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    Winston Churchill once said; "You can count on America to do the right thing eventually, after they have exhausted all other options".
    He was a wise man, let's hope that he is right still, cos' now they must be close to having exhausted all other options than the right one, when it comes to the budget.
    Brinkmanship can backfire and the Republicans has played this game to the hilt.


      How to post without cursing or ranting on for hours???

      Chicken is a game best left to small children. Now we have most of our government in Washington playing several games of chicken at the same time. Waiting for someone else to blink while they run my country into a brick wall. I can only hope that it pisses off the American public enough to think before they vote. Unfortunately I know it's probably not going to happen. The only thing I know is that extremes are bad. You can die from drinking too much water or eating too many apples. A somewhat balanced diet just naturally happens to be reasonably healthy and I think many things in life are the same. We are far stronger as a nation of different peoples coming together in the middle. I don't know of any country that is more defined as a melting pot. Most true Americans were killed long ago or left to rot on reservations. Everyone else emigrated here legally, illegally or was brought here in the hold of a slave ship.

      It makes me long for the time when gay marriage, legalizing pot or gun control made headlines.


        So they did it - in the 11th hour - as any thinking person knew they would, if nothing else because there were no alternative.
        What does this do to the reputation of American politician is now of little interest. (They don't have one) What it does to the perception of America as a reliable partner in the wold is another thing.
        If the big buyers of US Treasury Bonds (China, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Norway and other country with surplus moneys, which they need to place somewhere safe) should decide to go somewhere else to look for a safe haven, it will not help that the Senate and Congress approve lifting whatever ceiling. If nobody is willing to lend, the funds dry up, in which case US will have to learn to live within its means.

        In three-four months we will be hearing the same arguments again, ad nauseam. Both sides claiming to speak for "the American people", ("What the American people want is.........") but repeating the same lies doesn't make them more true. In a Parliamentary system, with multi-party representation it is possible to "kick out the bums" at any time, by calling for a vote of no confidence. Not so in the American system.

        Maybe it is time to look hard at whether a system devised by "The Founding Fathers" over 200 years ago is right for today's reality??
        A Constitution should be a living documents, being amended (or even renewed) from time to time, to reflect the society of today, not one in which it took weeks for a letter to reach from one end to the other, even within the original 13 States, and travel was by horse drawn coach. Today communication is instant and it is possible to reach anywhere within the lower 48 States within a day.
        The Founding Fathers may have been wise, but there is no way they could have predicted what the world would look like 200 year later.

        Another thing that irks the rest of the world is that there appears to be no consideration of what their action may do to the economy of others. If the US had defaulted on their obligations it would have dire consequences far outside the US boarder, the US $ being the benchmark and reserve currency of most other countries. (It would affect the US less, since they don't have much it terms of reserves anyway) Time to look hard at the Brettons Wood Agreement and the world's financial system based on today's reality as well? China will soon be in a position to instigate a shift anyway.


          Wise words! The regulations, which shall protect a system for Hitlers, Mussolinis, Francos and similars should not end up in a complete blocked status. A government is elected to lead the country for a period, they should be able to make decisions. The other parties should accept this until the next election. Bockades like this are highly immoral and cause huge damages to society, economics. And if the Reps behave likes during this period, will the Dems behave different during the next period? Nope!
          Humans have an outstanding talent to cause the greatest possible damage to themselves.
          Lofoten '07 ...... Nordnorge '11


            I have often wondered if a pure democracy would be better but then it I think how many are swayed by the current video or buzz on the news or Twitter. Long ago I thought we (the USA) were special but lately I have realized that we are much like every other country on the planet. There are scandals, corruption and everything in between.

            As the owner of a couple businesses I can say it all SUCKS! Every time our government can not decide on something my sales comes to a hault. Business will accommodate any hardship of regulation but not knowing is the worst thing. Democrat or Republican as President does not matter so much. If a decision is made the business world will react and move on. The only thing that brings it to a halt is... ... ... ... ... ... no decision.

            And just to poke Ombugge with our American love of guns... my freezer is now full of venison (deer). Kelly and I packed three deer this morning and this afternoon we might have smoked the last of this spring's boar (there could be another package hiding somewhere in the bottom of the freezer).

            Atrocities are committed with guns but there are many of us that use them responsibly.


