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Three-quarters of those questioned said they were following the story closely, an attention level the pollsters said was usually reserved for some of the most gripping news events.

ABC News on Rumsfield

I have no desire to live in the US and I haven't traveled much there. I have worked with Americans.

What I like about Americans is the fact that they take all this seriously. (Well, somebody has to.) Individual Americans understand that their country is them, collectively. There is no Big Brother that will come and bail them out if they screw up.

America is a genuine democracy. The separation of powers, federal/state division, with remainder to citizens makes the US a mess to govern - and impossible for foreigners to lobby. The US president seems important to foreigners but Americans refer to the "bully-pulpit".

If a country allows (encourages?) someone like Michael Moore to stand up and tell Bush very publicly to take a hike, I am happy that country is the super-power in my neighbourhood.

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The only thing that country really needs is a real name.
The Soviets had a bureaucratic name too. CCCP, like USA.

Newness is not reason to be impressed.

America? Consider this.

Name one country in the world (First League: Canada,Bulgaria, France, Japan. Dumb League: Argentina, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Nigeria.) where a Minister of Defence does the mea culpa?

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The US is only the 14th most democratic nation in the world. In the US, people can be punished for soeaking against the President. What kind of democracy is that? It's remiscent of Ceausescu's Romania.

1) John Clarke, an organiser with the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP), was detained at the American border by immigration officials on his way to a speaking engagement at Michigan State University. A State Department agent drove in from Detroit and interrogated Clarke about his participation in anti-globalisation protests, about whether he "opposed the ideology of the United States." The agent presented a State Department folder on OCAP that included the name of a man with whom Clarke had stayed in Chicago, and leaflets from Clarke's previous speaking engagements in the US

2) A surburban New York judge asked Anissa Khoder, a US citizen of Lebanese descent, if she was "a terrorist" when she appeared in court over parking tickets.

3) In May 2002, 6 French journalists were stopped at Los Angeles International Airport, interrogated and subjected to body searches. They were detained for more than a day and expelled from the United States before they could reach their final destination - a video game trade show.

4) At a high school in Vermont, a uniformed police officer entered teacher Tom Treece's classroom at 1:30am to photograph a student art project that depicted "President Bush with duct tape over his mouth" and the caption "Put your duct tape to good use. Shut your mouth." Treece was removed from teaching his current events class.

5) A college student from North Carolina, AJ Brown, was visited by two Secret Service agents who questioned her about her possession of "Anti-American" material. Without inviting them in, Brown showed the agents what she assumed they came for - an anti-death-penalty poster showing Bush and a group of lynched bodies with the caption: "We hang on your every word."

6) North Carolina Green Party activist Doug Stuber was detained and questioned while trying to fly to Prague, then told that no Greens were allowed to fly that day. His interrogators showed him a document from the Justice Department that showed that Green were likely terrorists, and the Secret Service took a mug shot! Stuber was forced to tuen back.

7) CBS fired a producer of "Hitler: The Rise of Evil" for statements he made comparing the mood of America to that in Germany when Hitler ascended to power.

What sort of democracy is that?

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In the US, people can be punished for soeaking against the President.

Quick! Arrest John Kerry, Ralph Nader and Tom Daschle! Arrest Michael Moore, Martin Sheen and Alec Baldwin!

What a load of rubbish. Your examples are not even valid, you cite no sources so we cannot be certain that any of them actually happened, and we cannot examine the cases to see why anybody was accused of being a terrorist or refused entry to the US.

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This is really just a collection of isolated incidents. There is nothing here pointing to any kind of conspiracy from on high, certainly nothing like the death warrants and mass deportation orders signed by high Soviet officials and so on. In any country, including Canada, you could turn up a million such incidents, especially if you include Immigration. Given that millions of people in the US are in similar situations every day (in court, entering the US at border crossings and airports, reading or writing anti-US and anti-Bush books) with nothing of this kind happening to them, I see no reason to make any fatuous comparisons to "Ceausescu's Romania".

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Please someone...define democracy...do NOT use some dictionary...I want you, personally, to give some genuine thought to what you think constitutes a democracy. No examples of what countries are democratic are necessary...I would just like to hear your personal version of the definition of democracy. Whereby, a democracy points to certain conditions, and in reverse, when you have these conditions, they point to what can be refered to as democracy.

