13
May
08

Talking Points for 14 May

Thanks to Adam for editing last night. For a quick catchup check out Count Iblis on abortion and Brett on consumption in India vs America.

Other options today include of course China and Burma – the news is pretty grim out of both Sichuan and Yangon. I was wondering what the response to a natural disaster says about a country. When was your country last tested in this way? How did you do?

As you’ll know, Hillary Clinton won the West Virginia primary in a “lanslide” according to CNN, or “handily” in the New York Times, which said race was an unusually salient factor. We’ve discussed this before but is it growing as an issue?

A piece in the Times today puts the case for Why Hezbollah should be condemned over the current turmoil in Lebanon. Dean Godson points out that in the words of Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora, “even the Israeli enemy never dared to do to Beirut what Hezbollah has done.” So why is there no public protest in the West to compare with that over Israel’s conflict in 2006?

A blow for open government? In an effort to head off a deluge of Freedom of Information requests the British government is releasing the “British X-files”. Apparently they don’t include any solid evidence that aliens exist. But will the documents end the debate?


63 Responses to “Talking Points for 14 May”


  1. 1 adaminportland
    May 13, 2008 at 20:14

    Good Day from Portland, Oregon USA

  2. May 13, 2008 at 20:38

    Here is a topic that will really matter in the general election, It is understood that the two oldest members of the supreme court are liberal leaning. Roe v. Wade is a very controversial topic in the United States. It is the law that legalized abortion. Does the fact that if McCain gets elected, he could appoint judges that overturn the decision affect your decision?

    And also, could some one tell me when to use “effect” and when to use “affect”? lol

    Personaly I am a pro life, but find there are more pressing issues to worry about. I think democrats have the better approach to the economy and foreign relations. I will vote for Obama in spite of my pro life beliefs

  3. May 13, 2008 at 20:38

    Adam, good evening! I’ll be working on a friends GTI 1.8T tonight replacing a blown turbo *ugh*. So I’ll have the laptop out there in the garage to take part in this evenings discussion 🙂 What’s on the agenda?

  4. May 13, 2008 at 20:42

    @ Dwight: One of my final courses before getting my BA in International Business Management was a business writing course. Our teacher went over affect and effect countless times. It seems nobody could ever quite grasp it. I’m not sure I do all the time either haha.

    “There are five distinct words here. When “affect” is accented on the final syllable (a-FECT), it is usually a verb meaning “have an influence on”: “The million-dollar donation from the industrialist did not affect my vote against the Clean Air Act.”

    Occasionally a pretentious person is said to affect an artificial air of sophistication. Speaking with a borrowed French accent or ostentatiously wearing a large diamond ear stud might be an affectation. In this sort of context, “affect” means “to make a display of or deliberately cultivate.”

    Another unusual meaning is indicated when the word is accented on the first syllable (AFF-ect), meaning “emotion.” In this case the word is used mostly by psychiatrists and social scientists— people who normally know how to spell it.

    The real problem arises when people confuse the first spelling with the second: “effect.” This too can be two different words. The more common one is a noun: “When I left the stove on, the effect was that the house filled with smoke.” When you affect a situation, you have an effect on it.

    The less common is a verb meaning “to create”: “I’m trying to effect a change in the way we purchase widgets.” No wonder people are confused. Note especially that the proper expression is not “take affect” but “take effect”—become effective. Hey, nobody ever said English was logical: just memorize it and get on with your life.

    The stuff in your purse? Your personal effects”
    http://www.wsu.edu/~brians/errors/affect.html

    lol, that work? 🙂

  5. May 13, 2008 at 21:13

    lol, umm, it does right this second. but I am sure the next time I will be thinking, “now what was that Brett said?” followed shortly by “if it is cause and effect, how does it relatie to what I am trying to say?’

    I think I used it right. How wil the potential change in the supreme court affect (have influence on) the readers presidential choice?

