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U.S. stories by authors in other countries.

odave44

OK, I admit this is kind of a pet peeve of mine; one of many. But in this case I am asking seriously for some feedback. Seems lately there are more and more stories set in the U.S., written by authors from elsewhere, especially England and Australia. I'm trying to understand why those authors choose to set their stories in places they don't seem to be familiar with. What jumps out first is the language clearly isn't American English. Holiday vs. Vacation. Grade 6 vs. Sixth grade. Metric measurements. Car Park vs. Parking Lot. That kind of thing. Every time one of those type of things pops up, I think it kind of stops the American reader and make the story stop for a minute. So my question is why do you choose to do this? Now I've read many stories where someone from England travels to American in the story. In that case the British terms make perfect sense, because the narrator or lead character are British. I'm reading a good story now where a kid from Australia ends up in the U.S. and of course he carries his normal Aussie terms with him. And the author is an Aussie. The story works fine that way. So, if anyone can clarify this, I would appreciate it.

Vlad_Inhaler

Why limit things to that? I have seen stories set in Britain by people who never seem to have been there, the most glaring case had a character from the turn of the previous century who had to get used to non-metric units when arriving in the U.S.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@odave44

Seems lately there are more and more stories set in the U.S., written by authors from elsewhere, especially England and Australia. I'm trying to understand why those authors choose to set their stories in places they don't seem to be familiar with.


As one of the most prolific authors doing this I can say my reasons are extremely easy to understand.

1. I'm on a fixed low income with mobility issues, so all my modern research is done on the Internet. I can get a huge amount of information about places in the USA over the Internet, but very little about anywhere else - even what is available on Australia is about 1% of what's available on the USA.

2. Due to Hollywood and the major US news media companies most people around the world have some sort of understanding of what life is like in the USA, but almost no understanding of what life is like in other countries.

3. What is common language usage in some parts of the USA isn't uniform across the country, anyway. Thus it's already impossible to write anything in a perfectly uniform US terminology.

Thus, it's easier to research and write about US based stories than it is otherwise. I do write some set in Australia and other places, but modern research info on them isn't as good as the US stuff. By having the main character and the narrator as an Australian I can simplify how I write to be what I usually use. I have written some stories in all US English in the past, and had my US editors check them for US terminology - and the fights on that were interesting, to say the least - one from the Midwest, one from the Deep South, plus one from the West Coast, and all with different views on what is the proper term to use for many things.

BTW I do have some works in progress that will be US English, and some set in Australia as well.

Replies:   odave44  graybyrd
Ernest Bywater

@Vlad_Inhaler

who had to get used to non-metric units when arriving in the U.S.


Most US people don't like it when they get told they still use the Imperial measurement systems.

Replies:   samuelmichaels
odave44

@Ernest Bywater

Ernest thanks for the response. I find it very interesting. I would have never thought about the lack of internet info on other countries. I do enjoy your work greatly. Thanks.

If you ever need an opinion on US terminology, feel free to ask. I was born in the south, but got over it in a 45 year career in radio. So I have a pretty good handle on "mainstream" American English.

awnlee jawking

@odave44

I remember a story by a US author in which the protagonists drove to London via the Channel Tunnel after an evening in Paris.

AJ

Switch Blayde

@awnlee jawking

I remember a story by a US author in which the protagonists drove to London via the Channel Tunnel after an evening in Paris.


I thought the Chunnel was train only.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@Switch Blayde

I thought the Chunnel was train only.


Exactly.

The trains can carry cars, but cars themselves aren't allowed to drive through the Chunnel.

AJ

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Switch Blayde

@awnlee jawking

but cars themselves aren't allowed to drive through the Chunnel.


Good thing because the French drive on the right and the British on the left. When the two meet in the middle...

awnlee jawking

@Switch Blayde

I believe there's a proposal being considered for Calais to revert to left hand drive (holiday times only?) to encourage British tourism ;)

AJ

Replies:   sejintenej  jason1944
docholladay

I think it also depends on how its done. Is the story written as a native of the area or like in most of Ernest's stories as a non-native who has moved to the area.

A native has less leeway for mistakes in local knowledge than a non-native character.

A non-native can be forgiven for using terms that are native to their original culture or country where a native will not be forgiven for those terms.

p0ps

nothing is impossible in fiction

BlinkReader

@Switch Blayde

Good thing because the French drive on the right and the British on the left. When the two meet in the middle...


... we all got BIG headache :D

graybyrd

@Ernest Bywater

Due to Hollywood and the major US news media companies most people around the world have some sort of understanding of what life is like in the USA


Oh, Dear God! And I suppose that American television is also to be considered a reflection of everyday American family life, circumstance, and culture. Sorry to pop anyone's bubble, but Hollywood films and Corporate TV programming are like the carnival funhouse warped mirrors.

Next I expect to hear that Trump is considered an acceptable representative of American leadership... well, I s'pose that might be considered a mite closer to the mark... sadly.

robberhands

@graybyrd

Next I expect to hear that Trump is considered an acceptable representative of American leadership... well, I s'pose that might be considered a mite closer to the mark... sadly.

He was elected, quite officially, if I remember correctly, wasn't he?

Replies:   Wheezer
Ernest Bywater

@graybyrd

I suppose that American television is also to be considered a reflection of everyday American family life, circumstance, and culture


Few people think that, but the majority have nothing else to compare or relate it to, so they relate it to what they do know. Which is why it's used.

Replies:   graybyrd
Wheezer

@robberhands

He was elected, quite officially, if I remember correctly, wasn't he?


define 'officially.'

robberhands

@Wheezer

define 'officially.'

An activity or event (In this case an election) intended for the notice of the public and performed or held on behalf of officials or of an organization.

Ernest Bywater

@Wheezer

define 'officially.'


officially = in the established and approved process already set in place.

Replies:   Wheezer
samuelmichaels

@Ernest Bywater

Most US people don't like it when they get told they still use the Imperial measurement systems.

Not the case at all. Most Americans would use the terms English vs. Metric, but some would use Imperial vs Metric. Only in case of liquid volumes would people avoid Imperial, since those are different from "English" or US Customary measures.

Britain switched to the new-fangled 10-pound gallons, then abandoned the good old gallon only a century or so later. We are not so fickle.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@samuelmichaels

Not the case at all. Most Americans would use the terms English vs. Metric


We probably would have switched over by now, but the US government tried to force the issue and that had the effect of increasing resistance against adopting the metric system.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@Dominions Son

In my opinion the metric system is a step backwards. A more progressive system of weights and measures would have been based on some variant of binary.

AJ

REP

@graybyrd

Next I expect to hear that Trump is considered an acceptable representative of American leadership


Did you see the news article in which Trump supposedly said that his new stance is non-political.

seanski1969

How I wish for Bernie!

Replies:   odave44
StarFleet Carl

@awnlee jawking

some variant of binary


There's only 10 types of people in the world. Those who get binary, and those who don't.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
odave44

@seanski1969

Hell, I never thought I'd say this, but I even miss W, lol.

Replies:   Wheezer
Wheezer
Updated:

@odave44


Hell, I never thought I'd say this, but I even miss W, lol.


Well, I still don't miss Dubya, but he's definitely been knocked out of first place as the _______(pick your favorite derogatory descriptive) motherfucker to ever hold the office.

Replies:   seanski1969
Wheezer

@Ernest Bywater

officially = in the established and approved process already set in place.


What is established & approved about Russian meddling in our election process? Gerrymandering & voter suppression may be established, but millions of Americans (the majority) do not approve.

StarFleet Carl

@Wheezer

What is established & approved about Russian meddling in our election process?


How about the at LEAST 81 times since 1946 that the U.S. has meddled in OTHER countries elections? Including where we actually backed a coup or other military regime change?

Not only are our hands NOT clean in this, but this is pretty much the norm. Think about how the Chinese helped the DNC back in '96, or how Russia actually was HELPING Hillary while she was Secretary of State. (What, you think those million dollar 'gifts' to the Clinton Foundation or those half million dollar 'speaking fees' didn't have strings attached?)

Also, official means according the rule of law AND the actual Constitution. Which was specifically written and designed so that majority does NOT rule - which is why we are NOT a Democracy, we are a Representative Republic. Go read the latest Lazlo story.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@StarFleet Carl

How about the at LEAST 81 times since 1946 that the U.S. has meddled in OTHER countries elections?


