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Old 02-18-2003, 11:51 AM   #61
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Old 02-18-2003, 12:26 PM   #62
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Damn. How'd I screw up this time?? Sorry.
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Old 02-18-2003, 12:39 PM   #63
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Let me try that one again, maybe this one will make some sense. The Swiss business community is home to alot of talk of cutting a deal with Saddam to leave Iraq, with a democratic form of government installed in Iraq. This idea also has alot of support in the Middle East, far more than the U.S. war idea does. This way the Middle East won't get blown up and they'll get rid of Saddam to boot. I'm no lover of Saddam Hussein. The guy is a . He's treated the Kurds and other Iraqui minorities like . This is not cool. The Swiss business community is hardly noted for any sort of radical political leanings. If you hate taxes and a strong centralized government, you'll love Switzerland. They only pay 10% of their taxes to a centralized government. They also have a damn good idea for solving the crisis in Iraq if you ask me.
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Old 02-18-2003, 01:01 PM   #64
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You actually meant that serious! Wow.

Never heard of the Swiss business community. What about a website to provide more info on this exile option?

Plus, would a majority of Iraqis agree (I think maybe yes)?

Plus, how should the operation be planned and executed?
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Old 02-18-2003, 01:22 PM   #65
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Originally posted by whenhiphopdrovethebigcars
You actually meant that serious! Wow.

Never heard of the Swiss business community. What about a website to provide more info on this exile option?

Plus, would a majority of Iraqis agree (I think maybe yes)?

Plus, how should the operation be planned and executed?

I read about it in the news. Sorry, don't remember the source. For shame. The report mentioned business people in Geneva, Zurich, and Zug, the canton that's home to the richest man in Switzerland. This was after they won a petition for tax cuts. For more information ask the Swiss.
*need to research the damn thing, right??*
*now you know why I belong in PLEBA*
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Old 02-18-2003, 01:25 PM   #66
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Maybe you belong in PLEBA too (unlike me) but you belong in FYM as well, imo. Stay with us! We got a lot of good stuff going on
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Old 02-18-2003, 01:39 PM   #67
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Maybe you belong in PLEBA too (unlike me) but you belong in FYM as well, imo. Stay with us! We got a lot of good stuff going on

Thanks! I'm starting my research. Good grief, there must be a hundred political parties in Switzerland. Their names are in four languages, too, none of which I speak. Seriously there are at least twenty parties! Good grief! Democracy is alive and well in this country!!
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Old 02-18-2003, 01:46 PM   #68
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I should mention that I'm currently taking killer cold pills for a flu attack. Flu is an occupational hazard for a library worker. It's probably causing brain damage. I haven't mentioned that I do hate Saddam as much as anybody, think he's a and needs to get his kicked.
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Old 02-18-2003, 05:35 PM   #69
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The fun thing about Switzerland is that, like you say, they got one of the most democratic systems in the world. Which means that they have got a civil society which really takes part in politics. Many many issues are decided upon voting, its not only the government they vote on, and then (like in very many systems) this government does what it wants throughout all the election period. No, for nearly every important issue politicians have to ask all the country! This is expensive, but the Swiss society can afford this organization, and its well worth it.
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Old 02-18-2003, 06:15 PM   #70
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Originally posted by whenhiphopdrovethebigcars
The fun thing about Switzerland is that, like you say, they got one of the most democratic systems in the world. Which means that they have got a civil society which really takes part in politics. Many many issues are decided upon voting, its not only the government they vote on, and then (like in very many systems) this government does what it wants throughout all the election period. No, for nearly every important issue politicians have to ask all the country! This is expensive, but the Swiss society can afford this organization, and its well worth it.
It is cool. The thing that makes researching Switzerland so darn hard is the fact that it has 24 educational systems, one for each canton, and they're all in a language I don't read!! Each canton sort of has its own spin on the country's history. A friend of my dad's is from Switzerland. He knows everything there is to know about the place. He's the one who told me about the tax cut petition in Zug. They got enough signatures, and by God, they got a huge cut in their taxes. I was a history major in school, and Switzerland was one tough place to research for a linguistic klutz.
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Old 02-19-2003, 03:24 AM   #71
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For a brief period in the 80s there were 2743 Benetton stores per block in most big cities; then they all went away. Before the tide receded I bought one jacket with big pointy 80s shoulders - very Jetsonesque. It was the only item they ever sold I liked. I didn’t miss them when they went away. Few did. Whatever ache their departure created was filled by the Gap, which provided plain simple American clothes more suited to our national temperment - jeans, white shirts, sturdy sweaters. Benetton’s “controversial” ads came later, and for most of us in flyoverland they seemed like tourism brochures from a country that didn’t exist anymore.

