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Who has a better chance to die... ?

John Dunn
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A soldier in GeorgeDubs army or an elderly person in France? This summer my wife had a friend in from France and I made the mistake of promising my wife I'd be nice. (my mistake) This guy went on for hours how much more humane the French society was and how much more they cared about people than the US and how we were only after oil in Iraq, and that we had put this guy in power to begin with anyway!! He went home and thousands of his countrymen died in the heatwave, now Chirac is complaining for the debts they are owed from the non-existant regime they helped support.
I hated all the ranting and raving I heard from the anti-American coalition, but now it is actually going to help us in the end seem all the more correct in our convictions. A seriously successful outcome in Iraq could pave the way for our first female President in 2008: Condolezza Rice!!


"No one appreciates the very special genius of your conversation as the dog does."
Michael Ernest
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On thoe topic of going on and on, I took a cab into Manhattan from JFK on Sunday. The driver was from Iraq, and of course with Saddam's capture in the news all day he had lots he wanted to say. Not that he was sympathetic to Saddam -- he wasn't -- but he was certainly disappointed the man had to be found in a hole instead of putting up a fight for his family and what he believed in. I tried several times explaining what we mean when we call someone a "survivor," but I don't think the irony of the term worked for him. "Do you mean he is a coward? Of course! Everyone can see!" etc.
Seems pretty telling to me, all that "France is better than US" stuff. You can't accuse most French of failing to be proud. And I have rather been hoping for the chance to ask one, after he's let fly with the anti-US thing, "So, what about those $50 billiob in oil contracts that France is supposed to have held with Iraq? Do you think that represented economic or humanitarian incentive on France's part to avoid war?"
I do so want to hear the answer to that.


Make visible what, without you, might perhaps never have been seen.
- Robert Bresson
Jeroen Wenting
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Both have an equal chance to die: 100%
Life's a terminal disease, noone has ever survived it.


42
Tim Baker
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Posts: 541
You were silly to promise to be nice to a french guy


Kim Jong II (North Korea's Dear Leader) said:Nuclear weapons don't kill people, people kill people.
Al Newman
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Joined: Mar 30, 2003
Posts: 716
Originally posted by Michael Ernest:

Seems pretty telling to me, all that "France is better than US" stuff. You can't accuse most French of failing to be proud. And I have rather been hoping for the chance to ask one, after he's let fly with the anti-US thing, "So, what about those $50 billiob in oil contracts that France is supposed to have held with Iraq? Do you think that represented economic or humanitarian incentive on France's part to avoid war?"
I do so want to hear the answer to that.


Michael, you surprise me! Seems to me that much of the US 'elite' buys into just that POV, that the French are better than the US. But then you and I aren't part of the elite, are we? We can't be expected to take the high-minded view and overlook little things like those oil contracts and the Credit Lyonaisse mess.
I haven't purchased a bottle of French wine for a year and have boycotted anything identifiably French since about March or so. Except for the occasional sliver of Roquefort (some things have no good substitutes). Took my holiday in Italy this year and am going to Spain next year.


SCJP1.4, SCWCD
John Dunn
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JW: Life's a terminal disease, noone has ever survived it. Yeah, but some, like my Grand Ma-Ma live to 100 (Dec 29)!!! Whoo Hooo Nothing like a good ol' Air-Conditioning in the nursing home.
Michael Ernest
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Originally posted by Alfred Neumann:

Michael, you surprise me! Seems to me that much of the US 'elite' buys into just that POV, that the French are better than the US. But then you and I aren't part of the elite, are we? We can't be expected to take the high-minded view and overlook little things like those oil contracts and the Credit Lyonaisse mess.
I haven't purchased a bottle of French wine for a year and have boycotted anything identifiably French since about March or so. Except for the occasional sliver of Roquefort (some things have no good substitutes). Took my holiday in Italy this year and am going to Spain next year.

