Blank Page No. 10

Blank Page No. 10 sees Zak on the Pacific Coast of N. CA 100 miles N. of San Francisco and Abdi in Mandera Kenya take their turn. As always there are two aims. 1) discuss whatever news stories take your interest. 2) come up with suggested questions for the programme next week including guests you’d like to hear from. This will tell you more about Blank Pages. Have fun.

On behalf of Abdi and myself let me say thanks to WHYS, and thanks Abdi for giving me the honor of moderating with you.

Ongoing is the veggie/food/fuel discussion and that is always welcome in my life. One intense discussion is the goal of transcending race as it pertains to the nomination of Barack Obama. An aspect that is being noted all across America is the tension between African Americans and Latinos. The severity of this issue is such that some sources are saying Latino Democrats will vote for McCain. A greater significance of this issue can be seen in the case of Jamiel Shaw who was gunned down 2 blocks from his home by a Latino gang member just released from a term in prison. This case is prompting calls for changing the law regarding police being able to inquire about immigration status of previous felons. This issue can be felt from LA to DC as some posters have referenced, but what about beyond America. Do any listeners in the beloved Caribbean Islands have a take on this, or how about Latin American countries? This issue is interconnected with the xenophobia in S. Africa which is another topic we could tackle.

In the field of medicine it would be a great honor if we could hear response from every one and some of our up and coming experts, dear Lubna for instance, on this issue: Stem cell breakthrough using Umbilical cords. This issue does indicate a separation from the issue of religion in most. But not all, and it makes me ask why wouldn’t this be separate from religion?

I’m going to ask Abdi to restate a question that he posed dealing with law; it didn’t get enough attention in my opinion.

Lastly to really dive deep into the whole issue of how to make a better world I’m still asking people to take a trip to Masdar City that’s the best video I’ve ever seen online and it has both Arabic and Engilsh. Also theres the official Masdar UAE site. Please, check these out it’s like being transported to another world. Enough motivation should be that the United Arab Emirate Nation of Abu Dhabi has taken on this adventure with 50 billion of it’s mega rich oil reserves. Asked why: “because we want to have something when the oil runs out”. Do they know something more than the rest of us in the most oil rich nation, perhaps?

Lastly let me give a warm welcome to all posters, especially those who feel a little shy, I absolutely guarantee to moderate in the manner of a monk in prayer. Beyond anything using hatred it will be published.

356 Responses to “Blank Page No. 10”

  1. 1 Abdi In Mandera Kenya
    June 6, 2008 at 19:35

    Abdi’s Opening Comments & katharina’s in ghent message for Lubna in Iraq.
    Hi Everyone Receive A very Warm greetings and Well-come to Blank Page NO.10.
    I,Abdi Ibrahim Ali in North Eastern Province of Kenya in A district called Mandera and ZaK In Orogen will keep you company over the weekend!Toghether with you we hope to make Over 250 comments by Monday Morning!.We want to Suprise Ros! and the entire WHYS Team.Also
    We want to Suprise Blank Page No.9 Hosts Ahmed and Dwight!,they attracted 189 comments!
    On Behalf of ZAK May I also Thank Ros for giving us this opportunity to Host The programme this weekend.
    Thank you Ros,We Promise you that we won’t let you down.
    Here we go …………

    Katherine in Ghent

    Hi everyone,

    I’m looking forward to another great weekend on the blog!

    @ Lubna:

    Hi honey, I heard you yesterday on the radio, that was really nice. I wondered though: the supporter for McCain claimed that the living situation in Iraq improved dramatically over the last year, but you couldn’t comment on that. I wanted to ask you whether you agree with his assessment or not?

  2. 2 Dennis
    June 6, 2008 at 19:45

    Hi Zak and Abdi!!!! {thanks for being the moderators}

    among all of my WORLD HAVE YOUR SAY friends!

    including Lubna…

    first week of classes for me are over….

    i hope we find some great stories for the weekend….

    Onondaga Community College
    Syracuse, New York
    United States of America

  3. 3 Zak
    June 6, 2008 at 19:54

    Thanks Denis! Good to hear from you, I’m still wrangling with the HTML and you can now see my suggestions in the header. Abdi, hows it going on your end?

  4. 4 Tino
    June 6, 2008 at 19:59

    VictorK brought up wanting to see a Darfur topic, I would also like to see one.

    On cord blood cells:

    “Dr McGuckin’s team used NASA-developed microgravity technology to grow cord-blood stem cells in large enough quantities to treat patients. ”

    Should be seen as a slight nod to those who support space exploration, so much tech comes from that area.

    They are also NOT totipotent like embryonic cells, which presents at least a slight disadvantage. I also kind of like: http://www.cnn.com/2007/HEALTH/11/20/stem.cells.skin/index.html

    Nonetheless, nothing has been shown to be the equivalent of ES cells and that means they still represent the best possible solution and should be researched without hindrance from the religious communities. Science does not go around trying to show religious communities that they have no grounds to believe in their god, but somehow it is ok for religion to do similar things to scientists. What they do is actually worse since it stops their work.

