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Freedom Eurpoean Style

post #1 of 50
Thread Starter 
Europe is a funny place. People think they are so free and everything is wonderful. You start to scratch the surface you soon find out that people are not free.

If you write the wrong book in Demark you'll run afoul of the government.

Of course we know that Nazi stuff is outlawed. If you're caught with a book what happens? Web sites are ban that have that content.

France has a method to ban book they feel has ideas too dangerous for their own people. The judge's only reason for not banning it is that book is it has already sold. If only the thought police had been there sooner.

But this latest one is bizarre. In Demark you can't name your kid what you want. You have to choose from the government approved list. If you go off the list you have to get the approval of a special board by first going to a church. If they think the name is too silly or may cause the child future torment then they wont approve it.

Quote:
"The government, from a historical point of view, feels a responsibility towards its weak citizens," said Rasmus Larsen, chief adviser at the Ministry for Ecclesiastical Affairs, discussing the law. "It doesn't want to see people put in a situation where they can't defend themselves. We do the same in traffic; we have people wear seat belts."

...

In some cases, Mr. Nielsen says, he believes he is performing a vital public service. He advised the Ministry that Anus and Pluto be rejected, for example. He also vetoed Monkey. "That's not a personal name, " Mr. Nielsen explained. "It's an animal. I have to protect the children from ridicule."

Wow! Europe is so great. We should be more like them.
post #2 of 50
Quote:
Wow! Europe is so great. We should be more like them. [/B]

Well, another 4 years of George Bush, John Ashcroft, and co., and we will beat Europe at their own game, make no mistake. Is that really what you want?
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post #3 of 50
Quote:
Originally posted by Scott
Wow! Europe is so great. We should be more like them.

Most European countries are awesome. Do you even know how many countries there are in Europe? My guess is no considering how you grouped all of them into one. Great examples from a whopping two countries. For every one of those examples you provided, there are ten or more that prove the opposite.
post #4 of 50
Scott, what is with you that every single post has to put everything in binary classifications?

And I also just don't see this love of europe you are so hung up on. My personal impression has always been that americans' views of europe have always been very complex. Europe is certainly not seen as politically stable by any means, but the high number developed countries with varied political systems has provided a sort of lab where we can see what works and what doesn't. The impact of various policies like unemployment insurance or the well-known different voting systems give examples for us to analyze and learn from.

You are so hung up on France, but we simply don't have the problem France is facing with its population shifts, among many other things. I doubt any american who is at all familiar with it argues that major mistakes haven't been made and that even bigger French mistakes (in the eyes of americans) were the cause of the immigrant problem decades ago.

But that doesn't mean that there is nothing to learn. Quite the opposite. There are a whole lot of reasons why so many fields focus their research on the experiences, good and bad, of europe.
post #5 of 50
Quote:
Originally posted by Scott Europe is a funny place. People think they are so free and everything is wonderful. You start to scratch the surface you soon find out that people are not free.

If you write the
wrong book in Demark you'll run afoul of the government.

Ohh you really didn´t scratch the surface that deeply yourself did you?


Bjørn Lomborg wrote his book "the skeptical environmentalist" not based on knowledge of environmental issues but on statistics. His arguments run like this example: why fight the green house effect if instead you can build dams in bangladesh for less than it costs for CO2 reduction?
He doesn´t question the green house effect or rising waters The problem is that he doesn´t say how Bangladesh could ever afford to build those dams. He is associate professor in social sciences so a bit of insight into political processes would have qualified this book much more. But he choose to stick to statistics

The government in Denmark didn´t dislike this guy. Actually they love him very much because it fits right into their agenda. They even made a institute for him to be director for (Institute for Environmental
assessments
)

The danish government hasn´t been part of the controversy about this book (the only things it has been doing was paying his salary as a associate professor while he wrote it and as the director of the institute. And after leaving the post recently he is now back in his old job as associate professor). The body his article talks about is within the academic society itself and has no ties to the government. All forms of academic work is object for peer rewiev and this body is a part of this system of colleagues scrutinizing your work. Two problems in this case:
His book wasn´t academic work and the findings of the body wasn´t backed with convincing arguments. So the then influential review body was criticized severely by the academic society itself and doesn´t hold as much power as it used to.

