18
Sep
08

Talking Points 18th September

Hi it’s Karnie with you again today. Thank you to Maria in the US for keeping the debate flowing over night. Today’s stories have got you all talking already, so let’s continue the conversation…

The global financial crisis continues and it still has you talking on the blog. The US federal government bailed out AIG yesterday BUT Asian stock markets still took a hit, here in the UK one of it’s biggest savings bank is being rescued from the brink of collapse…we have discussed this before. Analysts say shares are taking a tumble because people are afraid. What should today’s question be? Is it about greed or is just a matter of the way in which the financial markets work..is it purely about taking risks? And are risks worth it?

Maria posted this on the blog:
Is it okay or not to pursue wealth at the potential expense of the free market. Some people here in the U.S. believe that it’s okay to build wealth however you can as long as you’re not breaking the law. But others believe there should be regulations and even ceilings on the bonuses that financial brokers receive. Is it healthier to just let the market do what it’s doing right now and eventually correct itself?

***

Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni has won the leadership of the governing Kadima party, putting her on track to succeed Ehud Olmert as prime minister. What can she bring to the table? Is Livni best placed to improve Israel’s relationship with its neighbours?

***

Whilst Rwanda basks in the glory of being the first country in the world to have a female majority in parliament, Uganda is seeking to ban mini skirts. How can two African countries be so different? The continent is perceived to be male dominated, yet we see an emergence of “girl power” in Rwanda. Liberia stands equally as proud with it’s female president – Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. Can Africa change it’s attitude towards women?

Ramah from Kenya posted this question on the blog:
What does this vast divergence in attitudes towards gender mean for the future of governance in African countries?

***
Anti Jewish and anti muslim attitudes are on the rise in europe, that’s according to a recent survey. Negative views of Muslims were also strong in several Asian countries: Half or more of the Japanese, Indians, Chinese and South Koreans surveyed said they had negative impressions of Muslims. Can the world rid itself of cultural prejudices and old attitudes against race?


167 Responses to “Talking Points 18th September”


  1. September 17, 2008 at 19:11

    Hi Maria.

    Welcome to the wonderful world of moderating the WHYS blog.

  2. September 17, 2008 at 19:13

    Are Oil Revenues Good or Bad for producer countries?

    How should such revenues be distibuted to avoid conflicts
    and ensure citizen enjoy a high standard of living?

    While consumer countries are agonising over the price of oil, producer countries are having thier own problems. In Nigeria, militants have declared an oil war and frequently attack foreign owned installations in an attempt to force their will on the Government. In stark contrast, Libyan leader Col. Ghaddfi has pledged to give oil profits direct to the citizens.

    At the last OPEC conference, members could not reach a consensus for the bench mark price of crude oil.

    As the World struggles to find alternatives, are these differences of opinion merely the last throes of the dominance that oil once had?

  3. 4 Anthony
    September 17, 2008 at 19:21

    So, what do you think the Whitehouse would do if Canada was looking for terrorists and bombed Michigan, and killed dozens of U.S. citizens, just like we did with Pakistan???

    -Anthony, LA, CA

    @ Julie P

    Wow, that makes me feel better, lol. “Opps, I left my MP5 at the park, my bad!!!”

  4. 5 Jens
    September 17, 2008 at 19:22

    Juli P,

    funny they did not lose any tobaco products nor did they lose any alcohol……

  5. 6 Julie P
    September 17, 2008 at 19:24

    @Anthony,

    I had been wondering what became of my laptop and Glock, now I know. It was the ATF.

  6. 7 mariaalexander
    September 17, 2008 at 19:25

    Hi Nelson, and thanks!

    I’d love to talk today about whether it’s okay or not to pursue wealth at the potential expense of the free market. Some people here in the U.S. believe that it’s okay to build wealth however you can as long as you’re not breaking the law (and even then). But others believe there should be regulations and even ceilings on the bonuses that financial brokers receive. Is there a balance between these two? Or is it healthier to just let the market do what it’s doing right now and eventually correct itself? (This question has also arisen in the issue of bailing out people who signed up for home loans they can’t pay for.)

    Rather than have a few people dominate the conversation, I’d really like to hear as many people as possible. I’m American and I don’t necessarily know about the economic theories of a lot of other countries. But I do know that what’s happening in the U.S. is affecting everyone around the world. So please — have your say!

  7. 8 Jessica in NYC
    September 17, 2008 at 19:27

    @ Julie P

    Reminds me of when Bush lost $100 million dollars (double check the amount) in cast in Iraq. The military just shrugged it’s shoulders and said “dunno”.

    The Daily Show had a funny skit on this. They had pills and pills of money just falling out to planes.

  8. 9 Jens
    September 17, 2008 at 19:28

    julie p,

    and i was hoping some of their cuban cigars would be lost in my backyard. darn it, still only dominicans for me……

  9. 10 Jessica in NYC
    September 17, 2008 at 19:29

    BTW, Hi Maria. Welcome. I’m a mod and be happy to help in the evening if you need it.

  10. 11 mariaalexander
    September 17, 2008 at 19:34

    Great, Jessica. Thanks!

    Now I’m looking at my post and realizing we just discussed the other day whether capitalism was all that. Maybe this is too close.

  11. 12 Jessica in NYC
    September 17, 2008 at 19:36

    @ Maria

    Yes, we did and have for a few days on the TP page. However, it’s still relevant, I would like to hear more from other countries, too…. the problem is far from over.

  12. 13 Geeljire in somaliland
    September 17, 2008 at 19:39

    dear bbc
    I think you for get the main caulties increasing the somali civilian killing the ethiopian troops.
    western always talk aboat afgan people and iraq but not somalia,
    in somalia every day ethopian kills some innocent people

  13. 14 Jessica in NYC
    September 17, 2008 at 19:43

    From the BBC Women to rule Rwanda parliament

    *clap, clap,clap*

  14. 15 Lauren
    September 17, 2008 at 19:53

    @ julie p-

    I didn’t even need to click on the link you posted– all I saw was ATF, missing and guns and I was like.. good job people :)

  15. September 17, 2008 at 19:54

    Hi Maria my darling, and a very warm WELCOME from Baghdad to you ! ;-)…. Has anyone of you guys heard about the very recent and at the same time very fast spread of the Cholera epidemic in Iraq ?! If anyone of you guys can provide us all with some links on this topic then I’d be really very grateful… I was able to find a link from BBCArabic.com, but it’s obviously written in Arabic and no one of you guys will understand it… Precious Nelsoni and the others, any help please ?! With my love… Yours forever, Lubna in Baghdad…

  16. 17 Jens
    September 17, 2008 at 20:04

    now that is a car i would be bying in an heartbeat.

    http://www.chevrolet.com/electriccar/

  17. 18 Amy
    September 17, 2008 at 20:08

    Lubna,

    Here are a few links about the cholera outbreak I found:

    http://www.who.int/csr/don/2008_09_10a/en/index.html

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/09/08/cholera-threatens-iraq-pr_n_124748.html

    I hope you are feeling better and that school is going well.

  18. 19 Anthony
    September 17, 2008 at 20:11

    @ Jens

    I don’t think you’ll fit!!! Haha. You’ll need to get a Segway with your height!!!

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  19. 20 steve
    September 17, 2008 at 20:15

    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,409221,00.html

    Illegal immigrants going back to Mexico due to the worsening US economy.

  20. 21 Jens
    September 17, 2008 at 20:25

    steve,

    oh well it is not all gold that glisents.

    Anthony,

    i hate the segway, to say the least. these idiots do not belong on the pavment, just like these turob chard electric wheelchairs. they come out of nowhere, with no sound a clip your ankles……i am sure i fit. heck i fit into a mini cooper.

  21. September 17, 2008 at 20:25

    Thanks a million Amy my darling for providing us with those links… Quite scary eh ?! I am doing relatively fine Amy, although today is a rather sad day for me because it marks the first annual anniversary of the murdering of my friend and colleague Ahmed and his mom Dr Mahasin by ”Black Water” guards in Al Nisoor square in Baghdad, but it’s alright honey, we’ve just got used to it… With my love… Yours forever, Lubna in Baghdad…

  22. September 17, 2008 at 20:29

    @ Cholera in Iraq

    Lubna~

    http://www.upi.com/Science_News/2008/09/17/107_cholera_cases_in_Iraq/UPI-13341221675255/

    BAGHDAD, Sept. 17 (UPI) — Iraqi health officials said 107 cases of cholera have been confirmed in the central and southern regions of the country.

  23. 24 Dennis@OCC
    September 17, 2008 at 20:40

    Today, the continuing financial crisis…How would have the AIG and other financial institutions would have affected the International Community and the Global economy….

    Any opinions?

    Dennis

  24. 25 Jens
    September 17, 2008 at 20:41

    now here we go, when will the lambs learn that we are dealing with wolves….this should be banned and banned right away. sharia law has nothing lost in a civilized society, even for arbitration.

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/crime/article4749183.ece

  25. September 17, 2008 at 20:46

    Hi Maria,
    I’d like to introduce you to the readers of this blog through this link : http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/worldhaveyoursay/2007/01/maria_in_france.html

    and also through your blog: http://www.thehandlesspoet.com/

    Anyway, it’s a pleasure to have you back on WHYS blog.

    @ Lubna, it was good to hear you on today’s show. Unfortnately the phone line wasn’t great. You know better than many of the contributors what it means to live in a country with a shaky security and in which civilians are easy targets from all sides in the conflict.

  26. September 17, 2008 at 20:49

    Thanks a million Precious Mike in Portland, Oregon for providing us with this link… With my love… Yours forever, Lubna in Baghdad…

  27. 28 mariaalexander
    September 17, 2008 at 20:50

    @ Lubna

    Hello, my sweet! I hope you remember that you and I talked on your birthday last year. I’m sad to hear about this anniversary for you and your poor departed friends.

    This is a bit of a free for all, it seems, with a lot of topics being introduced. How about if we find out if anyone here is directly affected by the stock market crash? Are you all anxiously checking your portfolios? (Or whatever is left of them.) Or do you have faith that everything is going to be okay?

