Economic turmoil

Discussion in 'Computer Support' started by dunc@example.com, Oct 13, 2008.

  1. Guest

    Seems to me that the following quote attributed to Marie Antoinette is
    very fitting. "In times of economic crisis, it is of utmost
    importance not to lose ones head". Perhaps she was way ahead of
    herself.
    , Oct 13, 2008
    #1
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  2. HEMI-Powered Guest

    added these comments in the current discussion du jour ...

    > Seems to me that the following quote attributed to Marie
    > Antoinette is very fitting. "In times of economic crisis,
    > it is of utmost importance not to lose ones head". Perhaps
    > she was way ahead of herself.
    >

    Good quote. But the false quote of "let them eat cake" was probably
    more responsible for her losing her head. Interestingly, one really
    serious side-effect of so many head decapitations was that Napolean
    Bonaparte's ambition to defeat England was thwarted not on the
    battlefield or on the oceans against the Royal Navy but more
    because his field and naval commanders with any experience at all
    were dead! This was especially fatal - literally - to Napolean's
    abortive attempt to invade England by first defeating the Royal
    Navy. It all came crashing down at the Battle of Trafalgar where
    Nelson defeated the combined French and Spanish fleets and sunk or
    captured nearly 20 frigates and ships of the line.

    Fast forwarding to today, I would observe that hindsight is always
    20-20 but the crystal ball is always cloudy. I got out of the
    market as much as I could back in June because I was fearful of
    some as yet unknown and undefined calamity and also worried about
    the Street factoring in a successful presidential candiate's effect
    on the economy, taxes, and regulations. But, in chaos and
    uncertainty there can be profit. I bought GM and Ford last Friday
    on the if come that they may be down but are hardly out. Nice paper
    profit today.

    --
    HP, aka Jerry

    "Efficiency is doing things right, effectiveness is doing the right
    things" - Peter Drucker
    HEMI-Powered, Oct 13, 2008
    #2
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  3. Aardvark Guest

    On Mon, 13 Oct 2008 20:01:50 +0000, HEMI-Powered wrote:

    >> Seems to me that the following quote attributed to Marie Antoinette is
    >> very fitting. "In times of economic crisis, it is of utmost
    >> importance not to lose ones head". Perhaps she was way ahead of
    >> herself.
    >>

    > Good quote. But the false quote of "let them eat cake" was probably more
    > responsible for her losing her head.


    Marie Antoinette never ACTUALLY said "Let them eat cake".

    Born in 1755, the daughter of Maria Teresa, Empress of Austria, she was
    therefore a Princess. In those days the royal families of Europe rarely,
    if ever, had contact with 'the great unwashed'. The only frame of
    reference the members of these families had was based on their own
    limited experience of the world around them (I'll bet that Queen
    Elizabeth II thinks the whole world smells of fresh paint :)). The
    younger members were totally cut off from the real world of hunger and
    hard work.

    She was married off (strategically) at the age of 15 to the Dauphin of
    France, who became Louis XVI in 1774, thus making Marie Antoinette Queen
    of France. In her lifetime her every whim and want was indulged and she
    was always cushioned from the realities of the world outside the Austrian
    and later the French royal courts.

    Failed harvests in France in the 1780's led to widespread hunger and
    sickness throughout France. It is said that when she was told 'The people
    have no bread' she replied "Then why don't they eat cake instead?".

    The reason she said these words was that she didn't understand that the
    peasantry, unlike herself, didn't have the choice- if there was no bread
    left on her table, there would always be cake or something else sumptuous
    to eat. Her words were the product of her upbringing and certainly
    callousness or insouciance.

    She was actually a generous, caring and warm-hearted woman and as soon as
    the situation was carefully explained to her she decided to do something
    to alleviate the suffering of the people, however small. For the rest of
    her days (which weren't many) it is known that she performed many random
    acts of kindness towards many common people.

    Unfortunately this proved too little, too late for poor Marie Antoinette.
    The damage had already been done. She was well known earlier in her
    reign, both among the aristocracy and common populace, for her
    extravagant habits (which she later curtailed), and her flaunting of the
    etiquette of the French royal court and the fact that she was Austrian
    had earned her enemies.

    It was probably one, or a number of these enemies at court who misquoted
    her and propagated the story throughout France at a time when the
    aristocracy weren't exactly on the peasantry's Christmas card list.
    Little did they know that this vicious rumour would hasten their own
    demise.

    Hoist by their own petard, and serves the fuckers right.

    You may have gathered by now that I have a soft spot for poor,
    misunderstood, kind-hearted Marie Antoinette. An outsider who was
    victimised by elements her husband's family, friends and hangers-on for
    being such. And for no other reason.

    To bring that last paragraph up to date, please replace 'Marie
    Antoinette' with 'Lady Diana Spencer'. :)



    --
    Liverpool. European City Of Culture 2008
    http://www.liverpool08.com
    Aardvark, Oct 13, 2008
    #3
  4. HEMI-Powered wrote:

    > added these comments in the current discussion du jour ...
    >
    >> Seems to me that the following quote attributed to Marie
    >> Antoinette is very fitting. "In times of economic crisis,
    >> it is of utmost importance not to lose ones head". Perhaps
    >> she was way ahead of herself.
    >>

    > Good quote. But the false quote of "let them eat cake" was probably
    > more responsible for her losing her head.


    That said, I would be very surprised to learn that the "economic crisis"
    quote really comes from Antoinette.

    THAT said, did you know that the frogs were still guillotining folks
    as recently as 1977?


    --
    Blinky
    Killing all posts from Google Groups
    The Usenet Improvement Project: http://improve-usenet.org
    Need a new news feed? http://blinkynet.net/comp/newfeed.html
    Blinky the Shark, Oct 13, 2008
    #4
  5. Aardvark Guest

    On Mon, 13 Oct 2008 22:35:03 +0000, Aardvark wrote:

    > Her words were the product of her upbringing and certainly callousness
    > or insouciance.


    <AHEM>

    Her words were the product of her upbringing and certainly NOT
    callousness or insouciance.



    --
    Liverpool. European City Of Culture 2008
    http://www.liverpool08.com
    Aardvark, Oct 13, 2008
    #5
  6. HEMI-Powered Guest

    Aardvark added these comments in the current discussion du jour
    ....

    > On Mon, 13 Oct 2008 20:01:50 +0000, HEMI-Powered wrote:
    >
    >>> Seems to me that the following quote attributed to Marie
    >>> Antoinette is very fitting. "In times of economic crisis,
    >>> it is of utmost importance not to lose ones head". Perhaps
    >>> she was way ahead of herself.
    >>>

    >> Good quote. But the false quote of "let them eat cake" was
    >> probably more responsible for her losing her head.

    >
    > Marie Antoinette never ACTUALLY said "Let them eat cake".


    I know, A. It was a widely distributed rumor both before and
    after the actual beheadings to make it somehow sound justifiable.

    > Born in 1755, the daughter of Maria Teresa, Empress of
    > Austria, she was therefore a Princess. In those days the royal
    > families of Europe rarely, if ever, had contact with 'the
    > great unwashed'. The only frame of reference the members of
    > these families had was based on their own limited experience
    > of the world around them (I'll bet that Queen Elizabeth II
    > thinks the whole world smells of fresh paint :)). The younger
    > members were totally cut off from the real world of hunger and
    > hard work.
    >
    > She was married off (strategically) at the age of 15 to the
    > Dauphin of France, who became Louis XVI in 1774, thus making
    > Marie Antoinette Queen of France. In her lifetime her every
    > whim and want was indulged and she was always cushioned from
    > the realities of the world outside the Austrian and later the
    > French royal courts.
    >
    > Failed harvests in France in the 1780's led to widespread
    > hunger and sickness throughout France. It is said that when
    > she was told 'The people have no bread' she replied "Then why
    > don't they eat cake instead?".
    >
    > The reason she said these words was that she didn't understand
    > that the peasantry, unlike herself, didn't have the choice- if
    > there was no bread left on her table, there would always be
    > cake or something else sumptuous to eat. Her words were the
    > product of her upbringing and certainly callousness or
    > insouciance.
    >
    > She was actually a generous, caring and warm-hearted woman and
    > as soon as the situation was carefully explained to her she
    > decided to do something to alleviate the suffering of the
    > people, however small. For the rest of her days (which weren't
    > many) it is known that she performed many random acts of
    > kindness towards many common people.
    >
    > Unfortunately this proved too little, too late for poor Marie
    > Antoinette. The damage had already been done. She was well
    > known earlier in her reign, both among the aristocracy and
    > common populace, for her extravagant habits (which she later
    > curtailed), and her flaunting of the etiquette of the French
    > royal court and the fact that she was Austrian had earned her
    > enemies.
    >
    > It was probably one, or a number of these enemies at court who
    > misquoted her and propagated the story throughout France at a
    > time when the aristocracy weren't exactly on the peasantry's
    > Christmas card list. Little did they know that this vicious
    > rumour would hasten their own demise.
    >
    > Hoist by their own petard, and serves the fuckers right.
    >
    > You may have gathered by now that I have a soft spot for poor,
    > misunderstood, kind-hearted Marie Antoinette. An outsider who
    > was victimised by elements her husband's family, friends and
    > hangers-on for being such. And for no other reason.
    >
    > To bring that last paragraph up to date, please replace 'Marie
    > Antoinette' with 'Lady Diana Spencer'. :)
    >

    Too bad the French didn't yess "no taxation without
    representation" like your former colonists, huh?

    Hey, BTW, really nice narrative about Marie. Thanks for sharing
    that with me.

    --
    HP, aka Jerry

    "Efficiency is doing things right, effectiveness is doing the
    right things" - Peter Drucker
    HEMI-Powered, Oct 14, 2008
    #6
  7. HEMI-Powered Guest

    Blinky the Shark added these comments in the current discussion
    du jour ...

    >>> Seems to me that the following quote attributed to Marie
    >>> Antoinette is very fitting. "In times of economic crisis,
    >>> it is of utmost importance not to lose ones head". Perhaps
    >>> she was way ahead of herself.
    >>>

    >> Good quote. But the false quote of "let them eat cake" was
    >> probably more responsible for her losing her head.

    >
    > That said, I would be very surprised to learn that the
    > "economic crisis" quote really comes from Antoinette.


    Not being all that familiar with European aristocracy, especially
    the many excesses of French royalty leading to their revolution, I
    wouldn't be surprised by anthing, Blinky.

    > THAT said, did you know that the frogs were still guillotining
    > folks as recently as 1977?
    >

    No, but now that you mention it, I do have a fuzzy recollection
    that beheading was still on the roster as the preferred or maybe
    the only form of execution. Interesting, if true, is the belief of
    Dr. Guillotine in inventing a more humane method of execution
    actually resulted in truly barbaric deaths as the steel quality of
    the day, sharpening methods, and the number of heads chopped
    resulted in lots of partial depatitations and, so I've heard at
    least, some poor folks with not much more than a broken neck.

    --
    HP, aka Jerry

    "Efficiency is doing things right, effectiveness is doing the right
    things" - Peter Drucker
    HEMI-Powered, Oct 14, 2008
    #7
  8. Aardvark Guest

    On Tue, 14 Oct 2008 09:39:09 +0000, HEMI-Powered wrote:

    > Too bad the French didn't yess "no taxation without representation" like
    > your former colonists, huh?
    >


    Yeah, it has a nice ring to it, doesn't it. Get some ad agency to set it
    to a jingle and you might have a winner there :)

    > Hey, BTW, really nice narrative about Marie. Thanks for sharing that
    > with me.


    De nada, amigo. :)



    --
    Liverpool. European City Of Culture 2008
    http://www.liverpool08.com
    Aardvark, Oct 14, 2008
    #8
  9. HEMI-Powered Guest

    Aardvark added these comments in the current discussion du jour
    ....

