Debate and Discussion

The left in South America. What is the US afraid of?
ozoneocean at 12:33PM, April 22, 2006
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Please enlighten me; US president George W Bush Jnr and his friends seem quite worried about the trend to the left in countries like Venezuela, Bolivia, Argentina, and Brazil.
What’s to be worried about? It’s the “democratic process in action” isn’t it? ;)
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:23PM
Ronson at 6:05PM, April 22, 2006
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They're worried about a growing oil supplier being controlled by people that aren't influenced by the US.
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kyupol at 9:08PM, April 22, 2006
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Because hugo chavez is gonna whup america's ass… mwahahahahahhaha!!!!!!! :-D

He's in an ultimate fighting stance… hahahahahahahaha!!!!


Seriously tho, I kind of like Chavez as a leader. Except sometimes I think he's a bit whack.
NOW UPDATING!!!
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ozoneocean at 9:49PM, April 22, 2006
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So when Condoleezza Rice says things like the stuff in the quote below, she's all alone in her crazy opinions?
If so, I'm glad to hear it. That's insane… The tone and attitude is sort of like the beginnings of “the case for war” in Iraq. And this’s just a single example.
It's a relief to see that kind of thing is limited to these nutters alone (the hard-line conservatives), and not a popular feeling.
I think President Hugo Chavez is a real problem. I think he will continue to find ways to subvert democracy in his own country. He will continue to find ways to make his neighbours miserable. He will continue his contacts with Fidel Castro, maybe giving Castro one last fling to try to affect the politics of Latin America, which is not a good thing. He's involved in ways in Colombia with the FARC (Marxist rebels) that are unhelpful.

The key there is to mobilize the region to both watch him and be vigilant about him and to pressure him when he makes moves in one direction or another. We can't do it alone. This is a region where if we try to do it alone, we actually probably strengthen him. But the OAS (Organization of American States) can do a lot. We're hopeful that the recognition that he's not following a democratic course will help mobilize the OAS to do that. They have done it before – with Peru they did it. Watching his activities and making it costly at least politically for Chavez to carry out anti-democratic activities either at home or in the region is really about where we are.
Wow, the hypocrisy and pompousness is astounding; “anti-democratic”, I suppose that's what it's called when you're elected by the popular vote… But on the other hand, it's not “anti-democratic” to try and undermine democratically elected governments. Hmm.

Ah well. Still, it’s good to know there’s no real worries about South America and it’s only these far right people. Must be a big beat up by the BBC then, eh?
 
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Ronson at 5:00AM, April 23, 2006
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ozoneocean
Ah well. Still, it’s good to know there’s no real worries about South America and it’s only these far right people. Must be a big beat up by the BBC then, eh?

Weeelll…

Though I agree that it's only the far right people who are getting their panties in a wad over Chavez, that doesn't mean it isn't a reason for concern.

Remember that the US sent the CIA down to try to overthrow Chavez.

The far right has control over almost the entire US government now, and has the potential to control the voting as long as they keep the Democrat/Republican divide close to a 50/50 split.

I don't know how much you're following our election system, but it's broken and it's broken badly. Every year, another state implements electronic voting machines. These machines are fairly easy to skew toward a candidate and don't have a paper trail.

The way our voting system works, the party that controls the district is in charge of counting the votes. This was something I wasn't aware of until the 2000 election. Messed up, innit?

In 2004, Ohio was fraught with voting irregularities with these machines, as well as outright voter fraud (there were investigations and arrests over this) - but you can't re-vote and anyone put in office by a skewed ballot stays in office.

But an election can only be stolen when it is extremely close. The Republicans keep it close by harping on the things that are considered hot buttion issues AND issues that have a pretty close 50/50 split: Gay marriage, abortion, etc.

The way our electoral process works, they only have to steal a few states to keep control of the presidency. There seems little doubt in my mind that at least two battleground states - Ohio and Florida - will stay in the Republican control regardless of how the state votes.

