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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted -  11/01/2009  :  06:04
New Year, new topic. If you want to see the old one do a forum search for same title but 2008.


Stanley Challenger Graham




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stanley at barnoldswick.freeserve.co.uk
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frankwilk
Senior Member


3975 Posts
Posted - 12/01/2011 : 10:47
The Republicans are denying that it could have been triggered by the rabid rhetoric coming from the right-wing extremists like Palin and others. Oh yeah?

I wonder how you came to that conclusion, most Americans I have talked to in the past couple of days say that is rubbish. The young man concerened was unbalanced, with a History of unusual behaviour
I could have put it as the Republicans are fed up being pushed down the Socialist path of the Democrats.
I agree Politics are being Polarised in the US but don't just blame the Republicans.
 Obama has been a failure not living up to the pre election rhetoric he hasn't delivered on Jobs or reducing the debt etc. In fact it is difficult  to see what he has achieved.




Frank Wilkinson       Once Navy Always Navy Go to Top of Page
Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 13/01/2011 : 08:02
Frank, Reading some of the excellent editorial in the NY Times sent to me by American friends who are watching what is happening and coming to their own conclusions. Mind you, I'll admit that they are intelligent and liberal people so this may colour their opinions.

As for President Obama, the general opinion amongst liberal commentators is that condidering the system he works in, the fact that he is black, the unforeseen problems that hit his presidency, he has done well and delivered some meaningful basic reform which, if nurtured will alleviate some of the most shameful aspects of American life which we have watched for decades.  True, he has made mistakes, show me a president who got everything right, but to denigrate him by asking what he has achieved signals that perhaps your friends aren't keeping you fully up to speed. Read his Tucson speech, exactly the right pitch and avoided narrow political rhetoric.

Listened to PMQs, Cameron v Milliband. I am not partisan about either of them. C had the best one liners, M had the most telling facts and questions. Problem is that they are both locked into the old and sterile tribal debate. The first politician who breaks these shackles will, get my undivided attention.

Bad news I know but Marx forecast this (Don't confuse Marx the thinker with 'Marxism') and Harold Macmillan covered the ground in 'The Middle Way'. Just two of the many commentators in the past giving us a road map but both largely ignored for tribal political reasons. When he tried to advise Thatcher in the 1980s against monetarism she ignored him. Says it all really.

Palin uses the emotive term 'blood libel' in her defence speech. Contemptible. 


Stanley Challenger Graham




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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 13/01/2011 : 08:24
Just listened to a long clip of the Tucson speech. Well worth seeking out and listening to. This is a good man talking eminently good sense, this was not the speech of a politician but a statesman.


Stanley Challenger Graham




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frankwilk
Senior Member


3975 Posts
Posted - 13/01/2011 : 08:39
Stanley  My friends I must admit do live in the Deep South, Mississippi, Tennessee. They feel marginalised by the East Coast Liberals. NY Times that's the equivalent to our Daily Mail!! just interested in selling newsprint.
 I did think a coalition of Liberals and Conservatives may  just   have worked, even though they are having to survive against a left wing biased BBC.
With regard to PMQs I thought the most telling bit was that Labour never wrote a decent contract with RBS. You have not read how much a Bankers Bonus goes in Tax  and NI as Tax Payers we are better off the way it is currently.
I did like the Wallace and Gromit line thoughlolol

I would have liked to have see the headlines if it had been a republican Congressman shot.
I wonder when it will dawn that what some of these Great Thinkers and Writer ( see above post's) were not in touch with what the Majority wanted ?? that's why they got put out of Office.



Frank Wilkinson       Once Navy Always Navy Go to Top of Page
frankwilk
Senior Member


3975 Posts
Posted - 13/01/2011 : 08:50
" I am not partisan about either of them"

I find that very very difficult to believe !!!!

and I find it difficult that you think Obama is a Statesman, what would you base that on ?? He hasn't been in Office long enough to Judge, but so far he hasn't delivered anything on the Middle East/Afghanistan or Iran.Oh his Nobel peace prize, look across to Israel to see how well he is doing there, and Afghanistan. Obama the man is fine, the Administration he Leads leaves an awful lot to be desired.

