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A Reputation Tarnished
Author: BobR    Date: 01/18/2008 13:40:39

When I was young, we always believed that America had a sterling reputation. We were the shiny example of what a great country should be, with opportunity and freedom for everyone. We were the country that rode to the rescue of other countries, that supported the good guys and took on the bad guys. We were the silver in a world full of pewter.

My how times have changed. In the last 7 years we've gone from being the best friend to the bully. We've gone from being the possibility of hope to the prodigal son. We've gone from being the challenger of nations to the child in the corner.

By now, most of you have already heard that Canada - Canada - has put us in the same catagory as Syria and Iran (two countries that Bush refers to as evil) as "torturing" countries.
OTTAWA, Jan 17 (Reuters) - An official Canadian government document has put both the United States and Israel on a watch list of countries where prisoners run the risk of being tortured, CTV television reported on Thursday.

The revelation is likely to embarrass the minority Conservative government, which is a staunch U.S. ally.

The document mentions the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba where a Canadian man is being held. CTV said the document was part of a course on torture awareness given to Canadian diplomats to help them determine whether prisoners they visited abroad had been mistreated. It said the document mentioned U.S. interrogation techniques such as "forced nudity, isolation, and sleep deprivation."

Other countries on the watch list include Syria, China, Iran and Afghanistan, CTV said.

So while Canada is putting us on the "torturers list" (and rightly so), we have the Netherlands upset at Robert Gates' criticism of NATO forces:
THE HAGUE -- The Dutch Defense Ministry on Wednesday summoned the U.S. ambassador as other American allies denounced criticism of NATO forces in Afghanistan by U.S. Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates.

The U.S. ambassador, Roland Arnall, met with ministry officials to offer a "clarification of the comments" by Gates, said chief State Department spokesman Sean McCormack.

....

Although he did not criticize any country individually, Gates said he had raised the concerns at a meeting last month of NATO countries with troops in southern Afghanistan. Those forces are predominantly British, Canadian and Dutch.

Meanwhile, as we are busy alienating our alies and becoming a torturer nation, we are also slipping into 3rd world status. The UN has chided us for how we are dealing with our own citizens in the aftermath of Katrina:
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A United Nations official who has toured parts of Louisiana and Mississippi devastated by Hurricane Katrina says the thousands of victims of the storm resemble poor people displaced by natural disasters in other parts of the world.

"Whether you're displaced in a rich country or a poor country, what remains the same is you need to get the help, the assistance of the authorities, of the communities, to be able to restart a normal life, and the people I have met are not there yet," said Walter Kalin, the UN secretary general's representative on the human rights of internally displaced persons.

And of course, the cherry on the cake, the piece d'resistance, the absolute proof that the incompetence and hubris of one man and his policies are to blame for this: Bush tries to tell Saudi Arabia what to do with their oil and is rebuked:
Saudi Oil Minister Ali Ibrahim Naimi refused Bush’s request for more oil. Bush who was whimpering about high cost of oil pleaded with the Saudis to increase oil output. With the American economic system failing and the U.S. dollar virtually worthless on the world stage, Bush is worried. President Bush, with his Left Behind Christian philosophy, appeared not only utterly inept in his bid to pander to the Saudis, but challenged cognitively in his understanding of global affairs.

Is there hope? Sure - impeachment. It seems, though, that the Democrats in congress don't have the stomach for that. So we must wait another 368 days until Bush leaves the White House for good. After that, the next president must go about trying to right the wrongs, rebuild the relationships, and restore America's reputation as the shining beacon on the hill.

Better bring some silver polish...


127 comments (Latest Comment: 01/19/2008 13:44:21 by BobR)
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Comment by m-hadley on 01/18/2008 14:08:48
Mornin' Everybody!

I don't know about you all, but I'm glad it's Friday



Comment by Grumpymann on 01/18/2008 14:24:03
Let the fun begin!

Comment by BobR on 01/18/2008 14:43:10
Morning, folks... :coffee:



Time for me to go to work... :(



In the meantime: Chess Master Bobby Fischer dead at 64

Comment by TriSec on 01/18/2008 14:47:12
Here's a geeky question for everyone...



Are we all familiar with how a ship sinks, especially if the damage is not immediately fatal?



This is what happened to the Titanic...it slowly flooded in a predictable manner over time, but then it reaches a point where the incoming water overcomes the remaining buoyancy of the ship, and it rapidly fills up with water and heads for the bottom.



This is called "downflooding" and it's a rather spectacular thing to watch.



Looks to me like the ol' ship of state is reaching that downflooding stage. With all the pressures on the economy, international, allies, our reputation, everything....something's got to give.



Remember what old TJ said..."A little revolution now and then is a good thing, don't you think?"





Comment by livingonli on 01/18/2008 14:47:36
Good morning everyone.



And the ironic thing is Canada has a right-wing government like we do at the moment. Bush has really destroyed our reputation in the world.

Comment by livingonli on 01/18/2008 14:54:16
Trickle down? Don't piss on my back and tell me it's ra

Comment by starling310 on 01/18/2008 14:55:03
Morning.