That's bad news for Democrats, because even though the “blue states” are more populous than the “red states”, they don't have enough electoral votes to win.
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ccs1989 at 7:13AM, April 23, 2006
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I think President Hugo Chavez is a real problem. I think he will continue to find ways to subvert democracy in his own country.

This coming from a woman whose party reorganized the electoral discricts in the states therefore making it nearly impossible for the democrats to win next election through electoral votes.

Huh.
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ozoneocean at 4:23PM, April 24, 2006
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I agree Ronson, that's terrible behaviour, (why isn't it illegal?), and if these nut's continue to hold power through the use of that process then things around the world will likely get worse. -And it won't look good for South America.
But if their great rivals, the Democrats, do actually manage to get in, what's to stop them behaving the same way? (rigging domestic votes that is). I believe elements in both parties have been guilty of such things in the past.

mike z.
ozoneocean: are you sure you don't really know what the Republicans are worried about? Democracy is only good when it runs in your favour, remember?
Ah, true. But why does the election of leftwing governments in South America run so contrary to their favour?
 
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ozoneocean at 5:05PM, April 24, 2006
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Tatar, tater, tater… If you actually need a bit of info as to what is meant by “The politics of the Left”, Wikipedia is as good a place to start as any. Compare and contrast that to “the politics of the Right” by reading this article at Wikipedia.

That won't bring you entriely up to speed, so if you truly are interested (I tend to doubt it), I'd suggest listening to lots of broing news on international radio stations such as the BBC world service, the English service of Deutsche Welle Radio, News Radio (an Australian service that syndicates quite a few international stations), Radio Netherlands, Radio Canada International, or even the small political component of the US's own NPR.
If you did that you'd be right up with current events and you could really add to the debate here. :-D
 
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ozoneocean at 6:16PM, April 24, 2006
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Ok, a quick guide then:
The Rightwing position is generally characterised by conservatism (older values, resistant to change etc), they generally favour the rich and traditionally empowered as opposed to people who don’t have means. They believe that the individual should fend for themselves and that governments shouldn’t interfere, (unless it’s about drugs, porn, religion or homosexuality, in that case the government should prevent you from doing any of those things, except for religion which they generally think you should all follow). And they favour economic liberalism; less government restriction on business.

The Leftwing position is generally characterised by social liberalism (less restrictions on personal freedoms), looking after the poor and traditionally underpowered, taking power away from the rich and traditionally empowered elites, economic conservatism (more regulation of business, resistant to change in economic matters), they believe that the government should look after the population.

That’s just a broad overview, not entirely accurate since people do things their own way all over the world, but I hope it helps.
 
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Ronson at 7:10PM, April 24, 2006
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ozoneocean
I agree Ronson, that's terrible behaviour, (why isn't it illegal?), and if these nut's continue to hold power through the use of that process then things around the world will likely get worse. -And it won't look good for South America.
But if their great rivals, the Democrats, do actually manage to get in, what's to stop them behaving the same way? (rigging domestic votes that is). I believe elements in both parties have been guilty of such things in the past.

There has never been a concerted effort by the Democrats to nationwide control the elections to the extent this administration has gone to. Not only have they implemented machines that allow untrackable voting, but they've altered our legal system to keep more secrets and to prevent the truth from being told.

But you're right. Even if the Democrats get in control the system is broken. And I would never claim that the Democrats are above corruption. Still, their track record is sparkling compared to every Republican administration since Nixon. While the Republicans have been guilty of crimes that altered the political structure and misleading a nation into war, the Democrats are usually guilty on individual levels of promiscuity and bribery.

In short, Republicans are systemic in their criminal behavior and Democrats haven't had a chance to become systemic yet.

I don't want to see a goverment controlled completely by either party. I would settle for a split house and senate and a Democratic president - or at least a sane one.

