Falklands (Americans View)

Discussion in 'Politics' started by D_Abraham Slinkin, Jan 17, 2011.

  1. D_Abraham Slinkin

    D_Abraham Slinkin Account Disabled

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    The Falkland Islands are a chain of British Islands in the South Atlantic Ocean, as I'm sure you intelligent well endowed folks know ;)

    Once again they're in the News because Brazil has sided with Argentina along with most South American nations in saying that the Islands should be Argentinian.

    But, it's just crazy.

    The whole point of 'Self-Determination' according to the UN is that the people who live in a place should decide what country they are part of. The Falklanders are 100% British. Before the British arrived the islands were un inhabited.
    Argentina has NO claim to them what so ever, except that the next nearest land is Argentina. By that logic Alaska should be given to Canada, regardless of what the Alaskans themselves want.

    It shocked us in the War that America refused to help us defend ourselves when Argentina invaded. And the Falklanders and the British really feel alone on this issue that the whole world is un fairly ganging up on us.

    Just thought I'd bring some attention to the issue and would appreciate some feed back.
     
  2. conntom

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    Totally agree.

    The USA and the UK should forever remain best of allies and Argentina's claim is baseless outside of mileage.

    The bad news is the world is going to be coming down on the the UK and all things European and the US will be in no position to help as our own problems will be soon engulfing us in civil war.
     
  3. NumberTwentySix

    NumberTwentySix New Member

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    I thought Lady Thatcher settled this. Other than scoring some meaningless diplomatic points, there isn't much Brazil or Argentina can do about it. I mean, the British govt threatened that Buenos Aires would be Nuked over this issue in the 80's. Is any archipelago really worth that?
     
  4. B_nyvin

    B_nyvin New Member

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    Kinda like the british dumping colonist into Ireland and having the colonies say "we want to be owned by britain" and then "britain is there because they want us to be!"

    Here's one for you - The Chinese in San Fransisco suddenly all say that they want San Fransisco to be owned by China...does this mean we give San Fransisco to China? They're the majority assume.

    oh yeah...and 3,000 people in the Falklands should definately decide the economic fate of 40 million in Argentina
     
  5. houtx48

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    Sarah Palin can see the Falklands if she goes to the end of her driveway and looks south.
     
  6. Joll

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    She can even see into the future if the wind's in the right direction. :biggrin1:
     
  7. NumberTwentySix

    NumberTwentySix New Member

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    Exactly how do a couple thousand sheep farmers three hundred miles out to sea from Argentina decide its economic fate? Other than to fulfill stupid nationalistic pride, there is no reason for Argentina to claim the islands. The colonels came up with the idea to distract people from the fact that they bankrupted the country (again) in the 80's.

    It's true they may have some oil there but the Argentinians withdrew from the agreement that would have let them share in exploiting it several years ago, so fuck em. Argentina wants to make the islands the Alsace-Lorraine of the Atlantic, but the simple fact is that they aren't. If the British want to poke a stick in the eye of Buenos Aires, more power to them says this American.

    The Brits settled them (without killing or displacing anybody), built them up, and even held several plebiscites to see if the inhabitants wouldn't really rather be citizens of Argentina, which were rejected soundly each time. They defended the islands and their people with blood and treasure against a despotic, hostile military government, and now are profitably exploiting their resources. What more do they need to demonstrate their rightful ownership?
     
  8. 6inchcock

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    The US left the UK hanging in 1982, as a result of our suffering from bad foreign policies going back to the final evacuation of Vietnam, the fiasco's in Nicaragua and Iran in the late 70's.

    Historically from what I read, the island was also settled at some point by the French, British and Spanish. The Argentinians sent an American privateer to lay claims to it in on behalf of a businessman. The Brits were the only ones to actively maintain a presence. Everyone should keep in mind also that the Falklands, just like many other colonies came into existence in order to support the Royal Navy. Post Waterloo, the more or less 100 years between 1815 and 1914 the RN kept the oceans fairly safe and I do not believe anyone cared one way or the other over the Falklands, as long as commerce was uninterrupted by piracy. I am sure that after Argentine independence, there was probably some comfort in knowing the worlds policemen at that time was right off your shore. I think the Argentine claim is dubious at best IMHO.

