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Polak
21-06-11, 15:14
Okay so I had no reason to write your momma I just wanted to have a topic title that was not just the name of a person.

I am not American and I know many people on here are not although some are, but I have thought on Obama and to be fair they are negative.

Firstly I think that he was elected unfairly but I can go in to more detail about that if someone asks.

Secondly despite being a nice guy, I think he is, from where I am sitting he does not seem to have done much but perhaps someone from the US can give clarity on the issue and give us a list of thing he has done in the US. From what I know he shut down a 'torture facility/prison' and despite that proving very popular, that is just about it. Osama Bin Laden's death will probably be added to his CV as well although I feel that has got very little to do with him, it just so happens that they found Bin Laden at the time of Obama's reign. He is not the head of the military and does not tell them where to look and what strategies to take, so it is not his achievement. Perhaps he has done a lot in America, I might not know about it, but there was so much hype and so much emotion when he was chosen, he was being treated like some saviour or something. Well, is American better, have things drastically improved or was it just a hype balloon that got pumped up a lot and is soon to burst? I think so.

Super Badnik
21-06-11, 16:05
Not American so I don't have any strong feelings. But it seems to me as though he came into office on a wave of mega-hype and since hasn't really matched up to expectation. Thats not in comparison to past Presidents, but in comparison to the Obama Presidency that was "sold" to us during the election campaign. I suppose he had the health care reforms but from what I have heard its not as a big a deal as first thought, at any case it wasn't universal healthcare. And shutting down Guantanamo never happened. Having said that now since he has been in power it seems as though Obama hysteria has just gotten much worse, although it seems it has died down more recently.

patriots88888
21-06-11, 16:30
I'm not his #1 fan, that is for sure. However, I'm not convinced anyone else who was running at that time would be doing much better. Let's face the facts, the Republican party was going down the crapper fast and weren't delivering much on their own end *(except for the myriad of problems left behind and a bunch of public relations disasters)* and I believe the majority of the voting public was fed up with that as much as I was, thus Obama became this nations 44th president.

* Bush and his cohorts were so out of touch with the American (as well as the global) public it wasn't even funny.

larafan25
21-06-11, 16:32
Well I guess you never really have an exact idea of how things work and what money goes where until you are the president. So I'm sure some plans then fall to the wayside.

Mad Tony
21-06-11, 16:52
How was Obama elected unfairly?

For the record, I'm not a big fan of him at all, although as a Brit I can only really comment properly on his foreign policies.

Avalon SARL
21-06-11, 19:00
I don't care for politicians and not a fan of politicians no matter who they are, whatever country they are from,but Like Mad Tony pointed, how was Obama elected unfairly?

Super Badnik
21-06-11, 19:01
I don't get the elected unfairly thing either. Its not something about his birth certificate again, is it?

patriots88888
21-06-11, 19:04
I guess we'll have to wait for Polak's return to get the answer to that.

Mad Tony
21-06-11, 19:05
I think it could be argued Obama had an advantage in that he was black. While I don't think he used this at all it's my understanding that his supporters did. "You don't support Obama just because you're racist", that kind of thing. I don't think that contributed to his victory much though and that certainly doesn't count as being elected unfairly.

Vanni
21-06-11, 19:07
I'm fine with him. All I have to say is that if Sarah Palin becomes president, I moving to the UK with you guys. :tea:

x

patriots88888
21-06-11, 19:13
I don't get the elected unfairly thing either. Its not something about his birth certificate again, is it?

Ya know, maybe that is why Polak chose the '...Your Momma' thread title. He is clever like that. :pi:

Super Badnik
21-06-11, 19:26
Ya know, maybe that is why Polak chose the '...Your Momma' thread title. He is clever like that. :pi:Oh, clever. :p

godmodder
21-06-11, 19:29
To be honest, I couldn't care less who the president of the United States is. There appears to be a huge and mighty empire over the ocean in the west, but I'll probably never even set a foot on that land. The influence of the man on my life is very small and the influence of me on his life non-existant.

Having said that, I wonder why everyone is so keen on discussing America's leader all the time. I mean, we have a president here in Europe too, but nobody seems to give the guy any attention. And for a good reason, because it's mostly the people behind him that do all the real work.

Super Badnik
21-06-11, 19:33
To be honest, I couldn't care less who the president of the United States is. There appears to be a huge and mighty empire over the ocean in the west, but I'll probably never even set a foot on that land. The influence of the man on my life is very small and the influence of me on his life non-existant.

Having said that, I wonder why everyone is so keen on discussing America's leader all the time. I mean, we have a president here in Europe too, but nobody seems to give the guy any attention. And for a good reason, because it's mostly the people behind him that do all the real work.Well what are you going to say about the President of Europe. "I really disapprove of that President, he's lost my vote... oh wait". :o

godmodder
21-06-11, 19:41
I don't know if you're familiar with the institution of the EU, but each country sends their own representatives that were elected by the people. So if your country elects some people to represent you in the EU, then depending on the strategical/economic/military importance of your country, each of them would have a chance at becoming the EU president. It's a different system ofcourse, but it's not like the EU president is just randomly chosen or something.

The thing is: Barack Obama doesn't have much more power than the EU president. Ok, he can do some cool stuff, but for the most part he has to follow the play like everyone else. Just look at his healthcare reform. We all know what the plans were, and what has become of them today. So I really don't see why Obama has to be in the spotlight everyday when he's actually not that important. I mean: he's on the television, in the newspaper all the time and I'm basically tired of the guy's face ok, I admit it. I won't even start about the fact America is playing police officer all over the world in places it has got no business (Libya e.g.).

To summarize: Barack Obama != really important for non-americans
That's the message I wanted to express. Americans feel free to bash me now, as you're living in a free country *ahem*.

Cochrane
21-06-11, 20:42
To be honest, I couldn't care less who the president of the United States is. There appears to be a huge and mighty empire over the ocean in the west, but I'll probably never even set a foot on that land. The influence of the man on my life is very small and the influence of me on his life non-existant.

Having said that, I wonder why everyone is so keen on discussing America's leader all the time. I mean, we have a president here in Europe too, but nobody seems to give the guy any attention. And for a good reason, because it's mostly the people behind him that do all the real work.

I think we should really pay more attention the EU commission and its president. It's really an outrage what stuff they get away with, just because nobody notices it until the decision has already been made. I'm very much in favor of european unification, but the EU as an institution? That needs a lot of work, to say the least, and a lot more involvement by the public. As for the EU president, no, we have no say. Governments all over Europe use the European Commission to dump people they don't really like, but that are too powerful to just throw away. Our german EU commissioner certainly did not get the job because of his great qualifications or because the german or in fact any people wanted him there.

But let's go back a bit here, to Obama. His power may seem limited. He arguably hasn't done much with it, at least not much that could be noticed. But nevertheless, he still holds enormous power. He decides over war or peace, even in our european front yard. Yes, the fighting in Libya is a joint international effort (minus Germany. Not sure how I feel about that), but if the US had said "We don't want that", then there would not have been a war with Libya.

He is also in charge of a huge economy, one that is mostly important as a market for selling stuff. American economic policies decide very directly how much money european factories make. The crisis that started in the US swept over all countries (although how long it lasted clearly varied). No president is able to steer this around on his own, obviously, but the federal government sets taxes, conditions for loans and so on, and so has a very direct influence on how much the american people can spend.

The president of the US has less power than many think, and I definitely object to him being called "The Leader of the Free World". But I don't think you should underestimate him.

Mad Tony
21-06-11, 21:54
Well what are you going to say about the President of Europe. "I really disapprove of that President, he's lost my vote... oh wait". :oHaha, good one. :vlol: :D

To be honest, I couldn't care less who the president of the United States is. There appears to be a huge and mighty empire over the ocean in the west, but I'll probably never even set a foot on that land. The influence of the man on my life is very small and the influence of me on his life non-existant.

Having said that, I wonder why everyone is so keen on discussing America's leader all the time. I mean, we have a president here in Europe too, but nobody seems to give the guy any attention. And for a good reason, because it's mostly the people behind him that do all the real work.It's because America is currently the world's most powerful country, whose leader exerts a lot of influence of world affairs. Far more than the European president, who doesn't have that much influence in international affairs at all. It's the presidents/prime ministers of the individual European nations who have the power. Let's hope it stays that way too.

I don't know if you're familiar with the institution of the EU, but each country sends their own representatives that were elected by the people. So if your country elects some people to represent you in the EU, then depending on the strategical/economic/military importance of your country, each of them would have a chance at becoming the EU president. It's a different system ofcourse, but it's not like the EU president is just randomly chosen or something.The EU isn't democratic at all. Completely different from electing a president in the US or a prime minister here in the UK. The whole thing's a mess.

The thing is: Barack Obama doesn't have much more power than the EU president. Ok, he can do some cool stuff, but for the most part he has to follow the play like everyone else. Just look at his healthcare reform. We all know what the plans were, and what has become of them today. So I really don't see why Obama has to be in the spotlight everyday when he's actually not that important. I mean: he's on the television, in the newspaper all the time and I'm basically tired of the guy's face ok, I admit it.But he is quite important, as are the likes of David Cameron and Angela Merkel. They all get far more attention than the EU president for the reason I explained above. Even your makeshift government gets more attention than the EU president, and it's not like Belgium is a significant player on then world stage either.

I won't even start about the fact America is playing police officer all over the world in places it has got no business (Libya e.g.).Read up on the situation a bit more. Other countries (not just America) do have business in Libya. It's not so much about playing police officer as it is about stopping mindless slaughter. Anyway, the Libya intervention was primarily the idea of the British and the French (and I'm proud of that). Libya is actually a good example of how it's the leaders of individual EU nations and not the EU president that shape the world. When some of the Europe's most powerful countries want to change something in a dictatorship overseas what happens? They don't stand behind the EU president who nobody actually cares about, they get themselves down to the UN and do it themselves.

TheCoolJazz
21-06-11, 23:15
This topic made me lol because in Hebrew "barack" Means lightning xD
"Lightning your momma"

Capt. Murphy
22-06-11, 02:51
The reason Barry 'O was elected unfairly was due to the HYPE he received by the media. He wasn't so much elected as he was 'selected' (sounds familiar doesn't it? 'W' vs Gore, close count in FL.) And that's all about propaganda. Like sheep-dogs herding sheep into a pen. We're given some choices, like a 3 card monty game. Find the queen (or O'Bama) 'cause "Change is uh coming!" We think we're going to have a choice, but we're really being given/fed what THEY want us to eat (e.g. 'Vote for').

But all the bases are covered anyway. Whoever does manage to get elected - they're really all in the same camp.