The other day I saw some Benetton ads featuring liberated Afghanis - one showed a young woman who, according to the copy, could now go to school. I was curious if Benetton had put out ads protesting the Afghan war, and was now piggybacking on the fall of the Taliban to sell some sweaters. I didn’t find anything, but Google spat up a profile in the Grauniad about Berlusconi. It made me grin:


Oliviero Toscani, former creative director of Benetton, first met the new prime minister in the 1960s, when Berlusconi was starting in the construction business. "The key to him is that he's a guy of the 1950s," Toscani says. "The 1960s went over his head. Tony Blair and even George Bush are hippies compared with him. His big dream is Frank Sinatra in Pal Joey: the lover, the yachts, the songs, the white silk scarf, the hat tilted back, the jokes. He is very charismatic, but that kind of person can be dangerous for a democracy.”

Yeah, whatever. Democracies are ever in peril from guys who like jokes, songs and Sinatra, because that’s just the sort of thing that leads to death camps and suspension of elections. Start gassin’ the Jews / I’m leader today / I’ll make a brand new Reich of it / in old New York. The key lines are: “he’s a guy of the 1950s. The 1960s went over his head.”

Over his head. The complex, subtle nature of ‘68, with its riots and tear gas and sit-ins and rain of paving stones escaped him. Unlike the rest of the European leaders who came of age in that spasm of adolescent pique, he takes his cues from the post-war / pre-68 idea of manhood: boozy charm and finger-snapping cool, coat draped over the shoulder. Hey, pally.

Of course he sides with America.

Caveats: I don’t like Sinatra much; I think he’s overrated. I like his earlier material, when he was Frankie, not Frank. (I really don’t have much time for Liza, but her version of “New York New York” taken from Scorcese’s movie of the same name, is the version of the song, period, end of discussion; Sinatra just walks through it.) The Rat Pack holds no particular charm for me either - they were smirky overgrown boys, selfish, drunken, casually cruel. That’s what we know now, anyway. But at the time they summed up the post-war, post-Ike, pre-hippie male Id - they were cynical but romantic (meaning, they knew how to get dames like Angie Dickinson into the hay), they were loose and playful without being silly and ridiculous. They looked as sharp as sharks and drank like fishes. They had steak for breakfast and lobster for supper, and when the dessert came it was on a silver cart, brother, and it had better be on fire. If you couldn’t light your Winston from your peaches flambé, well, what was the point of being an American, anyway?

If this is your model, of course the 60s will go “over your head.” The appeal of sitting around in a garrett printing up Che posters and listening to the Byrds will not be immediately apparent.

It reminds you that there are several concepts of America to which people respond - the classical Founding-Father model, with the sour-faced guys in white stockings proclaiming universal rights; the unapologetic post-war era of boozy alpha-male swank; and the modern youth & consumerism model that appalls the anti-globos and transfixes those who live under punitive regimes. We’re all these things at once. We’re the Axis of Elvis.

I didn’t write anything about the weekend rallies because - well - what is there to say, really? There are people out there who think the US is equivalent to Nazi Germany, and have the placards to prove it. What a shock. I did write something about a sad photo that showed a young kid with a placard reminding us that “Israel has weapons of mass destruction too” but the fact that some people twist their kids to believe this swinish drivel isn’t a surprise, either. More to the point - If Israel did not have nukes, and the Arab states were building up armies right now and threatening a war, you wouldn’t see millions in the street protesting; many of those people capering about for “peace” would feel a red trill of glee in their hearts if Syrian forces crashed into Tel Aviv.

No surprise: there are lots of people out there whose viewpoint I find contemptible. The West is the problem, they insist. The US is the locus of perfidy. A mad cabal of oilmen and Jews jerk the string of a jug-eared dullard so they can kill Iraqi babies. And so forth. I know, I know, not everyone in the rally believes this, perhaps not even most. Just because the Spartacists march in your rally and hold up signs supporting North Korea doesn’t mean anyone else believes in their twisted cause. But mass movements have a way of being hijacked by the ardent few, the ones who are damned dead serious about overturning the established order and oiling up the guillotine to deal with the undecided. Their work is made easier by comfortable dilettantes who think it’s funny to call Bush a Nazi - or who march without comment beside someone who does.