So you got it completely upside down. And this isn´t the first time you have tried to use Lomborg.

Bonus information: He is gay and married to... A MAN (gasp ). And he has critized the way the Bush administration has used his results. AND it was the largest social liberal newspaper that promoted Lomborg in the first place to give room to a renegade voice in the enviromental debate.

About the name case: I am social liberal so you won´t hear an argument against your view on that except for these two qualifiers: You can call your kid what you want. It just can´t get it in the official documents. If the people wanted it differently they would vote in politicians who would change the law.
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post #6 of 50
Scott you're trying too hard.

Merdeka!
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Merdeka!
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post #7 of 50
You're a very stupid man for starting a comparison thread like this.

I mean, what were you thinking?

Do you really believe that Europe has less freedoms then the Land of the 'Free'?

Just remember this: the fundamental right to travel where we want to still exists here. There are no countries that European citizens are not allowed to visit. We can go anywhere on the world if they'll let us in.

You can't.
meh
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meh
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post #8 of 50
meh
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meh
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post #9 of 50
Don't allow criticism of the US government on your website (unless you want your server's hard drives confiscated by the FBI)
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post #10 of 50
You think Denmark's got it bad? Australians living in the state of Queensland are only just now getting the right to wear slippers outdoors.

Outdoor slipper wearers are criminals!

And we're members of the Coalition of the Profoundly Stupid. So I guess dumb laws aren't the sole province of those terrorist-loving, commies in Europe, eh? Hell the next thing you know, the Land of the Free will be detaining foreign nationals indefinitely without trial and invading the privacy of its own citizens.
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post #11 of 50
Quote:
Originally posted by crazychester
You think Denmark's got it bad? Australians living in the state of Queensland are only just now getting the right to wear slippers outdoors.

Outdoor slipper wearers are criminals!

And we're members of the Coalition of the Profoundly Stupid. So I guess dumb laws aren't the sole province of those terrorist-loving, commies in Europe, eh? Hell the next thing you know, the Land of the Free will be detaining foreign nationals indefinitely without trial and invading the privacy of its own citizens.

Yes - what Scott seems incapable of assimilating is that the majority of these incidents are inspired by the same insane ideology that he is so enamoured of: ie right wing lunacy.

Let's take a look at Scott's Europe:

UK: Blair is more right-wing than the Tories, leading Bush brown-nose and has already expelled all left-wingers from the party. Currently sweeping through swingeing racist anti-freedom laws to complement the human rights abuses perpetrated under the Stalinesque 'detain people without trial, warrant or arrest in mental hospitals' policy.

Italy: corrupt extreme right-wing racist with Mafia links - leading member of 'the good guys triumverate' along with Bush and Blair.

France: the good bit ! Hahah ! Extreme right-wing government currently pondering more racist bans of Muslim symbology - Scott should love this ! Possibly the most beauracratic nation on earth and certainly this amounts to a denial of freedom on all levels of society. Except immigrants - they aren't in society being housed in enormous ghetto complexes outside large cities whilst the petit (petty ?) bourgeoisie tremble fearfully inside and dream of the new saviour Sarkozy who is even more right-wing than Chirac who himself makes Bush look like Che Guevara.

Germany: rapidly deciding that the old ways are the best and basking in the glow of a resurgent Nazi party. As in France and following Bush's anti-Islam animus, the Germans are at it again: starting this time with more stringent attacks on Islamic religion (led by the Green party, unsurprisingly, who are rapidly revealing themselves as a quasi-fascist cabal), immigrant workers (these attacks are literal) and generally anything that doesn't have established WASP credentials.

I could go on but Scott's not listening. I can tell. I'm not surprised really as this was a rather transparent troll. Undoubtedly he approves of all these right-wing European human rights abuses. Bush does so he must.

The fact is, there is only one country in Europe with any form of 'left' credibility and that is Spain. Unsurprisingly, it is also the most civilized country in Europe also.
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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post #12 of 50


I can't belive you started this thread with three such incredibly lousy examples. And you dare to compare them to how your own country is slowly turning into an orwellian police state?