'Bama made promises during his campaign that he's all but forgot about. Like his cabinet being filled with wall-street lobbyists.... And really. Why do we need to be in (occupying) other countries? How and why do these messes start that we 'America' have to step in? I'm not bashing our troops or anything like that. They're just serving their country, and that's honorable. So don't get me wrong.

America wouldn't have much of a role in this world if it weren't for the Military/Industrial complex. The person we put in charge makes* it all happen. Republican OR Democrat. :wve:

"makes"... Being the puppet of the Global Elites who gave us (or directed us with propaganda) that particular choice to vote for and set them into power.

Mad Tony
22-06-11, 09:50
The reason Barry 'O was elected unfairly was due to the HYPE he received by the media. He wasn't so much elected as he was 'selected' (sounds familiar doesn't it? 'W' vs Gore, close count in FL.) And that's all about propaganda. Like sheep-dogs herding sheep into a pen. We're given some choices, like a 3 card monty game. Find the queen (or O'Bama) 'cause "Change is uh coming!" We think we're going to have a choice, but we're really being given/fed what THEY want us to eat (e.g. 'Vote for').

But all the bases are covered anyway. Whoever does manage to get elected - they're really all in the same camp.

'Bama made promises during his campaign that he's all but forgot about. Like his cabinet being filled with wall-street lobbyists.... And really. Why do we need to be in (occupying) other countries? How and why do these messes start that we 'America' have to step in? I'm not bashing our troops or anything like that. They're just serving their country, and that's honorable. So don't get me wrong.

America wouldn't have much of a role in this world if it weren't for the Military/Industrial complex. The person we put in charge makes* it all happen. Republican OR Democrat. :wve:

"makes"... Being the puppet of the Global Elites who gave us (or directed us with propaganda) that particular choice to vote for and set them into power.Please don't tell me you're one of those people who thinks the world is run by a secret group and leaders are just puppets.

Cochrane
22-06-11, 10:12
Please don't tell me you're one of those people who thinks the world is run by a secret group and leaders are just puppets.

I think this sounds like less the version where the secret group has its own name and hideouts and the like, and more like the version where it's just a vague business elite who are in charge through vague means. I don't think it makes much of a difference in practice, but calling it a conspiracy in the classic sense does not fit.

Anyway, think about it: Wouldn't it be awesome if this was true? The idea that there is a plan. Someone who actually thinks about this and makes all the decisions. All the stuff we see about politics on TV just a show to entertain us. Depression and possibly 9/11 and Lady Diana all part of a bigger plan. The elites may not act in our interest, but at least they know what they're doing. Because what thought is scarier: That there are possibly evil people controlling everything of our lives, or the idea that stuff like depressions and 9/11 happen and absolutely nobody knows where that just came from? In short: Is the world at its very basics ordered (even though we may not profit from it), or just plain chaotic?

I think it's obvious that it's chaotic. I think that's what makes it interesting. But it can also be a very, very scary thought, something to fear. And out of that fear come the Illuminati, the inside jobs, the global elites and so on.

Super Badnik
22-06-11, 12:04
The reason Barry 'O was elected unfairly was due to the HYPE he received by the media. He wasn't so much elected as he was 'selected' (sounds familiar doesn't it? 'W' vs Gore, close count in FL.) And that's all about propaganda. Like sheep-dogs herding sheep into a pen. We're given some choices, like a 3 card monty game. Find the queen (or O'Bama) 'cause "Change is uh coming!" We think we're going to have a choice, but we're really being given/fed what THEY want us to eat (e.g. 'Vote for').

But all the bases are covered anyway. Whoever does manage to get elected - they're really all in the same camp.

'Bama made promises during his campaign that he's all but forgot about. Like his cabinet being filled with wall-street lobbyists.... And really. Why do we need to be in (occupying) other countries? How and why do these messes start that we 'America' have to step in? I'm not bashing our troops or anything like that. They're just serving their country, and that's honorable. So don't get me wrong.

America wouldn't have much of a role in this world if it weren't for the Military/Industrial complex. The person we put in charge makes* it all happen. Republican OR Democrat. :wve:

"makes"... Being the puppet of the Global Elites who gave us (or directed us with propaganda) that particular choice to vote for and set them into power.

Please don't tell me you're one of those people who thinks the world is run by a secret group and leaders are just puppets.

I think this sounds like less the version where the secret group has its own name and hideouts and the like, and more like the version where it's just a vague business elite who are in charge through vague means. I don't think it makes much of a difference in practice, but calling it a conspiracy in the classic sense does not fit.I do see the view coming out here, it did feel as though Obama had been "selected" long before November 2008 but not so much by a "vague business elite". People just seemed to be infatuated by him, the media for the most part were on board but I think the credit for this should mostly be on Obama himself, he is an extremely skilled orator and his much more liberal attitude during the election was refreshing and welcome at the time. And that leads on to the fact that the image and reputation of the Republican party and the American right had been tarnished by the Bush administration. Its true that banks and corporations did throw money at Obama during the election but I don't think thats because he was their first choice but more likely because it was obvious to everyone he was going to win by that point and so they really wanted him on side.

Mad Tony
22-06-11, 14:58
How was Obama "selected"? As much as I dislike the guy even I'll admit he won through fair means. He put out his agenda like McCain and got more votes. What's unfair about that?

Cochrane
22-06-11, 16:04
The way I see it, Obama was selected by the preliminary elections, then by the main election. Which seems straightforward enough to me.

Obviously, the media and many people attached to him pretty quickly. His slogans and campaigns were catchy, he was about as far from Bush as you could be (while still being a viable presidential candidate) and he was a comparatively new, fresh face. That made for a good story, and it helped him win his elections.

I wouldn't call that media attention any form of selection, though. The media paid more attention to him when he became more likely to become president. At best, it reinforced him, but the trend started without the media. In fact, comparing his name recognition to Hillary Clinton, he arguably started with a disadvantage.

Polak
22-06-11, 19:40
Well here is why it was an unfair election [in a way]. Not anything to do with where he is from but the campaign itself and the reason he was voted for. Some might see this as racist but I am just stating the facts. 2 main reasons here.

1/ There were many famous names and celebrities supporting him, usually black celebrities. Now it might not be the only time a candidate is supported by celebrities but I honestly do not remember another candidate that got as much support from celebrities and well known recognizable names. I think celebrities should generally not be involved in this and should not be allowed to support anyone otherwise it just turns in to a popularity thing and is not based on merit. Oprah as an example was a supporter of Obama and made it clear both during and after the election. She has so many fans who would probably vote for Obama if she told them too. Yes some people are that stupid.

2/ A lot of black folks who voted for him did so purely based on the fact that he is black. I have even seen a lot of comments from voters when asked if they voted for him due to the colour of his skin and they unashamadly admitted it and were proud. I am not saying there were no white folks who did not vote for him due to the colour of his skin, it could be so, but not as many and let us not forget some white folks voted him too not to be racist.

Now again I am not saying it is a bad choice and John McCain would be better as personally I feel both of the choices were crap but it would be more satisfying if he won the election based on what he was proposing rather than the colour of his skin.

leglion
22-06-11, 19:49
Well here is why it was an unfair election [in a way]. Not anything to do with where he is from but the campaign itself and the reason he was voted for. Some might see this as racist but I am just stating the facts. 2 main reasons here.

1/ There were many famous names and celebrities supporting him, usually black celebrities. Now it might not be the only time a candidate is supported by celebrities but I honestly do not remember another candidate that got as much support from celebrities and well known recognizable names. I think celebrities should generally not be involved in this and should not be allowed to support anyone otherwise it just turns in to a popularity thing and is not based on merit. Oprah as an example was a supporter of Obama and made it clear both during and after the election. She has so many fans who would probably vote for Obama if she told them too. Yes some people are that stupid.

2/ A lot of black folks who voted for him did so purely based on the fact that he is black. I have even seen a lot of comments from voters when asked if they voted for him due to the colour of his skin and they unashamadly admitted it and were proud. I am not saying there were no white folks who did not vote for him due to the colour of his skin, it could be so, but not as many and let us not forget some white folks voted him too not to be racist.

Now again I am not saying it is a bad choice and John McCain would be better as personally I feel both of the choices were crap but it would be more satisfying if he won the election based on what he was proposing rather than the colour of his skin.

I noticed you put people who voted for him because he was black into the equation, what about those who didn't vote for him because he was black?

Capt. Murphy
22-06-11, 19:54
Please don't tell me you're one of those people who thinks the world is run by a secret group and leaders are just puppets.

9-11 was an inside job. :pi:

Mad Tony
22-06-11, 19:57
Well here is why it was an unfair election . Not anything to do with where he is from but the campaign itself and the reason he was voted for. Some might see this as racist but I am just stating the facts. 2 main reasons here.

1/ There were many famous names and celebrities supporting him, usually black celebrities. Now it might not be the only time a candidate is supported by celebrities but I honestly do not remember another candidate that got as much support from celebrities and well known recognizable names. I think celebrities should generally not be involved in this and should not be allowed to support anyone otherwise it just turns in to a popularity thing and is not based on merit. Oprah as an example was a supporter of Obama and made it clear both during and after the election. She has so many fans who would probably vote for Obama if she told them too. Yes some people are that stupid.

2/ A lot of black folks who voted for him did so purely based on the fact that he is black. I have even seen a lot of comments from voters when asked if they voted for him due to the colour of his skin and they unashamadly admitted it and were proud. I am not saying there were no white folks who did not vote for him due to the colour of his skin, it could be so, but not as many and let us not forget some white folks voted him too not to be racist.

Now again I am not saying it is a bad choice and John McCain would be better as personally I feel both of the choices were crap but it would be more satisfying if he won the election based on what he was proposing rather than the colour of his skin.While it is true that he got a lot of support from celebrities (Democratic candidates always do) and that some people voted for him just because of his skin color - that doesn't mean he was elected unfairly, nor is that kind of thing exclusive to Obama. Stupid people who know nothing of politics or their candidate will always vote for somebody based on irrelevant things (like skin color). As for celebrities, though I do hate the Hollywood liberal elite, they have just as much right to come out in support of a candidate as anyone else.

9-11 [I]was an inside job. :pi:I hope you're joking...

Polak
22-06-11, 20:06
I noticed you put people who voted for him because he was black into the equation, what about those who didn't vote for him because he was black?

2/ A lot of black folks who voted for him did so purely based on the fact that he is black. I have even seen a lot of comments from voters when asked if they voted for him due to the colour of his skin and they unashamadly admitted it and were proud. I am not saying there were no white folks who did not vote for him due to the colour of his skin, it could be so, but not as many and let us not forget some white folks voted him too not to be racist.