  5. 5 Amy
    June 6, 2008 at 20:10

    Zak and Abdi,

    Have a great weekend!! Maybe one of these days I will work up the courage to tackle moderator duties (school is almost out so the running around should calm down some).

    Another topic that I am interested in is PTSD and the lasting effects. I’m not just talking about just the people from the military but others who are (or have been) touched by it (Iraqi civilians for example). Just a thought…..

    We have 2 birthday parties (one is a sleepover), dance recital and my wedding anniversary this weekend but I look forward to eventually reading everyone’s entries!

    All the best,

    Amy in Beaverton

  6. 6 Katharina in Ghent
    June 6, 2008 at 20:17

    Hi Zak and Abdi,

    Thank you guys to be our moderators this weekend! Zak, I tried to open your link about Stem Cell Technology, but it didn’t work. Instead, I read the article about Masdar City, it sounds almost too good to be true. Already 15 years ago I wondered why we don’t have solar panels everywhere, imagine how much further we could be today! Here in Europe many designers are getting smarter about constructing houses or buildings that waste less energy, but in general we’re nowhere near Masdar…

    As far as Stem Cells go, to my knowledge these cells are not pluripotent like embryonic stem cells, even though they still have more potential than adult stem cells. Like I said, I couldn’t read your link, maybe you could set it up again? In terms of religion, I’m sure that some groups like Jehova’s witnesses will still only accept their own cells, and since they don’t have their cells stored, they will still run into problems if they get cancer or the likes.

    Best, Katharina

  7. 7 Will Rhodes
    June 6, 2008 at 20:19

    Sometime this week I wonder if the team could discuss the Sub-Saharan deals that they have been done with China.

    Is the corruption still rife in those countries? How can China secure the mineral deposits cheaply, is it a matter that bribes were paid? China has increased its imports over 2000% from these areas in Africa.


  8. 8 Zak
    June 6, 2008 at 20:25

    Alright, getting that all down was like dancing to Destiny’s Child but now all those links in the subject heading will properly give you a new tab or window so it doesn’t navigate you off of this page (it drives me nuts that we can’t seem to do that as posters). Katherina the Stem Cell link was giving me problems but it’s fixed now.

    Hi Amy, having spent a lot of time ferrying my sisters 4 kids around to school and back I know how crazy it is, but I’m hoping you will do some moderating soon – I like hearing your perspectives even though we’re geographic rivals- It’s those darn Californians driving our home prices through the roof – it’s those darn Oregonian Drivers! LOL!

  9. 9 Zak
    June 6, 2008 at 20:54

    I’m admittedly a complete layman on Stem Cells but thanks for educating us Tino and Katherina about the singular, non-plural cell nature.

    That story, that is now repaired my apologies, caught my ear because of the simple fact that it sways the discussion away from religion. I completely agree with Tino on the interference of religion in science when it’s clearly not a lethal matter. A great example of that hypocrisy is the tradition that calls for the mother eating the placenta; a tradition that has come from many different traditions and since it’s such a healthy thing to do most religions support it. So how can a religion allow that and not using the umbilical cord?

  10. 10 Count Iblis
    June 6, 2008 at 21:18

    We need to discuss Iran some time in the future on this program, see e.g. here:


    I could see this coming a long time ago. It is very similar to the Iraq war. Allegations are made, UN resolutions are passed. The allegations are debunked, but the demands originally advocated by the US and a few other countries stand.

    In this case, Iran must suspend their enrichment program because they have a nuclear weapons program. Erm, I mean, they don’t have a nuclear weapons program now, they had one in the past, they stopped precisely at the moment we started to get intelligence from Iran in 2003. So the intelligence “shows” that they had an active program until 2003. 🙂

    And they still haven’t answered our qustions about what they were up to in the late 1980s, you know when we were helping Saddam fight the Iranians. 🙂

    That’s what we call diplomacy these days. Iran refusing to bow to the West means: “diplomacy has failed”.

  11. June 6, 2008 at 21:31

    Hello to all of you my Precious friends and a VERY SPECIAL WARM WELCOME to my two Precious friends Zak and Abdi… Oh Precious Dennis in NYC, USA, you’ve just reminded me of my 1st week in medical school four years ago… Oh, the happy old times !!! CONGRATULATIONS to you my good friends !! And as for your question Precious Zak, I’m a practicing Muslim Shiite, and a project of a future doctor, INSHALLAH ! I’m an enthusiastic supporter of stem cells research, BUT with imposing SOME legal and moral red lines that preserve and honour the value of the human life… As for e.g., creating hybrid embryos to me is WRONG, WRONG, WRONG… And Hey Kathi honey… As for your question, there’s one thing that all of you guys must know : When you live in Iraq, you really don’t know what to predict or expect… The security situation on the ground in Baghdad in general is so fluctuating and highly unpredictable… There’re times when hope seems too close, but there’re other times when hope seems too far away…. But we’ve been in general relatively fine and safe since the beginning of May and till now, thank dear Allah for that ! Anyway, Kathi honey, Precious Zak, and Precious Dennis, THANKS A MILLION to all of you guys for asking about me ! :-).. And Salaam Shirley honey, how come that you didn’t receive my reply to your message ?! Lots of love and blessings to all of you guys from extremely hot Baghdad… Yours forever, Lubna…