If you really did any research, I bet you could find much better examples of how some european states are following the US lead in depriving their citizens of basic rights.

But that's not your agenda is it?
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post #13 of 50
Quote:
Originally posted by segovius


France: the good bit ! Hahah ! Extreme right-wing government currently pondering more racist bans of Muslim symbology - Scott should love this ! Possibly the most beauracratic nation on earth and certainly this amounts to a denial of freedom on all levels of society. Except immigrants - they aren't in society being housed in enormous ghetto complexes outside large cities whilst the petit (petty ?) bourgeoisie tremble fearfully inside and dream of the new saviour Sarkozy who is even more right-wing than Chirac who himself makes Bush look like Che Guevara.

.

I strongly disagree with this one. It's a question of laicity. And it apply to all religion christians included (priests are not allowed to enter in school in their traditional clothers).
Turkey is a laic countrie, with a vast majority of muslim people. Like France, the scarf is not allowed for women in both school and university.

As a strong support of Sarkozy I must be an horrible fascist, and doomed to hell. I will also point out, that Sarkozy was the one, who made possible the creation of the "muslim representative council of France", and who promoted the positive discrimination.
Chirac is for the intergration of turkey in europe, something that others moderate right politicians disaproove like Beyrou, in the name of the conflict of civilisation ( I suspect that it's christian fear of Islam).
Personally I am for the integration of turkey in the mid term. My stance on islam, it's that just a religion and that there is nothing that prevent muslim to do not share our occidental way of lifes without betraying their religions. Turkey is the best representant of this modern Laic islam.
post #14 of 50
Quote:
Originally posted by segovius
The fact is, there is only one country in Europe with any form of 'left' credibility and that is Spain. Unsurprisingly, it is also the most civilized country in Europe also.

ha ha, that's a pretty wild statement... But at the same time it's quite true right now. Hopefully we'll see some right-wing governments ousted in the comming years...
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post #15 of 50
Quote:
Originally posted by Powerdoc
I strongly disagree with this one. It's a question of laicity. And it apply to all religion christians included (priests are not allowed to enter in school in their traditional clothers).
Turkey is a laic countrie, with a vast majority of muslim people. Like France, the scarf is not allowed for women in both school and university.

As a strong support of Sarkozy I must be an horrible fascist, and doomed to hell. I will also point out, that Sarkozy was the one, who made possible the creation of the "muslim representative council of France", and who promoted the positive discrimination.
Chirac is for the intergration of turkey in europe, something that others moderate right politicians disaproove like Beyrou, in the name of the conflict of civilisation ( I suspect that it's christian fear of Islam).
Personally I am for the integration of turkey in the mid term. My stance on islam, it's that just a religion and that there is nothing that prevent muslim to do not share our occidental way of lifes without betraying their religions. Turkey is the best representant of this modern Laic islam.

Well, fascists don't necessarily go to hell Powerdoc - I thought they just made life hell for other people

Chirac is very right-wing and Sarkozy is further right still, no ?

Turkey is one of the biggest human rights abusers in the world today - just behind Saudi and Burma and, like them, seems now to have been given carte blanche. It's a disgrace.

There is no way they are remotely sympathetic to Islam (which is why they've been let in the club) and most of their abuses are against muslims. They are in short, typical WOT coalition material.

I would cite Jordan (much as I despise the place) as a better example of the sort of non-Islamic Islamic State you claim Turkey to be. Kind of Decaf Islam if you will, Islam lite, at least they aren't abusing their citizens though.
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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post #16 of 50
Lets give Scott a hand and find examples ourselves.

I´ll present one from Denmark. We are you might know part of the coalition in Iraq and in Afghanistan.

One of our citizens was a warrior for taleban in Afghanistan even before 911. Whether he fought in the war has never been clarified but he was caught in Pakistan by local fighters and not during fights, shipped to Afghanistan where he was handed over to the american forces and shipped to camp X-ray.