@ Mad Tony

I think celebrities should not be allowed to publicly state who they support although of course they can vote. There are just too many people that are stupid enough to copy them. I know there are many stupid folks with or without celebrities but it makes it even worse.

person A "So why did you vote for him?"

person B "Because David Beckham voted for him."

Mad Tony
22-06-11, 20:15
@ Mad Tony

I think celebrities should not be allowed to publicly state who they support although of course they can vote. There are just too many people that are stupid enough to copy them. I know there are many stupid folks with or without celebrities but it makes it even worse.

person A "So why did you vote for him?"

person B "Because David Beckham voted for him."That goes against freedom of speech. I assume you're not against me or anybody else on this forum declaring support for somebody so why should it be any different for somebody who's famous? They're still citizens like anybody else. While I'm sure there are people out there who do support a candidate based purely on celebrity endorsements, that's down to them being foolish and not being more careful with their vote.

Capt. Murphy
22-06-11, 20:15
I hope you're joking...

Friend, :hug: I felt the same way once. I thought anyone that would think that -their opinion isn't even worth considering since they're so 'out there'. But if you look at the questions the "truthers" raise, like; why weren't any military aircraft scrambled to intercept when the planes went off course and cut off radio contact? Or the nono-thermite residue found at the WTC and the pools of molten steel (carbon based fires can NOT get hot enough to make molten steel), why did WTC Building 7 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hHIj9wzbYGQ) come down in such a fashion that it did and even with the amount of damage it received on just one side/corner... Even that it came down the same day?

http://www.ae911truth.org/

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ltP2t9nq9fI

Mad Tony
22-06-11, 20:22
Friend, :hug: I felt the same way once. I thought anyone that would think that -their opinion isn't even worth considering since they're so 'out there'. But if you look at the questions the "truthers" raise, like; why weren't any military aircraft scrambled to intercept when the planes went off course and cut off radio contact? Or the nono-thermite residue found at the WTC and the pools of molten steel (carbon based fires can NOT get hot enough to make molten steel), why did WTC Building 7 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hHIj9wzbYGQ) come down in such a fashion that it did and even with the amount of damage it received on just one side/corner... Even that it came down the same day?

http://www.ae911truth.org/

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ltP2t9nq9fIDon't try the old "I thought the same way as you once" trick on me :p

Just remember that just because someone disagrees with you does not mean they haven't looked at your point of view. I certainly have. A lot. I've come to my own conclusions. Why do you people always assume that this isn't the case? I know people who don't subscribe to your theories are all just "sheeple" to you but that just isn't the case. If anything your side is just as bad. Instead of believing everything "official" sources say, you people believe everything deranged radio hosts like Alex Jones say, which is no better. Another popular figure among the tin-foil hat brigade is David Icke, the guy who thinks shapeshifting reptilians are plotting to take over the world...

I would debate this with you, but I think I've given up the fight and accepted that no matter how much logic and science you throw at some people, they just wont listen. Not only that but it'd be off-topic anyway. I'll just direct you to an interesting website instead.

http://www.debunking911.com/

Super Badnik
22-06-11, 20:32
Friend, :hug: I felt the same way once. I thought anyone that would think that -their opinion isn't even worth considering since they're so 'out there'. But if you look at the questions the "truthers" raise, like; why weren't any military aircraft scrambled to intercept when the planes went off course and cut off radio contact? Or the nono-thermite residue found at the WTC and the pools of molten steel (carbon based fires can NOT get hot enough to make molten steel), why did WTC Building 7 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hHIj9wzbYGQ) come down in such a fashion that it did and even with the amount of damage it received on just one side/corner... Even that it came down the same day?

http://www.ae911truth.org/

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ltP2t9nq9fIWTC Building 7 wasn't a demolition job if thats what your suggesting. Well not likely anyway, you'd have a hard time going into a building, ripping down walls and placing explosives without anybody noticing.

Mad Tony
22-06-11, 20:33
Not to mention it doesn't really make any sense. Why would the US government want to demolish an entire building with nobody in it that not many people actually recognized? I can understand the Twin Towers as they were recognizable buildings and had lots of people in them and that would have given them a pretext for war, although it's still BS of course, but the WTC 7 theory makes even less sense. If that's possible.

Super Badnik
22-06-11, 21:05
Not to mention it doesn't really make any sense. Why would the US government want to demolish an entire building with nobody in it that not many people actually recognized? I can understand the Twin Towers as they were recognizable buildings and had lots of people in them and that would have given them a pretext for war, although it's still BS of course, but the WTC 7 theory makes even less sense. If that's possible.Theres that too. Although there not being anybody in the building would probably add weight to the theory that the US Government were involved since its assumed they would want to limit casualties. But assuming 9/11 was planned by the Government there would still be no point when the Twin Towers had already been taken down.

Cochrane
22-06-11, 21:35
@ Super Badnik : As I understood it, people claim that the government had some CIA and FBI offices there, and apparently this attack was the cheapest way to shred confidential documents there. Or something. Conspiracy theorists do not even try to make their theories make sense. Their main concept is to raise enough fear, uncertainty and doubt about little individual points so that people will think "if they can find so much then there has to be something fishy there". Due to human psychology, that works surprisingly often, even if every single point is disproven.



In general: I've spent a lot of time discussing 9/11, finding out about the supposed problems in the official story and also finding all the many holes in the conspiracy theorist's logic. During all this time, there's only thing I ever learned debates: When discussing this topic, I get way too hostile towards the conspiracy theorists. So these days, I tend to ignore it. But to any conspiracy theorists reading this thread, I'd like to say: After doing a lot of research, I strongly disagree about all factual points, I strongly disagree with how you do your supposed investigations and your way of reasoning, I think your opinion is clearly wrong because of that, I don't respect this opinion, and the more you go on about it, the less I will respect you.

Mad Tony
22-06-11, 21:47
@ Super Badnik : As I understood it, people claim that the government had some CIA and FBI offices there, and apparently this attack was the cheapest way to shred confidential documents there.That's the one I hear most often, but why would they risk blowing the conspiracy wide open by blowing the building up when they could just remove said documents in the middle of the night?

leglion
22-06-11, 21:55
Well here is why it was an unfair election [in a way]. Not anything to do with where he is from but the campaign itself and the reason he was voted for. Some might see this as racist but I am just stating the facts. 2 main reasons here.

1/ There were many famous names and celebrities supporting him, usually black celebrities. Now it might not be the only time a candidate is supported by celebrities but I honestly do not remember another candidate that got as much support from celebrities and well known recognizable names. I think celebrities should generally not be involved in this and should not be allowed to support anyone otherwise it just turns in to a popularity thing and is not based on merit. Oprah as an example was a supporter of Obama and made it clear both during and after the election. She has so many fans who would probably vote for Obama if she told them too. Yes some people are that stupid.

2/ A lot of black folks who voted for him did so purely based on the fact that he is black. I have even seen a lot of comments from voters when asked if they voted for him due to the colour of his skin and they unashamadly admitted it and were proud. I am not saying there were no white folks who did not vote for him due to the colour of his skin, it could be so, but not as many and let us not forget some white folks voted him too not to be racist.

Now again I am not saying it is a bad choice and John McCain would be better as personally I feel both of the choices were crap but it would be more satisfying if he won the election based on what he was proposing rather than the colour of his skin.

I see nothing in this post but speculation.

Cochrane
22-06-11, 22:05
That's the one I hear most often, but why would they risk blowing the conspiracy wide open by blowing the building up when they could just remove said documents in the middle of the night?

For the past five minutes, I've been trying to find an answer to that which doesn't make fun of or belittle conspiracy theorists, and I can simply not find one. Conspiracy theories simply don't work on logic like that. They work the same way a smear campaign goes: Throw enough dirty rumors at someone, and even if they are all 100% demonstrably false and contradict each other, the people will be left with a vague feeling that the target is somehow a bad person. It doesn't matter that it doesn't make sense. What matters is that it sounds scary and vaguely evil. Surprisingly many people will stop thinking after that.

Capt. Murphy
22-06-11, 23:01
David Icke is demon possessed. :mad:

Anyway. About Obama. He wasn't just getting hyped in America, he was Hyped in pretty much the entire world.

I see him doing things like Bush did. And there is NO WHERE Near the level of 'stink' being raised over Obama like there was Bush. :mad:

I remember because I was a Bush "fan".

Obama was chosen because of his charisma, and I'm sure part of it had to do with his race. It's hard for me to explain. Part of his election success was so he could get the black vote. I'm placing the (I guess) "fault" (and I don't mean that in a bad way) on those that put him in the presidential race, not on the people that voted for him. Oh, and he was also chosen because he wasn't that "stupid cowboy". With such a "refreshing change" it's no wonder he won the hearts of....

*sigh* the sheeple.


Do I think we'd be in a better place had McCain won the presidency? No. I guarantee you we'd be in the same exact place and condition. It doesn't matter who's in office....

Mad Tony
22-06-11, 23:33
David Icke is demon possessed. :mad:

Anyway. About Obama. He wasn't just getting hyped in America, he was Hyped in pretty much the entire world.

I see him doing things like Bush did. And there is NO WHERE Near the level of 'stink' being raised over Obama like there was Bush. :mad:

I remember because I was a Bush "fan".

Obama was chosen because of his charisma, and I'm sure part of it had to do with his race. It's hard for me to explain. Part of his election success was so he could get the black vote. I'm placing the (I guess) "fault" (and I don't mean that in a bad way) on those that put him in the presidential race, not on the people that voted for him. Oh, and he was also chosen because he wasn't that "stupid cowboy". With such a "refreshing change" it's no wonder he won the hearts of....

*sigh* the sheeple.


Do I think we'd be in a better place had McCain won the presidency? No. I guarantee you we'd be in the same exact place and condition. It doesn't matter who's in office....I agree with you about the media's attitude toward Obama and the double standards regarding him and Bush but what do you mean by "selected"? He was elected, not selected.

Capt. Murphy
23-06-11, 02:39
I agree with you about the media's attitude toward Obama and the double standards regarding him and Bush but what do you mean by "selected"? He was elected, not selected.

Let me put what I mean by "selected" another way.

Lets say a restaurant owner is needing to sell a new dish. One dish he likes, another he's not too fond of (this is point where the dish is "Selected"). So he advertises the dish as something that people would desire, something that tastes good, and is healthy. The other dish - he doesn't promote so much. It might taste just as good as the other, and might be healthier. So when the time comes around for people to choose the dish they like - they naturally choose (e.g. 'Vote For') the dish that has been cast in the best light.

The dish that won had the most positive media coverage, was raved about in foreign countries. The other dish seems more like the old dish they're trying to do away with.