I just meant to say that French underwear shows up just as well as American underwear when one's pants fall down. Where certain of their proponents get off with a holier-than-thou stance is beyond me.
That said, I buy as much French stuff now as I was buying 2 years ago, which is to say maybe a bottle of Bordeaux that I've since forgotten. On the other hand, a guy ahead of me at a McDonald's ordered some "freedom fries" a while back and I gave him an audible sigh of disgust. "Maybe if we never say 'France' or 'French' ever again, they'll learn their lesson, is that the idea?"
[ December 16, 2003: Message edited by: Michael Ernest ]
Al Newman
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The freedom fries thing is just stupid.
Anyone who takes the 'cheese-eating surrender-monkeys' joke as fact based upon the French performance in WWII needs to update their historical knowledge and look a little further back. Specifically to WWI & the Battle of Verdun, and just possibly to 1870 and the Siege of Paris. We shouldn't forget Emile Zola's magnificent J'Accuse (I Accuse!) which broke open L'Affaire Dreyfus, not to mention other French greats such as Victor Hugo.
I think what France lacks today is the spirit of a Zola in a number of areas. The French aren't looking hard enough at their national institutions, in particular the monopoly the ENA has on the political leadership of the country. If they were to look at the great leaders of the past 200 years they would see than many of them would not qualify under the current system (Georges Clemenceau, Charles DeGaulle, Jean Jaures, etc). They haven't produced a proper genius for 30 years or more and that means that something is rotten in the 5th arrondissimant!
HS Thomas
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Originally posted by Alfred Neumann:
The freedom fries thing is just stupid.
They haven't produced a proper genius for 30 years or more and that means that something is rotten in the 5th arrondissimant!

Surely there have been a French Nobel Prize winner or two in that time. Nothing constitutes a proper genius than a NPW, IMHO.
Hmmm, maybe I'll try asking for freedom fries with a Big Mac next time. Hmmm, maybe not.
Thomas Paul
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Here is the breakdown of Nobel Prize winners in Physics and medicine in the last 50 years:
1. United States 185 (55%)
2. Great Britain 45 (13%)
3. Germany 31 (9%)
4. Russia 12 (4%)
5. France 9 (3%)
6. Sweden 8 (2%)
7. Japan 8 (2%)
8. Canada 5 (2%)
8. Dutch 5 (2%)
10. Switzerland 5 (2%)


Associate Instructor - Hofstra University
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HS Thomas
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Would people find a way to postpone their deaths if that that would qualify them for a lower rate on the inheritance tax ?
This was the subject of an Economics Nobel Prize winning study. Ok it was the Ig Nobel Prize, but still, I think there's some truth in that.
Nick Allen
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I grew up in a French town, though not in France, it still has quite a strong French heritage. Church service is done in French, the school is French Immersion. I'd have to say from my own experiences that French people seem to live longer, I think it's because they don't stress themselfs about little things, or big things for that matter, near as much as your average North American citizen (excluding Mexico, because I've never been there). Most of the French people I know smoke, drink, screw, eat heart-clogging food and do pretty much everything else that modern society has forbidden. Yet they live longer, because they just don't care.
_____________________________________________________________________
Just because I don't care, doesn't mean I don't understand.
- Homer J. Simpson


'I need something good to die for, to make it beautiful to live' -QSA
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
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Originally posted by Nick Allen:
I'd have to say from my own experiences that French people seem to live longer,
French life expectancy is 79 years. Same as Switzerland, Italy, and Spain. US, UK, and Germany are 77 years.
Al Newman
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Originally posted by HS Thomas:

Surely there have been a French Nobel Prize winner or two in that time. Nothing constitutes a proper genius than a NPW, IMHO.