Edited by - frankwilk on 13/01/2011 08:56:01 AM



Frank Wilkinson       Once Navy Always Navy Go to Top of Page
frankwilk
Senior Member


3975 Posts
Posted - 13/01/2011 : 09:00
See they now want to stop Jailing any MPs caught fiddling expenses. The arguement goes they have been punished enough, losing their job,status etc. and it costs around £20k to lock them up.
I think Community Service is the answer in these cases of Non Violent crime, and lets not forget they are not a danger to the General Public.



Frank Wilkinson       Once Navy Always Navy Go to Top of Page
catgate
Senior Member


1764 Posts
Posted - 13/01/2011 : 10:59


quote:
frankwilk wrote:
See they now want to stop Jailing any MPs caught fiddling expenses. The arguement goes they have been punished enough, losing their job,status etc. and it costs around £20k to lock them up.

Looks like a a pronouncment from that well known Greek philosopher Testocoles


Every silver lining has a cloud.


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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 14/01/2011 : 05:19
" I am not partisan about either of them"

Obvious you've not been reading my posts then. I have made it perfectly clear that I support no party these days. As for Obama and the NY Times, even rabid right wing papers have perceptive comment writers.

January 12, 2011
Obama's Remarks in Tucson

Following is a text of President Obama's prepared address on Wednesday to honor those killed and wounded in a shooting on Jan. 8, as released by the White House.

To the families of those we've lost; to all who called them friends; to the students of this university, the public servants gathered tonight, and the people of Tucson and Arizona: I have come here tonight as an American who, like all Americans, kneels to pray with you today, and will stand by you tomorrow.

There is nothing I can say that will fill the sudden hole torn in your hearts. But know this: the hopes of a nation are here tonight. We mourn with you for the fallen. We join you in your grief. And we add our faith to yours that Representative Gabrielle Giffords and the other living victims of this tragedy pull through.

As Scripture tells us:

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,

the holy place where the Most High dwells.

God is within her, she will not fall;

God will help her at break of day.

On Saturday morning, Gabby, her staff, and many of her constituents gathered outside a supermarket to exercise their right to peaceful assembly and free speech. They were fulfilling a central tenet of the democracy envisioned by our founders and representatives of the people answering to their constituents, so as to carry their concerns to our nation's capital. Gabby called it "Congress on Your Corner" and just an updated version of government of and by and for the people.

That is the quintessentially American scene that was shattered by a gunman's bullets. And the six people who lost their lives on Saturday and they too represented what is best in America.

Judge John Roll served our legal system for nearly 40 years. A graduate of this university and its law school, Judge Roll was recommended for the federal bench by John McCain twenty years ago, appointed by President George H.W. Bush, and rose to become Arizona's chief federal judge. His colleagues described him as the hardest-working judge within the Ninth Circuit. He was on his way back from attending Mass, as he did every day, when he decided to stop by and say hi to his Representative. John is survived by his loving wife, Maureen, his three sons, and his five grandchildren.

George and Dorothy Morris, "Dot" to her friends, were high school sweethearts who got married and had two daughters. They did everything together, traveling the open road in their RV, enjoying what their friends called a 50-year honeymoon. Saturday morning, they went by the Safeway to hear what their Congresswoman had to say. When gunfire rang out, George, a former Marine, instinctively tried to shield his wife. Both were shot. Dot passed away.

A New Jersey native, Phyllis Schneck retired to Tucson to beat the snow. But in the summer, she would return East, where her world revolved around her 3 children, 7 grandchildren, and 2 year-old great-granddaughter. A gifted quilter, she'd often work under her favorite tree, or sometimes sew aprons with the logos of the Jets and the Giants to give out at the church where she volunteered. A Republican, she took a liking to Gabby, and wanted to get to know her better.