It just so happens the ingredients of the winning dish are products sold by close friends of the restaurant owner. ;)



Or, Obama will serve the interests of those we shall not mention before he serves the people that were given him as a choice of president and appeared to be their best option.

leglion
23-06-11, 04:01
Let me put what I mean by "selected" another way.

Lets say a restaurant owner is needing to sell a new dish. One dish he likes, another he's not too fond of (this is point where the dish is "Selected"). So he advertises the dish as something that people would desire, something that tastes good, and is healthy. The other dish - he doesn't promote so much. It might taste just as good as the other, and might be healthier. So when the time comes around for people to choose the dish they like - they naturally choose (e.g. 'Vote For') the dish that has been cast in the best light.

The dish that won had the most positive media coverage, was raved about in foreign countries. The other dish seems more like the old dish they're trying to do away with.

It just so happens the ingredients of the winning dish are products sold by close friends of the restaurant owner. ;)



Or, Obama will serve the interests of those we shall not mention before he serves the people that were given him as a choice of president and appeared to be their best option.

Well you see, Obama was 'tasted' before he got rave reviews. ;)

patriots88888
23-06-11, 04:36
Let me put what I mean by "selected" another way.

Lets say a restaurant owner is needing to sell a new dish. One dish he likes, another he's not too fond of (this is point where the dish is "Selected"). So he advertises the dish as something that people would desire, something that tastes good, and is healthy. The other dish - he doesn't promote so much. It might taste just as good as the other, and might be healthier. So when the time comes around for people to choose the dish they like - they naturally choose (e.g. 'Vote For') the dish that has been cast in the best light.

The dish that won had the most positive media coverage, was raved about in foreign countries. The other dish seems more like the old dish they're trying to do away with.

It just so happens the ingredients of the winning dish are products sold by close friends of the restaurant owner. ;)

Not a fan of your analogy, because anyone who has any knowledge of the business would know that restaurant owners promote and 'push' everything on their menus for the obvious reasons. I know this because I have worked in my fair share of them and know first-hand how upset they can get when a particular item is 'failing'. If they don't 'like' something, they won't bother with it in the first place. :p And if it sells, they will like it. ;)

godmodder
23-06-11, 07:03
...and it's not like Belgium is a significant player on then world stage either.

Ok I return here after a day without internet so excuse the late reply on this. I pretty much agreed with your post, but that's not very nice now is it?

Belgium is a small country, but that's no reason to underestimate it like that. After all, why do all the EU leaders come here all the time?

Of course the british empire is waaay more powerful than Belgium. Oh wait, Britannia no longer rules the waves...

Sorry, I just felt like taking revenge :ton:
Don't take it personally, I'm kind of patriotic ;)

Cochrane
23-06-11, 07:24
godmodder, in all fairness, NATO and EU selected Belgium as the seat for their institutions in large part because Belgium is small and unthreatening. Had e.g. NATO been in Britain, France or later Germany, people would definitely have complained that the respective government gets too much influence. Same goes for the EU.

godmodder
23-06-11, 08:47
Yes I know, ofcourse we aren't a military thread to anyone. All the Belgian army is gonna shoot with is waffles :D

But hey, it's a role in itself, no? Fact is that important leaders of the world come to Belgium on a regular basis and I can be proud of that I think.

Besides, Belgium is more important for the world economy than you might suspect. The harbor of Antwerp plays a crucial role in the world trade. Ofcourse it wouldn't be the end of the world when it wasn't there, but it would make a significant impact nonetheless.

I'm sorry if I seem stubborn or anything, but I get really angry every time people say that Belgium hasn't got any role in this world. That's why I reacted so strongly. We have played or part in history, for the better and the worse. Take Congo for example, our king Leopold II abused that former colony unfortunately and was responsible for the death of 10 million people. That's more than the 6 million jews that got killed in WOII.
That's certainly not something to be proud of and we've certainly done good too, but I thought I'd mention it to prove that you just don't mess with the belgians :D

Cochrane
23-06-11, 09:27
If Antwerp weren't there, the people of Rotterdam would be very happy. :D But you are right, Belgium is often underestimated. As far as messing with Belgium goes, I have to say, I think you're very good at messing it up yourselves. World record for longest without a government, that is quite something. :D

Mad Tony
23-06-11, 11:43
Ok I return here after a day without internet so excuse the late reply on this. I pretty much agreed with your post, but that's not very nice now is it?

Belgium is a small country, but that's no reason to underestimate it like that. After all, why do all the EU leaders come here all the time?

Of course the british empire is waaay more powerful than Belgium. Oh wait, Britannia no longer rules the waves...

Sorry, I just felt like taking revenge :ton:
Don't take it personally, I'm kind of patriotic ;)I was using it to make a point about how even the makeshift government of a country like Belgium gets more coverage than the EU president.

You are correct. We no longer have an empire. You can take irrelevant potshots at my country all you want, but the fact remains that we're still a world power, surpassed only by the USA and possibly the likes of China and Russia. Because of this it really doesn't bother me when people come out with the old and stale "YOU HAVE NO EMPIRE" line. :)

Yes I know, ofcourse we aren't a military thread to anyone. All the Belgian army is gonna shoot with is waffles :D

But hey, it's a role in itself, no? Fact is that important leaders of the world come to Belgium on a regular basis and I can be proud of that I think.

Besides, Belgium is more important for the world economy than you might suspect. The harbor of Antwerp plays a crucial role in the world trade. Ofcourse it wouldn't be the end of the world when it wasn't there, but it would make a significant impact nonetheless.

I'm sorry if I seem stubborn or anything, but I get really angry every time people say that Belgium hasn't got any role in this world. That's why I reacted so strongly. We have played or part in history, for the better and the worse. Take Congo for example, our king Leopold II abused that former colony unfortunately and was responsible for the death of 10 million people. That's more than the 6 million jews that got killed in WOII.
That's certainly not something to be proud of and we've certainly done good too, but I thought I'd mention it to prove that you just don't mess with the belgians :DBut you aren't really that relevant. Sorry to be so blunt but it's true. As I said, I brought up this fact to demonstrate how little coverage your beloved EU president gets and how insignificant he is.

Let me put what I mean by "selected" another way.

Lets say a restaurant owner is needing to sell a new dish. One dish he likes, another he's not too fond of (this is point where the dish is "Selected"). So he advertises the dish as something that people would desire, something that tastes good, and is healthy. The other dish - he doesn't promote so much. It might taste just as good as the other, and might be healthier. So when the time comes around for people to choose the dish they like - they naturally choose (e.g. 'Vote For') the dish that has been cast in the best light.

The dish that won had the most positive media coverage, was raved about in foreign countries. The other dish seems more like the old dish they're trying to do away with.

It just so happens the ingredients of the winning dish are products sold by close friends of the restaurant owner. ;)



Or, Obama will serve the interests of those we shall not mention before he serves the people that were given him as a choice of president and appeared to be their best option.Do restaurant customers get to vote on which dish they prefer? That's the only way your analogy could be remotely relevant. Even then it doesn't really make much sense, as you're incorrectly insinuating that all the media companies are all part of the same group.

godmodder
23-06-11, 15:55
I think you're very good at messing it up yourselves. World record for longest without a government, that is quite something

Yeah that's what the media says, but don't be fooled. The former government is still reigning during these negotiations and we've got at least 3 other 'governments' in our system. It's just that those bloody French people in the south keep giving trouble. I mean, they come talking French to me at my doorstep to sell me stuff, while in the middle of Dutch speaking territory! Wouldn't you get mad if this happened all the time?

but the fact remains that we're still a world power, surpassed only by the USA and possibly the likes of China and Russia. Because of this it really doesn't bother me when people come out with the old and stale "YOU HAVE NO EMPIRE" line.

I can see how superior you must feel, but add Brazil, India, France and Germany to that list. Sorry if I'm being blunt now, but your nation is not that relevant as a world power either. Military, you couldn't beat any of the former countries without support from big dad the USA. The only reason Britain still has a decent economy is because of all the EU support for years. And the only reason you still have strong diplomatic influence in the world is because they speak the same language in the USA. Britain is just a puppet of them as is Belgium. This became painfully obvious during the Blair era. That guy said yes even before George Bush could open his mouth.

Mad Tony
23-06-11, 16:25
I can see how superior you must feel, but add Brazil, India, France and Germany to that list. Sorry if I'm being blunt now, but your nation is not that relevant as a world power either. Military, you couldn't beat any of the former countries without support from big dad the USA. The only reason Britain still has a decent economy is because of all the EU support for years. And the only reason you still have strong diplomatic influence in the world is because they speak the same language in the USA. Britain is just a puppet of them as is Belgium. This became painfully obvious during the Blair era. That guy said yes even before George Bush could open his mouth.You're a bit defensive aren't you? I take it I ruffled more than a few feathers.

I don't feel superior though. Me being British doesn't make me feel superior to anybody else. Britain is however superior to Belgium in certain areas, and vice versa in other areas I'm sure.

Anyway, Brazil is not as powerful as the UK. Maybe in a few decades but not at the moment. Neither is India. Germany has a stronger economy but I doubt it's more powerful. I'll give you France, although I'd say they're on par with us. Even if you are correct (which you're not), being the 8th most powerful nation on Earth isn't bad don't you think?

As for the military, I don't really like think about a war with India, Brazil, France or Germany because that would no doubt result in heavy casualties on both sides and no clear victor. Would the UK be able to successfully invade France or Germany on its own? No, probably not, but would Germany or France be able to successfully invade the UK on their own either? No. You're mistaken about us never fighting any wars on our own, as you only need to look at Britain's successful defense of the Falklands Islands in the 80s. What I can say is that it's a known fact that the British Army is one of the most advanced in the world. Not the biggest, but we're not a huge nation nor do you need a huge army when you have such an advanced well-trained military.

Actually, we have a good economy thanks to our financial sector. Not the best economy right now I must admit, but it has very little to do with the EU. Did you know the UK (and Belgium I think) pay more into the EU than they get out? The EU doesn't benefit the UK economically at all, but that's for another topic.

You've got to ask yourself why does the USA speak English in the first place? I'm sure language helps, but I think being a powerful country in our own right and being one of only five permanent members on the UN Security Council probably helps more.

I think you need to look up Britain's involvement in the Iraq War before making such bold claims. I'm not a fan of Blair but his involvement in Iraq was more to do with his own personal belief in interventionism and stopping injustice, which started with the Kosovo War I think. Of course the UK or Belgium aren't puppets of anyone, but if it helps you sleep at night then by all means believe it.