  6. 6 adaminportland
    May 13, 2008 at 21:14

    I’m having some technical problems folks. Not sure if this message will get though. I’ll be getting on another computer in a few hours please be patient I’ll be with you as soon as I can. Thanks.

  7. 7 Dennis
    May 13, 2008 at 21:29

    Adam:

    Thanks for being the moderator…..

    I saw this story, Former emir dies in Kuwait City….Sheikh Saad….
    Please accept my condolences to his family and the Nation of Kuwait…

    Here is the link:
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7399438.stm

    Dennis~Madrid, U.S.A.

  8. May 13, 2008 at 21:31

    @ Dwight and Brett!

    Wonderful English lesson Brett! I most certainly agree with you – memorize it and move on!

    As for the economy, I am with you Dwight about the dems and the economy. I am not even what John McCain’s position is other than not to offer relief to people likely to loose their houses and proposing a short term gas tax holiday. Then, again, I may be wrong…so, I am open to correction. In fact, it is for this reason why I think that the dems should resolve the nominee issue very quickly and urgently get their show on the road!

  9. 9 Dennis
    May 13, 2008 at 21:33

    @ Brett,

    Good job, in helping your friend…..

    Dennis~Madrid, U.S.A.

  10. 10 Will Rhodes
    May 13, 2008 at 22:22

    A good topic – how about the US using coal to make oil to make gas?

  11. 11 Shirley
    May 13, 2008 at 23:12

    Hello, Dwight
    English Grammar: Your post at May 13, 2008 at 9:13 pm.
    “How will the potential change in the supreme court affect (have influence on) the readers presidential choice?”

    The word would be “effect” in this case, because the meaning is related to change.

    I enjoy language study.

  12. May 13, 2008 at 23:54

    Hello Precious Adam… Is it time to bring the plight of Iraqi refugees and asylum seekers back into the spotlights again ?! Guys, please check this out and tell me what you think : news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7397825.stm. With my love. Yours forever, Lubna.

  13. 13 Venessa in Portland, OR
    May 14, 2008 at 00:18

    I hate the fact that every time I vote I feel like I am choosing the lesser of two evils….So the answer is yes, the position a candidate takes on key issues I find important will affect my decision at the polls.

  14. 14 Dennis
    May 14, 2008 at 00:27

    @ Will,

    great topic….about using coal to make oil and make
    gas…..

    have we ever thought about solar power and wind [for electric]….

    Dennis~Madrid, U.S.A.

  15. 15 Dennis
    May 14, 2008 at 00:31

    @ 7.30PM Eastern standard time, CNN has projected HILLARY CLINTON will win the State of West Virginia…

    Dennis~Madrid, United States of America

  16. 16 Dennis
    May 14, 2008 at 00:36

    Lubna,

    i went to the link that was send in your dispatch….

    I agree with that it is time to bring the light on the Iraqi refugees and
    asylum seekers……

    I worry about you and your family and country [and i hope you are
    doing good].

    Dennis~Madrid, United States of America

  17. 17 adaminportland
    May 14, 2008 at 00:37

    Hey everybody, sorry I’m late. I had a large technical problem and have not been able to moderate the way I would have liked to until now. So bear with me as I get a handle on this. Thanks for your patience and kind greetings.

  18. 18 Dennis
    May 14, 2008 at 00:40

    @ Adam,

    I accept your apologies for not moderating in the way, you would have
    wanted to……

    🙂

    Dennis from Madrid, United States of America

  19. 19 Shirley
    May 14, 2008 at 00:53

    Lubna,
    Salam habibti.

    I read the news article that you posted about the refugee family from Iraq that settled in the US. How utterly distasteful and shameful that the local Muslims in the US did not do a single thing to help them! What is wrong with us these days? What has so distracted the attention of the American Muslim that he won’t help his brothers in Islam when they are obviously in need?

  20. 20 Janet T
    May 14, 2008 at 00:56

    @Venessa-

    I agree, every time I vote I feel as though I’m settling for an OK choice- but not the best our wonderful country has to offer.