Thanks

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IMV, the main criteria defining democracy is that there's a peaceful way to get rid of leaders when they are no longer welcome.

I realize that this seems superficial but it holds up well as a practical test of democracy.

There are so many different ways to organize a constitution, hold elections, make collective decisions, ensure free speech, and so on. (For example, in most voting schemes, the person controlling the agenda in effect controls decisions. In the US Congress, the agenda is set by the Ways and Means committee.) And what about an independent judiciary? How independent?

The hand over of power is often a nervous moment. When Yeltsin resigned and handed power to Putin, he noted that it was the first peaceful transition in Russian history.

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Good one August. I read recently wher it was equated to porn. A Judge said "I can't define it, but I sure as hell know it when I see it."

I throw my two cents worth in and strangely enough, adds up to something similar to yours.

Democracy is when the people have a strong voice in their own fate and leaders are replaced when they are no longer working for the people.

Now as we have worked over before, true democracy is out the window as soon as more than two people gather, "Want to go to a movie?" One asks. "Whatever." Answers the other.

Movie it is and there at the 'Three Stooges Meet Frankenstien' the second says "Dam you and your stupid movie idea." Where the first says "Democratic baby, you passed."

Guess I'm trying to say that manknd is naturally democratic. If we were not then we would simply follow the biggest person, the richest, the fastest whatever. Instead, we look for the person that overall ensures our interests.

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Americans also like to boast that their country "spreads democracy" around the world. But it does no such thing. It's not gonna bring democracy to Iraq.

Also, whenever a country has a Communist government the US inades that country in order "to give that country a democracy," even though the Communist government was elected democratically. So, in order to promote democracy, the US destroys democracy.

It also says that the French and the Germans are the Axia of Weasels because they opposed the war, even though their governments, quite democratically, listened to the majority of their people.

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Also, whenever a country has a Communist government the US inades that country in order "to give that country a democracy," even though the Communist government was elected democratically. So, in order to promote democracy, the US destroys democracy.

Did you actually read about that, or did you just hear it? I'm guessing the latter, because if you did know about it you wouldn't talk such nonsense.

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Also, whenever a country has a Communist government the US inades that country in order "to give that country a democracy," even though the Communist government was elected democratically. So, in order to promote democracy, the US destroys democracy.

You have examples where a fair vote was taken for the general population to agree to perpeputal savery and being subject to mass exectutions, state terror for their lives and those of their children and so on? Normally, societies such as those have communism opporsed on them.

Unless of course there is one that has been voted in with term limits and a constitution that ensures that the people can hold regular democratic votes to change the government from time to time.

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I can't resist.

If a country allows (encourages?) someone like Michael Moore to stand up and tell Bush very publicly to take a hike, I am happy that country is the super-power in my neighbourhood.

Moore accuses Disney of censorship, Disney responds

Does it really. Where is my market "vote" on Mr. Moore's film? Oh wait, Disney says I don't get one, we can't have political films during an election year. :)

But we can have Fox News and talk radio.

Perhaps this medium we are using now will solve that problem in time.

(I myself think Mr. Moore is engaging in a publicity stunt but the argument reamins valid).

Please someone...define democracy

Democracy: A system of government whereby each citizen is given an equal vote and regular opportunity to select leaders who will make the laws governing all of the country insofar as those laws comply with a written constitution. The government must allow a free press and free access to all information regarding it's activities (except narrowly defined security concerns).

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I can't resist.
Neither can I. But not because I was born pro-American. I wasn't.

Diversity? The only country that stubbornly refuses metric.

Democracy? The only country that stubbornly recounts ballots for two months.

Free Speech? The only country that stubbornly allows people to disagree with the State.

Respect? The only country that stubbornly ignores its northern neighbour.

The people who created the United States did a service to humanity. IMV, as Canadians, we should be thankful that we have Americans as neighbours. (Have you ever spoken to a Finn? A Pole? A Greek? A Pakistani?)

Americans are irritating; but they defend the good fight.

In sixty years when you're dead (I'm serious - because anyone reading this will likely be dead then, 2064 ), what world do you want for your children - grandchildren?

Anyone born in 1985 may well have grandchildren who will die in 2110. What world will your grandkids know?

So, why bother to have kids...

If there is an answer to that question, I am thankful that our southern neighbour made me wonder about the question at all...

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