    >> Too bad the French didn't yess "no taxation without
    >> representation" like your former colonists, huh?

    >
    > Yeah, it has a nice ring to it, doesn't it. Get some ad agency
    > to set it to a jingle and you might have a winner there :)


    Well, in this example it was true - the way colonies of any
    country work is that the mother country asseses the taxes. Some
    short-sighted and some "obscene" examples managed to fan the
    flames from minor disagreement to armed insurrection to full
    scale revolution.

    BTW, ever wonder what the difference is between a rebellion and a
    revolution? I have my H.S. American History teacher to thank for
    an easy one about that:

    A revolution is a rebellion that succeeded.

    --
    HP, aka Jerry

    "Efficiency is doing things right, effectiveness is doing the
    right things" - Peter Drucker
    HEMI-Powered, Oct 14, 2008
    #9
  10. Aardvark Guest

    On Tue, 14 Oct 2008 14:26:47 +0000, HEMI-Powered wrote:

    > Aardvark added these comments in the current discussion du jour ...
    >
    >>> Too bad the French didn't yess "no taxation without representation"
    >>> like your former colonists, huh?

    >>
    >> Yeah, it has a nice ring to it, doesn't it. Get some ad agency to set
    >> it to a jingle and you might have a winner there :)

    >
    > Well, in this example it was true - the way colonies of any country work
    > is that the mother country asseses the taxes. Some short-sighted and
    > some "obscene" examples managed to fan the flames from minor
    > disagreement to armed insurrection to full scale revolution.
    >


    Ah! So you're saying that in some cases it's right and fitting that the
    disenfranchised to take up arms against their oppressors? Interesting.

    <cough><palestinians><cough> :)

    > BTW, ever wonder what the difference is between a rebellion and a
    > revolution? I have my H.S. American History teacher to thank for an easy
    > one about that:
    >
    > A revolution is a rebellion that succeeded.



    So if Ireland was now a 32-county republic instead of the Brits having a
    foothold in the six northern counties then those who fought the
    occupation would be called the noble 'revolutionaries' rather than the
    slightly derogatory 'rebels'?

    Hmmmmm! I like that :).


    --
    Liverpool. European City Of Culture 2008
    http://www.liverpool08.com
    Aardvark, Oct 14, 2008
    #10
  11. HEMI-Powered Guest

    Aardvark added these comments in the current discussion du jour
    ....

    >> Well, in this example it was true - the way colonies of any
    >> country work is that the mother country asseses the taxes.
    >> Some short-sighted and some "obscene" examples managed to fan
    >> the flames from minor disagreement to armed insurrection to
    >> full scale revolution.

    >
    > Ah! So you're saying that in some cases it's right and fitting
    > that the disenfranchised to take up arms against their
    > oppressors? Interesting.


    If you want to know the multitude of reasons, please read our
    Declaration of Independence but the operative words are
    "inalienable rights". ALL revolutions started as rebellions as I
    state below and the former British Empire upon which the sun
    never set was completely overthrown by it's colonists for the
    very same reasons by good UK friend - the wretched excesses of
    the Crown, including taxation without representation.

    Now, if you want a truly scating account of the Crown's abuses,
    they are fully delineated in the Declaration but you can also
    read the first 10 Amendments of the Constituition, known as the
    Bill of Rights. Each set of rights and freedoms were specifically
    stated to prevent the newly formed American government from being
    able to repeat the abuses suffered during the Colonial Period.

    It is these things that cover basic freedoms such as speech,
    religion, press, guns, speedy trial, writ of habeas corpus, and
    some other things people today take fully for granted but were
    very prized notions in the 18th Century.

    > <cough><palestinians><cough> :)
    >

    The UN you so fondly speak of arbitrarily partitioned the former
    state of Palestine into a Arab state of Palestine and a Jewish
    state that became modern Isreal. Unfortunately, Jeruselus was
    claim by both Arabs and Jews and fell behind the Palistinian
    border. Worse, some Arabs and Jews found themselves on the wrong
    side of the partion line leading to immediate armed conflict to
    first throw off the former British rule of the region then moving
    right along to fighting with each other.

    I leave it to the world to judge the merits of each side's case.

    >> BTW, ever wonder what the difference is between a rebellion
    >> and a revolution? I have my H.S. American History teacher to
    >> thank for an easy one about that:
    >>
    >> A revolution is a rebellion that succeeded.

    >
    > So if Ireland was now a 32-county republic instead of the
    > Brits having a foothold in the six northern counties then
    > those who fought the occupation would be called the noble
    > 'revolutionaries' rather than the slightly derogatory
    > 'rebels'?


    This is a simplistic definition as I said. For the terrorists who
    are NOT revolutionaries that can't seem to get along between
    Protestant and Catholic in Northern Ireland, I say tough.
    Unfortunately, thousands and thousands have been killed or maimed
    over the centuries. That is a tragedy but not one that is
    recognized by anyone including the British.

    > Hmmmmm! I like that :).
    >

    Thought you might, but it is still true. Think of another big one
    we had, the Confederate rebellion which was that because the
    South lost. BTW, contrary to popular believe the Civil War was
    NOT fought over slavery. Rather, the South seceded from the Union
    and the North went to war to force them to return, which they
    did. The slavery problem didn't get fixed with the Emancipation
    Proclamation either, it merely freed slaves in the South which
    didn't recognize it's validity. Lincoln signed it mainly to piss
    off the South and encource the slaves to revolt/rebel.

    Slavery was finally officially ended when the 13th Amendment was
    ratified December 6, 1865 but needed the 14th Amendment, ratified
    on June 13, 1866 to be fully implementable.

    I don't bother to keep a digital text version of the Declaration
    of Independence but have a nice one of the Constitution which I
    can post if anyone is interested.

    --
    HP, aka Jerry

    "Efficiency is doing things right, effectiveness is doing the
    right things" - Peter Drucker
    HEMI-Powered, Oct 14, 2008
    #11
  12. Aardvark Guest

    On Tue, 14 Oct 2008 18:20:35 +0000, HEMI-Powered wrote:

    > Aardvark added these comments in the current discussion du jour ...
    >
    >>> Well, in this example it was true - the way colonies of any country
    >>> work is that the mother country asseses the taxes. Some short-sighted
    >>> and some "obscene" examples managed to fan the flames from minor
    >>> disagreement to armed insurrection to full scale revolution.

    >>
    >> Ah! So you're saying that in some cases it's right and fitting that the
    >> disenfranchised to take up arms against their oppressors? Interesting.

    >


    That was me getting ready to yank your chain :)

    > If you want to know the multitude of reasons, please read our
    > Declaration of Independence but the operative words are "inalienable
    > rights". ALL revolutions started as rebellions as I state below and the
    > former British Empire upon which the sun never set was completely
    > overthrown by it's colonists for the very same reasons by good UK friend
    > - the wretched excesses of the Crown, including taxation without
    > representation.
    >


    I have read your D. of I a few times (or at least digital facsimiles) and
    have also read extensively on the setting of the sun on the British
    Empire: Malaya, India, Burma (where my dad fought for three years all the
    way from Assam in India to Rangoon), Kenya, Palestine, Ireland and can
    understand from where those who wrote your D. of I. were coming.

    > Now, if you want a truly scating account of the Crown's abuses, they are
    > fully delineated in the Declaration but you can also read the first 10
    > Amendments of the Constituition, known as the Bill of Rights. Each set
    > of rights and freedoms were specifically stated to prevent the newly
    > formed American government from being able to repeat the abuses suffered
    > during the Colonial Period.
    >


    I have also scanned the earlier amendments once or twice :) For scathing
    accounts of the British Crown's abuses in its conquered lands I need look
    no further than accounts of Oliver Cromwell's excesses in Ireland in the
    mid-seventeenth century and those of his successors :) On the subject of
    'inalienable rights' and self-determination I think we're both singing
    from the same hymn book :)

    > It is these things that cover basic freedoms such as speech, religion,
    > press, guns, speedy trial, writ of habeas corpus, and some other things
    > people today take fully for granted but were very prized notions in the
    > 18th Century.
    >


    Speedy trial, eh? A la Judge Roy Bean? :)

    >> <cough><palestinians><cough> :)
    >>


    That was me yanking the chain :)

    > The UN you so fondly speak of arbitrarily partitioned the former state
    > of Palestine into a Arab state of Palestine and a Jewish state that
    > became modern Isreal. Unfortunately, Jeruselus was claim by both Arabs
    > and Jews and fell behind the Palistinian border. Worse, some Arabs and
    > Jews found themselves on the wrong side of the partion line leading to
    > immediate armed conflict to first throw off the former British rule of
    > the region then moving right along to fighting with each other.
    >


    Believe me, I know.

    > I leave it to the world to judge the merits of each side's case.
    >


    I have had friends in the past. Two were Palestinians and three Israeli.
    All three of the Israelis were ex-IDF, having completed their National
    Service. The stories they had to tell were sometimes horrific. The
    Palestinians told me stories equally as horrific, but from a different
    viewpoint. All of them were good people whom I liked immensely.

    Fucked if I can decide the rights and wrongs of that particular
    situation. Both sides have merits, both have committed atrocious
    wrongs....

    >>> BTW, ever wonder what the difference is between a rebellion and a
    >>> revolution? I have my H.S. American History teacher to thank for an
    >>> easy one about that:
    >>>
    >>> A revolution is a rebellion that succeeded.

    >>
    >> So if Ireland was now a 32-county republic instead of the Brits having
    >> a foothold in the six northern counties then those who fought the
    >> occupation would be called the noble 'revolutionaries' rather than the
    >> slightly derogatory 'rebels'?

    >
    > This is a simplistic definition as I said. For the terrorists who are
    > NOT revolutionaries that can't seem to get along between Protestant and
    > Catholic in Northern Ireland, I say tough. Unfortunately, thousands and
    > thousands have been killed or maimed over the centuries. That is a
    > tragedy but not one that is recognized by anyone including the British.
    >


    While Tony Blair was Prime Minister, Ireland actually did get a
    retrospective apology of sorts from his government. I'm willing to bet
    that it stuck in their collective craw :)

    That paragraph above about Ireland was more myself thinking out loud than
    making any kind of statement. I thought the simplicity of it written on
    the screen made it mildly amusing.

    >> Hmmmmm! I like that :).
    >>

    > Thought you might, but it is still true. Think of another big one we
    > had, the Confederate rebellion which was that because the South lost.
    > BTW, contrary to popular believe the Civil War was NOT fought over
    > slavery. Rather, the South seceded from the Union and the North went to
    > war to force them to return, which they did. The slavery problem didn't
    > get fixed with the Emancipation Proclamation either, it merely freed
    > slaves in the South which didn't recognize it's validity. Lincoln signed
    > it mainly to piss off the South and encource the slaves to revolt/rebel.
    >


    All of this comes as no surprise to me whatsoever. Some I knew, some I
    suspected. Thanks for confirming everything, mate.

    > Slavery was finally officially ended when the 13th Amendment was
    > ratified December 6, 1865 but needed the 14th Amendment, ratified on
    > June 13, 1866 to be fully implementable.
    >


    I'd forgotten the dates but was aware they were ratified around the time
    of Lincoln's demise.

    > I don't bother to keep a digital text version of the Declaration of
    > Independence but have a nice one of the Constitution which I can post if
    > anyone is interested.


    I just re-read your Second Amendment once again and I'm still convinced
    that the NRA (...from my cold, dead hand) are extremely wrong in their
    interpretation of that amendment. It's the 'well-regulated militia' part
    that leads me to believe that firearms are only to be possessed in
    connection with official militia duties. Just a thought.

    You'll be surprised to know that in the UK the right to silence under
    questioning to avoid self-incrimination (equivalent to your 5th
    Amendment) has been done away with by law, if it ever actually existed at
    all here. If a defendant in court had remained silent at any point during
    questioning by the authorities the judge WILL direct the jury to consider
    this silence as tantamount to an admission of guilt.

