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James Files and the Research Community


John Simkin
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Bob Vernon, until a recent leading supporter of the story of James Files, has denounced him as a hoaxer. According to Vernon he has “spent the last 10 years investigating and researching whether or not the confession of James E. Files was true.” Vernon now claims he has “uncovered the absolute irrefutable evidence that James Files is a carefully orchestrated hoax”.

It seems that most serious researchers were never convinced by the stories told by James Files and Chauncey Holt. However, it does seem a couple of individuals were able to generate a great deal of words on the subject on this and other forums. This has been out of all proportion to the number of people who believed Files and Holt. I believe this has done a lot to discredit the credibility of the JFK research community.

While a great deal of time has been spent on these so-called confessions, the research community have tended to ignore the important testimony of people like John Martino, Tony Cuesta and Fabian Escalante. In turn, not enough research has been done into the people that this evidence has implicated: William Harvey, David Morales, David Atlee Phillips, William (Rip) Robertson, Tracy Barnes, Virgilio Gonzalez, Eugenio Martinez, John Martino, Richard Billings, Gerry P. Hemming , Loran Hall, Roy Hargraves, William Seymour, Lawrence Howard, Steve Wilson, Edwin Collins, Bernardo De Torres, etc.

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Hey John,

You are not shy giving your opinion on people, like me for example: I am abrasive and not particularly liked in the JFK research community, according to you. What is holding you on answering my question what your opinion is of Bob Vernon?

I have not been slow to tell Bob Vernon what I think of his theories. You have probably seen what I have said about Bob in the debate that has taken place on the JFK Lancer forum. He is clearly not very bright. (Maybe that is why he believed Files for so long). For example, he is of the opinion that our monarch is a dictator. He is also obnoxious in his postings. How did you manage to work with him for so long?

I also suspect that he has only changed his mind on James Files in an attempt to get back at you. However, I still do not believe that Files is telling the truth about his involvement in the killing of JFK.

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I worked with Bob Vernon for over a year. You have to understand that he was not the only one on the project. Before we broke off the relationship there had been more than enough frictions between Vernon and the rest of the partnership. But rather than discussing the character and motives of Bob Vernon, it might be more worthwhile to discuss why you don't believe James Files and Chauncey Holt to be credible.

Let us just assume for a while that they are/were telling the truth, would you agree that your statement of your feelings on their lack of credibility would actually be a disservice to the goals of this forum?

It seems that on statements by James Files and Chauncey Holt, most researchers demand hard and extensive proof for their veracity. Yet when someone declares them hoaxes, it seems eagerly accepted, no evidence is asked even if it is not given. I do not understand that.

Do you believe that Sam Giancana was one of the conspirators in the murder of JFK? This is an important question to begin with for anyone that is sincere in wanting to come closer the truth.

Also: What kind of evidence would you like to see to find James Files and / or Chauncey Holt credible?

Wim

Would you rank Robert Groden under "serious researchers"?

James Fetzer?

John Ritchson?

Retired FBI agents?

Antoinette Giancana?

Jim Marrs (I would call him a serious researcher) also had some questions. See below:

Discussies:alt.conspiracy.jfk

Datum:2000/06/06

TO JAMES FILES CONFESSION CRITICS: ANSWER ME THIS

by JIM MARRS

First off let me set the record straight. I have not -- nor am I now --

taking any particular position on the truthfulness of the James E. Files

confession. I was not on the Grassy Knoll on November 22, 1963, so I cannot

state with any 100 percent assurance what really happened.

All I have ever said on this matter is that I am aware of much more to this

story than simply a talking-head videotaped confession and that I feel it

deserves more serious attention than it has received in the past. Those who

have been so quick to dismiss Files as a hoax do not know the full details

of this issue. Others have personal problems with one or more of the

researchers who have brought the Files story public. Let's not toss out the

message just because we don't like the messenger. Never forget that the

whole Files story came about due to a tip from an FBI agent, not from mere

speculation by some researcher.

Despite what I feel to be an honest and open-minded attitude toward the

Files story on my part, I, along with anyone else who dares to admit

interest in this issue, have suffered much abuse on the Internet and other

places from some critics who, after superficial or no research, branded the

Files story a hoax.