But the pandora's box to vote fixing has been opened, and I can only hope that the fear of losing to it becomes a big enough concern to those trying to win.
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ozoneocean at 6:11AM, April 26, 2006
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Ronson
But the pandora's box to vote fixing has been opened, and I can only hope that the fear of losing to it becomes a big enough concern to those trying to win.
Fear of being on the other end; that's the ticket. It worked during the cold war, and if this vote fixing thing becomes too much of an issue, it'll probably work again.
If the Dems don't win in the next election in the US then It'll likely be because of fixing. There's no way the Republicans should be able to put another president in after this…

Tater Salad
Who's Chavez? Like, what particular country is he president/prime minister of?…
By the way, thanks for that Ozone…
Which side are the Republicans and Democrats on anyway?
No problem Tater. :-D
Chavez is the president of Venezuela. But other countries down there are also going in a similar direction, among them are: Bolivia, Argentina, and Brazil. Even Nicaragua.
In the United States, The Republicans are considered Rightwing, and the Democrats are considered Leftwing.

Didn't Mike Z have something written here????? Where's it gone :?
 
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Ronson at 8:59AM, April 26, 2006
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I agree Mike. The only way you get real democracy is with a populace that cares and is engaged in the issues.
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Ronson at 10:22AM, April 26, 2006
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There has never been a concerted effort by the Democrats to nationwide control the elections to the extent this administration has gone to. Not only have they implemented machines that allow untrackable voting, but they've altered our legal system to keep more secrets and to prevent the truth from being told.

Are you forgeting ballot box stuffing by Daley in Chicago so Kennedy could win the presidential election of 1960? Or does that not count?

I said a nationwide effort. That is, this whole electronic voting machine scam and the alteration of districts in multiple states.

You know, maybe if Gore had followed the rules in Florida in 2000 and demanded a recount of all the counties in the state he would have won the election but he only wanted to recount heavily Democratic counties. I wonder why.

He was advised poorly and did the wrong thing. He says the same thing in interviews.

And please show me how “this administration” can implement voting machines anywhere as the federal government does not control state voting methods.

What do you know about the “HAVA Voting Act”?

And how have they “altered the legal system” to keep seeecreetttssssss…. lol

The PATRIOT act, the reclassification of presidential documents, the unprecedented amount of secrecy over govt. actions? Ring any bells?
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ozoneocean at 12:16PM, April 26, 2006
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Mike Z, That's getting a little too general for my tastes, -which is saying something! :D
I appreciate where you're coming from though. I just feel you've taken too many steps back; now you can't see the trees for the forest…

AS Williams, WOW. You've swallowed that propaganda whole man, Chavez is no dictator. His “opposition” was a minority driven totally by the empowered elite that had lost their influence with the departure of the last regime. They tried to start a popular uprising against Hugo Chavez shortly after his election, but despite all their cash and former influence the people were all with the man they'd elected. They didn't want to overthrow him and the army would NOT join the “protestors”. That was an attempted right wing coup and a pretty disgusting effort if you ask me.

Staying in power at all costs? He’s virtually only just got the job man. He hasn’t been in even as long as GW Bush Jnr yet. Most of his policies have been about helping the poor so far. Your antagonism to him seems to come from some skewed source…

But I’m not just talking about Chavez, I’m talking about the whole region. They’re all moving to the left. And why, really, why is that scary to the current US administration?
-No propaganda answers please. Can we think about it instead?

Perhaps it’s about a reduction of influence in that part of the world… Maybe it’s about an ideological antagonism to the left or social politics… Maybe leftwing governments make it harder for private US business interests to exploit the natural resources of these countries…
 
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Ronson at 12:42PM, April 26, 2006
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A_S_Williams
I am not clear about this electronic voting scam argument here. Are you trying to say that electronic voting is fraudulent? And if so, why? A simple outcome that is not favorable to you is not evidence that the election was a fraud. The altering of districts has gone on since the dawn of this country and the Democrats have the better part of the balance of gerrymandering. The federal government through HAVA is setting a minimum standard so we can avoid butterfly ballots, I know, your favorite ones! :D

This isn't a matter of who I want to see win. This is a matter of our election process being bypassed and controlled so that this nation is in the stranglehold of people who were not chosen by the people.

