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Old Dec 23, 2012, 11:46 AM   #51
DakotaGuy
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Originally Posted by citizenzen View Post
I've actually done pretty well by that rule. I didn't own a car for most of my 20's. The first car I bought was a 3-cylinder Chevy Sprint which I drove into my mid-30's. I removed the front passenger seat and used that car to haul many loads of broken concrete for retaining walls as well as building supplies for backyard projects.

When that car died, I commuted daily by bus for 4 years, walking about a mile and a half each way to the stop ... rain or shine. It's only been within the past couple of years that I got a car again. I drive a Toyota Corolla that gets 30 mpg. And when I need a dozen 2x4's, the front and passenger seats fold down and they fit very nicely.

I'm not in the market for a new car, but when I buy one the primary feature I'll look for is gas mileage. The first thing it must be is one of the leaders in fuel efficiency, then reliability, then other features like power or luxury.

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Mitt Romney campaigned to abolish them.

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Ugg is speaking generally.

Not about anyone in particular.
That's fine. A Toyota Corolla is a good car. If I did not live on a hill in the middle of snow country or have a small utility trailer that I haul my snowmobile with or supplies for my house I would probably own a smaller vehicle myself. With that said A Ford Escape isn't exactly going overboard in my opinion.

I live in a well kept house that was built in the early 30's. It is about 950 sq. ft. on the main floor and about 300 sq. ft. finished basement. 2 bedrooms and 1 bath. It is very simple and utilities are cheap. About $40 a month in gas leveled billing (95% furnace, water heater, clothes dryer, cooking range) and at the most $50 a month in electricity. I only went for a 13 SEER central AC unit, but that is because our cooling season is very short. The AC is the only 220V appliance in my house.

What I am trying to say is that Ugg seems to think that anyone who has any sort of conservative values at all lives in some 5,000 sq. ft. McMansion and is blowing all sorts of electricity or gas running it. Also anyone with any conservative values drives a Ford Excursion V10 getting 8 MPG.

I live a very simple life and I am pretty dang moderate when it comes to almost all social issues. The only "toy" I own is my snowmobile, but even then I went for a clean running Yamaha 4-Stroke so I wouldn't be smoking everyone out with a 2 smoke (I mean stroke).
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Old Dec 23, 2012, 11:51 AM   #52
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Originally Posted by DakotaGuy View Post

What I am trying to say is that Ugg seems to think that anyone who has any sort of conservative values at all lives in some 5,000 sq. ft. McMansion and is blowing all sorts of electricity or gas running it. Also anyone with any conservative values drives a Ford Excursion V10 getting 8 MPG.
Except thats not what he said at all. He was talking specifically about those who live in mcMansions (no doubt underwater in debt) and drive around massive cars.

Why you think he applied that to all conservatives is beyond me, he was laying out the mindset of the conservatives in power, not any and all conservatives.
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Old Dec 23, 2012, 11:55 AM   #53
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Why do you get to decide what I need or don't need? I drive a fuel efficient vehicle that is as small as I can go for my needs. Go and look at vehicle sales and stats in our country over the past 5 years. There has been a large shift to smaller vehicles. Some of it has to do with Obama's policies, but a lot of it has to do with higher gas prices. If higher gas prices are driving consumers to buy smaller vehicles... great... it shows that the consumer is voting with their pocket books.

In some cases vehicles are overbuilt in North America. For example: Why on earth does a US Focus weight more then a European Focus? Check the safety standards and you will find the reason for those extra pounds.

You seem to be upset that some people live in a faux chateaus on a quarter acre in a gated community. Why does this bother you? People can live however they want to live. It is their money. They are probably paying huge amounts of property tax on those McMansions, but you know what? That property tax helps everyone else out. Now personally I would not live there because those "ain't my type of people" but I could care less. Heck I own 160 acres of land. It is all in set-aside conservation reserve acres, but I own it and care for it.
Everyone talks about their rights but rarely mentions their responsibilities both to the US and the planet.

Whenever someone says they want to live close to the land, I always ask, " who is going to subsidize your utilities and roads and also ask if they understand that their increased fuel/utility usage forces prices up for all Americans. Most don't want to hear that. Their "lifestyle" is all that matters.
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Old Dec 23, 2012, 11:56 AM   #54
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Except thats not what he said at all. He was talking specifically about those who live in mcMansions (no doubt underwater in debt) and drive around massive cars.