Without making a long, involved story even longer, I would simply like the

answers to the following three simple questions regarding James Files:

HOW DID JAMES FILES KNOW THAT HUMAN TEETH IMPRESSIONS WOULD BE FOUND ON A

.222-CALIBER SHELL CASING FOUND ON THE GRASSY KNOLL IN 1987?

It is a fact that John C. Rademacher of Granbury, Texas, discovered a

.222-caliber shell casing on the north Grassy Knoll in Dallas' Dealey Plaza

in 1987. He brought the casing to my class at the University of Texas at

Arlington in 1990. I recall asking him about strange marks on the casing

because at the time I was very interested in the sabot or husk bullet issue.

Rademacher said the mark was on the casing when he found it but that he had

no idea what it was.

On May 3, 1993, researcher Bob Vernon along with TV executive Barry Adelman

first interviewed James E. Files in prison. Files claims to have used an

unusual and expensive single-shot match pistol, a .222-caliber Remington

XP-100 "Fireball", to shoot President Kennedy from behind the wooden picket

fence on top of the Grassy Knoll. Toward the end of the interview, Files

casually mentioned that he had left the .222-caliber shell casing behind on

the Grassy Knoll and that if anyone was to find it they would know it was

his. When asked how it could be identified, Files said he had bitten down on

the empty shell casing and left it behind on a cross piece of the wooden

picket fence. "It will have my teeth marks on it," he explained.

Reflecting on this information, Vernon recalled seeing something about a man

finding a shell casing on the Grassy Knoll in the files of the late Texas

researcher Joe West. After locating the story in West's material, Vernon

along with Mrs. Joe West visited Rademacher in July, 1993, and first saw the

shell casing with the markings on it. After about two months of

correspondence, Vernon finally obtained the shell casing in late September,

1993, and sent it for study by Dr. Paul Stimson of the University of Texas

at Houston, a member of the American Boards of Oral Pathology and Forensic

Odontology. About Oct. 4, 1993, following days of microscopic examination,

Dr. Stimson reported, "Opinion: The indentations are oriented on the shell

casing in a pattern that would be consistent with the maxillary right

central incisor making the larger mark and the two smaller marks would be

consistent with the lower right central and lateral incisors. It is my

opinion that the marks are consistent with having been made by human

indentation."

It is highly unlikely that this whole story could be a gigantic hoax

involving such diverse people as Dr. Stimson, Vernon, Joe West (who died

before ever learning of the casing connection between Rademacher and Files)

and his wife, Adelman, Files, myself and others over a period of more than

six years.

Having rejected the complicated hoax theory and considering that apparently

no one in the world knew of the casing/teeth issue prior to Dr. Stimson's

findings in October, 1993, I am left with the question --- If he had no

first-hand knowledge, how did James Files know that human teeth impressions

would be found on a .222-caliber shell casing discovered on the Grassy Knoll

in 1987?

HOW DID FILES FIND OUT ABOUT THE "WHITE STAR" TEAMS IN LAOS UNLESS HE WAS A

MEMBER?

During interviews with James E. Files, he told of his military record which

included a stint with the 82nd Airborne Division concerning covert

operations in Laos in 1959. He said he was supposedly out of the military

but was actually being paid by the U.S. Army and specifically mentioned

being part of the "White Star" teams to train Laotian Army regulars. Being a

Vietnam-era veteran myself and a lay historian, I was surprised that I had

never heard of the "White Star" teams. In fact, I chalked this term up as a

point against Files since no one I knew had ever heard of such teams. Then

in the summer of 1996, in a telephone conversation with Col. Fletcher

Prouty, I happened to mention that Files claimed to have trained Laotian

Army troops in 1959. "Oh, that was my operation," said Prouty. "They were

called the White Star teams." Prouty explained that members of the "White

Star" teams were "sheep-dipped," He explained this process as "an intricate

Army-devised process by which a man who is in the service as a full career

soldier or officer agrees to go through all the legal and official motions

of resigning from the service. Then, rather than actually being released,

his records are pulled from the Army personnel files and transferred to a

special Army intelligence file. (The Secret Team: pp. 172-173)" This is

exactly the process mentioned by Files and, obviously, could go far in

explaining some of the frustrations encountered in trying to verify his

military record. Prouty said the "White Star" teams were composed of

"sheep-dipped" officers and men who were hired by a private company created

by the CIA and sent to Laos to train troops. Prouty's statements force the

question --- If Files is a phony and never in the military (as some critics

have asserted), how did he know the correct term "White Star" teams and the

circumstances of their involvement in Laos.unless he was part of it?