    I believe the analogy of Alaska and Canada is correct, while the logic with regards to the Chinese in San Francisco is faulty at best.

    For the record I am American born and bred, but I am highly biased in favor towards the country that always comes running to the aid of the US when our nuts are on the line (at least since the mid-late 1800's). If Argentina gets silly again; the US should at least backstop the UK with a Carrier Battle Group.
     
    #8 6inchcock, Jan 17, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2011
  9. 6inchcock

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    Spot on; ditto; fuck em and feed em fish.
     
  10. TomCat84

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    Why the fuck should the US be obligated to defend a British claim to islands that hold no real strategic value to either the UK or the US?
     
  11. TomCat84

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    Yeah, the US Civil War is going to come when the blue states start refusing to further subsidize the red states, and then places like Alabama and Mississippi start going bankrupt
     
  12. 6inchcock

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    The US already does to some degree, in various locations. Primarily with regards to rights of passage, freedom of movement, etc. The fact of the matter is, the Argentinians could really give two shits for the Falklands; however there are probably, fishing rights, drilling rights, etc, that they would like to lease to some one else or to the highest bidder.

    Strategic value of land or turf is always subject to change. Pop a 5,000 foot runway or a 34' deep warm water port with channels on any shit-hole and the whole dynamic changes.
     
  13. midlifebear

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    The USA shouldn't feel obligated to defend the British and their mostly symbolic claim to the Malvinas. (You can easily tell whose side I'm on.) With the exception of possibly Italianbro, I have a better on-hands knowledge of Argentina and how it has been raped and pillaged by other European countries as well as its own leaders than any other LPSG-er, unless there is someone here from Argentina.

    The majority of US citizens believe what they are told to believe. The fact that the majority of Argentine citizens did not want a war with the UK over the Malvinas is glossed over. It was a failed effort on the part of the dictatorial military junta to gain popularity and remain in power. Junta-directed military personnel had been breaking into to the homes/apartments of opposition Argentine citizens for almost 20 years -- usually during the middle of the night -- only to be "disappeared" and never to be heard of again. It was a nasty period of this country's history and the military juntas were supported by both the UK and the USA because "they weren't communist regimes." Sound familiar?

    One thing I really admire about the current situation of Argentina is ex President Nestor Kirchner intentionally defaulted on IMF loans that Argentina did not need, but previous administrations and the last juntas had negotiated. After Argentina began to recover from the total collapse of its economy in 2001 it once again began to make payments on those IMF loans, but it's doubtful Argentina will ever pay back the to total interest the IMF was hoping to recoup. There are more important things Argentina's leaders need to worry about these days such as make sure Argentines have enough food, potable water, roads, a patched up infrastructure and the continuation of keeping the restoration of democracy alive. Last year Argenina celebrated its 25th anniversary of it's restored democracy. And Nestor Kirchner, both hated and loved by the pedestrian Argentine, did something no other previous president did in the 18 years before he became president. He sought out and prosecuted as many ex military leaders responsible for the tens of thousands murdered Argentine citizens.

    As for the Malvinas, the UK was hoping there was lots and lots of oil within the UN-recognized waters that belong to the islands. However, the oil that BP and other UK-allied oil companies have hoped to suck up has thus proven to be of such poor quality that it currently isn't worth pursuing pumping it. However, they are still trying. And all of the wells are deep-sea operations 4 and 5 miles below the surface of the Atlantic.

    On the brighter side, there are huge areas well within Argentina's Atlantic Coastal waters, among many other parts of the country, where lots of oil resides. And most of it is less than 1,000 feet below the ocean. Argentina's old nationalized oil company, YPF, depends upon the help of other oil companies such as Exxon and Shell to explore and pump oil. And YPF recently sold off many of its shares to foreign interests.

