Off Topic Messages

Happy Birthday, Bill Clinton!

Fri Aug 19, 2005 6:59 am

August 19 is President Bill Clinton's birthday, and I wish him well. In January 2001 he left office and the country in great shape. It's shameful what's happened since. Too bad there is a limit on terms a President can serve, otherwise, he'd have won in 2000 and 2004. And the US would be in a much better place.

DJC

Fri Aug 19, 2005 7:02 am

Not to mention that some pretty, young intern would always have a secure job.

Fri Aug 19, 2005 7:20 am

Right..Osama Bin Laden's head on a platter....and we get 9/11 instead. Our current president was fighting an uphill battle with a close race, instead of having the real worry on his hands when becoming president. The U.S.A. was looking the other way with interns...and many people died because of it.

Oh yeah, happy birthday Bill Clinton...have another Big Mac on me.

Fri Aug 19, 2005 7:52 am

Never ever Osama Bin Laden's head on a platter. I have heard that so many times and found it that was a fabrication started by the Sudanese to take the heat off their own terror related activities. Had Republicans not cared so much about the intern there wouldn't have been any distraction.

Even with the destruction that GW has wreaked upon the nation, I am glad that there is a limit on terms for the president as if people get too entrenched up there it can become dangerous for the democratic process.

Although I have extreme respect for the ex-president and wish him well, I have a sense of sadness about his presidency. There was so much potential for good there and a lot of it was squandered partially due to the Lewinksy sideshow but also to political expediency and his deep desire albeit occasionally destructive desire to please everyone. (Anyone remember "Don't ask don't tell"?) However, Clinton did a lot of good in his presidency including providing cops and teachers to needy communities, the Americorp program, the most productive talks Israel and Palenstine had in decades, thwarting a war with North Korea, a strong record on the environment, budget surpluses after generations of deficits and if I had some time the list would be longer. And let's not forget some of his noble failures like the attempt to devise some sort of national healthcare system.

He had his deficiencies as well. His record on civil rights and civil liberties was not always strong even if most of the time this occurred more in his public stances than his decision making. And, although he was an absolute titan in this regard compared to the current president, he did not do enough to discourage terrorism worldwide. But then everyone in the 1990s was asleep at the wheel on this issue. Clinton himself mentioned it often in many speeches and established the position of terrorism czar. However, his actions were limited by the Lewinsky scandal and the accompanying political fallout that came with any action. (I.E. He's using this as a smokescreen to take attention from the scandal.)

Fri Aug 19, 2005 10:31 am

Why can't more people on the MB present their thoughts with as much intelligence and insight as LTB?

News flash: 9/11 occured during Bush JR's administration.

DJC

Fri Aug 19, 2005 10:48 am

drjohncarpenter wrote:Why can't more people on the MB present their thoughts with as much intelligence and insight as LTB?

DJC


You should try it Doc. :wink:

8)

Fri Aug 19, 2005 11:11 am

Billy boy has a CD coming out as well.

11 tracks and none by him playing Sax. No Elvis either. Bill has chosen the tracks and has been heard blasting it from his SUV where ever he goes.

All proceeds are going to good causes, good on ya Bill.

Re: Happy Birthday, Bill Clinton!

Fri Aug 19, 2005 2:31 pm

drjohncarpenter wrote:August 19 is President Bill Clinton's birthday, and I wish him well. In January 2001 he left office and the country in great shape. It's shameful what's happened since. Too bad there is a limit on terms a President can serve, otherwise, he'd have won in 2000 and 2004. And the US would be in a much better place.

DJC




I agree, Doc. It's just an absolute disgrace the shape this country is in right now because little George Bush wanted to try to finish what his Dad couldn't do.....


Gas prices here are the worst!


And don't get me started on the war in Iraq.............we've lost so many troops that it's ridiculous! And all for what reason? just because little Georgie wants to play "soldiers"? Frankly, I'd love to see our boys brought home and this whole thing over with. I have a cousin that quite possibly may be sent over there and put on the front lines and it scares the Hell outta me........... :(

Fri Aug 19, 2005 2:51 pm

That´s too sad Tony Trout :cry:

Fri Aug 19, 2005 2:55 pm

Can I wish Bill Clinton a Happy Birthday even though he was never my president? 8)


Tony -
gas prices in the US are not the worst, if you take other countries into consideration. :?

Fri Aug 19, 2005 3:14 pm

likethebike wrote:Had Republicans not cared so much about the intern there wouldn't have been any distraction.


Exactly. But it was the only thing left in the armoury after all other efforts to bring him down had failed. Kenneth Starr presided over a shameful, transparent witchhunt. I'm not suggesting Clinton was without fault, but I can't think of any other leader that has been subjected to such a lengthy and costly smear campaign. I'm also quite certain that most Presidents wouldn't have come through such a process without a tainted reputation, for whatever reason.

Fri Aug 19, 2005 3:59 pm

likethebike wrote:Never ever Osama Bin Laden's head on a platter. I have heard that so many times and found it that was a fabrication started by the Sudanese to take the heat off their own terror related activities. Had Republicans not cared so much about the intern there wouldn't have been any distraction.