    The UK police caution (similar to your Miranda warning:

    You do not have to say anything unless you wish to do so, but I must warn
    you that if you fail to mention any fact which you rely on in your
    defence in court, your failure to take this opportunity to mention it may
    be treated in court as supporting any relevant evidence against you. If
    you do wish to say anything, what you say may be given in evidence.

    There is a short version:

    You do not have to say anything, but it may harm your defence if you do
    not mention, when questioned, something which you later rely on in court.
    Anything you do say may be given in evidence.

    It isn't required for the officer to ask the prisoner if he understands
    this caution.

    It must be obvious by now that I find digression irresistible :)


    --
    Liverpool. European City Of Culture 2008
    http://www.liverpool08.com
    Aardvark, Oct 14, 2008
    #12
  13. HEMI-Powered Guest

    Aardvark added these comments in the current discussion du jour
    ....

    > I have read your D. of I a few times (or at least digital
    > facsimiles) and have also read extensively on the setting of
    > the sun on the British Empire: Malaya, India, Burma (where my
    > dad fought for three years all the way from Assam in India to
    > Rangoon), Kenya, Palestine, Ireland and can understand from
    > where those who wrote your D. of I. were coming.


    Compared to Europe, the United States as a country is very, very
    young. And, for that and a variety of other reasons, Europeans
    often know far more about the US than we do about them in total
    and certainly more than US people know about each European
    country individually.

    Please keep in mind that the D of I as you call it was a
    political document intended to fan the flames of dissent, set the
    stage for war including the recruitment of an army and the means
    to finance it, as well as to make the case for international law
    that a revolt is at all lawful. But, the eloquence of the early
    passages of the document give way to example after example after
    example of obscure alleged abuses of the Crown against the
    colonies that now look very naive and childish in the face of
    world and American history.

    That said, the American Revolution is perhaps the best example of
    a well-run, altruistic example of one country being formed by
    overthrowing it's former colonial masters. War is war and it is
    indeed at Gen. Sherman called it - "war is Hell" - but at least
    this one was fought honorably. I wish I could say the same for so
    many others since then, including the French Revolution but more
    to the point, the wars you cite and the example you also brought
    up about Palestine.

    > I have also scanned the earlier amendments once or twice :)
    > For scathing accounts of the British Crown's abuses in its
    > conquered lands I need look no further than accounts of Oliver
    > Cromwell's excesses in Ireland in the mid-seventeenth century
    > and those of his successors :) On the subject of 'inalienable
    > rights' and self-determination I think we're both singing from
    > the same hymn book :)


    Probably so, my world history in these areas was never that
    extensive and has now faded in my memory as to specifics. Crowell
    was an interesting fellow, though, to be sure.

    Now, please explain how and why the English first fomented
    dissent in creating religious wars in Northern Ireland then
    meddled in it's internal affairs so much for so long that
    many/most people don't even know what the Hell it is all about.
    It simply defies the imagination that people in such a small
    country found it necesary to blow themselves up for so long.
    Maybe this is a clear example in your past that will be compared
    by history to US meddling in the internal affairs of Iraq after
    Saddam was kicked out. Damn near every time a big country pounces
    on a small one in the name of peace, religion, or humanity, it is
    a disaster from the get go and a morass at best.

    To bring the discussion back to the US and UK one of the dumber
    things we did was think we could take on the English in the War
    of 1812, especially with an invasion of Canada. The only thing
    that saved us from being forced back into colonialism was that
    the war was to the Brits what Viet Nam was to us - they wanted
    the money and the blood to stop flowing.

    >> It is these things that cover basic freedoms such as speech,
    >> religion, press, guns, speedy trial, writ of habeas corpus,
    >> and some other things people today take fully for granted but
    >> were very prized notions in the 18th Century.
    >>

    >
    > Speedy trial, eh? A la Judge Roy Bean? :)


    I'm not going to debate such obvious baiting comments. You know
    damn well what the issues were and why these Amendments were
    enacted as well as how and why our states proved unworthy to
    govern in so many times and places. It is the idea expressed in
    this document I was referring to in response to your shots across
    my bow about the UN declaration of human rights et al.

    BTW and FWIW, the UN has never been a real positive force for
    anything, much less human rights, international law, or peace. I
    think that can be stated without reservation. But,to think that
    such a wishy-washy body of completely powerless representatives -
    backed by the constant threat of Russian veto in the Security
    Council - makes attempts at altering International Law ludicrous
    at best.

    Speaking of the latter, the war crimes nonsense at the Hague, it
    seems astounding to me that their is still a ban on dum-dum
    bullets to this day yet far more heinous weapons such as poison
    gas, flame throwers, hand grenades, and even the A-Bomb have had
    no clear prohibition. About the only time the Hague or the UN
    even come into play is when some protagonist or antagonist in a
    current or upcoming conflict attempt to legitimize their actions
    by taking it up there.

    >>> <cough><palestinians><cough> :)
    >>>

    >
    > That was me yanking the chain :)


    Gee, didn't know that, Aardvark. You're yanking my chain for the
    same reason I keep sticking sharp sticks in your glass eye. Some
    people, when asked why they do such and such often say "because I
    can".

    >> The UN you so fondly speak of arbitrarily partitioned the
    >> former state of Palestine into a Arab state of Palestine and
    >> a Jewish state that became modern Isreal. Unfortunately,
    >> Jeruselus was claim by both Arabs and Jews and fell behind
    >> the Palistinian border. Worse, some Arabs and Jews found
    >> themselves on the wrong side of the partion line leading to
    >> immediate armed conflict to first throw off the former
    >> British rule of the region then moving right along to
    >> fighting with each other.

    >
    > Believe me, I know.


    Probably better than me. That said and considering the chain
    yanking, I mentioned this specific example to illustrate
    precisely why NO large military power will EVER be able to exert
    it's influence to overcome centuries or even millenia of conflict
    based on land, politics and religion anywhere in the world.

    >> I leave it to the world to judge the merits of each side's
    >> case.

    >
    > I have had friends in the past. Two were Palestinians and
    > three Israeli. All three of the Israelis were ex-IDF, having
    > completed their National Service. The stories they had to tell
    > were sometimes horrific. The Palestinians told me stories
    > equally as horrific, but from a different viewpoint. All of
    > them were good people whom I liked immensely.


    We have strong ties to the Jews and have been stallwart allies of
    Isreal since it's beginning as a struggling new country. This
    has, more often than not, been a great concern to us when trying
    to establish and enforce our own foreign policy.

    > Fucked if I can decide the rights and wrongs of that
    > particular situation. Both sides have merits, both have
    > committed atrocious wrongs....


    That's the thing, no one can understand it. If we go back to
    Biblical times when the fighting was already going on, peoples in
    the region, including the old Palestine, are pretty much of the
    same race and appearance but never looked the same because of
    dress and mannerisms including religious activities they both
    believe in passionately. One can take antagonists in any disputed
    area including today's Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds, swap around the
    clothes and shuffle them like the proverbial pea under the walnut
    and not be able to tell who is who - until they speak and act out
    their millenia-long hatred of the other.

    To the Iraq example I just cited, it is useful to note that the
    reason the hatred and fighting stopped under Saddam is that he
    ruthlessly punished both sides and kept insurrection and
    insurgency damn near zero.

    >> This is a simplistic definition as I said. For the terrorists
    >> who are NOT revolutionaries that can't seem to get along
    >> between Protestant and Catholic in Northern Ireland, I say
    >> tough. Unfortunately, thousands and thousands have been
    >> killed or maimed over the centuries. That is a tragedy but
    >> not one that is recognized by anyone including the British.

    >
    > While Tony Blair was Prime Minister, Ireland actually did get
    > a retrospective apology of sorts from his government. I'm
    > willing to bet that it stuck in their collective craw :)


    Tony Blair was one of your better PMs, although I would think you
    hated him because he was so far right of you. But, just like our
    Dems and Repubs have abandoned their traditional stands to pander
    for votes, Labour and Conservatives in your country are little
    more than the two-sided coins in ours. YOu have a much more
    colorful name for it than we do, though - the loyal opposition.
    In our case, we do oppose each other but we are NOT loyal and we
    don't admit that the main job of the minority party IS to oppose
    the majority!

    > That paragraph above about Ireland was more myself thinking
    > out loud than making any kind of statement. I thought the
    > simplicity of it written on the screen made it mildly amusing.


    The trouble with simplicity, including my use of it here, is that
    it shoves too many things under the rug. But, one can argue about
    whether that is good or bad since without simplification,
    understanding is pretty much impossible. Ever listen to someone
    in whatever you call your State Department talk? Their job is not
    to simplify for understand, it is to obfuscate intentionally to
    maximize their diplomatic options.

    >> Thought you might, but it is still true. Think of another big
    >> one we had, the Confederate rebellion which was that because
    >> the South lost. BTW, contrary to popular believe the Civil
    >> War was NOT fought over slavery. Rather, the South seceded
    >> from the Union and the North went to war to force them to
    >> return, which they did. The slavery problem didn't get fixed
    >> with the Emancipation Proclamation either, it merely freed
    >> slaves in the South which didn't recognize it's validity.
    >> Lincoln signed it mainly to piss off the South and encource
    >> the slaves to revolt/rebel.


    > All of this comes as no surprise to me whatsoever. Some I
    > knew, some I suspected. Thanks for confirming everything,
    > mate.


    Aardvark, damn near everything in our history has been PC'd out
    of existance. In a recent Public TV episode about Chris Columbus
    I just watched, he was accused of being a racist! These Dash
    American ethic groups do not exist! And, "history" has become
    it's own panderer of last resort wrt slavery.

    >> Slavery was finally officially ended when the 13th Amendment
    >> was ratified December 6, 1865 but needed the 14th Amendment,
    >> ratified on June 13, 1866 to be fully implementable.
    >>

    >
    > I'd forgotten the dates but was aware they were ratified
    > around the time of Lincoln's demise.


    I cheated and looked at the text. I can't track all that stuff
    from memory, happened too long ago, and the Amendment numbers and
    their purposes follow no reasoning process except chronology.

    > I just re-read your Second Amendment once again and I'm still
    > convinced that the NRA (...from my cold, dead hand) are
    > extremely wrong in their interpretation of that amendment.
    > It's the 'well-regulated militia' part that leads me to
    > believe that firearms are only to be possessed in connection
    > with official militia duties. Just a thought.


    You are right, the NRA and our current conservative activist
    justices on the Supreme Court ARE dead wrong. The 2nd was put
    there NOT to justify personal gun ownership which was actually a
    small thing taken for granted, it was there strictly to prevent
    the new Federal gubmint from confiscating the guns of the farmers
    as the Red Coats had done so many times. Everybody who wants to
    believe that owning a gun is a "right" always conveniently quotes
    only the last clause in the text.

    > You'll be surprised to know that in the UK the right to
    > silence under questioning to avoid self-incrimination
    > (equivalent to your 5th Amendment) has been done away with by
    > law, if it ever actually existed at all here. If a defendant
    > in court had remained silent at any point during questioning
    > by the authorities the judge WILL direct the jury to consider
    > this silence as tantamount to an admission of guilt.


    Again, I am not at all up on your current or past
    "constitutional" law but banning self incrimination only by law
    doesn't surprise me at all given today's terrorist threat and
    your Socialist bent.

    > The UK police caution (similar to your Miranda warning:
    >
    > You do not have to say anything unless you wish to do so, but
    > I must warn you that if you fail to mention any fact which you
    > rely on in your defence in court, your failure to take this
    > opportunity to mention it may be treated in court as
    > supporting any relevant evidence against you. If you do wish
    > to say anything, what you say may be given in evidence.


    Miranda was a prisoner who successfully petitioned for overturn
    of his sentence on the grounds he had not been even informed of
    any of his rights at all.