Not that this is all even relevant, as I never claimed Britain was the most powerful nation in the world. All I did was point out Belgium's relative (key word there) insignificance on the world stage to point out just how insignificant the EU president is. I thought it would better help explain my point. There was no need for you to get so defensive. Truth hurts I guess.

godmodder
23-06-11, 17:07
Not being defensive at all. Rather a little offensive when I stated Britain isn't that powerful as you think it is. :)

I don't feel superior though. Me being British doesn't make me feel superior to anybody else. Britain is however superior to Belgium in certain areas, and vice versa in other areas I'm sure.

Indeed they each have their own strengths and weaknesses. To be honest I'm jealous of your island where everybody understands eachother. You'd really need to live next to some French speaking dude to understand what I'm going through here.

As for the military, I don't really like think about a war with India, Brazil, France or Germany because that would no doubt result in heavy casualties on both sides and no clear victor........................What I can say is that it's a known fact that the British Army is one of the most advanced in the world. Not the biggest, but we're not a huge nation nor do you need a huge army when you have such an advanced well-trained military.

I 100% agree, but like to point out that you are underestimating Brazil and India tremendously. Now, you may think that's just my opinion and you're right. The only thing I'm saying about this is that I'm a high officer in the army and your knowledge about warfare probably comes from some Call of Duty rounds. :D

Actually, we have a good economy thanks to our financial sector. Not the best economy right now I must admit, but it has very little to do with the EU. Did you know the UK (and Belgium I think) pay more into the EU than they get out? The EU doesn't benefit the UK economically at all, but that's for another topic.

Contrary to my expertise of the military, I really don't know much about economics, so I can't really comment on that. All I know is that if you say EU, you say France-Germany as far as economy is concerned. Britain is outclassed by these two. But you're absolutely right that Britains economy isn't bad by all means.

You've got to ask yourself why does the USA speak English in the first place? I'm sure language helps, but I think being a powerful country in our own right and being one of only five permanent members on the UN Security Council probably helps more.

Not sure if these are good arguments. The USA is a former colony of your nation, but now they have far more power, so I'm not sure if that's circular reasoning or not. As far as the UN is concerned, it's an old institute and doesn't reflect the power of nations in the world anymore.

Of course the UK or Belgium aren't puppets of anyone, but if it helps you sleep at night then by all means believe it.

Of course we are. We're storing nuclear weapons of the USA at Kleine Brogel here and are too afraid to refuse this.

Not that this is all even relevant, as I never claimed Britain was the most powerful nation in the world. All I did was point out Belgium's relative (key word there) insignificance on the world stage to point out just how insignificant the EU president is. I thought it would better help explain my point. There was no need for you to get so defensive. Truth hurts I guess.

It's ok :) You're a good guy. I don't know anybody with who I discussed politics on the internet that remained polite for this long :D.
You have to forgive me for being a little bit on the edge, because as an inhabitant of such a small country I constantly have people telling me Belgium sucks, when all they really know about my country is waffles and chocolat.

But let's stop the arguing for a moment, so I can tell you some cool things about Belgium. Did you know that the belgians made the roads and infrastructure around the White House? Also, those sneaky little belgians are repairing the statue of liberty every year with a special chemical process we developed around here. You may not hear a lot about us, but I assure you we're everywhere :D

Mad Tony
23-06-11, 17:25
Not being defensive at all. Rather a little offensive when I stated Britain isn't that powerful as you think it is. :)I meant defensive as in getting stroppy and try to offend people.

Oh, but Britain is as powerful as I think it is. No less. No more. You seem to think I think we're as powerful as we were 100 years ago but I have repeatedly stated I know this not to be the case and have even listed countries I know to be more powerful. :)

Indeed they each have their own strengths and weaknesses. To be honest I'm jealous of your island where everybody understands eachother. You'd really need to live next to some French speaking dude to understand what I'm going through here.There are still divisions here, I think there are in every country.

I 100% agree, but like to point out that you are underestimating Brazil and India tremendously. Now, you may think that's just my opinion and you're right. The only thing I'm saying about this is that I'm a high officer in the army and your knowledge about warfare probably comes from some Call of Duty rounds. :DThere is nothing incorrect about what I stated. India and Brazil have larger armies (I never denied this) but are less advanced technologically (this is a fact). Good for you, but that doesn't make what I said wrong as I haven't said anything wrong to begin with. For the record, my brother's in the Navy and I do actually have a keen interest in the military. You trying to belittle and insult me only weakens your point. Debating 101 right there.

Contrary to my expertise of the military, I really don't know much about economics, so I can't really comment on that. All I know is that if you say EU, you say France-Germany as far as economy is concerned. Britain is outclassed by these two. But you're absolutely right that Britains economy isn't bad by all means.Did I ever deny that fact? Britain isn't far behind those two countries though and economy isn't the only thing you look at when determining power.

Not sure if these are good arguments. The USA is a former colony of your nation, but now they have far more power, so I'm not sure if that's circular reasoning or not. As far as the UN is concerned, it's an old institute and doesn't reflect the power of nations in the world anymore.What does reflect power of nations then? I'm not saying the UN is the be all and the end all but it's not coincidence that the world's five most powerful nations are also the world's five permanent members of the UN Security Council.

Of course we are. We're storing nuclear weapons of the USA at Kleine Brogel here and are too afraid to refuse this.Think you need to learn what the word "puppet" means. The UK (among other countries) have several thousand troops stationed in Germany. Does that make Germany a puppet of the UK? Absolutely not.

It's ok :) You're a good guy. I don't know anybody with who I discussed politics on the internet that remained polite for this long :D.
You have to forgive me for being a little bit on the edge, because as an inhabitant of such a small country I constantly have people telling me Belgium sucks, when all they really know about my country is waffles and chocolat.I never said Belgium sucked or anything close to that. I've never been to Belgium but I've never had any ill feeling towards it. Seems like a perfectly fine country to me. Power and influence aren't everything. I'd rather live in Belgium than Russia or China.

NRO.
23-06-11, 17:30
I really, really don't care about him and America for that matter. Never have. It's a whole different world there which I don't want to be involved in or care to understand.

godmodder
23-06-11, 17:47
Oh, but Britain is as powerful as I think it is. No less. No more.

Still think you overestimate it's power, but perhaps living in the country makes you a bit biased ;) Debating 101 here too.

There are still divisions here, I think there are in every country.

No, no, no don't give me this Scotland vs England story. It's nothing quite like that. Really, you don't know what it is to fight every day again so you can legitimately use your own mother tongue. You can go out and a large part of the world understands you. Dutch speaking people don't have that luxury, and the small part of the world we own is constantly invaded by French speakers. Not that I have anything against those people ofcourse, but it's a real plague when your own territory is so shamelessly taken in by these people.

Good for you, but that doesn't make what I said wrong as I haven't said anything wrong to begin with. For the record, my brother's in the Navy and I do actually have a keen interest in the military. You trying to belittle and insult me only weakens your point. Debating 101 right there.

Sorry this enforces my believe that you don't know anything about warfare. Let's take Brazil as an example. The British army may be more advanced technologically, but the numbers in combination with strategic defenses far outweigh any advantage you may have. The USA made the same mistake invading Vietnam for instance. In the end they resorted to napalm to remove the advantage the wilderness in that country provided the Vietcong. I hope you didn't mean Britain resorting to those techniques to win this imaginary war.

Did I ever deny that fact? Britain isn't far behind those two countries though and economy isn't the only thing you look at when determining power.

When I agree with you, there's no need to continue arguing. (101)

What does reflect power of nations then? I'm not saying the UN is the be all and the end all but it's not coincidence that the world's five most powerful nations are also the world's five permanent members of the UN Security Council.

Power to me is playing an active role in the decision making of the world and being the best in all matters. If you believe the UN accurately reflects the power in this world than good for you I guess. Hope you sleep better now :D

Think you need to learn what the word "puppet" means. The UK (among other countries) have several thousand troops stationed in Germany. Does that make Germany a puppet of the UK? Absolutely not.

English may not be my first language, but belittling me like that only makes your argument weaker I guess. (101)
In my dictonary, a puppet is an entity controlled by an external actor. In this case that would be the USA controlling Belgium to store nuclear weapons, while the people here entirely disagree with that.

I never said Belgium sucked or anything close to that. I've never been to Belgium but I've never had any ill feeling towards it. Seems like a perfectly fine country to me. Power and influence aren't everything. I'd rather live in Belgium than Russia or China.

Hope you visit Belgium some time because the food is definitely better here than in England I can tell you that :D

Also you were so busy arguing that you didn't respond to my cool facts about Belgium. What a pity :(

Mad Tony
23-06-11, 17:58
Still think you overestimate it's power, but perhaps living in the country makes you a bit biased ;) Debating 101 here too.I accept I'm probably a little bit biased, but I don't think I overestimate its power at all.

No, no, no don't give me this Scotland vs England story. It's nothing quite like that. Really, you don't know what it is to fight every day again so you can legitimately use your own mother tongue. You can go out and a large part of the world understands you. Dutch speaking people don't have that luxury, and the small part of the world we own is constantly invaded by French speakers. Not that I have anything against those people ofcourse, but it's a real plague when your own territory is so shamelessly taken in by these people.There are still divisions here. Not just Scotland and England. I never said they were as bad. You should look at the serious divisions in Northern Ireland (which is also part of the UK) before dismissing something however.

Sorry this enforces my believe that you don't know anything about warfare. Let's take Brazil as an example. The British army may be more advanced technologically, but the numbers in combination with strategic defenses far outweigh any advantage you may have. The USA made the same mistake invading Vietnam for instance. In the end they resorted to napalm to remove the advantage the wilderness in that country provided the Vietcong. I hope you didn't mean Britain resorting to those techniques to win this imaginary war.Are the statements "Brazil has a bigger military" and "the UK has a more advanced military" wrong then? That's all I said on the matter. For the record I don't think Brazil could successfully invade the UK on its own and I don't think the UK could successfully invade Brazil on its own.

Power to me is playing an active role in the decision making of the world and being the best in all matters. If you believe the UN accurately reflects the power in this world than good for you I guess. Hope you sleep better now :DThe UK does do that, although I don't know exactly what you mean "best in all matters". I don't really know why you're trying to dismiss the UN as being completely irrelevant because it's not.

English may not be my first language, but belittling me like that only makes your argument weaker I guess. (101)
In my dictonary, a puppet is an entity controlled by an external actor. In this case that would be the USA controlling Belgium to store nuclear weapons, while the people here entirely disagree with that.That wasn't belittling.

The definition is correct. I don't know a great deal about Belgium but going by that definition I'm pretty sure Belgium isn't a puppet of the USA, neither is Britain (or any European country for that matter).

