COLLECTIVE MADNESS


“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Friday, December 01, 2006

UK Report: Road tolls; Reducing demand for imported oil or big government spending?

Reducing highway congestion and the demand for imported oil is an idea that most everyone would support. In theory of course. In practice, many would part company. That is human nature. I want you not to drive so that I can, unimpeded.

Use taxes in general are about as fair a tax as has been devised. Do not use, do not pay is about as sensible as you can get. Like all conceptual ideas, we have to ask the question:

How do we get from here to there? Here is one idea from the UK.

Government report backs 'pay as you drive'

By David Millward, Transport Correspondent The Telegraph
Last Updated: 2:36pm GMT 01/12/2006



Motorists should pay at least £1.28 a mile to drive on the country's busiest roads at the height of the rush hour, the Government's transport adviser said in a report published today.


Tolling on motorways could become routine

In his long-awaited report, Sir Rod Eddington said that without such a scheme in place by 2015 the taxpayer would face a vast bill for a new highway building programme to cope with the mounting congestion.

"For me in the end, road pricing is an economic no-brainer," the former British Airways chief executive said today.

A national road pricing scheme would be worth £28 billion to the economy by 2025 and congestion would be cut by half, which alone would be worth £22 billion.

Sir Rod has called for pilot schemes to be set up as fast as possible, examining the impact road pricing would have on congestion within as well as between towns and cities.

An additional solution to road congestion would be the encouragement of car pooling and sharing schemes as well as the use if dedicated buses to reduce the traditional "school run".

Sir Rod also called for extra spending on airports and strategic roads.

But his report was dismissive of calls for the development of new high-speed rail lines within Britain.

Advocates claim they would bring economic and environmental benefits to the country. But such schemes, Sir Rod says, would not bring distant cities much closer together than with existing air links.

The Government should also take into account that faster trains could create higher CO2 emissions, he said.

Sir Rod has also called for significant spending on the busiest commuter rail lines and investment to relieve overcrowded stations.

Train operators should also try to ease rush-hour congestion by offering bigger discounts for those who travel at other times.

Art, Jeff Mihalyo
"Overpass Fragment"


108 comments:

  1. Let me get this straight. If you commute 20 miles to work, you will pay $100.00/day to go to work; is that about it?

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  2. High speed trains that can run on Solar-generated electricity and biofuels would increase CO2, but Airplanes that fly on Fossil Fuels won't?

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  3. Methinks, m'boy Rod is a bit of a Dingbat.

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  4. I think he just has an agenda, rufus.

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  5. It is hard to imagine the voters and taxpayers that paid for the road in the first place would sit still for that.

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  6. Rufus said, "High speed trains that can run on Solar-generated electricity and biofuels would increase CO2, but Airplanes that fly on Fossil Fuels won't?"

    Solar, tidal, wind, and biofuel solutions from evil countries that don't sign Kyoto contribute to the greenhouse effect, but double-decker kerosene-burning sooper jumbo jets made in countries that sign Kyoto are clean as a whistle.

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  7. MT. PLEASANT, Iowa -- Democratic Gov. Tom Vilsack plunged into the 2008 presidential campaign, touting himself as a Midwestern optimist and a moderate underdog focused on bringing opportunity, security and energy independence to Americans.

    As a two-term governor, Vilsack was a strong advocate for education and pushed to increase health-care coverage for Iowans and raise the state's profile as a renewable energy producer.

    In his declaration of candidacy Thursday, Vilsack offered the outline--but few specifics--of his agenda. It included:

    - Calling for "energy security" and an end to making oil payments to governments that "despise us and harbor terrorists." Part of this plan involves heavy investment in ethanol and biofuel production plants.

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  8. Alt Energy is Hot for the next 6 Months.

    Don't invest in any company that starts construction on an ethanol refinery before Congress passes the new energy bill. It will have tax credits for burning the effluent (called syrup) and other "Green" ways of producing the energy to run the plants.

    Broin is the "Bell Cow," here. When they start work on their Emmetsburg, Ia plant it will be safe to go in the water. If they start construction "Before" the passsage of the bill it means they are "Sure" that the Credits will be Grand-fathered in.

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  9. don't know much about Vilsak, but you can read a lot from a face, and he looks ok to me. If he can stop the Hildebeest, and the strangely unknown Obama, i think--GREAT!