Hmm, I'd have thought it went back further than that.

Switch Blayde

@StarFleet Carl

There's only 10 types of people in the world. Those who get binary, and those who don't.


Wouldn't that be more funny if it were 2 types of people (1s and 0s)?

Ernest Bywater

@Wheezer

What is established & approved about Russian meddling in our election process?


The established electoral system is what got him elected.

I don't have access to the information the CIA and FBI have, but have seen some interviews with officials from those organisations, and the consensus is they have reason to believe the Russians tried to influence the media and electorate in the last election in the same way they have tried to influence US Presidential elections for over 20 years. However, they have no evidence to show the Russians were able to effectively influence anyone in any of those elections.

Much of the claimed Russian involvement speaks to me of a grasping at straws bitching about losing the election.

BTW: The one major issue I see with the current US Electoral system is they do not limit voters to citizens due to them not having a uniform national method to ensure only citizens vote. The states decide who can vote, and what they need to provide to allow them to vote. I know of Australian citizens who own property in the USA who get solicited to vote for certain parties in US elections because anyone who owns property or can prove they live in the state is entitled to vote - nothing about proving their citizenship.

Replies:   Zom  imsly1
awnlee jawking

@Switch Blayde

Wouldn't that be more funny if it were 2 types of people (1s and 0s)?


Aren't those the values wahhabis assign to men and women? :(

AJ

Zom

@Ernest Bywater

in the same way they have tried to influence US Presidential elections for over 20 years

Ah yes. But this time they were invited?

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@Zom

But this time they were invited?


That's what some people claim, while both the CIA and FBI refuse to say they were invited. However, the question is: If they were asked to try, who by, and on who's behalf?

Some people claim to have evidence they were asked to help by Trump supporters, while others claim they were asked to help by Clinton campaign staff - while no one has provided any evidence to support either claim. Nor has anyone provided any evidence they managed to do anything to help or hinder anyone.

It all sounds like people trying to find excuses for Clinton loosing without having to admit the reason she lost was she had no connection with the people outside of a few states her party already controls.

Either way, the situation is Trump was elected, and everyone should now just get on with life instead of bitching about losing. They should look ahead to the next election.

Replies:   StarFleet Carl  REP
StarFleet Carl

@Switch Blayde

Are you SERIOUSLY going to make me explain the binary joke?

Replies:   Joe Long
StarFleet Carl

@Ernest Bywater

It all sounds like people trying to find excuses for Clinton loosing without having to admit the reason she lost was she had no connection with the people outside of a few states her party already controls.


Not even totally states - cities and/or population centers. State of Illinois, for example - which is primarily a rural and farming state, but has several population clusters. 102 counties, 91 of them voted for Trump.

Missouri has 114 counties, but not as many population centers - so Hillary only won 4 counties, Trump winning the rest of the state.

Pennsylvania was REALLY close - 67 counties, Hillary won 11 and still lost the state, but not by much.

What does that really mean? Both actual parties have lost touch with working people in this country. Trump isn't really a Republican, we know that. But to many of us who, in the primary supported someone else, he was Hobson's Choice, so that's why we voted for him.

Having said that, I agree completely with your last comment.

Either way, the situation is Trump was elected, and everyone should now just get on with life instead of bitching about losing. They should look ahead to the next election.


Words of wisdom.

Replies:   Joe Long
Switch Blayde

I won't get into a political discussion, but I heard something not long ago that probably explains why Hillary lost. A recent poll says she still has a lower approval rating than Trump, even with all of Trump's dumb things he's done since becoming president.

Rambulator

If everyone would look at Trump hard he is not a career politician and that is why most of the press and pundits don't like him. Since this is basically a two party system he either had to run as a Republican or a Democrat.

Replies:   REP
REP

@Ernest Bywater

Either way, the situation is Trump was elected, and everyone should now just get on with life instead of bitching about losing. They should look ahead to the next election.


In case you missed it, the majority of the bitching is not about who won and who lost. Most of the bitching is about Trump trying to run the country as his personal kingdom by aided by a bunch of buffoons like Jahred and Ivanka.

The bitching about losing usually comes from Trump supporter as the reason why people are objecting about what Trump is doing (e.g., Statements like, "You are just upset because your candidate lost.' when you object to one of his Executive Orders.)

Replies:   Ernest Bywater  imsly1
REP

@Rambulator

that is why most of the press and pundits don't like him. Since this is basically a two party system he either had to run as a Republican or a Democrat.


The primary reason they have a problem with him is he is not a politician, so he doesn't know how to do the job and doesn't want to learn. Not to mention, the long-running feud Trump has had with the press which started before he announce his intent to run.

If you missed it, in the primaries, Trump was not supported by the Republican Party. It was only after he won the Primaries that the Republican Party supported him and they apparently didn't want him then.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Ernest Bywater

@REP


In case you missed it, the majority of the bitching is not about who won and who lost.


I'm sure that explains the riots by Clinton supporters in California on election night when the results were in!

Of course, you expected better from Clinton. And none Obama's Executive Orders weren't as controversial, either!

So far, from what I've seen, Trump hasn't issued any Executive Orders that weren't in line with his stated policy objectives - so it's not like they couldn't have expected them.

Replies:   REP
Switch Blayde

@REP

in the primaries, Trump was not supported by the Republican Party


Which is why he's doomed to fail.

He will get no support from Democrats and very little support from Republicans. There's no way he can get anything done.

Dominions Son
Updated:

@Switch Blayde


He will get no support from Democrats and very little support from Republicans. There's no way he can get anything done.


So par for the course for the last 8 years. For the first two years of Obama's first term, the Democrats controlled both the House of Representatives and the Senate. They passed the PPACA, at the last minute before the Republicans took control of the House, but nothing else.

They never even bothered to pass a budget those first two years, and it wasn't because of republican filibusters in the Senate. Technically, the House has to pass a budget resolution before it can be taken up by the Senate. They never got a budget out of the House for the Senate to consider.

There is no filibuster or anything equivalent by another name in the House rules.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
REP

@Ernest Bywater

Ernest,
Obama and Clinton are in the past and it is time for you to leave them there. Trump is current and the problems he is creating have nothing to do with what Obama and Hillary said or did.

The current situation is Trump. Personally, I am tired of you bringing up the past every time someone talks about the present.

REP

@Switch Blayde

There's no way he can get anything done.


I agree. Electing a person with no experience or understanding of how the political process works is a mistake.

It like expecting a golf pro to perform brain surgery and expect the patient to live just because he knows how to slice.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Switch Blayde
Updated:

@Dominions Son


For the first two years of Obama's first term, the Democrats controlled both the House of Representatives and the Senate. They passed the PPACA,


But they did pass it. Look at the repeal and replace. Not saying it's the right thing to do, but it has no chance even though the Republicans control the House and Senate. Why? Because there's such a difference between the types of Republicans that it's not really one party and, two, they won't put their support behind Trump because he's not a "true" Republican and they don't like him and he made too many enemies during the Primaries (e.g., Jeb Bush, Ted Cruz, etc.) and his approval ratings are low. They decide if their actions will win THEIR next election.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Switch Blayde

@REP

It like expecting a golf pro to perform brain surgery and expect the patient to live just because he knows how to slice.


Not much of a golf pro if he knows how to slice. The pros know how to fade. :)

Replies:   REP
red61544

@Wheezer

define 'officially.'

I think he is confusing 'officially' with "officiously". Everything about him is officious!

graybyrd

@Ernest Bywater

Few people think that, but the majority have nothing else to compare or relate it to, so they relate it to what they do know. Which is why it's used.


I've got an adventure story in mind, maybe best set in Australia. Fortunately, I've seen all of the "Crocodile Dundee" films, so I'm pretty confident I know what's needed about OZ culture and mores. ;-}

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Dominions Son

@Switch Blayde

But they did pass it. Look at the repeal and replace.


But it's the only thing they managed to pass in two years, they couldn't even manage to pass a budget resolution out of the House.

Ernest Bywater

@graybyrd

I've seen all of the "Crocodile Dundee" films, so I'm pretty confident I know what's needed about OZ culture and mores. ;-}


Nah, not until after you watch They're a Weird Mob, at least 2 season of each of A Country Practice, Prisoner, Home and Away, Neighbours, Number 96, Homicide, and 5 Boney movies will you qualify to have the same diversity Hollywood provides.

