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TheLizard

Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords Shot

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Ditto, I think the same thing could have been said about any country and I can think of at least three right off the top of head ;) I wouldn't mean it in an offensive way either but I'd still say it.

Sad what happened in AZ. We don't need to import terrorists these days, we have plenty of our own and I'll bet people like Osama bin Laden are laughing their asses off :P

With british polluter and wall street on our side, who needs to be worried about enemies/terrorists? :beatnik:

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Viaene is right, it's a weird country... just as any other country in the world, only the US are less weird than other countries.

My hometown is a weird country (Argentina) and I'm not offended when people say so... Spain es weird in its way too, just as France and I'm aware of it and not offended at all.

And I don't think anybody was offended by what Viane said.

Now, back to the facts... this is very sad. We have terrorist of all kind (politic, psychologic, religious...) everywhere all over the world.

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The more we hear about this deranged kid it seems that politics was merely the theme he adopted to justify his violent agenda. Seems he had a very strange upbringing, weird parents and mental issues since childhood.

Don't get me wrong. I don't see that as a defense. I'd have no problem with him being executed...summarily.

However, I do hate the way the "political debate" in this country has eroded into hateful name-calling and selfishness (I've got mine so screw you") and accusing the opposition of all sorts of idiotic things. Using cross-hairs to identify political "targets" is irresponsible and shows incredibly poor judgement. (and this by someone who aspires to the presidency).

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You misunderstood what I said. I didn't say he didn't mean to kill her, I just wasn't sure he meant to kill her just because of who she was....after all, he also killed a 9 year old girl and a judge who were not out advertising themsleves. She was, so maybe she was an easier target, that was all I meant.

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I understood you Jen...though info coming out suggests he had a past history of venom aimed at her.

Sadly now he'll become our (the US) pet hamster. You know...put in a cage, fed, exercised and amused. How nice.

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I firmly believe he intended to kill her, and then started spraying gunfire around hitting everyone else that was there. I mean, he had Glock with a modified clip, and the only reason he wasn't able to shoot more people is that an old lady tackled him before he could reload.

She was shot intentionally, everyone else was merely collateral damage to him.

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I understood you Jen...though info coming out suggests he had a past history of venom aimed at her.

Sadly now he'll become our (the US) pet hamster. You know...put in a cage, fed, exercised and amused. How nice.

US prisons are still worse than, say, prisons in Belgium... or almost anywhere in Europe. Those are built like country clubs out there :beatnik:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Prisons_in_Belgium

We also have the highest prisoner population in the world so that should count for something. Hell, people get arrested, sentenced to death, and put on death row... even when they're innocent! :beatnik:

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The news is now saying that he had targeted Giffords because she "dissed him" at a prior public appearance. He asked a question that was out of left field and she answered it the best she could. He, evidently, was not satisfied with the answer and thought he was slighted in some way. I have been hearing other peoples accounts of contacts with the suspect in the past and he sounds like he is bat ******* crazy. It is a shame that his parents did not recognize that he was in need of psychiatric care, but they may not be that stable themselves.

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The news is now saying that he had targeted Giffords because she "dissed him" at a prior public appearance. He asked a question that was out of left field and she answered it the best she could. He, evidently, was not satisfied with the answer and thought he was slighted in some way. I have been hearing other peoples accounts of contacts with the suspect in the past and he sounds like he is bat ******* crazy. It is a shame that his parents did not recognize that he was in need of psychiatric care, but they may not be that stable themselves.

They may have known about it, but maybe there were no health care resources, esp. for mental health, available to his family. Having worked at a medical clinic for a decade, I saw many referrals for mental health be denied because the HMO would not cover any of it. This was in California. I can only wonder how much worse it is in Arizona now knowing that even life-saving, organ transplants are denied to patients because of for-profit medicine :beatnik:

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No weirder than any other country on the planet. Not quite sure what that was supposed to mean.

I'm sorry to have to correct you, but your country is actually a helluvalot weirder than mine. And Viaene's...and probably Farin's too. Yep, there; I said it. The States looks like a total madhouse to us Europeans. The fact that Sarah Palin is allowed anywhere the business of national politics merely confirms to the rest of us that the world is going to hell in a handcart, and it's Americans pushing it.