  28. September 17, 2008 at 20:56

    Al Salaam Aleikum my dearest brother Abdelilah in Morocco… Yeah, unfortunately the phone line wasn’t that good… I wanted to speak to other guests on the programme further more, but it’s alright brother… Thanks a million for your very nice words… With my love… Yours forever, Lubna in Baghdad…

  29. 30 Anthony
    September 17, 2008 at 21:02

    @ Lubna

    I was just curious, do you ever hate the average U.S. citizen for paying for things like guns, bombs, and blackwater with our tax dollars??? Does the average Iraqi??? Just wondering, and you’re the only Iraqi person I could contact (except at work, but I’m not about to bring that up here!!!) that I think could put some light on that subject.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  30. September 17, 2008 at 21:04

    Oh my goodness Maria my darling ! Is that you ?! Yeah, how can I forget you ?! You have told me at that time about a good Pakistani friend of yours and your boyfriend… She’s also named Lubna… Am I right ?! With my love… Yours forever, Lubna in Baghdad…

  31. 32 Anthony
    September 17, 2008 at 21:15

    Lol @ “monas” comment on the other page:

    So a prophet said the world will stand up against Islam, and that Islam will rule the world one day, and that one came true, now the other is coming???

    I remember a prophet said that the world would have already ended, that the Aztecs would rule the world, and that God made magic golden plates that only Joseph Smith could read when in the dark through magic stones.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  32. 33 mariaalexander
    September 17, 2008 at 21:17

    @ Abdelilah

    Many thanks! :D

    @ Lubna

    Yes, yes — that’s me! Except I had to let go of the boyfriend back in May. Alas! But I can thank him for taking me to France and, by and by, meeting you. :)

  33. 34 Julie P
    September 17, 2008 at 21:28

    @Jens and Jessica,

    Sorry it took me so long to respond. I was taken hostage by my dental hygienist and just escaped.

    Yes, they sure are doing some bizarre things and then go “Oh, well” as if it’s nothing.

    Jens, funny you would be the one to bring up cigars. ;-)

  34. September 17, 2008 at 21:39

    Hi my Precious Anthony in the US… Thanks alot for your question my good friend… Look, I do not hate any ordinary American citizen at all… You guys back there in the US pay taxes for lots and lots of reasons, many of which go along very well with the best interests of your homeland… The fact that a certain fraction of the money of those taxes is used by the US government inorder to fund the US’ colonial activities outside the US doesn’t justify at all hating or blaming ordinary American citizens for those activities… But I must admit that I do hate with passion the US government and the US occupation forces in my homeland… But to hate the average American citizen ?! Oh my God ! Of course not ! There’s just one thing that I’d love to add : I do have serious problems (but surely do not at all reach to the point of hatred or rage) with average American citizens who’ve got this absurd colonial and imperialistic mentality and who believe firmly in their superiority and that their blood is more precious than mine (though I do for sure that the number of those people in the US is not large at all, Inshallah)… As for other Iraqi citizens, as far as I know it, there’re many Iraqis who think that all Americans are Mr Bush, Mr Cheney, Ms Rice, Black Water, and the US occupation forces in our homeland, but also there’re many other Iraqi citizens who can make the difference… I do hope that answers your question Anthony… With my love… Yours forever, Lubna in Baghdad…

  35. 36 mariaalexander
    September 17, 2008 at 21:45

    @ Lubna

    How do your countrymen feel about the idea of Obama as President?

  36. 37 Anthony
    September 17, 2008 at 21:51

    @ Lubna

    You sure did, thanks. Yeah, I know Americans that believe in our “Manifest Destiny”, and that other nations are not worth garbage. They are the “bad Americans” that make us all look bad. I doubt God favors Americans.

    I think people see this because the media only shows Iraq in it’s worse villages, with dirty people with guns and burning flags. I showed people pics of Iraq that looks like Los Angeles, and they were amazed. They were like “that can’t be Iraq, that looks like down the street!!!”

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  37. 38 mariaalexander
    September 17, 2008 at 21:51

    @ Jens

    You and I are much of the same mind. As for the electric cars, I used to do marketing writing for them way back in 1993! They weren’t much more than a shopping cart hooked up to a gigantic battery those days.

    To your other point, I’m really disturbed personally by Britain’s establishment of religious courts for civil matters — both Jewish and Sharia. I mean, when you move to another country, you accept that country’s laws, right? What if one of the parties involved doesn’t want a religious court? What if they prefer the other? How will they be heard? (I’m specifically talking about women, who are so often oppressed in those cultures.)

  38. 39 Jens
    September 17, 2008 at 22:18

    MARIA,

    this is exactly the issue. the muslims demand and demand, without giving anything in return. they want their courts and then some, while demonstrating, burning flags and killing people, because of a bunch of cartoons. there believs are routed in an archaic fundamental structures, where it is OK for men to rule women. i know some musilms will be comming on telling us that the koran puts women on a pedestal, blablabla. i believ that when i stop hearing of brutal abuse by men, being all the brutality perpetrated by the taleban, the stoning of rape victims, the regular beatins of women, the sharia law cleary prefering men etc etc.

    personally if i would have been president of any country with substantial power, i would have invaded afghanistan long before 9/11, just on the basis of the extrem human abuse that was perpetrated not only on women, although mainly. i have little to no regard for muslim men who do not have the bollix to stand-up and try to reform these pratices. i can talk and write about it, but i have no power to change it.

    muslims of this world it is soley up to you to convince me and others that it is a religion of equal treatment for all, PLUS a peaceful religion. what i have see so far does not even beginn to convince me, not in the slightest.

  39. 40 Dennis@OCC
    September 17, 2008 at 22:35

    About the report about WOMEN IN THE RWANDA PARLIAMENT!

    I am very happy with the story and how this once problematic country…has gone down the road of maturity.

    Dennis

  40. 41 Jens
    September 17, 2008 at 22:36

    Julie p,

    you were talking about the ATF…;)

  41. 42 Julie P
    September 17, 2008 at 22:39

    Of course, Jens, whatever was I thinking? ;-)

  42. 43 Jens
    September 17, 2008 at 22:56

    Julie P,

    you are a very very bad girl….. ;)

  43. 45 mariaalexander
    September 17, 2008 at 22:58

    @ Jens

    I hear what you’re saying, definitely. But how does one pick which nation to “invade” for abuse of women? You’ve got Saudi Arabia, where women are treated like children, and Afghanistan, where they are stoned to death for dating the wrong man. Then there are parts of Africa where female genital mutilation is still practiced. At one point, infants were killed in India if they were female, and China used to allow abortion based on gender, as many preferred male children to female since they were allowed only one.

    Frankly, a lot of the world treats women abominably.

    Someone on another page said that he couldn’t believe he didn’t seem women jumping for joy when Saddam was toppled. While I can’t speak to the specifics, I suspect women probably weren’t thrilled because under Saddam they had protection. With Saddam gone, they can’t walk the streets without being raped, kidnapped and killed. At least before under Saddam’s regime they could function.

    So, if you were in charge, how would you choose?

  44. 46 Roberto
    September 17, 2008 at 23:02

    RE Largest campaign contributors:
    ——————————————————————————————————–

    ——– NPR reported the now bankrupt Lehman Brothers was the 4th largest campaign contributor to this point.

    It’s expected that their place will slip steadily by November. At least the Obama and McCain camps got their money up front. I’m thinking the hottest business going by the end of the year besides boarding up vacant houses is gonna be soup kitchens.

  45. 47 Jens
    September 17, 2008 at 23:11

    Maria,

    i hear you. i think i said earlier on that only people who live there or are part of the religion can change it. i can write, talk and yell about it. all it does it may raise awarness, but does per se not lead to any change.

    my mind boggels considering the treatment of women especially considering the fact that they are the ones that actually give birth….

    i picked afghanistan because it was so blatant and proud of it as well……heck it could have been plenty of other nations for that matter…..

  46. 48 Dennis@OCC
    September 17, 2008 at 23:13

    About the New Leader in Israel!
    First i am sending…my good wishes and good luck to her.

    ***********************
    @ Roberto post at 11.02pm
    It is sad that Lehman Brothers was the 4th largest donor
    to the campaign.

    ***********
    Question: To what party or both parties did LEHMAN
    BROTHERS contributed.

    Dennis@OCC

  47. 49 Amy
    September 17, 2008 at 23:22

    Maria,

    If I were in charge of the world (Empress of the World!!) I would DEMAND my subjects treat everyone humanely. I think if everyone treated people the way they would like to be treated, life on our planet would be so much better. Not doing so would warrant punishment. Said punishment would be determined by the “crime.” Sometimes I feel like the majority of the world is like my 4 year old daughter and needs to be treated as such. Time outs for everyone and learn to play nice, respect (and learn from) differences and if you can’t then I will decide the punishment. It could range from a longer time out to a work camp (making the world a better place) to solitary confinement (having the music you detest the most piped in! Barry Manilow anyone?) Oh, and the baggy pants where your underwear is showing could be punishable by death.

    Just my thoughts…….

  48. September 17, 2008 at 23:40

    @ Dennis

    I can see Ms Livni nodding her head saying ” Thank you Dennis for your support”

  49. 51 jamily5
    September 17, 2008 at 23:51

    But, this is Brittain,
    The article reads:
    “Under the act, the sharia courts are classified as arbitration tribunals. The rulings of arbitration tribunals are binding in law, provided that both parties
    in the dispute agree to give it the power to rule on their case.

    If a brittish muslim woman does not want her case heard by sharia law, she can go to the police, as other brittish women do.

  50. 52 jamily5
    September 17, 2008 at 23:52

    @Jens,
    So, you’ll lobby with me to reform quiet cars????
    (smile)

  51. 53 jamily5
    September 17, 2008 at 23:58

    Is there a stipulation that says that those who choose Sharia courts can not have the same case tried in Brittish courts? Is that double jeopardy?

    This will actually make known cleric judgements and might just flesh out the myths from the truths. Can you see the headlines:
    “Sharia court in Yorkshire ruled that… … … presiding is … …”
    Those who are not ruling with Islamic prudence will be recognized and ousted.

  52. 54 jamily5
    September 18, 2008 at 00:07

    @Dennis
    http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/09/17/atf.missing.guns/index.html

    o, what do you think this woman will do for Rowanda?
    Do you think that her biggest mark will be that she is a woman or that she has some innovative ways to help the country move forward?

  53. 55 jamily5
    September 18, 2008 at 00:08

    Woops,
    I posted the wrong link.
    Sorry!
    My question was about your comments about Rowanda.

  54. 56 mariaalexander
    September 18, 2008 at 00:20

    @ jamily5

    Point well taken, but do you really think a Muslim woman — even a British one — has the freedom to go against the wishes of the men in her family and seek justice from the British police?

  55. 57 steve
    September 18, 2008 at 00:41

    The thing about arbitration, is that it forms a legally binding contract. The sharia court still cannot enforce it, but the party can go to a secular court to enforce a finding from a religious court. While Britain has no separation of church and state, such a concept would be unfathomable in the US.

