Talking points for 9 April

Good morning, Ros has already started a debate asking “Should the Olympic torch-relay be cancelled?” – the torch is in San Francisco and if you’re there will you be protesting – or cheering it past?

Also, Fuchsia has asked if you are worried about rising food prices. It’s been a theme running through a few of our editorial meetings for a while and we may team up with Africa Have Your Say, who are discussing the issue today. So you can join those debates or start new ones here.

There was a poll in the International Herald Tribune last week that revealed Europeans – especially the French – tend to think German Chancellor Angela Merkel is Europe’s leader. That got us wondering, who runs Africa? Judging by the general response to the role of the South African president in the election farce in neighbouring Zimbabwe, it’s not Thabo Mbeki. Is that fair? Who do you think leads the continent?

Most of you will have heard about the government raid on an isolated polygamist retreat in West Texas, which was sparked by reports of girls as young as 13 were being forced to enter “spiritual marriages,” have sex and bear children. Is polygamy – among consenting adults – wrong? Have a read of this and tell me what you think about multiple partners in the modern world.

15 Responses to “Talking points for 9 April”

  1. April 9, 2008 at 09:53

    Something I read in the paper today in relation to canceling the torch-relay or discussing the whole torch topic.

    Did you know?
    Read a piece in the paper this morning that the Olympic flame was intentionally invented by Nazi-Germany.

    According the paper: The Olympic flame was introduced in 1936 during/start of the Olympic games in Nazi-Germany. The flame carried by Fritz Schilgen. He carried the torch 3422 km to Berlin where Adolf Hitler and company were waiting for the grand opening.

    Knowing this would that change your thoughts about the Olympic torch in any means?

  2. April 9, 2008 at 13:22

    Perhaps if the polygamous Texas patriarchs looked more like Bill Paxton and less like Charles Ingalls, perhaps if they opened up a bathhouse instead of a compound, they would win the approval of the elite and privacy advocates.

    …Or perhaps if they weren’t sick individuals who rape and abuse children…?

    Is polygamy – among consenting adults – wrong?
    In my opinion, yes.

    The argument presented in that piece that ‘secularists’ engage with multiple partners. and that “Polygamy is just a more organized and immediate form of promiscuity” is fundamentally wrong. Promiscuity is just that, sex with multiple partners. Polygamy is trying to merge and justify that sex by being bound to those multiple partners. In my opinion to make a relationship work, both individuals need to be completely dedicated to one another. A union cannot work when more than two people are involved. That is of course unless there is sumission, brainwashing, and massive amounts of control exerted by the male polygamist.
    The Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints are sick individuals trying to justify their pedophillic and sexually disturbed desires and ways of life not only to eachother, but to the general public. I hope to see all of them who were willfully involved imprisoned in the near future.

    Brett ~ Richmond, Va.

  3. April 9, 2008 at 13:32

    On the Torch and San Francisco,
    I look forward to seeing what will happen and how that city will represent our country as the Torch passes through. I wish I could be there!

    Brett ~ Richmond, Va.

  4. 4 George USA
    April 9, 2008 at 13:37


    Reading the boards here, the remarks seem be moving to the tradition Smackie refers to.

    The thought of stopping the entire process never crossed my mind

    until I saw the Chinese on here trying to brass it out using those same techniques.

    This could get nasty.

    Food and Fuel-

    A once comfortable income at upper middle has, in a matter of months,

    become only adequate to pay spiraling cost increases.

    Locked into the income without increase,

    the inflation of basics threatens to drag the comfy into poverty.

    The same is dragging the poor before the increases into desperation and crime.



    No African ruler “leads” even his own country much less the continent.

    China and the USA are extending influence tools aimed at resources:

    where there is friction there is heat.



    Do not worry concerning minor Texas cults,

    the once proud Lone Star State is now run entirely cult run.

    The polygamist are not even the tip of the iceberg,

    just ice cubes floating by.

  5. 5 steve
    April 9, 2008 at 13:49

    I’m shocked there are even polygamy laws. Marriage is a religious institution which I think the state has no business even recognizing. However if you’re going to have sex with kids, then you deserve to be in jail. However I see no problem with Polygamy, if you’re that stupid to set yourself up with multiple divorces, more power to you. I don’t think states should even recognize marriages as it’s purely religious in nature.

  6. April 9, 2008 at 14:19

    Steves got a point!
    You don’t even get half if everyone splits up, you may end up getting only a fifth of the house or even less!

    Brett ~ Richmond, Va.