  12. 12 Shirley
    June 6, 2008 at 21:47

    Umbilical Cords & Stem Cells
    I’ve been juggling whether or not to store away umbilical cord blood for its potential stem cell benefits. It’s a money versus potential money watse issue for me. I’d like to have the assurance that there is something there to help me child or anyone in the fmaily. At the same time, it is not cheap, and I do not want to spend money on something that might not even work. I’ve been stuck on this personaly argument of mine for several years now. Any input would be gladly appreciated, especially from people who work or study in the medical field.

    Green World, One City at a Time
    You all know about Green(s)burg(h), Kansas, right? The entire city was flattened by tornadoes, and they have committed themselves to building the city green from the ground up.

    Katharina, Lubna
    I have a terrible bias when it comes to conversations between men and women in that I feel that men should almost always let women complete their sentences. I developed it after hearing that women tend to participate less in conversations of their own accords, and that men tend to dominate conversations and even feel usurped if they don’t get more than half of the takling done. And even though Lubna was interrupting, I still felt that she should have been allowed to finish some of thsoe sentences, a least. Katharina, Lubna, anyone else, thoughts on this? Lubna, if you got that one email from me, let me know; because I am worried that I’ve been pestering you. :=s If you haven’t got it, I can try emailing you from some other account.

  13. June 6, 2008 at 21:48

    Hello Amy my love… CONGRATULATIONS to you honey… As they say, when someone you love is happy, then you’d feel happy for his/her happiness… The last time I felt truely happy was on the 12th of May when the WHYS programme won a golden Sony radio award… With my love… Yours forever, Lubna…

  14. 14 Zak
    June 6, 2008 at 22:01

    Lubna, with all my heart I’d love to know your opinion on the Stem Cell issue, I actually asked you about it once before but I know you’re a fantastic busy lady.

    This carries over from the veggie discussion to get specifically into the ethical treatment of animals:

    Many of your posts remind me of the Order of Beings: how recently a group of dolphins surrounded a man who was about to be attacked by a shark, this happened right off the CA coast where I live, the dolphins protected the man and the shark swam away. The reasoning of dolphins in terms of acumen is on the level of Humans so perhaps that can give us a clue into how animals feel about our actions.

  15. June 6, 2008 at 22:10

    Oh my goodness Precious Zak ! I’ve posted a rather long message earlier on this blog that contains replies to you, Kathi my love, Precious Dennis, and also a short message to Shirley my love… Was it caught up by the wordpress spam filter ?! With my love… Yours forever, Lubna…

  16. 16 Zak
    June 6, 2008 at 22:14

    Shirley bearing in mind that the US has not approved umbilical cord stem cells; it’ll likely be a long and complicated process before doctors are willing to implement it. Maybe Lubna can give us an idea of how long it will take in her region as Europe and Asia in general seem to follow the far East closer than America. NPR was very persuasive in that piece and that’s a fairly trusted source in my life.

    Lubna, where did you post it dear? If you can give me the link or just copy and paste it over here that would be great.

  17. June 6, 2008 at 22:57

    Should Hillary release her delegates?

  18. 18 Scott Millar
    June 6, 2008 at 23:21

    To: Dwight in Cleveland

    Why would Hillary release her delegates? Or why should she? What difference would it make?

  19. June 6, 2008 at 23:24

    Here Precious Zak… On Blank Page No.10… And please Precious Zak, keep in mind that my web access is through 7610 Nokia cell phone, so I really don’t have the luxury of copying and pasting or putting links, I guess I’ll just re-write it again ! :=( 1-Hi Precious Dennis in NYC, USA… You’ve just reminded me of my 1st week in medical school four years ago… Oh, the happy old times !! Anyway, CONGRATULATIONS to you my Precious friend… 2-Salaam Shirley my love… Why on earth aren’t you receiving my messages to you honey ?! I’ll try again tomorrow Inshallah ! 3-Hi Precious Zak, and thanks a million for your question… Actually I’m an enthusiastic supporter of MOST aspects of stem cells researches, and that surely includes taking stem cells from the umbilical cords… BUT, SOME legal and moral red lines must be imposed inorder to preserve and honour the value of the human life… As for example, creating hybrid embryos is a very bad idea in my opinion ! 4-Hi Kathi my love, and thanks a million for your question honey, actually when you live in Iraq, you really don’t know what to expect or predict… The security situation on the ground in Baghdad in general is so fluctuating and highly unpredictacle… There’re times when hope actually seems so close, but there’re also other times when hope seems too far away… But we’ve been in general relatively fine and safe since the beginning of May and till now, thank dear Allah for that ! With my love… Yours forever, Lubna…

  20. 20 Scott Millar
    June 6, 2008 at 23:29

    Dow Slides 394 Points—Oil Surges $10.75.
    Is this a further sign of a slowing economy? Just a fluke?

