Friday, August 15, 2008

Up In The Sky...

You know it's that time of year when you hear the jets flying overhead preparing for the Air & Water Show. A reader just sent in this photo from this afternoon. How many car alarms have been triggered by the noise today? We have heard several at least.


  1. That's a gorgeous photo.

  2. That's the sound of Freedom baby!

    Sorry, couldn't resist.

  3. I always find this exercise fascinating, impressive, and depressing all at once.

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  5. Ugh, I just think it is ridiculous fuel consumption, and horribly loud. I have a dear friend who escaped Bosnia during the war and now lives in Chicago, the air show is always an incredibly traumatic experience for her; as I am sure it must be for the many people who live here from war torn countries. The noise also wakes up the baby, so I am especially not a fan this year.

  6. It is loud, and uses a lot of fuel; and it sucks for some people, agreed on all points.

    However, I really enjoy it.

    Removing political issues from the discussion, it's impressive technology, and I was inspired by airplanes as a kid.

    Made me want to study a whole lot more.

    Very few things happen right outside your window that can inspire a child to want to be smart.

  7. People complaining about fuel usage need to put it in perspective. Compared to our national fuel consumption, this isn't even a ripple.

    Honestly you should be more upset about all the people that idle their SUVs at the Ravenswood Metra station on 70 degree mornings waiting for the train.

  8. This blog has so many spoiled readers They literally whine about everything.. Makes me wonder how old these guys are? Life is too short enjoy it while you can.

  9. While I always have mixed feelings about the Air Show and all the people I have to try and get around,It's very cool. It's that little kid in me that is still in awe of Trains and Planes.

  10. chuck: Taxpayers pay for the airplanes. Shell Oil is actually paying for the fuel costs for the show.

    I guess it's sort of a windfall profits "pay for our exhibition" tax.

  11. Honestly... people get all worked up for $50,000 in jet fuel but not one word when a State Senator (Carol Ronen?) gets a million dollar upgrade to her pension for 8 weeks of work.

    I guess if Carrol Ronen's pension went 600 mph and made a lot of noise people would care?

  12. In 11 steps, we've gone from the air show to Carol Ronen's pension?


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  14. "This blog has so many spoiled readers They literally whine about everything.. Makes me wonder how old these guys are? Life is too short enjoy it while you can"

    I agree 100%.

  15. "Life's too short" is one step away from "ignorance is bliss."

  16. Most air shows are actually military recruitment tours, like the Blue Angels...

  17. Most air shows are actually military recruitment tours, like the Blue Angels...

  18. Always reminds me of those old newsreels of Russian tanks on parade during May Day celebrations.

  19. if the ratio those who appreciate the air show vs. anti is at 90/10 then we don't care, complain all u want. -_-

  20. Amy - better a recruitment effort than a draft, no?

  21. Sorry about the Ronen angle... I was just pointing out something a lot worse than some jet fuel being burned over the weekend.

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  24. Colin,
    I'm all for the recruitment! I love air shows.

  25. The good part about living in uptown. You can look out your window and see the air show.

  26. Amy - I love that it's something different and fun. A lot of people wouldn't normally get a chance to see this kind of thing. After all, most air shows are somewhat rural in nature.

    It was nice to see people of all walks of life all enjoying the skill our airmen and the bravery of the barnstorming pilots in the prop planes!

  27. It is not a waste of fuel. These are all training exercises they would be doing anyway.

  28. pictures of some members and machinery of the biggest, baddest GANG in the world! i know everyone on this blog is against gangs, right?

  29. Well Ron, when the United States is attacked by an enemy hell-bent on our destruction, the U.S. military is exactly the GANG I want on hand to keep us free.

    People can whine about the military all they want. They are the same people that screeched 'Why didn't you protect us?!?" on 9/11. It's sad, but a fact that being a world leader requires we have a pretty good security force to protect us from those who would take what we have. As long as this world is ran by humans, war will always exist. To think otherwise is naive at best, blind at worst.

    Besides, our military is a FAR better shot than the military. At least I know they are likely to hit their target the first time around. If our local gangs took some target practice, they could help us eradicate gangs in our neighborhood by killing each other off.


  30. OOPS! I really need to read before I post.

    I meant our military is a far better shot than gang members.