Hope you visit Belgium some time because the food is definitely better here than in England I can tell you that :DCouldn't resist one last swipe could you? I'm not gonna stoop to your level though. I've never even been to Belgium as you well know so I couldn't possibly comment on the food. I do think English food is underrated though. It's all opinion in the end. Don't try and pass off opinion as fact.

I think it's quite sad that you've primarily been bashing my country as opposed to praising your own country. If you feel offended by a comment somebody has made about your country, the best way to combat it is to praise your country and explain to them why you think they're wrong. Your method of just insulting other people's countries instead is definitely not the right one. Is it because you don't feel there is much about Belgium to praise or do you just have a vendetta against my country?

Also you were so busy arguing that you didn't respond to my cool facts about Belgium. What a pity :(To put it bluntly, I don't care.

Cochrane
23-06-11, 18:06
Yeah that's what the media says, but don't be fooled. The former government is still reigning during these negotiations and we've got at least 3 other 'governments' in our system. It's just that those bloody French people in the south keep giving trouble. I mean, they come talking French to me at my doorstep to sell me stuff, while in the middle of Dutch speaking territory! Wouldn't you get mad if this happened all the time?
Oh no. I've read enough about the conflict to know that I am absolutely not choosing anyone's side here. There are enough cases where dutch speakers make things difficult for the french speakers, too. It's all full of little insanities.

The former government is not doing too bad a job. Neither are the other ones. But the complete inability to form a new government, a year after the election, that is not what a healthy country looks like.

Indeed they each have their own strengths and weaknesses. To be honest I'm jealous of your island where everybody understands eachother. You'd really need to live next to some French speaking dude to understand what I'm going through here.
Ever tried speaking to someone in Scotland? Scottish people in movies are no problem, but the real ones, completely incomprehensible.

I 100% agree, but like to point out that you are underestimating Brazil and India tremendously. Now, you may think that's just my opinion and you're right. The only thing I'm saying about this is that I'm a high officer in the army and your knowledge about warfare probably comes from some Call of Duty rounds. :D
But you keep arguing who would win in a war. Who cares about that? Modern developed nations have more or less ceased having wars. There are exceptions that prove the rule (most recently Georgia and Russia), but I will be very surprised if the UK and Brazil enter a war. Neither side can afford that, economically speaking.

Contrary to my expertise of the military, I really don't know much about economics, so I can't really comment on that. All I know is that if you say EU, you say France-Germany as far as economy is concerned. Britain is outclassed by these two. But you're absolutely right that Britains economy isn't bad by all means.
Well, what part of the economy do you mean? When it is about building stuff like cars, trains, planes, then yes, we in Germany and our neighbors in France have beaten the UK pretty clearly. But the UK has a very large financial sector. It's easy to ignore it because it doesn't directly produce anything you see on the street, but it's also very wrong to ignore it.

But let's stop the arguing for a moment, so I can tell you some cool things about Belgium. Did you know that the belgians made the roads and infrastructure around the White House? Also, those sneaky little belgians are repairing the statue of liberty every year with a special chemical process we developed around here. You may not hear a lot about us, but I assure you we're everywhere :D
Well, of course you are. But same things could be said about the finnish, portuguese, danish…

Edit to add: Don't get me wrong. I really like Belgium. I love lit motorways, and the station in Liège is probably the most beautiful I've ever seen. But if you sort world countries by importance, Belgium just doesn't make the top ten.

Mad Tony
23-06-11, 18:13
But if you sort world countries by importance, Belgium just doesn't make the top ten.I expect he'll start attacking Germany now. :rolleyes:

Good post by the way, especially the part about the Scottish being incomprehensible. It's true you know. :whi: :p

Cochrane
23-06-11, 18:23
I expect he'll start attacking Germany now. :rolleyes:

Good post by the way, especially the part about the Scottish being incomprehensible. It's true you know. :whi: :p

Oh, there is a lot that can be attacked about Germany. We have a lot of economical power, but the government is extremely reluctant to use this wisely in foreign relations. Economically, we are at the very least on the same level as the UK and France, but our foreign influence is severely less than either of them. Look at Libya: Germany voted against the resolution authorizing NATO to attack there. Why on earth did we do that? Actually I wouldn't have wanted the german air force to get involved there. But I think it was our duty to support the ones who do fight there and increase pressure on the libyan government, as a joint effort with all the rest of the western world. And we pretty much failed there.


I was in Scotland a few year back, with my family. The one and only person we could understand really well there told us he had just moved to Scotland from a different part of the UK…

godmodder
23-06-11, 18:31
I accept I'm probably a little bit biased, but I don't think I overestimate its power at all.

A little? Living in Britain makes you totally biased :)

There are still divisions here. Not just Scotland and England. I never said they were as bad. You should look at the serious divisions in Northern Ireland (which is also part of the UK) before dismissing something however.

Well I read it like that. And I don't see what Ireland has got to do with this. That's not a language conflict.

But you keep arguing who would win in a war. Who cares about that? Modern developed nations have more or less ceased having wars. There are exceptions that prove the rule (most recently Georgia and Russia), but I will be very surprised if the UK and Brazil enter a war. Neither side can afford that, economically speaking.

I explained why you were wrong in thinking Britain could succesfully invade Brazil, just to point out your lack of knowledge on warfare. It was a thinking exercise anyway these wars, so there's no point in arguing that it's never going to happen anyway.
You just can't accept that you're wrong in anything can you? In all your posts you haven't said anything positive about me, yet I even called you a good guy. You are forcing me on the defensive.

I don't really know why you're trying to dismiss the UN as being completely irrelevant because it's not.

The UN is an artifact of the situation post WWII. The world has changed since then.

That wasn't belittling.
The definition is correct. I don't know a great deal about Belgium but going by that definition I'm pretty sure Belgium isn't a puppet of the USA, neither is Britain (or any European country for that matter).

Sure sounded like it. I gave you a perfectly valid reason why Belgium is a puppet of the USA, yet you just dismiss it. Hmm.... nice debate

Couldn't resist one last swipe could you? I'm not gonna stoop to your level though.

That should be made an example of belittling in the dictionary.

I've never even been to Belgium as you well know so I couldn't possibly comment on the food. I do think English food is underrated though. It's all opinion in the end. Don't try and pass off opinion as fact.

And yet that's all you ever do as well, when you say Britain is a world power. I've travelled all over your country and I can definitely say that the Brits just don't have any taste when it comes to food. I could give you countless examples of attrocious meals I've eaten there, but I don't see the point. Stay with your fish&chips, when you're ready to explore something different come to Belgium.

To put it bluntly, I don't care.

You see, that's exactly why you can't debate. You're not open to someone elses vision. You're not interested in hearing stories or anything, just to prove that you're right.

I guess that's why the belgians never made it far in this world. We're just not stubborn enough to shove our opinion down everyones throat.

patriots88888
23-06-11, 18:33
I'm not understanding what any of the past dozen or so posts have to do with Obama, the most recent US election, or even his Momma for that matter. :p

I'm pretty sure Polak's intentions was not to start WWIII here on TRF (at least I don't think it was :pi:). What's with all the off-topic snipes? :/

lara c. fan
23-06-11, 18:35
A little? Living in Britain makes you totally biased :)

I apologize if this has been said, but going by your logic, doesn't that mean you're totally biased because you live in Belgium?

Cochrane
23-06-11, 18:41
patriots88888: Well, this is much more fun, essentially. :D

godmodder, the third thing you reply to is from me, not Mad Tony. Please flame the right people here for the right reasons. :D

As for belgian food being better than british: Well, yeah, maybe…*I mean, british food… but really, both are a long, long way from Italy. Seriously, though, it's getting ridiculous. Apparently the british like the food they eat, and the belgians like theirs. Belgium isn't superior to the UK just because you like belgian food more.

And the many individual things the belgians provide, well, awesome and such. A factory in Belgium also delivers almost all ETCS equipment. But how does that matter when the devices where this equipment is used come from Germany, Switzerland, France, Italy and Poland? This really isn't relevant to the original question (is the UK more important, or Belgium), so I don't think it is fair to flame Mad Tony for ignoring that part.

godmodder
23-06-11, 18:47
godmodder, the third thing you reply to is from me, not Mad Tony. Please flame the right people here for the right reasons.

Oops hehe. I sincerly apologize :)

is the UK more important, or Belgium

But equally guilty, because that wasn't the original question ;)

so I don't think it is fair to flame Mad Tony for ignoring that part

Yes, but look at it from my view. Check his posts: he never did any concessions whatsoever. How can you call that a debate? Debate is a constant compromise between your own views and the ones of others. It's about knowing when the other one might just be right on something. For instance, that matter about Belgium being a puppet of the USA because of the nuclear weapons we store here, that was a valid argument I brought up, no? Instead, he chose to bluntly dismiss it.

As for belgian food being better than british: Well, yeah, maybe…*I mean, british food… but really, both are a long, long way from Italy. Seriously, though, it's getting ridiculous. Apparently the british like the food they eat, and the belgians like theirs. Belgium isn't superior to the UK just because you like belgian food more.

Yes you're right this is getting ridiculous. Let's put it to rest and discuss something else.

patriots88888
23-06-11, 18:59
patriots88888: Well, this is much more fun, essentially. :D

I guess, if you say so. :p

Cochrane
23-06-11, 19:00
Oops hehe. I sincerly apologize :)
No problem.

But equally guilty, because that wasn't the original question ;)
So what was the original question? I kind of suck at remembering original questions in long threads like this. I am fairly certain that it was not "Do you like Obama or not", we moved on from that.

Yes, but look at it from my view. Check his posts: he never did any concessions whatsoever. How can you call that a debate? Debate is a constant compromise between your own views and the ones of others. It's about knowing when the other one might just be right on something. For instance, that matter about Belgium being a puppet of Britain because of the nuclear weapons we store here, that was a valid argument I brought up, no? Instead, he chose to bluntly dismiss it.
Well, it's not as if he has to make concessions for concessions sake. If he thinks you're wrong, then he doesn't have to change that point of view unless you convince him that he's wrong. And while I do not always agree with MT (in fact, I disagree with him rather often), he does have a point: The situation with the nuclear weapons is way more complicated than being a simple puppet. The belgian government could get rid of these nuclear bombs any moment if they decided that was a good idea, and the US would simply grumble. In a puppet state, the US military would invade and dispose the government, which I think is a bit unlikely in this case. On the other hand, yes, Belgium does try to stay on very friendly tersm the US, and is in that sense not fully free in making its own decisions - but that goes for just about any country. Including the US, although it is in different areas there.