              Originally posted by pilotdane View Post
              And just to poke Ombugge with our American love of guns... my freezer is now full of venison (deer). Kelly and I packed three deer this morning and this afternoon we might have smoked the last of this spring's boar (there could be another package hiding somewhere in the bottom of the freezer).

              Atrocities are committed with guns but there are many of us that use them responsibly.
              Yes there are legitimate reasons to have guns and nobody it disputing that. Many freezers in Norway is probably full of venison, elk and reindeer meat right now as well.
              Those who hunts, whether big game with rifles, or small game like fowls or hares with shotguns, are allowed to have their guns and the ammunition they need at home, but their weapons have to be registered and they have to prove that they know how to handle them safely and responsibly. What is wrong with that???

              What the rest of the world cannot understand is why the Americans need to have fully automatic assault rifles and hand guns. What do you hunt with such weapons??
              If you want to practice target shooting as a sport, that is also possible with a strict regime of weapons control. It is done in many other countries around the world, including here in Singapore.
              Target shooting with an assault rifle doesn't sound like sport to me. I don't think it is going to be an Olympic sport anytime soon.

              If the "right to carry arms" is the ultimate measure of "freedom and democracy" I feel pity for those who live in such a place. If you HAVE TO carry a gun to feel safe, something is wrong with that society.
              I live in a place where there are among the strictest and strongest enforced gun control laws in the world. but also where there are the fewest murders, robberies or other crimes committed using guns of any major city in the world. (Actually none, this year to date)
              Do I feel oppressed, or un-free?? NO!!! Do I feel SAFE??? YES!!!

              No need to poke me, poke yourself. Maybe you, and the rest of America, will wake up one day.
              I'm afraid there will be many more mass shootings before that happens.


              • pilotdane
                pilotdane commented
                Editing a comment
                Oh, believe me I understand. I usually hunt with a single shot rifle and do not have a need for more.

                We have had another school shooting. A teacher killed and two students injured. What do children learn in school when bullet resistant backpacks are becoming more popular?

              Democrat or Republican as President does not matter so much.
              That is true, it doesn't matter much if Democrats or Republicans are in office, or in control in the Senate and House.
              Seen from an outsider's point of view there isn't much to choose from in your 2-party system anyhow; Democrats = Right wing. Republicans = Ultra Right wing and the Tea Party = Right wing extremists in an European context. You don't have any credible Center, Center Left, or Social Democratic parties, and definitely no Socialist, Communist or Ultra-left wing that can challenge the present way politics are conducted.

              As you probably know MOST West European countries are run by coalitions between two or more parties. Sometimes the coalitions can be between Social Democrats and Left wing parties, sometime between Centre Right and Social Democrats and sometime even in Grand Coalitions involving a wide variety of parties, from Right wing to Communists.
              I don't say that such a system is ideal, but it can at least give opening to a more varied policy than the two-party system, without any contradictory views at all. (Other than nuances of Right wing policies)

              The advantage with a Parliamentary System of Government, like that in most Democratic countries in the West, is that if the Prime Minister or his Government does not do their job they can be boothed out by a vote of no confidence in the Parliament. A new Prime Minster, with a majority in Parliament behind him, will then be "appointed" by the King/Queen or President, or new elections are held.

              There is a third way, which is the Singapore way, where one party has won the majority in Parliament for over 50 years, but has not turned into a corrupt dictatorship.
              The majority has shrunk in recent years, but as long as the ruling party maintains 2/3 majority in the house they are able to govern efficiently, without any risk of bickering like we have seen in the US House of Representatives lately. They are able to plan passed the next election and has proven their ability to govern for the best of the people, so far. What will happen if the opposition should win a majority in the next election is left to be seen. (They took nearly 40% of the popular votes in the last election, two years ago)

              If you look at statistics from reliable and neutral sources like OECD, UN, World Forum and the Transparency & Anti-corruption Forum, Singapore is now in the top 10 lists in most "good" categories. like GDP per Capita, Productivity, Least Corrupt Countries, Best Health Care, Lowest Infant Mortality, Least Criminality and many others.

              USA is nowhere near the top 10 in any of these categories, but they do top the statistics in some other, like; number of prisoners per 100K population, murder rate per 100K in any major industrial countries etc.

              If anybody is interested in learning more about how a small island with no natural resources has manage to develop itself from 3rd world to 1st world country in one generation, watch BBC World News this weekend. They will send a lot of programs about Singapore in their "Singapore Direct" series. Not all of it necessarily flattering, but it will show Singapore as it is today, hopefully without too much biased views.