    It's been a long day already. Especially since I was woken up at 4:00 this morning by a bunch of morons blasting their music from their car for about an hour. It was nice background for the people screaming all night long.

  31. Gee Ron, referring to the military as a large gang is a bit of a stretch, don't you think?

    I hear you've been having a hard time convincing poor people that the police can't be trusted and that socialism is the way to go. Maybe that's why you're in a bad mood. It's time for you to move to Rogers Park but they will eventually get tired of you over there too. I hear Cuba is nice.

  32. well, the notion that the military is used primarily to protect us is a foolish one, maybe to protect the resources we use, yes. were our military operations in Iran (overthrowing the Shah), Greece, Guatemala, El Salvador, Chile, Cuba, Vietnam, Grenada, Panama, Nicaragua, the Philipines, etc really carried out to protect U.S. lives? Does it make sense that at least in some cases these actions piss people off and lead to them wanting to retaliate against us? Even the CIA admits this.

    It would be okay if our military were only used as defense, but we all know this isn't the case

    and as far as the comparison between the U.S military and a gang, former Major General in the U.S. Marines Smedley Butler said it more eloquently when he said that during his military career that he was not more than a "gangster for capitalism."

    i don't mean to condemn people in the military, especially because economic hardship, misinformation and deception play a large role in why many people join, but i find it ironic that many people decry the violence in Uptown while glorifying the violence that is carried out around the world by our government and consumption of resources (the U.S. is 5% of world's population and we consume 25% of resources, and we have to "acquire" these resources somehow).

    and no, i don't expect that the world will be violence free but i think if we hope to reduce violence in the world, maybe we could start by at least working to limit (and being willing to criticize) the profit-driven violence we pay for and are complicit in.

    and Farrell, according to your logic, since a world that is run by humans will always be violent, shouldn't we all just suck it up whenever there's a shooting in the neighborhood! But i guess it's different if we're the ones who are in harm's way, then the acceptance of the violence is a tougher pill to swallow.

  33. Ron - how lucky do you feel knowing that aluminum won't rust, so your tin foil hat should be good well beyond the time you still need it?

    As an aside, I was a medic in the military and did not join due to deception, economic hardship and/or misinformation.

    I spent a lot of time giving flu vaccinations to underprivileged children; treating cold weather injuries after large snow storms, tossing sandbags in preparation for hurricanes, marching through hills and mountains in Argentina giving aid to people much worse off than anyone in Uptown; and even spent a week treating violent inmates injured in a high security prison during a riot.

    You may not mean to condemn (though, I highly doubt your sincerity on that matter); but, you certainly have no issues in offending a vet; offending people that willfully sacrificed more of their lives than you ever will with the focus of helping not only Americans, but people all over the world.

    By the way, in Indonesia ..., what was the first group of people to arrive with support, supplies and aid?

    Oh yeah .. the Navy did that.

    Where were you?

    Additionally, no one is glorifying violence, here; but, there's more to the military than a lot of people will ever realize.

    I'd be more than happy to carry on and squeeze the remaining petruli from the rest of the diatribe you disguised as an argument; but, I'm afraid I'd violate that whole "keep comments on topic" here (apologies to UU if I've done so, already).

  34. yo,

    sorry for offending you. i don't mean to offend or judge people in the military or veterans. in fact, at the community i live in we offer hospitality to many veterans, probably on a daily basis; veterans who are homeless or close to it and haven't got much in return for their sacrifices from the government or many of the people who want them pushed aside out of view.

    i'm sure you did many things to help people while you were in the military, thank you. but the reality is that the U.S. military has caused a whole lot of violence around the world, much of it in pursuit of resources so some of us in the united states can enjoy our high "standard of living." It's primary purpose is not to help people, it is to kill them or scare them when ordered to do so by the U.S. government. I've met people in Guatemala and Colombia and from Iraq whose intereactions with the U.S. military have been quite different than being on the receiving end of medical or humanitarian aid. street gangs and the mafia also have histories of helping people who they consider allies (the P Stones in Chicago, gangs in New Orleans after Katrina) and i'm glad that they've done that type of work as well.

    but i don't primarily blame people in the military for the violence it has caused. the main reponsibilty falls on us, we who are addicted to lifestyles that consume so much that our government acts on our behalf to acquire these resources.

  35. This is the same Ron Durham who went to a meeting last week of community members and community mothers about how to keep kids out of gangs.