Replies:   Zom  kimlsevier
REP

@Switch Blayde

Not much of a golf pro if he knows how to slice


Slices and hooks can be beneficial under the right circumstances. :)

StarFleet Carl

@Switch Blayde

He will get no support from Democrats and very little support from Republicans.


Well, this is one of those funny things that once again fits in with the story by Lazlo. What happens when the Republican Party finds out that the Washington people aren't the ones running the party?

See, it started a few years ago with the Tea Party, and people thought that as a third party it was a joke. But the thing is - the Tea Party did something sneaky. They didn't try to stay as a third party. Instead, they decided to take over the Republican Party from within. And right now the only ones in the Republican Party that don't realize it are, literally, the Washington elites.

Now ... keep in mind that every member of the House is up for re-election in 2018. And it was NOT the Washington elite Republicans that elected Trump - it was the Tea Party take over groups. We've already seen that the amount of money a party throws at an election doesn't matter with the special election in Georgia. So campaign season 2018 rolls around and Congressman Joe Blueblood is up for reelection - but the people in his district know he didn't support THEIR President. Think that Congressman might find himself losing a primary election?

Because as much as no one wants to give him any credit at all, President Trump IS trying to do what he said he'd do, and that's drain the swamp. And while he's up to his ass in alligators, he's got support from all the alligator hunters in this country. (Swamp People is the name of the TV show, for those of you who don't watch American TV. Bunch of Cajuns that go into the Louisiana swamps and hunt gators.)

Replies:   graybyrd
Zom
Updated:

@Ernest Bywater

As a side discussion to this side discussion - there has been some talk recently in OZ about dropping compulsory voting.

Australia is one of the 11% of countries that has compulsory voting.

The main argument for keeping it has traditionally been that the outcome can be seen as truly representative, therefore providing a genuine mandate.

Since the Brexit and Trump experiences, the argument for keeping it has moved more towards a means of protection against the methods used in both of those campaigns to skew the vote outcome.

I know that vote skewing by voter turnout manipulation has been a tradition in the US, but not so much in the UK. The Brexit and Trump campaigns showed a much more sophisticated approach to the methodology, to the point where compulsory voting may be the only defence.

I know! The US citizenry hates to be told they have to do something, even if it is good for them :-) so it is unlikely to ever save the US from such manipulations.

I for one am glad we have compulsory voting, and I would lobby for its retention.

Switch Blayde

@Zom

I know that vote skewing by voter turnout manipulation has been a tradition in the US,


In Arizona, the Democrats wanted to go door to door to get Hillary votes and bring them back to the voting stations. Thankfully a judge ruled that as voter fraud (or something like that) and said it was a felony. Facing jail time, it didn't happen.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater  Zom
kimlsevier
Updated:

@Ernest Bywater

You left out such masterpieces of Australian history as Thornbirds, A Town like Alice (the 1981 production), and Peter Grave's documentary of the Outback Whiplash.


Nah, not until after you watch They're a Weird Mob, at least 2 season of each of A Country Practice, Prisoner, Home and Away, Neighbours, Number 96, Homicide, and 5 Boney movies will you qualify to have the same diversity Hollywood provides.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
graybyrd
Updated:

@StarFleet Carl


Because as much as no one wants to give him any credit at all, President Trump IS trying to do what he said he'd do, and that's drain the swamp.


This has gone beyond absurd.

Trump was forced to attend a private military academy by a father disgusted by his outrageous lack of self-control. While there he played baseball. Later he claimed to be the best baseball player in the country.

He repeatedly lied and broke agreements with partners and civic authorities during his early years in New York.

He refused to pay bills, and when forced to pay he was consistently late or declared bankruptcy, or sued to delay or prevent payment.

As a businessman he entered into numerous bankruptcies and left creditors holding the bag or ruined.

He is an unapologetic liar. His "birther" rants concerning Barack Obama's birthplace are legendary examples of malicious mendacity. He lied about "thousands" or "millions" of Muslim spectators on New Jersey rooftops cheering during the Trade Towers attack. He lied about the size of his Inauguration crowds, despite photographic evidence to the contrary. He lied about "three million fraudulent votes" in the upper midwest election.

Major US banks refuse to lend him money as he brags about not repaying his loans.

Reputable New York and Washington D.C. law firms refuse to represent him because he refuses to pay them.

He lies, and boasts, and bullies, and has shown absolutely no respect or loyalty to anyone or anything outside his immediate family.

All of this is publicly visible and documented.

And this is the man you supporters admire? The man you champion as the leader of the free world?

Better to kiss Putin's ass: you'll be lined up soon enough.

Replies:   StarFleet Carl
Ernest Bywater

@Zom

As a side discussion to this side discussion - there has been some talk recently in OZ about dropping compulsory voting.


I doubt it will ever be dropped. It's a key part of our electoral system, and it's a constitutional part of the voting system. The Commonwealth Constitution says voters will have the same rights and responsibilities to vote in Commonwealth elections as they do in their state elections. Most of the states have compulsory voting as part of their constitutions, and the others have it as another law. The reason for that is to limit the chances of another state overwhelming them in Commonwealth votes if their state voters decide not to turn out and vote. To change the compulsory voting would require a change made in every state, something that's much harder to do than changing the Australian Constitution.

There is always a small percentage who deliberately lodge informal votes, but the majority of people bother to give the issues a passing thought and make a decision before they vote. This is because they have to go out of their way to lodge a vote, so they feel they should try to get something out of it.

On the political side, the politicians favour compulsory voting because when they get elected they can claim they were elected by the majority of the citizens, and not just a vocal minority.

The other thing to remember is our voter registration system requires all people to be on the electoral rolls before they can lodge a vote, and they have to prove citizenship before they can be on the electoral roles. In short - only citizens registered in the system can vote.

If you introduced the same system in the USA a huge number of the people who voted in recent election wouldn't have been eligible to lodge a vote, according to some of the reports from the USA.

Ernest Bywater

@Switch Blayde


In Arizona, the Democrats wanted to go door to door to get Hillary votes and bring them back to the voting stations.


Doing it by force or intimidation would be kidnapping. They did have the legal option of offering to provide transport support, but the people would have to ask for it.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Ernest Bywater

@kimlsevier

You left out such masterpieces of Australian history as Thornbirds, A Town like Alice (the 1981 production), and Peter Grave's documentary of the Outback Whiplash.


Yes I did. At the time I whipped off the earlier reply I was already half asleep after 3 long drives and a tiring day in court.

Zom
Updated:

@Switch Blayde


go door to door to get Hillary votes and bring them back to the voting stations


That is the sort of traditional 'get out the vote' brouhaha that has been part of the traditional manipulation, and has only ever impacted the fringes.

Concentrating on those aspects of the Brexit and Trump campaigns completely misses the sophisticated emotional targeting methods that helped them be so successful.

Who was it that said, 'If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.'?

Ernest Bywater

@Zom

Who was it that said, 'If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.'?


Goebels, and it worked for Obama, and nearly worked for Hillary, and some thinks it worked for Donald. It definitely worked for George Washington, and Monroe too.

Switch Blayde

@Ernest Bywater

Doing it by force or intimidation would be kidnapping.


Not bring back the voters (people). Bring back their votes. I'm sure the only ones they'd bring back were the Hillary ones.

Switch Blayde

@Zom

That is the sort of traditional 'get out the vote'


Not the traditional "get out the vote." That wouldn't have been illegal. They wanted to actually bring back the vote, not the voter.

StarFleet Carl

@graybyrd

And this is the man you supporters admire? The man you champion as the leader of the free world?


Primary I voted for Ted Cruz, my wife for Marco Rubio.

I remember reading the interview with him when he purposely missed the loan payment to a bank because he wanted to re-write the terms of the loan and the bank didn't want to do so. When he did - they had loaned him so much money that if they called the loan due, THEY would have gone bankrupt. He's a New York business mogul and I know he's not a nice man when it comes to doing business.

And even with all the things you mention - look at the OTHER choice we had. Hillary. Just how much baggage did you want? (Also, don't forget it was HER campaign that said Obama was from Kenya first. Trump just ran with it.)

I never said I admire him. Nor did I ever support him other than giving him my vote. Because not voting for him, or voting for a third party candidate, would have been the same as tacitly voting for Hillary. No one has ever relieved me of my oath to defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic.