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  10. Fruitcake Tom Harkin (Senator from Iowa) will be the new chairman of the Ag Committee. Broin probably has ultimate knowledge of what's coming down the pike.

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  11. Heard Vilsack's stump speech. It sounded typically "Deranged" Dem, but I guess that's pretty much what he has to say. He has a "Compelling" life story.

    Granted, anything but Hildebeast, or Obama.

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  12. The Republicans cannot be that lucky to have the Dems betting the farm on Obama.

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  13. I said the same thing about Bill Clinton.

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  14. The Dems said the same thing about RR.

    Never underestimate a political party's ability to completely screw up a good thing when they set their minds to it.

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  15. Yep, feet of clay, the High Priest has.

    ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Pope Benedict wound up a fence-mending visit to Turkey on Friday amid praise from the local press for visiting Istanbul's Blue Mosque and praying toward Mecca "like Muslims".

    The Pope, who sparked protests across the Muslim world with a speech two months ago seen as criticizing Islam, looked relaxed and pleased as he entered the Cathedral of the Holy Spirit for a mass at the end of the sensitive four-day trip.

    His first visit to a mostly Muslim country, held under tight security for fear of protests by nationalists and Islamists, was highlighted by a series of conciliatory gestures culminating in a stop on Thursday afternoon in Istanbul's famed Blue Mosque.

    "The Pope's dreaded visit was concluded with a wonderful surprise," wrote daily Aksam on its front page.

    "In Sultan Ahmet Mosque, he turned toward Mecca and prayed like Muslims," popular daily Hurriyet said, using the building's official name.


    Truely not a Crusader for Christ

    Submission, submission
    We love to show our submission.

    Turn to Mecca and get on your knees, that'll show 'em who has the one true god on their side.

    allah akbar!

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  16. Clinton probably wouldn't make it today. As is, he got only 43% in '92, and the only--that is ONLY voice pointing out his record, affiliations, and character was Robert Bartley @ WSJ--who kept saying, "elect him, and the shoes will keep dropping for many, many years". He was right. today the net would quickly get a rottweiler hold on the Dixie Mafia, and shut the Clinton bunch down. Maybe.

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  17. I've been meaning to put up a defense of "Corn" Ethanol for a while, now. The "Stock" Expert Talking heads (who wouldn't know a harrow from a combine) have been disparaging corn ethanol for some time now. They make statements about how "corn" is really so much more inefficient than "Sugar Cane," etc., that the only reason we do it is for the agricultural "Subsidies."

    This is total "Hogwash."

    I'm going to make a few comments on this, but I'm going to break it down into several posts since every time I write a long comment my internet connection goes down and I lose it in transaction.

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  18. Meanwhile the High Priest's people in the City of Angels have come to terms with reality, as well.

    The nation's largest Roman Catholic archdiocese said Friday it has agreed to pay $60 million to settle 45 lawsuits alleging sex abuse by priests.
    The cases were among more than 500 pending against the archdiocese.


    "I pray that the settlement of the initial group of cases will help the victims involved to move forward with their lives and to build a brighter future for themselves and their families," Cardinal Roger Mahony said in a news release.

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  19. check the Henninger article on the pope, rat. Sounds a little gloomish.

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  20. Now, when Hezbollah takes over Lebanon how will the US react?

    When a terrorist group, explicitly named by Mr Bush in his '02 State of the Union, gains a country do we just sit by and watch. Or do we turn to Mecca and pray for salvation?

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  21. The first thing they miss is that only 2/3rds of the corn is used in the production of ethanol and it's co-products (CO2, Corn Oil, Ash, and Syrup for co-generation.)

    ONE THIRD OF EVERY BUSHEL emerges as DDG's, a very high protein food substance of equal (or Greater) Value as Livestock (and, even Human) Feed.

    REMEMBER, 60% of all corn grown goes to feed domestic cattle. Twenty percent is exported, and probably at least half of that is used for cattle feed.

    SO, the 1/3 of the bushel of corn that is converted to an alternative, and equally valuable, livestock feed cannot said to be used in THE ETHANOL PROCESS.

    THINK ABOUT IT, BECAUSE THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT. When Broin says it will increase the fuel (ethanol + biodiesel) yield to 650 to 700 gallons/acre, keep in mind that they are only using 2/3rds of the corn on that acre of ground.