    However, a symbolic mark of what great friends the UK and Argentina are is Harrods on Avenida Florida in the old Micro Centro. When the economy collapsed in 2001, Harrods packed up and left. The building still stands and shares a spooky architectural style with the original Harrods in London. But the place is an empty eyesore on an avenue of otherwise thriving leather goods and clothing stores. Avenida Florida is usually the place where most tourists end up for a day or two of shopping. It's sort of an upscale version of Avenida de Revolución in Tijuana, MX, but instead of folk trinkets they sell Prada, Chanel, Rolex (real ones), Bolle, Valentino, Nike, and it's a great place to get a quality, fully lined, tailored-made leather trench coat to go with your Farragamos.

    Argentina has many problems and it will be decades before the small population in this huge country stabilizes. Corruption is rampant. But unlike the USA and the UK, the corruption is out in the open.

    Last census, which was more than 10 years ago, guestimated that the population of the entire country was about 40 million. It's more like 48 million, but no one can say for certain. Therefore, this year there will be a new census. And are any of you aware that more than 10 million Italians immigrated here between 1900 and 1966?

    Still, the majority of maps printed all over the world (except in English-speaking countries) identify the little scrabble of rocky islands where the wind never stops as the Malvinas -- not the Falklands. Considering the current economic situation down here most Argentines would love to have world-recognized ownership of the Mallvinas, but no one is interested in supporting the English-speaking residents of that country in the style which the UK has spoiled them. Better lamb and wool is raised in Patagonia. The 3,000 (more or less) folks on those little islands are little more than UK welfare recipients, receiving monthly stipends.
     
    #13 midlifebear, Jan 17, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2011
  14. Jason

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    The legal position of the Falkland Islands is governed by a UN resolution (and has been for very many years). The UN has decided that the dispute should be settled by a vote by the people who live on the Falkland Islands and that both UK and Argentina should abide by the outcome. The UK has indicated its willingness to comply. Argentina is not prepared to accept the UN resolution. There is little room for doubt at the outcome - the Falklanders want a measure of authority within the safety of status as a British Dependent Territory and would vote accordingly.

    I don't see that there is anything more to be said - the law is the law - but I know the debate quickly gets into a lot of nationalistic flak. However remember that most people living in Argentina are the descendants of European migrants, just as are the Falklanders - if the Argentinians wish to dispute the British legal ownership of the Falklands the same wrong argument implies that Argentina should belong to indigenous peoples in Argentina, not Hispanic settlers. And of course the prospect of Falklands oil is a potent new issue. Drill results have so far been ambivalent but most likely there is recoverable oil there.
     
  15. conntom

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    Have you looked at the budgets of states like Cal, NY, CT and Ma???

    All blue states and all wildly fiscally out of control.
     
  16. midlifebear

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    Yes, there is recoverable oil, but the price per barrel will need to reach about $150 US. And it will require pumping hot air or water into the pockets to make the oil liquid enough to retrieve.

    As for the indigenous people owning Argentina and no European settlers, I also agree. Unfortunately, unlike in North America, almost all of the indigenous people were eliminated by Europeans, especially during the few times Britain showed up and shot everything in sight that didn't have white skin. Portugal was just as bad. In the parts of South America where the indigenous people continue to exist as intact cultures (Paraguay, Bolivia, Chile, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela and many parts of Brazil), the Spanish "conquerors" had a reason for keeping the indigenous folks around: conversion to christianity and then slavery. Once conquered and converted, then it was OK to kill them if they escaped enslavement.

    The British didn't have this same motivation. About the only indigenous language still spoken is quechua and various dialects of it in the northern provinces. When friends have come to visit us when we're down here in The Squeeze's home town (Buenos Aires) they always remark, "I'm amazed at all of the white people down here! I thought everyone would be brown like in Mexico!"