Yeah, sure.....those bad ol Republican's should have looked the other way when it came to purgery in the Paula Jones grand jury testimony. No big deal.

All a complete fabrication???? hmmm

In Feb. 2002, however, Mr. Clinton clearly admitted that the Sudanese offer had indeed taken place. And that he turned it down.


"Mr. bin Laden used to live in Sudan," Clinton told the Long Island Association on Feb. 15, 2002.


"He was expelled from Saudi Arabia in 1991, then he went to Sudan. And we'd been hearing that the Sudanese wanted America to start dealing with them again.


"They released him. At the time, 1996, he had committed no crime against America so I did not bring him here because we had no basis on which to hold him, though we knew he wanted to commit crimes against America.


"So I pleaded with the Saudis to take him, 'cause they could have. But they thought it was a hot potato and they didn't and that's how he wound up in Afghanistan."

XXXXXXXXXXXXX

Meanwhile this "hot potato" formed a plan after repeated attempts....and what does the U.S.A. got to contend with, more Bull Sh*t from this so called great president... who midnight pardons criminals with family connections and money exchanges. In return we have a bunch of sorehead liberals and a divided country from the love of "their boy". The bombings were perfect timing. Kind of like leaving a job in the middle of complete chaos. Thx B.C. you shame of a human being. May your health be as good as your recent past.

Fri Aug 19, 2005 6:27 pm

Melanie wrote:Tony -
gas prices in the US are not the worst, if you take other countries into consideration. :?



Well, you do have a point. I didn't think of that.........my bad.........*hangs head*

Fri Aug 19, 2005 7:06 pm

Don't mean to hijack this thread, but read this...

This chart is from CNN's website. Pretty astonishing collection of data:

Gas prices around the world

Gasoline prices in the United States, which have recently hit record highs, are actually much lower than in many countries. Drivers in some European cities, like Amsterdam and Oslo, are paying nearly 3 times more than those in the U.S.

The main factor in price disparities between countries is government policy, according to AirInc, a company that tracks the cost of living in various places around the world. Many European nations tax gasoline heavily, with taxes making up as much as 75 percent of the cost of a gallon of gasoline, said a spokesperson for AirInc.

Netherlands Amsterdam $6.48
Norway Oslo $6.27
Italy Milan $5.96
Denmark Copenhagen $5.93
Belgium Brussels $5.91
Sweden Stockholm $5.80
United Kingdom London $5.79
Germany Frankfurt $5.57
France Paris $5.54
Portugal Lisbon $5.35
Hungary Budapest $4.94
Luxembourg $4.82
Croatia Zagreb $4.81
Ireland Dublin $4.78
Switzerland Geneva $4.74
Spain Madrid $4.55
Japan Tokyo $4.24
Czech Republic Prague $4.19
Romania Bucharest $4.09
Andorra $4.08
Estonia Tallinn $3.62
Bulgaria Sofia $3.52
Brazil Brasilia $3.12
Cuba Havana $3.03
Taiwan Taipei $2.84
Lebanon Beirut $2.63
South Africa Johannesburg $2.62
Nicaragua Managua $2.61
United States Washington $2.32
Panama Panama City $2.19
Russia Moscow $2.10
Puerto Rico San Juan $1.74
Saudi Arabia Riyadh $0.91
Kuwait Kuwait City $0.78
Egypt Cairo $0.65
Nigeria Lagos $0.38
Venezuela Caracas $0.12

In a few Latin America and Middle-East nations, such as Venezuela and Saudi Arabia, oil is produced by a government-owned company and local gasoline prices are kept low as a benefit to the nation's citizens, he said. All prices updated 2005.

Fri Aug 19, 2005 7:29 pm

Are these figures adjusted for purchasing power parity? I.e that $6 for a gollon of petrol may not be that much if the average wage is $20 per hour.

Andrew

Fri Aug 19, 2005 8:07 pm

It doesn't specifically state so, but I think the data has been adjusted, because it is the norm to use PPP exchange rates in international comparisons of standard of living.
What do you think?

Fri Aug 19, 2005 8:46 pm

I got a better idea...how about comparing the price, to how much the average will buy you. i.e. Gas is at 2.55 a gallon...what will it buy you now compared to the price of gas 50 years ago and what it would buy you then. Gas was around a dollar in the 50's, yet you could get a hamburger for nickels. Yet now what will 2.55 get you?

Fri Aug 19, 2005 9:48 pm

genesim wrote:I got a better idea...how about comparing the price, to how much the average will buy you. i.e. Gas is at 2.55 a gallon...what will it buy you now compared to the price of gas 50 years ago and what it would buy you then. Gas was around a dollar in the 50's, yet you could get a hamburger for nickels. Yet now what will 2.55 get you?


Actually, gas was around a quarter a gallon in the 1950s.

Happy Birthday Bill, I can't put into words how much we miss you here in the US of A :(

Fri Aug 19, 2005 9:54 pm

.... yes, it's at it's highest, in the low countries ....



And back on-topic:

John Mellencamp's vision on Clinton & George W.