    YOU MUST MULTIPLY THAT NUMBER BY 1.5 TO GET A NUMBER THAT YOU COULD USE IN COMPARISON TO ANOTHER CROP SUCH AS SUGAR CANE.

    And, even then you must take into consideration the OTHER Valuable Co-Products (CO2, Ash, etc.)

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  22. read your NYT, rat--we're going to scorn, and shun, Syria.

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  23. So, if you can get 700 - 900 gallons/acre of ethanol from sugar cane, and 900 - 975 gallons/acre + co-products from Corn, and NOT have to spend $0.25/gal shipping the "cane" ethanol up from Brazil you tell me which is the better deal?

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  24. I'd pay large campaign donations to get rufus in @ Ag instead of that numbskull pinko Harkin.

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  25. 2164th wrote, "The Republicans cannot be that lucky to have the Dems betting the farm on Obama."

    Or betting the plantation, as the case may be.

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  26. desert rat cited:

    "The Pope's dreaded visit was concluded with a wonderful surprise," wrote daily Aksam on its front page. "In Sultan Ahmet Mosque, he turned toward Mecca and prayed like Muslims," popular daily Hurriyet said, using the building's official name.

    It is written (1Cor.9:22) To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.

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  27. Well, Ms T, many things are written, but submission is submission.
    Call it what you will
    or excuse it as you will

    Makes no difference to me, except to further indicate the decline and fall of Rome.

    The Barbarisans are at the gates and the High Priest prays with them, in their way.
    That'll gain him converts, you bet.

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  28. On the bottom thread at EB this morn, Drive By Blogger/WC/T has writ:

    Smells like oui said , "I have a screenshot of it. None of you seem to have much problem with a blogger who makes such weird, slightly ominous lists."

    [ /] <---Ironymeter pegged out again.
    ------------

    And Catherine spake thusly:

    Aren't outwardly pious Christians loving and lovely? Who wouldn't want to convert seeing such faithful demonstration as this?

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  29. Catherine said, "Aren't outwardly pious Christians loving and lovely? Who wouldn't want to convert seeing such faithful demonstration as this?"

    I find a stalk-blogger who takes snapshots and keeps logs for comparing posts like Rove compared Kerry's statements to his voting record to be weird and slightly ominous.

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  30. I thought of several funny things to interject, but I'm scared stiff

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  31. Buddy Larsen said, "I thought of several funny things to interject, but I'm scared stiff"

    A hard man is good to find. -- Amber Lynn

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  32. Yes, I’m a “smell” and Teresita/Woman Catholic/Drive by Blogger who quits blogs after insulting them and everybody on them and then returns reincarnated in disguise and denies her record is merely a clever girl with a self-professed "meek voice" who spouts lots of Bible verses after having put people on a creepy blog sidebar sh*t list for daring to disagree with her politics or point out her wild inconsistencies.

    Yes, I must be the one with issues. It really isn't worth it. Your crap wins, T.

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  33. "Train operators should also try to ease rush-hour congestion by offering bigger discounts for those who travel at other times."
    ---
    Train operators should ease rush-hour congestion by demanding kickbacks in return for tickets.

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  34. Rufus 12:22 PM,
    Better to continue subsidizing Cane Production in Hawaii so Steve Case can continue to represent the people of Hawaii in Congress without annoying distractions such as making money.

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  35. 1:57 PM
    Bud feigns orgasm in attempt to appear to be a hard man.

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  36. How else will they fund all their medicine?

    They think they can improve the lines by investing yet more money into health IT infrastructure in UK.

    That's gotta be one of the most compelling budgetary issues they face over there.

    "Train operators should also try to ease rush-hour congestion by offering bigger discounts for those who travel at other times."

    Yeah, cut and paste your economy. It's all modular like that anyways. Nothing wrong with thinking its all Duplos.

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  37. What the hell's happened to the Brits? They've always been a "little" nutty, but it looks like they're headed toward a full-fledged nervous breakdown.

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  38. Catherine: Don't miss this one at NRO:

    Your Grandma Wore Science Buttons
    College girls then and now.

    — Catherine Seipp

    Reasons grandma was a science major:
    The science department had the best sports “yell,” which years later my mother was still able quote verbatim:

    “Hot damn, holy hell, have you heard the science yell?

    We want, God knows, more beer, less clothes.”