I didn't vote for Trump because I admire or even like him - I voted for Trump so that the Constitution, through his choices for the Supreme Court, would survive. Under Hillary it wouldn't have.

Replies:   graybyrd
graybyrd

@StarFleet Carl

Leaving Hillary aside (or does it satisfy some inner demon to unceasingly thrash a dead horse? Can the GOP survive without invoking Obama and Hillary hysteria?) I find it disturbing to think that voting for Trump was motivated by a desire to preserve the Constitution.

Consider: this week, President Trump stated publicly that in his opinion, the Director of the FBI should report to, and be accountable only to the President. A prominent presidential historian said of that statement: "It is blood-chilling!"

Replies:   Zom  StarFleet Carl  Joe Long
Zom

@graybyrd

Can the GOP survive without invoking Obama and Hillary hysteria?

"The art of leadership... consists in consolidating the attention of the people against a single adversary and taking care that nothing will split up that attention."

Replies:   graybyrd
graybyrd

@Zom

The much-vaunted "Fake News" reported this week that Russia and China participated in a joint military exercise in the Syrian region. Perhaps it's a good thing U.S. attention is focused on the Obama-Hillary threat, rather than peripheral threats we're ill-equipped to face.

StarFleet Carl

@graybyrd

Consider: this week, President Trump stated publicly that in his opinion, the Director of the FBI should report to, and be accountable only to the President. A prominent presidential historian said of that statement: "It is blood-chilling!"


Consider this: The Constitution of the US is the ultimate law of the land. And our form of government has three separate branches. The Legislative - Congress - writes and makes the law. The Judicial - the Supreme Court - interprets the laws written by Congress as to whether they follow the Constitution. And the Executive - specifically the President and thus everyone under him - enforces the law.

What is the duty of the FBI? Is it to make the law? Nope. Is it to interpret the law? Nope. Is it to enforce the law? Yep.

Follow the military chain of command. The President is the Commander in Chief of ALL military forces in the country. The President is also the Chief Law Enforcement Officer in the country. Literally ALL other law enforcement officials in this country are subordinate to him. That includes the Attorney General of the United States, to whom the FBI reports to now.

It was the President of the United States who told his Attorney General to start an office of investigations, which became the FBI. It is within his Executive Authority to move it from the Attorney General and Justice Department directly to his control if he so desires - they all ALREADY report to him anyway.

Note that I get your point and perspective - but there is a problem with your summation. WHICH prominent presidential historian said that? You have cited no source. Is it someone we would recognize instantly as being fair in his or her opinion? (Newt Gingrich comes to mind - after all, he is a well qualified historian, as well as fiction author of alternative histories.) Or is it someone who happens to teach Presidential History at a notoriously liberal left-wing college, and thus is simply more of the screaming masses that can't accept that their candidate lost, and would argue if Trump said that due to the rotation of the earth, the sun rises in the east?

Replies:   graybyrd
graybyrd
Updated:

@StarFleet Carl

All of which is fine... except it ignores a substantial history of institutional practice and custom. Although FBI is an administrative unit of the Executive Branch, custom has evolved to determine that a) the FBI is not to be involved in political motivations (unlike the corrupt history of J. Edgar Hoover, and the later Nixon 'enemies list' in which he sought to use both the FBI and the IRS to punish political 'enemies) and b) FBI directors since Hoover have been scrupulous in avoiding close contact, association, or affiliation with the Chief Executive to avoid any appearance of conflict of interest involving the Administration.

Not all ethical and institutional restraints and practices are codified in hard writ; much has been built up over decades, even centuries, of custom and practice for 'the good of the nation.'

The historian is Michael Richard Beschloss. A specialist in the United States presidency, he is the author of nine books.

I realize the fact that he is a frequent guest on NBC and the Rachel Maddow TV show will totally disqualify him as a source in many eyes. He's part of the "fake news" media establishment.

Regarding 'custom and practice' it is worthwhile reading a recent essay by Masha Gessen that appeared in the New York Review of Books, called "Autocracy: Rules for Survival." She survived and later escaped the Putin regime in Russia. Pray it never happens here, but we're most definitely on the slippery slope to an authoritarian government. The first thing to collapse are institutions, then a free press, then an independent judiciary... all of which are currently under assault.

--edit to correct Gessen article title

Replies:   Zom  StarFleet Carl
Anomandaris

SOL is a Canadian site. The King's English should be the norm, not the exception. We don't cater to the filthy Colonial traitors. :P Just sayin'.

Zom

@graybyrd

He's part of the "fake news" media establishment.

It is very sad that decrying and vilifying the lügenpresse has become so successful.

"I use emotion for the many and reserve reason for the few."

Switch Blayde

@Zom

He's part of the "fake news" media establishment.
It is very sad that decrying and vilifying the lügenpresse has become so successful.


Sorry, but the news has been biased, sensational, and not true for quite a while. I think it started with Fox and continued with MSNBC and the the other far right and far left "news" programs made it worse.

It's not about reporting the news anymore. It's about sensationalism and ratings. Just ask Ted Turner who started CNN. He was vocal about it not being news anymore. And I remember Dan Rather saying the same thing.

The "honest" news of Walter Cronkite is dead.

StarFleet Carl

@Zom

It is very sad that decrying and vilifying the lügenpresse has become so successful.


The problem isn't that the lying press is lying - it's that until not too long ago, they were getting away with it.

Note that this issue of bias in reporting news isn't anything new, it goes back to the 1800's, when newspapers were rather blatantly labeled Democrat or Republican. When radio and then television came out, they at least made the appearance of trying to be impartial.

But what happened was, eventually, the bias on how the facts - or even which facts - were reported crept back in. The press continued to become more biased - and then something happened, one of their own called them on it. Sixteen years ago, Bernard Goldberg wrote a book called 'Bias' and how the media distorts facts and the truth.

I took it with a grain of salt, but then started doing my own research and started watching national news on the different networks to see how they reported the same thing. And after about two weeks of watching news reports plus also doing some internet and newspaper reading on the same incidents, it was quite clear that Goldberg was correct. The main stream media weren't simply reporting what happened, they were putting their own spin on things, and would throw in additional comments to further their own agenda.

An example might be something simple, like a wildfire caused by a lightning strike. Simple fact reporting would be that 5,000 acres were burned, with one home destroyed. What you'd hear might be a comment that 'firefighters were unable to contain the fire until massive environmental damage was done', making it both an environmental issue and also putting a faint hint of blame on the firefighters.

It became rather obvious during the previous administration where the bias of the press lay in their reporting, especially when the internet gives the everyday person the ability to actually look at an issue reported nationally and then go to the local TV and newspaper sites and see how something was reported where the incident actually happened. The guy who built a stock pond on his own property and then was sued by the EPA for blocking waters is a pretty good example of that. He got all the local and state permits, did everything right. So you'd see it reported by the MSM that the EPA was just doing their job protecting the environment against this scofflaw - while in other spots, you'd see that he followed the law and this was overreach by the Feds due to an Obama regulation - trying to apply the laws on navigable waters to a pond fifty miles from any river.

Is it any wonder that there is such a mistrust of what the lying press says nowadays? The standard of 'We report, you decide' has been set to the side, and what we in the public hear is 'We tell you what to think'. (Which a reporter recently blurted out...)

StarFleet Carl

@graybyrd

The historian is Michael Richard Beschloss. A specialist in the United States presidency, he is the author of nine books.

I realize the fact that he is a frequent guest on NBC and the Rachel Maddow TV show will totally disqualify him as a source in many eyes. He's part of the "fake news" media establishment.


Well, his wife also runs a hedge fund and sits on the board of several entities that, depending upon how you look at it, tend to promote Gaia versus the inhabitants thereof. In reading some of his excerpts that I have found, I would agree that, as a historian, he did a good job of presenting history. I would also submit that his own bias does show through just a little with a couple of his comments.

I do agree with and understand what you mean by custom and practice. There's a good reason WHY the FBI Director is supposed to serve no more than a 10 year term now. You need someone to guard the guardians, after all.

Replies:   graybyrd
Switch Blayde

Although I stay away from politics and religion, the media gets my craw. I'll give a real life story of fake news.

I used to love the news show 60-Minutes. And then they did an episode on how the city of Scottsdale, AZ was stealing money from taxpayers to build golf courses and parks.