  56. 58 steve
    September 18, 2008 at 00:43

    @ Jamily5

    Can you not hear a hybrid car? I have rather poor hearing, and even when a Prius is in electric only mode, I still can hear it rolling by.

  57. 59 Shirley
    September 18, 2008 at 00:56

    Dems Cave on Offshore Drilling: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., called the bill “a new direction in energy policy … that will end our dependence on foreign oil” by shifting federal subsidies from promoting the oil industry to spurring development of alternative energy sources and energy efficiency.

    She’s just like the rest of them – it is difficult to distinguish them from the Republicans. There were some nice caveats.

    But Republicans called the drilling measure a ruse to provide political cover to Democrats feeling pressure to support more drilling at a time of high gasoline prices. “How much new drilling do we get out of this bill? It’s zero. Just zero,” declared House Republican leader John Boehner of Ohio. “It’s a hoax on the American people. This is intended for one reason … so the Democrats can say we voted on energy.”

    If the Republicans are complaining, it cannot be all that bad, right?

  58. 60 Shirley
    September 18, 2008 at 00:59

    Arctic sea ice this summer shrank to its second lowest level on record.

    An editorial on CSMonitor: Stop whining and pay your property taxes The article focuses on school funding. A quip: If you want a country divided between haves and have-nots and seething with class and race resentment, then slash taxes. Who needs an education, anyway?

  59. 61 Shirley
    September 18, 2008 at 01:01

    http://www.imemc.org/article/56956
    Olmert & Abbas cracking a deal
    I personally think that the Palestinians conceded too much.

    Ike finally returned to the print media.

  60. 62 Venessa
    September 18, 2008 at 01:08

    Dennis ~

    Lehman donated to McCain I believe. It might have been both. A lot of the financial industry contributed to both campaigns but there were a couple that were exclusively McCain. There’s probably a link somewhere on the NPR website since they talked about it on the radio this morning.

  61. 63 Luz Ma from Mexico
    September 18, 2008 at 01:14

    @Steve

    “Illegal immigrants going back to Mexico due to the worsening US economy.”

    Oh, oh… that is bad news for the Mexican government. Income from immigrants in the U.S. is the second source of revenue in Mexico (after oil).

  62. 64 Dennis@OCC
    September 18, 2008 at 01:26

    @ Jamily5:
    To answer your question, sorry for the late
    return!

    [September 18, 2008 at 12:07 am]

    To answer the question…

    I think it will help the country, following many years
    of problems….

    Dennis

  63. 65 Luz Ma from Mexico
    September 18, 2008 at 01:29

    @Maria
    Welcome moderator!

    @Lubna
    So sad I missed today´s show. I would love to hear your opinion in that matter.

    I´ll have more time now to hear WHYS. I am not longer employed, so until I start the new job (con el favor de Dios) I´ll be around much more :)

  64. 66 Dennis@OCC
    September 18, 2008 at 01:32

    @ Nelson and your post….

    Thanks for the comments about the new leader of the
    party of Israel….

    If she is elected to the Prime Minister of Israel, how many
    leaders in the world have been women?

    Dennis

  65. 67 Bob in Queensland
    September 18, 2008 at 01:52

    Good Morning/Afternoon/Evening All!

    Still catching up here but to answer Dennis’s previous question, enough governments in the world have been led by women that I quickly gave up trying to list them.

    This isn’t even a first for Israel: remember Golda Meir?

    Oh, and welcome and well done to Maria. FYI, I’m also a moderator and camp out in a weird, antisocial time zone so if you want to get some sleep at any point I’ll likely be around!

  66. 68 Dennis@OCC
    September 18, 2008 at 01:57

    @ Bob in Queensland:
    I somewhat remember Golda Meir…

    @ Maria:
    Welcome to the moderating world…

    @Luz Ma:
    Sorry for the loss of your job.

    @ Question: About the Mexicans returning to their country:
    it would have negative affects on both countries and relationship
    to there economies.

    Dennis

  67. 69 Dennis@OCC
    September 18, 2008 at 01:59

    REVISED MY COMMENTS to JAMILY5:

    No problem, i understand the questions, that you
    were asking….

    Dennis

  68. 70 Julie P
    September 18, 2008 at 02:13

    @Bob,

    So this anti-social time zone you live in, does that make you a sociopath?

  69. 71 Bert
    September 18, 2008 at 02:18

    About religious courts, I think they have NO PLACE whatever in western countries. I see it as pure pandering, and who knows why anyone in govt should feel that pandering is necessary. When in Rome, do as the Romans do. It’s so simple, and it applies to us as well as to them.

    About invading other countries, such as Iraq, because we feel they have unsavory customs, again, NO WAY. We have no obligation whatever to pour thousands of our own people’s lives, and billions of our own dollars that we can’t afford, into such an endeavor. It’s none of our business what they prefer.

    Unless borders are crossed, e.g. as they were during the Gulf War, I say, stay out. Guess that also applies to US forces with respect to Pakistan. This administration is making it impossible to distinguish us from the bad guys, confound it. Or at very least, they keep giving the enemies’ propaganda machines all the ammo they need. More and more every day, it seems.

    Is the Vietnam War really so far back that everyone in this administration has forgotten its lessons? It was so obvious from the beginning that Iraq was going to be another Vietnam, and yet our fearless leaders were in total denial.

  70. 72 Bob in Queensland
    September 18, 2008 at 02:27

    Hmmm…

    I wonder if, with some sort of good Ros/Chloe question, employment etiquette could become a topic one day.

    I had a situation slightly like yours back in the late 90s. I was interviewing people for a technical job and, as usual, told a candidate that we’d let him know and would be calling back a shortlist in the next two weeks.

    Anyway, a few days later I got a panic phone call that he’d told his current employer about his interview and had been fired because of that…he tried to put the moral blackmail onto me to hire him because of this. Alas, he was far from the best qualified.

    (Very different to your scenario Luz!)

    Anyway, as I say, maybe a discussion here.

  71. 73 Shirley
    September 18, 2008 at 02:37

    Religious Extremism
    273 Jens September 17, 2008 at 10:54 pm
    In my eyes, the Muslim community is simply not doing enough to elevate themselves above the thugs and criminals who perpetrate these crimes. All you hear are some weak and feable attempts to condem the actions, but mainly the come accross as trying to excuse the violence as a minor transgression.

    Jens,
    There are several links that branch off from Muhajabah’s website containing condemnations of terrorism by Muslims. The Amman Message also contains a condemnation of terrorism. I am wondering whether which of the many condemnations of terrorism that could be found from Muhajabah’s site condone terrorism in any way. If there is a clause in the Amman Message that I missed which excuses terrorism, can you alter me as to which one it is and what the specific URL is for it? Let me know what you find, please.

  72. 74 Shirley
    September 18, 2008 at 02:47

    Is there some other coverage of the Shari`ah courts in Englland besides that right-wing rag? Their Fox-like rhetoric is painful to read.

    Islam and Women
    39 Jens September 17, 2008 at 10:18 pm
    Their beliefs are rooted in an archaic fundamental structures, where it is OK for men to rule women. I’ll believe that when I stop hearing of brutal…

    Jens, I know that it is easy for one’s emotions to equate things like (for example) GW’s policies with American democratic values, or various military faux pas in Iraq and Afghanistan with the norms of American values. I have a hard time with it, and I am American. I think that I can understand, partly, at least, where you are coming from when you say that you see way too much violence against women in Muslim-dominated countries to believe that it is not an intrinsict value of the religion.

    The research that I am doing on the fatwas of Ayatullah Sistani (Shia Islam) do indeed support the claims that women are supposed to have rights in Islam. Other aspects of my research have found that several of our modern scholars firmly support that women and men are equal. I know from personal experience, however, that many Shia Muslims exist who do not know of or care about the existence of those rulings and those writings. It rattles me to the core to encounter them here in the States, but they do indeed exist here. I’ve done enough reading about the scholarly methods of those whose texts I am reading to know that they derive their rulings/assertions from the qUr’an and the sayings of Prophet Muhammad. It is becoming more and more clear to me that the abuses of which you spoke are aspects of various cultures that predate Islam and which people have simple forced upon Islam rather than using Islam to filter their cultures.

    One thing that I will grant you is that there is a definite patriarchal tone to Islamic law concerning women. I wax long, though. Unless I get tied up with something else over the next few days, I should be able to read and perhaps reply to further queries/challenges of yours.

    Personally, if I would have been president of any country with substantial power, I would have invaded Afghanistan long before 9/11, just on the basis of the extreme human abuse that was perpetrated not only on women, although mainly.

    Thank you. They are my sisters – not just in Islam, but in humanity. Thank you.

  73. 75 Shirley
    September 18, 2008 at 02:54

    Islam and Women
    47 Jens September 17, 2008 at 11:11 pm
    I think I said earlier on that only people who live there or are part of the religion can change it.

    I am working on my part, small though it may be. Please point the guns away from me?

    45 mariaalexander September 17, 2008 at 10:58 pm
    I hear what you’re saying, definitely. But how does one pick which nation to “invade” for abuse of women? You’ve got Saudi Arabia, where women are treated like children, and Afghanistan, where they are stoned to death for dating the wrong man. Then there are parts of Africa where female genital mutilation is still practiced.

    I know what my politics are, but here my hearts screams, “All of them!” I cannot help it. It must be the oxytocin?

    Frankly, a lot of the world treats women abominably.
    *big fat sigh* :(.

    56 mariaalexander September 18, 2008 at 12:20 am
    Point well taken, but do you really think a Muslim woman — even a British one — has the freedom to go against the wishes of the men in her family and seek justice from the British police?

    Technically, she does. Islam considers it sinful to force a woman to marry whom she does not want to marry, to hurt her so much as to leave even a red mark on her, to leave her physically or emotionally deprived, to prevent her from using birth control or to use birth control without consulting her, etc. (as far as my research has been indicating). If a woman is being abused, then of course she should reach out and seek assistance. Islam requires self-preservation.

  74. 76 Shirley
    September 18, 2008 at 02:55

    Free Markets and the Pursuit of Wealth
    7 mariaalexander September 17, 2008 at 7:25 pm
    I’d love to talk today about whether it’s okay or not to pursue wealth at the potential expense of the free market.

    Bonjour, cherée, ça va? Does free market capitalism even support the process that led to the events of recent days and weeks? Don’t worry about recent threads – your question is different enough from the question posed on the capitalism thread. Perhaps some of the conversation will spill over to the TP tonight and spur the conversation in a new direction.