    He suggested that, God forbid, they shouldn't want those kids to aspire to earn MONEY.

    The mothers and community activists at the meeting treated him with the disdain he deserved.

    In Ron/COURAJworld, gangs are good. Police are the problem. Money is bad.

    When Helen's finally out of office (heaven knows she's already out of power), poor Ron and his ilk will just have to find some other socialist paradise to try to sell their vision. Ain't happening here.

  36. tygerkub,

    i'm not sure if you were at that meeting or not (due to you anonymity) but i'd like to talk with you more about what my point was and to hear about yours. if you see me, ask me about it in person. my point is that kids should not just be taught to compete against one another but should also be encouraged to look out fof the community as opposed to just themselves. as part of my point i also said (as i've said here) that many legal businesses are involved in just as much and more violence as many illegal ones. also, i don't think we should just encourage kids to enter the mainstream of our society and culture because it is not sustainable for the earth and other people of the world. Wouldn't you agree tygerkub?

    and one thing i've learned from working with young people is that many of them are able to identify the contradictions in our society that we adults don't see. so just as important as giving them advice is listening to them and their viewpoints of the world...because it's clear that the global economy and u.s. lifestyle are not sustainable and young people often have insightful ideas about how things could be done differently.

    and i guess i didn't feel treated with disdain at the meeting. i know and have worked with many of the people there so a lot of them were probably not totally surprised to hear me say what i said. but something tells me you weren't at that meeting or you probably don't personally know many of the people who were there.

    but i must say, your comment about me being at a meeting "to keep kids out of gangs" must surprise some people here. so maybe it is possible to both work to reduce police misconduct (COPWATCH) AND to reduce violence in the neighborhood among youth. next time someone says that people involved in police accountablity work just want the gangs to run free, i'll refer them to you.

  37. but i don't primarily blame people in the military for the violence it has caused. the main reponsibilty falls on us, we who are addicted to lifestyles that consume so much that our government acts on our behalf to acquire these resources.

    Until recently, what sort of lifestyle did the people of Georgia have?

    What kind of lifestyle do you think they have, now?

    Isn't that worth protecting?

    Just because a person carries a gun, doesn't make them a monster.

    And, I've met people too, champ.

    First hand, even.

    I'll lay wager that I've seen more faces of people who appreciated America because I was stitching up a little cut, than the number of people you've actually spoken with.

    Much appreciation on the effort of the apology; but, that may have been even more offense, and I'm going to pass.

    We just will not agree.

  38. I'm not naive enough to think the military is without fault, but you also must accept that the US military is largely (if not solely) responsible for the freedoms we all enjoy in this country.

  39. Ron, before I moved to Uptown, I was a rather left leaning rah rah liberal dyed in the wool Democrat. It was my belief that liberals were nice gentle folks who were serious about making the world a better place for everybody.

    I moved to Uptown and I'm finding that I'm becoming more conservative. Ironically, it's not because of all the homeless drunks and mentally ill that I see stumbling through the streets. It's people like you that have changed me. You are not this peace-loving guy who goes around doing nice things around the neighborhood. You and your COURAJ friends have a mean streak that is used to bully those around you. You don't fool me any and thank God you are not fooling others as well.

    Now move to some other neighborhood where people are still more easily fooled. I want to be liberal again and I can't when people like you are around.

  40. i don't mean to offend or judge people in the military or veterans.


    pictures of some members and machinery of the biggest, baddest GANG in the world!

    Ron Durham... who you crappin?!

    You cite chapter and verse of the evils our military has inflicted on the world, but one question people like you can NEVER answer is this... If you loathe the US military so much, what other nation's military is doing the right thing every time?

    Do you have ANY idea how hard our military works to do the right thing? Countless of our brave soldiers and Marines have DIED because they are following rules on engagement designed to protect the innocent. How many militaries develop lasers to "dazzle" people approaching checkpoints? You think the Russian army in Georgia is using less than lethal force? Heck no!

    I said it before and I'll say it again, your comments are disgusting.

  41. The last few comments were off topic. Ron never condoned the actions of other governments or societies. He was merely pointing out that this one: The United States was a wasteful and violent one. I agree with him in that. The United States military has historically been used to acquire more resources for United States citizens (the opening of the Louisiana purchase, Custer, the forcible removal and slaughter of countless Native Americans all so that one group of people could have more stuff than another group.)