Yes you're right this is getting ridiculous. Let's put it to rest and discuss something else.
Good idea! I vote for french protectionism in the railroad area. Anyone else interested in that topic? I'm sure we can find a bridge to make it appear as if it came out of "Barack Your Momma" :D

godmodder
23-06-11, 19:12
So what was the original question? I kind of suck at remembering original questions in long threads like this. I am fairly certain that it was not "Do you like Obama or not", we moved on from that.

The original question in the debate between MT and me was if Britain was a world power. But is doesn't matter anymore, let's stop discussing that.

The situation with the nuclear weapons is way more complicated than being a simple puppet. The belgian government could get rid of these nuclear bombs any moment if they decided that was a good idea, and the US would simply grumble. In a puppet state, the US military would invade and dispose the government, which I think is a bit unlikely in this case. On the other hand, yes, Belgium does try to stay on very friendly tersm the US, and is in that sense not fully free in making its own decisions - but that goes for just about any country. Including the US, although it is in different areas there.

Point taken, at least you succeed at providing some arguments as to why you think Belgium is or isn't a puppet. That's all I wanted from MT as well ;)

Good idea! I vote for french protectionism in the railroad area. Anyone else interested in that topic? I'm sure we can find a bridge to make it appear as if it came out of "Barack Your Momma"

French protectionism in the railroad area? What a good topic :D
Haha, tell me all about how you view that :)

Mad Tony
23-06-11, 22:13
A little? Living in Britain makes you totally biased :)No it doesn't. While there are of course people here who are totally biased I am not. Whether or not somebody is "totally biased" is all about personality and character. Simply because I'm from Britain does not mean I'm going to be totally biased. I would have thought if I was totally biased I'd be trying to tell you that Britain is the most powerful country in the world and that we could flatten any nation on Earth. There are probably people here who do believe that, but I don't.

Well I read it like that. And I don't see what Ireland has got to do with this. That's not a language conflict.Maybe you should read things more carefully then.

It's a division is it not? That's what you talked about and I simply mentioned that here there are also divisions, like in Northern Ireland. There really is nothing to argue about as far as this is concerned so I don't know why you keep on trying to start one.

I explained why you were wrong in thinking Britain could succesfully invade Brazil, just to point out your lack of knowledge on warfare. It was a thinking exercise anyway these wars, so there's no point in arguing that it's never going to happen anyway.
You just can't accept that you're wrong in anything can you? In all your posts you haven't said anything positive about me, yet I even called you a good guy. You are forcing me on the defensive.I never said Britain could invade Brazil! In fact I said the exact opposite! Please, read the post again, particularly the bolded.

Are the statements "Brazil has a bigger military" and "the UK has a more advanced military" wrong then? That's all I said on the matter. For the record I don't think Brazil could successfully invade the UK on its own and I don't think the UK could successfully invade Brazil on its own.I'm fine with misinterpretation, but there is absolutely nothing in there to misinterpret in the first place. I said it right there in plain English - I DO NOT THINK THE UK COULD SUCCESSFULLY INVADE BRAZIL.

You said I can't accept I'm wrong. About what exactly? How can I admit to being wrong about something when I actually said the exact opposite of what you accuse me of saying? You say I'm wrong about thinking the UK could invade Brazil - but I didn't even say that! I said the UK couldn't invade Brazil.

Am I supposed to say something positive about you then? If I did I don't feel I'd be justified in saying it. That's not to say I think you're a horrible person, I don't, but the way you reacted and got so hostile over one little comment that was not meant to offend seemed a bit on the horrible side to me. It wouldn't have been so bad if you had just been overly defensive about Belgium, but instead you started one big tirade over the country I come from when it wasn't even relevant.

If you disagreed with my opinion that Belgium is relatively insignificant on the world stage, tell my why you disagree with me instead of just going completely off the subject by attacking my country.

The UN is an artifact of the situation post WWII. The world has changed since then.The world has changed but it is still relevant to an extent.

Sure sounded like it. I gave you a perfectly valid reason why Belgium is a puppet of the USA, yet you just dismiss it. Hmm.... nice debateI dismissed it because your own definition of a puppet didn't match up with your theory.

And yet that's all you ever do as well, when you say Britain is a world power. I've travelled all over your country and I can definitely say that the Brits just don't have any taste when it comes to food. I could give you countless examples of attrocious meals I've eaten there, but I don't see the point. Stay with your fish&chips, when you're ready to explore something different come to Belgium.But Britain is a world power. Not the world power it used to be, but still a world power. That's a fact.

What's your point? I really couldn't care less about what somebody from Belgian thought of British food just like I doubt you'd care what one of those horrible little Brits thought of Belgian food. For the record though, we have more here than just fish and chips. I don't know whether that was just dropped in to try and insult me or maybe you haven't really traveled all over Britain like you say you have?

You see, that's exactly why you can't debate. You're not open to someone elses vision. You're not interested in hearing stories or anything, just to prove that you're right.

I guess that's why the belgians never made it far in this world. We're just not stubborn enough to shove our opinion down everyones throat.What you said was irrelevant. It had nothing to do with what we were actually discussing and instead of telling you I wasn't interested I just ignored it. Then you pushed for a response and I had to tell you what I thought then. It's got nothing to do with proving that I'm right, I'm just not interested in Belgium's achievements. Simple as that. How does not being interested in Belgium mean I can't "see your vision"?

It's got nothing to with being stubborn either. Where have I been stubborn? Where have I shoved my opinion down your throat? If I'm guilty of those things then so are you, especially the latter.

Can't believe all this started over one little comment I made that was merely intended to support my argument, not to attack.

godmodder
24-06-11, 09:04
Ok, Mad_Tony, let's stop the bickering here. I disagree with the post above and would like to say why, but the other members here have made it clear we had better move on.

@Cochrane:
What is this French protectionism exactly? Do the French have laws that forbid the import of foreign trains?

Mad Tony
24-06-11, 10:08
Ok, Mad_Tony, let's stop the bickering here. I disagree with the post above and would like to say why, but the other members here have made it clear we had better move on.No one here has really said much about that actually but anyway would you reply to my post via PM then?

Oh, and could you at least not apologize for accusing me of saying something when in actual fact I said the exact opposite?

Cochrane
24-06-11, 10:11
@Cochrane:
What is this French protectionism exactly? Do the French have laws that forbid the import of foreign trains?

No, EU laws would make that illegal. They would probably love such laws, though.

There are really two parts to it: One is foreign trains, the other is foreign operators. Under EU law, any railroad company has free access to all european rail networks, as long as they and their trains comply with national technical and safety standards. And there are plans to make these rules more and more similar, under the name TSI. France's main rail operator SNCF has profited a lot from that, running passenger and freight trains all over Europe with their Keolis and Captrain subsidiaries. The German main rail operator DB has likewise gained inroads in France, with their Europe Cargo Rail (ECR) subsidiary. However, the French market is far less open than the German one.

For example, there is a recent new tax that has to be paid for every single rail vehicle that might possibly run in France, no matter whether it currently does or not. French operators have no problem with that, because at the same time, taxes were cut for them. Foreign operators like DB are really hurt by that, though.

There is also train approval. Every new train has to be approved for every network it is to run on. Under EU law, a national, independent safety organization does that. However, in France, you also need an additional certificate from SNCF. Foreign operators had to sue several times to get a train approved, because SNCF just didn't want to.

Most recent, this is with high-speed trains. DB just bought new trains of type Siemens Velaro (built and designed in Germany), which they want to run under the ICE name from Frankfurt via Cologne, Brussels and the Channel Tunnel to London. Eurostar has ordered the same trains (some slight differences, but nothing that matters here) to replace their current fleet, which was built by Alstom in France. The problem is that the Siemens Velaro does not comply with safety requirements for the tunnel. That is not because it is less safe, but because of how the rules were written - they basically point to the current, French trains and say "Something very much like that". Under new EU laws, such rules should instead say "this is what the train should be able to do", not how it is done, and Eurotunnel, the company, is very much in favor of changing them. But they can't. Instead, the so-called Intergovernmental Comission (IGC) is in charge of the safety rules, and it is controlled directly by the french and British governments. The British don't seem to mind new safety rules (they only still insist on airport-like check-in procedures).

The french, on the other hand, are fighting such changes all they can. They claim this is due to safety concerns. But they also own 55% of Eurostar directly (and then a majority of the company that used to be the British part of Eurostar, mainly to prevent DB from buying that part), so

a) DB running ICEs through the tunnel is competition, especially if DB decides some day to run the Paris-London route as well - something they are already legally allowed to do, if only they had the right trains
b) Alstom considers Eurostar something of their home territory, someone who should by their TGV or AGV trains. Besides, they have had problems selling their new high-speed trains, while Siemens has had a lot of success with the Velaro platform. An essentially French company like Eurostar buying German trains is not good advertisement.

SNCF appears to have ceased opposition to DB. In return, DB has promised to operate the other new international high-speed train (ICE Frankfurt to Marseilles) in cooperation with SNCF instead of alone, giving them a share of the ticket sales. Also, they are heloing SNCF get approval for their TGV trains to run on the German Cologne-Frankfurt line, which is currently restricted to German Siemens Velaro trains because of very steep gradients.

At the same time, the French government remains extremely reluctant to allow Eurostar to buy the new trains. They tried to forbid it outright, but Eurostar is a company in its own right these days, not a cooperation of SNCF, SNCB and some British guys, so they can't directly stop them. Alstom is suing in European courts over problems in the purchasing process (as a publicly owned company, Eurostar is subject to european laws about major purchases, to encourage fairness and competition). So far they haven't had much success. And finally, the French government is blocking new safety rules. Eurostar did reserve the right to retract the order if the safety rules cannot be changed.

Apparently, the French have said that such an approval could be granted if Siemens and Alstom cooperated to build trains together (making it almost official that this isn't about safety). But given how much more successful Siemens has been lately compared to Alstom, they are very much not in favor of such a joint venture.

I expect this all will go before the highest european courts before it is over. The legal situation is very much against the French here, but there may be enough loopholes for them to win this anyway. It is hard to say at the moment, and this has been going on for less than a year so far (the rail industry doesn't move too fast). But I think it is very interesting to watch it unfold.


Anyway, this is all pretty much off topic. If you want, I can give a very slight connection to what you were talking about previously: I think both Belgium and the UK will approve the new trains for their network without too much trouble. Belgium should be less of a problem, the UK will be more interesting because of the more strict disabilities laws (which I think is a great part). And of course there will be no approval for the normal UK network, only the high-speed part. But the really interesting stuff is France and the Channel Tunnel.

godmodder
24-06-11, 10:49
An interesting topic indeed. The railroad industry is not big here in Belgium, we've only got the NMBS and I doubt if they would give any foreign trains any trouble.