  75. 77 Bob in Queensland
    September 18, 2008 at 03:08

    @ Shirley

    I went looking for a more balanced report on sharia law in the UK and couldn’t find any. The most likely reason for this is that it’s a non story–unless you wish to put an “Islamic conspiracy” spin on things.

    Reading between the lines, I don’t think there’s been any change to British law at all. As Steve points out, the legal status of the sharia court is nothing more than a binding arbitrator. These have existed in British law for ages (particularly in family and employment disputes) and they derive their power from both sides signing at contract in advance agreeing to the arbitration. It is this contract that is enforceable in UK law, not the sharia court itself. You could just as easily agree that the findings of a lawyer or your Aunt Bessie are binding.

    Without prior agreement by both parties, the sharia court has no authority whatsoever. Also, the sharia court could not enforce a judgement that is otherwise illegal in British law. Certainly they couldn’t order a flogging or stoning or beheading! Anyway, unless both parties agree to the sharia arbitration, then standard British civil law applies without question.

  76. 78 Luz Ma from Mexico
    September 18, 2008 at 03:10

    Bye for now guys.. I have to sleep! Have a good one… ;)

  77. 79 Amy
    September 18, 2008 at 03:12

    Bob,

    A little birdie whispered in my ear that today is your birthday….. Many happy returns!!

  78. 80 Dennis@OCC
    September 18, 2008 at 03:15

    @ Luz Ma:
    We all know that you, will find other employment…

    @ Bob in Queensland:
    i sent you an email….and happy birthday…

    Dennis

  79. 81 Dennis@OCC
    September 18, 2008 at 03:22

    @ Julie P:

    and everyone else….

    Most college kids…Lived very un-social hours…

    Dennis

  80. 82 Bob in Queensland
    September 18, 2008 at 03:23

    [blush]

    At my age I’ve been trying to keep the passage of the years quiet! But thanks anyway!

    I don’t suppose it would do us any good to have a WHYS debate on the topic “is it fair to make you arbitrarily older every year when you still act as silly as a teenager?”

    Hmmm…didn’t think so…but worth a try!

  81. 83 Shirley
    September 18, 2008 at 03:36

    53 jamily5 September 17, 2008 at 11:58 pm excellent point :)

    44 steve September 17, 2008 at 10:57 pm
    Looks like a woman will be Israel’s new PM

    She’s been elected? If women leaders are elected in more and more countries, will the collective estrogen result in peace? Or are they doomed to repeat the big-minded and small-hearted policies of their male forerunners? What have women leaders accomplished in the various countries where they have been elected? Pakistan under Bhutto? Merkel in Germany? María, ayúdame, que hay una en américa del sur y se me olvida su nombre y país, por favor. I know that I have heard that Bhutto was nothing more than a proxy for her husband/brother/uncle/someone.

  82. 84 Bob in Queensland
    September 18, 2008 at 03:56

    @ Shirley

    Before you get TOO carried away on the “estrogen for peace” campaign, let me remind you of Thatcher in Britain! :)

  83. 85 Shirley
    September 18, 2008 at 03:58

    Cholera in Iraq
    (16 Lubna September 17, 2008 at 7:54 pm)

    Lubna, salam hayati, no I hadn’t heard. It is probably because of the failure of water services in Iraq. If we cannot get water services up and running properly for a nation taht we are occupying, shouldn’t we at least provide those water tabs which make water potable (drinkable)? {{{huggg}}} I am so sorry about Ahmad wa ummihi. Thank you, Amy and Mike.

    Oil in Nigeria
    2 Nelson September 17, 2008 at 7:13 pm
    Nelson, if Nigeria nationalised its oil resources and kicked Exxon/Chevron/which company is it? out of the country, would any stability result? What are your thoughts?

  84. 86 mariaalexander
    September 18, 2008 at 03:58

    @ Shirley

    I know that technically a Muslim woman is supposed to be treated that way, but the reality is that they aren’t. They are murdered for dating the wrong person. They suffer heinous physical abuse. There are charity groups to help women receive reconstructive surgery who have been burned with acid. While I’m certain there are Muslims who practice Islamic principles as they are scribed, a huge number treat the women like meat. Or worse.

    As for the other topic, it’s interesting that more people aren’t in a dead panic about this turn of events in the financial world. My friends and coworkers are, but I’m not sensing it here as much.

  85. 87 Shirley
    September 18, 2008 at 04:28

    86 Bob in Queensland September 18, 2008 at 3:56 am
    Before you get TOO carried away on the “estrogen for peace” campaign, let me remind you of Thatcher in Britain!

    I was young when Reagan was President. I admired him and thought that he was a wonderful President. I almost wonder if I would have had the same reaction to Thatcher. Nowadays, I strongly disagree with the policies of the Reagan administration, even though I am still drawn to his personality and charisma. I doubt that I could say the same for Thatcher, though. It boggles my mind how some women can act so contrary to how we suppose women to act. I cannot begin to count the number of times that I would be studying at the library and made witness to varying degrees of negligence, verbal assault, and physical abuse that women committed against their children. It makes me absolutely sick. I just want to grab them all and run away with them. *big fat sigh*

  86. 88 Jack Hughes
    September 18, 2008 at 04:36

    Bob,

    Reformed lefties like me are worse than ex-smokers.

    I squealed and squealed about Thatcher and Reagan at the time, like all good lefties.

    Looking back now, Thatcher did what needed to be done to get Britain back on its feet.

    It pays to look at what went before – unions obstructing everything and the winter of dicontent where rubbish went uncollected, bodies unburied as cemeteries and crematoriums were picketed.

    She was a valuable ally to Reagan as he won the cold war and engineered the fall of the Berlin Wall and freedom for millions in eastern europe.

    If you think the wall just fell down by itself, or Russia just suddenly turned nice for a short time, then post your reasons here.

  87. 89 Shirley
    September 18, 2008 at 04:41

    88 mariaalexander September 18, 2008 at 3:58 am
    I know that technically a Muslim woman is supposed to be treated that way, but the reality is that they aren’t.

    It makes me ill, as well. My mind is still stuck on the images that I have seen – I cannot seem to progress beyond that to things that I might be able to do to ensure that women are protected and that the community at large is educated. It is so difficult, so frightening. The mental paralysis is frustrating.

    While I’m certain there are Muslims who practice Islamic principles as they are scribed, a huge number treat the women like meat. Or worse.

    In the world of Shia Islam, the notion exists that the number of truly pious persons is terribly small. We have a popular saying that our own Messianic figure (Mahdi) will have 313 companions. Obviously, the Shia Muslim community around the world does not perceive that the Mahdi has arisen. And here is what bothers me: Of all of the Shia Muslims around the world, of all of the religious scholars that we Shia Muslims have who are qualified to issue fatwas, Imam Mahdi has not risen up. We still do not have 313 people. It is heart-breaking. It does not surprise me that the vast majority of men around the world, including Muslim men, maltreat their women. That does not take away from the fact that it is heartbreaking and sickening.

    Economic Disaster?
    As for the other topic, it’s interesting that more people aren’t in a dead panic about this turn of events in the financial world. My friends and coworkers are, but I’m not sensing it here as much.

    Strange – I do not feel panic. I just trust my mattress more than the bank right now.

  88. 90 Ramah in Nairobi, Kenya
    September 18, 2008 at 04:53

    Two stories on the BBC have really made my day; — at its all to do with the Changing Gender equation.

    14 years after the genocide; — Rwanda now is poised to have more women in parliament than men. On the other hand, there’s more….disappointing [for lack of a better word], attitude seen in Uganda.

    Their Ethics Minister has apparently called for a ban on Miniskirts [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/low/africa/7621823.stm], saying some of the men in that country are ‘weak mentally’.

    What does this vast divergence in attitudes towards gender mean for the future of governance in African countries like Rwanda and Uganda…and the rest of Africa?

    Is there something to be gained in adopting a neutral posture towards gender issues? What’s the primary threat of having attitudes as expressed by the Ugandan Minister for Ethics and Governance at that level of government?

  89. 91 Bob in Queensland
    September 18, 2008 at 04:59

    @ Jack Hughes

    I have some seriously mixed feelings about Thatcher. There is no doubt that many of her reforms were absolutely necessary and that Britain became a stronger and more successful country because of her government, particularly the first term or two.

    However, I also think there are areas where she went to far and, to use a British phrase, “threw the baby out with the bathwater”. I also have the feeling that she became a bit “power mad” towards the end of her time as PM, convincing herself that ONLY her views had any merit…and these views became more extreme as she went along.

    As for the fall of communism, I’m undecided as to whether this happened because of Reagan and Thatcher…or despite Reagan and Thatcher. However, the party in Berlin the day after the wall fell is one I shall remember all my life. Alas, my piece of the wall didn’t last so long…my ex found it one day and thought it was just a piece of junk from our house renovations. Well, I said she was my ex!

    Finally, as it’s my birthday, I’ll allow myself the self indulgence of posting this very old pic of myself and PM Thatcher in 1983. Suggested captions please!

  90. 92 mariaalexander
    September 18, 2008 at 05:01

    Happy Birthday, Bob!

    I guess we can indulge you by allowing links to a frightening photo or two. ;)

  91. 93 Bob in Queensland
    September 18, 2008 at 05:24

    @ Ramah in Nairobi

    Excellent topic!

    I think that the differing attitudes to gender issues aren’t just down to national differences. One of the things that strikes me here in the blog is the widely differening range of opinions, often from surprising directions.

    Hopefully you’ll provoke some good discussion when the Europeans and Americans are back in at full strength!

  92. September 18, 2008 at 05:46

    That’s actually a pretty brill idea that’s been formed in the collective here.

    What would the difference really be if we had a majority of female leaders? Would they all be Thatchers? Or would they be Merkels? Or maybe a mix of both?

  93. September 18, 2008 at 05:57

    Hi 2 Nelson
    Reyr September 17, 2008 at 7:13 pm
    “Are Oil Revenues Good or Bad for producer countries?”
    Short term, high oil and gas revenues will ruin the Iranian government. There is little security in the market and the slump in oil prices has undermine government confidence.
    Iran’s oil and gas revenues for the financial year ending March 2008 was US $78.8billion. This is not much for a nation of 72 million which produces 5% of total world output. The reliance on oil revenues as the sole source of Forex has been disastrous. Living from hand to mouth, as the government has been doing, soaring food prices, raw materials and machinery have depleted our hard currency reserves.
    Drilling and operational costs have gone up. The clumsy buy-back scheme that Iran offers fails to lure oil majors. Oil companies will not invest big on short term – four or five year – contracts. Iran lacks state-of-the-art technology. LNG projects are on hold.
    Iran is a welfare state, government owned economy, 70% at a standstill. With high oil prices, the Tehran Administration may have survived but lack of liquidity spells danger. Army personnel and teachers haven’t been payed for the last six months. Infra-structure projects are on hold.