Why you think he applied that to all conservatives is beyond me, he was laying out the mindset of the conservatives in power, not any and all conservatives.
Right, but exactly how do you stop those people? Do you ban those things? That is what I don't agree with. If you want extra taxes on luxury purchases or keep the property taxes high on those McMansions that is fine by me, but I don't believe I have any right to tell others they can't buy that stuff.
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Old Dec 23, 2012, 11:57 AM   #55
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Not in reply to anyone in particular, but this attitude that I live a meager life and am conservative in many cases overlooks the fact that the economy is rigged to help someone. If you want some background, read up on trusts of the late 1800s. We are kidding ourselves if we don't think government has a roll.
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Old Dec 23, 2012, 12:08 PM   #56
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Right, but exactly how do you stop those people? Do you ban those things? That is what I don't agree with. If you want extra taxes on luxury purchases or keep the property taxes high on those McMansions that is fine by me, but I don't believe I have any right to tell others they can't buy that stuff.
Those mcMansions are the driver of the the the housing market collapse, based on predatory loans because the Banks were allowed to actively bet against those homeowners actually paying their mortages. As a result, the entire house of cards fell.

Reinstate Glass-Stegal at a bare minimum, and reinstate the investment vs. saving institutions banking laws we once had.

We've made an economy based on finding ways to hide money for short term profit that those upstairs get to hold onto while the rest of the world has to deal with the consequences of the bust that happens. The Boom/Bust cycle of unfettered capitalism has only been getting worse. The next one, and there WILL be a next one because NOTHING has changed for the banking industry, will be the downfall of the US economy, and with it the world capitalistic game.
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Old Dec 23, 2012, 12:12 PM   #57
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Right, but exactly how do you stop those people? Do you ban those things?
IMO, bans are rarely a good idea.

This issue is connected to the thread, NOT ANOTHER VIDEO! Owned & Operated, which in part talks about the irrational level of consumption going on in the U.S. (and I assume in Europe as well).

There is no "solution". There is only the hope for progress and enlightenment ... which is an incredibly slow process.

Though sometimes the government can spur progress, as with Obama's fuel standards.
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Old Dec 23, 2012, 12:26 PM   #58
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Everyone talks about their rights but rarely mentions their responsibilities both to the US and the planet.

Whenever someone says they want to live close to the land, I always ask, " who is going to subsidize your utilities and roads and also ask if they understand that their increased fuel/utility usage forces prices up for all Americans. Most don't want to hear that. Their "lifestyle" is all that matters.
I live right in town close to where I work. The land I own is about 100 miles from me and was purchased by me after the ladies we rented it from for about 50 years wanted to sell it. It has a two track trail leading to it from a county road a mile away. I bought as an investment and I will admit to getting FSA payments on it to keep it in the Conservation Reserve. It is a great thing to see all the wildlife on it and the soil regenerating after being in production for about 70 years.

The thing about equating lifestyle with political opinion is that it rarely holds true at least in the US. I can find tons of people that are much more "liberal" then I am living a much more lavish lifestyle. Now maybe no one lives in a fancy house in Europe and no one drives a fancy car these days. I know when I spent a summer in Italy in the late 90's we were getting passed by big fancy Mercedes all the time while cruising along in our little Fiat rental. Maybe the nice houses are gone and the fancy luxury cars are gone or maybe Italy is different from the rest of Europe. I am not sure.

For the record I hate McMansions as much as anyone else and think they are cheesy. I wouldn't trade my nice little well built depression era home for one, but I guess some like the excessive cheese in their life. I can tell you however school districts and some counties or cities love seeing them go up because of the great property tax revenue they provide.
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Old Dec 23, 2012, 12:52 PM   #59
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Compare the capabilities and performance of both vehicles and then get back to me.
Any car on the market will perform adequately for 99.9% of users.

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Originally Posted by DakotaGuy View Post
Why do you get to decide what I need or don't need? I drive a fuel efficient vehicle that is as small as I can go for my needs.
And it sounds like your needs are fairly exceptional, and that you probably need a different car from the vast majority of the market.

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Now maybe no one lives in a fancy house in Europe and no one drives a fancy car these days.
Of course they do.