    Trouble with all of this in the practical sense is that newly
    arrested people whether they are really guilty, sort of guilty,
    or not guilty at all is that they are usually scare blind (or
    maybe defiant) and are immediately confronted with "you'll talk
    to us unless you have something to hide." This is where a writ of
    habeas corpus comes in. It was common in times past to lock
    people up analagously to those in Gitmo for indefinite periods
    without any charges at all or any access to counsel.

    Trouble is, if the cops want you in jail, you'll be in jail. We
    have a trick called precinct swapping where a prisoner is quickly
    and quietly moved from the holding cell in one police precinct to
    another to another when the DA wants them off the street but
    isn't quite ready to charge them or cannot make the charges
    stick. This effectively prevents a prisoner's attorney from even
    finding them, much less getting a judge to set bail.

    > There is a short version:
    >
    > You do not have to say anything, but it may harm your defence
    > if you do not mention, when questioned, something which you
    > later rely on in court. Anything you do say may be given in
    > evidence.
    >
    > It isn't required for the officer to ask the prisoner if he
    > understands this caution.
    >
    > It must be obvious by now that I find digression irresistible
    > :)
    >

    Look, "pleading the Fifth" as it is called here or doing it your
    way has about the same effect - the jury ALWAYS assumes that the
    perp is the guilty one and no amount of legal verbiage such as
    "the jury will disregard counsel's last statement" are
    unenforceable by definition.

    It probably makes the job of your defense solicitors very
    difficult to try to walk the offical vs the actual tightrope you
    ellucidate so well above.

    BTW, I like the term "solicitor" better then "lawyer" or
    "attorney" because it much better describes their function -
    which is a whore for money that will take any case and defend
    anyone no matter how guilty or how innocent or no matter how
    heinous the crime in the name of "every defendent deserves the
    best possible defense." That is a very admirable idea which I
    fully support, I just wish there were more transparency.

    Have a great day, Aardvark.

    --
    HP, aka Jerry

    "Efficiency is doing things right, effectiveness is doing the
    right things" - Peter Drucker
    HEMI-Powered, Oct 15, 2008
    #13
  14. Aardvark Guest

    On Wed, 15 Oct 2008 11:13:15 +0000, HEMI-Powered wrote:

    > Aardvark added these comments in the current discussion du jour ...
    >
    >> I have read your D. of I a few times (or at least digital facsimiles)
    >> and have also read extensively on the setting of the sun on the British
    >> Empire: Malaya, India, Burma (where my dad fought for three years all
    >> the way from Assam in India to Rangoon), Kenya, Palestine, Ireland and
    >> can understand from where those who wrote your D. of I. were coming.

    >
    > Compared to Europe, the United States as a country is very, very young.
    > And, for that and a variety of other reasons, Europeans often know far
    > more about the US than we do about them in total and certainly more than
    > US people know about each European country individually.
    >


    Agreed. Your average European Joe (or Giuseppe or whatever) Public does
    tend, I have found, to be much more politically, historically and
    geographically aware than your average Joe (or Jose :)) Public stateside.

    They tend to look upon the US either as a parent would look upon a
    slightly clumsy and errant teenager with a chip on his shoulder having
    recently left home for the first time trying to come to terms with the
    real world, failing to understand it fully yet, making bad choices a lot
    of the time, the parent nonetheless shaking their head ruefully but
    affectionately and holding their tongue, allowing the adolescent to gain
    experience from his own mistakes, or else as a muscular fully-grown six-
    foot-six adult, who bullies those smaller than him, being none too
    bright, and resenting, fearing and hating him, as one WOULD a bully.

    I'll admit to you that my attitude towards America constantly vacillates
    between the two :).

    > Please keep in mind that the D of I as you call it


    Sorry. Couldn't be assed to write it in full every time :)

    > was a political
    > document intended to fan the flames of dissent, set the stage for war
    > including the recruitment of an army and the means to finance it, as
    > well as to make the case for international law that a revolt is at all
    > lawful. But, the eloquence of the early passages of the document give
    > way to example after example after example of obscure alleged abuses of
    > the Crown against the colonies that now look very naive and childish in
    > the face of world and American history.
    >


    I had never realised this, but find it wholly understandable. They had
    decided to stand up to the six-foot-six bully of the time, England, and
    explain it both to the bully and themselves why they thought it was
    finally time to try to kick his ass :)

    > That said, the American Revolution is perhaps the best example of a
    > well-run, altruistic example of one country being formed by overthrowing
    > it's former colonial masters.


    One of the best, perhaps?

    >War is war and it is indeed at Gen.
    > Sherman called it - "war is Hell" - but at least this one was fought
    > honorably. I wish I could say the same for so many others since then,
    > including the French Revolution but more to the point, the wars you cite
    > and the example you also brought up about Palestine.
    >


    Don't mention that one- that was a feeble attempt at humoUr on my part. I
    have always found that no situation or conversation is so grave that it
    can't be improved with an injection of a smidgin of levity.

    I hadn't had so much fun in years as at my dad's funeral ,a year ago this
    week. I loved and admired the man and wrote and read his eulogy, but I
    laughed more that day than I had in many years.

    >> I have also scanned the earlier amendments once or twice :) For
    >> scathing accounts of the British Crown's abuses in its conquered lands
    >> I need look no further than accounts of Oliver Cromwell's excesses in
    >> Ireland in the mid-seventeenth century and those of his successors :)
    >> On the subject of 'inalienable rights' and self-determination I think
    >> we're both singing from the same hymn book :)

    >
    > Probably so, my world history in these areas was never that extensive
    > and has now faded in my memory as to specifics. Cromwell was an
    > interesting fellow, though, to be sure.
    >


    You've probably seen him in that painting sitting on a horse. The artist
    was, shall we say, slightly overawed in the presence of The Lord
    Protector of England (face it, he was crapping himself and afraid to say
    or do the wrong thing for fear of losing his head- literally) and
    therefore, to ingratiate himself, left out the numerous blemishes and
    warts on Cromwell's face. Cromwell, on seeing the work-in-progress,
    insisted to the artist that his portrait should be painted 'warts and
    all'.

    A strange cove, was Cromwell :)

    > Now, please explain how and why the English first fomented dissent in
    > creating religious wars in Northern Ireland then meddled in it's
    > internal affairs so much for so long that many/most people don't even
    > know what the Hell it is all about. It simply defies the imagination
    > that people in such a small country found it necessary to blow
    >themselves
    > up for so long.


    Will do. I just ask that you give me a few days to gather my thoughts and
    do a little research. Is that a deal?

    > Maybe this is a clear example in your past that will be
    > compared by history to US meddling in the internal affairs of Iraq after
    > Saddam was kicked out. Damn near every time a big country pounces on a
    > small one in the name of peace, religion, or humanity, it is a disaster
    > from the get go and a morass at best.
    >


    A statement of the bleeding obvious if ever I saw one :) One that can
    never be said often or loud enough :)

    > To bring the discussion back to the US and UK one of the dumber things
    > we did was think we could take on the English in the War of 1812,
    > especially with an invasion of Canada. The only thing that saved us from
    > being forced back into colonialism was that the war was to the Brits
    > what Viet Nam was to us - they wanted the money and the blood to stop
    > flowing.
    >


    Is it possible that the powers that be at the time in the States either
    wish to distract the attention of the populace from problems at home or
    did they consider that their citizens require the morale boost of their
    army, like a flea, biting the uncovered flank of the sleeping dog that
    was the fledgling British Empire, despite the fact that it was always
    doomed to failure?

    What was going on at home at the time?

    >>> It is these things that cover basic freedoms such as speech, religion,
    >>> press, guns, speedy trial, writ of habeas corpus, and some other
    >>> things people today take fully for granted but were very prized
    >>> notions in the 18th Century.
    >>>
    >>>

    >> Speedy trial, eh? A la Judge Roy Bean? :)

    >


    An attempt to inject levity into the discussion :) (see above).

    > I'm not going to debate such obvious baiting comments. You know damn
    > well what the issues were and why these Amendments were enacted as well
    > as how and why our states proved unworthy to govern in so many times and
    > places. It is the idea expressed in this document I was referring to in
    > response to your shots across my bow about the UN declaration of human
    > rights et al.
    >


    Their are sections of that document that aren't so far removed from some
    in the American D of I.

    > BTW and FWIW, the UN has never been a real positive force for anything,
    > much less human rights, international law, or peace. I think that can be
    > stated without reservation. But,to think that such a wishy-washy body of
    > completely powerless representatives - backed by the constant threat of
    > Russian veto in the Security Council - makes attempts at altering
    > International Law ludicrous at best.
    >


    I have always considered that the UN should have much more in the way of
    'teeth' and that the veto of Security Council members be rethought.

    > Speaking of the latter, the war crimes nonsense at the Hague,


    Not nonsense, I think. If there were any REAL justice in the world GWB,
    Rumsfeld et al. would be standing heads bowed and shackled at The Hague
    post haste. I guess we'll just have to do with Mladic and the others for
    the moment.

    > it seems
    > astounding to me that their is still a ban on dum-dum bullets to this
    > day yet far more heinous weapons such as poison gas, flame throwers,
    > hand grenades, and even the A-Bomb have had no clear prohibition.


    No argument from me on that.

    > About
    > the only time the Hague or the UN even come into play is when some
    > protagonist or antagonist in a current or upcoming conflict attempt to
    > legitimize their actions by taking it up there.
    >


    More's the pity. The Hague has the potential to be a deterrent to and the
    means to punish crimes against humanity if only everyone who matters were
    follow the rules and agree to play by them. <cough><the US><cough>

    >>>> <cough><palestinians><cough> :)
    >>>>
    >>>>

    >> That was me yanking the chain :)

    >
    > Gee, didn't know that, Aardvark. You're yanking my chain for the same
    > reason I keep sticking sharp sticks in your glass eye. Some people, when
    > asked why they do such and such often say "because I can".
    >


    That's why London cabbies will hang U-turns in front of you causing you
    to brake sharply to avoid collision. 'Because they can'. :)

    And leave my glass eye out of it. I'm very sensitive about that :).

    >>> The UN you so fondly speak of arbitrarily partitioned the former state
    >>> of Palestine into a Arab state of Palestine and a Jewish state that
    >>> became modern Isreal. Unfortunately, Jeruselus was claim by both Arabs
    >>> and Jews and fell behind the Palistinian border. Worse, some Arabs and
    >>> Jews found themselves on the wrong side of the partion line leading to
    >>> immediate armed conflict to first throw off the former British rule of
    >>> the region then moving right along to fighting with each other.

    >>
    >> Believe me, I know.

    >
    > Probably better than me. That said and considering the chain yanking, I
    > mentioned this specific example to illustrate precisely why NO large
    > military power will EVER be able to exert it's influence to overcome
    > centuries or even millennia of conflict based on land, politics and
    > religion anywhere in the world.
    >


    Another statement of the bleeding obvious (again, see above) :)

    >>> I leave it to the world to judge the merits of each side's case.

    >>
    >> I have had friends in the past. Two were Palestinians and three
    >> Israeli. All three of the Israelis were ex-IDF, having completed their
    >> National Service. The stories they had to tell were sometimes horrific.
    >> The Palestinians told me stories equally as horrific, but from a
    >> different viewpoint. All of them were good people whom I liked
    >> immensely.

    >
    > We have strong ties to the Jews and have been stalwart allies of Israel
    > since it's beginning as a struggling new country. This has, more often
    > than not, been a great concern to us when trying to establish and
    > enforce our own foreign policy.
    >


    And that, in my opinion and that of quite a few others, has more often
    exacerbated problems in that part of the world than applying ointment to
    the suppurating sore.

    >> Fucked if I can decide the rights and wrongs of that particular
    >> situation. Both sides have merits, both have committed atrocious
    >> wrongs....