  94. 96 Ramah in Nairobi, Kenya
    September 18, 2008 at 05:58

    It’d be interesting to see what happens to Rwanda now that they have a women-dominated parliament.

    So far; — their government’s been doing a pretty decent job; — but the impact women would have in the management of the country’s affairs is something we can only judge in retrospect. On the face of it; — Rwanda reserves seats for women [at least a 3rd] in all, if not most levels of government.

    So far, Kagame’s been lauded for his work in reconciliation and re-building a battered economy. His government’s been criticized for the manner in which some journalists are reported to have vanished or arrested after publishing articles critical of the government.

    Will having more women making decisions make his government more tolerant or more biased to social issues and less militaristic? Rwanda after all, is one of East Africa’s most aggressive countries; — having sent its troops after rebels in the DRC not once, but twice –; and still holding out the threat of doing so in future.

  95. 97 Tom D Ford
    September 18, 2008 at 05:59

    @ mariaalexander

    “I’d love to talk today about whether it’s okay or not to pursue wealth at the potential expense of the free market. Some people here in the U.S. believe that it’s okay to build wealth however you can as long as you’re not breaking the law (and even then)’

    That’s cool beans as long as I get to make the laws.

    Hey, wait a minute, the people who make the laws are the people who benefit from the laws they just made!

    Hmm, if I obey their laws they win! And if they obey their laws, they win!

    Doh!

    When do I get a chance to win? Um, never!

  96. 98 Tom D Ford
    September 18, 2008 at 06:03

    @ Geeljire in somaliland September 17, 2008 at 7:39 pm

    “dear bbc
    I think you for get the main caulties increasing the somali civilian killing the ethiopian troops.
    western always talk aboat afgan people and iraq but not somalia,
    in somalia every day ethopian kills some innocent people”

    I read your message.

  97. September 18, 2008 at 06:10

    Hi Bob in Queensland
    Reyr September 18, 2008 at 4:59 am posting
    Lady Thatcher was disastrous for British foreign policy. She didn’t get on with Bush senior when the latter was head of CIA. She had little to say about the Berlin Wall since no one asked her. British foreign policy in the Middle East took a turn for the worst.
    She kept on about the ‘wretched urchins.’ They might have done better if she left them alone.
    British Ambassador Sir John Graham left Tehran in tears on the Queen’s Birthday in 1979. It didn’t have to be that way. It is difficult to say anything about Lady Thatcher as a person because I never met her, but she is grossly overrated by her supporters.
    That is Britain for you. Gordon Brown is probably one of the greatest British Prime Ministers of the 20th century, but look at the treatment he’s getting!

  98. 100 Jonathan
    September 18, 2008 at 06:21

    @Akbar

    Hi friend! I think you would enjoy what I just saw: I was looking for a book and Goggled what I thought was its title: “Curse of Oil.”

    Instead of one book, Google returned 37,000 hits on various articles, essays, documentaries, all manner of things, along the same general theme, that oil and other natural resources are famous for their NEGATIVE effect on the countries that have them, for reasons too complicated to go into here, but which I expect you know, from your comment.

    Hopefully Lubna will see your comment and gain some understanding about oil production.

    Still, I really have to wornder: how Iran can manage to be so poor with all that oil. Do you think the figures are honest? Do they say that they produced around 780 million barrels (@ $100 a barrel, more or less) to end up with that $78 billion? Are people stealing a whole lot of oil and/or money? Is the embargo hurting, and what do you think about it? Could they produce more if they got their act together? I very much agree with you about the futility of a state-directed economy, of course, but it’s still pretty amazing how a country with so much oil can be doing so badly when the oil price is quintupled in the last few years.

  99. 101 Jonathan
    September 18, 2008 at 06:30

    @maria~

    Well, I saw you didn’t want a few people to dominate the conversation, so I’ve restrained myself from submitting anything…. but soon I shall unleash my ego, I mean intellect, and join in full force, after I review what’s been said.

    Welcome aboard, Maria, and happy birthday Bob–I answered three of your questions at the end of TP for the 17th.

  100. 102 Tom D Ford
    September 18, 2008 at 06:40

    @ Jonathan September 18, 2008 at 6:21 am

    “Still, I really have to wornder: how Iran can manage to be so poor with all that oil.”

    Gosh, George Kennans idea works!

    George Kennan has caused the death of an unimaginable number of human beings with his policies!

    Doh!

  101. 103 Virginia Davis
    September 18, 2008 at 06:45

    Re Margaret Thatcher: aka as “Iron Knickers” made the decision which led to the hunger strike deaths of Bobby Sands and 9 other Irish prisoners of war.

    Realistically, among women leaders there will be a variety. Not all bad, not all good.

    Virginia in Oregon

  102. 104 Bob in Queensland
    September 18, 2008 at 06:47

    @ Jonathan

    Thanks for the greetings m’friend. I shall have to high tail it back to the 17th to see what you’ve posted!

    Re: Iranian oil

    I wondered the same as you about the disparity between production and revenues in Iran.

    One partial solution might be that, until recently, Iran sold at least some of it’s production domestically at far under the international market rate. I recall seeing some video of demonstrations at Tehran petrol pumps when the price was put up (to a number that I still thought looked cheap). I’m sceptical that this can account for all of the mis-match but it might be at least some of it.

  103. 105 Shirley
    September 18, 2008 at 07:06

    96 mariaalexander September 18, 2008 at 5:46 am
    What would the difference really be if we had a majority of female leaders?

    I think that it would be a mix. I have heard, thouhg, a theory that if more women enter heigher-level politics, their presumed nurturing instincts would begin to surface and dominate their policy-making. If that is true, then perhaps we could look forward to less war and bloodshed?

  104. September 18, 2008 at 07:20

    Hi Jonathan
    Not ‘Curse of Oil,’ but mismanagement. lack of transparency and total absence of accountability on behalf of the Iranian Administration.
    What you say is quite true, but Iran is importing gasoline at the rate of US $5b-$7b per annum. Government owned economy means that until June 2007 we were selling gasoline at 5cts per litre at the pumps. The current, open market rate – beside the petrol rationing quotas – is 45 cts per litre for ‘regular.’
    Rising home consumption of gasoline, kerosene and diesel fuel means there is less to export. The downstream oil and gas sectors are simply not viable investment ventures since international sanctions block Iran’s access to modern technology, vital in the petrochemical industry.
    Lastly, the precarious power structure and breakdown in law and order in Iran means that the Guards Corps, Leader’s Foundation and other agencies operate in the oil and gas sectors and pocket the proceeds with impunity.
    Having said that, blocking Iran’s oil and gas sector, or the current West, Venezuela stalemate over oil, or problems in Nigeria will, in the long term, dent the energy market and unsettle prices.

  105. 107 Shirley
    September 18, 2008 at 07:21

    Does a prson *have* to Google Keynesian economics in order to stay afloat of the economics discussion at WHYS? I Still haven’t had a second read of the Wikipedia article on capitalism :(.

  106. 108 Ramah in Nairobi, Kenya
    September 18, 2008 at 07:42

    @ Shirley

    Interesting comment; — Frank Herbert examined the concept in his Dune novels, with one of his characters describing a male army as a ‘predatory’ creature that can turn onto the population it is made to protect, with the same ferocity it deals out to its enemies.

    He also postulated that an all female army would be a ‘nurturing discplinarian’; — something that would avoid the brutal excess seen so far in its male counterpart.

    Projections aside though; — it’d be interesting to see what happens when women are in charge.

    How do the records of Margaret Thatcher, Angela Merkel, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Christina Fernandex de Kirchner et al stand out from those of other male leaders?

  107. 109 Shirley
    September 18, 2008 at 07:43

    Akbar, your September 18, 2008 at 7:20 am post is one of the most clear and concise summaries of the oil crisis in Iran (that I have read). What are your ideas for rectifying the stuation? Also, when you refer to corruption and transparency, are you indicating that you believe that the Iranian government has been siphoning oil and forcing the Iranian people to make up the difference?

  108. 110 Bob in Queensland
    September 18, 2008 at 07:48

    @ Shirley

    I fear that, in any economics discussion, Keynes is likely to show up. Like or loathe his theories, he certainly had a major influence.

    I won’t pretend to be an expert (I prefer science to black magic–my main contribution to the economics class I took was to set a section of the textbook to the music of “Glory, Glory Hallelujah”–but I had to do some Keynes reading myself.

  109. 111 Jonathan
    September 18, 2008 at 08:10

    @Ramah

    A “nurturing disciplinarian,” you say. Without “brutal excess.” I think both women and men at the top should aspire to play that role.

  110. 112 Shirley
    September 18, 2008 at 08:18

    Oyyyyy…tomorrow I’ll print me a copy of WIki’s entry on the guy. Hmf. Btw, the typos in my post to Akbar might render the post illegible.

    Ramah, I do hope that someone comes out with at least a partial listing of some of the women world leaders so that a comparison could be made. Perhaps we could start with Queen Sheba? :). I am hoping to hear from some of our Pakistani bloggers about their perspectives on Benazir Bhutto. Here in the States, many of our higher-ranking women have marched right in step with the men who have dragged our country into an illegal war and have pursued more wealth for the wealthy. We recently lost a valiant champion of true equality when Stephanie Tubbs Jones died recently. Two other names that I associate with her are Barbara Boxer and Sheila Jackson Lee. All three are African-American legislators who are very liberal (American definition). The Green Party candidate for President, Cynthia McKinney, used to be a legislator, as well. She was always liberal, even when she was a member of the Democratic party.

    It is difficult for me to picture these women as powerful in the sense that Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, and Condoleezza Rice (spelling?) are powerful.

    Btw, I have heard that President Khatami had a woman Vice President. Might someone know her name?

  111. 113 Ramah in Nairobi, Kenya
    September 18, 2008 at 08:28

    @ Jonathan

    I agree, thoug the conducted of male armies so far has been less-than-stellar when it comes to avoiding what we’re politely referring to as “brutal excess.”

    Let’s look at the conduct of male-dominated armed groups; —

    In Somalia, about 9 500 civilians have been killed in Al Shabab’s insurgency. A local Human Rights group estimates more than 100 women have been raped in the last 3 months alone; — but that’s what’s on record. The actual number could be way higher.

    About a third of Somalia’s entire population has been displaced. In effect; — millions of women and children are out in the cold with no food or water or shelter.