    There are still small Teutonic-like communities in Patagonia where German is more common than Spanish. In fact in the Province of Chubut there are several communities that look just like Wales and the locals still speak Welch -- in addition to Spanish. Trelew, which is, I believe, a Welch word is the name of the largest city in the Province and is very proud of its copy of St David's Cathedral in Pembrokeshire. There are many hotels and restaurants that serve high tea. Most of the homey architecture is 100% Welch. It's so odd to have a grandmotherly Welch woman serve you tea and cakes while speaking the thick Argentine Spanish accent. I asked one of these ladies one day why she didn't speak to us in Welch/Welsh and she answered "Porque castellano es más facíl."

    Yeah, I'm all for reparation and restoration of indigenous people. But look how much trouble Evo Morales is still having not because of political policies, but simply because he's the first indigenous Bolivian to be president. The 10% of Bolivians who regard themselves as "white" are doing all they can to not cooperate with his administration and tear him down. After all, they ARE white. Racism is alive and well between indigenous tribes, too, throughout South and Central America.
     
  17. Jason

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    The UN has a resolution that relates to the Falklands - this is where the law stands. The resolution is not implemented because Argentina refuses to co-operate, which is a fate all too common for UN resolutions. Notwithstanding we have a legal decision. It is tidy in law.

    Ecomomics are less tidy. Prior to the Falklands War the Falkland Islands were simply a drain on resources for the UK. The war was expensive (I'm making just the economic calculation). The peace has been even more expensive. The UK has had very substantial costs. Exploration for oil is so far another cost. But suddenly there is a possibility that it may all change. If commercial oil is found there can be little doubt that the UK would pop the champagne cork. Drilling rights could be sold very quickly (and the money might be big enough to transform the UK's finances). The asset would boost the UK's credit worthiness making us that bit safer from potential bond market catastrophe.

    The UK is not terribly bothered about what Brazil thinks. We export more to little Ireland than Brazil, Russia, India and China combined. Already the primary air supply route to the Falklands is from Chile (not Argentina) while the UK-Ascension-Falkland route is in frequent use (I think it is weekly). If Argentina and Brazil behave they are obvious locations for refineries and obvious markets for the oil. If they don't the refining can be done on the Falklands, supplies come from Chile and even South Africa. The only real threat they have is invasion. And the UK has just concluded a 50 year defence alliance with France, a nation which like the UK has vulnerable islands all over the world.
     
  18. NumberTwentySix

    NumberTwentySix New Member

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    But midlifebear, what is the rationale for Argentina's claim? You gave some nice background info and a good overview of the socio-economic relationship between the UK and Argentina, but is there some alternate reason Argentina still claims the islands other than the legacy of the defunct junta? If the oil isn't recoverable and you already have better sheep, why bother?
     
  19. B_crackoff

    B_crackoff New Member

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    Argentina is a country whose phenotype is probably whiter than the UK!

    The last time I looked, the average Falkland Islander created $10,000 more wealth than an Argentinian.

    Argentina didn't give a toss about the Falklands in 1933, & were delighted with British help...

    Roca

    I think it would be nice if the Argentines paid for the clearance of the 20,000 landmines that are still a risk to people, sheep & penguins alike!:biggrin1:

    As far as I'm aware NOT ONE country hasn't been pillaged, raped, & resettled. Big deal.

    However, not one baby was ever born during the illegal early 19th century Argentine Falklands prison settlement.

    There have been thousands born since.

    Freedom for Greenland?
     
  20. midlifebear

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    Bluntly, the reason Argentina claims the Malvinas is mostly symbolic and comes from the failed foreign policies foisted upon powerless Argentines who suffered from under military juntas and their relations with the UK and the USA. But no one down here is in a big huff and protesting against either country. The old wound does, however, make the news in the UK and USA about once a year. Down here it's just business a usual. There have not been any giant rampaging "manifestaciones" in the streets in Buenos Aires about retaking the Malvinas.

    But there is a general anti-Anglophile sentiment shared among the citizens of the MERCOSUR countries (South America's version of a Southern Common Market). They believe, and there seems to be some truth to it, that as long as the UK and USA stay away from messing with the internal affairs of these countries the better off everyone will be. The Kirchners secured cordial, but distant relations with the USA when Nestor took office.