WHERE DID FILES LEARN OF AN "ABORT TEAM" IF NOT FROM JOHNNY ROSELLI?

According to the Files confession, the JFK assassination was carried out by

Chicago mob hit man, Charles "Chuckie" Nicoletti on orders from boss Sam

Giancana. ".(Richard) Cain and Nicoletti were actual gunmen for the hit."

wrote Giancana's brother Chuck in his 1992 book Double Cross (pp. 334-335).

Files said the hit team originally was to be Nicoletti and mobster Johnny

Roselli. Files himself was only to have transported weapons to Dallas and

acted as driver. But, according to Files, Roselli arrived in Dallas early on

the morning of November 22, 1963, by means of a "military flight". Roselli

said the CIA had sent an "abort team" to Dallas to stop the assassination

and he declined to participate saying they would all be killed. Undaunted by

Roselli's fears, Nicoletti decided to move ahead with the carefully-laid

plans and so asked Files --- a man who had been his driver and confederate

in several other jobs --- to back him up. Many critics have questioned why

Files at such a young age and not being a "made" Mafia man would have been

included on something as important as the JFK assassination. This is a very

good question but it appears answered in this account of Files' last-minute

substitution after Roselli suddenly backed out, fearful of being killed by

an "abort team".

Files' use of the term "abort team" was only the second time in my career I

had heard that term. The first involved a "black ops" military pilot who

also mentioned an "abort team' --- and in connection with the JFK

assassination!!

William Robert "Tosh" Plumlee claimed to have been involved in secret

government skullduggery beginning before the Bay of Pigs invasion and

lasting through the Iran-Contra scandal. I have reams of FBI and DEA reports

on Plumlee and they state he was claiming to have knowledge of the JFK

assassination as far back as the 1970s. In addition to his numerous

government files, Plumlee was called for secret testimony during the

Iran-Contra hearings. He obviously is a credible source.

In the late 1980s, Tosh took me on a guided tour of Dallas and presented an

incredible story of how he piloted a plane from Florida to New Orleans on

November 21, 1963. In New Orleans, he picked up a team of men, along with

some small cases, and flew them to Dallas, arriving early on Nov. 22.

Originally slated to land at Red Bird Airport, he was diverted to Garland

Airport due to early morning rain and overcast. Here the team disembarked.

This group was largely unknown to Tosh except for one man whom he had

piloted before. He only knew this man as "Colonel John Roselli". Tosh also

said he was told that the group were an "abort team" sent to Dallas to stop

an assassination attempt on President Kennedy. Tosh's account of this

flight, his observations in Dealey Plaza and his planned return trip to meet

David Ferrie in Houston make for a fascinating tale, one that has never been

disproved.

Tosh says he flew Roselli into Dallas on a military plane and Roselli tells

Files he arrived on a military flight. Tosh said the flight was to bring in

an "abort team" and Roselli bows out of his part in the assassination

confessing fear of an "abort team". Since Tosh and Files are the only two

people I have ever heard mention an "abort team" and since by all research

Tosh and Files never met, how could Files have known about an "abort team"

unless his story of Roselli's statements are true?

Now I am the first to admit that there are problems with the Files

confession, mostly due to the lack of substantiating documentation. Of

course, men like Files don't live long or prosper with the Chicago mob or

CIA by leaving behind a well-managed paper trail. In my study of this issue,

I have found many small things which seem to corroborate his story. Three of

these are mentioned above.

There remains much more research to be done on the Files. In the meantime,

if someone will simply give me a credible and well-supported answer to the

above three questions, I might consider joining the chorus of nay-sayers in

the James Files confession.