    >
    > That's the thing, no one can understand it. If we go back to Biblical
    > times when the fighting was already going on, peoples in the region,
    > including the old Palestine, are pretty much of the same race and
    > appearance but never looked the same because of dress and mannerisms
    > including religious activities they both believe in passionately. One
    > can take antagonists in any disputed area including today's Sunnis,
    > Shiites and Kurds, swap around the clothes and shuffle them like the
    > proverbial pea under the walnut and not be able to tell who is who -
    > until they speak and act out their millennia-long hatred of the other.
    >


    A trifle simplistic but I catch your drift and agree to an extent.

    > To the Iraq example I just cited, it is useful to note that the reason
    > the hatred and fighting stopped under Saddam is that he ruthlessly
    > punished both sides and kept insurrection and insurgency damn near zero.
    >


    To amuse myself I just mentally substituted 'Yugoslavia' for 'Iraq' and
    'Tito' for 'Saddam' and your above paragraph just as well :)

    >>> This is a simplistic definition as I said. For the terrorists who are
    >>> NOT revolutionaries that can't seem to get along between Protestant
    >>> and Catholic in Northern Ireland, I say tough. Unfortunately,
    >>> thousands and thousands have been killed or maimed over the centuries.
    >>> That is a tragedy but not one that is recognized by anyone including
    >>> the British.

    >>
    >> While Tony Blair was Prime Minister, Ireland actually did get a
    >> retrospective apology of sorts from his government. I'm willing to bet
    >> that it stuck in their collective craw :)

    >
    > Tony Blair was one of your better PMs, although I would think you hated
    > him because he was so far right of you.


    Au contraire, mon vieux. Except for his slavish following of the US line
    vis-a-vis reasons for invading Iraq, WMD and all that shit, Tony was an
    exceptional PM. I wish he had stayed on in the job instead of handing the
    reins to Gordon. In 1997, when Tony's 'New Labour' party swept in on a
    landslide victory in the general election, I was up all night watching
    the results come in with a rising heart. Imagine it. Eighteen years of
    destructive, divisive and impoverishing Tory misrule was coming to an
    end. I was dancing round the living room in my pyjamas, fer crissakes.

    When Tony entered the hall in triumph to the tune of 'Things Can Only Get
    Better' by D-Ream, there were tears of joy streaming down my cheeks (and
    you may believe that or not). Although I had always previously considered
    that song uplifting and positive, I haven't been able to listen to it
    since without getting a 'sense memory' of that night, and I always feel a
    vestige of the strong emotion I felt.

    And things DID get better. Both for me personally and for this country. I
    have always voted Labour and will NEVER vote for any other party.

    > But, just like our Dems and
    > Repubs have abandoned their traditional stands to pander for votes,
    > Labour and Conservatives in your country are little more than the
    > two-sided coins in ours. YOu have a much more colorful name for it than
    > we do, though - the loyal opposition. In our case, we do oppose each
    > other but we are NOT loyal and we don't admit that the main job of the
    > minority party IS to oppose the majority!
    >


    The word 'loyal' in that phrase refers to loyalty to Her Majesty The
    Queen and has no other meaning. What's more, there are many more than
    just two political parties represented in both houses of parliament. The
    third largest party represented is the Liberal Democratic Party. if you
    want, I'll research exactly how many parties actually have MP's in the
    House of Commons.

    >> That paragraph above about Ireland was more myself thinking out loud
    >> than making any kind of statement. I thought the simplicity of it
    >> written on the screen made it mildly amusing.

    >
    > The trouble with simplicity, including my use of it here, is that it
    > shoves too many things under the rug. But, one can argue about whether
    > that is good or bad since without simplification, understanding is
    > pretty much impossible. Ever listen to someone in whatever you call your
    > State Department talk? Their job is not to simplify for understand, it
    > is to obfuscate intentionally to maximize their diplomatic options.
    >


    Ah, yes. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office is its commonly known.
    Speakers of fluent nothing :)

    >>> Thought you might, but it is still true. Think of another big one we
    >>> had, the Confederate rebellion which was that because the South lost.
    >>> BTW, contrary to popular believe the Civil War was NOT fought over
    >>> slavery. Rather, the South seceded from the Union and the North went
    >>> to war to force them to return, which they did. The slavery problem
    >>> didn't get fixed with the Emancipation Proclamation either, it merely
    >>> freed slaves in the South which didn't recognize it's validity.
    >>> Lincoln signed it mainly to piss off the South and encource the slaves
    >>> to revolt/rebel.

    >
    >> All of this comes as no surprise to me whatsoever. Some I knew, some I
    >> suspected. Thanks for confirming everything, mate.

    >
    > Aardvark, damn near everything in our history has been PC'd out of
    > existance. In a recent Public TV episode about Chris Columbus I just
    > watched, he was accused of being a racist! These Dash American ethic
    > groups do not exist! And, "history" has become it's own panderer of last
    > resort wrt slavery.
    >


    All I can say to that is "**** me! Now I've heard it all."

    >>> Slavery was finally officially ended when the 13th Amendment was
    >>> ratified December 6, 1865 but needed the 14th Amendment, ratified on
    >>> June 13, 1866 to be fully implementable.
    >>>
    >>>

    >> I'd forgotten the dates but was aware they were ratified around the
    >> time of Lincoln's demise.

    >
    > I cheated and looked at the text. I can't track all that stuff from
    > memory, happened too long ago, and the Amendment numbers and their
    > purposes follow no reasoning process except chronology.
    >
    >> I just re-read your Second Amendment once again and I'm still convinced
    >> that the NRA (...from my cold, dead hand) are extremely wrong in their
    >> interpretation of that amendment. It's the 'well-regulated militia'
    >> part that leads me to believe that firearms are only to be possessed in
    >> connection with official militia duties. Just a thought.

    >
    > You are right, the NRA and our current conservative activist justices on
    > the Supreme Court ARE dead wrong. The 2nd was put there NOT to justify
    > personal gun ownership which was actually a small thing taken for
    > granted, it was there strictly to prevent the new Federal gubmint from
    > confiscating the guns of the farmers as the Red Coats had done so many
    > times. Everybody who wants to believe that owning a gun is a "right"
    > always conveniently quotes only the last clause in the text.
    >


    Same hymn-sheet again. Next thing, people will think we're gonna be
    sending out wedding invitations :)

    >> You'll be surprised to know that in the UK the right to silence under
    >> questioning to avoid self-incrimination (equivalent to your 5th
    >> Amendment) has been done away with by law, if it ever actually existed
    >> at all here. If a defendant in court had remained silent at any point
    >> during questioning by the authorities the judge WILL direct the jury to
    >> consider this silence as tantamount to an admission of guilt.

    >
    > Again, I am not at all up on your current or past "constitutional" law
    > but banning self incrimination only by law doesn't surprise me at all
    > given today's terrorist threat and your Socialist bent.
    >
    >> The UK police caution (similar to your Miranda warning:
    >>
    >> You do not have to say anything unless you wish to do so, but I must
    >> warn you that if you fail to mention any fact which you rely on in your
    >> defence in court, your failure to take this opportunity to mention it
    >> may be treated in court as supporting any relevant evidence against
    >> you. If you do wish to say anything, what you say may be given in
    >> evidence.

    >
    > Miranda was a prisoner who successfully petitioned for overturn of his
    > sentence on the grounds he had not been even informed of any of his
    > rights at all.
    >
    > Trouble with all of this in the practical sense is that newly arrested
    > people whether they are really guilty, sort of guilty, or not guilty at
    > all is that they are usually scare blind (or maybe defiant) and are
    > immediately confronted with "you'll talk to us unless you have something
    > to hide." This is where a writ of habeas corpus comes in. It was common
    > in times past to lock people up analagously to those in Gitmo for
    > indefinite periods without any charges at all or any access to counsel.
    >


    Habeas Corpus. It's a Magna Carta thing. King John had his Gitmo's too
    y'know.

    > Trouble is, if the cops want you in jail, you'll be in jail. We have a
    > trick called precinct swapping where a prisoner is quickly and quietly
    > moved from the holding cell in one police precinct to another to another
    > when the DA wants them off the street but isn't quite ready to charge
    > them or cannot make the charges stick. This effectively prevents a
    > prisoner's attorney from even finding them, much less getting a judge to
    > set bail.
    >


    I know I shouldn't, but that really makes me chuckle :)

    >> There is a short version:
    >>
    >> You do not have to say anything, but it may harm your defence if you do
    >> not mention, when questioned, something which you later rely on in
    >> court. Anything you do say may be given in evidence.
    >>
    >> It isn't required for the officer to ask the prisoner if he understands
    >> this caution.
    >>
    >> It must be obvious by now that I find digression irresistible :)
    >>

    > Look, "pleading the Fifth" as it is called here or doing it your way has
    > about the same effect - the jury ALWAYS assumes that the perp is the
    > guilty one and no amount of legal verbiage such as "the jury will
    > disregard counsel's last statement" are unenforceable by definition.
    >


    Human nature. "Hmmmm- I wonder what he's trying to hide."

    > It probably makes the job of your defense solicitors very difficult to
    > try to walk the official vs the actual tightrope you elucidate so well
    > above.
    >
    > BTW, I like the term "solicitor" better then "lawyer" or "attorney"
    > because it much better describes their function - which is a whore for
    > money that will take any case and defend anyone no matter how guilty or
    > how innocent or no matter how heinous the crime in the name of "every
    > defendant deserves the best possible defense." That is a very admirable
    > idea which I fully support, I just wish there were more transparency.
    >


    Solicitors who specialise in criminal law (there are solicitors in other
    specialities) represent defendants in lower courts, which consist of
    local magistrates. No one in a magistrate's court wears a wig and gown,
    although the Clerk to the Justices, who are there to advise the
    magistrates in various matters, does wear a gown. There is no jury in a
    magistrate's court.

    For some crimes a defendant has the option of having his case heard
    either by the magistrate and take his punishment there or opt to have his
    case heard in Crown Court in the presence of a jury of his peers. This is
    where all the wigs and gowns appear.

    Here's the strange bit: the defendant is defended in Crown Court is
    represented by a variety of lawyer called a barrister. It is unlikely
    that the defendant will EVER have a conversation with his barrister, save
    to be briefly introduced to him before the trial begins. the barrister is
    instructed by the defendant's solicitor on his client's case by way of
    presenting the barrister with a brief- the defendant's court papers tied
    with red ribbon. The solicitor acts as an intermediary between the
    defendant and his barrister, instructing the barrister (out of court) on
    behalf of the defendant.

    The colloquial term for a barrister among defendants and potential
    defendants is 'a brief'- "Gaw lumme mate, me brief defended me in front
    of the beak like a good 'un!". The expression has expanded in recent
    years to include solicitors, and so any lawyer who defends someone in a
    court is referred to as his 'brief'.

    Have I ever appeared as a defendant in a Crown Court? Mind if I take the
    fifth on that? :)

    > Have a great day, Aardvark.



    I also wish you a good day.


    --
    Liverpool. European City Of Culture 2008
    http://www.liverpool08.com
    Aardvark, Oct 15, 2008
    #14
  15. HEMI-Powered Guest

    Aardvark added these comments in the current discussion du jour
    ....

    > Agreed. Your average European Joe (or Giuseppe or whatever)
    > Public does tend, I have found, to be much more politically,
    > historically and geographically aware than your average Joe
    > (or Jose :)) Public stateside.


    There's at least complexity - or lack thereof - on Mr. & Mrs.
    European Union's side here. In aggregate terms, with a little
    poetic license, the big part of the EU is roughly akin to the US
    GDP/budget thingy but represents nearly a dozen individual
    countries that each are only a state or two in land area and
    population.