In the UK if you go past the really nice neighbourhoods, while many people have Porsches, there are quite a few people who have a VW golf parked outside or something similar.
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Old Dec 23, 2012, 01:04 PM   #60
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I live right in town close to where I work. The land I own is about 100 miles from me and was purchased by me after the ladies we rented it from for about 50 years wanted to sell it. It has a two track trail leading to it from a county road a mile away. I bought as an investment and I will admit to getting FSA payments on it to keep it in the Conservation Reserve. It is a great thing to see all the wildlife on it and the soil regenerating after being in production for about 70 years.

The thing about equating lifestyle with political opinion is that it rarely holds true at least in the US. I can find tons of people that are much more "liberal" then I am living a much more lavish lifestyle. Now maybe no one lives in a fancy house in Europe and no one drives a fancy car these days. I know when I spent a summer in Italy in the late 90's we were getting passed by big fancy Mercedes all the time while cruising along in our little Fiat rental. Maybe the nice houses are gone and the fancy luxury cars are gone or maybe Italy is different from the rest of Europe. I am not sure.

For the record I hate McMansions as much as anyone else and think they are cheesy. I wouldn't trade my nice little well built depression era home for one, but I guess some like the excessive cheese in their life. I can tell you however school districts and some counties or cities love seeing them go up because of the great property tax revenue they provide.
Please don't take this the wrong way but I believe that you are taking this as a personal attack.

I think that the OP was trying to make the point that Americans and Europeans see and do things very different, even when faced with the same problems.

It's not about which house you personally live in, it's more about what was the norm that was built for the American housing market in the last 20 years. It is the same story for cars, it's not about your personal choice, but again what was the norm put on the American market in the last 20 years.

Every one whether American or European us has aspects of our lives or lifestyles which set us apart. But there are aspects of our lives and lifestyles which are determined by the fact that we are American or European.

----------

To follow up, I personally am all these things:

I'm 65 years old three times married, twice divorced.
Gun owner, drives classic car.
Lives in house that has been in my family since 1830.
Built on ground that we have owned since 1770.

But you cannot say that all Europeans are like me.
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Old Dec 23, 2012, 04:51 PM   #61
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What does this mean? Is it code?
Not at all. Europe places more emphasis on the larger whole where as America places emphasis on the individual. The Constitution really began to emphasize this. Neither is correct or incorrect. In some cases, America is becoming more interested in the larger whole, for example with things such as health care (which I think is a good thing). Look at social policy for example...the US and Europe are very, very different. Yes, much of US social policy has been derived from England (ironically) but it is still different than that of Europe.

I'm not going to rank or order either because I don't think they can be. American exceptionalism is a major issue in that some Americans believe American life is 'better' than anywhere else. But it doesn't; it just means different. I like living in America and am mostly happy with the freedoms I have, but does that make it 'better' than another culture? Absolutely not. I'm sure I could be equally happy in many other places.

It also means this which is not a good thing. Ever been to the US? Say 'hi' to the first 10 people you walk by in a major US city. If two respond, I'd be amazed. Repeat that in most European cities... (oddly enough, say hi to the first 10 people in the country side and 12 will respond, so I'm not sure why the variance exists). I would recommend the book 'Bowling Alone'. You would probably find it fascinating (and anti-social) and it reveals a lot of differences in American society from European society, even though much of the US is constructed based on European (especially England's) influence, by choice.



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I think he's saying that in Europe, apparently, you can't be an individual, and don't have as much choice about what you want to do. Of course, I've never quite seen that over there.
Not quite. I am basing this off what most of my European friends have explained the difference is. It's collective interest versus individual interests. Both are present in both societies but if you look at most European society, there is more emphasis on collective than individual.

You can be an individual anywhere. I did not mean to give that impression.
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Old Dec 23, 2012, 05:01 PM   #62
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Europe places more emphasis on the larger whole where as America places emphasis on the individual. The Constitution really began to emphasize this.
That's probably why it starts, "We the people ..."
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Old Dec 23, 2012, 05:13 PM   #63
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Please don't take this the wrong way but I believe that you are taking this as a personal attack.

I think that the OP was trying to make the point that Americans and Europeans see and do things very different, even when faced with the same problems.

It's not about which house you personally live in, it's more about what was the norm that was built for the American housing market in the last 20 years. It is the same story for cars, it's not about your personal choice, but again what was the norm put on the American market in the last 20 years.

Every one whether American or European us has aspects of our lives or lifestyles which set us apart. But there are aspects of our lives and lifestyles which are determined by the fact that we are American or European.