    Chin up Adam- it will get better!

  21. 21 adaminportland
    May 14, 2008 at 01:01

    Well from behind the 8Ball I’d like to suggest something that kind of came out last night as an idea.
    How about we get together and meet face to face and talk in person about the WHYS topics? Consider something like this: Meet up with other local WHYS listeners/bloggers/contributors somewhere local to you and either listen to WHYS live and comment as a group either on air or the blog. Let the Staff know what’s going on ahead of time so they have an idea who is commenting. perhaps even have a telephone set up on speaker mode to get everyone’s say in the conversation. Another thought is getting together when WHYS is off the air and group blogging or even having an international conference call happen with moderation and blog updates. Take the conversation off the air but not eliminatet the voice interaction as it were.

  22. 22 Will Rhodes
    May 14, 2008 at 01:05

    have we ever thought about solar power and wind [for electric]….

    You have Dennis – yet the investment isn’t there in the US.

    Click to access USBSFC.pdf

    Interesting graph, no?

  23. 23 Will Rhodes
    May 14, 2008 at 01:07

    You’re all welcome to come to New Brunswick, Adam.

  24. 24 Dennis
    May 14, 2008 at 01:10

    @ Will,

    Interesting graph>>>i can not answer the question
    because my Internet Service Providers is having
    technical problems….

    Dennis from Madrid, United States of America

  25. May 14, 2008 at 01:11

    @ coal for oil. I still am no fan of repeating the mistakes of the past. Renewable energy is the way to go. We haven’t reached that point yet, but I foresee a time where instead of a central generation point of the grid, we have a distributed grid system. Many small wind, solar, and hydraulic energy generators feeding a communal grid system. One area of the country has a hurricane; the energy created by it will be stored for months if not a year. But to get to that point the easy non-renewables have to get priced out of reach.

    @ grammar, thanks for the correction. I do find it funny that more people addressed the grammar part which was thrown in as a half joke when I realized I wasn’t sure how to write the question.

    As I mentioned in the “should Hillary pull out?” comments. I think that anybody who says they wouldn’t vote for Obama right now, would most often change their mind when they understand that the Roe v. Wade decision might be on the line. I don’t believe that is true of Obama supporters as much. Hillary’s support basin is made up of poor, uneducated white women. This demographic cherish their precious right to kill babies. (Putting it that way should get things going.) I wonder how that demographic effects other people around the country. I also wonder how much merit others from people around the world , if they had that choice.

  26. 26 adaminportland
    May 14, 2008 at 01:15

    @ Will
    thanks it’s a place I’ve always wanted to see.

    @ Dennis
    Oregon is leading the wasy in some regards with tax incentives for people and corperations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

    @ Lubna

    Your kind salutations always bring a smile to
    my face. National Public Radio in the US has done many stories on the plight of Iraqi refugees. The regular media is ignoring them I’m afraid, I’m sorry for that and extend an apology on behalf of all Americans. It is our governement not the peoples error.

    @ everyboy else

    thanks again for your tolerance of my rooky status here
    and your generous encouragement

  27. May 14, 2008 at 01:21

    Voting for the lesser of two evils is an easy problem to fix. Stop letting people vote for a person. Two often we are voting for the person who had enough money to make their name most recognizable. Set primary system that has people answer question about how they feel about the issues. It spits out the candidate that most closely aligns with their creed.

    Then in the general election we don’t vote. We have a contest that includes a “Jeopardy” like game show, tapioca pudding wrestling, actual mud slinging, and a 5 hour drink-a-thon. We will really get to know what the candidates think at about 1:30 am after a 6 pack and 4 Jäger bombs.

  28. 28 adaminportland
    May 14, 2008 at 01:23

    @ Dwight
    I just heard an interview yesterday with a retired Army General with 30 years in service who supports Hillary. A female General that is. As moderator I will refrain from voicing my own opinions on politics here but I thought that might be of interest to you.