  21. 21 Zak
    June 6, 2008 at 23:34

    A few more items of note: in France the funeral of Yves Saint Laurent has drawn the masses, perhaps even more interest than the latest first lady some say.

    This morning the US tested the ship to air portion of what shall forever be known as the ‘Star Wars’ missile defense system after dear old Ronny Reagan. They find it an enormous success that a test missile was fired, and 2 missiles shot it down, that’s 3 missiles down the drain at a cost of a million each. I’m not wholly against the system but this was a short range test, it seems kind of like David testing out his rock on Goliath.

    About Hill, she’s holding onto those delegates to try and wrangle her way into the VP spot if she wants it is the way it appears. But ultimately she has to release those delegates to Obama, her supporters are ‘awaiting instructions’ not to vote for McCain, and if that happens, Will you may have some new countrymen sooner than later.

    The surge in Oil prices was precipitated by GM cutting and running on their truck fleet, if the big 3 are scared, you tell me if it isn’t for real. Remember my avatar is from the movie Tucker.

  22. June 6, 2008 at 23:52

    Hi again Precious Zak… Till now I’ve posted three comments on Blank Page No.10, and this one is the fourth… Are my comments being caught up by the wordpress spam filter ?! Because only one of three saw the light ! With my love… Yours forever, Lubna… And BTW my two sweeties Shirley and Kathi, it was Pete, Mr Obama’s supporter, who didn’t give me the chance to reply to his points !

  23. 23 Scott Millar
    June 6, 2008 at 23:57


    + Mrs. Clinton can do as she likes regarding the delegates. The USA is a democracy after-all. A brutal race, with both candidates being insulted by each other and everyone else—now people say “hey, Hillary must do this and that”—an unreasonable and unfair request.


    + Big fan. We will see if the folks in USA feel the same way about Calvin Klein or Ralph Lauren when they leave us.

  24. 24 Zak
    June 7, 2008 at 00:02

    Yes that first post did get caught in the spam filter! So sorry Lubna should have looked earlier. I’m trying to sort that out currently by approving that email address.

    Update: Lubna I think I’ve got it. Go here: http://wordpress.com/
    Click on your account in the upper left hand corner since you do have one right- what you’ve got to do is delete anything that’s in the HOMEPAGE box: the http:// is OK but anything beyond that is probably what’s throwing your posts off. For some reason your name is hyperlinked. If you other moderators know about this one perhaps you can chime in here: if you give a homepage does it not let you take it away. As in for Lubna her user name is hyperlinked but the url is deleted. So does she have to create a whole new user name to get rid of that? I think that’s what’s causing some of her posts to end up in the spam filter and some not — any help here would be appreciated.

    And while we’re on the subject: this blog is going to need a moderator after about 0800-1600 GMT unless Abdi can get his technical difficulties straightened out which doesn’t look promising. We need an Asian, African continent moderator or else WHYS staff or we’re going to be left adrift to the fate of the tide.

  25. 25 steve
    June 7, 2008 at 00:13

    Everything wrong with America in one story:

    She doesn’t want a more efficient car, such as a minivan, because she’s afraid of being labeled..


  26. June 7, 2008 at 00:20

    Oh Precious Zak, THANK YOU A MILLION TIMES my good friend ! :-)… And please understand that my enthusiastic support for the stem cells research surely includes taking stem cells from the umbilical cord, no matter how much that costs of time, human efforts, or money… Stem cells researches in my humble opinion is the Christ of the modern medicine ! Now to my two sweeties Kathi and Shirley and to Precious Dennis : May I draw your attention please to comment No.11 on Blank Page No.10 ?! With my love… Yours forever, Lubna…

  27. 27 Zak
    June 7, 2008 at 00:25

    Jeese Louise Lubna don’t you think you’ve done enough; you can’t save the world in a day you know! JK! Have a good night, or a good morning as it is. In the morning; if you read my post that got updated after I caught the spam filter you’ll hopefully get some answers as to why that’s happening sometimes and not others.

  28. 28 Shirley
    June 7, 2008 at 01:25

    Lubna, if you’re still awake, do you really think that umbilical cord bloos banks are worth the money? And could someone explain to me whether the cord blood bank has anything to do with stem cells?

    When the Dow drops a few hundred, I don’t even look up from my word puzzles. It takes a high 3-digit figure or a 4-digit figure to make me look. I’m not sure that a $10 increase amounts to much any more because the price per barrel is already so high. I can be convinced otherwise, though. I’m not a money guru at all.