-Jim Marrs

Edited by Wim Dankbaar
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Guest Bob Vernon

John Simkin wrote:

"I have not been slow to tell Bob Vernon what I think of his theories. You have probably seen what I have said about Bob in the debate that has taken place on the JFK Lancer forum. He is clearly not very bright. (Maybe that is why he believed Files for so long). For example, he is of the opinion that our monarch is a dictator. He is also obnoxious in his postings. How did you manage to work with him for so long?

I also suspect that he has only changed his mind on James Files in an attempt to get back at you. However, I still do not believe that Files is telling the truth about his involvement in the killing of JFK."

Bob Vernon reply:

Gee, Mr. Simkin,

You send me an email telling me there is no abuse on your forum because children are reading this and I come here to respond in a civil tone to the hoax Judyth Baker and I see where you believe "I'm not very bright."

You see Mr. Simkin, Wim Dankbaar is the biggest lair and deceitful person I've ever known. The question is how could I have worked with him for so long. He bought all of my associates one by one and they let him! He also harmed 21 other honest hard working Americans along the way with his lies.

Since I now know that you speak with a forked tongue Mr. Simkin, I will treat you just like I treat other morons.

Are you aware that for all of my years working with Files that I am ON RECORD as saying that if Files is a hoax, I will be the first one to say he is? You don't have to answer for if you would have known that, you couldn't make the false statements you have.

And anytime you would like to compare IQs, step right up. And bring your stupid dictator Queen and her pompous royal arse with you.

Now I see why my forefathers left England.

Bob Vernon

P.S. Has Dim Wankbaar told you that I told him last year about the concerns I had with James Files and he offered to help me out by buying me out when my daughter had a stroke and requesting I give up my First Amendment rights? I'll bet he hasn't has he? Are you aware that Wankbaar is in this for profit and not the truth? You don't have to answer for I know the truth. But remember, if Wankbaar hasn't told you that, that means he's a bigger xxxx than you are.

BTW - There was no partnership as Dankbaar said. But his pst will be interesting to my legal counsel.

P.S. I pity the child that is learning anything from you.

ta ta

Edited by Bob Vernon
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And anytime you would like to compare IQs, step right up.  And bring your stupid dictator Queen and her pompous royal arse with you.

Now I see why my forefathers left England....

I pity the child that is learning anything from you.

The reason I questioned your intellect was because you tend to make daft statements. For example, this nonsense about our queen being a dictator. When on the JFK Lancer Forum I explained in great detail why our queen was not a dictator you replied with a one word answer “Yawn”.

On another occasion your claimed that America was the greatest country in the world. When I questioned this you responded with expletives rather than rational argument.

Your comment that I am in some way a justification for your forefathers leaving the UK is an example of your prejudicial feelings and lack of rational thought.

I don’t know what my IQ is? I do have three university degrees but that in itself does not make me intelligent. I am though capable of rational argument and will attempt to provide evidence to support my arguments.

Therefore, if you wish to show your intelligence I would suggest you provide some evidence that supports your view that the queen is a dictator and why American is the greatest country in the world.

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John and all,

I do not wish to engage in a flame war with Mr. Vernon here. I believe it serves neither the goal or constructive atmosphere of this forum. However, those who are truly interested in my side of the story of my dealings with Mr. Vernon are welcome to email me at info@jfkmurdersolved.com and I will be glad to send them a summary, which will quickly expose Mr. Vernon's motives as well as his statements and accusations as outrageous lies or hallucinations, whatever one wishes to call them. Based on the reactions here so far, it seems there won't be much interest or need for explanation, however it will be given on request.

Wim

Edited by Wim Dankbaar
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Guest Bob Vernon
And anytime you would like to compare IQs, step right up.  And bring your stupid dictator Queen and her pompous royal arse with you.

Now I see why my forefathers left England....

I pity the child that is learning anything from you.

The reason I questioned your intellect was because you tend to make daft statements. For example, this nonsense about our queen being a dictator. When on the JFK Lancer Forum I explained in great detail why our queen was not a dictator you replied with a one word answer “Yawn”.

On another occasion your claimed that America was the greatest country in the world. When I questioned this you responded with expletives rather than rational argument.