    Roe vs Wade is always up for grabs when it comes to elections. Regardless of the candidates.

  29. 29 adaminportland
    May 14, 2008 at 01:28

    Ok folks I have to run and feed our cattle so I ask for your patience. Keep those comments coming I will get to them ASAP.

    BTW anybody want to comment on my idea of getting together with your fellow local WHYS contributors?

  30. 30 Venessa in Portland, OR
    May 14, 2008 at 01:35

    @ Dennis & Will; It’s funny you should bring up the topic of sustainable resources for electricity. My husband and I are in the middle of an entire house remodel project and are finding there are not a lot of alternative energy options in residential areas like Portland.

    Initially we wanted to convert to geo-thermal which turned out to be a joke. We can’t even get the holes drilled for the ground loops. The only estimate we could obtain for drilling was a minimum starting cost of $14k for the first day. That doesn’t include the other $18k for the actual geo-thermal system. Ultimately we couldn’t recoup enough of the cost in a period the justified the price tag. Of course the same system in a home like ours on a piece of property outside the city would cost around $22k with installation.

    Solar power is not a very efficient choice where we live either (however we are converting to solar hot water). The most frustrating thing about our endeavor to find sustainable energy is that as we called all the different companies claiming to sell solar and geo-thermals systems they all tried to sell us natural gas instead.

  31. 31 Venessa in Portland, OR
    May 14, 2008 at 01:37

    @ Adam – I think it would be great to have a get together with fellow WHYS contributors.

  32. 32 Dennis
    May 14, 2008 at 01:41

    @ Adam:

    Thanks for the information……

    Dennis~Madrid, United States of America

  33. 33 Dennis
    May 14, 2008 at 01:44

    Adam,

    enjoy your time feeding the cattle……

    <<>>
    I promised a link regarding the Hillary win in West Virginia….
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/7397918.stm

    Dennis from Madrid, United States of America

  34. May 14, 2008 at 01:51

    I’m down for getting together on the WHYS tip, but the only WHYS regulars that are in my state (that I know of) are Steve, and Eileen?

    And man, Adam, you have cattle?! What else do you have/grow?!

  35. 35 Dennis
    May 14, 2008 at 01:54

    I loved the idea…but i lived in New York State…..

    Dennis 🙂

  36. 36 Dennis
    May 14, 2008 at 02:01

    Have you ever got a free hair-cut?

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/7397602.stm

    Dennis
    Madrid, U.S.A.

  37. 37 adaminportland
    May 14, 2008 at 02:10

    @ Brett
    I think for get togethers to work some help from the staff would be in order, that way not just the bloggers would know but the listening only audience as well.
    For example until last week I never went to the website. I only interacted with the show while they were on air via calling,text, or sending an email. so if there was an announcement made on air about the time and location that might help your low group numbers. Yes we have a dozen head of cattle that we raise to feed our family and friends. Otherwise we just have a garden and don’t raise anything else. I actually live in the Coast Range mountains of Oregon and not Portland. It is easier for people to grasp where I am by identifying with the big city here.

    @ Vanessa

    Let’s keep the get together idea going, I’m off work next week and could meet for the show on most any day.
    I have a friend who lives in SE Portland and he has installed a huge solar water heater set up and large solar electric array that is grid tied. He like I also heats his home much of the time with wood heat.
    After his remodel his fireplace insert now performs really well since his house has been super insulated. I am surprised that you ran into so many roadblocks with your looking into renewable energy. Before we moved into the house we’re in now we had a very small wind turbine and solar array that fed a battery bank and it provided our power needs, that is until it was time to do laundry. however it required radically changin our lifestyle. I have not put that equipment in to this house yet. I’m waiting because we now have a creek in the front yard and I’m going to look into microhydro power. Changing our lifestyle has us spending on average $60-70. a month in the winter for our electricity, winter is the highest usage time for us. that includes running an electric dryer, electric cook stove and an oil furnace. we do supplement our heat with a woodstove and wood cookstove in the kitchen. speaking of which I have to go start a fire in the stove right now.