    That's not at all a cheap shot - or any shot - at my allies, just
    a reality. Europe is very old and has a long history of alliances
    and real or petty hatreds to worry about. I remember making a
    major faux pas while visiting London in 1971, as I described
    earlier, when I asked for "French fries". The English gentleman
    behind the counter said, "do you mean chips, Yank?" Bless you.

    > They tend to look upon the US either as a parent would look
    > upon a slightly clumsy and errant teenager with a chip on his
    > shoulder having recently left home for the first time trying
    > to come to terms with the real world, failing to understand it
    > fully yet, making bad choices a lot of the time, the parent
    > nonetheless shaking their head ruefully but affectionately and
    > holding their tongue, allowing the adolescent to gain
    > experience from his own mistakes, or else as a muscular
    > fully-grown six- foot-six adult, who bullies those smaller
    > than him, being none too bright, and resenting, fearing and
    > hating him, as one WOULD a bully.


    I'll agree with that. Europe has ebbed and flowed wrt political
    and economic thought whereas we are the obnoxious teenagers in
    the family who think their shit don't stink.

    > I'll admit to you that my attitude towards America constantly
    > vacillates between the two :).


    My view of the EU varies widely from country to country as well
    as over time, similarly to maybe your view of us as a whole or
    perhaps regionally. I have always hated the arrogance of the
    French but liked the English more because I can talk to them. I
    admire the Germans for their innovativeness and creativity,
    especially in the face of such strong Socialist tendencies. Take,
    for example, how VW might be able to prosper so much better if
    not constrained by the German AG laws that give the Supervisory
    Board comprised of 50% unions the sway over corporate decisions.
    That I can tell, there is no equivalent to an American board of
    directors in Germany.
    >
    >> Please keep in mind that the D of I as you call it

    >
    > Sorry. Couldn't be assed to write it in full every time :)


    No problem. I don't even know the names of all of yours past the
    Magna Carta!
    >
    >> was a political
    >> document intended to fan the flames of dissent, set the stage
    >> for war including the recruitment of an army and the means to
    >> finance it, as well as to make the case for international law
    >> that a revolt is at all lawful. But, the eloquence of the
    >> early passages of the document give way to example after
    >> example after example of obscure alleged abuses of the Crown
    >> against the colonies that now look very naive and childish in
    >> the face of world and American history.

    >
    > I had never realised this, but find it wholly understandable.
    > They had decided to stand up to the six-foot-six bully of the
    > time, England, and explain it both to the bully and themselves
    > why they thought it was finally time to try to kick his ass
    > :)


    After writing the above, I Googled for the D of I and pulled it
    over to MS Word. The language may be more cogent and pithy than I
    realized before in the "he did" and "allowed" passages but I
    still pretty much stand by my general comment that this was a
    highly political document. And,in Ben Franklin's best words, "if
    we don't hang together, we will surely hang separately",
    referring to the signers would all have been executed for treason
    if we'd have lost, or maybe even if the Red Coats had been able
    to capture them.

    >> That said, the American Revolution is perhaps the best
    >> example of a well-run, altruistic example of one country
    >> being formed by overthrowing it's former colonial masters.

    >
    > One of the best, perhaps?


    OK, one of the best. The meaning of "best" is debatable, at best
    - pun intended.
    >
    > Don't mention that one- that was a feeble attempt at humoUr on
    > my part. I have always found that no situation or conversation
    > is so grave that it can't be improved with an injection of a
    > smidgin of levity.


    The old saw about "never argue about politics or religion" has
    great merit. Just in the Northern Ireland and Palestine examples
    you and I have discussed, there is great danger in a flame war,
    much as in a digital photography NG there is a debate raging
    about Obama and McCain.

    > I hadn't had so much fun in years as at my dad's funeral ,a
    > year ago this week. I loved and admired the man and wrote and
    > read his eulogy, but I laughed more that day than I had in
    > many years.


    Sorry to hear about your Dad. Mine passed away in 1998. He was a
    WWII Marine who fought at Saipan and Tinian and is captured in
    Pulitzer Prize Winning Joe Rosenthal's follow-on group photo atop
    Mt. Suribachi after the second American flag raising on 23Feb45.

    >> Probably so, my world history in these areas was never that
    >> extensive and has now faded in my memory as to specifics.
    >> Cromwell was an interesting fellow, though, to be sure.

    >
    > You've probably seen him in that painting sitting on a horse.
    > The artist was, shall we say, slightly overawed in the
    > presence of The Lord Protector of England (face it, he was
    > crapping himself and afraid to say or do the wrong thing for
    > fear of losing his head- literally) and therefore, to
    > ingratiate himself, left out the numerous blemishes and warts
    > on Cromwell's face. Cromwell, on seeing the work-in-progress,
    > insisted to the artist that his portrait should be painted
    > 'warts and all'.


    Yeah, but I forget. I also saw the movie "Cromwell", but forget.
    Lots of history to remember, not all of which is of great
    interest to me any more than my short history is of cosmic
    interest to you.

    >> Now, please explain how and why the English first fomented
    >> dissent in creating religious wars in Northern Ireland then
    >> meddled in it's internal affairs so much for so long that
    >> many/most people don't even know what the Hell it is all
    >> about. It simply defies the imagination that people in such a
    >> small country found it necessary to blow themselves up for so
    >> long.

    >
    > Will do. I just ask that you give me a few days to gather my
    > thoughts and do a little research. Is that a deal?


    There are no deals, this is Usenet! <grin> Of course, gather your
    wits in between other important things in your life. I can easily
    spot your replies in Xnews so I won't miss them no matter what
    you call the subject.

    >> Maybe this is a clear example in your past that will be
    >> compared by history to US meddling in the internal affairs of
    >> Iraq after Saddam was kicked out. Damn near every time a big
    >> country pounces on a small one in the name of peace,
    >> religion, or humanity, it is a disaster from the get go and a
    >> morass at best.

    >
    > A statement of the bleeding obvious if ever I saw one :) One
    > that can never be said often or loud enough :)


    The trouble with trumpeting patriotism or national security is
    that not everyone sees it quite the same. e.g., the war in Iraq
    is someplace between illegal and just plain ill-advised but this
    much I do know - then Sec. of State Colin Powell, former Chairman
    of our Joint Chiefs of Staff, said that he KNEW that the 100
    examples of WMD he described in great detail to the UN were
    either false or suspect intelligence. Bless you, George and
    Colin!

    >> To bring the discussion back to the US and UK one of the
    >> dumber things we did was think we could take on the English
    >> in the War of 1812, especially with an invasion of Canada.
    >> The only thing that saved us from being forced back into
    >> colonialism was that the war was to the Brits what Viet Nam
    >> was to us - they wanted the money and the blood to stop
    >> flowing.

    >
    > Is it possible that the powers that be at the time in the
    > States either wish to distract the attention of the populace
    > from problems at home or did they consider that their citizens
    > require the morale boost of their army, like a flea, biting
    > the uncovered flank of the sleeping dog that was the fledgling
    > British Empire, despite the fact that it was always doomed to
    > failure?


    NOw or then? I assume in 1812.

    > What was going on at home at the time?
    >

    Country was barely 25 years old and the Constitution itself only
    21 but the burning issue of the day was the allegation that the
    Royal Navy was stopping our merchant ships on the high seas and
    impressing their sailors. Certainly true, and I'm sure the folks
    back home were plenty pissed off, but a clear example of emotions
    overriding reason. We had essentially no navy and no army, we
    barely had any federal budget with which to build them,but had
    these lofty notions of putting the Brits in their place again.

    Washington, DC, was burned and sacked, the White House nearly
    burned to the ground to the point it needed to be entirely
    rebuilt, and the First Lady, Dolly Madison, needed to knife out
    the famous paintings and flee herself. James Madison wasn't
    intown, can't recall where he was.

    >>>> It is these things that cover basic freedoms such as
    >>>> speech, religion, press, guns, speedy trial, writ of habeas
    >>>> corpus, and some other things people today take fully for
    >>>> granted but were very prized notions in the 18th Century.
    >>>>
    >>> Speedy trial, eh? A la Judge Roy Bean? :)
    >>>

    OK, now the sharp stick is in my eye.

    > An attempt to inject levity into the discussion :) (see
    > above).
    >
    >> BTW and FWIW, the UN has never been a real positive force for
    >> anything, much less human rights, international law, or
    >> peace. I think that can be stated without reservation. But,to
    >> think that such a wishy-washy body of completely powerless
    >> representatives - backed by the constant threat of Russian
    >> veto in the Security Council - makes attempts at altering
    >> International Law ludicrous at best.
    >>

    >
    > I have always considered that the UN should have much more in
    > the way of 'teeth' and that the veto of Security Council
    > members be rethought.


    Maybe, but from a practical sense, it is infeasible. No sovereign
    country is going to give the UN "teeth" when only one in the
    Security Council's veto stops the whole thing cold. e.g., exactly
    how many teeth should there have been during the war in the
    Falklands with Argentina? Great Britain needed to take some
    decisive action and did.

    >> Speaking of the latter, the war crimes nonsense at the Hague,

    >
    > Not nonsense, I think. If there were any REAL justice in the
    > world GWB, Rumsfeld et al. would be standing heads bowed and
    > shackled at The Hague post haste. I guess we'll just have to
    > do with Mladic and the others for the moment.


    The notion of war crimes isn't nonsense but how it is discussed
    and the over a century old law is nonsense, as I outlined in the
    quote below. It is just infeasible for ANY international court to
    rule over sovereign nations or even more so over alliances of
    same from a central location whether it be for war crimes or for
    economic crimes. Again, we may have to agree to disagree but
    please consider at least for a moment the different way your
    political philsophy is different than mine here, or that of your
    country and mine.

    GWB, Rumsfeld, and Cheny might/should be in Leavenworth, but NOT
    in a docket in the Hague or whatever jail there is. Look, what do
    you propose, kidnapping them? That's the only way. We are hardly
    going to allow extradition and they sure as hell won't take Air
    Force One!

    >> About
    >> the only time the Hague or the UN even come into play is when
    >> some protagonist or antagonist in a current or upcoming
    >> conflict attempt to legitimize their actions by taking it up
    >> there.

    >
    > More's the pity. The Hague has the potential to be a deterrent
    > to and the means to punish crimes against humanity if only
    > everyone who matters were follow the rules and agree to play
    > by them. <cough><the US><cough>


    Again, and again, and again! The UN simply cannot issue a
    declaration of human rights that is enforceable nor can the Hague
    with international law and war crimes or the WTO on trade and
    economics. Alliances, treaties, and groups like the UN and Hague
    exist only on reasonable men trying to avert war but if it comes,
    the whole thing breaks down and becomes a sham. That may not be
    right, but it is real.

    >> We have strong ties to the Jews and have been stalwart allies
    >> of Israel since it's beginning as a struggling new country.
    >> This has, more often than not, been a great concern to us
    >> when trying to establish and enforce our own foreign policy.

    >
    > And that, in my opinion and that of quite a few others, has
    > more often exacerbated problems in that part of the world than
    > applying ointment to the suppurating sore.


    No argument from me. If you were to buy into "the Jews stick
    together" form of racism, which I don't think you do, you might
    feel more strongly. But, once we decided to be Israel's ally, it
    became impossible to put the genie back in the bottle. And, our
    "friends" in Saudi Arabia really aren't, but they kinda like
    having the 7th Feet in their backyard pool.


    >> That's the thing, no one can understand it. If we go back to
    >> Biblical times when the fighting was already going on,
    >> peoples in the region, including the old Palestine, are
    >> pretty much of the same race and appearance but never looked
    >> the same because of dress and mannerisms including religious
    >> activities they both believe in passionately. One can take
    >> antagonists in any disputed area including today's Sunnis,
    >> Shiites and Kurds, swap around the clothes and shuffle them
    >> like the proverbial pea under the walnut and not be able to
    >> tell who is who - until they speak and act out their
    >> millennia-long hatred of the other.