  42. Nathaniel, putting actions of 150+ years ago behind us, what has the US military "conquered" in the past 80 years? At the end of WWI, WWII, and Desert Storm we left. And, in the case of post WWII, we left after planting the seeds of two of the greatest economies/democracies in the world today (Germany and Japan).

    The US treatment of the Native Americans was awful and disgusting. But, the US has attempted to "make right" as best we can (short of giving back all that land, which is not possible).

    In the past 100 years I'm going to give the benefit of the doubt that most of the time the US and the US military have done the right thing.

  43. Colin--
    "In the past 100 years I'm going to give the benefit of the doubt that most of the time the US and the US military have done the right thing."

    last 50+ years of US military interventions (an incomplete list):
    1953 Iran: CIA overthrows democracy, installs Shah

    1954 Guatemala: CIA and US military assist in overthrow or democratic Arbenz government, mainly to reclaim land for National Fruit Company. US military bombs Guatemala City.

    1960's Guatemala: US troops fight against Guatemalans who want their sovereignty back

    1961 Cuba: US military-orchestrated Bay of Pigs invasion

    1963 Iraq: US military oversees coup that brings SADAM HUSSEIN and the Baathe party back into power

    1965 Dominican Republic: US bombing during election campaign

    late 1950's to early 1970's Vietnam: US military kills over a million people by ground combat, bombing and napalming

    1973 Chile: US military advisors aid in coup of democratically elected president Allende, dictoator Pinochet comes to power with US backing

    1980's Nicaragua: US military trains and assists Contras in terrorism against the population and government

    1980's El Salvador: US military gives support to dictators and conducts air war against the population, 70,000 killed

    1980's Honduras: US troops assists Honduran military in rooting out "subversives" and builds bases along the border to capture or scare off refugees from El Salvador and Nicaragua fleeing the wars we suppoted there. US Ambassador John Negroponte is main liason between US gov't and Honduran gov't.

    1983 Grenada: US troops invade to overthrow government

    1970's--early 1990's Guatemala: US military trains Guatemalan death squads and provides air support for the genocide that kills over 200,000, mostly Mayans.

    2003-present Colombia: US military assists Colombian military under the guise of the "war on drugs" to root out "subversives" including giving support to paramilitary groups involved in massacres in conjunction with the Colombian military.

    2004 Haiti: US government, backed by its military remove democratically elected president Aristide from power against the will of the majority of Haitians.

    i won't go on but that's not even close to a complete list.

    are the motivations for these actions really to maintain our "freedom" or could there be something else at play?

    Of course not every single action of the military is based on stealing resources from other people, but this list is meant to highlight what seems to me the main purpose of the u.s. military: allowing the u.s. government and corporations to dictate what happens in other parts of the world without much care for how it affects people or the environment.

    seems like quite an example has been set for our young people, no wonder many want to join gangs.

  44. and aother thing Colin,

    u.s. exploitation has evolved over the years, we've realized that in many cases we don't need to actually physically occupy a land to maintain control. After an initial threat or ass-kicking, we can usually find some people willing to be proxies for us and go against the will of their people (especially if this elite few can get rich in the process). and of course we provide their armed protectors with weapons and training to keep the subversives at bay.

    Guatemala is a classic example of this.

  45. Ron... you sure have a lot coming out of your mouth. But what have you personally DONE to change the world? My guess is very little other than flap your gums.

    Our military is not perfect. But you never answered Colin's question - what military in the world acts at the high standards of the U.S.? The majority of the countries you cited, their militaries have absolutely NO issue just killing you - no trial, nothing. Some of them (Iraq) would have no issue shoving you -alive- into a metal cutting machine, after you've been tortured for weeks on end. All because you happen to come from a different sect - not because you committed any crime.

    The atrocities I can list from other countries FAR exceeds our own. The good our military has done in the world FAR exceeds anyone elses. We have always been, and will always be, the FIRST responders to tragedy in this world. We are the only military capable of it, both technology wise, and financially.

    There are many countries out there that owe the United States Military more than their gratitude, many of them owe us their lives.

    You have absolutely NO idea what its like to put your life on the line, every single day - for the benefit of someone else. I don't either. But I come from a long line of those who served -

    One grandfather (by marriage) flew the P51 in WWII. Survived being shot down twice, and being a POW until the war was over.

