15
Oct
08

Talking Points 15th October

Hello everyone, it’s Karnie with you today. Global markets looked happier yesterday BUT today markets slide as fears of recession resurface. The finger is still being pointed in the direction of bankers. This commentator says: “Britain’s bankers have been greedy, naughty and irresponsible in the past few years. Well, bankers are greedy, naughty and irresponsible everywhere and at all times”. Is it time for bankers to apologise? Should they say they’re sorry?

***

South Africa’s former president, Thabo Mbeki returns to Zimbabwe in an attempt to rescue the power sharing agreement. Last month Zimbabwe’s president, Robert Mugabe was in agreement that this deal would work saying: “This is an African solution to an African problem”. The deal however has so far ended in deadlock.

Here at WHYS we constantly get texts from our African listeners who say, “It should be an African solution to an African problem”. African commentators say the same thing. There is always an aversion when the west interferes. Suspiscion in fact is due to a history of colonialism. This has been said not only in the case of Zimbabwe but also Darfur, Niger Delta region etc. BUT have Africans demonstrated that they are capable of sorting out their own problems? Should they have to?

***

There’s been a wave of attacks on Christians in different parts of the world over the past few months. Here in Iraq and here in India. Is it time for christians across the world to stand up and defend their own?

***

Staying with Christianity and religious discussion. BBC boss, Mark Thompson says: “Islam should be treated more sensitively than Christianity.” His comments come after the comedian Ben Elton accused the BBC of being scared of making jokes about Islam. Should broadcasters give Islam special treatment?
***

The wife of best-selling UK author, Ken Follet says: “Kids nowadays just want to be famous. If you ask little girls, they either want to be footballers’ wives or win The X Factor. Our society is in danger of being Barbie-dolled.” Do girls just want to be famous?

***
China a Democracy by 2020?


181 Responses to “Talking Points 15th October”


  1. 1 Robert
    October 14, 2008 at 19:06

    As Kate says this is my first time moderating, so please bare with on me ;-). All I ask is two favors,

    1)Obey the normal house rules (no abuse or insults and keep it short)

    2) Keep posting and enjoy the conversations.

    So what do you want to talk about?

  2. 2 Kelsie in Houston
    October 14, 2008 at 19:10

    Hi Robert, and best of luck! Welcome to the ranks–

    I wanted to pick up a question from the other TP page, if anyone is still interested: is it right to still exclude non-natural born citizens from eligibility for the presidency?

  3. 3 Robert
    October 14, 2008 at 19:13

    One thing I would be very interested in hearing about is what REAL issues are not being talked about in the US election?

    I’ve heard nothing about education does it matter this time?
    Is crime no longer an issue?
    I’ve heard a lot about peoples finance, but are people scared about job security and could they be protected better by law?
    What about foreign policies for areas outside of the Middle East and Russia, like Latin America or Europe?
    What about aid and assistance to Africa?

    I know that the structure of the states means some issues are only controlled at local level, but the president must still have some influence surely? Although minor compared to the credit crunch or Iraq, the next president will have to deal with them at some point. If not handled correctly they may make a big impact to the future.

  4. October 14, 2008 at 19:17

    What’s NOT being talked about is that it is election day in Canada!!!!

    HEATHENS! lol

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canadavotes/

  5. 6 Julie P
    October 14, 2008 at 19:18

    Will, buddy, only the moose matters.

  6. 7 Kelsie in Houston
    October 14, 2008 at 19:21

    @Will:
    I posted a link off the CBC to the other TP page–sniping and Sarah Palin buried it.

  7. 8 Robert
    October 14, 2008 at 19:23

    Lazy men in the UK

    Almost makes me want to send my UK passports back home and disown being British.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/3194113/Lazy-dog-walker-earns-Great-North-Bum-title.html

  8. 9 Robert
    October 14, 2008 at 19:27

    Will

    Does Canada suffer the same problems during elections that the US and UK suffer from? Is it filled with personal attacks spin and “mis spoken” half truths? Or are they radical and concentrate on policies?

  9. 10 Bryan
    October 14, 2008 at 19:34

    Kelsie in Houston October 14, 2008 at 7:21 pm

    @Will:
    I posted a link off the CBC to the other TP page–sniping and Sarah Palin buried it.

    Well, you guys are the moderators. If you get a comment that is 90% personal insult why let it through? If you nip it in the bud there wont be any sniping.

  10. 11 Kelsie in Houston
    October 14, 2008 at 19:38

    Bryan:
    You’re criticizing the wrong person–I wasn’t the duty mod; our standing rules are clear: if you’re not the active mod or in contact with him/her, it’s not your call.

    Of course, an end to the sniping in the first place would make our jobs and everyone’s experiences quite a bit easier and better as well.

  11. 12 Robert
    October 14, 2008 at 19:44

    Surely the credit crunch can’t be that bad if the following is taking off. I can think of better ways to spend $4000 and none involve surgery!

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/3194101/Eyebrow-transplants-for-the-overplucked.html

  12. October 14, 2008 at 19:44

    Robert

    The Canadian election campaign has been 5 weeks in total – not 4 years as with the US one.

    There has been the odd attack, but the attacks are quite focused – as in the Conservative attack on Stephan Dion – basically showing Dion as far too risky to be PM.

    But as the Canadian parliament is based on riding’s/constituency you get a lot of local knocking on doors and speaking to the candidate directly.

    Scandals have been few and far between – but not so much as in the USA, but they have been there.

  13. October 14, 2008 at 19:45

    Bryan

    You can always have a go at moderating yourself – send Kate or Ros an email and they will talk you through it. :)

  14. 15 Bryan
    October 14, 2008 at 19:47

    I didn’t single you out, Kelsie. I used the plural. I’m astonished at the amount of personal vilification that is allowed on this site. Then of course the person who is being vilified feels obliged to respond and it gets boring and unpleasant for others.

  15. 16 Kelsie in Houston
    October 14, 2008 at 19:52

    I agree, Bryan, but unfortunately it’s very difficult to regulate this sort of thing without appearing unfair or partial. The cycle of vilification is unpleasant, but again simply very hard to control, and in most cases will differ from moderator to moderator.

  16. 17 Robert
    October 14, 2008 at 19:54

    Bryan, Kelsie

    Alas many of the worlds ills are started because somebody feels insulted where non was intended, and then the recrimination starts. I wish that we could learn that sometimes the best response is no response (I’m as guilty as anybody here).

  17. 18 Robert
    October 14, 2008 at 20:10

    Women just what to win X factors and or be a WAG (wife and girlfriend). First, is it a true reflection of society that such might be true? Second if a male minister had singled out women and said this there would have been uproar. Does being woman allow a criticism of other women that men can’t do? Is the reverse true, can men criticize other men in a way that a woman couldn’t?

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/wagshire/3195308/Girls-just-want-to-win-The-X-Factor-or-marry-a-footballer-says-minister.html

  18. 19 Bryan
    October 14, 2008 at 20:13

    Will Rhodes October 14, 2008 at 7:45 pm,

    Thanks, but I don’t think I’ll be applying any time soon.

    Robert October 14, 2008 at 7:54 pm,

    Yes, often no insult is intended. But I’m talking about the obvious personal insult, when people go out of their way to find the worst words to stick the knife in.

    Anyway I doubt that this will make a good Talking Points discussion so I wont pursue it. The following might be a valid topic:

    Does the media allow fashionable current debates to dictate which stories it covers or fails to cover?

  19. 20 Robert
    October 14, 2008 at 20:20

    Bryan

    Does the media allow fashionable current debates to dictate which stories it covers or fails to cover?

    I think there is more to it than that. The whole spectrum of media output governs what is fashionable in a lot of areas, so why not debate as well.

    Are the fashionable debates being covered because they are fashionable, or are they fashionable because they are chosen to be covered by the media?

  20. 21 Jessica in NYC
    October 14, 2008 at 20:25

    Female sharks don’t need males to reproduce, from MSNBC:
    Scientists confirm shark’s ‘virgin birth’

    @ Men: when human females evolve to be able to reproduce with out you, you will be obsolete. LOL

  21. 22 Jonathan
    October 14, 2008 at 20:26

    @Robert

    Excellent point, about all the unspoken issues. Regard for foreign policy can be inferred, starting with the backgrounds of the running mates. Also, McCain gets countries mixed up repeatedly, sees everything as a war, and thought Spain was in the Western Hemisphere. His foreign policy would be more of the same: Clumsy, oblivious, stubborn, arrogand, ham-handed, old fashioned. Obama brings an inernational persepctive. If the world were voting, he’d win by 90%.

    Both candidates have talked about education, though I don’t remember what they said. I’m sure it’s on their websites. Crime is down and I haven’t heard much on that. Trade and job security is a bit worrisome; Obama has pandered to the Bubba populist temptation of bashing free trade as a job destroyer, while McCain takes a more realistic position. Obama’s advisors, though, seem more liberal (pro-free trade) and I hope the official stance is a ruse to attract the blue-collar, white-skinned, rust-belted voters not inclined to vote for him, but crucial to his victory.. Unfortunate but pragmatic and necessary. African aid is the one good thing Bush has done (tax cuts makes two), and I’d expect it to continue under either candidate but I haven’t heard anything.

  22. 23 Jessica in NYC
    October 14, 2008 at 20:26

    @ Julie P

    “To all you drinkers out there: you’re brains are shrinking!”

    That is a right-wring conspiracy. LMAO! If the crazies in the GOP party get to use it as a life-line, then I will too.
    ———-

    @ Will Rhodes

    “What’s NOT being talked about is that it is election day in
    Canada
    !!

    There’s an election In Canada today? Are you sure? LOL Think the conservatives will get kicked out of office?

  23. 24 Robert
    October 14, 2008 at 20:31

    Jonathan

    If the world were voting, he’d win by 90%.

    The world isn’t voting so its a little irrelevant. Which leads to a question, should the UN contain a directly elected senior position that we could vote on as a planet? Would could such a position do? Is it worth the effort to have a democratic figure head leading joint world efforts?

  24. 25 Bryan
    October 14, 2008 at 20:34

    Robert October 14, 2008 at 8:20 pm

    Are the fashionable debates being covered because they are fashionable, or are they fashionable because they are chosen to be covered by the media?

