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Dutch MPs To Decide On Burqa Ban

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http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/4616664.stm

The Dutch government will announce over the next few weeks whether it will make it a crime to wear traditional Islamic dress which covers the face apart from the eyes.

Europe's answer to Islamofascism? Good old-fashioned Euro-fascism.

This should be an eye-opener for those who still think that the U.S. and Europe have most of the basics in common.

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Europe is a fairly hetrogenous place; you cant really extrapolate from what one country does to the whole continent. Its not like the US where different states are (relatively) similar due to having a common language, culture, history, and government. There does seem to be a trend towards this sort of thing in some European countries, but framing it as a "Europe vs the US" issue is silly. It would be like me posting an article about intelligent design in Kansas, along with a pithy comment about how we good Europeans are superior to American theocracy.

Edited by Hal

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Europe is a fairly hetrogenous place; you cant really extrapolate from what one country does to the whole continent.

"Europe" (= the EU) is one country. It ought not to be, but it is. A U.S. state enjoys more sovereignty today than a member of the EU does.

There used to be, and to some extent there still are, individual national cultures. But there is no difference in the thinking of Euro-politicians, no matter which member state they "represent."

a pithy comment about how we good Europeans are superior to American theocracy.

You're from Europe? Which part of it? Do you consider the EU to be a worthy cause, or at least superior to the US in some respects? (Just curious.)

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"Europe" (= the EU) is one country.
Well no, it isnt. Its a collection of countries which have mutual trade-agreements and a shared currency.

A U.S. state enjoys more sovereignty today than a member of the EU does.
This isnt true.

But there is no difference in the thinking of Euro-politicians, no matter which member state they "represent."
I doubt theres much different in the thinking of politicians anywhere in the West.

You're from Europe? Which part of it? Do you consider the EU to be a worthy cause, or at least superior to the US in some respects? (Just curious.)

I'm from Britain. I dont think theres that much difference between the EU and America, at least not as much as people here seem to believe. I suppose the latter is slightly better, but they're both so bad that its not really worth arguing over.

France has high taxes, but last month an 18 year old in America got jailed for 10 years as punishment for getting a blowjob from his 15 year old girlfriend. Holland doesnt have free speech encoded into its constitution, but they have marginally less insane drug laws than the US. Some European countries are considering banning burquas, and Kansas is teaching intelligent design to schoolchildren. Neither continent has any real moral highground here.

Edited by Hal

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"Europe" (= the EU) is one country. It ought not to be, but it is. A U.S. state enjoys more sovereignty today than a member of the EU does.

There used to be, and to some extent there still are, individual national cultures. But there is no difference in the thinking of Euro-politicians, no matter which member state they "represent."

Please dont be so arrogant. It is clear from your post you have no idea what you are discussing. If I claimed that Canada and the USA were "all one country" what would you say?

To suggest that "there is no difference in the thinking of Euro-politicians" is erroneous. There is constant disagreement. I may not agree with any of their policies, but there is a great amount of difference. We dont all have one currency either.

It is especially surprising that someone who follows the philosophy of "look at reality" could be so far from the truth. While we are at it can you apologise for your offensive comments?

regards,

Nick

Edited by NickMunro

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Its a collection of countries which have mutual trade-agreements and a shared currency.

And a flag. And a parliament. And a so-called Commission that issues directives that override the laws of the individual member states. And they may soon have a CONSTITUTION.

As a British citizen, you ought to be standing up for the independence of your nation--which is neither geographically nor culturally a part of Europe anyway--rather than morally equate a socialist "paradise" like the EU with America.

------------

Please dont be so arrogant. It is clear from your post you have no idea what you are discussing. [...] While we are at it can you apologise for your offensive comments?

I wonder who has stolen Nick's password. Less than a week ago, he wrote this:

As for Britain, I believe the ship is sinking and there is no way back now. I plan to leave for America as soon as possible - Socialism is too deeply embedded here.
Edited by Capitalism Forever

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And a flag. And a parliament. And a so-called Commission that issues directives that override the laws of the individual member states. And they may soon have a CONSTITUTION.