Let's see. Balzac, Anatole France, Victor Hugo, Dumas, George Sand, Flaubert, Zola, Proust, Camus, De Beauvoir, and Sarte were all world-famous intellectual figures who made their names before 1950. Name me a single post-1950 French writer of similar importance. I cannot think of one. If you stretch I suppose you could call Jaques Derrida important. Not nearly on the level of most of the writers listed above, I would argue. If only because his work is incomprehensible to most laymen.
I'm sure that there are French Nobel Laureates but by that measure France has been far outstripped by other countries. I prefer to measure in terms of influence, which historically would be far kinder a measurement of French intellectual leadership than mere Nobel Prizes. Not now however...
Something rotten on the Left Bank?
[ December 16, 2003: Message edited by: Alfred Neumann ]
Tim Baker
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Originally posted by Nick Allen:
I grew up in a French town, though not in France, it still has quite a strong French heritage. Church service is done in French, the school is French Immersion. I'd have to say from my own experiences that French people seem to live longer, I think it's because they don't stress themselfs about little things, or big things for that matter, near as much as your average North American citizen (excluding Mexico, because I've never been there). Most of the French people I know smoke, drink, screw, eat heart-clogging food and do pretty much everything else that modern society has forbidden. Yet they live longer, because they just don't care.
_____________________________________________________________________
Just because I don't care, doesn't mean I don't understand.
- Homer J. Simpson

or it could be because they eat more garlic, which helps keep a healthy heart, or because they surrender so easily and so never get killed in battle.
Michael Ernest
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Originally posted by Alfred Neumann:

Let's see. Balzac, Anatole France, Victor Hugo, Dumas, George Sand, Flaubert, Zola, Proust, Camus, De Beauvoir, and Sarte were all world-famous intellectual figures who made their names before 1950. Name me a single post-1950 French writer of similar importance. I cannot think of one. If you stretch I suppose you could call Jaques Derrida important. Not nearly on the level of most of the writers listed above, I would argue. If only because his work is incomprehensible to most laymen.

I don't think English and American writers of the last 50 years would stack up all that well to a list of literary ancestors dating back to the mid-1800's either. On top of that you're straddling that imaginary lines with writers like Beauvoir and Sarte, who did not simply stop producing at 1950.
Who currently counts as important French writers in the second half of the 20th century are largely centered in philosophy and criticism:
Roland Barthes
Marguerite Duras
Michele Foucault
Luce Irigaray
Julia Kristeva
Jacques Lacan
Not popular names in many American homes. Then again, neither are some of the names you give.
Vladas Razas
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Those french. They are so inferior to americans.
HS Thomas
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Originally posted by Tim Baker:

or it could be because they eat more garlic, which helps keep a healthy heart, or because they surrender so easily and so never get killed in battle.

And the French drink red wine and mountain spring water instead of tap water. If one reads up on how tap water is re-cycled in the west this seems an alternative worth considering. In short, we get tap water from sewage tanks, re-cycled sh*t water.The French treat their bodies like temples.
HS Thomas
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Originally posted by Tim Baker:

or because they surrender so easily and so never get killed in battle.

The French do quite a lot in the interests of peace. Chirac may have been a throw back to the pre-French revolution days.
Medecines sans Frontiers - very French. Or Belgian French ?
[ December 17, 2003: Message edited by: HS Thomas ]
Al Newman
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Originally posted by Michael Ernest:

I don't think English and American writers of the last 50 years would stack up all that well to a list of literary ancestors dating back to the mid-1800's either. On top of that you're straddling that imaginary lines with writers like Beauvoir and Sarte, who did not simply stop producing at 1950.

There was a discussion recently about that very topic. I accessed it via an essay by Stephen Den Beste at the USS Clueless blog. Page back, this was 2-3 weeks ago as I recall.
He was referring to a discussion about what made a writer last, why some writers work is still read a century later and many are not. One answer is that great literature is typically not written to be great literature per-se. They become so over a period of time. Primarily these works are great stories, first and foremost.
With one notable exception the writers who tend to last are great storytellers. That exception is James Joyce. Joyce can be fascinating, though I can't read too much of him, it's too much work. Most if not all of his imitators have fallen flat.
Originally posted by Michael Ernest:

Who currently counts as important French writers in the second half of the 20th century are largely centered in philosophy and criticism:
Roland Barthes
Marguerite Duras
Michele Foucault
Luce Irigaray
Julia Kristeva
Jacques Lacan
Not popular names in many American homes. Then again, neither are some of the names you give.