    Yes, I didn’t express it well but that is what I was trying to get to. There’s an element of chicken-and-egg here. Which came first? It’s probably fair to say that the media has a tremendous amount of power to direct and control the debate in terms of what is discussed and when it is discussed. But the other side of it is that the media is obliged to cover whatever people want covered in order to remain relevant, and sell newspapers or get TV ratings or whatever.

  25. 26 selena in Canada
    October 14, 2008 at 20:34

    Think the conservatives will get kicked out of office?

    The best I am hoping for is a minority government. :-)

  26. 27 Jessica in NYC
    October 14, 2008 at 20:41

    @ Bryan

    “Jessica said she wanted to discuss the abortion issue further. I guess you missed that.

    Interesting, you were the one that initiated the question to me a few weeks ago to discuss the merits of women’s rights. I agreed to debate YOU on the issue and discuss the agreements for being pro-choice or anti-choice, but you declined. Now, you’re using me as to support your relentless attacks on abortion without any facts in your comments to Jonathan yesterday. What’s up? Let me know if you change your mind… I’m can always find time to talk sense into folks. ;)

  27. 28 Robert
    October 14, 2008 at 20:41

    After the UK smoking ban, another problem immerges for the British pub punter, children.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/wordofmouth/2008/oct/14/pub-children-complaints

    Is it OK for children to be brought into a bar and promote the often cited “continental café culture” or should it remain reserved for adults and adult conversions

  28. 29 Robert
    October 14, 2008 at 20:49

    Selena

    The best I am hoping for is a minority government.

    How could you say such a thing. A weak government with the slimmest majority is the better solution. They know they have to deliver because they face a tough test again in four years, but they still have an ability to govern and vote through their bills.

    A minority government is powerless because oppositions hold the majority power. Nothing gets done. Worst case they have to enlist the support of minority parties to achieve a majority, giving to much power to a group that the voter has already said they don’t won’t in power.

  29. 30 Robert Evans
    October 14, 2008 at 21:04

    @ Robert

    The same is happening in the United Kingdom and is going to be costing £11,000 per household. Personally I find this unacceptable but as long as it works then so be it.

  30. 31 Roy, Washington DC
    October 14, 2008 at 21:08

    @ Robert

    I would think that keeping kids out of bars has more to do with wanting to keep them away from people who have been drinking heavily — not exactly the best role models — than smoking. That said, the other internet forum I frequent always gets into a rather heated debate when smoking bans are brought up. Some US states have smoking bans, and some don’t…people on both sides of the issue get adamant about defending their position, especially in the no-ban states.

  31. 32 Jessica in NYC
    October 14, 2008 at 21:09

    @ Bryan

    “Does the media allow fashionable current debates to dictate which stories it covers or fails to cover?”

    YES, Yes, yes!!! I am not airing on the side of the media here or defending them, they could certainly use some scolding and remember their “comical” oath to be impartial. However, don’t you find is disgusting how generally people like to washes themselves of all responsibility? It’s as simple as supply and demand. For example, to take this out of the right vs left politics, magazines and news tabloids are notorious for lies and inaccurate reporting of information. Yet, they are everywhere. Someone this blog even posted a link to an disreputable source to substantiate an argument (as a joke I can laugh about it, but as support for an arguement it’s pitiful). So who is to blame the media who promote these tabloids or the public who give them credit and supply the financial demand for them?

    (My apologies for the bold lettering of the whole paragraph earlier and has been corrected. I was not shouting. It was another one of my many typos.)

  32. 33 Julie P
    October 14, 2008 at 21:10

    Update on the missing girl in Florida.

    “A Florida grand jury has returned an indictment in the case of missing toddler Caylee Anthony; it remains sealed pending an arrest.”

    I read this morning that the grandfather is willing to testify against Caylee’s mother.

  33. 34 Robert
    October 14, 2008 at 21:10

    The headline question is a little insane. There others seem reasonable, if unconventional, given the subjects they are applying for.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/politics/education/universityeducation/3198006/Oxbridge-candidates-asked-Seedless-or-non-seedless-grapefruit.html

    So shall the debate tonight be seedless or non seedless grapefruit? I’m going for non-seedless. The point of the grapefruit is to propagate other grapefruit plants. Without seeds your existence as a grapefruit will be a little fruitless. (I’m sorry, I just had to say it ;-) )

  34. 35 Jonathan
    October 14, 2008 at 21:12

    @Robert

    Not irrelevant! Much of foreign policy is perception, what other countries think of your country starting out determines so much before the first words are said. The fact that the leaders and the populations of every country in the world are overwhelmingly, and correctly, convinced that Obama understands them, is open to them and is inclined to give them a hearing and a fair shake, in contrast to our current cowboy with us/against us, my way/highway dismissive arrogant approach, is highly relevant to the success of our foreign policy in the future.

    What’s irelevant, in my informed opinion, is anything to do with the UN, which has discredited itself and been so cynical and hypocritial and mischievous for so long that almost no serious observer wants it to have more power, or to have some new uber-leader. The UN set out to be the best of human nature, but it’s the worst of self-interesteed governments. Noble ideals don’t mask its atrocious record. Its human rights committees are routinely headed by monstrous regimes. Don’t get me started….. :-)

  35. 36 Bryan
    October 14, 2008 at 21:14

    Jessica in NYC October 14, 2008 at 8:41 pm

    I guess you missed this from yesterday:

    http://worldhaveyoursay.wordpress.com/2008/10/13/talking-points-14th-october/#comment-86634

    I thought you no longer wanted to discuss it because you didn’t respond, though I addressed the comment to you. In fact the only one among the women who responded was Selena and I replied. I didn’t “decline” to debate it with you. And I don’t know where you get ideas like this from: Now, you’re using me as to support your relentless attacks on abortion without any facts. I’ve probably mentioned abortion five or six times in all the months I’ve been commenting here. That’s a “relentless attack?” And how am I “using” you?

    Now maybe you’d like to respond to the comment at the link. Then we can have a debate.

  36. 37 Robert Evans
    October 14, 2008 at 21:21

    Jaguar who was previously owned by Ford has announced it is not going to be producing so many vehicles over the next few months

    http://www.expressandstar.com/2008/09/19/jaguar-will-scale-back-production/

  37. 38 Amy
    October 14, 2008 at 21:29

    Robert,

    Well, since you asked, I’m for the outright ban on grapefruit. I can’t stand them!

  38. 39 Jens
    October 14, 2008 at 21:33

    Jess,

    that might be true, but I am sure that there are some females that do enjoy the process of reproduction.

    plus what would happen to poor jesus with all these virgin births running around

  39. 40 Jens
    October 14, 2008 at 21:36

    Robert,

    I think not only children should be banned, i mean what are women doing in a pub, and while we are at it ban all the seeing (guide)-dogs, and an age limit should be impossed and if you cannot drink 10 pints you should not be allowed in.

    Jens

  40. 41 Robert
    October 14, 2008 at 21:37

    Jonathan

    But leaders don’t deal with the general electorate of another country. They deal with the leaders. Take Blair and Bush. Neither the war in Iraq nor Bush in general was supported by the majority in the UK, yet Blair followed Bush. Come the next election, how did the population vote given the chance, with Blair again.

    It is easy for us foreigners to say we would vote one way or another, but the politicians should not care because we can’t vote. And we don’t seem to care either because we still vote in those that deal with the candidates in other countries we don’t apparently like.

  41. 42 Jens
    October 14, 2008 at 21:39

    Will,

    what do you mean election in Canada. I was not aware people could read in the hat of the USA. i though you were all hillybillies shooting moose……….uhhh darn that is alaska.

  42. 43 Bryan
    October 14, 2008 at 21:39

    Jessica in NYC October 14, 2008 at 9:09 pm,

    I agree that people are largely to blame for the tabloids. If there was no demand for that kind of cr*p, the tabloids would not sell. But the tabloids also push from there side. Wouldn’t it great to have the kind of society where tabloids went out of business.

  43. 44 Robert
    October 14, 2008 at 21:40

    Jens

    There is a fatal flaw in your lightweight ban. How do you prove you can drink the 10 pints? You’d have to stay outside first and drink with the 14 year old gang on the street corner.

  44. 45 Bryan
    October 14, 2008 at 21:40

    …from their side.

  45. 46 Robert Evans
    October 14, 2008 at 21:42

    @ Jens

    If there is not a female who is going to drive man or do you want to get pulled over for D,U,I

  46. 47 Amy
    October 14, 2008 at 21:45

    re: Women criticizing other women:

    Maybe Mrs. Follet could have said it a different way but she has a very valid point. The younger generation seems to have very little ambition. This isn’t to say that no one under the age of 25 isn’t ambitious but the role models that are out there are athletes and movie stars who make obscene amounts of money. It is no longer fashionable to look to scientists, doctors, teachers as role models. Greed abounds and everyone wants lots of money and doesn’t want to work for it. Girls here in the States look to Brittany Spears and Paris Hilton. While Ms. Spears may have marginal talent, what does Ms. Hilton have to offer? “That’s Hot.” She has become and international sensation without doing anything. We need to show our children true heroes and role models and maybe X-Factor (American Idol here) won’t be the soul focus of youth.

  47. 48 Amy
    October 14, 2008 at 21:47

    Bryan,

    If tabloids were banned, we’d never find out the fate of Bat Boy!

  48. 49 Jens
    October 14, 2008 at 21:53

    The two Roberts,

    Simple, you have to put a deposit for 10 pints down and your average pint per 15 min rate of consumption is recorded and if you fail then you will be kicked out and you have to drink scrumpy cider or alcopops with 14 year olds from the local council estate.

    well who needs women to drive, i mean does the average man not know that women drivers are poor drivers and what else could be more manly than slamming your ford cortina/escort/mondeo drunk into the next round about, preferably maming one of them sophisticated academics…..

  49. 50 Dennis@OCC
    October 14, 2008 at 21:54

    Hi Robert in Angola, welcome to the Moderating table….

    For Will Rhodes:
    I am interested in the elections in Canada….Since, i have
    friends that are living in Canada!

    Re: Presidential Debates on Wednesday…
    What will that issues that you would like them to discuss….