Regarding Impeachment. Please sign here!

Comment by starling310 on 01/18/2008 14:58:01
His cadence does kind of bother me.



Comment by Raine on 01/18/2008 15:01:38
Good morning

Comment by Raine on 01/18/2008 15:02:45
Rubs eyes... is that Grump that I see???

Comment by livingonli on 01/18/2008 15:05:53
Good morning star and Raine.

Comment by Raine on 01/18/2008 15:06:02
Quote by starling310: Morning.



Regarding Impeachment. Please sign here!


Signed!

Comment by starling310 on 01/18/2008 15:07:07
Hey Liv!



Wexler has started reading the names of people, who want hearings, on the House floor.



That was 2 separate thoughts, by the way!







Comment by wickedpam on 01/18/2008 15:07:59
Morning! :hug:

Comment by shelaghc on 01/18/2008 15:09:32
G'morning. Today is my last live boobie day and I may not even get to listen to the show live.







I have to drive into Chicago to see if someone can fix the light switch on my car. A place locally could do it, but it'd cost over $100 - including a $20 coupon I found. If the guys downtown can do it for less, I'll be less annoyed. Right now I'm pulling out fuses so I don't lose my battery. I suppose it could be worse - if the switch had broken when I was turning the lights *on* instead, I wouldn't be able to drive at night at all.



Also heading over to a comic book-style shop to sell a big batch of old Dr. Who books, Star Wars paraphernalia and other assorted geekish things.



Then, if I have time, heading over to a cell phone repair place to download my old phone numbers so I can enter them into the new one.



All things that *must* be done today because tomorrow is going to be frickin' cold around here.



Happy Friday!

Comment by Raine on 01/18/2008 15:10:24
I saw that segment on KO last night... This is not the Bill clinton that I have known and loved.



I do not like what I am seeing from him at all.

Comment by Raine on 01/18/2008 15:14:08
it hurts daddies feelings!!

Comment by livingonli on 01/18/2008 15:16:22
Quote by Raine: I saw that segment on KO last night... This is not the Bill clinton that I have known and loved.



I do not like what I am seeing from him at all.


I think it was Laura who said this would have been like Papa Bush trying to block a caucus or primary when Chimpy was running in 2000. Well, we did have James Baker helping with putting the fix in the Supreme Court.

Comment by TriSec on 01/18/2008 15:19:26
Shelagh, do you have the kind of car that the lights stay on if you take out the key?



I wouldn't worry about the battery too much...as long as the engine and alternator are OK, you should be fine to drive with the headlights on all the time.



Before I had a car with daytime running lights, I used to do that routinely with no ill effects, other than people telling me I had my headlights on...





Comment by Raine on 01/18/2008 15:19:33
Tom Delay seems to Despise John McCain...



It is amazing that the entire repuplican party has become so myopic that they truly cannot find a candidate. I suppose this is what happen when you are the party of complete and utter intolerance, eh?



Comment by Raine on 01/18/2008 15:26:33
I posted the video of this over on the MB. Mitt is such an incredible tool!

Comment by Raine on 01/18/2008 15:27:15
That reporter was actually APPROACCHED by Mitt and sorta harrassed him a toosh.

Comment by wickedpam on 01/18/2008 15:33:00
Okay I'm just hearing about these rebate things again - where the hell is the government going to get the money to give everyone making under 85,000 about $800? Is this going to be like the $300 we got the last time, the one that was an advance on your future IRS refund and you have to pay taxes on it?

Comment by BobR on 01/18/2008 15:40:07
Quote by wickedpam: Okay I'm just hearing about these rebate things again - where the hell is the government going to get the money to give everyone making under 85,000 about $800? Is this going to be like the $300 we got the last time, the one that was an advance on your future IRS refund and you have to pay taxes on it?


That would be my guess. It's not a tax rebate, it's a loan against future taxes.

Comment by starling310 on 01/18/2008 15:40:39
*sigh* . . . . what an awesome first lady she would be. . .

http://www.dennis4president.com/images/rsgallery/display/EWNA1.jpg.jpg


Comment by wickedpam on 01/18/2008 15:43:27
Quote by BobR:
Quote by wickedpam: Okay I'm just hearing about these rebate things again - where the hell is the government going to get the money to give everyone making under 85,000 about $800? Is this going to be like the $300 we got the last time, the one that was an advance on your future IRS refund and you have to pay taxes on it?


That would be my guess. It's not a tax rebate, it's a loan against future taxes.




That's kinda what I'm figuring. And everyone is only focusing on the fact that they would get like $800 so they could run out and blow it on something they don't need but they want.



Comment by starling310 on 01/18/2008 15:43:51
I love being able to hear Momma crumpling the paper after a bit.





Comment by livingonli on 01/18/2008 15:44:54
Quote by wickedpam:
Quote by BobR:
Quote by wickedpam: Okay I'm just hearing about these rebate things again - where the hell is the government going to get the money to give everyone making under 85,000 about $800? Is this going to be like the $300 we got the last time, the one that was an advance on your future IRS refund and you have to pay taxes on it?