As a British citizen, you ought to be standing up for the independence of your nation--which is neither geographically nor culturally a part of Europe anyway--rather than morally equate a socialist "paradise" like the EU with America.

------------

I wonder who has stolen Nick's password. Less than a week ago, he wrote this:

?

The two statements are not incompatible. You have no idea who I am; dispensing advice on how we "ought" to be acting, when you are ignorant of what we ARE doing. It appears that you are wholly clueless on European affairs; the fact that you are willing to speak with authority on the issue speaks volumes about your nature.

I won't be returning here. I urge you to check your premises, and look at the facts.

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And a flag. And a parliament. And a so-called Commission that issues directives that override the laws of the individual member states. And they may soon have a CONSTITUTION.

So do NATO and the UN...that doesn't make them countries.

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And a flag. And a parliament. And a so-called Commission that issues directives that override the laws of the individual member states. And they may soon have a CONSTITUTION.

So do NATO and the UN...that doesn't make them countries.

So do they what? Have a flag? I'll grant that. They have assemblies too, but those are not legislative bodies. And they certainly don't have a "Commission" with supranational autocratic powers, nor anything that resembles a national constitution.

Many so-called transnational progressives would like the UN to become a world government, but it is still far from being one, thank goodness. The EU has "progressed" much, much further along the path to international tyranny.

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England doesn't have anything that resembles a national constitution either.

The UN is a legislative body every bit as much as the EU. That is to say that neither of them are. Neither exhibits control over their member states. If Europe could be considered a country, then the EU alone would have control over foreign policy. It does not. The various nations still have their own forms of currency, although those are admittedly being phased out.

As for the Constitution, if you paid attention this summer, you'll remember that the EU Constitution fell apart.

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Well no, it isnt. Its a collection of countries which have mutual trade-agreements and a shared currency.
Screw the pound and the krone, eh? Anyhow there are also those laws and regulations. At present no EU police force can directly enforce EU rules, so there has to be the intermediate step of mandating that all EU members pass laws to implement an EU rule, but that's just an inefficient legal sham to maintain the appearance of national autonomy. Apart from the UK, exactly in what way is France a "separate and independent nation" from Belgium. The state of Ohio has a degree of autonomy from the state of Mississippi that is not like, say, the relationship between Durham and Northumberland (which appears to me to be more symbolic than real political, but what do I know). But nobody would say that Ohio is a separate nation from Mississippi, because each state ultmiately has to subordinate itself legally to the central federal government. How doesn't this describe the EU?

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Foreign policy is key in this situation. Ohio and Mississippi do not make their own foreign policy; they are subordinate to that of the United States. The member states of the EU still decide their own foreign policies.

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Foreign policy is key in this situation. Ohio and Mississippi do not make their own foreign policy; they are subordinate to that of the United States. The member states of the EU still decide their own foreign policies.
The question is whether that's the defining characteristic of "separate nation" -- ability to set foreign policy. In that respect, the EU seems to be a mixed bag, since within the EU, nations do not appear to be fully autonomous. Also, are EU nations really free to establish their own foreign policy with respect to non-EU nations, or is that possible only in a restricted way (for example the decision to import illegal goods from a non-member nation is foreign policy, under one understanding of the term). How do you define foreign policy?

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Well, I was mostly talking about positions on war. There are widely varying positions on the war within the EU. Some countries sent troops, while others pledged to stay as far away as possible. As long as each country has its own military, I think it's safe to say that they are separate countries.

Yeah, they're not fully autonomous...but, then again, neither are we. We allow ourselves to be governed, albeit to a small extent, by the UN and NATO.

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The countries that make up Europe have a very long and very intertwined history. Some of them act as autonomous countries and some of them do not - much of this has nothing to do with the EU it is because of their history.

Huge nations with much power are reluctant to act independently - Germany. This is NOT because of the EU but because of their history. It seems to me that many people outside Europe are ignorant of this history.

Small nations with very little power are eagar to express their national identity -Switzerland.

Countries OUTSIDE the European Union have chosen to subsume their foreign policies to other powers: Lichtenstein and Andorra.