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I'm sorry to have to correct you, but your country has its own problems, what with it turning into a veritable nanny state. Also, if you think that the majority of people in this country (and there's over 300 million of us) are somehow influenced by, or have admiration for, Sarah Palin.....you're off your rocker. She appeals to a fringe. As in, a small subset of a larger group. This shooting in Tuscon basically sealed her fate anyway. All she's good for now is mocking how unbelievably stupid she is. She's got no actual power, no actual responsibilities. She's a roving muppet, and she's hysterical. Except when she's indirectly getting people killed. The United States has had a long history of humoring political morons. Do some reading sometime.

The world is not going anywhere, America is not pushing anything.

Now you go on and have a nice weekend.

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Hahah. Whaaa...? You don't think Pim Fortuyn, Jean-Marie Le Pen, Alessandra Mussolini, Vladimir Zhirinovsky... hell, mafiosi such as Berlusconi and Putin... You don't think that is "weird"? When illegal aliens are a huge debate here in the US, Sarkozy (and France in general) see no qualms about just railroading gypsies out of the country (okay, I guess we in the US ARE crazy and weird for not doing the same thing the French are doing). As for Angle Land, I blame some of our Pop cultural woes on them, so F*** american idol, the iteration of an English programme. Also, from an outsider's p.o.v., English (and European, in general) classism and racism is waaaaay more overt there than here; they really go outta their way to make one feel unwelcomed (and it's not just the not-bathing-daily thing on the continental side...). As a dark-skinned, poor/working-class, foreigner/outsider, there is no place like here, good ol' U.S. of A. It may not be what I had envisioned my life woulda turned out, but it could not be better - or even on the same level - anywhere else, including all of Europe :beatnik:

Failin' palin is a linthead, half-brained, village idiot. She's the female Billy Carter and provides hours of entertainment. There's very little this broad can actually do in the world of real politics other than being the stupid broad that she is.

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This reminds me of Olof Palme's (Prime Minister of Sweden) assassination:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olof_Palme#Assassination

There's also Anna Lindh's assassination in 2003:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anna_Lindh

Theo Van Gogh: stabbed out on the street in The Netherlands.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theo_van_Gogh_(film_director)

Those weird Europeans... :beatnik:

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for heaven's sake, people, simmer down. :beady:

I just read this whole tirade back and forth and it truly is a lot of silliness.

Every country everywhere has its weirdness, and political figures are only part of it. Every political figure that exists in every country does NOT mean that every individual in that particular country believes in the way that particular political figure acts/speaks and everything they do.

The political figures are merely a small representation of the country. We are represented also by music, fashion, production, and Disneyland. :jester:

"Whoever said there's nothing new under the sun never thought much about the individual." ~ Roger Clyne

In another person's eyes, WE ARE ALL WEIRD in some way. So accept it and let's get on with life.

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"Whoever said there's nothing new under the sun never thought much about the individual." ~ Roger Clyne

"There's nothing new under the sun" is a phrase from the Old Testament. It's existential and does encompass the fact that humans are all the same through words and actions, no matter the time. Roger Clyne, on the other hand, would probably approve of this discussion so far, as he sees things differently from individual to individual :beatnik:

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I dunno, I get a Miss Piggy vibe from failin' palin :beatnik:

Oh, yeah, I forgot, there was also that crazy bi... witch, alleged campaign-fund embezzler, proven fornicator and religious hypocrite, christine o'donnell. Hahaha. As if she really stood a chance of getting voted into office.

See? I think THIS is an insult. No way am I anything like o'donnell! Hell, I'll call myself a "witch" if it'll make the distinction more plain to someone of her ilk :cool:

The most radical politicians as of this moment are probably the Pauls - Ron and his son, Rand. In spite of their crazy ideas, they're both against the invasion/occupation of Iraq and neverending war/occupation of Afghanistan, something which our president doesn't have the werewithal to put to a real conclusion.

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I never said my country doesn't have its own problems. That would just be stupid. But we were talking about perceptions of weirdness, and if your perception of the UK becoming "a nanny state" (a typically right-wing criticism of our welfare state: the organised state-provision of health and social care, education, equality of access to culture, libraries, civic rights, etc.) is the best you can come up with to exemplify our weirdness or our "problems", then that says something already.

