Monday morning musings

There are a few stories around that we could talk about in today’s programme. There have been a number over the last few days about biofuels and climate change.

In Britain, a committee of MPs has said the the European Union should abandon its biofuels targets because they are damaging the environment.

The Environmental Audit Committee says biofuels are ineffective at cutting greenhouse gases and can be expensive. The EU wants biofuels to provide 10 per cent of road fuels by 2020.

There are are also concerns that the increasing demand for crops to provide biofuels is pushing up the price of food.

In Britain’s Observer news paper on Sunday, the philosopher John Gray argued that with an increasing population, things such as biofuels are no solution to climate change and that the only real solutions are technologies, such as nuclear power and GM crops. 

Should biofuels be abandoned in favour of alternatives? 

 Kenya and Gaza and boycotts

At least 30 people have been killed in a weekend of continuing post-election violence in Kenya.

In the worst incident 22 people in a Rift Valley camp for displaced people reportedly died after being attacked by mobs armed with machetes.

We haven’t returned to the post-election crisis in Kenya for a couple of weeks. Perhaps we should hear from people there?

Another part of the world you may want to hear from is the Gaza Strip.  Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has urged the international community to intervene over power cuts in Gaza blamed on an Israeli blockade.

Gaza City was plunged into darkness on Sunday after managers shut down the Gaza Strip’s only power plant, saying they had no fuel left.  

Israel cut supplies of some types of fuel and closed border crossings into Gaza on Friday in response to continuing rockets attacks from militants in Gaza.

Maybe there is a question bringing together Kenya and Gaza. Last week the EU backed a call to cut financial support to the Kenyan government following the elections, which the opposition say were severely flawed, and the opposition said it would boycott businesses linked to President Kibaki’s administration.

Do boycott’s work or do they simply hurt ordinary people?

Return to Pakistan?

The Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf has begun an eight-day visit to Europe, with democracy and tackling terror on the agenda as he meets EU leaders.

Beginning in Brussels, the visit will take him on to the UK, France and the World Economic Forum in Switzerland.

This is another story we haven’t touched on for a little while, since the assassination of Benazir Bhutto. Is today the day to go back to it?


A story that caught my attention over the weekend was Libya’s announcement that it intends to deport an estimated one million illegal immigrants.

The New York-based group Human Rights Watch says Libyan law prohibits deportation to countries where refugees may face persecution. The Libyan economy relies on many of these people to do menial jobs, while they send money home or prepare to travel on to Europe seeking a better life.

Most of the immigrants are from sub-Saharan Africa. There have been stories in Britain recently about immigrants being deported when they required medical treatment they would not get in their home countries.

Do countries have a duty to look after migrants who come to their shores?

 Islam and the Netherlands

The Dutch government is said to be preparing for violent protests following the scheduled broadcast this week of a film about Muslims by a radical right-wing politician who has threatened to broadcast images of the Koran being torn up and otherwise desecrated.

Geert Wilders says his film, which is planned for broadcast on the TV or the internet,  will reveal the Koran as a source of “inspiration for intolerance, murder and terror”.

Should we try and get Mr Wilders on so that you can put your questions and comments to him?


10 Responses to “Monday morning musings”

  1. 1 Mohammed Ali
    January 21, 2008 at 10:50

    Three topics have really caught my attention this morning: 1. The issue of biofuel, i think it should discussed. 2. The continuing political crisis in kenya which is claiming the lives of more and more innocent kenyans. 3. Also the story concerning Libya deporting about one million illegal immigrants. it is important to know the view of the outside world on this matter.

  2. 2 steve
    January 21, 2008 at 12:29

    At the risk of committing a “thought crime” for questioning aspects of someone else’s culture, how is cutting your child’s head with a razor and encouraging bleeding not child abuse?