  38. May 14, 2008 at 02:22

    Here is an interesting article on Western consumption in perspective of India and other developing countries and its impact on commodity price hikes:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/14/business/worldbusiness/14food.html?ref=business
    Indians Bristle at U.S. Criticism on Food Prices

    Thoughts? Opinions? Conclusions?

  39. May 14, 2008 at 02:26

    Adam, thats incredible! I always wondered what it would be like to live on farm or to ‘grow’ my own livestock. My garden while huge by my standards (my biggest one yet) I’m sure pales in comparison to the amount of work and upkeep for yours. And I still am not finished with it yet! Another week or two and I should have everything in the ground and ready to go haha.

    Ok, heres the deal, lets all meet in London. I’ve never been; We can have a WHYS party!

  40. 40 adaminportland
    May 14, 2008 at 02:31

    @ Brett
    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/14/business/worldbusiness/14food.html?ref=business

    that is an excelent link. I would love to hear some commentary from people in India on that subject. That would make a great on air debate/conversation. HINT HINT

    oh and our cattle are grass fed by the way, which helps cut thier carbon footprint a good deal.

  41. 41 Dennis
    May 14, 2008 at 02:44

    HILLARY WINS WEST VIRGINIA!!!!

    Dennis
    Madrid, U.S.A.

  42. 43 adaminportland
    May 14, 2008 at 03:05

    I just read that Mercy Corp is sending aid to both Burma and China. I wonder how long until thier coffers run out. check it out at http://www.mercycorp.org

  43. 44 adaminportland
    May 14, 2008 at 03:14

    @ Brett
    depending on the task at hand that could be a chore working on a GTI. Hope you don’t bust your knuckles too much. I friend of mine who is in Iraq right now has a GTI and he just pays someone else to work on it. This is a guy who maintanes aircraft for a living.
    Says something about the engine compartment eh?

  44. 45 Count Iblis
    May 14, 2008 at 03:27

    I think that if Roe v. Wade is overturned then that would cause some terrible problems for pro-lifers who want to ban abortion. Overturning Roe v. Wade doesn’t mean that abortion becomes illegal. All it means is that US states can decide to ban it in their state.

    Some states will ban it (in this scenario a state already had banned it, that ban would have been challenged, the case then would have gone all the way to the Supreme Court which then would have upheld that ban), but many other states won’t ban abortion.

    So, pregnant women living in a state where abortion is illegal can go to another state were it is legal and have an abortion there. A travel ban for pregnant women is not going to be supported by even the most radical anti-abortion proponents.

    In Ireland abortion is illegal and a pregnant girl was facing a travel ban to Britain (she was in the care of a child protection agency and wanted to have an abortion there). But a judge ruled that she was free to travel to Britain.

    In the US this will lead to a chaotic situation. The people in the states were abortion is banned will elect a new state legislature who will reverse the ban on abortion.

    Even if the anti-abortion camp succeeded to make abortion a federal crime there would be problems. But states such as California would not accept that and then you would have a constitutional crisis.

    In a democracy you really cannot force people to comply with restrictive laws that many people really do not want to abide by (even if it is within the democratic rules). Trying to do that will cause the system itself to collapse.

    We can actually see this very clearly in Iraq and in Lebanon. In Iraq there are people who do not accept the legitimacy of their government. In Lebonaon Hezbollah did not accept the governemnt’s ruling that their communications network should be shut down. In both cases the governement cannot get their way. They have to modify their decisions, even though according to the democratic rules in their countries they don’t have to do that.

    So, every country’s system has it’s breaking point. The US system can endure more stress but it also has some breaking point beyond which local authorities will no longer comply with some federal laws.