I happened to live in Scottsdale which had a major flooding problem the few times it rained each year. One time my cab driver couldn't get me home from the airport at the end of a business trip because the roads were flooded.

So what did Scottsdale do? They used money for disaster relief (taxpayer money) to build water collection areas to keep the water off the roads. But what to do with the water collection areas? They built parks and golf courses. So when it wasn't raining, they could be used. When it did rain, the roads were not flooded. And since there was no more flooding, there was no more asking for disaster relief tax money.

But 60-Minutes made it sound like the city stole your tax money to build parks and golf courses. Total bullshit. Just fake news for the sake of sensationalism. I never watched that show again.

sejintenej

@awnlee jawking

I believe there's a proposal being considered for Calais to revert to left hand drive (holiday times only?) to encourage British tourism ;)


Proposal? it already happens.
You drive off the boat /chunnel train onto dual carriageway and then motorway (?freeway in the US). There is nothing coming towards you on the road that you take - it's all on another one a few metres away so left/right doesn't matter.

sejintenej

@awnlee jawking

I remember a story by a US author in which the protagonists drove to London via the Channel Tunnel after an evening in Paris.

I am pretty sure I know the story you refer to. If so there were many many other errors and impossibilities on that trip to Dublin / London / Paris etc.

To have corrected one of them could have considerably affected (NOT effected, please) the entire trip

graybyrd
Updated:

@StarFleet Carl


I do agree with and understand what you mean by custom and practice. There's a good reason WHY the FBI Director is supposed to serve no more than a 10 year term now. You need someone to guard the guardians, after all.


Ayup. One would be well advised to ignore the talking head on the screen; to stifle the roaring words in one's ears. T'is far safer to keep one's eyes firmly fixed on the flying monkeys.

Crumbly Writer

@awnlee jawking

In my opinion the metric system is a step backwards. A more progressive system of weights and measures would have been based on some variant of binary.

0 - I won't use the metric system.
1 - I'll use the ancient English system based on body measurements instead.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@Crumbly Writer

1 - I'll use the ancient English system based on body measurements instead.


Okay, I'll bite. What part of your body measures 1?

AJ

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
seanski1969

@Wheezer

I couldn't agree more!

Crumbly Writer

@awnlee jawking

Okay, I'll bite. What part of your body measures 1?

My foot. According to the old English system, one foot equaled the exact size of the King's foot. It was similar to the pinch measurement, where the banks would hire huge bruisers to assay gold, as one pinch from them could equal five or six normal 98-pound weakling prospectors'.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@Crumbly Writer

My foot.


Mine too ;)

AJ

odave44
Updated:

Hello all. I haven't been back to this in many days. As I recall I asked a question about something having nothing to do with politics. I just read all the posts I haven't seen. Pretty entertaining I must say. Amazing how a conversation can head in different directions. My two cents worth: I am mostly concerned that so many people in our country are willing to support their chosen candidate (President) regardless of what he or she does. I'm afraid loyalty to a political party has become much more important to many people than the country and their fellow citizens. Just look at 52 republicans trying to push through a health care program claiming they are doing what the American public wants...when clearly every poll shows less than 20% support it. Vince Lombardi wasn't talking about politics, but he was very visionary. Today winning isn't everything, it's the only thing. Both parties only care about winning...at any cost. I don't believe many elected Republicans in congress are happy with Donald Trump, but he's on their team, so no matter what they support him. First time in my many decades of life I've actually been afraid for our country. Not because of the current president, but because of the system that made it possible and continues to blindly put party above all else.

Replies:   REP  Crumbly Writer  Joe Long
REP

@odave44

If you were to ever read my stories, you would know that I have little respect for people who work as reporters and politicians.

When it comes to politicians, they put themselves first, then the people who pay for their campaigns, followed closely by their party, and somewhere toward the bottom of the list is their constituents.

odave44

@REP

I had to laugh a bit. The corrupt politicians in "Opening Earth" may still not be quite as bad as what we're dealing with here. I have read your stories and enjoyed them very much. Thanks.

Replies:   REP
Wheezer

@REP

When it comes to politicians, they put themselves first, then the people who pay for their campaigns, followed closely by their party, and somewhere toward the bottom of the list is their constituents.

Pretty much true. Neither the Left nor the Right is free from the moneyed influence peddlers at the expense of the people they are supposed to represent, but it sure seems lately that the scales have tipped way out of balance. Oh well, R.I.P. America. You had a good run. We are definitely living in interesting times.

richardshagrin

I have made this joke before, but not recently. Politics, a compound word from the Greek, poly, meaning many and ticks, meaning blood sucking insects.

Replies:   AmigaClone
REP

@odave44

" may still not be quite as bad as what we're dealing with here


True, and thanks.

AmigaClone

@richardshagrin

I have made this joke before, but not recently. Politics, a compound word from the Greek, poly, meaning many and ticks, meaning blood sucking insects.


I recall that definition being used by an "universal translator" in FTL II: First Contact by Timm.

http://storiesonline.net/s/47146/ftl-ii-first-contact

Crumbly Writer

@odave44

My two cents worth: I am mostly concerned that so many people in our country are willing to support their chosen candidate (President) regardless of what he or she does. I'm afraid loyalty to a political party has become much more important to many people than the country and their fellow citizens.

It's not so much party loyalty (based on a single collective belief) as it is a clan-based loyalty (i.e. he's "one of us") either an uneducated, non-elitist 'common man' or someone willing to 'stick it to everyone who doesn't believe like we do!'

That's why the Trump loyalists stick to him despite his not doing diddly for them, because they aren't defending his actions, they're attacking the 'liberal elite' who think they know ALL the answers to everything!

Replies:   odave44
Crumbly Writer

@REP

If you were to ever read my stories, you would know that I have little respect for people who work as reporters and politicians.

That's a common literary meme, the 'intrusive reporter' or the 'power-hungry politician', both of which can't see the truth because they're too focused on their objective.

Replies:   REP
odave44

@Crumbly Writer

The oddest thing is he is in fact the elite and was a democrat most of his life. And he is anything but common. Really a mystery for the ages

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@odave44

The oddest thing is he is in fact the elite and was a democrat most of his life. And he is anything but common. Really a mystery for the ages


It's not that odd.

You have as CW described, the hard core tribalists on both sides, that would never vote for a candidate for the other side no matter what. About 35-40% of the country supports each of the two major parities at this level.

Add to that:

1. A large chunk of the rest of the population not covered above is feed up with both parties, sick of politics in general and tired of career politicians.

2. Trump did not run on a traditional Republican platform, he ran on a populist platform.

3. Trump is an outsider to politics, a business man, not a career politician.

REP

@Crumbly Writer

That's a common literary meme


For me it is a personal thing. I don't like or trust either.

helmut_meukel
Updated:

@odave44

I just counted all my paperbacks written by 'Carter Brown'. I still have 87! They are copyright by Horwitz Publications, Inc. Ltd., Sydney. Copyright years are 1958 - 1980. They are german translations of the 'amerikanischen Originalausgabe'. All stories are set in the U.S..

So I thought 'Carter Brown' is an american author, I never realized it was an australian author. Years later I read the widow of the main author tried to get the copyrights transferred to her, because Horwitz had no intention to re-issue the books. Horwitz refused this, because several authors wrote as 'Carter Brown'. The deceased wrote only over 90% of the books.

I don't know if the 'Carter Brown' books got ever published in the U.S., if not then any lapses in the use of American English would probably not got recognized by its readers.

Any reader reading a translation will never get the differences between American English, British English, and Australian English.

Puns get lost in translation. Even names are changed: Bernard Cornwell's Richard Scharpe lost his silent 'e' and was named 'Sharp'. But it can get worse: Harry Potter's Hermione was renamed Hermine. In one of the later books its
pronuncation is given as her-my-oh-knee, I never checked what they came up with in german.

HM.

Replies:   REP
REP
Updated:

@helmut_meukel

Reminds me of the film industry. They buy the film rights to the book, then their script writers rewrite the scenes to be suitable for filming. By the time the movie gets to the public, you can't recognize the book.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Switch Blayde

@REP

By the time the movie gets to the public, you can't recognize the book.


"First Blood" was like that. I read David Morrell's book on writing (the author of "First Blood") and besides writing advice, he discussed many aspects of the industry, including Hollywood.