Dorwan and Mavy Stoddard grew up in Tucson together, about seventy years ago. They moved apart and started their own respective families, but after both were widowed they found their way back here, to, as one of Mavy's daughters put it, "be boyfriend and girlfriend again." When they weren't out on the road in their motor home, you could find them just up the road, helping folks in need at the Mountain Avenue Church of Christ. A retired construction worker, Dorwan spent his spare time fixing up the church along with their dog, Tux. His final act of selflessness was to dive on top of his wife, sacrificing his life for hers.

Everything Gabe Zimmerman did, he did with passion, but his true passion was people. As Gabby's outreach director, he made the cares of thousands of her constituents his own, seeing to it that seniors got the Medicare benefits they had earned, that veterans got the medals and care they deserved, that government was working for ordinary folks. He died doing what he loved, talking with people and seeing how he could help. Gabe is survived by his parents, Ross and Emily, his brother, Ben, and his fianc\u00c3\u00a9e, Kelly, who he planned to marry next year.

And then there is nine year-old Christina Taylor Green. Christina was an A student, a dancer, a gymnast, and a swimmer. She often proclaimed that she wanted to be the first woman to play in the major leagues, and as the only girl on her Little League team, no one put it past her. She showed an appreciation for life uncommon for a girl her age, and would remind her mother, "We are so blessed. We have the best life." And she'd pay those blessings back by participating in a charity that helped children who were less fortunate.

Our hearts are broken by their sudden passing. Our hearts are broken, and yet, our hearts also have reason for fullness.

Our hearts are full of hope and thanks for the 13 Americans who survived the shooting, including the congresswoman many of them went to see on Saturday. I have just come from the University Medical Center, just a mile from here, where our friend Gabby courageously fights to recover even as we speak. And I can tell you this, she knows we're here and she knows we love her and she knows that we will be rooting for her throughout what will be a difficult journey.

And our hearts are full of gratitude for those who saved others. We are grateful for Daniel Hernandez, a volunteer in Gabby's office who ran through the chaos to minister to his boss, tending to her wounds to keep her alive. We are grateful for the men who tackled the gunman as he stopped to reload. We are grateful for a petite 61 year-old, Patricia Maisch, who wrestled away the killer's ammunition, undoubtedly saving some lives. And we are grateful for the doctors and nurses and emergency medics who worked wonders to heal those who'd been hurt.

These men and women remind us that heroism is found not only on the fields of battle. They remind us that heroism does not require special training or physical strength. Heroism is here, all around us, in the hearts of so many of our fellow citizens, just waiting to be summoned, as it was on Saturday morning.

Their actions, their selflessness, also pose a challenge to each of us. It raises the question of what, beyond the prayers and expressions of concern, is required of us going forward. How can we honor the fallen? How can we be true to their memory?

You see, when a tragedy like this strikes, it is part of our nature to demand explanations, to try to impose some order on the chaos, and make sense out of that which seems senseless. Already we've seen a national conversation commence, not only about the motivations behind these killings, but about everything from the merits of gun safety laws to the adequacy of our mental health systems. Much of this process, of debating what might be done to prevent such tragedies in the future, is an essential ingredient in our exercise of self-government.

But at a time when our discourse has become so sharply polarized, at a time when we are far too eager to lay the blame for all that ails the world at the feet of those who think differently than we do \u00e2\u0080\u0093 it's important for us to pause for a moment and make sure that we are talking with each other in a way that heals, not a way that wounds.

Scripture tells us that there is evil in the world, and that terrible things happen for reasons that defy human understanding. In the words of Job, "when I looked for light, then came darkness." Bad things happen, and we must guard against simple explanations in the aftermath.

For the truth is that none of us can know exactly what triggered this vicious attack. None of us can know with any certainty what might have stopped those shots from being fired, or what thoughts lurked in the inner recesses of a violent man's mind.

So yes, we must examine all the facts behind this tragedy. We cannot and will not be passive in the face of such violence. We should be willing to challenge old assumptions in order to lessen the prospects of violence in the future.

But what we can't do is use this tragedy as one more occasion to turn on one another. As we discuss these issues, let each of us do so with a good dose of humility. Rather than pointing fingers or assigning blame, let us use this occasion to expand our moral imaginations, to listen to each other more carefully, to sharpen our instincts for empathy, and remind ourselves of all the ways our hopes and dreams are bound together.