    My mother's father served in WWII in the Army and saw a lot of action, most of which he won't talk about today.

    My father's father - Korean War. The atrocities he saw committed by the opposition scarred him for life. He was never able to talk about any of it.

    My father - Navy - Vietnam.

    I also have friends and family who served/are still serving in Iraq.

    I have nothing but respect for the selfless choice these people make to serve our country - in times of war, and in times of peace.

    You're comments make me sick. It is obvious that you prefer to live in a Socialistic society. I suggest you go find one. If you have so little respect for the men and women who gave you the freedom to come on a blog and flap your useless gums - and tout your Utopian visions of how you think the world should work - perhaps you should go find another country that better serves you.

  46. i respect the people who are willing join the military and i too have familiy members who have been in the military and a high school classmate who was killed in Afghanistan. in fact many of my mom's friends were drafted and killed in Vietnam. and i know many people who are veterans of both the Vietnam war and Iraq war who do not agree with the wars that the government decides to fight. so i too could talk about people in my family and friends of mine who have been in the military...

    and i also respect people i've met in Guatemala who fought against the Guatemalan forces and U.S. soldiers and pilots who were trying to deny them of their right to even exist. U.S. assaults for economic reasons and on behalf of companies like United Fruit Company should never happen. i also respect the Vietnamese who fought to defend their land.

    of course other militaries violate people's rights and kill people indiscriminately. i'm not arguing that at all. and i don't approve of it. but i live in the u.s. so that's where my focus is and many times the U.S. supports those militaries and their governments as they did in El Salvador, Rios Montt et al Guatemala, Diem in Vietnam, the Shah in Iran, Hussein in Iraq until the early 1990's, Pinochet in Chile, etc., cases in which our gevernment and corporations thought there was something to gain from those alliances (usually some economic benefit).

    if we as a nation really wanted to look out for the well-being of people in our military, we wouldn't send them into harm's way for land grabs or resource grabs. And we have to realize that as long as we try to continue our HUGE consumption of resources (we're 5% of the world's pop and use 25% of its resources) and maintain such an expensive way of life as a nation, we will continue to send young people around the world to kill and die in order to secure the resources we want. I personally don't think that trend should continue and it is not sustainable, far too many people around the world and the u.s. have died for that. and if you do think that is a good idea to continue that trend than you should join up.

    and any criticism i'm making of people's contribution to a system that leads to war, i'm also making of myself. i'm saying that WE all need to reflect on our way of living and our place in the neighborhood or world and WE all need to do something to change it. That's in contrast to the attitude that many people on this blog have, the attitude that there is always someone else to point the finger at as the source of the problem.

    can anyone here see how OUR patternes of consmption and consumerism might lead to more wars that put many people (including people from the u.s.) in harm's way? Can WE accept some responsibility for this? i'd really like to know...

  47. Ron, again... what is your solution? You do a grand job of pointing out various issues, but offer ZERO solutions to them.

    Since you obviously feel yourself qualified to solve the social ills of the world, pray tell - what would YOU do, if you were put in charge - to change our society for the better?

  48. I don't disagree that our society is too heavily a consumerist one and that the U.S. is spending more than it should on consumer goods. But I didn't learn this from hearing you and your kind preach to me. Your behavior drives people away from hearing you, plain and simple.

    COURAJ and ONE have no problem with spreading lies and half truths and they have done an incredible job of alienating the community along with Helen.

    I'm from Missouri. I don't believe words. I believe in actions.

  49. "what would YOU do, if you were put in charge - to change our society for the better?"

    That kind of thought will get us nowhere. The whole point is that one person or even one country should not have the power to change society by his or her or their desires. Rather we all need to work together respectfully to find a solution to problems peaceably.

  50. Farrell,
    i don't claim to have solutions. but i think to begin a process of changing the way we live we need to first take personal responsibility for how our way of life has damaged the world.

    having one person or a small group of people make decisions for the entire world has not been good for it.

    i think it's time to start listening to some of the voices that have been historically silenced by our society and its institutions: native americans, indigenous people of Africa and Latin America, people who have been most exploited by our way of living (including poor people in the U.S.). Throughout history, the u.s. government has often tried to silence these people, even if it meant having to kill them.

    so now i think it is long overdue, especially for rather privileged people in the u.s. (including myself) to start listening to these voices. afterall, the many problems we're experiencing now (destruction of the environment, war, poverty) are not a surprise to a lot of people, it wasn't hard to see these problems coming.

    and hopefully at some point different people can come together to find common solutions to the problems the world faces. in fact, the world social forum is a place where a lot of these encounters are happening every year. and as part of this process it's important to not immediately write people off because they're a republican or socialist or a condo-owner or if their ideas initially make us uncomfortable.

    of course changing the way we live would take time and it would always be evolving but it seems like we should start somewhere.