    Re: HIV-AIDS
    I have to disclose a statement, for the next 2 hours–after i post this comment…i will be attending a programme about this item…So, i would like to know what is the WHYS team views and opinions…

    Sorry, it being long….

    Dennis

  50. 51 Jennifer
    October 14, 2008 at 22:10

    Re: Women just wanting to win X factor or be a WAG

    Mrs. Follett is right. Even in the U.S. there is a great deal of emphasis placed on the superficial; while not so much being independent, having your own interests, getting an education, etc. When you look at the divorce rate, unless someone happens to be one of the few lucky enough to find a match that makes it, it’s a disservice to not want and achieve more than being a girlfriend or wife. If a male minister made that statement, I would say he was right and must have some sense too. I don’t think that male criticism is different from female criticism.

    Re: Moderation

    “I didn’t single you out, Kelsie. I used the plural. I’m astonished at the amount of personal vilification that is allowed on this site. Then of course the person who is being vilified feels obliged to respond and it gets boring and unpleasant for others.”

    “I agree, Bryan, but unfortunately it’s very difficult to regulate this sort of thing without appearing unfair or partial. The cycle of vilification is unpleasant, but again simply very hard to control, and in most cases will differ from moderator to moderator.”

    What gets through to the “other side” does vary from moderator to moderator depending on whom that moderator chooses to let loose with their insults based on what personal opinion said moderator has on topic and connections to said person hurling insults. ;) There is a difference between discussing opposing viewpoints and attempting to prove someone’s viewpoint wrong by discrediting the person him or herself through insulting them. The degree of difficulty a moderator has discerning insults depends on his or her “alliances” and “personal opinions”.

    My advice is to not take anything directed at you personally as an insult even thought it may be. There are good moderators and good people that post here. Don’t let a few rotten apples ruin the whole barrel.

  51. 52 Roberto
    October 14, 2008 at 22:24

    RE “” Is crime no longer an issue? “”
    —————————————————————————————————

    ——– Not to those in banking and mortgage financing bilking the public.

    It means tens and hundreds of millions of dollars in bonus for aduterating a product to remove quality and then sell it at full value.

    Figure at least 100,000 involved in the global fraud, but I doubt we’ll see even a half dozen charged with a crime and less convicted to serve a cushy short sentence.. White collar crime pays megolithic dividends and bonuses and has gone mainstream.

  52. 53 Bryan
    October 14, 2008 at 22:38

    Amy,

    Dunno about Bat Boy, what happened to Batman?

    Jennifer,

    Very sensible comment. I agree.

  53. 54 Jessica in NYC
    October 14, 2008 at 22:40

    @ Roy and Robert, (btw, hi & welcome)

    There is a time and place for kids and strollers a pub/bar is not EVER one of them. The hardest class I had in undergrad was Critical thinking of Modern Political Theory. We had a new book to read every single week, (like Hobbes’ The Leviathan (!) and Machiavelli’s The Prince). The professor gave us a reading day before each test so we did not have to attend class. However, if we had questions or wanted to review the material, we were welcome to meet him at a local pub that had cheap $5 beers (Yes, everyone was 21). Those pub “reviews” gave us the freedom to partially delve into the arguments, critically analyze them and ask the questions we thought were too “dumb” in class. I’d *HATE* to think that new generations of idealistic students seeing through their rosy-colored-eye-glasses are deprived of these debates because they’re tripping over strollers and having to quiet down.

  54. 55 Jessica in NYC
    October 14, 2008 at 22:44

    @ Jens

    Hummmm, there are alternatives. LOL

    ———-

    @ Bryan

    I did miss it, I was out having dinner. (sorry!) I’ll try to reply later tonight. As mention before I’d rather discuss on a weekend.

  55. 56 Jens
    October 14, 2008 at 22:51

    Jess,

    i think it would be the screaming kids that would be the problem. hey and what is wrong about giving that stroller a real good kick. “critical thinking” i am glad to see that at least some places teach itor better and probably more important discuss it. i am sure my university is not teaching it, since i do not see much critical thinking in my students, even though I push them to do so. they just want to cruze and pass the test without having to think too much. i mean it could hurt and what the hell he askes questions to which it does not give a right or wrong answer. my reply to that is “sorry kiddo not many aspects in live are ever right or wrong, they are often pretty much in the middle somewhere”.

  56. 57 Robert
    October 14, 2008 at 23:01

    Jessica

    I agree with your sentiment, and think that adults do need a space that kids are not in. I think there should be a happy medium where no two pubs or bars are the same. Some would be informal restaurants with family friendly menus and play areas. Others would cater for differing groups of adults. I suppose it ultimately comes back to the feeling some parents have that they should have to give up the things they used to do before kids and therefore the rest of us have “family friendly” service imposed on us.

  57. October 14, 2008 at 23:14

    Jennifer~

    Yesterday you replied to my post, “Portlandmike, I guess some do not get out much. If so, I don’t think you would disagree that we have more crime, homelessness, poverty, do I need to go on? ”

    I know that you pride yourself on being informed. I was able to find out (without “getting out”) that you are misinformed about crime and poverty in the U.S. Neither of which is on the rise. But don’t let that influence your opinions.

  58. 59 Amy
    October 14, 2008 at 23:18

    Bryan,

    Here is some info on Bat Boy:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bat_boy

    He even had a musical written about him. Without the tabloids, we wouldn’t know about him or the fact that Jennifer Lopez is pregnant with aliens or what ever is the headline of the day. It can be a welcome distraction with all of the junk going on in the world, to read, even if it is while standing in line at the grocery store, about celebrity cellulite or alien autopsies or whatever outrageous thing they come up with. Those “reporters” deserve creative writing awards.

  59. 60 Jennifer
    October 14, 2008 at 23:53

    @ Bryan

    I am glad you realized that was to you. I forgot to note that.

    @ Portlandmike

    We can discuss poverty and crime via email when you contact me. Let’s also discuss morals and values! No more responses to you until you do that! :)

  60. October 15, 2008 at 00:33

    Jennifer~

    Sorry, but I have no idea what it is you are talking about?

    A moderator suggested that perhaps you misunderstood her when she suggested linking up with another poster? I’ve searched my email and I see nothing from me to you, or from you to me.

    I would be happy to discuss discuss morals and values, and crime and poverty in the U.S. right here on the WHYS blog, but not in private.

  61. October 15, 2008 at 01:05

    Canada black-out begins!

  62. 64 Robert
    October 15, 2008 at 01:09

    Well its late at night here in Africa, do the North American moderators mind holding the fort whilst I grab some sleep?

  63. 65 Venessa
    October 15, 2008 at 01:19

    Julie ~

    I read that story earlier and was sick to my stomach. People need licenses to be parents.

  64. 66 Julie P
    October 15, 2008 at 01:21

    @Venessa,

    I watched the video on it. Those “parents” are beyond licensing, they need to spend the rest of their lives in a rat hole.

  65. 67 Venessa
    October 15, 2008 at 01:29

    Julie ~

    Did you see in the article that she had a brother and he was normal weight. Even their dogs were well nourished.

  66. 68 Julie P
    October 15, 2008 at 01:33

    @Venessa,

    In the video they mentioned that the brother was showing signs of abuse, but nowhere near the degree of the girl. Nothing was mentioned about the dogs.

  67. 69 Julie P
    October 15, 2008 at 01:34

    “Florida mom Casey Anthony arrested in traffic stop after she swapped vehicles under a highway overpass, hours after her indictment.”

    Draw your own conclusions.

  68. 70 Brian from NZ
    October 15, 2008 at 01:36

    @ Jessica,

    “@ Men: when human females evolve to be able to reproduce with out you, you will be obsolete.”

    But who will take out the garbage?

  69. 71 Venessa
    October 15, 2008 at 01:40

    Here’s the article I read:

    Sadly the mother and stepfather have been reported to the state before and the mom did some couseling.

    I can’t believe the biological father didn’t do anything or believe there wasn’t something seriously wrong with his daughter.

    http://www.comcast.net/articles/news-national/20081014/Girl.Mistreatment/?cvqh=itn_girlstarving

    “In a court affidavit, a detective said the father told him the conflict between his daughter and wife “was concerning but he thought they could just handle it themselves.” Pomeroy admitted he never sought professional help for the girl even though he noticed she looked far younger than 14.”

  70. 72 Dennis@OCC
    October 15, 2008 at 01:41

    Re: About banning the tabloids
    That would not work for me, since they gave me
    something to do, while at the grocery store—paying
    for my stuff!

    Good night Robert in Angola!

    Re: Will’s Comments about Elections…
    Maybe in a “few hours” we will have some
    results!

    Dennis

  71. 73 Dennis@OCC
    October 15, 2008 at 01:47

    Re: That story Julie P was talking about at October 15, 2008 at 12:59 am….
    It is the reason, the state [social services bureaux], should get involved in that kids’ welfare and assistance should be given….

    Dennis

  72. 74 Julie P
    October 15, 2008 at 01:52

    Venessa,

    It’s just sick! And to think they could spend “as much as” four years in prison. I think the article should read “as little as” four years in prison.

  73. October 15, 2008 at 01:59

    Julie P,

    I just saw that and I am worried that she will get off. The prosecutors want this so bad.
    I can’t believe that there isn’t a long jail sentence for somebody who just can’t produce their child and there is no chance that they were abducted or ran away.

    Wit our double jeopardy law, I just see her being found on some off the path swamp some day, and she had already been acquitted.

  74. 76 Julie P
    October 15, 2008 at 02:05

    @Dwight,

    I assume you are talking about Casey Anthony. They are going to have a hard time finding an impartial jury. It’s been all over the national news for months.

  75. October 15, 2008 at 02:07

    GOD!

    This is killing me! Ya know some results and ya can’t blog em!!!!!!!!!!!!! Grrrrrrrrrrrr

  76. October 15, 2008 at 02:12

    @ Jessica,

    When man learn to reproduce by simply passing gas, women will become extinct. without “girl math capitalism will work again. (Girl math is “I didn’t need a pair of shoes, but I couldn’t pass up the bogo free sale. So I bought a $50 pair of shoes and SAVED $50!! OMG! This also works when counting calories on cake you didn’t mean to eat.) There will be no wars started by guys who are mad at the world because they can’t get any. There will be no more afternoon talk shows. That can only lead to a more intelligible society.