Also, if you think that the majority of people in this country (and there's over 300 million of us) are somehow influenced by, or have admiration for, Sarah Palin.....you're off your rocker. She appeals to a fringe. As in, a small subset of a larger group.

I might be mistaken, but just the year before last, wasn't she the second-in-command of the most powerful political party in the world, going into an election? I guess I must have dreamt that. I'm glad that the people are coming round to the idea that she is a hysterical roving muppet, (cool phrase, by the way :thumbsup: ), because for a while there, we were worried that Americans might have lost the plot completely.

This shooting in Tuscon basically sealed her fate anyway. All she's good for now is mocking how unbelievably stupid she is. She's got no actual power, no actual responsibilities.
"Every cloud has a silver lining", they say. It's a shame something like this has to happen to identify her human and political shortcomings though, eh? She has always appeared unbelievably stupid and totally unsuitable for any position of influence. Why was she tolerated for so long?

The United States has had a long history of humoring political morons. Do some reading sometime.
You're arguing against yourself here: this is but one of the reasons why relatively sensible, moderate British and Belgian people might perceive America as weird.

Whilst I'm keen to keep the discussion light-hearted, please don't advise me to "do some reading sometime", as if I were some sort of moron. :(

Now you go on and have a nice weekend.
Thank you. I certainly will. I am, in fact. Had a terrific birthday party last night amongst a houseful of great friends, and I'm still feeling the love this afternoon. :content:

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Sarah Palin was never second-in-command of anything. She was John McCain's running mate in 2008, but his selection of her basically guaranteed he'd have no shot in hell of winning the election....and he didn't. The second-in-command of the Republican party during that election was the then-Vice President, Dick Cheney.

John McCain was basically forced to pick her, because she appealed to the "base" more than he did, and would guarantee they'd vote for him -- but it also meant that no one else would, ie., moderates or Independents. So she was all in one a great choice and a horrible choice. Which worked out well for me and others of my political persuasion.

BTW, if you think I was calling England a "nanny state" because of "access to culture, libraries, civic rights"....you're insane. Do you think there's no culture, libraries or civil rights in the United States or better yet, there's no access to them? Granted we have a ways to go re: gay rights, but what century do you think we're currently stuck in? Looking at my calendar, it's the 21st century, but things may be different across the ol' fish pond.

You said it yourself -- you have a welfare state. I don't like welfare states and have wanted for years for our federal government to reform our own welfare system to limit and eventually end, abuses to said system. The idea that you can sit on public welfare for decades sometimes, with no desire to ever get off it, is a major, major problem, both in inner cities and more rural areas alike.

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Of course we appear weird to other countries. We are, just by our very nature. Weird being defined as out of the norm by the greater perception of those individuals. Different.

We've got over 300 million people here. We are not the fairly homogeneous society that is found in the societies of other countries. That's the whole point of the US, that seems to be forgotten by our own citizens as well. The very nature of the US is that it is diverse. And the fact that we have set ourselves up as a country, government and society that is supposed to be some sort of golden standard to the rest of the world. A tough ideal to live up to, and sometimes we stumble. A lot of the time we stumble.

So you take the Constitution, and the US's golden ideals (that can be as much hindrance as help) the individual cultural influences, the nature of the world & national media as it is today, the "wired" world we live in that gives everyone access to almost anything, and then toss in each of those 300 million individual's personal experiences .... it all adds up to weird in the eyes of other countries, it's easy to see that. Sheer numbers alone make us seem weirder than most.

But if you were born and bred here, or if you came to this country seeking something better, those golden ideals are important, even if they sometimes seem to get in the way. We tolerate and accept and celebrate more diversity than anywhere else in the world. That means you've got to take the bad with the good. For every Martin Luther King you've got a Sarah Palin (my only comparison here is the very good to the very bad). We as a country forget that as often as others do.

We're a very different society than the societies of any other country. It's completely understandable that others perception of us is that we are somewhat weird. We are. We are unlike any other country in the world. Good with the bad, warts and all. If nothing else it makes life interesting.

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