  45. 46 Venessa in Portland, OR
    May 14, 2008 at 03:47

    @ Adam – Hydro electric is cool. We’re looking for property to buy that we might be able to use that application. Photovoltaic (I think that’s right) solar wasn’t a great option for us since our roofline is facing the wrong direction and we have some very large trees shading our house. We were planning to connect the system to the grid as well. My husband is the expert; I know he looked into some other solar options but none of them were really viable applications for our location. Regardless if we convert from oil I know we’ll see a substantial increase in our house’s energy efficiency once the remodel is complete.

  46. 47 Dennis
    May 14, 2008 at 03:58

    Good night!!!!

    Dennis 🙂

  47. 48 adaminportland
    May 14, 2008 at 04:02

    @ everybody
    check out this blog on Kenya, I just love the way she writes, very no holds barred.
    http://www.kenyanpundit.com/

  48. 49 Venessa in Portland, OR
    May 14, 2008 at 04:07

    @ Count Iblis – I think this is the best articulated argument on abortion I’ve seen in a long time. It’s a very emotionally charged issue argued against by using belief systems rather than rational thought. Trying to overturn the Roe v. Wade decision is just another form of forcing cultural, religious or moral beliefs on another person.

  49. 50 adaminportland
    May 14, 2008 at 06:01

    Thank you all very much indeed for joining us here on the WHYS blog tonight. We have heard from people contacting us from several countries tonight and I expect that as the Night Editor blog continues we will see even more contributions from across the globe.

    A few points that we touched on were:

    Iraq’s Refuge Crisis

    America’s Election

    Coal Oil into Gas

    Alterntive Energy

    America vs India’s Consumption

    Roe vs Wade America’s landmark abortion law

    Kissing Cousins and Thier Children

    Growing Our Own Food

    Getting Together With Other WHYS Listeners

    Thank you all for helping out with my introduction to blog hosting. Everyone do stay in touch as the blog goes on, perhaps I’ll be allowed to join you again as Night Editor. It has been a true pleasure and a priveledge to work with you and the staff this evening. I’m off for the night, I wish you all a pleasant tomorrow.

    Lastly thanks to my beautifull wife and fellow on air contributor Tracy for not minding as I sat on the couch all night glued to the computer screen.

  50. May 14, 2008 at 06:18

    Adam, thanks for hosting and the great summary. I’ll be in the office adding a few ideas (including several from your list) up the top a bit later – for now, I was wondering how we judge a country on its response to a natural disaster – I’m thinking Burma v China most immediately, but of course Katrina.
    Many years ago the boyfriend of my Dutch cousin told a (partly tongue in cheek) tale of how there were floods causing chaos up the Rhine and how the country was ready for them and almost wanted to show look, we’re a small country but we can deal with this natural disaster. In the event, the waters had gone down by the time they reached the Netherlands and there was almost a sense of disappointment that the Dutch didn’t get to prove themselves. Although not among people whose homes were in the most danger I don’t suppose.
    Anyway, more later.

  51. May 14, 2008 at 06:20

    Oh, and getting together with other listeners – I’m sure we can help out, and if any of you are in London please stop by Bush House (for a look at our shiny Sony Gold!).

  52. May 14, 2008 at 06:38

    Hi,

    Yesterday evening the Indian tourist city of Jaipur saw a massive terror attack. In 8 serial blasts, at least 75 died. This actually followed the terrorist incursion in Jammu that borders Pakistan. There were no reports of intelligence alert on the Jaipur blasts.

    Points to ponder:
    1) In the light of better Indo Pak ties now, does this mean India has relaxed its guard?
    2) Since Pakistan too is now a victim of terror attacks, unlike the past, is it not time for India and Pakistan to join hands to make the subcontinent safe and secure?

    I’m sure a discussion will throw up many more points on the issue that has global ramificactions.

    Regards,
    B PRADEEP NAIR
    Bangalore

  53. 54 Bob in Queensland
    May 14, 2008 at 07:29

    @Peter van Dyk…I wish I’d had that invitation to Bush House 8 months ago when I had to spend a lot of time hanging around the Australian High Commission (getting my visa). They’re just down the road from you! Congrats again on the Gold Sony…maybe we should name it!