Your comment that I am in some way a justification for your forefathers leaving the UK is an example of your prejudicial feelings and lack of rational thought.

I don’t know what my IQ is? I do have three university degrees but that in itself does not make me intelligent. I am though capable of rational argument and will attempt to provide evidence to support my arguments.

Therefore, if you wish to show your intelligence I would suggest you provide some evidence that supports your view that the queen is a dictator and why American is the greatest country in the world.

http://www.2012.com.au/NESARA32.html

In the last week, news has come from U.S. Senators indicating that NESARA’s announcement and the mass deliveries and fulfillment of the current prosperity programs are near.

There are some in Congress who support NESARA and support the distribution of the prosperity programs funds; both topics are under gag order or Non Disclosure but members of Congress do occasionally confide in their own family members and close personal friends. Although they are forced by U.S. Supreme Court gag order to publicly deny that NESARA has been passed, their personal conversations and communications are quite different.

While mainstream media carries make-news from the D.C. Bush gang, the real action is still happening behind the scenes and still under gag order. But not for long. Tomorrow I will write about something which, we hope, will provide crucial resolution to a problem which has been a major obstacle to the NESARA announcement. I have been tracking this obstacle for years and finally, it looks like a solution to remove the obstacle has been found.

When people read the major points of the true NESARA law listed above, most people will not realize the VAST impacts of NESARA. It is not until we detail NESARA’s impacts on major organizations in our world, that we begin to realize the tremendous transformations NESARA initiates.

For example, what does the restoration of Constitutional Law really mean? It’s been a few years since I have written about the impacts on certain organizations in the U.S. which will be required to change. There are literally thousands of ways NESARA impacts our country when Constitutional Law is restored. One of the thousands of ways involves the American Bar Association (ABA) which will be required to cease functioning under its CURRENT charter in the U.S. The reason for this is that the ABA is an organization whose official “charter” was authorized by the British Crown. The British Crown is a foreign agent and this makes the current ABA a “foreign agent” which has power the Constitution prohibits a foreign agent to have. Through various means the ABA has spread its tentacles of control into our legal and judicial system, government, and Congress. The ABA is controlled by the Illuminati/dark agenda and is one of the ways the Illuminati have gained covert control in the U.S.

The American Medical Association and the American Dental Association are also tools of the Illuminati and will have to cease functioning under their current charters. The Illuminati have very carefully step-by-step taken control of our country in a myriad of covert activities and through many organizations. We are currently blocked from accessing many helpful alternative medical technologies and therapies due to restrictions by government and these Illuminati controlled organizations.

All of these organizations, the ABA, the AMA, and the ADA, are controlled by the Illuminati and have been used to control our people in various ways. In addition, the Illuminati have their tentacles into well-known charitable organizations, foundations, universities, media conglomerates, corporations, and much more. NESARA requires changes in the structures and charters of literally every organization; the changes NESARA requires will enable the Illuminati’s personnel and control to be identified and removed.

The reason that NESARA is under such strict gag orders by both the World Court and the U.S. Supreme Court is due to NESARA’s massive ripple effects. What happens when someone perceives that their “power” or income will be impacted by a new law? If people perceive they have less power or that their incomes might become less, they band together and raise objections to the new law.

With NESARA, there will be less attorneys needed for several reasons: 1) there will be no federal income tax and eventually no state income taxes which eliminates need for tax attorneys; 2) there will be radically fewer laws because NESARA wipes out many laws. If NESARA had not been passed in secret sessions, there would have been years of fighting by attorneys to keep NESARA from passing.

There are provisions in NESARA to compensate these attorneys and all others whose income is reduced by NESARA, but this probably would not have kept attorneys from lobbying against NESARA. In addition, there is the new prosperity program for all U.S. citizens and natural persons/sovereigns which is part NESARA and will be announced within a month or so of NESARA’s announcement. However, most people who have had significant power and income will fight against something they “perceive” as limiting them. If NESARA had not been kept secret, NESARA would have been bogged down for decades in fights and attempts to water it down. The only solution to this was to pass NESARA secretly and keep the gag orders on NESARA until the official announcement.