After all, that's what most of us do when we lose someone in our family, especially if the loss is unexpected. We're shaken from our routines, and forced to look inward. We reflect on the past. Did we spend enough time with an aging parent, we wonder. Did we express our gratitude for all the sacrifices they made for us? Did we tell a spouse just how desperately we loved them, not just once in awhile but every single day?

So sudden loss causes us to look backward, but it also forces us to look forward, to reflect on the present and the future, on the manner in which we live our lives and nurture our relationships with those who are still with us. We may ask ourselves if we've shown enough kindness and generosity and compassion to the people in our lives. Perhaps we question whether we are doing right by our children, or our community, and whether our priorities are in order. We recognize our own mortality, and are reminded that in the fleeting time we have on this earth, what matters is not wealth, or status, or power, or fame, but rather, how well we have loved, and what small part we have played in bettering the lives of others.

That process of reflection, of making sure we align our values with our actions, that, I believe, is what a tragedy like this requires. For those who were harmed, those who were killed, they are part of our family, an American family 300 million strong. We may not have known them personally, but we surely see ourselves in them. In George and Dot, in Dorwan and Mavy, we sense the abiding love we have for our own husbands, our own wives, our own life partners. Phyllis, she's our mom or grandma; Gabe our brother or son. In Judge Roll, we recognize not only a man who prized his family and doing his job well, but also a man who embodied America's fidelity to the law. In Gabby, we see a reflection of our public spiritedness, that desire to participate in that sometimes frustrating, sometimes contentious, but always necessary and never-ending process to form a more perfect union.

And in Christina, in Christina we see all of our children. So curious, so trusting, so energetic and full of magic.

So deserving of our love.

And so deserving of our good example. If this tragedy prompts reflection and debate, as it should, let's make sure it's worthy of those we have lost. Let's make sure it's not on the usual plane of politics and point scoring and pettiness that drifts away with the next news cycle.

The loss of these wonderful people should make every one of us strive to be better in our private lives, to be better friends and neighbors, co-workers and parents. And if, as has been discussed in recent days, their deaths help usher in more civility in our public discourse, let's remember that it is not because a simple lack of civility caused this tragedy, but rather because only a more civil and honest public discourse can help us face up to our challenges as a nation, in a way that would make them proud. It should be because we want to live up to the example of public servants like John Roll and Gabby Giffords, who knew first and foremost that we are all Americans, and that we can question each other's ideas without questioning each other's love of country, and that our task, working together, is to constantly widen the circle of our concern so that we bequeath the American dream to future generations.

I believe we can be better. Those who died here, those who saved lives here, they help me believe. We may not be able to stop all evil in the world, but I know that how we treat one another is entirely up to us. I believe that for all our imperfections, we are full of decency and goodness, and that the forces that divide us are not as strong as those that unite us.

That's what I believe, in part because that's what a child like Christina Taylor Green believed. Imagine: here was a young girl who was just becoming aware of our democracy; just beginning to understand the obligations of citizenship; just starting to glimpse the fact that someday she too might play a part in shaping her nation's future. She had been elected to her student council; she saw public service as something exciting, something hopeful. She was off to meet her congresswoman, someone she was sure was good and important and might be a role model. She saw all this through the eyes of a child, undimmed by the cynicism or vitriol that we adults all too often just take for granted.

I want us to live up to her expectations. I want our democracy to be as good as she imagined it. All of us, we should do everything we can to make sure this country lives up to our children's expectations.

Christina was given to us on September 11th, 2001, one of 50 babies born that day to be pictured in a book called "Faces of Hope." On either side of her photo in that book were simple wishes for a child's life. "I hope you help those in need," read one. "I hope you know all of the words to the National Anthem and sing it with your hand over your heart. I hope you jump in rain puddles."

If there are rain puddles in heaven, Christina is jumping in them today. And here on Earth, we place our hands over our hearts, and commit ourselves as Americans to forging a country that is forever worthy of her gentle, happy spirit.