  29. June 7, 2008 at 01:54

    It will be hard to say that she is getting behind the candidate and not encourage her delegates to do the same. Think John Edwards. I recon she won’t as she has always seemed to have two faces and an ulterior motive. I would respect her a little more if she said she refuses to support Obama and kept her delegates committed to herself. But I suspect we will see a conflicting message from a forked tongue. Ahh, too bad, but still no worries.

  30. 31 Zak
    June 7, 2008 at 02:20

    Alright we’re off to a rip roaring start and I’m going to try my best to get Abdi up and moderating by midnight on the West Coast so we don’t slow down.

    We’ve looked at Stem Cell therapy beginning a no doubt super valuable discussion of whether this could be a worthy treatment in our own lifetime.

    I’ve had some ‘Masdar trip takers’ so far, we’ve got to get some more like that.

    We’ve tackled Hillary, well not literally.

    I really would like to hear some East Coast voices on the race tension issue. Particularly Steve mentioned the tension on the Obama topic and I wonder if you’ve seen this in Anacostia perhaps, once got off the train there when I was 16 by mistake and it was the highest murder per capita city at that time, it’s still close I’m sure. But having taken a few walks through the projects even 10 years ago the tension was heating up and now it seems it’s coming to a boil. You can see what’s coming though, with the tightening now on the borders, if police start invoking INS on immigrants it may only increase the violence. In many ways it is the same fight S. Africans are facing; you didn’t come from here so you get out. I know that’s how it is in LA, but what about around the country?

  31. 32 Tino
    June 7, 2008 at 02:29

    “As for e.g., creating hybrid embryos to me is WRONG, WRONG, WRONG”

    Curious as to why?

  32. 33 Scott Millar
    June 7, 2008 at 02:48

    TO: WILL,

    That is a broad and inaccurate post at the end of your link. Suggesting that all Hillary supporters must forgo their principles and, well, choice and vote for your candidate of choice seems like the “selfish” viewpoint. It could equally be argued that the message sent by an Obama loss would do more good for the country and the Democratic process in general.

    Many people feel Mr. Obama does not rightfully deserve to be so popular, that he was in the right place at the right time, that this starving country romanticized him and conjured him into visionary that he is not. That his popularity stems mainly from the superficial not the substantive. You could propose a war on the prepackaged superficiality of politics and the message of this might best be delivered by an Obama loss.

    It takes two to tango. Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton both had a dance. Mr. Obama is equally responsibly for the outcome even if it means loosing. It is valid to suggest, if Mr. Obama was so concerned about JUST a Democratic win, rather then HIS Democratic win, he should have gotten out of the race. You can of course say the same about Mrs. Clinton. Clearly they both did not have the motivation of just a Democratic win in mind—THEY wanted to win. Call THEM selfish, not the voters.

    It is unkind to draw a civility line after-the-fact, and after your candidate wins, declare to everyone else: lets make nice! People don’t have any logical obligation to do this and they are certainly not selfish because they won’t.

  33. 34 Tino
    June 7, 2008 at 02:58

    I am currently reading Sam Harris’s “The End of Faith”. An extremely excellent book as he uses well reasoned arguments to push his points. Anyway, I read it and thought of stem cells at one particular line (brackets are my insertions of his words from elsewhere):

    “The Spanish Inquisition did not cease its persecution of heretics until 1834 (the last auto-da-fe took place in Mexico in 1850 [auto-da-fe = “the public spectacle at which heretics were sentenced and often burned]), about the time Charles Darwin set sail on the Beagle and Michael Faraday discovered the relationship between electricity and magnetism.”

    Has religion ever done anything except hold the world back? Is it not time we left it where it should be – in homes and churches and heads? Since religion’s premise is unverifiable in the real world should it not be kept out of all non-religious discussions? To me, it is far from inconceivable that had Faraday been a woman he could have easily been regarded as a practicing witch and all of our modern electronics could have taken far, far longer to develop…

  34. 35 Roberto
    June 7, 2008 at 03:02

    32 Tino
    June 7, 2008 at 2:29 am
    “As for e.g., creating hybrid embryos to me is WRONG, WRONG, WRONG”

    Curious as to why?

    —— Perhaps you would prefer to backtrack to the 1950s.

    Things were a bit simpler then and the Chinese were under no obligation to justify the human/ape breeding program designed to create a subclass of workers in a country of a billion peasants.

    Alas, so close, yet so far away the best laid plans of mice and men.

  35. 36 Scott Millar
    June 7, 2008 at 03:06


    It seems like we don’t have a lot to say about African countries. I guess it is a good thing they have an Africa Have Your Say. I always feel bad having nothing to post on the WHYS Africa discussions, but I just don’t. I don’t think it is because we don’t care. Perhaps it is: part we don’t know much about them, and part we have low expectations of them anyway, because of so much consistent turmoil in Africa, new turmoil doesn’t seem noteworthy or exceptional.