    I saw a small measure of conflict’s cross-gender effects in my country during the post-poll crisis in early 2008. The IDP camps we had were full of women and children and old men and women; — the young men were nowhere to be seen most of the time.

    Uganda; — the LRA’s developed a notorious reputation for child slavery and mutilation, not to mention the fact that they have made sexual assault a part of their arsenal.

    Allegations of using rape as a weapon have also been levelled at the main armed factions in the DRC; — from the country’s army, to the FDLR to the troops of General Laurent Nkunda.

    Using this data from conflicts in Eastern and Central Africa; — one can deduce that male armies are, as per the gender-traits mentioned earlier –; predatory creatures.

    The other side of the argument; — the behavior of an all-female army in combat operations –; is however open to question.

  112. 114 Jonathan
    September 18, 2008 at 08:45

    @Shirley~

    Women at the TOP, Shirley, in charge, not just legislators, but leaders, is I think what we’re talking about. Shouldn’t be all that hard to find them. The ones I can think of off the top of my head have been products of the societies they lead, whether elected or appointed or hereditary, and not especially different in practical terms from men in equivalent positions.

    The woman running Liberia seems to be a breath of fresh air and a jewel, but I’m not sure if we can credit her femaleness for that happy circumstance.

    If you don’t like “wealth for the wealthy,” the last few days should make you very happy; the wealthy have lost hundreds of billions. Unfortunately for that principle, it’s the wealthy who invest and create jobs and wealth for everyone else. Poor people don’t create very many jobs.

  113. 115 Nofal Elias
    September 18, 2008 at 10:05

    @Jonathon,

    But don’t forget poor people are doing the jobs without them the wealthy won’t get any where.
    If I had a company I ‘ll make sure that the profit will be shared with the employees because my investment is in the people, if I look after them they will work harder and have better returns.

  114. September 18, 2008 at 10:53

    Thursday, September 18, 2008
    DE BORCHGRAVE: Bandit capitalism?
    Arnaud de Borchgrave
    COMMENTARY:

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2008/sep/18/bandit-capitalism/

  115. September 18, 2008 at 11:08

    Hi Shirley
    Reyr September 18, 2008 at 7:43 am
    The issue of embezzlement of oil wealth is nothing new. Oil and gas exploration are sophisticated operations which require high expertise found mostly in the eight oil majors, predominantly American but including Royal Dutch Shell, BP and TOTAL. The Americans are absent in the local market. Big money is needed which we don’t have. You may drill an oil well and cap it and not use it for a couple of years. Or on the otehr hand, you may pump gas down a used oil well in order to extract more oil.
    Saudi Arabia is investing upwards of US $100 billion in its oil industry over the short term. We don’t have that sort of money. The oil and gas sectors in Iran are lagging behind and dangerously in need of repairs.
    It’s a long story. We don’t have powerful friends, and the West simply don’t trust prelates. They are ignorant, interfering and unpopular. As long as they stay, unemployment and inflation will continue. The solution to Iran’s problems is political, someone must pick up the gauntlet and take over. The military perhaps, foreign intervention in line with ‘droit d’intervention,’ issued by the EU on June 23rd 2008, maybe: But people power begins in the streets. If we want freedom of speech, freedom of the press, immunity from arrest and the right of assembly, we should begin demonstrations and end tyranny. The French did it in 1789 and succeeded, we should follow in their footsteps.

  116. 118 Jonathan
    September 18, 2008 at 11:17

    @Akbar

    Wow, subsidies AND rationing — sounds like here under president Carter, a nightmare I hope we shall never repeat.

    Not sure what your last paragraph means. In fact, I don’t know much about sanctions on you guys at all. Are they multilateral, or just American? What sectors do they target, and are they working? Are we actually working to diminish Iran’s oil production? Seems like shooting ourselves in the foot, and we’re sure not making up the difference with all the oil we’re taking from Iraq, since we aren’t taking any oil from Iraq. Hmmmm.

  117. 119 Jonathan
    September 18, 2008 at 11:18

    @Nofal

    Agreed completely of course, on all counts.

  118. 120 Jonathan
    September 18, 2008 at 11:50

    @Ramah

    Oh, yes, absolutely right about the militias and armies and rebels and every other sort of armed group in Africa. It seems from here that it’s always men who start the wars, revolutions, etc., and the women who nurture and shelter. Are there in fact any female militias, I mean female-led of course, not just as kidnapped “wives” of the men who run them? I doubt it.

    I recognize some of the abbreviations in your dismal inventory–so much horror and sadness in just a few letters. I’ve heard of the Lord’s Resistance Army though I didn’t know what country they’re in. They specialize in brutalizing and conscripting young boys, right? “Lost Boys.” I’ve heard some of them tell their stories. The psychological maniplation is horrifying–forcing them to kill, to make them part of the predatory group instead of the prey. It’s very effective but of course scars the children for the rest of their lives. There seems no end to the ingenuity of evil.

    For better or worse–I think better for us at least–the postindustrial west has somehow made the sexes more “equal” in all sorts of ways, but women fortunately still seem to lack that blood lust.

  119. 121 Jonathan
    September 18, 2008 at 12:08

    @Akbar

    Interesting insights about the Iran situation. I still don’t know the details about the sanctions.

    Do you seriously think that Iran could possibly benefit from armed foreign intervention? I think I’ve asked you this before when you casually mentioned it. Srely the experience in Iraq makes that an unappealing option. Iran’s might be one of the cases where a military coup is a step to a more democratic society; I don’t know. I’ve seen it happen; it’s not the reliable result of course.

    The French are an inspiring example, but they had a bit of a rough period before getting themselves on track after the revolution. You might do better to aim for the American template, or those parts of it that are relevant.

    More dreadful financial news over here, as I’m sure you’ve heard. This time it is very serious stuff indeed. I can’t possibly sleep. Take care.

  120. 122 Jonathan
    September 18, 2008 at 12:39

    @”Question for the day”

    I think it’s got to be the global financial crisis today. I hope it doesn’t include the word “greed,” though, not because it’s “good” or “bad” but because it’s sloppy and meaningless. It’s jst an ugly word for “trying to do well.” Don’t most of us prefer to pay a low price for things we buy, and to earn a high salary for our work? There’s nothing wrong with that.

  121. 123 Nofal Elias
    September 18, 2008 at 12:51

    Iraqi prople saw their standard of living improved tremendesly after Nationalizing the Oil Industry in 1973.
    Saddam was the most popular poltician not only in Iraq but in the Arab World in general before he became a presidant. We were all wanted him to take over and become the presidant of Iraq.
    I never understood why he went to war with Iran, why he invaded Kwuait? why he didn’t pull out of Kwuait before the first gulf war ? why didn’t he play his cards right to prevent the second gulf war ? why didn’t he leave the country with his family when George W Bush gave him the opprotunity to do so 72 hours before the inavtion ?
    By no means he was a stupid leader, but unfortunatly he is dead and maybe will never find the answers, unless he had written his biography some where undiscovered yet.

  122. 124 selena in Canada
    September 18, 2008 at 13:01

    @Jonathan

    Maybe greed is overused just as 72 virgins is overused on this blog. But the fact remains that the system in which we live is skewed toward values which have no actual bearing on living a good life.

    When I was a very young person, I developed an economic model whereby people like you could do well but, at the same time, people whose work was integral to the health and well being of the whole society would be highly valued.

    I think that model would still stand.
    :-) Developing models for any and everything is a hobby. I have no formal financial experience but I do have an innate crazy way of seeing a bigger picture.

  123. 125 steve
    September 18, 2008 at 13:11

    @ Selena

    But greed is reality, and it’s a reality that suicide bombers think they get 72 virgins. That you don’t like these words doesn’t mean other people can’t use them.

  124. 126 Pangolin-California
    September 18, 2008 at 13:12

    @ Akbar- The problem Iran has with it’s oil exports is a classic example of the ‘export land model.’ That describes how as oil prices go up consumption of oil in exporting countries goes up also. Eventually the oil exporting country no longer exports oil due to declines in production meeting rising consumption.

    @ World Economic Crash- The concept that the crew that has supervised the lead-up to the crash will get us out is laughable if it wasn’t so sad. It’s like encouraging a drunk captain to try and get his already stricken ship off the reef.

    The deep green doomers think that the global economic snake has swallowed it’s tail and is digesting a little too fast. Given that a planet has limited resources and exponential growth in people they are looking to be more correct each day. Read about why the collapse is not getting fixed at Culture Change blog. Jan Lundberg, a former oil analyst hiding on the remote Northern California coast thinks this is the big crunch.

    So does Matt Savinar of Life After the Oil Crash and Jim Kunstler whose website name is an obscenity. The doomers think the descent is upon us.

  125. 127 Pangolin-California
    September 18, 2008 at 13:16

    @ Steve- Anybody who thinks that 72 virgins is an incentive is clearly insane. I defy a grown man to deal with more than five teenage girls even as a coach without regular time-outs and ample whiskey. The concept of attempting to entertain 72 of them in any fashion sounds like a threat.

  126. 128 steve
    September 18, 2008 at 13:18

    That’s my point Pangolin. But what makes them insane? There are Palestinian christians, living under the same exact conditions as muslims, yet there are no Palestinian christian suicide bombers.

  127. 129 Bob in Queensland
    September 18, 2008 at 13:26

    @ Jonathan

    Greed. Hmmm. I have no problem with the desire to get ahead or even with the profit motive.

    However if, instead of “greed” I criticised the “short term-ism” or desire to make instant profits–whatever the long term risk–that is largely responsible for today’s crisis, would you see a problem? Profit is fine…profit that leaves a mess for somebody else to clean up might even be considered greed.

  128. 130 Shaun in Halifax
    September 18, 2008 at 13:32

    @ Pangolin

    Thanks dude, that comment really made my morning: “I defy a grown man to deal with more than five teenage girls even as a coach without regular time-outs and ample whiskey” I don’t even care what context that was, it’s freakin HI-larious.

    @ Talking Points

    Is it just me, or has the McCain camp pulled the sexism card way more often than the Obama camp has pulled the race card?

    It seems like any time Ms. Palin is asked a relevant question (like will her responsibilities to her family get in the way of her VP duties – a question I think bears reflection) her ‘people’ pull the sexism card. And whenever McCain is faced with a question he doesn’t like he falls back on the “When I was back in ‘nam rotting in my POW camp…”

    And as far as the coverage goes: is it just me or has the media’s coverage of these elections been much more blatantly manipulative than before?