    All the same I wouldn’t expect to see this evolution on either account anytime in the near future. Lol.

  77. October 15, 2008 at 02:14

    Julie,

    They found one 13 years ago for OJ. We are talking Florida here. They just have to find 12 old people who can’t remember what they ate for breakfast let alone what was on TV last night.

  78. 80 Julie P
    October 15, 2008 at 02:18

    Dwight,

    I can remember one case here in GA a while back that got so much press coverage in Atlanta that they moved the trial to another state.

  79. October 15, 2008 at 02:20

    Will,

    Take a deep breath and hold it in. lol, I feel your pain believe me. For whatever reason the information has to be kept. sometime for reason you didn’t even consider.

  80. October 15, 2008 at 02:28

    @ moral values

    They are in the eye of the beholder. There are some constants, but most things we place in the realm of “moral” are a matter of culture and opinion. For example, I believe child molestation is the most reprehensible crime in the world. I would say any man of 22 or older having sex with a girl who is 15 or 16 is deserving of the death penalty or at least castration. But in some countries, and even in some cultures right here in the US, as soon as a girl menstruates, she is eligible for marring. Whose belief is right. To be honest with myself, my belief is in direct opposition to most of my “Darwinistic” opinions.

  81. October 15, 2008 at 02:30

    Dwight

    It’s so the east cannot influence the west. Say the Liberals took a massive lead in Atlantic Canada is could be a matter that Conservatives or whomever would come out in droves in the west to off set any gains.

    With internet access as it is, you can’t even blog it in eastern Canada.

  82. October 15, 2008 at 02:34

    The Conservatives in Atlantic Canada are down so far – Libs, 17, Con 10, NDP 5

    FINALLY!!!

  83. 85 Dennis@OCC
    October 15, 2008 at 02:37

    @ Will Rhodes
    Re: Canada elections polls
    “I am watching the polls”
    What is the magical number for A majority government and minority government?

    Thanks,
    Dennis

  84. 86 Dennis@OCC
    October 15, 2008 at 02:39

    Will:

    Do you know the background of Elizabeth
    in the Central Nova riding in Nova Scotia ?

    By, the way–she lost the seat to Peter MacKay!

    Dennis

  85. October 15, 2008 at 02:41

    Prediction is that Harper will be back as PM but still in a minority government. Not know as yet if he will have less seats that 2006.

  86. 88 Julie P
    October 15, 2008 at 02:50

    I’m sitting here watching Larry King they were talking about how much money people are losing in their 401Ks. That reminds me I got an e-mail from the business that handles mine. The e-mail began with an apology for the quarterly report on my 401K. The e-mail went on to read that I am in it for the long run, and then tried to reassure me that they are solvent. At the bottom of the e-mail was their prospectus. I still haven’t dove in to read it.

  87. October 15, 2008 at 02:53

    Not at all looking good for the Liberals – they are losing 2.2% to Cons and 6.5% to NDP. Arghhhhhhhhh!

  88. October 15, 2008 at 02:55

    The good news is that the Conservatives have been shut out in Newfoundland and Labrador.

  89. October 15, 2008 at 02:57

    Will,
    For East Coast influencing West Coast with bucketfulls of laighter, check out the end of “Head of State” with Chris Rock.

    So sorry about the blackout. Not even Joe Six-Pack can post something on the fly? What about emails?

  90. October 15, 2008 at 03:01

    Official announcement is that Harper will form Government.

  91. October 15, 2008 at 03:02

    If Joe 6P has results, nope. Emails, I’m not sure about to be honest.

  92. 94 Kelsie in Houston
    October 15, 2008 at 03:07

    Official announcement is that Harper will form Government.

    That’s disappointing, Will…

  93. October 15, 2008 at 03:11

    Not as disappointing as having a majority government – but that is on the cards now.

    Con 118, Lib 73, BQ 39, NDP 26 Oth 2.

  94. October 15, 2008 at 03:22

    Needed for a majority government 155 seats.

    Con 127, Lib 73, NDP 30, BQ 46, OTH 2.

  95. 97 Jennifer
    October 15, 2008 at 03:27

    @ Portlandmike

    There is no confusion! :) Amy suggested that maybe Bryan and I could speak via email the other day.

    I was referring to when you graciously took the liberty of emailing me a post from someone straight to my email inbox “so I wouldn’t miss it”. I am surprised you do not remember that. Then again, you never responded to the email asking what it was about either.

    Since you aren’t willing to discuss morals and values with me privately in an effort to keep the airing of dirty laundry to a minimum on this lovely blog, I have nothing further to say. :)

  96. 98 Dennis@OCC
    October 15, 2008 at 03:27

    For the interest of full disclosure:
    According to CITY NEWS in Toronto is reporting that the Conservative minority government in Canada…In a email, i received from CITY NEWS at 10.06pm eastern time….

    Re: Elizabeth….i have now got her name:
    Elizabeth May!

    Dennis

  97. October 15, 2008 at 03:28

    Predicted seats for Harper 140 – 15 short of majority Government. Quebec showing for Conservatives is bad, BQ and Libs to keep Con seats lower that is needed and NDP predicted to take BC.

  98. 100 Amy
    October 15, 2008 at 03:29

    Given that October is Breast Cancer awareness month, how many women out there would make the same decision that Christina Applegate made?

    http://www.cnn.com/2008/LIVING/10/14/o.christina.applegate.double.mastectomy/index.html

  99. 101 Dennis@OCC
    October 15, 2008 at 03:30

    CHILD MOLESTERS:
    Are the lowest type of person in the world and also in the prisons system….

    Re: Julie P, And the email that manages her funds….
    That is still nice, that the company, sent you that item….

    Dennis

  100. 102 Dennis@OCC
    October 15, 2008 at 03:32

    To answer the question:
    Quebec showing for Conservatives is bad….

    Probably, since my history of Quebec in my memory since, the province is not too far from my home county in New York….

    That Quebec wants to leave Canada and have ties to France….

    Dennis

  101. 103 Dennis@OCC
    October 15, 2008 at 03:36

    It is sad that the Conservatives were shut-down from Quebec and Newfoundland+Labrador….

    ****
    Christina Applegate:
    I remember watching her on MARRIED…WITH CHILDREN and it broke my heart that she was that she had cancer…And i think that she made the right decision about having both of her breasts removed….

    I think that was in her best interest!

    Dennis

  102. 104 Dennis@OCC
    October 15, 2008 at 03:38

    @ Will:

    i have a question for you!

    according to the cbc and many other
    canadian news services are talking about a “tory”
    minority government?

    what is the version?

    Thanks,
    Dennis

  103. 105 Jennifer
    October 15, 2008 at 03:39

    @ Amy

    If it came down to having treatments that made me loose my hair; I would just say cut them off. I would much rather have my hair. I also wouldn’t want to have to worry about the cancer always coming back.

  104. 106 Dennis@OCC
    October 15, 2008 at 03:40

    Will:

    To take a wild guess! That the TORIES will get the 155
    seats in the Parliament…..

    Dennis

  105. October 15, 2008 at 03:42

    Tory or Minority government, Dennis?

  106. October 15, 2008 at 03:44

    The Tories won’t get 155 – 5 results to come and the numbers are:

    Con 142, Lib 78, BQ 47, NDP 33, OTH 3

  107. 109 Dennis@OCC
    October 15, 2008 at 03:44

    Will:
    Both!
    Tory and a minority government…

    And, about 2 years from now!!!!

    Dennis

  108. 110 Dennis@OCC
    October 15, 2008 at 03:47

    Heads up!
    According to the CBC and they are reporting that CONSERVATIVE
    MINORITY GOVERNMENT

    at 10.46pm eastern standard time….

    Will Rhodes–we are both winners..

    Dennis

  109. 111 Jessica in NYC
    October 15, 2008 at 03:50

    @ Bryan
    “Wouldn’t it great to have the kind of society where tabloids went out of business.”

    Mmmm, I’m going to vote as Dennis Kuchinic did–HELL NO! If we “vote” to censor what “we” consider trash (tabloids), what’s to stop the people who got the short end of the intellectual “stick” that read this trash from voting to ban “our” newspapers, because “we’re” pompous and judgmental about their tabloid reading habits? See, morals are a tricky thing, we can’t pick and choose them ONLY when they’re convenient … Actually you can, it’s call the Republican Party in the United States. Lucky you. Plus, the US Constitution kinds frowns on limiting the scope of free speech. Is this whyFree Speech is #1. :P

  110. October 15, 2008 at 03:51

    Tories are called that because of political history. It goes back to the Conservatives and Liberals – they were once called Tories and Whigs.

    You have 155 seats in Parliament – if you don’t get over 155 seats you cannot form a majority government. The seats of the other party’s in parliament out number your own. This means the government can be voted down.

    If you get, say, 200 seats, you can legislate what you want because you have a majority – or more than the other party’s by 45 seats, or votes, in parliament. One elected member has one vote.

  111. October 15, 2008 at 03:52

    Official announcement – Tories to have a minority government. Dion leadership now in question.

  112. October 15, 2008 at 03:54

    Alberta looks like it will be all Conservative. Those oil boys, eh? >(

  113. 115 Bob in Queensland
    October 15, 2008 at 03:54

    Morning all!

    Re: Media setting or following the fashion

    An anecdote on this. Back in the 1990s, the verdict in the first OJ Simpson trial was due just after 6PM UK time, which worked out to be during main newscasts on both BBC TV and Radio.

    The BBC decided to be all worthy and bury the OJ result well down the bulletins, leading with stories that were, arguably, of more national and international importance.

    The BBC switchboards were literally jammed with complaints and people demanding to know the verdict.

    Seriously, this is very much the “chicken and egg” question. The media determine, to some extent, what’s fashionable but they have to be aware of public taste and interest. I daresay the British or American media couldn’t spark huge interest in the Canadian election (sorry Will!) no matter how catchy the headline.

  114. 116 Dennis@OCC
    October 15, 2008 at 03:54

    I have a feeling that Dion will have to step-down from the Liberal leadership in the next “several hours” or at the latest, By Wednesday…

    Dennis

  115. 117 Dennis@OCC
    October 15, 2008 at 03:56

    @ Bob in Queensland:

    How do you know that the BBC Switchboards were “jammed” during the O.J. Simpson trial….