  36. 37 Zak
    June 7, 2008 at 03:13

    My view is that we have a microcosm of African tensions right here in America; solving our own dilemma in LA can make us keen to repair the wounds around the world. How do we stop the prejudice while trying to maintain ‘tight border control’. My personal view is that we’re going the wrong way, if we were to turn around and start legitimizing we’d stop criticizing, expanding immigrant rights instead of taking them away, immigration is the most natural flow that will never really be controlled.

  37. 38 Tino
    June 7, 2008 at 03:30

    @ Roberto

    There have been exactly zero people who want to implant a hybrid embryo in modern research. It is for pure science work and they are destroyed.

  38. 39 Zak
    June 7, 2008 at 03:34

    I’m with Tino on this one, hybrid embryos could take us down a path that will question the whole Order of Beings I referenced above. No longer will Dolphins have the absolute kindness to save us from sharks- ouch!

  39. 40 Scott Millar
    June 7, 2008 at 03:46

    The problem with prejudice in general is that it afflicts us all—including minorities. Statistically minorities are as prejudiced if not more so then the majority. Certainly on gay rights and the presidential candidates in America. I personally think this makes situations like immigration even more difficult. Prejudice is not just a white problem. I think this needs to be dealt with and discussed. But every time you make this claim you are for some reason called a racist, which is rather odd and nonsensical. I think this dishonesty escalates tensions that are already quite taut.

    I am all for legitimizing immigrants. I honestly can’t see the problem with letting anyone in, if it is done in a responsible way, what’s the problem? But there is a big problem when you let in people, who don’t respect and extend the freedom you give to them, to others. It is a conundrum.

  40. 41 Zak
    June 7, 2008 at 03:57

    No doubt it is a conundrum you’re right Scott but if you check out that story in the header you’ll see the real problem: a gang banging felon spends 8 years in our jails with ‘no citizenship’ and the day he gets out he’s let out he becomes an illegal immigrant on the street with a car and a gun and a tragedy in the making.

    My question is why did we need the police to question this felon, why wasn’t INS all over him like white on rice the minute he stepped out of prison. If there’s a loop in the law it’s where these criminals are spending our tax dollars, in our prisons, and then getting out just so they can go back in again. But it’s not with the average farm worker in the field.

  41. 42 Zak
    June 7, 2008 at 04:05

    Alright yall. I’ve got to refuel, grub and brew. Theres at least one moderator on here; don’t be shy Roberto, I can’t see your posts so I know you can be a gent and publish some for me for about 15-20.

    Hey if any of you like classic funk music and you have XM check the ‘funkfest’ on the groove channel 64: got to be, got to be freak of the week!

  42. 43 Scott Millar
    June 7, 2008 at 04:16

    ZAK: Thanks for informing me of the “real problem”, however I don’t understand your post or point. Yes I read the article. Maybe it’s me.

  43. 44 Roberto
    June 7, 2008 at 04:37

    It is for pure science work and they are destroyed.

    ——— Me thinks they are mixed into the Koolaide that you’re sipping.

    The health benefits would be enormous, right?

  44. 45 Zak
    June 7, 2008 at 04:45

    Scott that wasn’t directed at you alone, my apologies.

    The fact is this murderer was in and out of our jails for 8 years, on juvenile offenses that involved gun crimes, since he was 11 with various gang related convictions and in all that time he wasn’t investigated by Immigration and Naturalization Services (INS). That whole time he was in prison we, tax payers paid for him to live in this country and that makes me furious. INS will come out to farms and take women away from their children but they can’t see fit to deport a convicted felon, then they want to know what’s wrong with their system, it grieves me so that this has happened to people I know.

  45. 46 Tino
    June 7, 2008 at 04:53

    “But there is a big problem when you let in people, who don’t respect and extend the freedom you give to them, to others. It is a conundrum.”

    Could not agree more. I am all for immigration – obviously many of us including myself descend from immigrants – but they need to realize they cannot just transport everything they used to do to our country. Previous generations understood they had to adapt to our culture and this was accepted and expected. Nowadays, in the name of diversity and tolerance, we have to somehow allow people to do things that fly in the face of our traditions and ideals.

  46. 47 Zak
    June 7, 2008 at 04:56

    Eating an embryo, that’s pretty gross, frankly I don’t want to even think about that. What’s that got to do with the discussion?

    Eating a placenta, that does replenish the nutrients a mother loses in giving birth, but theres no placenta involved here. It’s a cut and dried test tube being fed with an eye dropper. Nature teaches us to question actions that lack the natural reaction, conceiving an embryo artificially is just that type of lesson.

    Again the dolphin will remain naturally smarter than the shark, until we alter that intelligence artificially.

  47. 48 Tino
    June 7, 2008 at 05:04


    About time we walked away from that sham. Any body claiming to represent human rights, that then passes a resolution limiting free speech is useless. Somewhat representative of the UN as a whole.