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  39. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  40. 'Rat,
    " When a terrorist group, explicitly named by Mr Bush in his '02 State of the Union, gains a country do we just sit by and watch. Or do we turn to Mecca and pray for salvation? "
    ---
    None dare call it DeFeet.
    Better DeNile than DeFeet.
    Support Your Porker Player in Cheif.
    ---
    Fuller explanation in THIS thread.

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  41. The coolest thing about the Pope is that he made the transition/evolved/"grew" from Terror Warrior to Dhimmi in 1/10th the time it took GWB.

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  42. Doug said...
    The coolest thing about the Pope is that he made the transition/evolved/"grew" from Terror Warrior to Dhimmi in 1/10th the time it took GWB.

    3:01 PM, December 01, 2006

    Doug, You are a very dangerous man!

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  43. Y'all are missing some of the story--the pope went into the maw, despite millions of death threats, and did so partly in order to lobby for the rights of the Christian minority in Turkey. In doing so, he let the world know that Islam officially discriminates even in its european-continent-located, maybe EU-bound, "secularish" superstate.

    To ignore all in that in return for an easy dig at his graceful (he *is* a religious leader, after all) peacemaking symbols is to have fun with the 'easy-target' part of the story.

    Read the WSJ's essay.

    Here's one of the comments on the piece:
    Love the Messenger
    Jerry Collins - Kennebunkport, Maine

    "Be not afraid." It is the watchword of both this Pope and his predecessor, and it is delivered to the world in both words and actions of impeccable clarity.

    There is the power of shining example, the power of an old man courageously facing the real possibility of his personal death in order to bring vitally important truths to the alienated peoples of both East and West. The behavioral message speaks far more than words alone can say. It is magnificent in its humility, its simplicity, its courage and its total lack of personal hubris.

    The emotionally powerful drama inherent in this current papal morality play inspires us all to reflect deeply on his message--and, at the very least, to admire the fearlessness of the messenger.

    As for the Pope's "divisions," one wonders: Are we considering both material and spiritual legions? On the spiritual end, Benedict moves with great inspiration as an instrument, or messenger, of his god. Like prophets and saints before him, he reminds us of the power of an important message from a single person, inspired by god. Individuals can make a difference in history."

    (close quote)
    So, what would you have done after Pope JohnPaulII's speech in Poland in the late 80s--ridicule him because crossed into USSR territory with his ideas and not with a pistol to shoot the first Commie he laid eyes on?

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  44. thanks, bobal--i just admire the leaders of most of the great Judeo Christian entities fighting back, while my own Protestant leadership is mainly in the tank for some shit they read back in the 60s.

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  45. "If the Pope wants to become involved in EU affairs, he should seek to have The Vatican join the EU and then he will have a vote. Until then, he should be quiet."
    -- Oak Leaf

    "If it was up to France, Europe would only admit part of Turkey, namely the breasts and thighs."
    __phineas gage

    PoliPundit

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  46. Oh, well, if "Oak Leaf" wants the Pope to shut up, then by all means, the Pope should shut up.

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  47. ...meanwhile let's all us wizards and witches taste of our *new* bubbling cauldron.

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  48. "Ex Cathedra (Latin: from the chair), the Chair of Peter. When a Pope speaks from the chair (cathedra) of authority as the visible head of all Christians, his teaching is infallibly Christ’s true teaching."

    Was He or Wasn't He?

    Catholic Encyclopedia

    This may have been on Oak Leaf's mind.

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  49. I do not know who the oak leaf is, but he is wrong. Buddy is correct in that the Pope cannot go into Islam with guns blazing. There are Christian, Catholic and Jewish communities interspersed throughout the Muslim world. He can start a reasonable dialog with reasonable people. It must be incrimental, one step forward two back, then two forward. A slow forward moving fox trot is probably better than a tango.

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  50. Buddy, I'm not a "Religious" Man; but, I agree with you about the Pope. A little Prayin never hurt; we'll have plenty of time for fightin, later.

    Oh, Great Link on the Missile Defense System. Surely, though, with N Korea and Iran going "nuclear" Bush will be able to get most of it through.

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  51. Well, you'd think--but, DC has gotten terribly hard to figure.

    Like the church idea--but, well, Idaho, in the middle of winter?

    Just read a great huntin' story--really great, here.

    That's where we all need to be--back in the woods, away from all this bs civilization nonsense. right?