And there’s more reasons why it has to be done this way. There are literally THOUSANDS of LIES which the government and others have spread and which most Americans believe to be true. However, the U.S. Supreme Court and those who contributed to writing NESARA were given irrefutable evidence which proves the government and media have spread a vast web of lies for decades as part of tricking and controlling the American people. The Justices realized it would be impossible for the public to understand WHY NESARA was so desperately needed when the American public has been brainwashed into believing a huge web of lies. The Justices also knew that they would only be able to educate the public AFTER the true NESARA law is announced because major media conglomerates are owned by the Illuminati. Only after NESARA is announced will the Illuminati’s power to withhold the truth be ended.

The average attorney, doctor, dentist, corporate executive, and others who might have tried to fight NESARA are equally as deluded as most other Americans. Most of the American population does not know, for example, that the Federal Reserve is a PRIVATE corporation owned largely by FOREIGN bankers and has been part of the great federal income tax swindle since the beginning. The IRS acts as the bully-boy to coerce payment of the unlawful federal income tax and guess where the money goes? The majority of it goes to the Federal Reserve and the Queen of England.

What you may ask does the Queen of England have to do with it? It happens that there was an agreement made by the Founding Fathers to buy independence from the British Crown in order to end the Revolutionary War. The Founding Fathers worried that the British would continue to send British troops to the colonies and bloody war would drag out for years. To end the killing, the Founding Fathers agreed to pay the British Crown for a number of years. In their usual trickery, the Illuminati have forced the agreement to be extended far beyond the years agreed upon and also have increased the amount of money paid to the British Crown. Each year, the British Crown makes payments out of these funds stolen (via unlawful income tax) from Americans to the top Illuminati families. The truth about this and thousands of other Illuminati actions will come out in vast numbers of exposes after NESARA is announced.

The federal income tax money paid to the Federal Reserve is paid on the bogus “debt” owed to the Federal Reserve for interest and fees charged in managing the banking and monetary system. The whole issue of the U.S. government owing money to the Federal Reserve is another complex Illuminati scam wrapped up in convoluted, unconstitutional laws and financial transactions designed to increase the debt. The majority of the national debt is actually due to these bogus debts owed to the Federal Reserve and NESARA wipes out the bogus debts. Because NESARA’s new U.S. Treasury Bank System is based on NEW money which has come into the U.S. after being accumulated offshore and which is backed by gold, silver, and platinum, there will be no economic problems from wiping out the majority of the bogus national debt.

I’ve touched on many complex issues today and ALL these issues are much more complex than I’ve discussed. I’m using these issues as illustrations of why NESARA had to be passed secretly and why it will be under gag order until the official announcement. I hope this helps you to understand a little about the complexities involved.

Why is America the greatest country in the world Mr. Simkin?

First, the American people will never let anything like the above happen and if it does you and the rest of the world will see the true Americans step forward.

Secondly, you have to live here to find out.

In closing, I really don't wish to be a part of this forum for I have noted that you are not honest in your own rules and regulations. You claimed in your initial email to me that:

"I look forward to reading your posts. However, I should point out we do not

allow abusive comments. This is a website that is used by school children

and we hope to provide them with a good example of how people should behave."

Yet you and others write abusive posts and make personal comments about people you don't even know or know nothing about.

I don't believe you are setting a good example for any child and I do believe you are speaking with a forked tongue.

Bob Vernon

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You still have not explained why you think our queen is a dictator. As a republican I am the last one who wants to defend the monarchy. However, you are completely mistaken to believe that the monarchy still has any real political power in the UK. You seem to have been reading some very old history books. The power of the monarchy was taken away as a result of the Glorious Revolution in 1688. It is true that at different times in UK history monarchs have attempted to influence government policy. The last notable occasion was in 1938 when George VI’s played a role in the development of our disastrous appeasement policy towards Germany. The only reason we tolerate a monarchy is that they no longer hold any political power.

All these powers are actually held by the prime minister. You will not find an example over the last 300 years where one of these decisions were actually made by the monarch. The real problem is that the prime minister of the UK has too much power. Only the House of Lords has the power to delay certain types of legislation. The prime minister also appoints people to the House of Lords. However, he cannot control those who are hereditary or have been appointed by other prime ministers. Recently, Blair has been trying to get control of the House of Lords by removing the hereditary peers.