  48. 49 Scott Millar
    June 7, 2008 at 05:23

    Thanks for agreeing TINO. I should say though, I did not at all mean, that I think immigrants should necessarily conform to the new culture. My point was if we allow people to enter the USA who don’t believe in human rights and democracy, such as freedom for women, gays, etc. or even in freedom of religion (as much as I hate to say it), that this creates a real problem. I think people can certainly retain most of their culture and at the same time support human rights, etc. It is kind of similar to playing a games of cards and one of the parties is cheating—it becomes unfair to everyone.

  49. 50 Scott Millar
    June 7, 2008 at 05:37

    TO: ZAK,

    I definitely agree that was a terrible and unfortunate situation.

    Is this an endemic problem? Is the ratio of deportees higher among non-criminals then criminals?

    To me that he was killed by anyone is terrible on its own. The fact that the killer was an illegal immigrant doesn’t really make the act more heinous. They seem like two separate issues that both need to be fixed in an equitable fashion.

    Paying for “legal” murderers to stay in jail is also frustrating.

  50. 51 Abdi In Mandera Kenya
    June 7, 2008 at 05:47

    ZAK and I are your worst this weekend ! Well-come

    We hope to break the 200 Mark.and surely with you we can
    We would like to focus on Obama and we are in Charge.

  51. 52 Zak
    June 7, 2008 at 05:54

    Is this an endemic problem? Is the ratio of deportees higher among non-criminals then criminals?

    I’m hesitant to speculate on how many criminals get deported because I suspect it is less as you mentioned. News and Notes had a series of interviews on this subject; prison officials were saying they had so much red tape to get through to INS that they didn’t even know the immigration status of most of their prisnors. It was staggering how far removed the prison system is so in terms of an epidemic I’d say yes there’s no doubt it’s been brewing for 10 years from coast to coast.

    When I last visited DC and took a short walk from the youth hostel into the projects I ran into workers, Latinos. I speak Spanish fluently so I talked to them a bit, but all the time they were looking down the street at the project homes and they didn’t even want to talk to me, a white guy, in front of the clearly black street front. That was more than 10 years back now and it’s mushroomed out of control from LA to DC.

  52. 53 Tino
    June 7, 2008 at 05:55

    I guess that is what I mean Scott. I am all for them keeping their food, customs, etc insofar as they do not conflict with ours. Also could not agree more with paying to keeping murderers in jail, that is ridiculous. I honestly think they should be killed by lethal injection (humane way to do it I think) as with DNA testing available now their guilt is assured. For those who were already on death row from the past, they should be DNA tested for confirmation just in case. Appeals should be limited to one appeal and executions should be carried out swiftly.

  53. 54 Abdi In Mandera Kenya
    June 7, 2008 at 05:55

    Hi ZAK well-done I really liked the very Good Start we Made.I

    Obama is been seen as “the child of the continent of Africa” Suprisingly Obama
    himselnever Likes to associates himself with the continent of Africa.
    So we want hear from you wherever you may in this Globe to tell us what you think Obama’s presidency will mean for the continent of Africa especailly in My country Kenya

  54. 55 Zak
    June 7, 2008 at 06:02

    Tino do you know how much it costs to carry out 1 lethal injection; it’s more than a lifetime in prison. That’s my only complaint against the death penalty. But fundamentally I think it’s wrong that we house another countries criminals. We don’t do it for Guantanamo so how can we justify it when you see what some have done. They won’t release the juvenile offense record on this Espinoza killer, but he’s been a part of killings before and convicted of it. You may get your wish anyway though Tino, he’s up for a special circumstance murder 1 with the gang significance. Then we will have paid the ultimate price for what an illegal alien did on our soil.

  55. 56 Abdi In Mandera Kenya
    June 7, 2008 at 06:04

    OK We I am ready ZAK,please be patient and ensure a smoooth transtion within 15 min when I get moderation rights.I promise To keep you company all day long until Monday

  56. 57 Scott Millar
    June 7, 2008 at 06:13

    TO | ZAK,

    I really am confused now ZAK. Is there something you are thinking but aren’t directly saying about this unclear situation? I am not trying to be difficult, and if you don’t want to talk about it anymore that is fine—because I feel like I am pestering you.

    You seem to be talking about problems with the INS doing their job and rounding-up illegal immigrants and then also talking about a lack of integration of minorities. Perhaps specifically black and Latino minorities—and also a prejudice that exists between the two? But how does this relate to the INS?

  57. 58 Abdi in Mandera Kenya
    June 7, 2008 at 06:16

    Let’s began asking you?