The americans told that he was caught fighting in Afghanistan and was one of the hardcore fighters. But he told our equivalent to CIA what really happened and they concluded that his story was believable. BUT our secretary of state, who handled the case stuck to the american version. Our government accepted his non-status and that the americans could hold him indefinitely without a trial as the war against terrorism could last forever, thus referring to law regarding prisoners of war which they had accepted didn´t apply for this person. At one time the prime minister said that prisoner of war with the rights given to them AT THE SAME as the secretary of state told reporters that that wasn´t the case. And they didn´t offer our citizen assistance of an attorney which is standard procedure in cases like this.

A few month ago he suddenly was released from Cuba after he had agreed not to file suit against US for the time under their custody and he could tell his (confirmed) history. The government said his release was due to their inactivity (they hadn´t criticized US and as thank he was released) but the truth was they had sacrificed one of their citizens because of our relationship to US. Thats a reason for critisism. To this day there has been no evidence for his involvement in the fight against the coalition in Afghanistan.
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post #17 of 50
Quote:
Originally posted by Anders
Lets give Scott a hand and find examples ourselves.

I´ll present one from Denmark. We are you might know part of the coalition in Iraq and in Afghanistan.

One of our citizens was a warrior for taleban in Afghanistan even before 911. Whether he fought in the war has never been clarified but he was caught in Pakistan by local fighters and not during fights, shipped to Afghanistan where he was handed over to the american forces and shipped to camp X-ray.

The americans told that he was caught fighting in Afghanistan and was one of the hardcore fighters. But he told our equivalent to CIA what really happened and they concluded that his story was believable. BUT our secretary of state, who handled the case stuck to the american version. Our government accepted his non-status and that the americans could hold him indefinitely without a trial as the war against terrorism could last forever, thus referring to law regarding prisoners of war which they had accepted didn´t apply for this person. At one time the prime minister said that prisoner of war with the rights given to them AT THE SAME as the secretary of state told reporters that that wasn´t the case. And they didn´t offer our citizen assistance of an attorney which is standard procedure in cases like this.

A few month ago he suddenly was released from Cuba after he had agreed not to file suit against US for the time under their custody and he could tell his (confirmed) history. The government said his release was due to their inactivity (they hadn´t criticized US and as thank he was released) but the truth was they had sacrificed one of their citizens because of our relationship to US. Thats a reason for critisism. To this day there has been no evidence for his involvement in the fight against the coalition in Afghanistan.

He should sue the US anyway... Oh, he can't... How is that for freedom, Scott?
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post #18 of 50
Turkey hasn´t been given carte blance, au contraire. They have now entered a process that will take MANY years where they have to improve a lot of things before they are accepted into EU. While the former east block countries had to transform their economies before they got accepted into the European Union of Wealthy Countries Turkey will have to revolutionize the rights of their citizents before they are accepted. Its the European version of the war in Iraq. See something in the world you don´t like? US answer: send troops to fight it. EU: Make an offer they can´t refuse. If played right EU will know exactly how much their cards are worth and will play them right.

I don´t like everything about EU but I acknowledge its function in spreading liberal rights to countries that doesn´t have it.

I agree that if Turkey had been given a carte blance now it would have been a huge step in the wrong direction. But fortunately thats not the case.

Just weeks ago Turkey was about to make laws against infidelity (not the religious meaning of the word). Luckily it was halted because EU said it would stop the process if it did.
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post #19 of 50
This thread is hilarious.
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post #20 of 50
I agree. Even if a person's name is Monkey, they can still call themself something else, like Scott, for instance. And that doesn't even stop them from their behavior as a Bush monkey, so there's really no reason to ban such a name.
post #21 of 50
Quote:
Originally posted by Scott
Of course we know that Nazi stuff is outlawed. If you're caught with a book what happens? Web sites are ban that have that content.

You are free to buy Mein Kampf throughout Europe. It is historically important. Regarding new racist propaganda. Laws are different from country to country.
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post #22 of 50
Quote:
Originally posted by segovius
Well, fascists don't necessarily go to hell Powerdoc - I thought they just made life hell for other people

Chirac is very right-wing and Sarkozy is further right still, no ?

Turkey is one of the biggest human rights abusers in the world today - just behind Saudi and Burma and, like them, seems now to have been given carte blanche. It's a disgrace.