However, the story bares great resemblance to the current clash between Dutch speakers and French speakers in my country. The French are notorious for wanting to be served in their own language everywhere (and by everywhere I mean in Dutch speaking territory, although I'm sure that if they had conquered that completely they would invade Germany as well :P) You could compare that with the current situation in the railroad industry, because the French can go everywhere in Europe with their trains. However, the German trains cannot do whatever they like and that's exactly what is going on here in Belgium as well: most walloons refuse to speak Dutch and take all sorts of legal and political actions against it. Furthermore, the walloons can vote in certain parts of Flanders, but we cannot vote in their territory.

Besides, they see Brussels as their property, while it's in the middle of Flanders. Just because they have invaded Brussels so that the majority of the people that live there are French speaking, doesn't make it their land does it? And they just keep on expanding at an unseen rate. They are now only 10km from Mechelen, a part of Antwerp. If we don't stop this they will take over everything here. I'm sure you can understand why we are having this crisis in Belgium now.

Cochrane
24-06-11, 11:33
I looked at a study comparing how open the rail markets are in all european countries, and it had some issues with Belgium. In particular, National passenger traffic in Belgium is still restricted to SNCB/MBS and companies cooperating with them. The EU commission also has doubts about how independent the accident investigation institution is is. Crossrail, a private freight railroad company, complains that SNCB/NMBS has large advantages over third parties, in particular that SNCB Logistics gets office space for free and that refueling for diesel locomotives in Belgium is restricted. Still, it ranks a lot higher than France in all areas, but behind countries such as the UK or Sweden (The study was paid for by Deutsche Bahn, and its results for Germany seem a bit biased to me, so I'm excluding them here).

As for the situation with the french and dutch speakers in Belgium, as someone who sits on the sidelines and doesn't really care about either side that much (sorry), I have to say, it is not as clear-cut as you make it out to be. For example, why do french speakers living in the dutch part have to request all government documents specifically in french, even when the local government already knows they speak french? And why do communities try to forbid people of the same nation from moving there, just because they speak a different language?

In my (arguably not very well informed) opinion, the problem isn't with the french or the dutch being unreasonable. Well, it partly is, but the real problem is that both sides insist so much on there being a division at all. Why is there only one single bi-lingual education institution in all of Belgium (a Kindergarten in Brussels, recently opened, without government support)? Why do all parties exist twice, without any that spans language barriers? As I see it, more integration and cooperation with the other side is the only possible solution. Otherwise, it's only a matter of time until Belgium separates, and nobody wants all the mess that is 100% guaranteed to come with that.

godmodder
24-06-11, 14:09
The EU commission also has doubts about how independent the accident investigation institution is is.

The EU commision is absolutely right. I'm the first to admit that the goverment in Belgium has too much influence in certain areas. I think we've become aware of the problem, but it's kind of hard to change until we have a new government. The current one doesn't have enough power to bring such radical changes.

As for the situation with the french and dutch speakers in Belgium, as someone who sits on the sidelines and doesn't really care about either side that much (sorry), I have to say, it is not as clear-cut as you make it out to be. For example, why do french speakers living in the dutch part have to request all government documents specifically in french, even when the local government already knows they speak french?

Perhaps because the official language in Flanders is Dutch? I don't know how it's in Germany, but can you get your government documents in French or Arabic or any foreign language?

It's not so much about those documents. After all, if those people can better understand them in their own language that's fine with me. But it's a matter of drawing a clear line of what is and what isn't acceptable. Some of my friends live close to Brussels, where the situation is the worst. Now their French is not so good and when they go to the store they aren't helped in Dutch, while it's still in the Dutch part of the country. The owners of the store have completely switched to French during the years, because more than 80% of the inhabitants there are French speakers. Should we just let this happen then?

Well, it partly is, but the real problem is that both sides insist so much on there being a division at all. Why is there only one single bi-lingual education institution in all of Belgium (a Kindergarten in Brussels, recently opened, without government support)? Why do all parties exist twice, without any that spans language barriers? As I see it, more integration and cooperation with the other side is the only possible solution. Otherwise, it's only a matter of time until Belgium separates, and nobody wants all the mess that is 100% guaranteed to come with that.

In my opinion we should never have seperated from The Netherlands. Belgium has only been an independant country from 1830. It seperated because of the strong influence of the French speaking aristocracy back then. The Flemish people didn't have much to say in all this and now we've become so dissimilar to the Netherlands as well that merging with them would be difficult as well. So I don't really know what future Belgium should opt for, but some people around here are for an independant Flanders. What do you think about that? Would that be feasible?

Mad Tony
24-06-11, 14:26
Check your PMs godmodder :)

Cochrane
24-06-11, 15:19
Perhaps because the official language in Flanders is Dutch? I don't know how it's in Germany, but can you get your government documents in French or Arabic or any foreign language?
I think that is the wrong comparison. It's (still) Belgium, and the belgian constitution defines both French and Dutch (and German, but I'm going to ignore that for the rest of this post) as official languages. Those people have a constitutional right to get the documents in french. So why exactly make it harder for them? I don't think that's helpful.

It's not so much about those documents. After all, if those people can better understand them in their own language that's fine with me. But it's a matter of drawing a clear line of what is and what isn't acceptable. Some of my friends live close to Brussels, where the situation is the worst. Now their French is not so good and when they go to the store they aren't helped in Dutch, while it's still in the Dutch part of the country. The owners of the store have completely switched to French during the years, because more than 80% of the inhabitants there are French speakers. Should we just let this happen then?
Both here and above, you are already talking as if it Belgium isn't one country with two languages, but two nations that somehow fused together. Obviously, you are entitled to that opinion; maybe it's the best one. But if you start with that point of view, then the options for how to solve the problems that exist are already very limited. I don't think that helps.

In the specific example you mention, why not educate the french speakers in dutch and vice versa? Blur the lines, so to speak. Yes, it will take a while, but what exactly do you propose? Stop the french speakers from moving there? That goes against both belgian and european laws.

In my opinion we should never have seperated from The Netherlands. Belgium has only been an independant country from 1830. It seperated because of the strong influence of the French speaking aristocracy back then. The Flemish people didn't have much to say in all this and now we've become so dissimilar to the Netherlands as well that merging with them would be difficult as well. So I don't really know what future Belgium should opt for, but some people around here are for an independant Flanders. What do you think about that? Would that be feasible?
Oh, it would be feasible, but I really, really don't think that it would be a good idea. Think about the infrastructure such as motorways, train lines, power lines, the telephone network - those were built for the idea of one country. Unravelling them takes a lot of time and money, and will make it work worse than before. Many belgian companies are active throughout the country. Putting a border in between won't help their business. But I think all this will pale in comparison to two simple questions: What happens to Brussels, and how big exactly should Brussels be? I've heard very simple (and completely incompatible) answers to both from either side, but if you consider that the people living there have to approve the solution by a majority, and that you can't make anyone move from where they are lawfully living, answering this question can easily take the better part of a decade. In fact, looking at recent belgian history, I think that is optimistic.

From the point of view of Germany, I am very much against it. Embassies don't come cheap, you know. Our economy exports a lot to Belgium. Adding more borders and more rules won't help us at all. Thanks to the EU, it might not hurt as much as it could, but still, it will definitely not decrease paperwork for anyone dealing with both parts of the country. Also, the EU is (like any federal system) set up so that smaller states have more relative weight than larger ones. As someone living in a larger state, the idea of having more of the smaller ones does not exactly fill me with joy. Obviously, I have no right to tell the belgian people what to do, but you did ask for my opinion…:D

All things considered, it is still not the very worst idea I've ever heard in this context. This would be the idea (later said to be a joke) that Wallonia should join Germany. Yeah, right. But anyway, I think that splitting Belgium still requires answers to the questions that the belgian politicians have failed to answer for decades now, and I think it will hurt many parts of the belgian economy. So I do not support the idea.

Capt. Murphy
24-06-11, 21:53
Do restaurant customers get to vote on which dish they prefer? That's the only way your analogy could be remotely relevant. Even then it doesn't really make much sense, as you're incorrectly insinuating that all the media companies are all part of the same group.

Restaurant customers voting on a 'dish' was equating to the general public (e.g. citizens) voting for the person the media 'pushed' - so that that person running for office seemed like a great choice and was more likely to win the election. He is "selected" by those that want him in power, the people like him, and he is then elected because he is perceived to be the favorite.

"The ingredients of that dish are supplied by the owners best friends"

This part of the analogy refers to lobbyists, or big business. All part of the military industrial complex.

A president agrees (or is led to believe they need) to occupy a foreign country. Billions, Trillions of the hardworking American's tax dollars are spent on "defense", the money going to those that build weapons.

So the people that put him in power through propaganda in the media get their money. At the same time helping reduce the worlds population through 'collateral damage', depleted uranium in the weapons, ... the list goes on.

Mad Tony
24-06-11, 22:34
Restaurant customers voting on a 'dish' was equating to the general public (e.g. citizens) voting for the person the media 'pushed' - so that that person running for office seemed like a great choice and was more likely to win the election. He is "selected" by those that want him in power, the people like him, and he is then elected because he is perceived to be the favorite.

"The ingredients of that dish are supplied by the owners best friends"

This part of the analogy refers to lobbyists, or big business. All part of the military industrial complex.

A president agrees (or is led to believe they need) to occupy a foreign country. Billions, Trillions of the hardworking American's tax dollars are spent on "defense", the money going to those that build weapons.

So the people that put him in power through propaganda in the media get their money. At the same time helping reduce the worlds population through 'collateral damage', depleted uranium in the weapons, ... the list goes on.I'm sorry but this analogy doesn't fit in at all. While it is true that media and other backers do play a bit part, they do not decide elections - people do. I'm not an American but I do still have a basic idea of how your elections work and there's nothing I can see that points to what you're saying at all. I think what you're saying (mainly with regards to the media) is true to an extent I think you're great over-exaggerating it.

I didn't follow the 2000 and 2004 elections as closely as I did the 2008 election but with Bush being a Republican and Gore/Kerry being Democrats, I think it's fairly safe to assume that in both the 2000 and 2004 elections the loser got the better media coverage? Is this not correct?

If presidents are led to believe that they need to occupy a foreign country then how come not every recent president has done this? Obama is doing the opposite right and I don't recall Clinton or Bush Snr doing it either.

Also, what would this "global elite" have to gain from reducing the world's population? The less people there are in the world the less people there are to exploit and steal from. Doesn't really make sense. In fact the only occupations I can think of in recent US history are Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan, with the latter being in direct response to 9/11.