The UK has a deeply flawed political system. Many of our problems are very similar to those of the United States. The most important of these is that we both have a first past the post system of elections. This has enabled a two-party state to develop. Over the years these two parties have developed very similar policies. This has meant that large sections of the electorate have been disenfranchised (in the sense that they cannot vote for a candidate/party that has any chance of winning power). Some decide to vote for the “least worst candidate”. A problem I would have if I had a vote in the current presidential election. However, more and more, people are deciding not to vote at all. It is of course no coincidence that the UK and the US both have such appalling turnout rates in elections.

The other major problem we share is that both our systems depend a great deal on large sums of money being raised by the political parties. This money is then used to persuade the electorate to vote for its candidate. Much of this money is used for negative campaigning. That is to say smearing your opponent rather than talking about your own policies. This in itself turns people off politics. This is especially true of young people who want to be motivated by idealism. This is of course something JFK was able to do and is one of the major reasons why he is still remembered so fondly by our generation.

Individuals or corporations do not provide money without expecting something back in return. As we have seen with Bush this has a corrupting influence over decision-making. It seems to an outsider that large corporations buy American political leaders in the same way as they once bought dictators in Latin America.

It is no coincidence that the healthy democracies of the world use some sort of proportional voting system, have strict rules about the money that can be spent on elections, and impose restrictions on the amounts of money that can be donated by individuals or organizations.

As you said on the other forum:

"True Americans are always free, regardless of what happened in Dallas in 63, and they will die free. And despite what any foreigner thinks about the USA, we are still the greatest country in the world." (Robert Vernon)

It would be highly unlikely for anyone in the UK (or Europe for that matter) to claim they lived in the “greatest country in the world”. Mainly, because it is a meaningless statement. What is meant by greatest? Do you really have the information available to make such a statement?

If we look at those areas where the records of different countries can be compared, for example, in the provision of education and health-care, the US scores very badly. The same is true of other statistical information like infant-mortality rates and literacy rates.

Your comments suggest you are talking about individual freedom. This is of course something that is difficult to measure. However, from the statistical information available, it would seem that a small percentage of the American population do have a great deal of personal freedom. These are the people who spend their time telling you that the US is the greatest country in the world. For many people in the US, their main freedom is the freedom to live in poverty. As you will undoubtedly know, the American system of freedom has resulted in the greatest gap between rich and poor in the western world.

According to the Census Bureau, 1.3 million Americans slid into poverty last year, taking the total to 35.9 million, around 12.5% of the population. This is the third successive year this has happened. During George Bush’s years in the White House 4.3 million people have fallen into poverty. The percentage of Americans living in poverty is now at its highest level since 1998.

An estimated 5.2 million have lost their health insurance under Bush. Overall, nearly 45m people are now without health coverage.

I have noticed that your presidential candidates are constantly saying that the US is the greatest country in the world at meetings. It always gets a great response. People in the UK would be highly suspicious about politicians who make such statements. It would be clear that he was just attempting to flatter the audience. We want a bit more from our politicians.

We insist that politicians talk about issues. If Tony Blair made a statement that the UK had the greatest education system in the world, we would want him to back up this statement with facts and figures. He couldn’t of course (the facts suggest that we are well down the table).

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You still have not explained why you think our queen is a dictator. As a republican I am the last one who wants to defend the monarchy. However, you are completely mistaken to believe that the monarchy still has any real political power in the UK. You seem to have been reading some very old history books. The power of the monarchy was taken away as a result of the Glorious Revolution in 1688. It is true that at different times in UK history monarchs have attempted to influence government policy. The last notable occasion was in 1938 when George VI*s played a role in the development of our disastrous appeasement policy towards Germany. The only reason we tolerate a monarchy is that they no longer hold any political power.

All these powers are actually held by the prime minister. You will not find an example over the last 300 years where one of these decisions were actually made by the monarch. The real problem is that the prime minister of the UK has too much power. Only the House of Lords has the power to delay certain types of legislation. The prime minister also appoints people to the House of Lords. However, he cannot control those who are hereditary or have been appointed by other prime ministers. Recently, Blair has been trying to get control of the House of Lords by removing the hereditary peers.