While the writers I cited may not be household names their works are well-known and considered important. They are taught in college literature & philosophy courses in the US, UK, and presumably elsewhere. All of these writers were clearly known and appreciated in their time by a wide international audience. Something which cannot be said of any of the thinkers on your list. I've heard of perhaps 3 of them but could not say what they do. That would not have been the case with Camus or Sarte even 50 years ago. They were central to world thought circa 1953 in a way that no French writer is today, I think.
The only French thinker with nearly that kind of notoriety today is Derrida, founder of Deconstructionism. Probably the most indecipherable major philosophy ever created. He made me an offer I couldn't understand!
The closest thing to a well-known French author today might be Christian Jaque the Egyptologist who has written many best-selling historical novels set in ancient Egypt. Entertaining but not having the force and currency of a Les Miserables or a J'Accuse.
Al Newman
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Originally posted by Vladas Razas:
Those french. They are so inferior to americans.

Hungarians. I meant Hungarians......
Al Newman
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Originally posted by HS Thomas:
Chirac may have been a throw back to the pre-French revolution days.

The good faith of Richelieu combined with the foresight of Louis XVI?
[ December 17, 2003: Message edited by: Alfred Neumann ]
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
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Originally posted by HS Thomas:
In short, we get tap water from sewage tanks, re-cycled sh*t water.The French treat their bodies like temples.

Maybe you drink sewage water but that is not what happens here. Water treatment plants do not recycle water for use. They clean the water before it is dumped in the ocean. My drinking water comes from an underground aquifier. I am told that it takes about 1,000 years for the water to flow through the solid granite into the aquifier.
frank davis
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Originally posted by Alfred Neumann:

Anyone who takes the 'cheese-eating surrender-monkeys' joke as fact based upon the French performance in WWII needs to update their historical knowledge and look a little further back.

OK, in order to be objective let's review the entire historical record :
http://inscrutable.news-portal.com/archives/003318.html
[ December 17, 2003: Message edited by: herb slocomb ]
HS Thomas
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Originally posted by Thomas Paul:
My drinking water comes from an underground aquifier. I am told that it takes about 1,000 years for the water to flow through the solid granite into the aquifier.

How much do you pay for your 1000 years re-cycled water? You live in a privileged area.
Water treatment plants do not recycle water for use. They clean the water before it is dumped in the ocean.
That's what we are "told" too.
[ December 17, 2003: Message edited by: HS Thomas ]
Axel Janssen
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For years I am drinking water which comes through water conduit.
Some years ago some investigations have shown that this water has even higher quality than that which you can bigh in bottles and have to haul home.
NOw lots of people are using water from conduit. Often they use kind of a soda machine to add some gas.
Andre Roodt
Greenhorn

Joined: Dec 16, 2003
Posts: 26
I am neither American nor French, so here is my point of view.
I totally agree that Sadam is an evil man and deserves whats coming to him. What is puzzling to me is the build up to the war and the reasons for it in the first place. Were they humanitarian, the threat of weapons of mass destruction or harboring and aiding terrorists.
There are pointless wars in Africa where millions of people are dying and everyone is turning a blind eye. In fact, Rwanda lost over a million people in a mass genocide. Just think for a second how many people that really is. Its like 9/11 every day of the year for a year.
From an outsiders point of you it seems quite sinister that some things go un-noticed yet others are worth the full force of the worlds most powerfull nations.
The Afghanistan war was understandable as they provided a safe haven for Bin-Laden to apply his evil trade. What conclusive events, factors or influences led to the second war in Iraq?
Jeroen Wenting
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Originally posted by HS Thomas:

How much do you pay for your 1000 years re-cycled water? You live in a privileged area.
Water treatment plants do not recycle water for use. They clean the water before it is dumped in the ocean.
That's what we are "told" too.
[ December 17, 2003: Message edited by: HS Thomas ]

Well, it just so happens the outlet pipe for the treatment plant is next to the inlet pipe for the desalination plant so they are technically correct in saying they don't recycle the water for use
OTOH the aquifer sits on top of an stone age public toilet
Jeroen Wenting
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Originally posted by Alfred Neumann:

Hungarians. I meant Hungarians......

you mean French are inferior to Hungarians? Not unlikely but given that so are Americans an unnecessary statement to add to your statement that French are inferior to Americans
John Dunn
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JW: Not unlikely but given that so are Americans an unnecessary statement to add to your statement that French are inferior to Americans WTF??? (Are you really a former lawyer from Bill Clinton's camp???)
Al Newman
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Originally posted by Jeroen Wenting:

you mean French are inferior to Hungarians? Not unlikely but given that so are Americans an unnecessary statement to add to your statement that French are inferior to Americans

Got the wrong fella, Jeroen. Chap named Vladas Razas wrote that. I shifted viewpoint and asserted that Americans are superior to Hungarians (my guess at his nationality). I never asserted that the French are inferior to Americans, though there are certainly differences between the two. It irritates me to see Americans taking the 'surrender monkey' thing seriously because insane courage is closer to the actual mark. Or perhaps just insane. At Verdun the French sacrificed more than 500,000 men to save a few miles of ground and a small non-strategic city. The Germans did much the same.
From these and similar experiences the French and Germans have seemingly concluded that all war is evil and wrong. And I can see their POV. If the choices were between absolute pacifism and Verdun I'd take pacifism every time. But those aren't the choices. One can make war intelligently.
As for France itself, I have a major problem only with the french governmental elite which I believe are leading their country into a black hole. France and Italy are my two favorite countries to visit. France is beautiful. One can eat better and sleep well in France cheaper than anywhere else in Europe and fill one's days with seeing beautiful inspiring things.
France can do better. It can live in a world with the US without becoming an adversary. It can define it's national interest more broadly than mere anti-americanism. Pointing the finger and shouting 'evil' or 'monkey' is neither very intelligent nor productive diplomacy as Richelieu or Talleyrand could tell you. Unfortunately Chirac is no Talleyrand. Would that he was.....
[ December 17, 2003: Message edited by: Alfred Neumann ]
John Dunn
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There are pointless wars in Africa where millions of people are dying and everyone is turning a blind eye. In fact, Rwanda lost over a million people in a mass genocide. Just think for a second how many people that really is. Its like 9/11 every day of the year for a year. From an outsiders point of you it seems quite sinister that some things go un-noticed yet others are worth the full force of the worlds most powerfull nations.
In fairness to the powerful nations, really consider for a few moments what YOU would have done if you ran one of these countries AND you personally were faced with a Rwanda??? Some of these countries are a complete mess. Who would you have helped in Rwanda, the bad side or the other bad side?? Think about it... America is not perfect but it's not an evil nation.

The Afghanistan war was understandable as they provided a safe haven for Bin-Laden to apply his evil trade. What conclusive events, factors or influences led to the second war in Iraq?
Like Iraq, Afghanistan had no WMD and didn't declare war on anyone. So why do you think that was okay? Why was it okay to pick on them!!! They didn't even have windows in the buildings of their capital!!! I don't understand your logic...
Btw, the folks running Syria must be shi**ing their pants.
Michael Ernest
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Originally posted by Alfred Neumann:

While the writers I cited may not be household names their works are well-known and considered important. They are taught in college literature & philosophy courses in the US, UK, and presumably elsewhere. All of these writers were clearly known and appreciated in their time by a wide international audience.