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  52. Deuce,

    Was the Pope speaking ex cathedra or merely as a Christian priest? The difference is, as you appreciate, galactic and could have enormous consequences for Europe.

    When the Pope frequently expresses his regret at the execution of a death warrant, he is essentially speaking ex parte*, i.e. the motion is not necessarily binding upon the State. Were he ever to speak as Pontiff on the matter, his word would be binding, having the consequence of heaven and hell.

    So, again, was the Pope speaking ex cathedra?

    *Ex parte is a Latin term meaning "for one party". Ex parte refers to any motions, hearings or orders granted on the request of and for the benefit of only one of the parties involved in a legal matter.

    Link

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  53. For a teaching by a Pope or ecumenical council to be recognized as infallible, the teaching must make it clear that it is definitive and binding. That does not mean that the Pope himself is infallible. The Catholic Church is not like a Protestant Church where the laity makes many decisions. Catholicism is goverened by dogma. It changes slowly and when a change is made it gets the infallible label. It is not like a military T.O. with pages intentionally left blank or updates.

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  54. Oak Leaf does not support the entrance of Turkey into the EU, or so I gather.

    The Pope lobbied for the entrance of Turkey into the EU.

    Oak Leaf is obviously concerned about the influence of the Pope on the politics involved.

    Do those who have commented so far, agree with the entry of Turkey into the EU?

    Have any commentors, so far, read the link to PoliPundit, one of the "Favorites" for this site?

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  55. The Catholic Church is probably in a unique position to nudge Islam. It is a question of size and frankly time in grade. I remember when Norman Schwarzkopf had Saddam's generals march down the tank tattoo with every battle ribbon of US Army and USMC displayed on guide on bearers at each tank. It was intimidating and an awesome sight. The Pope comes with similar credentials that IMO would impress Islam more than a discussion with Unitarians. Not that there is anything wrong with being a Unitarian. You just have to think about it more.

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  56. Its almost two different animals, the teleology and the visual symbol of the pope and his flock. The one is academic, the other elemental.

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  57. Deuce,

    I am certain the Pope was not speaking ex cathedra. However, as you will soon learn, much of the world is other than Catholic and strongly opinionated, for better or worse. Oak Leaf may wish for an incontestable statement.

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  58. When the EU was invisioned and Turkey first considered, Turkey was a vital military NATO member. It had territory, manpower bases and some tough disciplined troops. It was as important as a bulwark against the Soviets as Iran was under the Shah. I served and trained with some Turks. There was never a religious issue. Turkey is a casualty of torn loyalties and has too large of an agrarian conservative Islamic population for them to integrate into Europe. I do not see it happening.

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  59. BTW, We are getting some new faces and some great opinions on these threads.

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  60. Good point, the 'time in grade'. The Islam reasonables are aware enough of the power, witness the reaction to the Regensberg speech--which of course backdrops the visit to the mosque. The waltz, not the Tango--well put.

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  61. These people are going to tax themselves back into third world status.

    Remember This EB Post? They were proposing a large tax on airfares in order to meet their Kyoto goals.

    Eventually, we'll see them tax donkeys and mules.

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  62. You get lower tax rates when you have a Second Amendment.

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  63. Whit said, "They were proposing a large tax on airfares in order to meet their Kyoto goals."

    If Kyoto calls for n percent reduction in greenhouse gas by time t, then taxing the economy into recession is one way to do it, I suppose.

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  64. Catherine said, "Yes, I’m a 'smell' and Teresita/Woman Catholic/Drive by Blogger who quits blogs after insulting them and everybody on them and then returns reincarnated in disguise and denies her record is merely a clever girl with a self-professed 'meek voice' who spouts lots of Bible verses after having put people on a creepy blog sidebar sh*t list for daring to disagree with her politics or point out her wild inconsistencies. Yes, I must be the one with issues. It really isn't worth it. Your crap wins, T."

    The casual reader will understand if the target of Miss Catherine's affections has taken certain preparations recently to become more safe.

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  65. She's not moving to the Bar-X, I'll attest to that.

    Safety is but an illusion, regardless.

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  66. who was that wanted to open a shrine to Oden?
    Or was it Mars and Vulcan?

    In either case send me the signup forms, as long as there are no fees or tithes involved.

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  67. Buddy Larsen asked, "didja swear off glowing sushi?"

    RISING SUN: A movie with two sushi-eating scenes, only one of which features sushi.