    Could you further this question….

    Dennis

  116. 118 Kelsie in Houston
    October 15, 2008 at 04:02

    @ anyone interested:

    I happen to be blogging at this at the moment and thought I’d throw it out for general consumption (or to be ignored):

    This year marks the fortieth anniversary of Pope Paul VI’s controversial encyclical condemning birth control, Humanae Vitae (“Of [the transmission of] Human Life”):

    http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/paul_vi/encyclicals/documents/hf_p-vi_enc_25071968_humanae-vitae_en.html

    The encyclical, seen as a conservative Christian backlash, begs the question of the modern world: What is the purpose of sexual activity? Is it solely to procreate? If we remove the ability of sex to potentially lead to pregnancy, are we somehow morally wrong or bankrupting a biological process of its purpose?

  117. 119 Dennis@OCC
    October 15, 2008 at 04:06

    I would like to make this statement…
    That Vanessa and Amy have been talking about…

    About CANCER

    If i had it and i would lose my hair, i would tell the hair stylist…Take the hair…

    Dennis

  118. 120 Bob in Queensland
    October 15, 2008 at 04:12

    @ Dennis

    How do you know that the BBC Switchboards were “jammed” during the O.J. Simpson trial….

    …because the BBC’s decision not to lead on the OJ Simpson verdict (when most of the UK media DID make that their number 1 story) became a story in its own right and was widely reported.

  119. 121 Jessica in NYC
    October 15, 2008 at 04:18

    Dear boys, specifically Jens, Brian from NZ, and Dwight in Cleveland whose wife I’d like to speak ASAP: RE MEN being obsolete
    —-
    @ Jens–I need to amend my “alternatives” stance. Let’s keep the men that know what they’re “doing” to be determined by women, the rest *poof* obsolete. ;)
    —-
    @ Brain–The kids will. :D
    —-
    @ Dwight, oh dear Dwight in Cleveland, I am so emailing your Latina wife this weekend, hope your couch is comfy.

    “There will be no wars started by guys who are mad at the world because they can’t get any.

    Mr. Boy Math Genius–How will women becoming extinct on account that your “farts” can reproduce do anything to increase your “getting some” numbers? If your wife reads this large stereotype you have lumped all women into, I’d say the odds against you “getting any” would take a deeper plunge that the stock market did last week. I’ll let you use a calculator. :P LOLOLOLOL

  120. October 15, 2008 at 04:22

    Just over 50% turn out in Canadian election. :?

  121. 123 Dennis@OCC
    October 15, 2008 at 04:34

    Thanks Bob in Queensland!

    I did not have the BBC when that case was around….

    Dennis

  122. 124 Jonathan
    October 15, 2008 at 04:45

    @Robert

    I specifically said “…leaders and populations…” of other countries, because that’s what I meant.

  123. 125 Bob in Queensland
    October 15, 2008 at 05:04

    @ Jonathan and Robert

    Re: International Perceptions

    I think it may be arguable that the USA is a special case. The effects of the presidential election in America extend well beyond their borders and are far more than just “perceptions”. Who is in the White House can have concrete effects on life around the world.

    Do you think the whole world would be in financial meltdown if the process hadn’t started in the USA? Would people have died on the London and Madrid transport systems if Bush hadn’t invaded Iraq with Britain and Spain following along behind? (I doubt the UK or Spain would have invaded Iraq on their own!)

    For better or for worse, how America votes on November 5 will genuinely affect the whole world. For the past 8 years it’s mainly been “for worse” and nobody wants another term of good, old-fashioned, down-home-folksy ignorance and incompetence. No, I’m not so naive as to think this fact will change how the vast majority of Americans decide but don’t be surprised at the level of interest expressed around the world. What America does makes a difference.

  124. 126 Paul Harbin - Waco, Tx.
    October 15, 2008 at 06:00

    Overpopulation, what do we do about it?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Overpopulation

  125. 127 Paul Harbin - Waco, Tx.
    October 15, 2008 at 06:09

    Overpopulation, what do we do about it?

    Should we be concerned about Stephen Hawking thinking that we are approaching a threshold of no return?

    “In the last 200 years the population of our planet has grown exponentially, at a rate of 1.9% per year. If continued at this rate, with the population doubling every 40 years, by 2600 we would all be standing literally shoulder to shoulder.”
    – Professor Stephen Hawking

  126. 128 Jessica in NYC
    October 15, 2008 at 06:35

    My eyes are twinkling with hearts at Keith Olbermann for [---] slapping McCain. Never has the word “SIR!” been so perfectly toned for an insult.

    Indy voters that waited too long to decide and now even IF they vote for McCain polls suggest it’s not enough to beat Obama. President Obama, there should be songs written… oh, that’s right, there are!

  127. October 15, 2008 at 06:35

    118 Kelsie in Houston October 15, 2008 at 4:02 am
    What is the purpose of sexual activity? Is it solely to procreate? If we remove the ability of sex to potentially lead to pregnancy, are we somehow morally wrong or bankrupting a biological process of its purpose?

    Happy 40th (?)
    I personally think that intercourse exists as one of many means for people to form bonds bewteen each other. I think that it is one of the strongest, if not the strongest, method of bond-forming.

    I would not be surprised at all if Islamic thinking concurs. There is a strong emphasis on the preservation of life and on the establishment of a family, with an ordered society being a required corallary. So we have the rules regarding marriage and modest behaviour, as well as a strong emphasis on having children and maintaining the family ties.

    At the same time, Shia Islam has these very interesting rulings about contraception. We do have the general prohibition on abortion, and a very specific prohibition on any permanent sterilisation. However, we also have a ruling that a woman can use contraceptives at her discretion without asking her husband. We also have a ruling that if a man wants to use a condem, it is generally permitted, but he should ask his wife.

    If Islam considered intercourse to be a strictly reproductive act, there wuold not be this liberal attitude towards contraception. And if family planning were considered to be the realm of the man, we would not see the independence of the woman established in these rulings.

  128. October 15, 2008 at 06:37

    Will,
    You might just have to offer a basic course in Canadian politics and an explanation of the potential outcomes of the election on your blog. Sorry.

  129. 131 Robert
    October 15, 2008 at 06:42

    Bob

    I’ve never subscribed the to theory that Madrid and 7/7 were purely the fault of American intervention in Iraq. Both countries are democratic in nature and took an active decision to get involved in the conflict. Yes they would not have been involved had America not taken the lead, but it was their choice to take part in the war, and any consequence from that decision lay with Spain and the UK.

    Regarding the banks. Was there not the Asian trouble a decade ago that caused strain on the system? Or what about the oil crisis of the 70’s which caused the world wide recession brought about by revolution in Iran and oil nationalization in Saudi. These only became issues that America was involved in because of the impact it had on the oil markets. Economic problems don’t have to start in the US, but because of its scale as the largest economy it is just more likely to propagate there.

    I won’t dismiss that the US does affect all of us, but it is naive to assume that other national governments couldn’t have been able to control the issues better themselves. What about regulation of the debt markets? Or interest rates? There seems to be this assumption now of letting the US do what it wants and we all follow suit. Not an anti American rant, this is a criticism about the rest of us who just follow blindly then shirk responsibility later blaming the US.

  130. 132 Paul Harbin - Waco, Tx.
    October 15, 2008 at 06:51

    “The funding, notably larger than the usual sponsorship for an individual researcher, comes from Saudi Arabia’s nascent research university, the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, known as KAUST.”

    “Cui, 32, is one of a dozen scientists chosen by KAUST as “global research partnership investigators,” one each from Stanford, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of Oxford, University of Tokyo, Georgia Institute of Technology, Pennsylvania State, University of Cambridge, University of California-Berkeley, Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden, University of Toronto, California Institute of Technology and the University of Rome.”

    These 2 snips are from an article on a Stanford new site. If one bothers to look into the particular fields of study, the chance to find irony is immediately realized. Grants for 10 million here, 25 million there, billions of dollars into some of the leading researchers of alternate forms of energy. Given the history of instability in the middle east, and the threat which always seems to be there, is it wise to let them in the back door on this one … and have a larger stake in controlling alternative energy? I find it hard to imagine, that the ones making making more money than most from oil, without good reason, would be investing heavily in alternates.

  131. 133 Robert
    October 15, 2008 at 06:59

    Paul

    Everybody who is dependent on oil to drive their economy is aware that it will run out. They have to find alternative revenue sources and that doesn’t happen overnight, this is investment in the future.

    Add to this that fact that oil and gas are worth a lot of money. The Arab kingdoms have three things in plenty, oil, wide open spaces, lots of sunshine. The latter two combined with solar panels would provide enough power to supply all the needs and more for export to neighbours. This then allows oil and gas to be exported to the world markets to make more money, instead of burning it at home for subsidized domestic use.

  132. 134 Jonathan
    October 15, 2008 at 07:39

    @Paul

    Good news: Overpopulation isn’t a concern after all. It was the crisis de jour of the 1960s and 70s, but we have since learned that as people and countries get wealthier, they have fewer children. Most of western Europe is now well below “replacement rate” — their population is shrinking. Fertility is decreasing in the most populous contries, India and China, as they finally adopt capitalism and their wealth is growing and their economies transform from agricultural to industrial and postindustrial.

    The curve on the world population graph looks exponential if you look at 200 years, but it changes and flattens when you look at recent years and extrapolate. We’re leveling off.

    Climate change is what we need to worry about; overpopulation we can relax about. Except for ecological impact and of course that climate change, which ironically gets worse as the world population gets richer.

  133. 135 Tom (of Melbourne)
    October 15, 2008 at 07:49

    @ Brian from NZ

    ““@ Men: when human females evolve to be able to reproduce with out you, you will be obsolete.”

    But who will take out the garbage?”

    Wall E.

  134. 136 Roberto
    October 15, 2008 at 07:57

    RE “” by 2600 we would all be standing literally shoulder to shoulder.”””
    ———————————————————————————————————-

    ——- Said goal has already been accomplished in transport systems starting with the slave galley. Progressing since then to 20th century mass commuter bus/train/plane systems and most especially in 3rd world transport featuring free dangling shoulder to shoulder commuters.

    Next up, free bread and wine for the commuter, melamine flavored of course, courtesy of our Chinese overseers..