He said the movie wasn't anything like the novel. The novel was about generation conflict — the Korean War vet (Sheriff) and the Vietnam War vet (Rambo). In the novel, both die at the end. Of course in the movie, they didn't die. Morrell said it drastically changed the story, but it turned out well because of all the Rambo movies made. If Rambo had died, it would have been the one and only movie.

Replies:   StarFleet Carl
StarFleet Carl

@Switch Blayde

If Rambo had died, it would have been the one and only movie.


You say that like it would have been a bad thing ...

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Switch Blayde

@StarFleet Carl

You say that like it would have been a bad thing


For David Morrell it would have been.

imsly1

@Wheezer

Russian Meddling is A Bigger Science Fiction story than Star Trek.. lets talk about the Actual Meddling..The Lamestream Media is still Trying to change the Results of the Election, by Pushing the Fake Russian Story, that the Clinton Campaign came up with... we Got a Special Council to investigate a Fake Event..created by a Criminal FBI directors Leak...
An yet the Lamestream media won't look at the Debbie WhatsHerAss Schultz's Actual Meddling in the Primaries ..which by the Way fits Rico Charges to the Letter...
So lets talk about Gerrymandering..
Who had Clinton 9000000 points ahead and Trump had zero chance in Hell of winning..The Lamestream Media...
Who Meddles in the Election Process..The Lamestream Media....not Russia...who Hacked the DNC...no one ..Seth Rich who was a DNC Employee..sent the Crap to Wikileaks...that's why he was Murdered..his name is not Russia...and He is not Russian...but the Lamestream media is trying to sell YOU a Science Fiction story to make Clinton Feel good...

Replies:   Switch Blayde
imsly1

@Ernest Bywater

Of course WE can't have Voter ID Laws..the Liberals would never win another Election this Century if you took out the Fraudulent Votes

imsly1

@REP

Speaking of Kingdoms, Obama had 100's of Czars.. most of them were Muslim Brotherhood members ....
And wrote Executive orders like used Toilet Paper

Replies:   Zom
Zom
Updated:

@imsly1


And wrote Executive orders like used Toilet Paper


Not that old chestnut again. You are as truthful as your hero.

Obama - 276 orders in 8 years = 34.6 per year

George W. - 291 orders in 8 years = 36.4 per year

George H.W. - 166 orders in 4 years = 41.5 per year

Reagan - 381 orders in 8 years = 47.6 per year

Who has been using the toilet paper?

ETA - By the way in the first 100 days, Trump signed 32 executive orders, compared to Obama's 19, so Trump is nearly 2 to 1 so far. That's lots of toilet paper. And I don't give a flying about who loves who in the US, 'cause I aint there. I just hate fake facts.

Replies:   Joe Long
Switch Blayde

@imsly1

who Hacked the DNC


The funny thing about that is — if there hadn't been damaging information it wouldn't have made a difference. People forget that what was leaked wasn't what the Democratic Party wanted people to hear.

Just like any party/candidate, they only want the lies to be heard. Which is why I find it funny when they blast Trump for lying. They all lie. They wouldn't be elected if they didn't.

Replies:   REP
REP

@Switch Blayde

They all lie. They wouldn't be elected if they didn't.


I agree, although I believe some lies can be far more harmful that others.

Replies:   Wheezer
Wheezer

@REP

I agree, although I believe some lies can be far more harmful that others.


Some would equate lying about a blowjob as being as bad or worse than lying about collusion with Russia.

Replies:   REP  Joe Long
REP

@Wheezer

Some would equate lying about a blowjob as being as bad or worse than lying about collusion with Russia


True, but I am not one of those people. When the truth about a blowjob comes out, someone is likely to have a bruised ego. When the truth about the allegations of collusion comes out, someone may go to prison if true; otherwise bruised egos.

Replies:   Wheezer
Wheezer

@REP


True, but I am not one of those people


Oh, I wasn't pointing a finger at you! :D

Replies:   REP
REP

@Wheezer

I didn't think you were. But it did make a nice intro to what I had to say. :)

Joe Long

@graybyrd

Next I expect to hear that Trump is considered an acceptable representative of American leadership


Much of Trump's appeal is that he did not represent the status quo of American leadership

Joe Long

@StarFleet Carl

Are you SERIOUSLY going to make me explain the binary joke?


I laughed out loud. Actually.

Joe Long

@StarFleet Carl

But to many of us who, in the primary supported someone else, he was Hobson's Choice, so that's why we voted for him.


Exactly my situation.

Joe Long

@graybyrd

Leaving Hillary aside (or does it satisfy some inner demon to unceasingly thrash a dead horse? Can the GOP survive without invoking Obama and Hillary hysteria?) I find it disturbing to think that voting for Trump was motivated by a desire to preserve the Constitution.


Why should we leave her aside? She was the alternative. I feared for this country's future if she were to appoint one or more justices to the Supreme Court.

this week, President Trump stated publicly that in his opinion, the Director of the FBI should report to, and be accountable only to the President.


The FBI is part of the Department of Justice. Both the heads of the FBI and the DOJ are appointed by and can be fired by the president. They swear an oath to preserve, protect and defend the constitution, and can thus refuse unlawful orders, but otherwise are in the chain of command under the president.

Replies:   REP
Joe Long

@odave44

Just look at 52 republicans trying to push through a health care program claiming they are doing what the American public wants...when clearly every poll shows less than 20% support it.


A majority support getting rid of tight federal control of the health insurance industry. Only 20% supported the piece of trash legislation, pushed by Republican leadership, that only tinkers around the edges and is seen as doing virtually nothing to change the situation.

Replies:   REP
Joe Long

@Zom

Not that old chestnut again. You are as truthful as your hero.

Obama - 276 orders in 8 years = 34.6 per year


The number of Executive Orders is irrelevant. It's whether the violate the law.

Congress passes a law authorizing the executive to do certain things and frequently leaves the details to "the Secretary..." EO's clarify how the law is to to be implemented.

Many of Obama's EO's contradicted the law. For example, the law says that illegal aliens cannot get work permits, but Obama signed an EO saying that they would.

That's the problem - when he couldn't get Congress to agree, he ignored them.

Replies:   helmut_meukel
Joe Long

@Wheezer

Some would equate lying about a blowjob as being as bad or worse than lying about collusion with Russia.


Lying about the blowjob was to a federal judge as part of the discovery process in a sexual harassment lawsuit. Regardless of the subject, when being sued you can't lie or ask other to lie for you in court.

robberhands

@odave44

It's surprising how long it took, until a thread titled 'U.S. stories by authors in other countries', turned into a discussion of U.S. politics. I'm certain other U.S. citizens would feel disturbed about the displayed level of geopolitical interest before the discussion finally was rescued, and retreated onto familiar grounds and its self-centered borders.

helmut_meukel

@Joe Long

Many of Obama's EO's contradicted the law. For example, the law says that illegal aliens cannot get work permits, but Obama signed an EO saying that they would.


People, especially politicians, never ever learn from history.
Making laws that are ignored by a sizable percentage of the citicens is simply stupid. Not changing the law when it obviously can't be enforced is more stupid.
You should always ask "qui bono?".
The organized crime and all citicens illegally employing those people. Illegal employees don't pay taxes!

For me it's comparable to the Volstead Act and your legislature needed 13 years to stop this stupidity. Waiting for Congress? No. So Obama signed the EO.
So what?
BTW, did the Supreme Court or any federal judge stop Obama?

HM.

Replies:   Joe Long
Joe Long
Updated:

@helmut_meukel


BTW, did the Supreme Court or any federal judge stop Obama?


Yes, there was a federal judge in Texas who put a stay on the order I cited, which remains, and Trump has discontinued the program. The administration's lawyers also lied to the judge about whether any work permits had been issued.

One of the frequent problems in going to the courts is convincing them the claimant has standing. Even when a law or order is blatantly unconstitutional on it's face, one must prove they've been harmed to bring it before a judge.

REP

@Joe Long

Why should we leave her aside? She was the alternative.


Graybyrd's point - she was the alternative.

Since she is no longer in the picture as a Presidential candidate, why continue to bash her. Of course such bashing does draw attention away from Trump who deserves a good bashing.

Replies:   StarFleet Carl
REP

@Joe Long

is seen as doing virtually nothing to change the situation.