The Spartacists won’t prevail; I’m not suggesting that we saw Western liberal democracies dissolving before our eyes. There are millions in Europe who hate the US - oh, stop the presses. There are millions of people who believe that tyrants should always be handled with the delicate tongs of democracy - well, blow me down. “It is time to think about human rights, not money” I heard one French protester say on the news. “War is not the answer to war.” If it weren’t for the autonomous nervous system, some of these people would die because they’re too stupid to remember to breathe. War is always the answer to war if war is brought down upon you. Evil requires resistance. If a man in a crowd grabs your child from your arms, you do not wonder what brought him to this moment, or petition the city council for a resolution requiring him to hand over the skeletons of his previous victims. You stab him in the eyeball with your car keys.

No, no, no, NO; I’m not saying all antiwar voices are vile or imbecilic. As I keep saying over and over and over again there are sensible arguments against the war, and while I don’t agree with them I understand how smart, reasonable people believe that war is not the proper course. To be honest, though: lately I say this more out of habit than conviction. It’s become something I feel obligated to say, because I do want to make a distinction between the sensible dissenters and the moral cripples who superimpose Bush’s face on bin Laden’s head and proclaim the president the real terrorist. But the dissenters’ arguments grow thinner every day. No amount of Iraqi intransigence will dissuade the antiwar crowd from their belief that inspections will find everything eventually. They seem to think the US will apply the requisite military pressure for however many years it takes to disarm Iraq. Even if we find all the bugs, all the poison juice and nuke fuel, their best-case scenario still leaves Saddam and his sons in power. Yes, I’ve heard the argument that lifting the sanctions will lead to a prosperous society that will rise up and overthrow Saddam. Someday.

It'll be on page A8 of your paper: Iraqi unrest underscores Uday's difficulty in asserting his authority. Six years later in the New Yorker we'll read an account of the uprising, complete with smuggled photos of a chemical attack on a rebellious Shiite city.

There was an editorial in the Strib last Saturday that summed it up for me - it stated with perfect clarity the mindset I cannot share. It concerned Powell’s impassioned remarks at the UN, and concluded with these words:

In effect, Powell should challenge the Security Council to call Saddam’s bluff. If unity can’t be achieved around such an approach, the United States and its coalition partners might have no choice but to strike at Iraq.

So far so good. No argument from me. But now comes the stunner:

But the dangers of doing so without UN approval are so grave and real that they approach in seriousness the possibility that Saddam is still in possession of weapons of mass destruction.

This. Makes. No. Sense. It’s not even apples and oranges; it’s apples and grenades. Do any of us doubt that Saddam has weapons capable of making thousands of human beings double over, geyser blood from their mouths and die in asphyxiated agony? No? Well, consider this: deposing this dead-eyed sociopath and his thuggish clan of rape-happy killers might be right, but doing so without a grudging thumbs-up from his European trading partners approaches in seriousness the possibility that Saddam is still in possession of WMD.

If you believe this, you see two visions of the future: in one, Saddam is defeated, his weapons destroyed, his people freed. In the other, you see the UN reduced to irrelevance.

And you can’t quite decide which one is worse.
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Old 02-19-2003, 07:18 AM   #72
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Nice peace of propaganda, us3. Good to know you didn´t write that yourself. Typical journalist stuff, like

"Start gassin’ the Jews / I’m leader today / I’ll make a brand new Reich of it / in old New York. The key lines are: “he’s a guy of the 1950s. The 1960s went over his head.”"

"A mad cabal of oilmen and Jews jerk the string of a jug-eared dullard so they can kill Iraqi babies."

"If it weren’t for the autonomous nervous system, some of these people would die because they’re too stupid to remember to breathe."

“Israel has weapons of mass destruction too” but the fact that some people twist their kids to believe this swinish drivel isn’t a surprise, either."

"a distinction between the sensible dissenters and the moral cripples"

This journalist knows very well how to manipulate his readers.

The first effect of this article is that you feel coooool, because with all those 50s remarks, hey we are the boys, oh and the Benetton stuff, he neither knows 68, like

1) I don´t like Sinatra much, I think he´s overrated (wow! I am cooler than Sinatra!),

2) the classical Founding-Father model, with the sour-faced guys in white stockings ´(we all know they´re outdated, thats history, innit, but we are cooler than sour faces and white stockings, after all we´re modern)

and so on, blargh blargh.

It gives you the general impression: yeah, yeah... those words are so well written in their cynicism, I am as cooool as this journalist, so I agree with what he says.