  135. 137 Tom (of Melbourne)
    October 15, 2008 at 08:06

    @ Kelsie in Houston

    “Is it right to still exclude non-natural born citizens from eligibility for the presidency?”

    An alternative question could be: Is a natural born citizen of a higher class than a naturalised foreign born citizen?

    In the past women were denied the right to vote and blacks were barred from white-designiated places. Should the birth criteria for the Presidency be seen in similar light and be challenged as a discriminatory policy?

  136. 138 Bryan
    October 15, 2008 at 08:14

    Paul Harbin,

    Weren’t you the one who was having difficulties getting registered to vote? If so, how is it going?

    Jessica in NYC October 14, 2008 at 10:44 pm,

    No problem. We ain’t in no hurry for the debate.

    Amy October 14, 2008 at 11:18 pm

    Creative writing you call it? Creative writing????

    Dwight From Cleveland October 15, 2008 at 2:14 am,

    Jackie Mason had a lot to say about the OJ case. I paraphrase:
    To be on a jury you can’t know anything about anything. You aren’t allowed to read the papers, in fact it’s better if you can’t read. If you were lost and looking for directions, would you ask some shmuck who looks like he doesn’t know the time of day? Yet that’s the kind of shmuck they put on a jury to decide on life and death.

    That judge is an idiot. And I say that with the greatest respect.

    Jessica in NYC October 15, 2008 at 3:50 am

    Arrrghhh. I wasn’t suggesting that we ban tabloids. I was suggesting that if enough people stopped reading them there would be no demand for them. Dunno I you saw my link to the way McCain supporters got treated on a quiet, orderly march with inoffensive placards through New York. To me the Democrats appear to be way more intolerant of freedom of expression than the Republicans.

  137. 139 Tom (of Melbourne)
    October 15, 2008 at 08:15

    “” by 2600 we would all be standing literally shoulder to shoulder.”””

    If the movie Wall-E is of any indication, this will be the only way humans could ever stand upright!!

  138. 140 Bob in Queensland
    October 15, 2008 at 08:29

    Re: Presidential Elligibility

    Another way to look at it:

    Who’s more likely to be patriotic and loyal? A person who is American by accident of birth or a person who takes a deliberate choice to leave their birthplace to become American?

    ….and, as for children who are born elsewhere but become American at an early eage, the distinction between them an “natural born” Americans is meaningless.

    Perhaps this rule made sense in the 18th century but it’s pointless today.

  139. 141 Bob in Queensland
    October 15, 2008 at 08:34

    In the Washington Post: the Bush administration ISSUED TWO MEMOS giving explicit approval for the use of torture such as “water boarding” when questioning terror suspects.

  140. 142 Robert
    October 15, 2008 at 08:38

    Re: Presidential Elligibility

    But Bob, but can you not argue that those you have left the country of their birth to move to another, as both of us have done, are only looking after our own self interests?

  141. 143 Jonathan
    October 15, 2008 at 08:41

    @Bob

    About US foreign policy, fact-based vs. bubba-based, while I used the word “perception,” most of my comment was more to do with substance; I think we agree.

    Bit of a stretch, though, to blame America for terrorist attacks in London and Madrid. The 9/11 attack was obviously not a retaliation for US involvement in Iraq, or for anything else comprehensible to the rational Western mind. Nobody should be deterred from doing what they resolve to do by terrorist attack, or the threat of it.

    The fact that the Iraq war is not in fact right doesn’t detract from this principle.

  142. 144 Bob in Queensland
    October 15, 2008 at 09:12

    @ Jonathan

    Clearly nobody should be deterred from doing what is right by the threat of terrorist attack. We’re in complete agreement on this.

    However, in the case of the Bush administration, 8 years of stupid (and, in the case of things like the use of torture, potentially illegal) polices has made the world a more dangerous place with a greater risk of terror attack.

    Nothing justifies terrorism but the wrong policies can certainly make the threat more serious.

  143. 145 Roberto
    October 15, 2008 at 10:00

    RE “” Should the birth criteria for the Presidency be seen in similar light and be challenged as a discriminatory policy?””
    ———————————————————————————————–

    ——– Indeedy, the whole concept of nationality and citizenship is discriminatory.

    Why am I not allowed to vote in China, Austrailia, or Timbuktu?

    The whole concept of money discriminatory also. I should be allowed to have all the money I want to buy politicians, fly in Turkish bellydancers and Syrian whirling dervishes for my birthday party in Tahiti like other well heeled jerks are able.

    I should be allowed to be the president of the UN if I desire it. Why they put up all those requirements discriminating against me is a mystery.

  144. 146 Jack Hughes
    October 15, 2008 at 10:18

    Hi Bob.

    // Would people have died on the London and Madrid transport systems if Bush hadn’t invaded Iraq with Britain and Spain following along behind? //

    Its worth reading “The Islamist” by Ed Hussain.

    He was an islamist extremist – then saw the light. He describes how they just wanted to cause lots of trouble in society – they just loved it when liberal/lefties thought that Iraq or Afghanistan were the cause. They would have caused trouble anyway.

    There’s a video on YouTube of Aussie Bryce Courtney in an interview. He says cheerfully that the Iraq War was the root cause of 9/11.

    The interviewer gently mentions that 9/11 was in 2001 and the Iraq war started in 2003. Courtney just implodes but then starts to bluster. He really wants to believe something that just cannot be true.

  145. 147 Bob in Queensland
    October 15, 2008 at 10:44

    @ Jack Hughes

    Whatever a third-party book might say, the perpetrators of the 7/7 bombings in London were long-term UK citizens with a strong opposition to the British (and American) invasion of Iraq.

    However, if you don’t like my examples, that’s fine…but my basic premise holds true: with American power also comes the fact that the result of the election will have a dis-proportionate effect on people all over the world, not just in the USA.

    Having seen what can happen when you guys have a bad president, I hope you vote in a good one next time!

  146. 148 Jack Hughes
    October 15, 2008 at 11:01

    @Bob -here is the link …

    [audio src="http://jimball.com.au/bryce.mp3" /]

    Its too early to call on Bush’s presidency.

    In my lefty days I would have described Reagan with exactly the words you use for Bush.

    But now I see him as a hero. His resolve brought down the Berlin Wall. A lot of lefties just seem to think it fell down because of weak concrete or just seem oblivious to the freedon that millions of people in Eastern Europe now enjoy.

    Poland, Czecj Republic, Hungary, Estonia, Latvia, East Germany. All free now – and it was not bad concrete.

  147. 149 Jack Hughes
    October 15, 2008 at 11:10

    The 7/7 terrorists were born in the UK. Every one.

    Britain has a big problem now with un-assimilated immigrants. Especially 2nd and 3rd generation.

    Ed Hussain’s book describes how he rejected the islam of his father – personal, devotive, spiritual. But he didn’t really belong in british society either. This left him – and thousands of others – vulnerable to the simplistic ideas of the muslim brotherhood – and Hizb-Ut-Tahrir.

    The UK govt is doing cartwheels to try and get these people onside. But it seems to backfire every time as they back people who claim to be moderate and turn out to be extremist. People like Sir Iqbal Sacranie – knighted, but he went on to say that murder was too good for Salman Rushdie.

  148. 150 Jack Hughes
    October 15, 2008 at 11:17

    Some people blame “poverty” or “lack of opportunites” for islamist extremism.

    But what about Doctors ‘sought wholesale murder’

    these 2 muslim doctors wanted to blow up children going on holiday at Glasgow airport.

  149. 151 Bob in Queensland
    October 15, 2008 at 11:17

    @ Jack Hughes

    Don’t underestimate the importance of a man named Mikhail Gorbachev in the dismantling of the iron curtain. If Reagan hadn’t been up against a reformer on the Soviet side the result could have been scorched earth rather than a collapsed wall!

    Seriously, I don’t think it’s too early to judge Bush yet. Reagan, whatever your views on his policies, was both a communicator and a man willing to fight for his ideals. It was also a different world, one with a clear-cut enemy to be fought. Bush, on the other hand doesn’t seem to stand for much of anything other than the profits of his big-business cronies. He involved the USA in a costly and pointless war against the wrong enemy and dropped the ball (in Afghanistan) when he had a chance to defeat the REAL enemy.

    If history paints a kinder picture in the future, I’ll be happy for you to say “I told you so”. I doubt I’ll be hearing those words.

    As an aside, I can vouch for the quality of the Berlin wall concrete…it was tough stuff! I was lucky enough to be in Berlin (with a satellite truck) the day after it started to fall. Alas, my ex wife threw out my souvenir piece a few years later, thinking it was “just another piece of concrete” when we had some renovations done!

  150. 152 Jack Hughes
    October 15, 2008 at 11:22

    @Bob,

    I read “The Power of One” and loved it.

    The next book “Tania” – I enjoyed but not as much.

    But this interview. Sheesh.

    Its an object lesson in “truthiness”: he wants to believe something defying logic, facts, evidence in front of him….

  151. 153 Bryan
    October 15, 2008 at 11:31

    Bob in Queensland October 15, 2008 at 9:12 am,

    Of course, one can’t prove a negative but we have no way of knowing whether there would have fewer or more Islamic terror attacks without the war in Iraq. Before 9/11 the terrorists were coming to think of the US as a paper tiger. What price did the terrorists pay for their despicable attacks on US embassies in Tanzania and Kenya and the first WTC attack? They got away with them and they were emboldened by the lack of response.

    Dig a little deeper and you will no doubt find that the British terrorists did not only have Iraq as the justification for their terror. Now we watch with growing apprehension as the thin end of the wedge of Sharia law is introduced into Britain and many other countries in Europe. Spain was once Islamic. They want it back.

    Islamic terror is not largely a tit for tat response to attacks from the West, as so many would have us believe. It is a fundamental intolerance of the very existence of the infidel. Ask the Israelis. They have been battling unprovoked Arab Muslim terror since long before the establishment of Israel.

  152. 154 Jack Hughes
    October 15, 2008 at 11:32

    Check out

    Bush Derangement Syndrome

    Originally coined by columnist Charles Krauthammer as – the acute onset of paranoia in otherwise normal people in reaction to the policies, the presidency — nay — the very existence of George W. Bush

    Symptoms of Bush Derangement Syndrome include:
    1. Believing that Bush caused Hurricane Katrina.
    2. Believing that Bush was behind 9-11.
    3. Calling Bush stupid despite the fact that he has degrees from Harvard and Yale and is a trained fighter pilot.

