the insurgency.

    @ Amy in Beaverton and the Portlanders
    I’m coming down out of the mountains to an appointment in Beaverton @4PM if anybody wants to get together before that. We could meet at a coffee shop with WiFi and blog together for a little bit over some java.

  32. 32 John in Germany
    May 20, 2008 at 12:16

    Germany has a 2% social production increase, and listening to the financial experts last night, made me wonder where they live.

    Excessive payments to managers, a decrease of manpower in most industries.

    Share holders that are only happy if a sizeable amount of job decreases are pronounced at the AGM. Putting thousands on to the slide to poorness.

    People queuing up for free, or subsidised meals, and groceries provided by super markets, and large bakeries Ect. and distributed at the Table. There’s one in nearly every small town.

    Under €700.00 income is the poor indicator, countless pensioners are in this bracket, and require assistance.

    The medical services stretched to capacity.

    So tell me Who’s getting the benefit from this 2%?

    Your contributors all painted a colourful picture, no one had the grey paint pot.
    and it is certainly very grey for the poor, they get no piece of the cake. A lot of them get run-out date, but edible food from charity. Whilst debunk Bank Managers, just change partners, after loosing Billions.

    John in Germany.

  33. 33 Will Rhodes
    May 20, 2008 at 12:26

    Other countries that publicly support their troops? India, Canada, Australia, China, Russia and Bulgaria. Is it time British public showed respect for their troops?

    I have a vested interest in a day to support the troops. And I think it is long over due in the UK.

    I will post more about it once I get back home.

  34. 34 John in Germany
    May 20, 2008 at 16:01

    My experience as a young soldier in 1958 was mixed, a letter or a call to a daily paper meant big trouble, so freedom of speech meant nothing. But as a soldier you were respected, and a visit to the pub in uniform meant being welcomed and nourished till you could take no more. It was by no means the good old times, but nor the bad.

    To day, and as then, military persons were the tools of the politicians. Then we were well trained, but paid as lackeys, today soldiers are well paid, and more respected if fighting. However they are to day, due to the media more in the minds eye.

    A services day should have been introduced years ago, and used to give the public better hindsight into the military life, and ways of doing things, so that the uniform comes back into the hearts of the people, as it was when i was a young soldier.

    It is sad that so many people think we could do without the forces, and are prepared to go to great lengths to make the service persons life extremely hard. It was not objectors that were in Korea, Ireland, Cyprus, Argentine and so on. It was just military carrying out the will of the politicians. And doing a bloody good job, as well.

    So good for you Mr Prime Minister, Give them the day, but please let some one else parade. Cos it aint no fun, practisin for, and bullin for a bloody parade, and being so knackered you cant even enjoy the free beer at night.

    John in Germany

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