    Also, regarding the preparedness for flooding in the Netherlands, I hope this isn’t a case of “pride goeth before a fall”. As far as I know, they thought they were ready for anything prior to the horrific North Sea floods in 1953.

    The fact of the matter is that natural disasters can happen anywhere, any time. Yes, governments can improve chances of survival though things like flood defences, building regulations that consider earthquakes, emergency drills and so on. However, compared to man, nature will always have its way. Certainly the wealth of a nation is no indicator of the way it will respond to a disaster. Hmmm…maybe there’s a topic there: comparing the US response to Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans to the Chinese reaction to the Sichuan earthquake. I won’t dignify the Burmese non-response by including it in the comparison.

    On the topic of renewable energy, one thing I’ve been wondering about lately is whether the way forward is through big commercial or state-run projects or smaller, private efforts. Down here in Aus, I live in a city with lots of sunshine and a pretty constant wind. It seems an idea place for me to use a mix to solar and wind energy and I’m seriously researching the technology. (We’re in rented accommodation just for now making this difficult, but should be buying in the next year or so.) The thing is, it certainly appears that by doing it myself, especially with government grants available, I should get a reasonably fast payback…and do my bit for the environment long before it could happen if we wait for big infrastructure projects. Is this the way forward?

  54. May 14, 2008 at 10:30

    An extra – President Bush is in Israel for the 60th anniversary so there’ll be Middle East peace process diplomacy on the side. But is there any point? The Bush presidency is winding down, Israeli PM Olmert is embattled following allegations of corruption (which he denies) and the Palestinians are politically divided. Why not just wait for January and another president, a stronger Israeli PM (be it Olmert or a successor) and perhaps more unity among the Palestinian elites.

  55. May 14, 2008 at 10:41

    Hi Bob – the invitation has always been there – this is from the old blog – but we probably weren’t communicating with you all so well. Anyway, sorry you missed the chance. But spread the word!

  56. May 14, 2008 at 12:40

    releasing the “British X-files”.
    I can’t wait to check these out sometime. If they are real, awesome. If they are fake, at least we get to check out some wonders of the human imagination and get perhaps get some good sci-fi reading in.

    @ Barack and race:
    I think the only reason it is ‘growing as an issue’ is because West Virginia is traditionally thought of as a white, redneck, racist state comparatively with other states to it’s northeast and southeast.
    *Please note: I am not claiming that WVA is white, redneck, and racist. But an overwhelming majority of people see it as such. It’s worth noting the rep it has when discussing race and elections held in that state.

    See the fairly recent torture case of the young black woman who was kidnapped : http://media.www.guilfordian.com/media/storage/paper281/news/2007/11/02/World/Young.Black.Woman.Kidnapped.And.Tortured.In.West.Virginia.Hate.Crime-3076373.shtml

  57. May 14, 2008 at 12:45

    P.S. and all of the comments on many news networks yesterday from West Virginian’s and their ideas on a black president or “how many people in their state” or community feel about a black president; I think they did a pretty decent job of backing up the consensus that race matters quite a bit in that state.
    Now whether they are just more open to admit it to national and international news media than other states, that may be something to look in to.

  58. 59 steve
    May 14, 2008 at 13:31

    ACtually regarding roe v. wade, the conservatives would like a pass a federal amendment banning abortion, given it requires only 2/3rd of the states, I think it would pass. Also, the federal government could constitutionally ban crossing state lines for purposes of obtaining an abortion. WE already do that with laws involving crossing women (yes, only women) over state lines for purposes of prostitutioin. Any such ban would be very constitutional. Though of course a democratic congress would never pass such a law.