----------

To follow up, I personally am all these things:

I'm 65 years old three times married, twice divorced.
Gun owner, drives classic car.
Lives in house that has been in my family since 1830.
Built on ground that we have owned since 1770.

But you cannot say that all Europeans are like me.
I imagine that like Americans, Europeans vary considerably by person to person. But, for example, the divide in American government is something that sounds far more extreme in the US that in most European nations. I am sure most European nations vary considerably from country to country, province to province as well. But I agree that Europeans and Americans often look at the same issues differently. I don't think that is a bad thing when used in a colloborative sense to solve problems...I do think it is bad when the belief prevails that one way is the best way, and all other ways are inferior.

Many Americans do not realize how much of American government is burrowed from Europe. The Administration that we know of can be traced to one individual. When a committee on what would become civil service reform in the US Progressive Era (i.e.: the unelected government that oversees day to day operations) failed, he went to England to examine their civil service system at a time where the US government was so corrupt it is almost impossible to image (NOTE, this is one of the causes of US skepticism over government, as this era was very, very corrupt and has never been forgotten). He also visited France and observed their system (not the French!!!). His ensuring research and publications led to Woodrow Wilson beginning a change to the spoils system that had ruined the US Government over the past half-century (starting with Andrew Jackson, 'friends' got appointed to high-ranking positions because of alliance, not qualifications. Max Weber (often called a socialist by ignorant individuals) laid the foundation that would become the 'merit system' in US government and the use of administrative formalities...and much of it mirrored England. Some Americans don't realize this, and it is ironic given we have largely modeled the country we once 'hated' so much. The fact stands that while America is different than England, much of America is of English design. My point here is to show that 'nation learning' is a good thing. I'd like to see America learn some lessons from the election system from European nations next...

----------

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That's probably why it starts, "We the people ..."
Our Constitution lacks any mention of administrative formalities, and largely does not discuss how a central power can oversee day-to-day activities that a nation arguably cannot function without. It's primary topic is that of individual rights. The Constitution in and of itself does not specify how to run a nation. And this is what led to the 'Dark Ages of the US', starting around the time of Andrew Jackson and through the point of Woodrow Wilson. That point in time was corruption so severe that people feared the government fiercely.

One of my professors discussed this in great detail. Louis C. Gawthrop's Public Service and Democracy: Ethical Imperatives for the 21st Century examined this from a historical perspective and also considers influences that lead to the government as we know it today. It is also probably the single-most detailed work that describes how religion has affected government and government functions.

If you read the works of Alexander Hamilton, you will see significant European influence on what the central power should do, and many Federalist ideals largely echo that of modern democracy. However, this did not make its way into the Constitution. Interestingly enough, the US government is slowly heading back towards many of the Federalist ideals.
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Old Dec 23, 2012, 05:31 PM   #64
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Our Constitution lacks any mention of administrative formalities, and largely does not discuss how a central power can oversee day-to-day activities that a nation arguably cannot function without. It's primary topic is that of individual rights.
Nicely word-crafted.

"Day-to-day activities"?

No, the Constitution does not say, "Monday is washday, Tuesday you do the floors ..."

But it has a lot to say about how a central power is structured and functions. Please note the contents ...

Quote:
Article 1 - The Legislative Branch
Section 1 - The Legislature
Section 2 - The House
Section 3 - The Senate
Section 4 - Elections, Meetings
Section 5 - Membership, Rules, Journals, Adjournment
Section 6 - Compensation
Section 7 - Revenue Bills, Legislative Process, Presidential Veto
Section 8 - Powers of Congress
Section 9 - Limits on Congress
Section 10 - Powers Prohibited of States
Article 2 - The Executive Branch
Section 1 - The President
Section 2 - Civilian Power Over Military, Cabinet, Pardon Power, Appointments
Section 3 - State of the Union, Convening Congress
Section 4 - Disqualification
Article 3 - The Judicial Branch
Section 1 - Judicial Powers
Section 2 - Trial by Jury, Original Jurisdiction, Jury Trials
Section 3 - Treason
Article 4 - The States
Section 1 - Each State to Honor all Others
Section 2 - State Citizens, Extradition
Section 3 - New States
Section 4 - Republican Government
Article 5 - Amendment
Article 6 - Debts, Supremacy, Oaths
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Old Dec 23, 2012, 05:53 PM   #65
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Nicely word-crafted.

"Day-to-day activities"?