    I don’t expect the general population to really understand the nuances of economics or what a 50 bp increase or decrease in the lending rate will do, but isn’t it the job of the big media to educate and inform the public about that? Instead of interviewing Ms. Palin’s husband (First Dude, or something isn’t it? Who is this guy, the big Lebowski?) shouldn’t they be trying to explain the technical terms in lay-speak so the masses can make an informed decision?

    And lastly, when McCain and Bush say things like “the fundamentals of the economy are strong,” what exactly are the fundamentals? Isn’t a liquid and stable financial system a fundamental of any economy?

  129. 131 Jonathan
    September 18, 2008 at 13:39

    @Nofal

    You are joking, right? Saddam Hussein was a wonderful, popular “president,” and you just don’t have any idea why he did a few silly things like starting and prosecuting a years-long war with Iran that was ruinous to both countires, and invading and plundering his tiny, helpless other neighbor Kuwait, and a few other things?

    You forgot the small matter of torturing and murdering hundreds of thousands of his own people for whimsical reasons, or none at all, and a few other details, but no matter. Oh, I don’t want to leave out his dogged pursuit, and near-acquisition, of nuclear weapons, and his prodigious production of chemical and biological ones, even at the cost of subjecting his people to years of crippling international sanctions.

    [Before the predictable knees start to jerk, please note that I'm talking about the period before the FIRST gulf war, under Daddy Bush, when Iraq was expelled from Kuwait, and the world discovered and destroyed those facilities, NOT the fictional "WMD" of years later.]

    Now you say it’s “unfortunate” that he’s dead? And that he didn’t leave an autobiography? And he wasn’t stupid, and it’s all a big mystery? If it’s a mystery, it ‘s a mystery only to you. Let me give you a clue: He started the wars because he could. He wanted money and power. Saddam’s biography is written in blood in the history of the region and the tragedy of that country. Only by comparison to a remarkably brutal and stupid occupation by the US could any Iraqi look back fondly to his rule. By the way, you aren’t an Iraqi, are you?

  130. September 18, 2008 at 13:47

    Hi Jonathan
    Reyr September 18, 2008 at 12:08 pm
    Intervention in Iran is inevitable. It was intended for June 2007, but once Tony Blair left office, the situation changed.
    The predilection in Europe is for France to take the initiative, but the language barrier is an obstacle.
    Traditionally, there has been a balance of power between Iran and Iraq. Moves are underway to revert to that strategy, including overt support for Baghdad by King Abdullah of Jordan.
    All said and done, Iranians must act of their own accord. You want something bad enough, well show it. The current lull is part apathy but also due to the smug attitude of the moneyed classes and vested interest.
    Four rounds of sanctions by EU are in force plus the 30-year blockade by the US which refuses to provide aeroplane parts and prohibits any investment above US $20 million in Iran, on pain of reprisals and punitive measures by the Fed. The United States is holding some US $20b-$30b of Iranian money. The Algiers Accord between Washington and Tehran stipulates that any Iranian can claim indemnity and damages in American courts in the case of seizure of property or other gross violations in Iran.
    American sanctions have crippled trade and economy in Iran but, as you said, Washington is beginning to feel the pinch. There will be no solution to Syria, Lebanon, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq without Iranian complicity.
    The nuclear bomb issue in Iran is becoming tedious and intolerable. The regime somehow thinks that it will be safe and impregnable once it has the bomb, but how wrong. Tehran has no money, the international credit slump and recession will hit us hard. No outside help, mounting pressures in the provinces, political bickering in Tehran and prelates at each other’s throats, things could turn nasty and provide fodder for another Revolution.

  131. 133 Nofal Elias
    September 18, 2008 at 13:49

    @Shaun,

    “And lastly, when McCain and Bush say things like “the fundamentals of the economy are strong,”
    Since when you are expecting Bush to come up with any useful information like the above, most likely he doesn’t understand it either.

  132. 134 Jonathan
    September 18, 2008 at 14:02

    @selena~

    Wow, I can’t wait to hear all about the “economic model” whereby “people like you can do well” at the same time that people doing really constructive, useful work can be highly paid too.

    What do you imagine I, or “people like” me, do, anyway? How do you know it’s not valuable to “society?” How do you know what “values have any bearing on a good life?” How can you judge what a “good life” is for anyone but yourself? You’re so very liberal and modern and flexible that it’s surprising to see you anoint yourself as an authority on how others should live. Or maybe it’s just those darn words again, me thinking they mean what they mean, you thinking they mean whatever you wish at any moment.

    I don’t mean to seem hostile, I’m just startled. By all means, paint that “innate crazy… big picture.”

  133. 135 selena in Canada
    September 18, 2008 at 14:04

    @Shaun

    Psst! Don’t tell anyone but I thought the teenage girl thing was hilarious too ;-)

    I don’t know if it is simply perception but there seems to be a change. Whereas before every time I turned on the TV Obama was in my face now it seems that whenever I turn on the TV Palin is in my face.

    What it all means is anyone’s guess.

    I just finished an article on the Canadian election. In it I quoted a man who said that this is one election where people have to vote strategically. When asked where he would place his strategic vote, he was adamant that he wouldn’t change his vote.

    I have often wondered about the fundamentals of the economy. Having money and spending it is fundamental isn’t it? If people stop spending even when they have money one of the fundamentals goes kaput??

  134. 136 Dan
    September 18, 2008 at 14:07

    @Shirley
    “I think that it would be a mix. I have heard, thouhg, a theory that if more women enter heigher-level politics, their presumed nurturing instincts would begin to surface and dominate their policy-making. If that is true, then perhaps we could look forward to less war and bloodshed?”
    C’mon deal with reality. Women have controlled school boards for decades and things have gotten worse.
    Maybe there is a cute saying from the Koran but the reality is that women AND men make mistakes.
    less war & bloodshed?…BAH HUMBUG.

  135. September 18, 2008 at 14:08

    Hi Nofal Elias
    Reyr September 18, 2008 at 12:51 pm
    Saddam Hossein was everything Iraq wanted him to be. He was a nationalist, he unified the nation and he had a dash about him which gave the ordinary Iraqi a sense of pride and identity.
    Iran was gunning for the Baa’thist regime long before Saddam came to power. Prelates were scared stiff of Saddam since their stronghold Najaf was in his throes.
    Al-Samourai, Iraq’s envoy in Tehran in 1979, begged Tehran to calm down but to no avail, forcing Saddam to invade Iran. Iranian prelates were delighted since they though that the last vestiges of support for the former Shah in the army would fade and the Iranian army would be decimated: It was.
    Saddam invaded Kuwait because the notion that the conqueror that he was had to repay US $30 billion outstanding debts and loans to Kuwait and Saudi Arabia seemed outrageous and unfair. Saddam could have invaded the entire penninsula but dithered, that’s when his fortunes faded.
    George W Bush didn’t care whether Saddam remained or fled, he wanted action and got it. You say ‘stupid’ but he has already become an idol and symbol of Iraqi unity.

  136. 138 Roberto
    September 18, 2008 at 14:12

    Is it just me, or has the McCain camp pulled the sexism card way more often than the Obama camp has pulled the race card?
    ——————————————————————————————————

    ——- Turnabout has always been considered fairplay.

    The media defines what appears as news, and just the week before it was lipstick on a pig for a week, a pig in a pokefest for wink, wink, we’re all so smart talking network heads.

    For reasons known only to the media, we won’t see scores of people interviewed talking about how Obama’s “duties” to his race might compromise his duties as president, yet we have scores of interviews of people, primarily women it seems, who are questioning whether Palin’s “duties” as a woman might compromise her duties as veep.

    In short, Palin’s sex is news.

    As far as “economy fundamentals remain strong” pabulum served up for the nattering unwashed masses, what else can be said? Obama, when asked about the bailouts, is more nuanced, coming up astutely with he did not look at the relevant books so cannot comment on the issue of “nationalism,” and then runs off a few points of his economic talking points.

    Technically, Obama has gathered the largest share of “fundamentally sound” corporate donations than has McCain. What goes on behind private doors with all the various donations to the individual parties and pacs, is less clear, but I’m here to promise, it won’t be pretty, but it’ll be well glossed with some lipstick.

  137. 139 Jonathan
    September 18, 2008 at 14:14

    @pangolin

    I guess I just figured the 72 virgins would be sequential, one or two at a time as convenient for me, not all at one time! Yikes. I’m glad I haven’t yet done anything, um, rash on that expectation.

    Is there an Islamic scholar in the house who might clarify this very important point? I’m not pulling the pin until I get this nailed down.

    [CIA ET ALIA: i'M JUST KIDDING, OK? LITTLE JOKE.]

  138. 140 Nofal Elias
    September 18, 2008 at 14:19

    @ Jonathon,

    Don’t take me wrong I am not Saddam’s supporter, I left the country in 1980 just before Iraq-Iran war borke out. Saddam took over and become the presidant of Iraq in 1979 after Ahmed Hassan Al Baker stepped down due ill health, although we didin’t believe that, but we all welcomed the move.
    For whatever reason, Saddam started the war against Iran, and don’t forget that USA supported him in every way you can imagine during the 8 years war.
    Yes, he developed Chemical weapons in mid-80s, simply because is cheap to make, Also, don’t forget that USA vetoed any investgation of the Halabcha incident toi take place 1988. Israel used banned cluster bombs in 2006 against Lebanon, so there.
    My point is,
    1. if it wasn’t for Saddam, Iran might be big thread to the region with their Isalmic revelotion was so fresh then.
    2. If it wasn’t for Saddam, USA would not had any excuse to have bases in the middle east permanetly.
    3. If it wasn’t for Saddam, USA will not have any excuse to inavde Iraq the second largest oil reserve in the world.
    The question must be asked, if Saddam wanted to stay in Kuwait and fight, why did he pull out his republican guards 3 days be first gulf war.
    Why did he REJECT the French proposal where it was accpeted by France, Russia and China and was rejected strongly by US and UK.
    I always asked my self was Saddam a US agent where he was doubled crossed just like the Shah of Iran.
    I was told by my father when came to visit me in 2004, that Iraqi prople are saying, Saddam Hussain has gone replaced by his Master.

    You can not apply logic to poltical events without knowing all the facts.

  139. 141 selena in Canada
    September 18, 2008 at 14:22

    @Jonathan

    If I misunderstood you when you seemed to state that people on minimum wage were getting paid enough, I apologize.

    If I misunderstood you when you seemed to promote the current economic system, I apologize again.

    If I gave the impression that I believe your work is not valuable to society, I won’t apologize until I know your work. If you are one of those CEOs who gets multi millions when the company is on the rocks, forgive me but I don’t believe your work is that valuable.