Actually, it is viewed as making the situation worse.

Replies:   Joe Long  Dominions Son
StarFleet Carl

@REP

Since she is no longer in the picture as a Presidential candidate,


But she still thinks she is ...

Yes, the 2016 election is over. The 2018 midterms are next year, and then the 2020 Presidential elections after that. So she thinks she's still a viable candidate for that one.

Also, just because she's no longer Secretary of State, if she broke the law by accepting bribes while in office or if Bill used his influence to quash a law enforcement investigation, then there are still crimes that have been committed.

Replies:   REP
Joe Long

@REP

Actually, it is viewed as making the situation worse.


True. I support repeal, and it's a crap bill.

Dominions Son

@REP

Actually, it is viewed as making the situation worse.


No problem is so bad that the government can't make it worse.

Replies:   Joe Long
Joe Long
Updated:

@Dominions Son


No problem is so bad that the government can't make it worse.


Which is why I support withdrawing the government from the process to the greatest extent possible. Any regulations should be done by the states. That there will differences from state to state are a feature of federalism, which allows various experiments to show us what works and what doesn't.

Replies:   awnlee jawking  REP
awnlee jawking

@Joe Long

I suspect that if individual states had full responsibility for their own legislation, gay marriage would very sporadic and there might even still be slavery, or at least some form of apartheid :(

AJ

Replies:   Wheezer
Wheezer

@awnlee jawking

I suspect that if individual states had full responsibility for their own legislation, gay marriage would very sporadic and there might even still be slavery, or at least some form of apartheid :(


I suspect some here would have absolutely no problem with that. Based on what I gather from previous posts, imho, they would love to take the 'united' out of the United States.

REP

@StarFleet Carl

Yes I forgot Trump is already on the campaign trail for 2020. So you are saying people are bashing Hillary for what she might have done with no proof, which may destroy her as a possible 2020 candidate.

Personally, I hope she never runs again. I think she would have made a poor President.

Replies:   richardshagrin
REP
Updated:

@Joe Long


Any regulations should be done by the states.


You appear to have overlooked the fact that prior to Obama's plan, the States were the ones regulating healthcare and people were unhappy with what they got. They have already run their experiments and the results weren't good. We don't need to go down that path again for we already know what to expect.

If the Feds step out of the picture, we would be back where we started. As bad as the current plan may be, things were worse before it was put in place. Repealing the current plan without replacing it with something puts us back to where we were. As complex as healthcare is, anything cobbled together in a short time is going to have problems. If you have a half-assed solution, it is better to fix it than to just create another half-assed solution.

Replies:   Joe Long
richardshagrin
Updated:

@REP


poor President


I can't think of any president since I have been alive that wasn't rich. Maybe Harry Truman wasn't always wealthy, since he didn't run for President until he was already one. It is hard to see how anyone could be a realistic candidate unless they had resources to support themselves and their families while they spent months or years running. It is 1997, people are already running for president in 2020. Why did Trump win last year? He is rich and could afford to take the time it took.

docholladay

Personally I think anyone who wants to be President is the wrong person for the job. I have no idea really of what qualifications a person should have for the job, but that desire for power is definitely wrong. And both Trump and Hillary among others have had that desire in full bloom.

sandpiper

@richardshagrin

I can't think of any president since I have been alive that wasn't rich. Maybe Harry Truman wasn't always wealthy, since he didn't run for President until he was already one.


Eisenhower was hardly rich, and Carter wasn't exactly loaded.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@sandpiper

Eisenhower was hardly rich, and Carter wasn't exactly loaded.


Actually, Not super rich, but yes they were rich.

This ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Presidents_of_the_United_States_by_net_worth ) has a list of US presidents by peak net worth in constant (2016) dollars.

Eisenhower was worth $9 million and Carter was worth $8 million.

Harry Truman was the most recent president with a net worth under $1 million in 2016 dollars.

Joe Long

@REP

As bad as the current plan may be, things were worse before it was put in place. Repealing the current plan without replacing it with something puts us back to where we were


It is worse. Deductibles and premiums are both up. Some have to payt $20k out of pocket before seeing any benefits, despite being 'covered.' The only people paying less are subsidized.

We haven't had a truly competitive, lightly regulated market in decades. Now we're told we can only buy certain types of insurance in certain places. We do not have the freedom of choice that drives a market.

Allow insurance companies to operate across state lines.

Put privately obtained policies on equal tax footing with employer offered plans.

Reform FDA approval process so there are more than one or two producers for a given drug.

Expand who can sell insurance.

Permit individuals to pool together.

There are many more. These are all ways to get the government out of the way, allowing people to do things that will better serve their needs. These can be down even without first repealing. Pass these and more, one by one, and allow people to buy the insurance they want and need.

Replies:   REP
StarFleet Carl

@richardshagrin

Why did Trump win last year?


He literally was the anti-establishment candidate from day one. And there are a LOT of people in this country who have decided that Reagan was right - the worst words you can ever hear are, "I'm from the government and I'm here to help."

The other side of him being rich was that he didn't have to sell himself to the donor class. That's one reason he's having such a tough time in Washington. As Heinlein said, the definition of an honest politician is one that one that stays bought. Well, what do you do when the biggest politician of all is one that nobody else can buy?

REP
Updated:

@Joe Long


We haven't had a truly competitive, lightly regulated market in decades.


Until Obama's AHA plan went into effect, we had a competitive insurance market that was regulated by the states. It was good in some states and not so good in others. We now have a Federally regulated insurance market. The insurance companies don't like it for their profit margin is low or negative in some states, so they stop providing service in those states. That effects premiums and the types of policies sold in the states.

Before AHA, there were many people who needed healthcare and insurance was too expensive. Republicans and Democrats agreed that a government controlled healthcare system was needed. AHA was part of the answer, but it failed to address the entire problem. That is one reason there are so many problems AHA.

There is an unbelievable amount of gouging in healthcare. Patients sue doctors for real and bogus reasons, some of the suits are nothing more than greed. Doctors are gouged by malpractice insurance companies, and pass the cost along as higher fees - remember the insurance companies always make a profit. Hospitals charge patients outrageous prices - my mother-in-law had heart surgery. The hospitals bill was over $200,000, and through her insurance, they settled for about $80,000; you know they made a profit at that reduced amount. Then there are the drug companies. I won't even go there.

All of the above and more was a carry over from before AHA. The problems with healthcare need to be fixed, but it is a massive, interrelated mess. No one bill will fix it all a different solution is needed.

ETA: The main problem with AHA and Trump's AHCA is they were written by politicians who consulted with healthcare interests. They tried to fix problems they didn't understand, and the healthcare industry doesn't want the government involved. So how much valid advice do you think those politicians got from the healthcare industry.

Replies:   Joe Long
Joe Long

@REP

they were written by politicians who consulted with healthcare interests. They tried to fix problems they didn't understand


Politicians don't understand much. I prefer the wisdom of the crowds making purchasing decisions.

Also, I don't think many Republicans agreed that a government controlled health care system was needed.

jason1944

@awnlee jawking

There is a apocryphal story about the time in 1967 when Sweden switched from left hand to right hand drive. Supposedly there was a proposal made in Parliament to ease the transition by having cars with even numbered license plates change one weekend and the odd numbered the next!

sejintenej

re Jason 1944
Sweden; I definitely think that that is apocryphal; in hindsight they made a few calculation errors but those mistakes were on the "right" side.

However that story is true for Lagos, Nigeria except that it referred to every day of the week. It was brought in to ease the congestion on the roads; a few people bought second cars but the majority simply had two sets of number plates!

sejintenej

Going back to the original post in general I think the concept of setting a story in a foreign country is so fraught with difficulties that why do it?

A few exceptions - if you have lived in the foreign country for many years until very recently and you write about the area you know, then perhaps OK. but if it is the USA don't write about a different state - it could be as different as a gulag for all you know

If you have been there as a tourist and you write about the experiences of a tourist, then probably OK.

Unless you live in the Vatican then your home country should have plenty of niches into which you can slot your story.

Replies:   helmut_meukel
helmut_meukel

@sejintenej

Going back to the original post in general I think the concept of setting a story in a foreign country is so fraught with difficulties that why do it?

Unless you live in the Vatican then your home country should have plenty of niches into which you can slot your story.


