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Everything posted by Clarkkent

  1. Gary For all that you pour scorn on the Daily Mail portrayal of the EU, you seem to have swallowed its philosophy whole without chewing. Would you like to explain, clearly, how exactly the United Kingdom "has been destroyed socially, economically & culturally over the past 15 years or so"? For what it is worth, a psephologist on Radio 4 yesterday considered that any referendum on EU membership would probably result in continued membership. At the moment there appears to be 48% in favour of staying and 42% in favour of leaving. Clear statements about the effect of leaving on employment, investment etc may well increase those in favour of staying.
  2. Talk about being quick off the mark ... Wikipedia describes Depardieu as being "a French born Russian actor".
  3. So, following this thread http://services.completefrance.com/forums/completefrance/cs/forums/2838063/ShowPost.aspx The BBC reports that Vladimir Putin has signed a decree giving Gerard Depardieu Russian citizenship.
  4. [quote user="ericd"][quote user="Clarkkent"] Do the French do loyalty schemes than us  .... ? [/quote] ???....Would you like to repeat this question in English ????...[8-)] [/quote] Forgive me for my delay in replying. My life has recently been filled with sadness and I am returning to this forum now for therapy and diversion.   "Do the French do loyalty schemes better than us?"
  5. [quote user="just john "] First the Beeb,  BBC-management-was-completely-incapable-of-dealing-with-Savile-row. now the police,  say-hello-to-the-police-federation-wave-goodbye-to-automatic-respect/ I once thought at least we had some respected honourable institutions. [/quote] Why do you think we do not have respected honourable institutions? Does one swallow only make a Spring? The BBC is working hard to put its house in order, and there is the possibility of a rogue police office being prosecuted for misconduct. Do you not realise that there are 60 million other inhabitants of the United Kingdom? Or are they all tarred by the brush of a tiny, tiny minority? I am not saying that unfortunate, even shaming, incidents to not occur from time to time - even in the most respected of institutions, but that is no reason for your (no doubt, blue top inspired) leap into melancholic hyperbole. Incidents are reported because they are rarities, not commonplace.  
  6. [quote user="Cendrillon"]I like the French discount for Seniors on the trains, 1/3 off without needing to buy / own a railcard. However U.K. Senior Bus Pass is excellent, long may it last. [/quote] I got my railcard with Tesco Clubcard points. Do the French do loyalty schemes than us  .... ?
  7. [quote user="Quillan"]I think that for many, rightly or wrongly, when you mention guns and gun ownership they always think of America.[/quote] We tend to look upon the American political system as similar to ours - but on a larger scale. We couldn't be more wrong. In terms of sheer political power, Barack Obama can only look upon David Cameron with undisguised envy. The US constitution was designed to place power in the hands of the people not in those of government. In addition, it was designed to limit the action of the executive by separating the three main branches of government. The second amendment to the constitution gives the right of individuals to bear arms in order to maintain a militia (in other words to permit the quick organisation of an armed defence force). Because interpretation of the constitution is strictly literal, the Supreme Court has on (I believe) two occasions determined that this means that anyone can own firearms. In a country with a population approaching 300 million, it is difficult to identify the power held by individuals. What has happened is that individuals with a cause have grouped together to form pressure groups advocating their particular cause. And the more money a pressure group has, the better it can exert pressure:  mainly by "buying" politicians - politicians require funding for their election campaigns. America seems to be in a constant state of electioneering and electioneering is expensive, so a quid pro quo develops where politicians have financial backers who expect their agendas to be supported. Thus it is with "socialised medicine" being opposed by commercial interests, and reform of the gun laws by the NRI and the hunting lobby. There is no major source of money to support the abolition of the second amendment. Someone earlier suggested that Obama does not have the guts to reform the gun ownership laws. Not really so, it is constitutionall impossible for him to do so. In the first place, the separation of powers means that he can only suggest to the legislature that it changes the law, and in the second place, the legislature contains too many politicians committed to their supporters interests. Now, if the funding of political campaigns could be changed ... And in the meantime, there will other mass shootings by deranged malcontents.
  8. [quote user="DerekJ"]  ... Obama (or any other US politician) doesn't have the gonads to legislate ...[/quote] It isn't Obama's role to legislate. All he can do is propose. Legislation is the role of Congress. And with a substantial majority held by the Republicans in the House, there is no real prospect for any contentious legislation being enacted. Gun control IS contentious. Americans seem to believe that the right to bear arms is a constitutional right. The second amendment was about ensuring the nascent USA had an army, not a means of ... well ... population control. What offends me is the implied belief that the lives of children are less important than an eighteenth century "fix" to ensure that an army could be mobilised.
  9. Sorry - duplicate post. Entered in error.
  10. Which is more important in the American ethos: "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" or "the right to bear arms"?