May God bless and keep those we've lost in restful and eternal peace. May He love and watch over the survivors. And may He bless the United States of America.





Stanley Challenger Graham




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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 14/01/2011 : 08:32
Did any of you see Grant Shapps, the Local Government minister 'defending' the scale of the cuts to Manchester council in which he accused them of having a 'twitter czar'. He refused to apologise for saying this even though it was pointed out that this is a fabrication, the post does not and never has existed. He refused to say what he had done to verify the fact before he used it. Not very impressive.

Labour hold Saddleworth with an increased majority, Conservative vote collapsed. Any message in there for Cameron?


Stanley Challenger Graham




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Bradders
Senior Member


1880 Posts
Posted - 14/01/2011 : 10:38
"not very impressive " He should correct his  mistake and apologise.....

To his credit , he did repeal the H I P S  legislation as soon as he was appointed, and has done much good work trying to reduce homelessness (even sleeping rough on one occassion to highlight the problem).

It would be a shame if he didn't  "come clean".....


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Bruff
Regular Member


479 Posts
Posted - 14/01/2011 : 11:35
''.............they are having to survive against a left wing biased BBC''.

 
Interesting.  I think it has a right-wing bias......... Actually, I don't.

 
What the BBC has to do as a public service broadcaster is reflect the plurality of the country, and that will mean reflecting the plurality of political opinion.  Thus if you don't understand this or aren't paying attention, the critical approach they adopt with all parties can come across as bias.  After all, if their journalists are giving someone who shares your views a hard time, they must be biased.  And if you're listening to the journalists quizzing someone who doesn't share your views, you might think they aren't being hard enough, and so that reinforces the bias.

 
For everyone who says the BBC is 'left-wing', there are plenty others who say it's 'right wing'.  Which probably suggests it's neither and it's very good at doing what it should.

 
Richard Broughton



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catgate
Senior Member


1764 Posts
Posted - 14/01/2011 : 14:40


quote:
Stanley wrote:
Any message in there for Cameron?

Yes....."Congratulations David."

It is the first thing thing he planned to do that has worked out as he wished.


Every silver lining has a cloud.


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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 15/01/2011 : 06:21
Catty, he planned to have a savage cut in share of the vote?

Richard. Agreed about the BBC. We are so luky to have such a stabilising influence. One evidence of the way it is regarded abroad is the fact that the US Public Service network 13 (Equivalent roughly with our BBC but not quite) shuts down at 11pm and switches to the UK edition of the World Service until they open up again the following morning. World Service is brilliant and anyone with digital radio can tune in at any time of the day. The news is particularly good, a different edition than on UK domestic channels and far wider ranging. Well worth a listen. 

Life and times of Ernie Bevin is going down well. The first volume is the story of his trade union career, founding the TGWU, advocating meaningful negotiation to solve obvious problems, breaking down the attitudes that stemmed from the early battles seen as Capital versus Labour. Anyone who denigrates the existence and influence of the trade unions should read this and learn the truth about the positive work they did to introduce sensible  cooperation between industry and its workforce. So many things we take for granted today in industrial relations were pioneered by the unions against opposition from the employers but have now proved their worth.


Stanley Challenger Graham




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Tizer
VIP Member


5150 Posts
Posted - 15/01/2011 : 11:54
I don't have a problem with the BBC's handling of political issues but I do worry about their attitude to science and technology issues. You get a few good programmes but the general treatment otherwise is to trivialise them, turning news stories into jokes. The treatment of business on Radio 4 has been transformed by employing people like Robert Peston, Evan Davies and Nick Robinson - they now need to do the same thing for science and technology. Also, there is lots of interesting science and technology news out there, every day worldwide, if only they would use it.


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catgate
Senior Member


1764 Posts
Posted - 15/01/2011 : 14:00


quote:
Stanley wrote:
Catty, he planned to have a savage cut in share of the vote?


He planned to give his "coalition partner" as little conservative opposition as posible without making it too blatently obvious.


Every silver lining has a cloud.


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