  3. 3 George
    January 21, 2008 at 12:51

    1. Should food plants biofuel be excluded and non-food plant biofuels be used?

    2. Kenya- should other nations call for a dictator who rigged an election to go into exile or face assassination?

    3. Gaza- Is it time for the rocket attacks against Israel to be recognized as a declaration of war?

    4. If Libya deports 1 million illegals, should the USA deport 14 million?

    5. Is the Koran incompatible with life? Does it demand all Muslims to kill all non- Muslims?

    6. Skip talk of defiling the Koran, but do get Wilder pointing out the scriptural texts demanding Jihad against non Muslim women and children.

  4. 4 Xie_Ming
    January 21, 2008 at 13:06

    One should carefully state the rationale for intervening in another country’s affairs.

    Typically, this is not done. One gets junior media employees projecting their paricular worldviews, seeking to rouse what they will style “public opinion”. Of course, these juniors do not realize that they are “squirts” who understand very little.

    Sanctions typically hurt the population and not the elite that directs policy. The disastrous results of USA-fostered sanctions against Iraq I are a case in point.

    Do not get me started on the horror of Palestine!

  5. 5 Xie_Ming
    January 21, 2008 at 13:11

    The whole question of immigrants needs to be looked at in depth.

    One propaganda line says ” No person is illegal”!

    In fact, societies and cultures are based on the assumption of homogeneity of values and worldview.

    Any diversion from this is a special situation.

    English law can start from the point of what duties are involved toward an illegal trespasser.

    Next, what are the duties towards an invited guest.

    Would this introduce some clarity into the situation?

  6. 6 Xie_Ming
    January 21, 2008 at 13:14

    Indeed, invite Mr. Wilders and let him expound his views.

    Once you have done so, despite the presence of Miliband, one may then examine the intolerance and killing demanded by the Old Testament and its Christian and Muslim sequelae.

  7. 7 George
    January 23, 2008 at 06:58

    Junior Squirts views-

    1. ventilation function, safety values on steam engines work

    2. limited information- Jr vs vast information- Sr

    both can come to the wrong conclusions,
    when the analysis of far greater information Sr is crippled by irrational doctrine(s)
    the junior may offer the senior a reality check

    3. searching for solutions may be of far greater value
    than those who “know it all” and only seek to manipulate

    Meddling in others affairs-

    Nations covertly meddle in others affairs with no public criterion, often stupidly without oversight.

    Why should discussion be limited publicly
    claiming no stated criterion
    while covert actions operate stupidly based on doctrine they themselves cannot defend?

    The “We know it all” argument might rightly be called the “Fraidy Cat” defense.

  8. 8 George
    January 23, 2008 at 07:07

    Illegal immigration violates the concept of private property rights.

    All of English common law, liberal democracy, Western Economics and prosperity, banking/credit, Capitalism- common stocks, and emergence of first world countries vs third world countries is based on ownership of private property.

    Violate the right to own property and you attack the core of Wall Street.

    Illegal immigrations for cheap labor profit proponents

    attack the ground they stand on.

  9. 9 George
    January 23, 2008 at 07:26

    Directives to Kill-

    Judeo/Christian vs Muslim

    God specified wiping out completely the occupants of the promised land as a one time operation when Joshua lead them into the land. God gave Israel the deed to the land.

    Never does God direct Israel or Christians in the Torah / Bible to kill all other people who do not convert to Judaism or Christianity.

    Does the Koran direct Muslims to kill everyone who does not convert to Islam?

  10. April 22, 2008 at 17:46

    actually without bringing others sayings into fact…
    muslims have not been commanded to kill every non-muslim…in fact God will never order such a preposterous thing
    …its man himself who complicates a simple issue
    because muslims are told to ‘encourage the good and prevent the worse’

    whosoever took out such an awful subject…really needs a proper study of the koran.
    and by the way …what’s the matter with those people want to stop the biofuels.

    we should strive to live in better conditions.. i’m sure we wldnt want the world to die out…think twice !!

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