                Here is a story currently on the news here about a local town changing the ordinance to allow... Well, here is a short quote "Morrisville town leaders unanimously voted Tuesday to amend a town ordinance to align with a new state law that allows properly concealed handguns on town playgrounds and greenways."
                Morrisville town leaders unanimously voted Tuesday to amend a town ordinance to align with a new state law that allows properly concealed handguns on town playgrounds and greenways.


                  So "properly concealed guns" can be carried by anybody, anywhere?? Well what else is new, they are already carried by a lot of people, legally or otherwise.

                  One of the arguments was that by having armed people around in the parks in town the possibilities of being mugged is reduced. How??
                  If somebody is pointing a gun at you, demanding your valuables, how would the concealed gun help you? By the time you get your gun out of the concealment you are likely to be dead.

                  Another argument was that concealed guns are carried by responsible people, who will thus help keep the rest of the population safe. More likely is that some over-eager person end up shooting somebody deemed to "look suspicious", (read; anybody that is young, black and wearing a hoodie, or a kid with a toy gun)

                  The gun problem in the US cannot be solved by more guns, nor by gun control. The root of the problem is the attitude towards guns and violence as a means of solving problems.
                  To change that takes education and change in the way people see their society. The Wild West should no longer be a roll model and violence should not be regarded as entertainment.
                  Kids are watching and playing violent games from a young age, without realizing that in real life people gets kill and actually dies when shot. They don't pop up again in a different movie, or when you turn on the game the next time. Most kids can differentiate between fantasy and reality, but it becomes more and more obvious that many cannot.


                    Originally posted by ombugge View Post
                    Another argument was that concealed guns are carried by responsible people, who will thus help keep the rest of the population safe. More likely is that some over-eager person end up shooting somebody deemed to "look suspicious", (read; anybody that is young, black and wearing a hoodie, or a kid with a toy gun)
                    [my underlining]

                    Quite. See 13 year-old boy carrying a replica assault rifle shot dead by California police. On BBC Today programme this morning.
                    If they thought they had to shoot, why not just to maim, not kill?

                    "To thine own self be true.......
                    Thou canst not then be false to any man."


                      If they thought they had to shoot, why not just to maim, not kill?
                      Snipers and other higher trained officers will sometimes shoot to injure. It's usually when there is a standoff situation, things are planned and they are able to take a careful shot. But general law officers on the street do not shoot to injure. All gun training is that a gun is deadly and should only be used in life or death situations. Most are trained that there are no warning shots and no shoot to injure. If you have to pull the trigger at someone it is to stop them immediately. The biggest target area is the center of the body so most are trained to aim for the center of the body. The training is also to keep shooting until the person has stopped or is down so often many shots are fired.

                      Crimes committed and guns used illegally by people licensed to carry concealed weapons is extremely low. A bigger problem is the vast number of guns out there. With so many out and available accidents are rather common. A lot of guns and a lot of idiots are a bad combination. There is no intelligence or responsibility test before you can buy a gun. They are stepping up the education but still every month there is news of a small child that found a loaded gun and accidentally shot themselves or someone else. Still people leave loaded guns around... often with bad consequences. And, as my previous post about the town allow concealed carry in parks and playgrounds there continues to be strong momentum for more guns with no end in sight.

                      Here are a couple of today's gun related news headlines from CNN. Unfortunately headlines like this are all too common. Day after day.


                        A 13-year old boy can of cause kill you with an AK-47, just as well as a 30-year old, but it is allowed to use some kind of common sense. In a generally friendly middle class neighbourhood the likelihood that a a child carrying something that looks like an AK-47 is going to play "cop and robber" with his friends is far greater that he is a terrorist or something.

                        If I haven't said it before, I'll repeat it here; Gun paranoia is going to be the down fall of the US society. The rest of the civilized world has long since regulated gun ownership and reduced the crime rate to manageable level, at least in most places. If the US wants to keep on controlling the world they have to put their own house in order. That control has been slipping badly lately. It will be lost, if you don't start to realize that the post-war era and cold war is over.

                        The risk of a war between major nations is greatly reduced, thus the need for US nuclear protection is also reduced. The dependence on US "approval" and the tolerance of US arrogance in dealing with other nations is also reduced accordingly. Just look at the reaction to US spying on their friends and allied today.