Countries outside Europe also allow their economies to be pegged to and run by foriegn powers - look at the amount of countries who seek un-official union with the US dollar. Is this because of some inherently evil nature of America or her currency.

The EU has a flag. So does the Commonwealth and so does the Hilton Hotel Chain.

The EU has an anthem. So does the Commonwealth and the International Federation of Football Associations (FIFA).

They are not countries.

The EU does NOT have a constitution - and it looks unlikely that it will.

It is not a country.

But then the England does not have a constitution, and England is a country.

It is not possible to make one comment to describe one continent as complex as Europe.

The European Parliament is directly elected by the people of the EU. Its Commision is chosen by each member state's heads of state. There is nothing supranational about it - just look how much national rivalries helped to make sure Jacques Delors was chosen against his Belgian rival a few years back to head the commission.

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But then the England does not have a constitution, and England is a country.
Is it? I really don't get people's beliefs about that (also I don't understand the specific politics and legalities). If England is a country then I would suppose that Scotland and Wales are separate countries (no clue what to say about Northern Ireland, or the Channel Islands). But as far as I know, these three fail Moose's military test (which I don't necessarily accept, but it's one definition so we gotta at least deal with it). I think BlackSabbath is a Scotsman, so I'd be interested to see whether y'all have different beliefs about whether Scotland is or is not a country, hence whether England is also a country (if he's reading this).

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Is it? I really don't get people's beliefs about that (also I don't understand the specific politics and legalities). If England is a country then I would suppose that Scotland and Wales are separate countries (no clue what to say about Northern Ireland, or the Channel Islands). I think BlackSabbath is a Scotsman, so I'd be interested to see whether y'all have different beliefs about whether Scotland is or is not a country, hence whether England is also a country (if he's reading this).

I don't know what Moose's military test is.

I was going to say "The United Kingdon does not have a constitution, and the United Kingdom is a country" but I didn't, I purposefully said England. I see that the United Kingdom is a collection of countries.

Scotland is a separate country. It has its own educational system, legal system and now parliament (for domestic affairs). I think 1706 was the year of the Act of Union, linking the two countries under one parliament in Westminster. It is a country, officially at least "in union" with England. Its people have never really seen their national identity as English. They have always been Scottish. Any sense of Britishness has always been recognised as an amalgam of the identities of the British Isles.

As for the Channel Islands, they are seperate countries (in fact they are not even part of the United Kingdom I don't think, only of Great Britain) - again they have their own legal and fiscal systems.

Who knows about Northern Ireland, they keep having their own parliament, then getting rid of it, then having it, then having it taken away from them!

There are certainly four distinct national identities at play in the UK - English, Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish (which can be futher divided into Unionist and Nationalist).

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I don't know what Moose's military test is.
Well, it was the stuff he just proposed regarding foreign affairs as an acid test for being a country or not. Since neither Scotland nor England conduct their own foreign affairs, by his definition neither Scotland nor England are countries (but the UK is). Of course I don't automatically accept his definition; but that's what seems to be what justifies calling France and Belgium separate countries. Your examples of Lichtenstein and Andorra also call that into question. Now that I understand that you did really mean "England", what is the characteristic of England (or Scotland) that makes it essentially different from Durham or Northumbria? And would that definition lead to the conclusion that Ohio and Mississippi are different countries?

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A country is a territory with a top-level government.

Thus:

  • Manhattan is not a country, because it is part New York City.
  • New York City is not a country, because it is part of New York State.
  • New York State is not a country, because it is part of the United States.
  • The United States is a country, because it does not participate in any larger government.
  • The United Nations is not a country, because it is neither a territory nor a government.
  • NATO is not a country for the same reason.

And similarly:

  • The Soviet Socialist Republic of Uzbekistan was not a country, because it was part of the Soviet Union.
  • Holland is not a country, because it is part of the European Union.

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  • The United Nations is not a country, because it is neither a territory nor a government.
  • NATO is not a country for the same reason.

To make this one bit more explicit, the essential characteristic that distinguishes these cases is the law-making function. To be sure, the UN has wishes about making law, but so far it has not been successful.

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