  7. 7 George USA
    April 9, 2008 at 16:01

    Marriage increases good health.

    Epidemiologist have found a shocking phenomenon.

    The Latino immigrants- legal and illegal- have far better physical and mental health than even the richest US citizens.

    They attribute this health to the family.

    Marriage and close knit family forms a protection against disease, mental and physical.

  8. 8 steve
    April 9, 2008 at 16:36

    @ George

    I think materialism has more of an affect than marriage. Every married man I know save a handful are absolutely miserable. If someone is materialistic, or married to someone who is materialistic, they will likely be miserable because materialistic people are never satisfied with what they have and always want more.

  9. 9 steve
    April 9, 2008 at 17:53

    OOps , I meant “effect”. In fact, I would have to think that married people are less happy than single people. First, most marriages result in divorce, so those people obviously weren’t happy. Do you think the 40% of those that don’t divorce are all happy? Very likely they aren’t, but don’t divorce for personal or religious reasons.

  10. 10 Xie_Ming
    April 9, 2008 at 18:13

    Statistics come out in favor of the benefits of long term partnerships between a man and a woman. If one third to one-half are now failures, I would fault something other than the institution itself.

    Polygamy is the Old Testament way, is it not? Why not let the woman decide?

    Sects show the power of ideology over common sense. My favorite is the one that that has the woman supporting the family, while the man does the important thing: studying the Holy Book througout his life!

  11. 11 steve
    April 9, 2008 at 19:03

    Xie_Ming, my family knew this family that were a member of some cult that thought the world was going to end in the mid-late 1980s, so the entire cult decided to move to Montana and live in Bunkers. The guy said he joined after had a bad acid trip and an “angel” told him to join this group, the Church Universal Triumphant. As you can guess, they prophet was wrong in her prediction that the world was going to end in the 1980s.

  12. 12 Sandra Patricia, Colombia
    April 9, 2008 at 19:14

    Hi! 🙂

    Unfortunately today we don’t have many happy families, but I completely agree with Xie Ming: Marriage is not the actual problem but the concept we have about it in the last years. Why do we have grandpas who have been married for more than 50 years – with excellent health conditions – and, on the contrary, new couples split in less that 5 years? In the past times, polygamy was necessary to bring more inhabitants on Earth, but today it’s lead by the same feeling that destroys families: you’re never satisfied with the single person you chose to share the rest of your life. After all, polygamy is selfish. What about fidelity? What about the respect for the other person? That’s just “Big Love” for the polygamist! And of course that it’s abuse when there are children involved, as in the case of the young lady!

    Also, I consider marriage is not only a religious matter, as Steve says: It may also have legal and social implications. It means you’ll be committed to a family for the rest of your life, but people usually prefer the easy way not to get any compromise for life. :S This same way of thinking has lead to superficial engagements, cohabitation (if it’s the correct word for not married couples) and divorce.

  13. 13 Sandra Patricia, Colombia
    April 9, 2008 at 19:32

    Hi, again! 🙂

    Smackie has set a good point. What the signification of the Olympic torch? This tradition had its origin with the ancient Greeks because of the divine connotations of fire. In the modern era, however, it was introduced again in the Olympic Games in Amsterdam, although moving the torch from Olympia to the Olympic venue began, in fact, in 1936 as part of the Nazi propaganda (realted to Hitler’s belief that classical Greece was an Aryan pantecedent of the modern German Reich). Obviously, today the Olympic torch has a completely different signification, and it does not mean that people who support it are Nazis, but then is it correct to follow a ‘beautiful’ tradition without bearing in mind its origin, as happens with Christmas or Halloween, for instance? :S

  14. 14 George USA
    April 9, 2008 at 22:18

    “Unnatural Causes: Is Inequality Making Us Sick?” PBS

    I was stating a fact about marriage/family/immigrants.

    Studies of immigrant health found them healthier than all US citizens and attribute this to marriage and the close knit Hispanic family.

    No health statistics were given on polygamy in the US or abroad.

  15. 15 Sandra Patricia, Colombia
    April 10, 2008 at 06:53

    Unfortunately it’s not easy to access to information about the way polygamists families’ health is affected, but it’s noticeable the high rate of wives involved in this kind of marriages which have psycological problems because of their low self-esteem and disatisfaction. Being left aside affects tremendously their esteem, specially when they are “replaced” for new ones. What about their children? How can a man look after many children and supply all the affection they need? Or, even, the young girls who are involved in this kind of relationship and cannot enjoy thier teenage as young people shoud?

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