The writers I have cited are all quite well-known and considered important to those who follow the state of contemporary literature and thought. Their writings are also taught throughout the western world and maybe further.
50 years ago it was probably deemed a great deal more important to teach Who's Who in academia, and to consider identifying the "important" works as part of real cultural knowledge. That approach is far less common today; we recognize "marginalized" writings and we spend more time in university curricula giving them their due. Fewer institutions are concerned with making sure their students know the list of the so-called Canon in, say, 1965, than there are now. The myth of the Canon has been under challenge for quite some time, and we're finding that fewer and fewer faculty care if all their students have read all the same books.
Proponents of the canonical approach to "knowledge," such as William J. Bennett, go on about the "big ideas" and "important" literature being central to building virtue and character. To which upstart faculty like myself might respond, "we're not training soldiers or even citizens; we teach people to think, to exchange ideas, and ideally to exchange new ideas, and not just trade in variants of interpretation over one prescribed list of cultural objects."
What was treated de facto as knowledge 50 years ago, what a politico like Bennett wants to assert as both our legacy and the foundation of our cultural virtues, is anything but today. We're better today at advocating a pluralistic society; we're better at identifying (if not always removing) elements of racial and cultural bias in our institutions, and allowing for alternate perspectives. We're better at understanding that appreciating the differences between rococo and pre-Raphaelite art, or appreciating the differences between Danielle Steele and Barbara Cartland, are matters of exposure and a self-determination of what is "important."
In the world Bennett wants, every kid knows who Flaubert was because knowing what's important is important. To less prescriptive, more permissive points of view, knowing what individuals find relevant to their own lives and knowing how to place their cultural history in that perspective is important.

Something which cannot be said of any of the thinkers on your list. I've heard of perhaps 3 of them but could not say what they do. That would not have been the case with Camus or Sarte even 50 years ago. They were central to world thought circa 1953 in a way that no French writer is today, I think.

Let's level thie field on this: name any two writers or thinkers today, from any country, that are deemed central to so-called "world thought."
I believe the standard you are applying here depends on a world view that has since ossified.
[ December 17, 2003: Message edited by: Michael Ernest ]
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
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Originally posted by HS Thomas:
How much do you pay for your 1000 years re-cycled water? You live in a privileged area.
My water bill is about $4 a month.
http://people.hofstra.edu/faculty/j_b_bennington/121notes/li_aquifers.html
HS Thomas
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Originally posted by Thomas Paul:
My water bill is about $4 a month.
http://people.hofstra.edu/faculty/j_b_bennington/121notes/li_aquifers.html

Don't tell your Water Board that some pay �300 a year.( �25 a month)
My water company will be joining up with my Energy company - if this drives prices down that will be very welcome. Currently the average is �1300 per year for water and energy. Though what they'll be doing to the water is anyone's guess. We are beginning to hear of explosions at energy companies. Probably some kind of fission experiments.
HS Thomas
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ME : Let's level thie field on this: name any two writers or thinkers today, from any country, that are deemed central to so-called "world thought."
Any latter day writers in the ilk of War and Peace (Leo Tolstoy) and To Kill A Mocking Bird (Harper Lee) ?
To Kill A Mocking Bird was written in 1960. I think that defined "world thought" to some extent in the last 50 years.
[ December 17, 2003: Message edited by: HS Thomas ]
Jason Menard
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Originally posted by Michael Ernest:

Let's level thie field on this: name any two writers or thinkers today, from any country, that are deemed central to so-called "world thought."

Obviously the great Jack Canfield must be on that list.
Al Newman
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What about Lord of the Flies and Portnoy's Complaint? Catch 22?
[ December 17, 2003: Message edited by: Alfred Neumann ]
Tim Baker
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Oops, I'm sorry I've stumbled into a book thread.
* slips out the door *
HS Thomas
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A century that started optimistically on Flight ended rather disastrously with the same. Flight certainly captured world imagination. I'm not sure whether Flight captured world thought.
A Brief History of Time - Successful sales but the most unread book. As is War and Peace.
 
wood burning stoves
 
subject: Who has a better chance to die... ?