But does it have plenty of readers? Writing in one of the two norwegian languages a story set in Norway for a population of about 5 millions mightn't be really compelling. Writing it in English wouldn't help either; how many american, british, australian, canadian readers will be interested in reading a story setted in Norway?
Even Norwegians from Oslo or Bergen often can't grasp how different life is in Kirkenes (near the russian border), Hammerfest or even Tromsø (Pop. nearly 75000, rank 9 in Norway[2017])
BTW, in Kirkenes the polar night extends from November 21 to January 21.

A few exceptions - if you have lived in the foreign country for many years until very recently and you write about the area you know, then perhaps OK. but if it is the USA don't write about a different state - it could be as different as a gulag for all you know


This argument is valid for most US authors too. Someone living his/her whole life somewhere in New England will have the same problems writing about let's say Alaska, Oregon or Louisana.

HM.

StarFleet Carl

@helmut_meukel

Someone living his/her whole life somewhere in New England will have the same problems writing about let's say Alaska, Oregon or Louisana.


Parts of New England greatly resemble parts of Alaska and Oregon, so that wouldn't be too far fetched. Louisiana, on the other hand ...

But just because you live your whole life somewhere doesn't mean you haven't traveled. Up until I moved to Oklahoma, you could say I've lived my whole life in Indiana. But I also vacationed and/or visited relatives, so not counting simply flight layovers, I've been in 28 of the 50 States.

A few things I've done or visited: Dug for diamonds in Arkansas (yes, there is a public diamond mine there), ate gumbo in Baton Rogue, drove Alligator Alley (and yes, it gets it's name legitimately), walked the battlefields of Shiloh, Manassas, and Gettysburg (and many others), rode the Natchez Trace, crossed the Chesapeake Bay Bridge tunnel, rode 'The Beast', visited the Mission San Antonio de Valero (aka the Alamo), didn't enjoy the Mackinac Bridge, panned for gold in Alaska, ate at the Pink Taco in Vegas (it's a restaurant in the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, you dirty minded people!)

So it's entirely possible for someone to know a LOT about the United States and still live their whole life in one state.

Switch Blayde

I use fictional locations (although they're assumed to be in the U.S.).

My first novel referred to the City and the Suburbs. And the suburbs was near the beach. In my mind it was NYC and L.I., but I never said that. Didn't want to get caught in a mistake.

In my last novel, I made up three towns (tiny one - Waynetown, little bigger one - Woodland, and the large city - Junction City). True, there are Junction Citys out there, but they aren't mine. And I implied it was in the NW with lots of forests and a lumber company.

In my WIP novel, the mc is ex-Ranger and the CIA is mentioned so it's set in the U.S. Other than a scene near the docks and fishermen, I give no indication of where it takes place.

I know this thread is about non-American authors writing stories set in America, but when someone mentioned the differences among states, I thought I'd bring this up.

Replies:   helmut_meukel
helmut_meukel

@Switch Blayde

I use fictional locations (although they're assumed to be in the U.S.).


Another way I've seen it done is to declare in a short preface that while it's in NY and the named street(s) exists major details of the location(s) are fictional. In place of the diner described in the story there is a Walmart in real live while the pawn shop across the street (noticed by the MC while sitting in the fictional diner) really exists.
Doing it this way the author has to research the location, but nowadays this can be done from anywhere using Google Street View.

HM.

Ernest Bywater

@helmut_meukel

Doing it this way the author has to research the location, but nowadays this can be done from anywhere using Google Street View.


That works to some extent. But I've found cases where what's available on GSV doesn't match the real life of the time you're looking at for the story. Businesses open and close, streets are altered by the local authorities, and many others.

All I say is when using a real live place, do very good and in-depth research from as many sources as you can find.

sejintenej

@helmut_meukel

But does it have plenty of readers? Writing in one of the two norwegian languages a story set in Norway for a population of about 5 millions mightn't be really compelling. Writing it in English wouldn't help either; how many american, british, australian, canadian readers will be interested in reading a story setted in Norway?


Three basic languages please - do include Sami (sarki, sarki!)
I was thinking of writing in English (or American or Strine etc.) and I found very few Norwegians, even seven year olds, who don't speak fluent English

The Blue Ice - a best seller by Hammond Innes is set in Norway. I personally have skiied the entire route and he got every twist and turn right. To within 50 metres I know where the girl's father was hit by the train. Hammond Innes k n e w the area he was writing about.
Perhaps someone who knew Malaya and the Outback can comment on geographical and textual accuracy of A Town Like Alice - another best seller.

Even Norwegians from Oslo or Bergen often can't grasp how different life is in Kirkenes (near the russian border), Hammerfest or even Tromsø (Pop. nearly 75000, rank 9 in Norway[2017])

Very true. Even the copper mines of Sulitjelma were totally different to Bodo, 80KM away. When I was in the Hardangervidda (that's civilised central- south middle Norway) people from one valley could have problems understanding the patois of those in the next valley.
Hence writing must be about an area you know and can explain to outsiders

Switch Blayde

@helmut_meukel

while it's in NY and the named street(s) exists major details of the location(s) are fictional


It's more than that. For instance, a cab ride from the suburbs to the city cost $21. No way in NY.

richardshagrin

@sejintenej

Hardangervidda

I understand Hard and danger. What is "vidda"? Google isn't much help, might be a Foundation interested in conservation or hiking pants.

Replies:   AmigaClone
AmigaClone

@richardshagrin

Hardangervidda

I understand Hard and danger. What is "vidda"? Google isn't much help, might be a Foundation interested in conservation or hiking pants.

While Wikipedia is often a hit or miss proposition it gives the following definition:

The name Hardangervidda is put together by the name of the district Hardanger and the finite form of vidde, 'wide plain, large mountain plateau'.

Replies:   sejintenej
StarFleet Carl

@sejintenej

I was thinking of writing in English (or American or Strine etc.) and I found very few Norwegians, even seven year olds, who don't speak fluent English


I suppose you could argue the point of fluent English versus comprehensible English - in which case I know a lot of Americans who can't speak English.

Replies:   sejintenej
sejintenej
Updated:

@AmigaClone


The name Hardangervidda is put together by the name of the district Hardanger and the finite form of vidde, 'wide plain, large mountain plateau'.


The district is correct, the plateau perhaps - within it is in fact a huge icecap (Hardangerjokulen) with small glaciers (including the Blaaisen / Blue Ice )

On your map look for Finse which is on the northern edge.

sejintenej

@StarFleet Carl

I suppose you could argue the point of fluent English versus comprehensible English

I am referring to use of colloquial and technical terms and accents which would not be noticed in London. Many of those I was with listened to the BBC World Service on the radio.

As for the age thing I was taught ski jumping be a girl who had never been outside her small village (according to her parents) but she had full fluency with the technical terms. She was under seven years old at the time.

I also got together with medical students from Oslo - same thing. In fact they regretted that Norway at that time did not have enough university ;places so more went to England and the USA than went to local universities.

For Norwegians English is relatively easy to pronounce as neither has sounds which the other would have major problems with.

odave44

I am puzzled by the comment no one would want to read a story set in Norway. I would. I enjoy all the stories set in the UK, Australia, etc. As long as it's set in a country the author knows well it is interesting to me. But if you are writing in English, don't feel you have to keep insert native words to make it real. That also goes for Sci Fi authors who feel they need to insert lots of Klingon or other made up language. While I"m at it don't try to write in hillbilly or old west drawl. Honestly, all of those things distract greatly from a story because the reader is trying to figure out what in the hell the word is or means.

Replies:   sejintenej
sejintenej
Updated:

@odave44


I am puzzled by the comment no one would want to read a story set in Norway. I would. I enjoy all the stories set in the UK, Australia, etc. As long as it's set in a country the author knows well it is interesting to me. But if you are writing in English, don't feel you have to keep insert native words to make it real.


In Neville Shute's case and apart from place names I can only remember two cases where he used Norwegian - he overheard on the radio a reference to Hval Ti whereupon it was explained to the MC that whale hunter number 10 had sighted a whale. Even in (probably) the penultimate paragraph the father points to the blue ice (of the glacier of that name) and says "the Blaaisen"

To me that was "the way" to handle foreign words

odave44; IF you can get hold of any I would recommend books by Neville Shute especially the two I mentioned. The Blue Ice is a detective story with a difference with a "different" ending whereas A Town Like Alice is probably closer to a romance

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