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  68. kinda like that old runic culture meself. wine, women, song, live free, die young, harass frenchmen. what could be a better life?

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  69. Hell, buddy, everyone gets to harass the French. Either the Romans killing Gauls or the Northmen in Frankland, killing Christians for their gold and women.

    Imagine Ceasar, as a doughnut surronded inside and out by the Gauls, still he kicked their asses.

    The Northmen with a hundred ships entered the Seine on the twentieth of March and, after ravaging first one bank and then the other, came without meeting any resistance to Paris. Charles [the Bald] resolved to hold out against them; but seeing the impossibility of gaining a victory, he made with them a certain agreement and by a gift of 7,000 livres he bought them off from advancing farther and persuaded them to return. Euric, king of the Northmen, advanced, with six hundred vessels, along the course of the River Elbe to attack Louis of Germany. The Saxons prepared to meet him, gave battle, and with the aid of our Lord Jesus Christ won the victory. The Northmen returned down the Seine and coming to the ocean pillaged, destroyed, and burned all the regions along the coast.

    846. The Danish pirates landed in Frisia. They were able to force from the people whatever contributions they wished and, being victors in battle, they remained masters of almost the entire province.

    847. The Northmen made their appearance in the part of Gaul inhabited by the Britons and won three victories. Noménoé [a chief of the Britons], although defeated, at length succeeded in buying them off with presents and getting them out of his country.

    853-854. The Danish pirates, making their way into the country eastward from the city of Nantes, arrived without opposition, November Eighth, before Tours. This they burned, together with the church of St. Martin and the neighboring places. But that incursion had been foreseen with certainty and the body of St. Martin had been removed to Cormery, a monastery of that church, and from there to the city of Orleans. The pirates went on to the château of Blois and burned it, proposing then to proceed to Orleans and destroy that city in the same fashion.

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  70. Desert Rat wrote, "Imagine Ceasar, as a doughnut surronded inside and out by the Gauls, still he kicked their asses."

    Colleen McCullough's fictionalized treatment of the siege of Alesia is a wonderful highlight in the Masters of Rome series, worthy of a Peter Jackson "Lord of the Rings" type film all by itself.

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  71. A lot of those old rings are still visible, especially from a piper cub. Anybody looking into the sheer volume of building, in the time-space, will hardly believe it.

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  72. Amazing how those viking raiders, having been bought off with gold, kept coming back every year or three for more gold, isn't it.

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  73. Buddy Larsen said, "Amazing how those viking raiders, having been bought off with gold, kept coming back every year or three for more gold, isn't it."

    The last time they took the gold, they left a stack of ABBA records in recompense.

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  74. The question posited earlier remains of the table: Should Turkey be admitted to the EU? Eventually, this question will have the same import as anything happening in the world as this is written.

    What should be the policy of the United States?

    Is Turkey a performing member of NATO or simply an anachronism?

    Why would the Pope enter the political arena in favor of Turkey?

    These are hard questions, to be sure, but not idle speculation. The French cannot stall forever. The French are not alone in their opposition to Turkey’s entrance into the EU. Many Europeans see Turkey with the same hostility as many Americans see Iran.

    Having spent some time in Turkey, it is a much different country in 2006 than it was in 1996 and 1986.

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  75. allen said:

    Why would the Pope enter the political arena in favor of Turkey?

    Because it furthers his lofty goal of healing the schism between the Eastern and Western Church, which was recognized definitively in 1071 AD (but had been ripping apart for many decades earlier).

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  76. Mat,

    I would be interested also, but why should she, given the level of discourse.

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  77. Allen, you make some excellent points on Turkey. The clash between what Turkey is about and at least the near West has been going on recently for some time in Cyprus. Actually is goes back to the Ottoman Empire. Albania, Bosnia and Kosovo are all islamic because of the Ottomans. The troubles in palestine go back to the Ottomans. Your point that Turkey no longer has the same strategic benefit to the US was becoming clear by the end of the Cold War and Abundantly clear with their denial of access to the 4th ID.

    I have no idea why we are pushing Turkey on the EU. It makes no sense. Europe does not need the immigrants from Muslim countries. There are far better any efficient ways for Europe to outsource basic industries and services. The problem is European labor unions want to keep the jobs in Europe and bring the needed workers to the factories. i think that will change before Europe decisdes to reestablish the Ottoman empire.