    Perhaps we can’t all agree on what constitutes well being but I do believe that people have to have good food, good clothing, good shelter and good healthcare. I won’t apologize for that belief. No one can have a good life if they are poor and hungry waiting for the axe to fall.

  140. 142 Jonathan
    September 18, 2008 at 14:25

    @selena~

    On a friendlier note, I don’t know either what the meaning (strategically) is of seeing Gov. Palin all the time instead of Sen. Obama (and, worse yet, hearing her), but I’m pretty sure it’s not anything good.

  141. 143 selena in Canada
    September 18, 2008 at 14:33

    @Johnathan

    My son has a Telsa Roadster. Most of the time I am the pot calling the kettle black. ;-)

  142. 144 Bob in Queensland
    September 18, 2008 at 14:41

    @ Jonathan

    Perhaps while you’re checking you should also confirm that the virgins are all female.

  143. 145 selena in Canada
    September 18, 2008 at 14:45

    @Bob

    LOL I am bursting to ask: define virgin? But skip that, please… :-)

  144. 146 Jonathan
    September 18, 2008 at 14:45

    @selena~

    My goodness, I don’t think you owe me or anyone else apologies for anything at all, but it’s gracious of you to extend them.

    Before I forget, it might become a problem if people stopped spending money, but I think it’s safe to say that’s one problem we’ll never actually have, so it’s likely to remain forever safely in the realm of the theoretical.

    However, the economy does not depend on people taking on debt and spending mmore money than they can repay; in fact, that (rather than “greedy CEOs” or other hallucinatory manifestations) is the source of our current trouble. You could add up all the salaries of all the CEOs in the world and the total would be a tiny sliver of the sums traded every day. In a pie chart, it wouldn’t be even a thin slice. More like the crumbs on the knife if you lick it. (Carefully.) :-)

    Of course I quite agree that good things are good to have; that’s why I like the economic system that provides the most goods for the most people. I’m glad we agree on this.

  145. 147 Bob in Queensland
    September 18, 2008 at 14:49

    @ selena

    A group of companies owned by Richard Branson, including records, a railway, airlines, mobile phone services and even space tourism.

  146. 148 selena in Canada
    September 18, 2008 at 14:54

    @Jonathan

    It is not the amount of money that is the problem; it is the idea that the work of some CEOs has that much value. In other works it is the principle.

    The guy who takes away your garbage is a very important person who, in most jurisdictions, doesn’t make enough money to support a family.

  147. 149 steve
    September 18, 2008 at 14:55

    Free woman’s health calender from the DHHS:

    http://www.4woman.gov/pub/2009Calendar/

    Glad to know that I’m not as important and thus don’t deserve such information about male health due to being born a male.

  148. 150 Shaun in Halifax
    September 18, 2008 at 14:59

    @ Selena

    See that’s where I’m stuck, and I have a bone to pick with the media… everybody says ‘economic fundamentals’ but for the life of me, I haven’t heard anybody ask waht exactly the fundamentals are. Nor have I heard anybody ask just WHY these questions are sexist/racist. Has the media been neutered? Are they so afraid of being shut out or fired that nobody wants to ask questions any more? Have they really become unpaid spokespeople for the government? It’s the media’s JOB to hold the government accountable (among other things), but who holds the media’s feet to the fire when they aren’t discharging their responsibility as public servants? And I argue that while they technically aren’t ‘public servants’ their services are essential to any free society and thus they should serve the public.

    But on a lighter note: while I don’t buy into many of their social issues/plans, I’ll probably have to vote Tory this year b/c I believe them to be more fiscally responsible and thus a better party to manage the country in these economic hard times. But for purely entertainment value, I’d LOVE to see the Greens or NDP running the show. They’d bankrupt the country on their social welfare kicks and big business would run like a rat fleeing a sinking ship. That would suck for my beloved country but it’d be a hilarious ride.

    So is WHYS going to take da big bus up to Canuckistan any time soon? Seems like you folks are in the general area…..

  149. 151 Jennifer
    September 18, 2008 at 15:28

    @ Steve

    DHHS does care about men too. I don’t think the intent of that calendar is to downplay men’s health or the fact that they get sick too because it’s focus is on women’s issues.

    Women and men are different and therefore each require different resources. Women are more likely to get busy and not take as good care of themselves as they should. Many of the resources offered are for girls/women who are single parents and do not have access to regular preventative medical care. They would also not have access to that information if it were not gave to them. The focus is on prevention and creating a healthy lifestyle because what mom’s health and what she does impacts baby, husband, entire family.

  150. 152 Shaun in Halifax
    September 18, 2008 at 15:42

    @ Steve

    Bah! Everybody knows that the miracle cure-all for a man is cigarettes and bourbon. We don’ need no stinkin’ doctors. Besides, if one of us ever hurts ourself, it’s usually because we were trying something really really dumb. That’s why we’re taught to ‘walk it off’. Remember, being a man means we’re not allowed to show emotion or weakness and going to doctors is a sign of weakness.

    Besides, “prevent prostate cancer, get your bum poked” is nowhere NEAR as good a slogan as “run for the cure.” This is despite the medical FACT that if men can survive poor nutrition, hypertension, the grease/salt/fat we eat, the risk-taking lifesyle and all the other health things, prostate cancer will get us in the end (pun intended).

  151. 153 Katharina in Ghent
    September 18, 2008 at 15:43

    @ Greed

    I think it’s greed when a company, that is already making a healthy profit, decides to move the production site to a cheaper place so that they can make an even bigger profit. In 90% of the cases the money saved will not get passed on to the consumers, but the jobs are lost. I think it is also greedy when a CEO earns 262 times as much on average as the ordinary worker (2006; http://www.epi.org/content.cfm/webfeatures_snapshots_20060621 ). Does anybody believe that he has 262 times more needs than the ordinary worker?

    There’s nothing wrong with a healthy profit and there’s also nothing wrong with higher paychecks for higher responsibilities, but both went over the top in the last 20 years, and now we all have to pay the price.

  152. 154 Shirley
    September 18, 2008 at 16:29

    141 Jonathan September 18, 2008 at 2:14 pm
    I guess I just figured the 72 virgins would be sequential, one or two at a time as convenient for me, not all at one time! Yikes. I’m glad I haven’t yet done anything, um, rash on that expectation.

    Is there an Islamic scholar in the house who might clarify this very important point? I’m not pulling the pin until I get this nailed down.

    [CIA ET ALIA: I'M JUST KIDDING, OK? LITTLE JOKE.]

    Yeahhh errmmm, as your resident scholar based on my qualifications of ego, I would say alluvematwuns. Haven’t heard anything yet on serial celestial virginal entertainment, so it must be assumed that it is a one-time deal. Sorry to disappoint. Keep that pin in. [Cue Laughter]

  153. 155 Shirley
    September 18, 2008 at 16:38

    142 Nofal Elias September 18, 2008 at 2:19 pm
    If it wasn’t for Saddam, Iran might be big thread to the region with their Islamic revelotion was so fresh then.

    Ohmy. So that unsettling premise might explain US support for Saddam during those years. It would be interesting to hear Lubna’s perspective on this.

  154. 156 Shirley
    September 18, 2008 at 16:40

    152 Shaun in Halifax September 18, 2008 at 2:59 pm
    See that’s where I’m stuck, and I have a bone to pick with the media… everybody says ‘economic fundamentals’ but for the life of me, I haven’t heard anybody ask waht exactly the fundamentals are.

    McCain once listed what he considers them to be, but I forget the date and venue. Sorry.

  155. 157 steve
    September 18, 2008 at 16:44

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/09/16/AR2008091601897.html

    Sorry about someone who I am 99% sure is an illegal immigrant, drove drunk and killed someone. This was his second DWI related offense, so he got 12 years. My question is why wasn’t he deported after his first DWI? Had the government done its job, the victim would be alive today.

  156. 158 Shirley
    September 18, 2008 at 17:06

    5 Kelsie in Houston September 18, 2008 at 2:54 pm

    Oh thank goodness, does this mean that Houston is getting its power back?

  157. 159 Jonathan
    September 18, 2008 at 18:37

    @Shirley – “fundamentals”

    Actually I don’t think McCain ever defined those healthy, sound, robust “fundamentals” until a day or two ago, after some energetic ridicule by Obama, when he declared that he meant the good, simple workers of America, which is distinctly not the usual definition of “fundamentals.”

    Thus, according to McCain, Obama’s assertion of “weakness” in the “fundmanetals” was an insult to the noble workers. (Isn’t that just so typical for the “elite” Obama!) Pretty fancy footwork for an old guy.

  158. 160 Tom D Ford
    September 18, 2008 at 19:16

    @ Jessica in NYC

    I understood that to be 14 Billion dollars in cash that was “misplaced”.

    $14,000,000,000 and no sense!

  159. 161 Tom D Ford
    September 18, 2008 at 19:19

    @ Jessica in NYC September 17, 2008 at 7:43 pm

    From the BBC Women to rule Rwanda parliament

    *clap, clap,clap*

    Hear hear! I second that applause!

  160. 162 Jens
    September 18, 2008 at 21:26

    shirley,

    i would like to thank you for your answer.

    i am not in principle against religion, but often religion leads to the oppression of one or the other people in the name of whatever deity…..

  161. September 19, 2008 at 00:51

    PREPARE FOR SUPERNATURAL SIEGE. Intuition will be your only hope not this Make belive Jesus Characted or “God” . If you believe you will be raptured from this world too avoid the Earth Changes you’ll be the first too die and i will be the first too pitty you all .

    Illuminati have Underground Bunkers in place for the Next Holocaust! Prepare dont Pray!

    Illuminati want my mind ,soul and body

  162. 164 Nofal Elias
    September 19, 2008 at 07:46

    Back to Gulf war I:
    the rumor ran in the beginning of the 90ies that a few days before he invaded Kuwait, Saddam asked the US ambassador for the permission to do so. The answer was that they didn’t support it, but that they considered it as a local affair in which they wouldn’t intervene.
    Is there anything known about it ? Is it just a rumor or was there something to it ?

  163. 165 Bryan
    September 19, 2008 at 08:19

    selena in Canada September 18, 2008 at 2:54 pm

    The guy who takes away your garbage is a very important person who, in most jurisdictions, doesn’t make enough money to support a family.

    True, and they demonstrate exactly how important they are when they go on strike. It’s a lousy job, but it’s vital and they should be paid more than minimum wage – if that is in fact what they get.

  164. 167 Nofal Elias
    September 19, 2008 at 11:00

    I would say -

    USA’s Enmist is devastating (e.g Hugo Chavez),
    and its Friendship is deadely (eg. Saddam)

    lose-lose situation


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