    >
    > A trifle simplistic but I catch your drift and agree to an
    > extent.


    VERY simplistic, but how else can I describe something so vast
    that I cannot begin to comprehend?

    >> To the Iraq example I just cited, it is useful to note that
    >> the reason the hatred and fighting stopped under Saddam is
    >> that he ruthlessly punished both sides and kept insurrection
    >> and insurgency damn near zero.

    >
    > To amuse myself I just mentally substituted 'Yugoslavia' for
    > 'Iraq' and 'Tito' for 'Saddam' and your above paragraph just
    > as well :)


    Yeah, except that among dictators, Tito was aguably the most
    benign in the Warsaw Pact and certainly nowhere near the tyrant
    that Hussein was.

    >> Tony Blair was one of your better PMs, although I would think
    >> you hated him because he was so far right of you.

    >
    > Au contraire, mon vieux. Except for his slavish following of
    > the US line vis-a-vis reasons for invading Iraq, WMD and all
    > that shit, Tony was an exceptional PM. I wish he had stayed on
    > in the job instead of handing the reins to Gordon. In 1997,
    > when Tony's 'New Labour' party swept in on a landslide victory
    > in the general election, I was up all night watching the
    > results come in with a rising heart. Imagine it. Eighteen
    > years of destructive, divisive and impoverishing Tory misrule
    > was coming to an end. I was dancing round the living room in
    > my pyjamas, fer crissakes.


    Keep in mind, please, is that I'm looking through American
    binoculars here. Can't really speak for you, but IIRC, he was a
    Conservative so I'd not expect you to like him any more than I
    might've liked Bill Clinton of Jimmy Carter.

    > When Tony entered the hall in triumph to the tune of 'Things
    > Can Only Get Better' by D-Ream, there were tears of joy
    > streaming down my cheeks (and you may believe that or not).
    > Although I had always previously considered that song
    > uplifting and positive, I haven't been able to listen to it
    > since without getting a 'sense memory' of that night, and I
    > always feel a vestige of the strong emotion I felt.
    >
    > And things DID get better. Both for me personally and for this
    > country. I have always voted Labour and will NEVER vote for
    > any other party.


    If there is real change, it generally is for the better, so yeah,
    I believe you were happy.

    >> But, just like our Dems and
    >> Repubs have abandoned their traditional stands to pander for
    >> votes, Labour and Conservatives in your country are little
    >> more than the two-sided coins in ours. YOu have a much more
    >> colorful name for it than we do, though - the loyal
    >> opposition. In our case, we do oppose each other but we are
    >> NOT loyal and we don't admit that the main job of the
    >> minority party IS to oppose the majority!

    >
    > The word 'loyal' in that phrase refers to loyalty to Her
    > Majesty The Queen and has no other meaning. What's more, there
    > are many more than just two political parties represented in
    > both houses of parliament. The third largest party represented
    > is the Liberal Democratic Party. if you want, I'll research
    > exactly how many parties actually have MP's in the House of
    > Commons.


    Or, more corectly, loyalty to HIS or HER majesty depending on who
    sits on the throne. But, the term is commonly used to mean the
    minority party in the House of Commons keeping the majority
    honest, which is why I like the phrase because it reduces the
    amount of euphemism somewhat.

    > Habeas Corpus. It's a Magna Carta thing. King John had his
    > Gitmo's too y'know.


    Yes, the roots of English common law.

    >> Trouble is, if the cops want you in jail, you'll be in jail.
    >> We have a trick called precinct swapping where a prisoner is
    >> quickly and quietly moved from the holding cell in one police
    >> precinct to another to another when the DA wants them off the
    >> street but isn't quite ready to charge them or cannot make
    >> the charges stick. This effectively prevents a prisoner's
    >> attorney from even finding them, much less getting a judge to
    >> set bail.

    >
    > I know I shouldn't, but that really makes me chuckle :)


    Don't know if your Bobbies do that sort of thing but I can assure
    you it ain't funny. No, thankfully I've never spent a night in
    the can but friends have on unusual cases where no wrong was
    really done.

    >>> There is a short version:
    >>>

    >> BTW, I like the term "solicitor" better then "lawyer" or
    >> "attorney" because it much better describes their function -
    >> which is a whore for money that will take any case and defend
    >> anyone no matter how guilty or how innocent or no matter how
    >> heinous the crime in the name of "every defendant deserves
    >> the best possible defense." That is a very admirable idea
    >> which I fully support, I just wish there were more
    >> transparency.

    >
    > Solicitors who specialise in criminal law (there are
    > solicitors in other specialities) represent defendants in
    > lower courts, which consist of local magistrates. No one in a
    > magistrate's court wears a wig and gown, although the Clerk to
    > the Justices, who are there to advise the magistrates in
    > various matters, does wear a gown. There is no jury in a
    > magistrate's court.


    Always like the dusted wigs as well! I'm speaking mainly of
    criminal law but it does carry over into torts because they are
    often used when criminal law doesn't work, i.e., with cigarette
    company execs, or any of the "obscene" corporate excesses we've
    talked about not to mention the minor or major scrapes people get
    into.

    Al Capone was nailed for income tax evasion but never for murder.
    O.J. Simpson is sitting in jail right now awaiting sentencing
    next month in his robbery conviction He skated on the murder rape
    in 199x.

    > For some crimes a defendant has the option of having his case
    > heard either by the magistrate and take his punishment there
    > or opt to have his case heard in Crown Court in the presence
    > of a jury of his peers. This is where all the wigs and gowns
    > appear.


    Likewise, in some cases we can ask for a trial by judge only but
    we also have great leeway in asking for a jury trial even if a
    judge can handle it. Probably similar circumstances.

    > Here's the strange bit: the defendant is defended in Crown
    > Court is represented by a variety of lawyer called a
    > barrister. It is unlikely that the defendant will EVER have a
    > conversation with his barrister, save to be briefly introduced
    > to him before the trial begins. the barrister is instructed by
    > the defendant's solicitor on his client's case by way of
    > presenting the barrister with a brief- the defendant's court
    > papers tied with red ribbon. The solicitor acts as an
    > intermediary between the defendant and his barrister,
    > instructing the barrister (out of court) on behalf of the
    > defendant.
    >
    > The colloquial term for a barrister among defendants and
    > potential defendants is 'a brief'- "Gaw lumme mate, me brief
    > defended me in front of the beak like a good 'un!". The
    > expression has expanded in recent years to include solicitors,
    > and so any lawyer who defends someone in a court is referred
    > to as his 'brief'.
    >
    > Have I ever appeared as a defendant in a Crown Court? Mind if
    > I take the fifth on that? :)
    >

    Interesting narratives, Aardvark. My world history was never all
    that great. I took Economic Geometry in HS instead of World
    History. In college it was Western and Non-Western Civilizations,
    essentially world history, and American History/Government both
    places. That was 45 years ago so you'll have to forgive my memory
    lapses on what was never an in-depth knowledge in the first
    place.

    --
    HP, aka Jerry

    "Efficiency is doing things right, effectiveness is doing the
    right things" - Peter Drucker
    HEMI-Powered, Oct 15, 2008
    #15
  16. Aardvark Guest

    On Wed, 15 Oct 2008 19:51:59 +0000, HEMI-Powered wrote:

    > Keep in mind, please, is that I'm looking through American binoculars
    > here. Can't really speak for you, but IIRC, he was a Conservative so I'd
    > not expect you to like him any more than I might've liked Bill Clinton
    > of Jimmy Carter.


    No, mate. Tony Blair is now and has been for some years a member of the
    Labour Party. His Chancellor of the Exchequer, Gordon Brown, took over
    the reins of power and moved into 10 Downing Street when Tony stepped
    down from the job. Gordon didn't have to move far, though, as the
    Chancellor's official address is 11 Downing Street :)



    --
    Liverpool. European City Of Culture 2008
    http://www.liverpool08.com
    Aardvark, Oct 17, 2008
    #16
  17. HEMI-Powered Guest

    Aardvark added these comments in the current discussion du jour
    ....

    >> Keep in mind, please, is that I'm looking through American
    >> binoculars here. Can't really speak for you, but IIRC, he was
    >> a Conservative so I'd not expect you to like him any more
    >> than I might've liked Bill Clinton of Jimmy Carter.

    >
    > No, mate. Tony Blair is now and has been for some years a
    > member of the Labour Party. His Chancellor of the Exchequer,
    > Gordon Brown, took over the reins of power and moved into 10
    > Downing Street when Tony stepped down from the job. Gordon
    > didn't have to move far, though, as the Chancellor's official
    > address is 11 Downing Street :)
    >

    Then Blair has to be the most conservative Labour leader I've
    ever heard of! His fiscal policies and war on terror stance belie
    a tradional left-of-center approach to problems.

    But, perhaps a generation after Margaret Thatcher, your Labour
    and Conservatives have shown similar blending to our two parties.
    It is the approach to problems and issues that are the difference
    and not patriotism or goodness of the heart.

    Again, here we are seeing a resurgennce of "get something for
    free" because people are fed up with what they perceive are the
    excesses of a war president and their perceptions right or wrong
    of the result of fiscal policity. Doesn't matter who is right or
    wrong here as change is in the wind. Similar to the demise of
    liberalism under LBJ because of the extremely unpopular Viet Nam
    war and the obvious failure of the Great Society.

    But, I have to fall back on the notion that nothing ANY
    government provides is really free. Somebody pays. I'm reminded
    of the satire of the 1950s/60s quote "Hello, I'm from the
    government and here to help you." It made people run away in
    panic.

    Look, it is patently impossible to promote a trillion dollars of
    new social spending no matter how altruisticially it is portrayed
    on the backs of the American taxpaper. Any attempt to raise taxes
    to finance this will make the Great Depression look a time of
    economic prosperity. Thankfully, the nature of our system of
    government and the nature of deficity spending itself will
    prevent a reverse scenario of wretched excess.

    FWIW, who's the leader of your Conservative Party today and when
    was it last the majority party? The pariliamentary form of
    government has at the same time a great advantage and a great
    disadvantage to our form, that of a republic.

    The advantage is that an always majority executive and
    legislative branch ensures full accountabilty, hard to blame the
    other side for failure or gridlock. The disadvantage is the very
    real prospect of any kind of errant policies causing damage
    before it can be reined in. To the extent this is true in any
    given chronoloogy can certainly be debated at great length.

    --
    HP, aka Jerry

    "Efficiency is doing things right, effectiveness is doing the
    right things" - Peter Drucker
    HEMI-Powered, Oct 17, 2008
    #17
  18. Aardvark Guest

    On Fri, 17 Oct 2008 12:42:05 +0000, HEMI-Powered wrote:

    > Aardvark added these comments in the current discussion du jour ...
    >
    >>> Keep in mind, please, is that I'm looking through American binoculars
    >>> here. Can't really speak for you, but IIRC, he was a Conservative so
    >>> I'd not expect you to like him any more than I might've liked Bill
    >>> Clinton of Jimmy Carter.

    >>
    >> No, mate. Tony Blair is now and has been for some years a member of the
    >> Labour Party. His Chancellor of the Exchequer, Gordon Brown, took over
    >> the reins of power and moved into 10 Downing Street when Tony stepped
    >> down from the job. Gordon didn't have to move far, though, as the
    >> Chancellor's official address is 11 Downing Street :)
    >>

    > Then Blair has to be the most conservative Labour leader I've ever heard
    > of! His fiscal policies and war on terror stance belie a traditional
    > left-of-center approach to problems.
    >


    Fiscally, his chancellor did what had to be done to pull the country from
    the economic wreckage that had been caused by the previous 18 years of
    Thatcherite Conservatism. It seems to have worked thus far. Gordon Brown,
    typical financially prudent Scot that he is, was careful with the
    nation's coffers during his time as Chancellor.