The second manipulation is the aggressivity in the words, I have posted some examples above. This aggressivity makes you angry, somewhere, inside. Angry on Saddam. Angry on Iraq. Angry with the peaceniks who don´t know what they´re talking about, bc after all the journalist and me are the cool ones, we know the ways this world is turning, we know what its about.

Congratulations, us3, for eating that piece of shit.

The author has surely read a lot by Goebbels.

I got another scene: The UN not being reduced to irrelevance, and Saddam attacked by Iraqis, not by the US.
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Old 02-19-2003, 07:39 AM   #73
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And another question, us3:

James Lileks? Never heard of that guy, but he really pisses me off. Which hole did he creep out? Didn´t know MPLS had shit like that.
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Old 02-19-2003, 11:57 PM   #74
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Whoa, whenhiphopdrovethebigcars! I'm not a moderator or anything, so I am not trying to scold you, but isn't that a bit harsh to accuse us3 of "eating shit" for merely posting, or even potentially agreeing with, an article that you do NOT agree with? To me that article is no different that the satirically offensive Michael Moore columns that liberal Americans post and conservative Americans cringe at, or the Marxist-inspired Arundhati Roy coumns that international leftists post that even strike a disaffectionate chord with American liberals.

I've been reading this page as I can lately, but not posting much. I can fully understand the anti-war sentiment that is prevalent around here; in fact, I expect it. But I find the trend of encouraging a suppression of "pro-war" or "pro-military action" or "pro-U.S." thoughts to be a bit disturbing and disappointing. It is not coming from the moderators or administrators and fortunately I do not see them following through on it. But quite often, left-leaning members will post something and attempt to LIMIT what kind of responses someone can counter it with.

Too often I have seen people post something and go ahead and single sting2 out and tell him, in other words, not to post his usual rationale (violation of UN resolutions). I admit we are all familiar with sting2's reasons for supporting a pre-emptive strike on Iraq, but those ARE his reasons for it. Yes, it is only ONE SET of reasons, but it has consistenly been his reasoning and he feels that it justifies military action. He has not changed it nor come up with anything new, and I do not see any need to for this reason:

Sting2 may have only ONE single reason to support action against Iraq (I have other, completely different reasons than sting2 & President Bush), but there are usually MANY risks to taking an action, so all of you who disagree with him will undoubtedly have a laundry list of reasons, all of which I consider valid and worthy of consideration and debate.

Why don't you just ask sting2 to leave the web-based community known as www.interference.com? or seek to have him banned? Oh, I forgot, he hasn't committed any violation aside from remaining consistent with his opinion, thus, "repeating the same old propaganda" in every thread about Iraq.

Some of you have been "pre-emptively" telling conservatives not to post in your threads and what-not; you can say what you want in your threads and attempt to fashion them as you wish (I guess), but maybe you shouldn't post such threads in a forum called "Free Your Mind." Maybe we should set up a forum called "Brain Fart" or something, I don't know.

I admit - I have seen many of my conservative brethren "misbehave" as well over the 2.5 years I have been around here. Some left, some were banned, some are still around and I even lose my edge sometimes and get pissed off. Some pop in at the most random times (whatever happened to Lemonite anyway?). I cannot make excuses for such behavior nor will attempt to "spin" it. That is not my art. My art is playing the guitar and I cannot do that right now because I have 6 stitches in my left hand and that is the hand with which I form chords; all I can form is an E minor.

I recall a day when a potpourri of interferencers such as 80sU2IsBest, bonovista, Crzy4bono, melon, trash can, and numerous, numerous others - all of whom had different views - could discuss divisive issues in a classy manner because they all considered each other to be friends. Today, I see people pointing out that they are NOT friends in here. I miss the spirit of friendship in this place. I sould also like to state that it sickens met to see someone whom I have always respected and enjoyed attack a banned interferencer behind their back. But I think this was addressed by an excellent administrator in another forum.

I have no anger or hatred or vengeance towards any of you. I love this place and I love everyone in this forum and do not wish harm on anyone in the world. We just have different opinions on solutions to world crises, and I think it would be much better to civilly debate issues and allow ALL sides to present their cases (there are never TWO sides to a story - there are usually MANY sides). Anything else is a personal form of censorship.

Let me quote with one of my favorite quotes from a modern-day politician, spoken at a climax of bitter partisanship in the halls of the U.S. Senate:

What is sorely needed around here is much more getting along and much less getting even. The poisonous partisanship that has pervaded this place on both sides of the aisle must end.

-Senator Zell Miller, Democrat from Georgia, May 23, 2001


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Old 02-20-2003, 12:16 AM   #75
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