Eight years of peace and prosperity
Scandal in the White House
An election is what we need
From coast-to-coast to Washington

So America voted on a president
No one kept count
On how the election went
From Florida to Washington

deleted - see guidelines #2, said one side
And the other said the same
Both looked pretty guilty
But no one took the blame
From coast-to-coast to Washington

So a new man in the White House
With a familiar name
Said he had some fresh ideas
But it's worse now since he came
From Texas to Washington

And he wants to fight with many
And he says it's not for oil
He sent out the National Guard
To police the world
From Baghdad to Washington

What is the thought process to take a humans life?
What would be the reason to think that this is right?
From heaven to Washington
From Jesus Christ to Washington

Fri Aug 19, 2005 10:24 pm

Melanie wrote:It doesn't specifically state so, but I think the data has been adjusted, because it is the norm to use PPP exchange rates in international comparisons of standard of living.
What do you think?


I don't think they have adjusted it for PPP - it's probably just crude exchange rates.

Genesim - you are right. It would make sense to compare the price with other goods. I think the best way is to get the $ of petrol per gallon or litre in each country and then see how many one hours earnings will buy you (based on an average hourly rate).

For example if petrol was $2 per gallon in the US and the average hourly wage was $10 then, in terms of petrol, the average hourly wage is 5 gallons. If in the UK a gallon is $6 and the average hourly wage was $8 then, in terms of petrol, the average hourly wage is 1.33 gallons.

Fri Aug 19, 2005 10:34 pm

AndrewJ wrote:For example if petrol was $2 per gallon in the US and the average hourly wage was $10 then, in terms of petrol, the average hourly wage is 5 gallons. If in the UK a gallon is $6 and the average hourly wage was $8 then, in terms of petrol, the average hourly wage is 1.33 gallons.


Ummm, it was my understanding that there would be no math.

Tom

Fri Aug 19, 2005 11:00 pm

genesim wrote:I got a better idea...how about comparing the price, to how much the average will buy you. i.e. Gas is at 2.55 a gallon...what will it buy you now compared to the price of gas 50 years ago and what it would buy you then. Gas was around a dollar in the 50's, yet you could get a hamburger for nickels. Yet now what will 2.55 get you?


Yeah, if you wanted a computer at home in the 50's how much would one have cost you ?

Fri Aug 19, 2005 11:28 pm

The metric of hours of work per gallon of gasoline would be instructive. But so would the avg gallons of gas purchased per year. Clearly Americans pay a lot less for gas than just about any other industrialized nation. And seem to drive a great deal more than Europeans, Japanese, etc. So a significant rise in the cost probably hits far harder.

Fri Aug 19, 2005 11:43 pm

Melanie..that and American's are just whiney.

The implication of high gas prices and people crying is what? Do they think the government should step in? I hate that crap. The answer is natural progression. If it gets bad enough, then people will find another way. Government should stay out of business. Like the current airline that is trouble(I forget now..delta?), I say let them go down. Don't be like Chrysler several years ago. Don't save them, but let them understand the hit. Airplane tickets are too expesive. Let them hurt. Again, people will find another way.

I know when I suddenly lost my car, did I stop going to work...hell no! If I have to bus it in, then I will do it. If I have to peddle in, I just may do that too. BUT I am not gonna starve.

Ryan D, 25 cents a gallon? That seems to be stretching. But to give you the benefit of the doubt, lets up it another 10 years. I admit to just guessing, but not by much.

Sat Aug 20, 2005 12:13 am

There is only so much oil in the world, and an ever increasing number of car drivers. China is starting to get car crazy - and there are billions of them. During my time in the US I noticed something. Every large gas guzzling car / SUV on the road had it's windows locked shut with the A/C running. It was usually around 68 degrees outside. How about rolling down the windows? What about the troops in Iraq? Men seem to be dieing for oil there and some Americans waste fuel. Pretty sad if you ask me.

The only smart people are the ones not complaining. They are looking at alternatives to their transportation needs...trading in or getting rid of that gas guzzler and getting a more economical/fuel efficient cars to drive to/from work, bus/train/bike, walking. The complainers will still complain as they drive down the highway alone in the SUV and wonder why gas is 5 dollars per gallon.

What I see in Europe is not a waste of resoureces, but a respect for the resources that are there. The autos that are made for the European market are not the crap that Detroit puts out, but stylish, fun to drive autos with very high milage outputs. What you don't see is the wasteful SUVs, but midsize SUVs which get close to 30 to 40 miles a gallon. Why don't Americans chose to insist on a mass transit system that is efficient and available to everyone and require autos with higher mpg?

Thirty years ago we were told that there was only enough petroleum on earth to last about fifty years. The thinking then was to use up other peoples oil first and save ours for last. Additionally, our oil was (and is) more expensive to extract and refine than Saudi light crude, so it made sense to follow this line of reasoning. However, things have changed and that thinking is no longer valid. Since the Shah of Iran left and OPEC was formed, we no longer can control the quantity of oil pumped from that region, and the artificial constricting of supply in order to drive up prices is what we're living with today. Our economic future lies in the hands of some very unstable (and unfriendly) folks.