There is no way they are remotely sympathetic to Islam (which is why they've been let in the club) and most of their abuses are against muslims. They are in short, typical WOT coalition material.

I would cite Jordan (much as I despise the place) as a better example of the sort of non-Islamic Islamic State you claim Turkey to be. Kind of Decaf Islam if you will, Islam lite, at least they aren't abusing their citizens though.

1) basically France is politically divided in 4 parts
- the extreme left : lutte ouvriere, Ligue communiste revolutionnaire ...
- the classical left with the Socialist (the biggest part) , the commie and the green
- the classical right : The UMP and the more centrist UDF
- the extreme rigth : le front national (le pen).
If you ask a journalist of Le monde (center left) if Chirac is right winged, I doubt that he will approve this statement. Now if you ask, someone of Lutte ouvriere, he will clearly say that Chirac is right winged : for them even the socialists belong to the right.

2) Turkey is not perfect but has improved a lot since she want to enter in the union. Like Anders amphisized, it's not a carte blanche at all (turkey was even complaining it was the contrary).
I will just add to Anders post, that the current governement is a moderate muslim one. I don't see how a muslim party can make abuses against muslims.

Segovius : generally you have a very huge culture about everything about islam and the arabic world, but for turkey your knowlegde should be updated.
post #23 of 50
Quote:
Originally posted by Powerdoc
1) basically France is politically divided in 4 parts
- the extreme left : lutte ouvriere, Ligue communiste revolutionnaire ...
- the classical left with the Socialist (the biggest part) , the commie and the green
- the classical right : The UMP and the more centrist UDF
- the extreme rigth : le front national (le pen).
If you ask a journalist of Le monde (center left) if Chirac is right winged, I doubt that he will approve this statement. Now if you ask, someone of Lutte ouvriere, he will clearly say that Chirac is right winged : for them even the socialists belong to the right.

2) Turkey is not perfect but has improved a lot since she want to enter in the union. Like Anders amphisized, it's not a carte blanche at all (turkey was even complaining it was the contrary).
I will just add to Anders post, that the current governement is a moderate muslim one. I don't see how a muslim party can make abuses against muslims.

Segovius : generally you have a very huge culture about everything about islam and the arabic world, but for turkey your knowlegde should be updated.

I think I must have been classified as Lutte ouvriere when I lived in Paris

Well I am almost totally ignorant of the workings of the EU (thank God) so I shall bow to yours and Anders' greater knowledge. I shall also try to take your advice about updating my Turkish aspects - I have a blindspot though I'm afraid. I love the country, Istanbul is my favourite city I think, but the Government is a different story...

How can they abuse muslims ? How can the Saudis ? It's not easy to comprehend, I sure as hell don't.

But whose bases do the US use when they want to bomb Baghdad ? Turkey and Saudi.

Who do the Turks question and torture when they are looking for the terrorists who were responsible for the Istanbul bomb ? Muslims.

Who have the Turkish government been 'ethnically cleansing' (ie genocide) for decades ? Kurdish Muslims.

Nothing much has changed there Powerdoc - it's all swept under the rug and the shopfront shined up a bit. Same with Libya imo. Hopefully they will be thoroughly vetted though because there are some massive institutionalised abuses in the country.
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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post #24 of 50
Where did Scott go
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post #25 of 50
Did anyone see SNL last night? Finesse Mitchell did a great news bit about how the US should have a law screening kid's names like Denmark does. Starting with his own.
post #26 of 50
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by Anders
Where did Scott go

What do you mean?
post #27 of 50
Hey, read this scotty...

64% of the French are favorable to Gay Marriage.
49% are favorable to adoption (by gay couples).

And that in a country that voted twice for Chirac (well, the second time they had no choice...;-)

A link here.
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post #28 of 50
and this... (Civil-Rights Panel to Wait to Discuss Bush).
(you can run, but you can't hide budy ;-)))
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post #29 of 50
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by pierr_alex
Hey, read this scotty...

64% of the French are favorable to Gay Marriage.
49% are favorable to adoption (by gay couples).

And that in a country that voted twice for Chirac (well, the second time they had no choice...;-)

A link here.