  153. 155 Pangolin-California
    October 15, 2008 at 11:49

    Reagan’s resolve brought down the Berlin Wall huh? Egocentric much?

    The Berlin Wall was brought down by the internal economic and political failure of the Soviet Union. Reagan didn’t force the Soviet Politburo to make bad decisions they were in a habit of doing that on their own. The invasion of Afghanistan being a notably nasty one that the US is following.

    The people of Poland, Czecj Republic, Hungary, Estonia, Latvia, East Germany would probably object to your position that their freedom was a gift from Ronald (didn’t he have alzheimers?) Reagan. They worked for decades for that freedom at risk of imprisonment or death.

    Bush will be known as the president that wrecked america. His name will be a synonym for political waste and futility. He’s the Ghengis Khan of deficit financing.

  154. 156 Pangolin-California
    October 15, 2008 at 12:20

    Are we having fun playing with our straw men? Lets take a look at these:

    1. Believing that Bush caused Hurricane Katrina.
    Bush’s FEMA head, a horse trainer by trade till then, ignored long standing evacuation and response plans in favor of disjointed dithering that actually blocked help trying to reach New Orleans. Bush himself partied with John McCain while American citizens died.

    2. Believing that Bush was behind 9-11. Bush most certainly benefited from 9-11 and exhibited a complete lack of rational response on 9-11-2001.

    3. Calling Bush stupid despite the fact that he has degrees from Harvard and Yale and is a trained fighter pilot. It is well known that Bush’s political connections put him in all three of those positions. His endless stream of verbal gaffes supports the concept that his political life has been as a sockpuppet for the likes of Rove and Cheney. He’s a high functioning moron who can’t answer unrehearsed questions.

  155. October 15, 2008 at 12:32

    Give an Inch Take a Mile
    TEHRAN – Where do you draw the line? Bad habits die hard, and the majority of prelates in Iran are resorting to grease, sleaze and graft. They have no profession; they are implicated in all sorts of schemes designed to make a couple of bucks. That was in the old days, now they own the country.
    Personality cult and cult worship is on the rise in Iran. It is vital to confront prelates who sport pots and pans on their heads and purport to be in direct touch with the divine.
    It is easy enough to dupe the public since they simply don’t understand Arabic in which Islamic scriptures is expressed. Compare it to the clergy in the Middle Ages who were blabbering Latin to poor peasants and confiscating their possessions in the name of the Church.
    It is vital that we stage as man y productions of “Hi Calcutta” and the like in order to break the silence and threat of plunging unsuspecting masses in the Third World into further ignorance and servitude: Light hearted themes to break the monotony and monopoly of the dreaded army of shaggy faces and paunches who think they own the world.

  156. 158 Dan
    October 15, 2008 at 14:07

    @Pangolin-California
    Arrrgggghhhh. It wasn’t Reagan’s resolve that brought down the Soviet Union it was how he exercised a plan and drove them into insolvency. Reagan exposed the corruptness and vacuousness of the Soviet system that murdered millions of its citizens and made its sphere of influence a virtual prison.
    The media loved the Soviets and pillaged Reagan but in the end Reagan was right in his thoughts and plan and yes, he did give the imprisoned nations of Eastern Europe the gift of freedom if they were brave enough to take it and give it to their people.
    It was after he left office that Alzheimer’s kicked in.
    Reagan was a giant….Bush is a putz.

  157. 159 DENNIS@OCC
    October 15, 2008 at 14:09

    Is it time for bankers to apologise? Yes, they should apologise…

    Should they say they’re sorry? Yes–because it would show that they have conducted themselves in an not an approriate way….

    Dennis

  158. 160 DENNIS@OCC
    October 15, 2008 at 14:12

    BUT have Africans demonstrated that they are capable of sorting out their own problems? I hope they can, but they need to have some international guidance and assistance!

    Should they have to? Yes, since they need to be able to do things on there own!

    Dennis

  159. 161 DENNIS@OCC
    October 15, 2008 at 14:14

    Is it time for christians across the world to stand up and defend their own?
    I think it is a good idea, that they should stand up and start defending themselves…..

    *****
    Should broadcasters give Islam special treatment?
    NO! Because everyone else wants to have special treatment…

    Dennis

  160. 162 GretchenDawntreader
    October 15, 2008 at 14:14

    Re: Defending Christians around the World

    I think this will be a muddled and confused talking point. There’s the Christian faith on the one hand, which is a who ‘nother topic, and there are attacks on Christian communities and enclaves and ethnic groups that have more to do with politics than with faith.

    If one ethnic group attacks another ethnic group and the attacked group identifies as Christian, that doesn’t necessarily mean that say, American churches as a faith would have any tie, anything in common, or even recognize the faith practices.

    Also, even if there was this monolith mutual defense pact amongst all christians all around the world, do we really want to see “religious armies” defending Jesus in whatever country there is ethnic tension? Crusades?

    Religion tore India and Pakistan apart and continues to cause problems there. I don’t necessarily see religion as a force in world political struggle.

    Unless we want people talking about a Christian Jihad in the same way people talk about an Islamic Jihad.

    Personally, I’m with Chris Hitchens, religion poisons everything. A pox on all your houses of god.

  161. 163 DENNIS@OCC
    October 15, 2008 at 14:17

    Re: Presidential Elligibility
    [The United States of America]

    I think it should be if you are born in The United States—then you should have
    the right to run for office…Under the current requirements!

    ***
    Good morning Karnie and the Rest of the World Have Your
    Say team in London…
    ***
    And good morning/evening/night to the World Have Your Say
    friends!

    Dennis

  162. 164 DENNIS@OCC
    October 15, 2008 at 14:20

    Re: Jessica in New York comments
    October 15, 2008 at 6:35 am

    I think that it was very approriate that Keith Olbermann [insert “b” (word) “slap” down John McCain.

    Dennis

  163. 165 Pangolin-California
    October 15, 2008 at 14:24

    I’m going out on a limb here and making a prediction for todays US stock market. Despite the money thrown at the millionaire bankers with a fire-hose there remains a solid core of distrust of Wall Street.

    Every talking head on the media you will see today will tell you that now is a time to buy stocks and stocks will continue to decline. Leaving the bull in the ruins of the china shop and giving him a full manger of feed isn’t going to create new china.

  164. October 15, 2008 at 14:25

    RE: Christians defending themselves

    First of all, I just took a look at the Right Wing Chicks blog and that perfectly illustrates something I want to say. Christians have widely varying views on EVERYTHING. So, if you look at what she has to say, as we begin a conversation please please understand that she is not representative nor is anyone who claims the mantle of Christian. We, like you dear agnostics and atheists, are all different. While it is easier to imagine us as dull-witted sheep or indiscriminate pit-bulls, we are all individuals. So….

    Just wanted to note – she says “Over the past few decades in an effort to be more “tolerant” of other faiths and religions Christianity, which was the religion of our founding fathers, is under attack and is not tolerated.” It is misleading to say that it was the religion of our founding fathers. The founding of our nation was based just as heavily, if not more so, on philosophy that came from the Scottish enlightenment and was decidedly humanist with a deference to a vague deity. It was convenient to couch much of the language in the common religion of the people, Christianity. These guys were intellectuals, some Christian, some Deist, some agnostic, etc….it’s a distortion that has been very useful to the right wing to present our founding fathers as “mostly Christian.”

  165. October 15, 2008 at 14:32

    @Gretchen and others…

    A pox on all our houses of God? That’s a lovely and open way to begin a discussion. Here’s what I was about to say before I read you’re comment.

    “So is it time for Christians to defend their faith? Are other faiths like Islam treated with kid gloves, while Christianity is seen as fair game for theatre productions and comics? Or in the west do Christians need to toughen up and stop being so sensitive?”

    I think the answers are yes, no, maybe, sometimes, etc. It is such a many-faceted discussion and the question gets to one of my frustrations on the matter which is the reductionism that seems to be so easily accepted when the topic is “Christians.” We are painted as some monolithic group about which things can be said in black and white. However, to answer more directly, I do believe that in the west SOMETIMES Islam is handled a bit more gently than Christianity. But maybe that is ok and to be expected, perhaps the mentality is that Christianity is what the west knows best and has been around for so long that it is like criticizing family versus a neighbor. I think Christians would do well to toughen up a bit and instead of whining about the impending disaster at the hands of liberal atheists/agnostics like Bill Maher, we should be sitting down for drinks with them and cordially note their inaccuracies, ask them what they believe and why, discuss, discuss. etc. What passes for discourse and debate in the west on the subject these days is a poor excuse. This blog has been a perfect example. When faith comes up, each person hammers their shouting points which they have osmoted or read from their favorite pop-atheists who blindly blame religion for the world’s ills while conveniently forgetting all the hospitals, schools, abolition of slavery, etc….

    So yes, Christians need to toughen up, and those who just seem to have a burning need to throw stones need to learn how to listen and have a real conversation for once….that means actually being humble and open enough to the possibility that on a point here or there you might have to say…”oh, I never thought about it that way. I suppose you could be right.” I would be happy to do so on the same basis.

    Sincerely hoping we can have a real conversation,

    Keith Wilson

  166. 168 Pangolin-California
    October 15, 2008 at 14:39

    Reagan exposed the corruptness and vacuousness of the Soviet system that murdered millions of its citizens and made its sphere of influence a virtual prison.

    Oh, I see, you think that the people of Eastern Europe were blind and then Reagan somehow allowed them to see that they were wasting their energy. It goes along with the whole conservative “wealth is the property of the rich which they share with the poor out of the goodness of their hearts” meme.

    In the conservative world big daddy has all the cookies and hands them out to the good little citizens. We shouldn’t criticize the wealthy, daddy figures because then they would take away our jobs.

    Isn’t it time to grow up?

  167. October 15, 2008 at 14:41

    In a free and democratic society, there has to be respect for all religious and ideological beliefs. Of course, the Republicans and Democrats have mocked ALL religions. I am seeing in Miami certain T Shirts with Mc Cain and Obama looking like Jesus Christ. I myself think that this is a lack of respect.