Even without the voting machines there was widespread voter fraud that heavily favored the Republicans. I suggest you find out the actual voter fraud that has been procecuted in Ohio before claiming this is a red herring.

The HAVA act is allocating funds for the state IF they update their voting system according to HAVA approved methods AND if they do it within a limited amount of time. So the choice for a state is to either accept the change, or refuse the money and then have to shell out the whole amount if their machines fail the minimum standards at some point down the road.

These machines are not well tested, have easily cracked code and lack a way to track the votes cast. They are owned by one of two companies, the president of one having managed the Ohio republican party in the 2004 elections.

If you don't know the events that have happened in Ohio and Fl with the electronic voting machines - lost votes, votes switching from one candidate to another, machines not working in democratic districts, then you have a bit of reading ahead of you.


Furthermore, the federal government does not dictate congressional districts, the states do. All I can do is think of Corinne Brown in Florida whose district snakes around for 250 miles and is in some parts no wider than 50 yards.

If you don't think the federal government involves itself in the gerrymandering, I can't speak to you about it. Tom Delay - a federal representative - was an integral part in the redistricting of Texas, not to mention the fact that he tried to get Homeland security to track down and capture the wayward democrats trying to impede redistricting.
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ozoneocean at 1:07PM, April 26, 2006
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Sooooooo, you’re studying propaganda then I suppose :lol:
Seriously.
That was 1992. This is 2006 and he was elected by the majority and supported by that same majority when the elites tried to overthrow him.

Anyone can say anything they like about GW Bush Jnr or the rest of the administration, just like anyone can say anything about any political leader in the world and they do! Over the years I’ve heard the political leaders of many nations call the leaders of others all sorts of things (and no, they weren't at war at the time or after). If you’re studying the subject then you should know how common it is, and how minor…

Bringing up the USSR and China shows your severe bias. I may as well relate the US to Nazi Germany, fascist Italy, or the French revolution and then this thread will become total rubbish. If this is the road you want to go down, then maybe your time is better spent elsewhere.

…is the fact that socialism and government planning of the economy fails EVERY SINGLE TIME that it is tried
-On another note, if you obviously hold so strongly to such a right wing position, then why bother studying politics as a science? Surely the goal of the student should be to try and approach some kind of objective distance? To examine and evaluate the merits of all positions? You’re so polarised to one side, I can’t really see what you hope to get out of your education.
 
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Ronson at 1:47PM, April 26, 2006
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If you don't think the federal government involves itself in the gerrymandering, I can't speak to you about it. Tom Delay - a federal representative - was an integral part in the redistricting of Texas, not to mention the fact that he tried to get Homeland security to track down and capture the wayward democrats trying to impede redistricting.

Tom Delay was a representative from Texas and as such obviously holds sway with party members from Texas. When I say the federal government I am including ALL of the federal government, so please show me the legislation passed by the US Congress that drew districting lines. Your argument seems to be that the federal government is redrawing congressional district lines because Tom Delay is from Texas and was a representative in the US Congress. That is not a valid argument.

I know, it's hard when network news models don't explain this.

The redistrincting of Texas was part of the plan to steal the election. Follow the money, see who was involved, come back to me and try to convince me the evidence before you is wrong.

And Democrats fleeing to another state so they can keep the state house from meeting is illegal. Not to mention childish and a really 4th grade thing to do. Wah wah, we're taking our ball and going home.

It wasn't illegal. It was skirting close to breaking the rules but didn't.

The minority party did the only thing they could to prevent the steamrolling of Texas politics. Defend instead how Tom Delay went about siccing Homeland Security on them.

And for the HAVA thing. You are telling me that the administration is keeping states from receiving election money if they do not IMPROVE voting technology and somehow this means that unelected people are disenfranchising the country? Am I reading this right?

Nope. States are in effect being forced to update their machines to these electronic voting machines. It hasn't anything to do with election money.

The federal government will kick in some money for the state to upgrade their voting system IF they upgrade to an approved method and they have to do it fairly quickly.