    Tony's background is middle class. He and his wife, Cherie, are both
    barristers so he was never a typical Labourite of the traditional type-
    men and women of toil, miners, steelworkers and so on. Thatcher destroyed
    the mines and the steelworks, decimated the power of the Unions and so in
    some way helped to change the old Labour Party into something more
    electable, with more of a middle class support base as there was no
    longer a traditional working class in sufficient numbers to elect them.
    The Labour Party itself underwent massive internal change before the 1997
    election- the loony left, the Trotskyists, the Marxists were all ousted
    and any internecine squabbling put on hold. 'New Labour' was born and it
    was this party that won the landslide victory, something 'old' Labour had
    become increasingly incapable of doing for various reasons.

    As for his willingness to be GWB's poodle, I think he should have the
    cojones that the French and Germans showed in telling Bush to **** off
    with his WMD fairy tales.

    > But, perhaps a generation after Margaret Thatcher, your Labour and
    > Conservatives have shown similar blending to our two parties.


    It seems to me that there is still quite a difference between our two
    main parties. I can walk into the room while a politician I don't
    recognise is being interviewed on TV and can usually tell which of the
    three main parties he represents within a few minutes because of his take
    on things. I have difficulty doing the same with US politicians.

    > It is the
    > approach to problems and issues that are the difference and not
    > patriotism or goodness of the heart.
    >


    Patriotism is a word that figures much more in US politics than those of
    the UK. Whereas the word is bandied about incessantly by your
    politicians. I doubt that I have heard the word spoken more than three
    times in the last fifteen years by any of our mainstream politicians,
    most probably by a Conservative.

    Over here we associate use of the word more with the loony right- the
    football hooligans who hate foreigners and go to European football
    matches waving the Union Jack and beating up Johnny foreigner because-
    well, because he isn't English. They use it ALL the time.

    Past military service is another thing you Americans seem to find
    important. Over here nobody gives a shit what our politicians did or were
    (within reason) before they decided to represent us, as long as they do
    the job for which they were elected. Although the way GWB managed to stay
    well away from Vietnam does speak volumes about the man, but no more so
    than his alcoholism or other addictions. But then again, I like a drink
    and smoke a little weed so who am I to talk? :)

    > Again, here we are seeing a resurgence of "get something for free"
    > because people are fed up with what they perceive are the excesses of a
    > war president and their perceptions right or wrong of the result of
    > fiscal policy. Doesn't matter who is right or wrong here as change is
    > in the wind. Similar to the demise of liberalism under LBJ because of
    > the extremely unpopular Viet Nam war and the obvious failure of the
    > Great Society.
    >


    Some of your people asking what their country can do for THEM again
    instead of what they can do for their country? :)

    > But, I have to fall back on the notion that nothing ANY government
    > provides is really free. Somebody pays. I'm reminded of the satire of
    > the 1950s/60s quote "Hello, I'm from the government and here to help
    > you." It made people run away in panic.
    >


    LOL. Just as that kind of thing would do almost anywhere.

    > Look, it is patently impossible to promote a trillion dollars of new
    > social spending no matter how altruistically it is portrayed on the
    > backs of the American taxpayer. Any attempt to raise taxes to finance
    > this will make the Great Depression look a time of economic prosperity.
    > Thankfully, the nature of our system of government and the nature of
    > deficit spending itself will prevent a reverse scenario of wretched
    > excess.
    >


    Simple. Take it from the military budget :)

    > FWIW, who's the leader of your Conservative Party today and when was it
    > last the majority party? The parliamentary form of government has at
    > the same time a great advantage and a great disadvantage to our form,
    > that of a republic.
    >


    David Cameron. A wordy man of almost no political substance.
    <http://www.davidcameronmp.com/>
    The Tories (the Conservative Party) were in power from 1979 under
    Thatcher up to 1997 and I can't remember who their Prime Minister was at
    that time (possibly John Major?). I'm not interested enough in them to
    check.

    Ponder upon this, if you will: that mad vicious cow Thatcher was a good
    friend of August Pinochet. Don't you think that says it all?

    > The advantage is that an always majority executive and legislative
    > branch ensures full accountability, hard to blame the other side for
    > failure or gridlock. The disadvantage is the very real prospect of any
    > kind of errant policies causing damage before it can be reined in. To
    > the extent this is true in any given chronology can certainly be
    > debated at great length.


    There are checks and balances it place to (usually) prevent a single
    government's excesses. Any Bill that has been passed by the Commons must
    then pass through the Lords for approval.

    --
    Liverpool. European City Of Culture 2008
    http://www.liverpool08.com
    Aardvark, Oct 17, 2008
    #18
  19. Aardvark Guest

    Hehe. I think your capitalism is rubbing off onto me.

    My 18 year-old daughter is a barmaid in a local pub and she asked me to
    iron her uniform because she's in work tonight.

    I refused to do it until she gave me three cigarettes :)

    --
    Liverpool. European City Of Culture 2008
    http://www.liverpool08.com
    Aardvark, Oct 17, 2008
    #19
  20. HEMI-Powered Guest

    Aardvark added these comments in the current discussion du jour
    ....

    >> Then Blair has to be the most conservative Labour leader I've
    >> ever heard of! His fiscal policies and war on terror stance
    >> belie a traditional left-of-center approach to problems.

    >
    > Fiscally, his chancellor did what had to be done to pull the
    > country from the economic wreckage that had been caused by the
    > previous 18 years of Thatcherite Conservatism. It seems to
    > have worked thus far. Gordon Brown, typical financially
    > prudent Scot that he is, was careful with the nation's coffers
    > during his time as Chancellor.


    Aardvark, this is your country. I admit to be rather ignorant of
    it's internal goings on but that isn't quite what my view of
    Margaret Thatcher was or is today.

    But, what I am much more curious about is how members of anything
    called "Labour" any more than anyone with a Blue Team campaign
    sign, could possibly be a fiscal conservative. It just doesn't
    fit the general notion of a far left of center culture.

    > Tony's background is middle class. He and his wife, Cherie,
    > are both barristers so he was never a typical Labourite of the
    > traditional type- men and women of toil, miners, steelworkers
    > and so on. Thatcher destroyed the mines and the steelworks,
    > decimated the power of the Unions and so in some way helped to
    > change the old Labour Party into something more electable,
    > with more of a middle class support base as there was no
    > longer a traditional working class in sufficient numbers to
    > elect them. The Labour Party itself underwent massive internal
    > change before the 1997 election- the loony left, the
    > Trotskyists, the Marxists were all ousted and any internecine
    > squabbling put on hold. 'New Labour' was born and it was this
    > party that won the landslide victory, something 'old' Labour
    > had become increasingly incapable of doing for various
    > reasons.


    So, you're saying that Blair sold out his base, so to speak?

    > As for his willingness to be GWB's poodle, I think he should
    > have the cojones that the French and Germans showed in telling
    > Bush to **** off with his WMD fairy tales.


    There were NO WMD as I've already discussed but my view of why
    your country is our ally - nobody is Bush's poodle and that is
    disparaging, insulting and disrespectful to both Bush and Blair -
    namely, that you need our strategic protection since you gutted
    your own armed forces to futher Socialist aims. Please tell me
    that I've got this wrong, but be prepared to talk about numbers
    of boots on the ground, capital ships at sea, and modern aircraft
    in the skies.

    >> But, perhaps a generation after Margaret Thatcher, your
    >> Labour and Conservatives have shown similar blending to our
    >> two parties.

    >
    > It seems to me that there is still quite a difference between
    > our two main parties. I can walk into the room while a
    > politician I don't recognise is being interviewed on TV and
    > can usually tell which of the three main parties he represents
    > within a few minutes because of his take on things. I have
    > difficulty doing the same with US politicians.


    Yes, I believe there're differences in your two parties same as
    in my two. But, my point is that neither of yours and neither of
    mine really represent their consituents. They both screw all of
    us, just differently.

    >> It is the
    >> approach to problems and issues that are the difference and
    >> not patriotism or goodness of the heart.
    >>

    >
    > Patriotism is a word that figures much more in US politics
    > than those of the UK. Whereas the word is bandied about
    > incessantly by your politicians. I doubt that I have heard the
    > word spoken more than three times in the last fifteen years by
    > any of our mainstream politicians, most probably by a
    > Conservative.
    >
    > Over here we associate use of the word more with the loony
    > right- the football hooligans who hate foreigners and go to
    > European football matches waving the Union Jack and beating up
    > Johnny foreigner because- well, because he isn't English. They
    > use it ALL the time.


    Again, your country, your word and euphemism definitions. But,
    patriotism is still accurate to describe a whole continuum of
    behavior types and not just for military action.

    > Past military service is another thing you Americans seem to
    > find important. Over here nobody gives a shit what our
    > politicians did or were (within reason) before they decided to
    > represent us, as long as they do the job for which they were
    > elected. Although the way GWB managed to stay well away from
    > Vietnam does speak volumes about the man, but no more so than
    > his alcoholism or other addictions. But then again, I like a
    > drink and smoke a little weed so who am I to talk? :)


    Only weasels really care about past accomplishments. I can easily
    cite examples of former presidents with or without military
    backgrounds that had opposite poles of effectiveness as our chief
    executive. However, it is still valid to ask why some do NOT have
    any experience as it more goes to their character and judgment
    then it ever does to useful experience.

    >> Again, here we are seeing a resurgence of "get something for
    >> free" because people are fed up with what they perceive are
    >> the excesses of a war president and their perceptions right
    >> or wrong of the result of fiscal policy. Doesn't matter who
    >> is right or wrong here as change is in the wind. Similar to
    >> the demise of liberalism under LBJ because of the extremely
    >> unpopular Viet Nam war and the obvious failure of the Great
    >> Society.

    >
    > Some of your people asking what their country can do for THEM
    > again instead of what they can do for their country? :)


    YOu need to get that out of your head, it isn't what Kennedy was
    talking about. But, specific to Obama and McCain, it is
    transparently clear how they differ wrt welfare vs self-reliance.

    >> Look, it is patently impossible to promote a trillion dollars
    >> of new social spending no matter how altruistically it is
    >> portrayed on the backs of the American taxpayer. Any attempt
    >> to raise taxes to finance this will make the Great Depression
    >> look a time of economic prosperity. Thankfully, the nature of
    >> our system of government and the nature of deficit spending
    >> itself will prevent a reverse scenario of wretched excess.
    >>

    >
    > Simple. Take it from the military budget :)


    First, the military budget is small in comparison to the
    entitlement needs. Second, if we did that, who would protect YOU
    or NATO? Please, Aardvark, you have to get real here!
    >
    > Ponder upon this, if you will: that mad vicious cow Thatcher
    > was a good friend of August Pinochet. Don't you think that
    > says it all?


    I do not like people who disparage ANY political elected
    officials, but certainly don't share your views of arguably the
    best PM you had in the post-war years.

    >> The advantage is that an always majority executive and
    >> legislative branch ensures full accountability, hard to blame
    >> the other side for failure or gridlock. The disadvantage is
    >> the very real prospect of any kind of errant policies causing
    >> damage before it can be reined in. To the extent this is true
    >> in any given chronology can certainly be debated at great
    >> length.

    >
    > There are checks and balances it place to (usually) prevent a
    > single government's excesses. Any Bill that has been passed by
    > the Commons must then pass through the Lords for approval.
    >

    But, if I understood you correctly, you have no superior document
    for your courts to fall back on to determine excesses that would
    rise to what we call unconstitutional. And, as best I've ever
    been able to determine, the House of Lords isn't at all the same
    thing as our upper house, the Senate, so I don't that their
    traditional roles can overcome an errant Commons, but then,
    that's just my American-centric view of things.

    --
    HP, aka Jerry

    "Efficiency is doing things right, effectiveness is doing the
    right things" - Peter Drucker
    HEMI-Powered, Oct 18, 2008
    #20
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