  59. May 14, 2008 at 13:35

    Why Single Out Hezbollah?
    TEHRAN – Palestinians dealt a shattering blow and defeated the Lebanese army in 1974, but we have moved on since. Iran supports Amal and Mr. Berry, the Palestinians have their own support groups, the Maronites, Armenians and other Christians all have political and economic interests in Lebanon, so what? The French connection is well and thriving, but where does the United States stand?
    At a dentistry seminar in Tehran, there was a batch of Lebanese dentists who were so well integrated with their Iranian counterparts, that I was amazed, so what?
    There are swarms of Iranians in Lebanon and numerous Lebanese businesses thrive in Iran, so what? Multi-cultural and multi-ethnic populations always thrive. The Lebanese are delightful; they have new ideas, they are mobile and talented, but what’s wrong with that? Leave Lebanon to sort out its own problems and everything will be alright.
    Attacking Hezbollah in Beirut is like sending troops to take over China Town in Frisco. Leave the Mideast well alone and Saudis, Jews, Lebanese, Iraqis, Armenians and Maronites will live peacefully together.

  60. 61 Shirley
    May 14, 2008 at 13:56

    Myanmar:
    Word has it that there is another storm heading its way. How much more heartbreak can this world take? Will a second catastrophe force the junta to accept world aid on a larger (and more just) scale? Or will we be forced to stand back and watch a global tragedy? Have other avenues opened up for average people to donate or to help? What can we do?

    China:
    Apparently, they have begun to ask for help. I have heard that many feel that the government is still under-reacting, or that they are only making a show of mobilising. Are they indeed responding better to the earthquake than to other incidents? Is there a way to compare? What kind of aid will they accept? How can the average person get involved?

    Burma junta ‘seals cyclone zone’
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/7399830.stm
    Wednesday, 14 May 2008
    Burma’s military rulers have tightened access to areas hit by Cyclone Nargis, in spite of international pleas to allow foreign aid workers in.

    New storm head[s] toward cyclone-devastated Myanmar
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/myanmar;_ylt=AsiKVkzXAy4M7jP2ost7eaSs0NUE
    There is a good chance that “a significant tropical cyclone” will form within the next 24 hours. The news was not broadcast by Myanmar’s state media. “There will be a lot of rain but the winds will not be as strong,” a tropical cyclone expert told AP.

    The junta has given permission to a Thai medical team to go to the cyclone-hit delta. It would be the 1st foreign aid group to work in the Irrawaddy delta. Soldiers gave access to an IRC representative who returned on Tuesday. Some survivors were reportedly getting spoiled food, rather than nutrition-rich biscuits sent by donors. The military has taken control of most supplies. The US began its 3rd day of aid delivery Wednesday as more emergency supplies headed to Myanmar….[containing] blankets, mosquito nets, plastic sheets and water. Myanmar also agreed to attend a meeting of foreign ministers to discuss problems in getting aid the country.

    China quake toll close to 15,000
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/7400252.stm
    Nearly 15,000 people died and 25,000 are still trapped in the earthquake that hit China, official media say.

    Nearly 15,000 people died and 25,000 are still trapped in the earthquake that hit China, official media say.
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080514/ap_on_re_as/china_earthquake;_ylt=AlJaXGu0fvzFEMy2jOPLsxWs0NUE
    Storms that had prevented flights to some of the worst-hit areas finally cleared on Wednesday. Military helicopters dropped food and medicine to survivors who remained cut off. Wen said some 100,000 troops and police had been dispatched to the disaster zone.

    Residents complained that delays in aid had caused more deaths in the immediate aftermath of the quake. “The government is doing nothing for us. The government won’t help us,” [Li Zhenhua] said, over and over. Resources were stretched thin, and makeshift aid stations and refugee centers were springing up. State television has canceled regular programming to run 24-hour coverage.

  61. May 14, 2008 at 14:09

    The abortion debate is a an of worms better left for the weekend where time is more plentiful. I will only say that I am pro life and agnostic at best.
    By most peoples definition I am an atheist. The arrival at the pro-life stance was completely scientific and objective.

    The point I was after is if abortion was a big enough issue to get people to vote for somebody they opposed in the primaries.

  62. May 21, 2009 at 04:26

    Neat writing: hope to visit once more.


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