These approved systems include the electronic voting machines that have been proven faulty (if not fraudulent).

If I have some reading to do, please give me some valid news organizations articles about voter fraud perpetuated by the Republicans in Ohio and Florida,

See, you won't think it's fraud. You'll say they were within the law and that it was clever.

Because I can easily point to

1. Jeb Bush's purging of the voter rolls. He got rid of thousands of names, allegedly believing them to all be criminals. What the purge didn't take into account was people who committed a non-federal crime in another state (who aren't exempt from voting in Florida) or people with the same name. Many upstanding citizen's lost their right to vote.

2. The long lines in Ohio - that is not normal for voting. Waiting more than five hours to vote almost certainly led to lost votes. But neglecting to fix machines and neglecting to inform the public about changing election rules aren't what you would call fraud.

3. Passing out flyers telling people in Ohio - mostly in poor districts known to vote Democratic - that Republicans vote on Tuesday, Democrats on Wednesday. Also telling them that they have to pay outstanding parking tickets before voting.

The electronic voting machines tallied over 100% of the vote in at least a half dozen districts in Ohio. Some of the machines subtracted votes for John Kerry because the maximum number of votes for him was “accidently” set too low.

But is it fraud? Hard to say. Investigations have found several Ohio lawmakers guilty of minor infractions of the Ohio voting law, but no intensive investigation is being done because to start one requires the government of Ohio to initiate it.

Every report I've read has skewed towards not counting votes for the Democratic candidate. I don't need to have it verified by corporate news to think that maybe something fishy is happening.

…and don't bother with how the Democrats are all mad that people in Georgia want photo IDs presented to vote. I mean, who would be able to produce a picture of themselves to vote? We wouldn't want that to happen!

It isn't the picture, it's the ID. To get a voter ID - assuming you haven't a driver's liscence - will cost $35, effectively disenfranchising the poor. Also, to get this ID you have to show a valid birth certificate. In the south, many older minorities don't have birth certificates. Effectively disenfranchising elderly miniorities.

Want to justify why the poor and the old shouldn't be allowed to vote if they can't scrape money together or because they were screwed by a system 50 years ago?
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ccs1989 at 5:23PM, April 26, 2006
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So the Help America Vote Act basicaly does the following:

To establish a program to provide funds to States to replace punch card
voting systems, to establish the Election Assistance Commission to
assist in the administration of Federal elections and to otherwise
provide assistance with the administration of certain Federal election
laws and programs, to establish minimum election administration
standards for States and units of local government with responsibility
for the administration of Federal elections, and for other
purposes.

Sounds just a bit fishy, not to mention unconstitutional because it involves powers not listed in the constitution being given to the Feds (which should be delegated to the states by the bill of rights…)

Arrg…
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“If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.”
-Henry David Thoreau, Walden
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spaz201 at 6:43PM, April 26, 2006
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George Washington said that politacally parties would destroy this country.

As far as I'm concerend, it doesn't matter if your Right or left, The answer never truly lies in either extreme, the answer is always in the middle. Thats why having so many birking extremist in our goverment can lead to so many problems. for one they can't agree on whats best for the Country because thier to busy trying to beat the other party to care.

Ronson, I believe you said something about the votes need to be in the hands of the people, not electronic machines , that could be scewed. Well with the electotral college, the votes were only in the voters hands for so long, As long as corupiton isn't involved its a good, plan but I can't say if there is or not. I'm not an elector.

But I digress, this thread is on Chavues, yes? Well one reason the US dosn't care for the left shift I suppose is that the countires that are portraied as left are the ones were told are the ones that hate us so… This Is not something I know much about, as ashamed I am to admit that. Indeed one of the major problems that faces America is the ignorance its people have of world affairs, or its very own. You can blame this on the media or whomever you want, but in truth the American people have to be the ones to educate themselves. I read something today that dosne't really surprise me but just reminds me of theis problem, Back when Japan Bomb Pearl Harbor the American public had little to no knowledge there was a whole world besides America, Even some of it that hated us. Today I believe most people know there are other countries out there. But most have very little knowldege on that subjecet, Hell most Americans don't even know where or the names of all the States are! And most really don't care.