  51. Ron- you're a dyed in the wool socialist, fine. I'm not going to change your mind.

    I DO take issue with this stat though we're 5% of the world's pop and use 25% of its resources. Did it ever occur to you that we use 25% of the resources because we are, far and away, the most prolific country in the world (in terms of GNP)? Hate to break it to you but we are #1 and that takes some doing. Advanced countries (Japan, etc) use more resources than 3rd world countries. Accept it.

    As for all the US "atrocities" you list, yeah, bad stuff, no doubt. But please compare that to the MILLIONS of people that have died in the name of your favorite topic, communism. Stalin alone killed 20 million people and China is at 65 million (and counting).

    A lot of the "evil" the US committed in the past 50 years was from the cold war. We had to make some unfortunant bed-fellows. Bad? Sure. Other option? Much worse.

    To just pick one of your examples, the Bay of Pigs Invasion... so, you don't think we should try to unseat Castro? You think it was ok for a country to harbor the nukes of an enemy 90 miles off our coast? I am SO glad you're not in charge of things. Yikes!

  52. of course changing the way we live would take time and it would always be evolving but it seems like we should start somewhere.

    That's a far cry from calling our military a "gang" wouldn't you say?

  53. "That's a far cry from calling our military a "gang" wouldn't you say?"

    Exactly... you may have some points that I might of thought of listening to Ron, if you didn't broach that topic by equating our brave men and women with the common, jobless, gangbangers in our neighborhood that have no respect for themselves, or anyone else.

    Nathanial, I agree that we all have to take part to create change. I wasn't discounting that. However, I take issue with people that take only one side of the argument, to completely discount the virtues of said subject. If someone has so much time to blather about all the social ills in this world, then he/she should be able to step up with some concrete resolution to those issues... because their complaints smack of egoism. "I know so much more than the people who run this country... this is everything they are doing wrong." But ask them what they would do different? Crickets...

  54. ahhhh, the Air and Water show, makes me proud to be an American. Just wish one of those fighter jets could take her office out...

    God Bless America and every Air and Water show out far as "fuel consumption" - GET OVER IT.

  55. "People can whine about the military all they want. They are the same people that screeched 'Why didn't you protect us?!?" on 9/11. It's sad, but a fact that being a world leader requires we have a pretty good security force to protect us from those who would take what we have. As long as this world is ran by humans, war will always exist. To think otherwise is naive at best, blind at worst."

    Who said "why don't you protect us?" I have never heard that question asked of our military, once. I think everyone understands why individuals choose to fly planes into our trade centers, military centers, and almost into our white house. I don't think anyone blames the military for these actions. We all know that they were inevitable, and unavoidable. The U.S is not a world leader, economically or militarily, and has not been so for a very long time, to think otherwise is foolish. War will not always exist because of humans, war exits because of greed and intolerance, which is the basis of capitalism and western culture, not being human.

    I happen to think the flying around of our military planes just for fun is a sad way of trying to display some sort of not so existent military prowess, not unlike parades in third world countries; so not only is it wasteful, but it also just a sad display.

  56. Greed and intolerance are uniquely human emotions. Other animals do not have them. Other animals don't wage war. Humans have them. Humans wage war. Unfortunately, I think this will be the case for thousands of years to come.

    If the United States is no longer an economic and military leader, then what other countries are? If you say China and/or Russia, well, I'm afraid to say those are two of the main reasons the US still HAS a huge military. What goes on in those countries is truely scary. I can guarentee you we wouldn't be having this discussion in either of those countries. You and I would be arguing with each other from our jail cells after government officials tracked us down.

  57. Dammit I should be sleeping!

    Rank of largest world economies. USA is 2X the size of China. The entire European Union (27 countries combined!) just beats the USA in GDP.

    GDP Rank by Country