The UK has a deeply flawed political system. Many of our problems are very similar to those of the United States. The most important of these is that we both have a first past the post system of elections. This has enabled a two-party state to develop. Over the years these two parties have developed very similar policies. This has meant that large sections of the electorate have been disenfranchised (in the sense that they cannot vote for a candidate/party that has any chance of winning power). Some decide to vote for the *least worst candidate*. A problem I would have if I had a vote in the current presidential election. However, more and more, people are deciding not to vote at all. It is of course no coincidence that the UK and the US both have such appalling turnout rates in elections.

The other major problem we share is that both our systems depend a great deal on large sums of money being raised by the political parties. This money is then used to persuade the electorate to vote for its candidate. Much of this money is used for negative campaigning. That is to say smearing your opponent rather than talking about your own policies. This in itself turns people off politics. This is especially true of young people who want to be motivated by idealism. This is of course something JFK was able to do and is one of the major reasons why he is still remembered so fondly by our generation.

Individuals or corporations do not provide money without expecting something back in return. As we have seen with Bush this has a corrupting influence over decision-making. It seems to an outsider that large corporations buy American political leaders in the same way as they once bought dictators in Latin America.

It is no coincidence that the healthy democracies of the world use some sort of proportional voting system, have strict rules about the money that can be spent on elections, and impose restrictions on the amounts of money that can be donated by individuals or organizations.

As you said on the other forum:

"True Americans are always free, regardless of what happened in Dallas in 63, and they will die free. And despite what any foreigner thinks about the USA, we are still the greatest country in the world." (Robert Vernon)

It would be highly unlikely for anyone in the UK (or Europe for that matter) to claim they lived in the *greatest country in the world*. Mainly, because it is a meaningless statement. What is meant by greatest? Do you really have the information available to make such a statement?

If we look at those areas where the records of different countries can be compared, for example, in the provision of education and health-care, the US scores very badly. The same is true of other statistical information like infant-mortality rates and literacy rates.

Your comments suggest you are talking about individual freedom. This is of course something that is difficult to measure. However, from the statistical information available, it would seem that a small percentage of the American population do have a great deal of personal freedom. These are the people who spend their time telling you that the US is the greatest country in the world. For many people in the US, their main freedom is the freedom to live in poverty. As you will undoubtedly know, the American system of freedom has resulted in the greatest gap between rich and poor in the western world.

According to the Census Bureau, 1.3 million Americans slid into poverty last year, taking the total to 35.9 million, around 12.5% of the population. This is the third successive year this has happened. During George Bush*s years in the White House 4.3 million people have fallen into poverty. The percentage of Americans living in poverty is now at its highest level since 1998.

An estimated 5.2 million have lost their health insurance under Bush. Overall, nearly 45m people are now without health coverage.

I have noticed that your presidential candidates are constantly saying that the US is the greatest country in the world at meetings. It always gets a great response. People in the UK would be highly suspicious about politicians who make such statements. It would be clear that he was just attempting to flatter the audience. We want a bit more from our politicians.

We insist that politicians talk about issues. If Tony Blair made a statement that the UK had the greatest education system in the world, we would want him to back up this statement with facts and figures. He couldn*t of course (the facts suggest that we are well down the table).

John,

Many people here in the US fail to understand why the people of other (equally great) nations become annoyed by such a claim as "The United States is the greatest country in the world". We are, unfortunately, subjected to such propaganda throughout most of our lives.

Equally distressing is the fact that most who say this have never stopped to consider what it means, if anything. It's considered almost treasonous to mention that many nations enjoy freedoms equal to if not greater than the US, or to mention the great health care, educational systems or whatever enjoyed by any other country.

The lack of any real world-view on the part of many here has always puzzled me. Obviously, it's one thing to say that I love my country, and quite another to say that, in effect, the rest of the world is (presumably) living in poverty, illiteracy and slavery!

All that aside, there are many here in the US who don't buy into such arrogant proclamations and who are aware that many other nations possess admirable qualities. It's an outrage that we seem unable to learn from that vast area known to Americans as "the rest of the world".

Steve

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