Ronson again- I believe the fact that you know or have some knowledge about suggested scandals in the goverment such as gerrymandering or voteing farud, all sorts of farud, suggest that maybe Americans aren't being kept out of the loop as much as conspracy theroist would like us to think. If you know about the the problem you can fix it. Of course you'l have to tackle the problem of convencing people there is a Real problem.

But I think I have an answer for everyones problems, Just Vote for me when I'm running for President. I'll kick ass until all problems are straight, or as straight as I can get them in eight years.
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spaz201 at 1:13PM, April 27, 2006
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Honestly… I agree.
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ozoneocean at 7:34AM, April 29, 2006
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oceanzone
?
Man… “Oceanzone"? That’s a new one… I don’t really mind it, it just sounds like a kid’s Scifi TV series.

As for the rest… No, no I think I can describe Venezuela and the rest as “left”. On the same note though, I wouldn’t describe the American Democratic party as Left , but I do acknowledge that people do, I say that they’re centrist really, although certain people within it are more left leaning…
Yeah, and I know what I mean by terms like “left” and “right”, I gave Tatter a quick description a few posts ago, actually ;)

Chavez isn’t driving Venezuela into the ground. That’s the main problem really, the whole thread is about “fear of the left”. They just worry about what he could do.
And oh deary, deary, deary me! The US overthrowing Chavez? I’m shocked that this should even be mentioned. I really truly am. I would think that I shouldn’t even have to be worried about the possibility of such a hideous travesty against the freedom of millions ever happening! So I like to keep such things as far from my mind as possible.
No, what concerns me are the actions of a more normal, saner world: The needless unspoken policy of containment and economic penalties levied against perfectly free and ordinary countries just because you happen to disagree with their political leanings. That makes me unhappy. :(

Head’s of state insulting people… When has that not happened? My own Prime Minister has done it a few times over the years… I know that US president GW Bush Jnr’s done it a few times. Maybe it’s only wrong for some people to do it eh? :-D
 
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ozoneocean at 12:37PM, April 29, 2006
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:P :-D :lol:
 
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ozoneocean at 10:13PM, April 29, 2006
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Actually, they only started dropping the Jnr and Snr things relatively recently. I see no reason why I should drop them, even if I include the middle names that differentiate them somewhat, I still have too clear a memory of the first fellow. There're no actual science of naming rules involved here… I'll differentiate the two men how I please thanks very much Mr Williams.

But if you think “George Bush junior” is more appropriate then I will consider it. As I say, his dad was an important figure and it seems very important to me at least, to maintain the relationship. Just like the famous English political dynasty of Pit the Younger and Pit the Elder.
 
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ozoneocean at 2:35AM, May 1, 2006
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Not at all, I stand fully behind what I write there. You're the one seeing smears and slights behind every palm tree. Which is the more playground sensibility?

I would never, have used the junior/senior naming convention if I hadn’t have heard these men being referred to this way repeatedly when the younger one was first introduced onto the world stage as a presidential candidate.
I use it now to indicate the relationship, the shared history of power that these two have, and to be inline with other famous leaders and political dynasties… i.e.: Pit the Younger and Pit the Elder, George the First, second, third etc, The Napoleons, All the King Louis And so on and so on.

People have different ways of expressing it as you can see, and the only way I've seen it expressed for the Bushes is in Junior and Senior, so that's what I use.

I can't help it if these boring conventions hurt your feelings. -Which in all other intentional respects I'd rather not do. I have not one single thing against you at all. I'm sure you're a lovely, talented, funny and skilful person, as your work on Vindibud suggests.
And by the way, weather I'm on the left or not is irrelevant to the argument in this thread.
 
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ozoneocean at 12:03PM, May 1, 2006
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Well that's good.
:)
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:23PM

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