Yea that's the same country that stripped religious freedom from school kids. You win!
post #30 of 50
Quote:
Originally posted by Scott
Yea that's the same country that stripped religious freedom from school kids. You win!

It's not religious freedom : it's laicity. Kids have the right to practice any religions they want outside school. For example my elder daughter recieve religious teaching (catechism).

In turkey,the woman's scarf is not allowed in school and university either.
post #31 of 50
Not a big fan of IndyMedia myself, but this seems odd...

linky clicky...

And here's another incredible example:

Freedom
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post #32 of 50
Quick thoughts:
The more-than-two-actual-parties system we have across Europe is much more democratic than the 2 party system in the US. It also allows for a much clearer representation of what the people stand for, including radical points of view on eiter side. A not so good side-effect is that mainstream parties or often part of the majority, and people who are unhappy with policy or forced towards the extreme.
I do think however that the politicians in power are generally more progressive and somewhat dismissive of the populist, conservative vote, where in a two party system it is the populist vote that is wanted the most. I guess you could say that is somewhat more democratic also.
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post #33 of 50
Its the old discussion between liberal and republican democracy. US democracy is leaning towards the liberal model while our is leaning towards republican model.
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post #34 of 50
Scott, it looks like you struck a nerve, no?
post #35 of 50
Quote:
Originally posted by SpcMs
Quick thoughts:
The more-than-two-actual-parties system we have across Europe is much more democratic than the 2 party system in the US.

You mean the one-party system in the US?

Not really more democratic, per se, but more competitive, yes, and more diverse, most certainly. It's ironic to me that the country that thinks it's a capitalist state has a monopoly for a government. The monopoly is somewhat bound by tradition and law, so it's still quite the republic it ever was, but there has NEVER been much choice in goverment in the United States. The only problem now is that we've forgotten the ideals that founded America, but never were written down.

America and European nations have skeletons in their closets. Both shoot dreadfully short when it comes to the level of social freedom a modern, democratic republic should make available.
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post #36 of 50
Quote:
Originally posted by NaplesX
Scott, it looks like you struck a nerve, no?

oh, pleeeeaaaaase

i am an american who has lived, studied and worked in america and in europe (currently) for several years. neither is perfect - they both have their pros and cons.


however, having lived in a modern society for the past 10+ years, i really see no point in going back to a society that is based on 18th-century-values.

that would be like, using a typewriter instead of my beloved powerbook.
post #37 of 50
Quote:
Originally posted by NaplesX
Scott, it looks like you struck a nerve, no?

Looks like that's gotta be the case... I mean, why else would everyone be coming out, citing examples, and supporting the case to the contrary. They're obviously just trying to cover up the truth, and doing it so vehemently because they're stuck in their own little world of delusions.




...Aaargh! I hate this country. Get me out of here.
Kappa Rho Alpha Theta Zeta Omega Nu Epsilon
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Kappa Rho Alpha Theta Zeta Omega Nu Epsilon
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post #38 of 50
Quote:
Originally posted by bauman
Looks like that's gotta be the case... I mean, why else would everyone be coming out, citing examples, and supporting the case to the contrary. They're obviously just trying to cover up the truth, and doing it so vehemently because they're stuck in their own little world of delusions.




...Aaargh! I hate this country. Get me out of here.

I see someone make a statement that you strongly disagree with. You have two ways of replying :
- a) you say nothing : it's an implicit yes
- b) you strongly disagree and you show to other that you just trying to convice your self.

Now let's start a practical example. (this is hypothetic) .
Bauman I declare that you are an idiot. Reply
post #39 of 50
Now the moderators are trolling

There is always an option c you should always remember.

c) Something we havn't thought of yet.

SOL INVICTA
post #40 of 50
The psychiatrist R D Laing evolved the theory that in an insane world then clinical insanity in fact represented a sane response.

As things have moved on since Laing's time and we are now living in a world of complete and utter idiots, I propose a refinement.

In a world of idiots where 'idiocy' is taken as the height of intellectual achievement then a descent into what such people would label 'idiocy' is not only desirable but absolutely essential.

What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
Reply
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