  168. 170 Pangolin-California
    October 15, 2008 at 14:55

    On cue, the US markets open with all indexes in freefall. Isn’t it time we started investigating alternatives to the financial plans offered by the people who engineered the failure?

    The same drunk bridge crew that has run the ship of finance aground is not going to get it off the reef because you supplied them with fresh whiskey.

    Bring out your whacky alternative economics. It couldn’t be worse than this crew.

  169. October 15, 2008 at 14:59

    Is it me or does Paulson look errily similar to Saddams mouth peice as the US troops invade Iraq. “Everything is fine, don’t believe the propaganda.”

    http://video.google.com/videosearch?hl=en&q=Mohammed%20Saeed%20al-Sahaf&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=N&tab=wv#hl=en&emb=0&q=baghdad%20bob

    http://video.on.nytimes.com/index.jsp?fr_story=8f82d0d3b441189a760eaf15b883a4db62e43fe9&rf=mrss

    I will let you guys figure out whic one is which.

  170. 172 Bob in Queensland
    October 15, 2008 at 15:05

    @ Jack Hughes

    Sorry it took me a bit of time to listen to the bryce link….the ability to listen to things and actually hear them is dependent on getting our lad off to bed first!

    It gave me a good laugh though…he was absolutely convinced that the invasion of Iraq (and Afghanistan for that matter) came prior to 9/11.

    Hmmm….maybe we need to start saying 9/11/2001 to help those who are date-challenged!

  171. October 15, 2008 at 15:40

    You know, I’m an equal opportunity mocker. I mock every religion with equal zeal, and we should have the freedom to do so. If Islam hadn’t proven to be full of homicidal maniacs, we’d be joking right along with Ben Elton about it as much as Christianity.

    Although, I don’t find myself joking that much about Christianity, mostly because I spend so much of my time educating the ignorant that I don’t have the bandwidth! That blogger — Right Wing Chicky — is wrong on so many points, I’d have to write a full-fledged essay to cover every point. “Christian” men did not found this country. Deists did. The country was founded on secular principals. The phrase “under God” wasn’t added to our Pledge of Allegiance until 1954, and “In God We Trust” to our money at the same time — both in reaction to The Red Scare. Had to distinguish ourselves from those Pinko Commies, you know. We have had leaders at various points who are “men of faith,” but this is not a country “founded on Christian principals.” That’s just bull pucky. She should put down her dogma-tainted authors and read Susan Jacoby’s “FREETHINKERS: A History of American Secularism” to get the true picture.

    Poor persecuted American Christians! If they really had to run for their lives like these poor people in other countries, they’d really have something valid to complain about. Otherwise, their ilk have had a choke hold on our culture for quite some time.

    To hold up Palin as an example of “persecution,” one must be kidding. Palin has been dodging her Pentecostal religious affiliation in the press. A recent article in TIME magazine well documents this fact. If she’s so proud of what Christ has done in her life, why doesn’t she stand up and be counted? Is she afraid the press will slaughter her for her witch-chasing Muthee the way they did Obama for Rev. Wright? (And they well should. That man is an abomination here and in Kenya for the terror he inflicts on innocent women, accusing them of being witches. Please!) Palin is fair game for lots of reasons, especially because she spews lies for the Right. For example, according to FactCheck.org, in her debate with Joe Biden, she told NINE whoppers to his two. Gee, that’s more than four times as many lies as Biden could muster. How very Christian of her to bear false witness so egregiously. Her hubris to even accept the VP nomination despite her desperate lack of qualification comes from one thing: her messianic mission. She thinks she’s the new messiah, bringing Jesus to the White House and saving the world. If you think I’m making any of this up, you haven’t watched any of those videos of her on YouTube in her church.

    Other than videos, how do I know her motives? you ask. Because I was affiliated with the Pentecostals for several years. That is, before I grew a brain. I know their agenda very well. No one can say that a Pentecostal politician isn’t “pushing their religion on anyone.” That’s the biggest delusion ever spawned next to organized religion itself. We’ve suffered tremendously because of George W. Bush’s faith. “God” told him to go to war in Iraq. If it had been a bar of soap in his shower that had told him, people would think he was nuts. But because it was “God,” he gets a free ride.

    The reason we can pick on Christianity — particularly Palin’s flavor of it — is because it’s bigoted, ignorant and short-sighted. It discriminates against others based on their faith and sexuality, and blocks science at every turn. Palin’s Christianity destroys women’s rights in the name of “life,” blocks scientific progress, and suffers a damning denial of basic scientific facts, such as evolution and global warming. It’s just this kind of ignorance that has made the U.S. a fading star in the scientific and technological world. If Islam was a bigger influence in the U.S., we’d bust its chops for exactly the same reasons.

    People don’t pick on Obama’s faith because he keeps it out of the way of most issues. He’s still bigoted against homosexuals, denying them equal marriage rights, so he certainly still has issues. But he’s not a spiritual know-it-all. He admits that he doesn’t have all the answers — something you’ll never hear out of Palin’s mouth because she’s certain it’s in the bible somewhere or at least in her interpretation of it. That’s how hubristic Pentecostals are. And nobody — just nobody — likes a know-it-all. (Oh, hey, and how about that McCain parroting the perfect Christian answer to the question of “When does life begin?” He looked around smugly, knowing he’d get applause. A guy who had blasted evangelicals in his first bid for President. Way to sell your soul, mac.)

    So, this has turned into that essay I don’t really have time to write, but I think these are the salient points. American Christians have it too cushy and have been in power too long here. We have a duty to check religious belief when it interferes with the rights of others and scientific knowledge.

  172. 174 Luz Ma from Mexico
    October 15, 2008 at 15:48

    @Will
    Conservative again… at least is a minority government. What had happened with the Liberals in Canada?

    I hope Obama wins the U.S. election. It would be a good break from conservative governments in the North American Hemisphere.

  173. October 15, 2008 at 15:54

    From the land of the fake news. “Dick Cheney to report to hospital for irregular heart beat.” Being reported on MSNBC right now. Really, who out there believes Dick Cheney actually has a heart?

  174. 176 Luz Ma from Mexico
    October 15, 2008 at 16:01

    @Amy about Christina Applegate double mastectomy

    I would do the same if I were in her situation.

    I have a friend who lost her grandmother and two aunts from brest cancer. Her mother was diagnosed a couple of years ago and barely survived it. So, my friend goes to medical checkups every other month and undergoes mamographies every 6 months. She is thinking of having a double mastectomy, eventhough she hasn’t developed cancer. Many people around her think it would be a radical step, but she says that she is too afraid of getting sick, specially because she has small children.

  175. 177 Luz Ma from Mexico
    October 15, 2008 at 16:25

    @Kelsie about Pope Paul VI’s encyclical Humanae Vitae

    Here are my answers to your questions (btw, I am Catholic)

    What is the purpose of sexual activity? Is it solely to procreate?

    I don’t think the sole purpose of sexual activity is to procreate. I think sex is also a physiological need and a very important factor in love relationships. In my opinion, you cannot strip these two aspects from the purpose of sexual relatioships.

    If we remove the ability of sex to potentially lead to pregnancy, are we somehow morally wrong or bankrupting a biological process of its purpose?

    First, it is important to note that before modern medicine, many pregnancies weren’t successful and many mothers and/or babies died from complication during/at/after pregnancy. There was a “natural” balance.

    Nowadays, with overpopulation, climate change, social problems, etc., I think it is irresponsable to have so many children. But that is my personal opinion. I respect the right of every Christians/Catholics that refuse to use “artificial” contraceptives because of their beliefs. It is a personal choice. But I don’t endorse it and definetely I dislike when they try to impose their views on other people that think the opposite.

  176. 178 Roberto
    October 15, 2008 at 16:36

    RE “”“Christian” men did not found this country. Deists did.””
    ————————————————————————————————

    ——– Oh dear, the usual anti-Christian suspects out with more nonsense to counter noted over the top Christian evangelizers.

    Most of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, Continental Congress, and Constitutional Convention were certainly “Christian” of varied denominations. There was a healthy dialogue on the referencing of “God” in relevant documents which would have included noted deists of the day, and when the smoke cleared, the US was founded on the principle of free worship and absent any nationalized religious belief.

    Thus all parties had it in writing that they would be free of state intrusion in their personal religious beliefs and that no religion would be favored by the country over another.

    Of course the deists would have you believe their religious beliefs are the foundation of the country, and thus the unceasing schoolyard disputes of deist country vs Christian country and which invented dear old mom, I cannot tell a lie apple pie, and sabre rattling red, white, and blue.

  177. 179 gary
    October 15, 2008 at 16:37

    Just as with cocaine and heroin, money is a powerfully addictive substance. Credit means getting your fix without (immediately) paying the pusher – sorry banker. Bankers (and pushers for that matter) are simply supplying a demand for a product. Cut them a bit of slack! They’re no worse than the addicts they serve.
    g

  178. October 15, 2008 at 17:41

    Stay or Leave, but Don’t Fuss!
    TEHRAN – All things must end, good or bad. Four or five years ago we were talking of the Liberation Force in Iraq but it turns out Baghdad has had enough of the Coalition Forces and wants US out.
    It may sound harsh, but there it is. US President George W. Bush probably spent some three trillion dollars in Iraq, compound interest included. Was it worth it? US Vice-President Dick Cheney is having a heart attack. Everyone in the Arab world wants US troops out of Iraq.
    It simply is too dangerous to stay. It is too volatile to discuss. The commander of US military forces in Iraq General Ray Odierno accuses Iran of bribery of Iraqi legislators. Iraqis have already got more money than we have. Either they want a security deal with the US or not, we should abide by their decision.

  179. 181 Pangolin-California
    October 15, 2008 at 19:16

    Akbar~ If the US leaves Iraq then all too soon the truth about Iraqi, and possibly Saudi, oil production will be revealed. If the speculators at Theoildrum.com who believe that Iraqi oil is being diverted to Saudi Arabia to prop up world oil markets are correct that will blow the lid off the world economy.

    If Iraqi oil production is radically higher or lower than published fingers will point and world estimates of future economic output will have to adjust The only certain thing is that the US is not dealing fairly with Iraqi oil output.


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