                          You are thinking like someone that lives in a world without guns. Here a 4 year old will shoot you with ignorance. A 14 year old will shoot you with stupidity or hormones and a 24 year old will shoot you because he has no thought of tomorrow. In the US playing cowboy, cops & robbers or anything else with a real looking gun is extremely dangerous but I do not think the gun situation will be the downfall. That is a small "internal" problem that largely only affects us. Spying on our allies (and getting caught), repeatedly not making a decision about a budget and killing foreign people (guilty of terrorism or not) with drones I think will have long term, significant repercussions. What message do our actions send to the world? We tell the world that a free democracy is the way to go... bla...bla...bla. The Chinese, Indians and Brazilians are seeing how our democracy is going. Can you imagine the outrage of the US President if China or India started actions around the world with drone strikes?


                            No, not in a world without guns (that is an impossibility) but I live in a country where ownership and use of guns are tightly controlled and nobody feel they need a gun to protect themselves.
                            Guns for sport, such as target shooting, is allowed, but under strict control over where, how and when. Nobody is allowed to set up a row of soda cans or whatever somewhere, and use their assault rifle to spray bullets at high rate, to popular and drunken acclaim. I like it that way.

                            The American belief in "Exceptionalisme" is fine, as long as that means "we are different", but when it becomes "we are better, more righteous and above the Law of nations" then it becomes a danger. The belief that "America is a force for good", therefore we have the right to control the world, is also dangerous.

                            In the years after WWII America ruled supreme. America had all it's industrial might intact, but there were no market for the goods that was produced, since Europe, Russia and Japan was in ruins and there were no monies to buy America's output. Millions of young men came home from the War and expected to harvest the fruit of their effort, but the jobs had been taken by female workers and not all could/would go to Collage.

                            Along comes General George Marshall with a plan to solver two problems. Keep the wheels ticking in the US and help build up the economies of Europe, including Germany, so that they could start to buy American goods and services. The Marshall Plan was born. It was a godsend for Europe, but also made sure that Communism didn't take root among disgruntled veterans in the US.

                            This was not enough though, since a lot of the industry was geared to the war effort, so the classical solution was to find an external enemy, thus requiring great amounts of weapons and other Military hardware. Communism being the main enemy of Capitalism and the Capitalist who run the country. Former allay, Soviet Union fitted the bill, and had made enough signs that they wanted to take the hegemony and world leadership away from America, so the Cold War developed.

                            China came in as a suitable enemy in the Far East, since Communists took control there as well, resulting in two wars that kept the industrialist happy, but left a lot of people dead, especially on the "enemy" side, including a very large number of civilians.

                            With the Cold War over and Europe re-developed, the gap between America and the rest of the world has diminished. Technology is being developed in many places and production has largely moved to places where it can be done cheaper. Likewise the ability of the US to control the world has diminished, although their military expenditure exceed that of the rest of the world combined. The treat of Nuclear War is not acute any more, although both Russia and the US maintain an arsenal large enough to kill as all at least a couple of times.(MAD) The other nuclear armed nations is mostly posturing. Who would Britain and France use their weapons against? China, India and Pakistan has nuclear capability, but they are not stupid enough to use them in any local conflict.
                            Israel MAY be willing to, if they should be forced to, but in a local context. North Korea is making noise, but doesn't yet have the capability to deliver a nuclear bomb much outside their own border, unless the put it on a ship or cargo plane. The biggest nuclear treat is from extremist, whether religious or political, who manage to get control of such weapons, either in Iran, Pakistan, Israel or the US. Heaven forbid that any future US President comes from the extreme right wing and nationalist side.


                              So, NSA have been eavesdropping on Angela Merkel for 10 years or more. That is long before she became Chancellor. That raises a few questions:
                              If they found her worthy of such attention back than, who else down the ladder is being given special attention?

                              David Cameron mentioned that UK has special relations with the US intelligence community and shear information.
                              Could it be that the UK spooks have been helping keeping tap on other allies and friends?? Do they shear the spoil??
                              I'm not naive, of cause they have and are.

                              Are we supposed to worry about all this?Could any of the words used in posts here on CVF qualify for closer scrutiny?? Who knows which words may trigger their interest. We are there, somewhere in the "hay stack". Every word written here is being collected and stored somewhere, as is every e-mail you have ever sent.

                              "Fylg med i neste bolken"
                              Last edited by ombugge; October 27th, 2013, 09:43.