    When George W. showed up basically uninvited to a world conference on Southern Hemisphere issues, President Kirchner insisted that the US President. would be accorded no more security than any other head of state in attendance. So, while the other heads of state were housed in the luxury of 5 star hotels in Mar del Plata and wined and dined by the Kirchners, George W. slept on and stayed close to Air Force One. "Fuera Bush" signs were everywhere and protestors enjoyed chanting the same in the streets of Buenos Aires, Córdoba, and Mar del Plata. He was a symbol of his father's ill-fated relations with Argentina. George W. barely stayed 24 hours in Argentina and flew directly back to the USA. Nestor's widow who is the current president, Cristina Kirchner, was invited along with other leaders (most notably Lula de Silva who just finished 8 years as president of Brazil) to meet Mr. and Mrs Obama. She showed up as a solid member of the MERCOSUR contingency and relations with the USA are a bit more cordial than before. It's worth mentioning that Obama is regarded as a major improvement in the USA and he is very popular among all South Americans, with the exception of Hugo Chavez. And even Chavez no longer sabre rattles as much as he did when Bush was President. And Chavez's "close" South American allies basically regard him as a tragic blow hard. But he is their blow hard who will be dealt with by them, the allied South American countries. The USA can ignore Chavez and South America will deal with him if and when necessary.

    But one of the things Argentines have difficulty understanding is how the USA could have supported the military juntas for so long rather than pay attention to the crass human rights violations that took place during the military regimes. It wasn't a big secret that the Argentine military had illegally wrested control of a democracy that usually worked until the Juan Peron's second wife was pushed into the role of president in the 70s. It was the USA that pleaded with Argentina at the end of WWII to spread as much foreign aid as possible to war torn Europe. Read up on Eva Peron's "great" world tour where countries were thrilled she showed up with bucket loads of cash, but many wouldn't shake her hand. Those glory days when Argentina had one of the world's treasuries with the deepest pockets are long gone. And it was basically the act of trying to be a good world neighbor to help rebuild Europe that was the beginning of the end of Argentina's prosperity.

    As with most South American countries, the emerging democracies had to compete and were easily corrupted by world banks and world corporate money -- just like the USA is held hostage by corporate interests today.

    But the Malvinas suddenly became a symbol of foreign countries and foreign financial interests having more influence over the sovereignty and fate of Argentina than the Argentines, themselves. So, again with the Malvinas it's really a symbolic attachment. As some UK posters probably know the Malvinas were at one time offered (for a price) to Argentina and Argentina didn't bite. It appeared no one wanted the craggy rocks. And that's exactly what they are, windy craggy rocks without much topsoil. But a great place if you like UK-style welfare and sheep.

    As I mentioned, the majority of Argentines didn't want to go to war for something they saw less important than rebuilding the country's democracy. And prior to the military juntas' stupidity of sending off poorly prepared and under supplied soldiers to do something that no one except the military wanted, the residents of the Malvinas historically came to Argentina, especially Buenos Aires, for health care and a bit of X-mas shopping. Those days are long gone.

    Jason has stated that there is oil in and around the Malvinas. He's not been too keen on mentioning that to date the quality of that petroleum is incredibly expensive to get at as well as not a very good grade. It's more like hardened tar mixed with pebbles rather than something that can bubble up as the sweet crude oil did so magnificently 50 miles off shore in the Gulf of Mexico. But there are some very strict limitations on the available oil fields in the South Atlantic. BP, which is one of the major players looking for more crude oil down here, has at least one hand tied behind its back because of the pristine fisheries that exist and UN laws reigning in oil production and/or anything -- especially over fishing -- that will affect the environment. Still, oil companies are hoping to find something, eventually, that will not cost $150 a barrel to get to market. And there has been a great deal of drilling going on.