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  78. I may add. the Pope may feel comfortable reccomending Turkey because he knows it has no chance and costs him nothing and gains him access to further dialogue.

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  79. Kinda, samey-same us, No?

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  80. Deuce,

    I disagree. The French pay a heavy price for being French. So will this Pope.

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  81. Mətušélaḥ said...

    Please expand on that.

    Patriarch Bartholomew, spiritual leader of the world's 250 million Orthodox Christians, strongly supports Turkey's membership in the EU. Three days ago the Pope did an about-face from his previous opposition to Ankara's bid. That means ol' Bart, in private conversation with the Pople, did an about face on certain barriers he had erected to further dialogue on the issue of re-unification between the Eastern and Western streams of Christianity, a rapprochement as significant as uniting Shi'a and Sunni in the Muslim world.

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  82. Patriarch Bartholomew, spiritual leader of the world's 250 million Orthodox Christians, strongly supports Turkey's membership in the EU.

    WC,

    Why?

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  83. I am not sure met. I think they will come up with a French solution for Turkey, something that will irritate everyone.

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  84. Turkey may force the EU to go more towards free trade and less to political integration.. Turkey will have to reevaluate where it goes as Iran develops their strategy. If Turkey cannot look towards Europe where does it belong in the ME?

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  85. Mətušélaḥ said...

    Patriarch Bartholomew, spiritual leader of the world's 250 million Orthodox Christians, strongly supports Turkey's membership in the EU.

    WC,

    Why?


    It's quite simple, really. The Patriarch is under the delusion that EU membership will strengthen and protect the human rights of Christians in Turkey. What he doesn't quite realize is that Western Europe is being methodically (if not quietly) conquered by Islam.

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  86. Deuce (and WC),

    I would think that Russia is a more natural fit into the EU than Turkey, both economically and culturally. And then the problem becomes a more natural one of North vs South, as opposed to East vs West

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  87. Maybe it'll just have to go a'conquering, again. If you can't join'em, whip'em.

    As Habu (God rest his soul) were here, I'm sure he'd say, "whip'em good."

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  88. WC,

    Turkey has a 99 percent Muslim population. That calculation doesn't make sense.

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  89. 2164th said...
    I may add. the Pope may feel comfortable reccomending Turkey because he knows it has no chance and costs him nothing and gains him access to further dialogue.

    Thanks. You may be onto something. It is certainly worth considering.

    How much trouble will this cause if the US decides to support the Kurds in a move to reclaim Kirkuk is something else to consider. The Turks will be sorely displeased.

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  90. shame

    Literacy is always a must if you intend to be clever. Admittedly, stupidity is usually prefered. Jew haters cannot be shamed, by definition.

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  91. Do you suppose anyone's prepared to give these folks (the government, I mean) a hand in case they ask for it? These folks.

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  92. allen said...
    shame

    Literacy is always a must if you intend to be clever. Admittedly, stupidity is usually prefered. Jew haters cannot be shamed, by definition.

    11:26 PM, December 01, 2006

    What is that referring to Allen?

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  93. Allen, @11:26 PM

    What happened?

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  94. Rufus, that is a coup d'état by Hezbollah.

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  95. Those Lebanese ministers could be ferried out by helicopter. Not sure if they would want that. They could still be working on their winter tan.

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  96. The person to whom it was addressed knows what I am saying. If he decides to come out of the sewer again and squeal, we will all know.

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  97. the one guy who really got under my skin was peter boston. he vanished unless he is part of the masquerade party.

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  98. 2164th said, "the one guy who really got under my skin was peter boston. he vanished unless he is part of the masquerade party."

    There's more voters of questionable existence here than in a Seattle zip code.

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  99. What I meant was, They are an "Elected" Government. Will any of the Liberal Democracies (re: France) send troops in to prop them up?

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  100. If the Pope had Balls,
    He would have gone to Mecca and thrown a Strike.
    (hoping the Magic lasts longer than it did for GWB)
    ---
    The Balls and Strikes theory.

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  101. Maybe we should just shoot Compassionate Texans and put them out of their misery.
    (Real motive:
    Stop their inflicting it on US!)

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  102. re: If the Pope had Bulls

    The Pope does have Bulls, Doug.

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  103. And the same for Hysterical Hawaiians, except they ain't worth a bullet.

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