That would be my guess. It's not a tax rebate, it's a loan against future taxes.




That's kinda what I'm figuring. And everyone is only focusing on the fact that they would get like $800 so they could run out and blow it on something they don't need but they want.



In my case, it would be used to pay off bills.

Comment by starling310 on 01/18/2008 15:45:15
Bill. . . .



Ugh. . .



Oof.

Comment by starling310 on 01/18/2008 15:45:57
Maybe it's a "good point" if you're not gay, chris.



Comment by starling310 on 01/18/2008 15:46:49
Basically what was just said was "Gay people were free to live their lives. . . " to a certain extent. Separate but equal. It's not a "good point." Thank you very much.



Comment by TriSec on 01/18/2008 15:48:33
I heard about the rebates this morning, too.



$1600 for a married couple.



I think we'd put that in the savings account as a hedge against future disaster, or maybe pay off a lesser credit card with it.



Certainly not buying that big HDTV that Bush wants me too.





Comment by starling310 on 01/18/2008 15:51:05
Comment by livingonli on 01/18/2008 15:52:20
http://www.stephaniemiller.com/imagesuser/original/moderate3.jpg


Comment by starling310 on 01/18/2008 15:55:58
Oh he changed the trajectory alright.

Comment by starling310 on 01/18/2008 15:57:14
Huckabee is George Bush II : The even scarier sequel.



Comment by starling310 on 01/18/2008 15:57:36
BeliefNet can bite me.



Comment by livingonli on 01/18/2008 16:03:22
The four redneck food groups: Squirrel, possum, moonshine, and catfish.

Comment by velveeta jones on 01/18/2008 16:03:52
Quote by starling310: *sigh* . . . . what an awesome first lady she would be. . .

http://www.dennis4president.com/images/rsgallery/display/EWNA1.jpg.jpg




I agree she's not bad for a white chick! (Hee Hee)



Oh. Morning all..........

Comment by wickedpam on 01/18/2008 16:06:32
Quote by livingonli:
Quote by wickedpam:
Quote by BobR:
Quote by wickedpam: Okay I'm just hearing about these rebate things again - where the hell is the government going to get the money to give everyone making under 85,000 about $800? Is this going to be like the $300 we got the last time, the one that was an advance on your future IRS refund and you have to pay taxes on it?


That would be my guess. It's not a tax rebate, it's a loan against future taxes.




That's kinda what I'm figuring. And everyone is only focusing on the fact that they would get like $800 so they could run out and blow it on something they don't need but they want.



In my case, it would be used to pay off bills.




Either that or I'd have money to put aside to replace my carpet which is a need and a want, my carpet is over 20 years old and it's ugly!



Comment by livingonli on 01/18/2008 16:07:19
Good morning VJ.

Comment by starling310 on 01/18/2008 16:09:59
A Mookskuteer would wear antlers. I'm sure of it.



Comment by Raine on 01/18/2008 16:13:17
I hate momentary power outages, prompting your modem to not work... :(

Comment by Raine on 01/18/2008 16:14:45
Quote by livingonli:
http://www.stephaniemiller.com/imagesuser/original/moderate3.jpg
:clap: that is perfect!

Comment by Raine on 01/18/2008 16:16:29
Quote by livingonli:
Quote by wickedpam:
Quote by BobR:
Quote by wickedpam: Okay I'm just hearing about these rebate things again - where the hell is the government going to get the money to give everyone making under 85,000 about $800? Is this going to be like the $300 we got the last time, the one that was an advance on your future IRS refund and you have to pay taxes on it?
That would be my guess. It's not a tax rebate, it's a loan against future taxes.
That's kinda what I'm figuring. And everyone is only focusing on the fact that they would get like $800 so they could run out and blow it on something they don't need but they want.
In my case, it would be used to pay off bills.
And yes, as mala pointed out, you would have to pay taxes on the rebate. IT is a band aid on a bleeding flesh wound.

Comment by shelaghc on 01/18/2008 16:16:36
Quote by TriSec: Shelagh, do you have the kind of car that the lights stay on if you take out the key?



I wouldn't worry about the battery too much...as long as the engine and alternator are OK, you should be fine to drive with the headlights on all the time.



Before I had a car with daytime running lights, I used to do that routinely with no ill effects, other than people telling me I had my headlights on...




It's an older VW - the headlights go off, but the parking lights, license plate light and dash lights all stay on. Yep - I do have to pull out the fuses. And I have to at least put back the ones for the parking lights because that includes the turn signals.



:-/

I don't have a problem driving with the headlights on - that's really not an issue. Alternator is only a couple of years old as is the battery.



le sigh



Comment by starling310 on 01/18/2008 16:18:41
Jim's Sean Connery "YES!" just made me spew chewed celery.





Comment by velveeta jones on 01/18/2008 16:19:29
BobR's blog is great, so right on target. I never thought I see the day when it is embarressing to be an American............not going oversee's for awhile!

Comment by wickedpam on 01/18/2008 16:19:47
I love the word Poofter - I know it's wrong but it goes back to my love of the Young Ones.