    [Just an aside: within the USA, especially in the Four Corners area, there are plenty of oil fields of this same type of gravel oil. It is better than oil shale, but not by much. The US petroleum companies have yet to exploit these similar resources. And they don't even have to drill very deep. If you ever take a water raft trip down the San Juan River you'll be surprised at the constant smell of raw crude the permeates the desert air of the canyons as you flot along. And a slightly better grade of the stuff can be sniffed and even touched in down town Los Angeles at the corner of Wilshire and LaBrea. Just thought I'd mention that.]

    The best oil fields that have yet to be pillaged are those just off of Argentina's southern coast within Argentina's waters and there is lots of interest in the northern Provinces of Jujuy and Formosa. It's also worth noting that if, in fact, global warming continues and the world's ocean levels rise, there will most likely not be a collection of craggy, windy rocks called anything. The Malvinas are barely above sea level. An island fort 200 kilometers off of Argentina's coast east of the entrance of the Rio del Plata is has already turned into a slushy brine swamp just within the last 10 years. the fort, which still belongs to Argentina, is just too wet to maintain. The Argentine government is more interested in fixing pot holes and keeping the system of auto pistas working smoothly. The Malvinas may suffer the same fate as that slushy old fort.

    As for Europe, the UK and the USA being important allies for the MERCOSUR countries, it's important to realize they joined up to show that the UK, USA, and Europe are not that important. Spain is still a huge trading partner. China buys all of the soy beans farmers in Argentina and Uruguay can produce. And Brazil is doing just fine at the moment as the only country in the world that will be running on almost 100% bio fuels for its energy needs. The Peugots, Renaults, Citroens, Fords, and Chevrolets built locally in nearby provinces can all run on 100% alcohol. Brazil is quite happy to do business with the UK and USA, but there are plenty of other trading partners in the world with stable currencies ready and waiting to become trade partners.

    In Argentina, it's just the management of corporate and union corruption that needs to be choreographed so there is always enough newsprint, fuel for automobiles, beef, chicken, fish, milk and cereal for Argentines to remain well fed and continue to improve their lot. All of the public transit systems are privately owned. And during Menem's reign as a womanizing fool, someone thought it would be a good idea to sell off the City of Buenos Aires' public water utility to private French interests. It wasn't such a good idea. They are working on coming up with a viable means of buying it back.

    And it's worth noting that like the UK, when there is a union strike or a major problem with picketing (most recently, the workers of the trains leaving Congresso train station destroyed the place and cut the electrical lines stranding tens of thousands of people) no bullets are fired. No one is shot for being loud and dissident. The police and army just push and herd the loud angry masses into pockets of dissent and contain them. Back in the 1980s the military government would have simply slaughtered everyone with automatic weapons while the USA and UK looked on and said "Tsk, tsk.". Everyone down here complains of the work stoppages, strikes, and mass protests, but no one complains that anyone should be killed for exercising their right to public assembly and free speech.

    I'm sure it's no surprise to anyone that the USA and the UK have never had a problem telling Central and South Americans how to live and who should be their leaders. It's a flaming miracle that a democratic Chile made it out from under the thumb of Pinochet. Allende, the legal democratically elected president who was overthrown by a combination of US "advisors" and opposition leaders wasn't any better or worse than Pinochet. But even in Chile (which is definitely not a great ally of Argentina) the sentiment toward the USA, UK and Europe is "keep your hands off." Although most agree, including Chile, that Chile is in the back pocket of the USA's foreign policy machine. Argentina, not so much.

    Despite my own dislike of monarchs, wether they be benign or malignant, the ring tone on my mobile phones is the recording of Spain's King Juan Carlos yelling at Hugo Chavez several years ago during a Hispano World Conference "¡¿Por qué no te calles?!" Chavez continued to rave on about socialist brotherhood or some nonsense and kept interrupting Spain's Zapatero, not letting him finish a sentence. Unlike some other country's HRHs I could mention, Juan Carlos was ready and willing to throw a direct punch at Chavez. And Chavez did shut up. Gotta admire that. Anyway, my mobile ring tone always attracts knowing grins and chuckles when my phone goes off in my pants pocket.
     
    #20 midlifebear, Jan 17, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2011
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