No, the Constitution does not say, "Monday is washday, Tuesday you do the floors ..."

But it has a lot to say about how a central power is structured and functions. Please note the contents ...
I understand what you are saying and the Constitution is a marvel given it provides the ability to expand/shrink government as needed, but it does not touch on many issues I've discussed. Most of the Constitution is of Madisonian influence (not a bad thing). The largest bulk of government, unelected officials who implement the policy of elected officials, is not really considered. Most of your government services do not come from elected officials. The central power largely focused on elected officials and the balance of power through Madison's system of Checks and Balances. Government as we know it today really began around the time of Woodrow Wilson, and saw some radical shifts under the era of FDR.

This is why many people who argue to go 100% in line with the Constitution are, while admirable in their desire for democracy, present a logistical impossibility. If we went by the Constitution 100%, then most of the New Deal policies would never have existed. Urbanization presents many logistical challenges not seen elsewhere. On the contrary, if we were more dedicated to the Constitution, the Patriot Act and torture of humans would have have happened either and so I am by no means saying the Constitution lacks value, as it does not.
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Old Dec 23, 2012, 05:57 PM   #66
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If we went by the Constitution 100%, then most of the New Deal policies would never have existed.
I think you've just identified the point where many conservatives would say everything went wrong.
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Old Dec 23, 2012, 06:12 PM   #67
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I think you've just identified the point where many conservatives would say everything went wrong.
Not all conservatives. Like liberals, conservatives are not inflexible on ideals, especially in extraordinary situations. As we have seen, while the market does well under minimal government control, regulation is something that cannot be neglected. Had New Deal policies not went into affect, the US may have literally fallen apart into a series of fragmented nations.

Remember that it was George W. Bush that began the GM bailout and he personally said that he was not going to play the role of Harding "We're in the midst of a serious financial crisis, and the federal government is responding with decisive actions ... I'm a strong believer in free enterprise, so my natural instinct is to oppose government intervention ... but these are not normal circumstances. The market is not functioning properly. There has been a widespread loss of confidence ... without immediate action by Congress, America can slip into a major panic." source ...this is something both liberals and conservatives tend to forget. Obviously, Obama continued this. The results of that bailout (and a few others) speak for themselves showing that sometimes desperate actions in desperate times are justified. Today, many people still have a job and a roof over their head due to this intervention.

Fully unregulated industry existed in the Dark Ages of the US and employer abuses of basic human decency show that a regulatory agency must exist. The Constitution did not really touch on this, but it did leave the option open. A free enterprise market does not mean one without regulations...well, at least to me it doesn't.
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Old Dec 23, 2012, 06:14 PM   #68
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Not all conservatives.
Did I say "all"?

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Old Dec 23, 2012, 06:16 PM   #69
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Did I say "all"?

No, but you were thinking it...
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Old Dec 23, 2012, 06:21 PM   #70
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Did I say "all"?

Did I say "you"?
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Old Dec 23, 2012, 06:25 PM   #71
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No, but you were thinking it...
NickZak was simply addressing the audience in general ... just to make sure that nobody was left with the wrong impression that all conservatives believe the New Deal was bad for the United State nor are inflexible due to the rods jammed up their behinds.

(They bend pretty well despite the rods)

Thank you NickZak for the clarification.
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Old Dec 23, 2012, 06:30 PM   #72
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I think I got the gist of it.
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Old Dec 23, 2012, 06:36 PM   #73
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NickZak was simply addressing the audience in general ... just to make sure that nobody was left with the wrong impression that all conservatives believe the New Deal was bad for the United State nor are inflexible due to the rods jammed up their behinds.

(They bend pretty well despite the rods)

Thank you NickZak for the clarification.
A clear example of the liberal condescending attitude...

(is it intentional? we don't know, but it does a great job of mocking everyone else)
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Old Dec 23, 2012, 06:42 PM   #74
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A clear example of the liberal condescending attitude...

(is it intentional? we don't know, but it does a great job of mocking everyone else)
It's dry humour. Quite recognisable this side of the Pond. Take it on the chin with good grace.
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Old Dec 23, 2012, 07:10 PM   #75
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Americans all came from somewhere else. We are made up of many races, religions and cultures and it's an unfortunate natural instinct to fear and want to prevail over other "groups". Generally, folks do ok on a local level, but nationally we get into trouble with our differences.

As far as Europeans being moderate; c'mon, I've seen your soccer fans.
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