  11. I'm not concerned about the appropriateness of the remarks, just considering that, in this litigious age, it might be wiser to avoid speculating on something of which we have no direct knowledge. 
  12.  I did however like the comment in typical Fox style at the end of the 'piece' "Lawmaker Keith Vaz", yeah right like, I don't think so. You have to think like an American to understand this, Q. Keith Vaz is a Member of Parliament - hence a member of the legislative branch of government - hence a lawmaker. Montesquieu - separation of powers. I have no knowledge of Mr Vaz's motives in this matter and would prefer not to run the risk of libelling him should it become clear that his motives are other than those of gutter press speculation.
  13. [quote user="Rabbie"] .... Guns per se are not the problem ...[/quote] The justification of the NRA. This always troubles me. A gun has no other purpose than to kill. So why let anyone whose legitimate purpose does not include a legal permission to kill have one? It isn't as if the USA does not have a well-regulated militia ...
  14. They are better at the indiscriminate slaughter of living things (including themselves) in the name of sport.
  15. [quote user="betty"]Flt Lt Sir Patrick Moore RAF (Retd) [/quote] Flt Lt Sir Patrick Moore FRS RAF (Retd) Fellow of the Royal Society .... and an amateur.
  16. I watched The Sky at Night on Monday, which, as usual, featured an appearance by Patrick. It saddens me to think that we shall not see him again. They don't make 'em like him anymore.
  17. It seems to me that a mature nation should be able to select its own figurehead rather than be saddled with someone whose only qualification was birth. When people look at republican systems they tend to imagine that executive presidencies, like those existing in the USA and France, are the only type. Just because the USA has an expensive presidential infrastructure it doesn't mean that every has to have one. One problem with the American presidency is that its legal basis, the Constitution, is an archaic mess - a rather ramshackle set of provisions designed for an earlier time - which pits the executive into a constant struggle with the legislature for the exercise of power. Non-executive presidencies - such as those in Germany and Ireland - are can be equally appropriate. The idea that a GB presidency would be a vehicle to provide absolute power to a faded politician is misguided. I would hope that a GB president would be elected on the basis of his or her humanity, and I see no reason why, if there were a vacancy at the present time, Mrs Elizabeth Mountbatten should not offer herself as a candidate. ************************************************************************   Getting back to the subject of this thread: This tragic situation may not have happened if the media hadn't decided that a pregnancy should be a reason for a circus, and if "clever" radio presenters in Australia hadn't thought it was an opportunity for a jolly jape. As others have pointed out, we don't know what else was happning in Jacintha's life, but if this prank were the prime reason, then our obsession with private details of other's private lives is a major contribution.
  18. Oops - double post. Why is the time limit for removing duplicate posts on this forum set in milliseconds?
  19. [quote user="You can call me Betty"][quote user="Clarkkent"] The real problem here is the fact that a healthy married woman of child bearing age becoming pregnant should be considered newsworthy. [/quote] Yeah, and if either member of that couple where he's in his 90's and she's in her late 80's dies, let's hope the press see it for what it is, eh?[;-)] [/quote]   And perhaps we could then become a Republic.
  20. It's amazing what you can do when dressed in a dog costume. Didn't Esther Rantzen do something like this on one of her That's Life programmes a few decades ago?
  21. [quote user="Bugsy"]I spent 25 years of my life in the NHS many as fairly senior management. Anyone who seriously believes that she hadn't been taken to task by some manager in that hospital is dreaming. The whole system is based on a 'blame someone else - cover my own ar se' situation. Its just so sad.[/quote] But this wasn't NHS - it was a private hospital. The hospital management have said that they were giving the nurse support. It may be, of course, that this is a post hoc position that they have adopted. The real problem here is the fact that a healthy married woman of child bearing age becoming pregnant should be considered newsworthy.
  22. [quote user="Pierre ZFP"]Isn't a latte just an expensive way or buying air as it consists mostly of foam? [/quote] No. It's hot milk with coffee - I understand that in Italy it is supposed to be a children's drink. In Portugal there is a version called galao which is favoured by English tourists.
  23. What happened to the separation between religion and state? It looks as though some of the worst features of "multiculturalism" have arrived in France! True multiculturalism would involve muslim parents accepting the traditions of their adopted country and using them as a source of personal cultural enrichment.
  24. I think that you will find that the bottle colour is determined by the brand of gas. Is your gas bottle kept outside in a cage, with flexible tube goint to the appliance? If so, then it should be propane. If inside the house in a normally ventilated kitchen it will be butane.
  25. In the Rotherham result, the Conservatives came fifth - behind not only Labour and UKIP, but also Respect and the BNP. The turnout was 33%. It would seem that race must have been a significant issue in the minds of many of the voters. In addition, it was the location of last week's news story about UKIP membership making people unsuitable for fostering. The odious Farage must have milked for all it was worth.  
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