    What do you know of Barrack Obama?
    Do you his father was born in Siaya District in Kenya?
    Do you understand that all kenyan’s were celebrating his victory over Hillary?..
    Obama is A relative of Kenya’s Prime Minister Raila Amolo Odinga.If you want to know more a bout obama you can ask

  58. 59 Zak
    June 7, 2008 at 06:29

    Scott, neither am I trying to be difficult. I suspect that, looking at the numbers you’d see more illegal immigrants in our jails than get deported, that’s what NPR confirmed for the most part. Criminals fall under a certain category that ‘revokes all citizenship’ it’s a very murky point in the law. INS is a complete failure for this reason because they could step in and deport these criminals at any time but they can’t get through the criminal courts system. In other words once a criminal is on the hook in this country the criminal prosecution takes precedence over his immigration status.

    No I’m never tired of talking about this, I have many, many Latino friends who count on the sympathy of those in my community, and the support that we’re expressing. It’s great to hear more support and opinions and it’s a great way to explore the debate here when we can bring in voices from around the world like our good friend Abdi. If we can compare this tension to the violence in S. Africa we may draw some similarities.

  59. 60 Abdi in Mandera Kenya
    June 7, 2008 at 06:35

    Many People A round the globe are talking a bout obama
    and which he will use in foreing policy.WE expect him to:

    -Icrease Aid to Africa,
    -Help to Eradicate Aids,Poverty and Disease
    -Help to fosterb greater Political friendship between Kenya and The US.
    -Help to Speed up the Formation of the “UNITED SATES OF ADFRICA”

  60. 61 Zak
    June 7, 2008 at 06:42

    Abdi, how do you think S. Africans are reacting to this news of Obama’s nomination? Are they considering having any more compassion for Mozambiquens and other foreigners or is there still so much ‘burning and looting.’ How do you think Obama will be received as an American with Kenyan heritage?

  61. 62 Scott Millar
    June 7, 2008 at 06:44

    TO | ZAK

    But if an illegal immigrant commits a crime against a citizen of America doesn’t the justice system have an obligation to the victim of a crime, or their family, that the illegal immigrant gets punished for their crime by spending time in jail?

  62. 63 Abdi in Mandera Kenya
    June 7, 2008 at 06:50

    Obama is our son but sometimes he seems to ignore this

  63. 64 Tino
    June 7, 2008 at 06:53


    I did not know how much it cost to execute someone until now but I always figured it was less than even one year in prison. As far as I can tell, I was right:


    “Lethal Injection Consists Of:
    * Sodium Thiopental (lethal dose – sedates person)
    * Pancuronium Bromide (muscle relaxant-collapses diaphragm and lungs)
    * Potassium Chloride (stops heart beat)
    * The offender is usually pronounced dead approximately 7 minutes after the lethal injection begins.

    Cost per execution for drugs used : $86.08”

    “The cost for administrating a lethal injection is well under $1000. Three drugs are given to dull the pain, put the criminal asleep and then to stop his heart. Since no doctor can prescribe these drugs or their doses (as per the Hippocratic Oath) massive doses are given. The chemicals can vary so I don’t know their exact prices, but knowing government they are the cheapest drugs available.

    Keeping a prison alive and confined has been estimated to cost between $19,000 and $20,000 per year. Crudely put this makes execution more cost effective.”

  64. 65 Tino
    June 7, 2008 at 06:55

    “But if an illegal immigrant commits a crime against a citizen of America doesn’t the justice system have an obligation to the victim of a crime, or their family, that the illegal immigrant gets punished for their crime by spending time in jail?”

    I think I agree with this. However, for murder, I think the death penalty should be mandated in this instance. We should definitely not have to pay for life in prison. All other crimes – deport after sentence.

  65. 66 Zak
    June 7, 2008 at 06:55

    Yes, but that assumes the criminal gets caught, let’s say he’s just suspected, the police know about him, that’s the case we’re talking about with the Shaw murder. Police want to be able to interrogate previous offenders and my thinking is that’s too late. INS should handle this, if the police cannot prove he’s committed a crime let him be deported. But simply checking on his status is still the responsibility of INS and it can’t be relegated onto the police. It’s a drastically under funded gov. org. that really has failed because now it has the overseer of Homeland Security. But if they turn the immigration status over to the police they’ll let the devil loose.

    So yes, if a criminal gets caught he has to be punished on the soil the crime was committed on. But then when he gets released should he be allowed to stay in this country? Who’s responsibility is he once he’s no longer a criminal?

  66. 67 Tino
    June 7, 2008 at 07:00

    “Obama is our son but sometimes he seems to ignore this”

    What do you expect him to do? He is not running for anything related to any country but the United States – or he should be anyway. If he put any other countries interests first he is VERY undeserving of the post.

  67. 68 Abdi in Mandera Kenya
    June 7, 2008 at 07:01

    @ ZAK,
    PLease Keep Up the rythem and Concentrate very seriouisly,

  68. 69 Zak
    June 7, 2008 at 07:08

    Tino, I’ll take your tongue and cheek response because ultimately it’s not my morals that object. The cost I’m referring to is the appeals the state pays to combat, far exceeding the cost for any other typer of prisoner bar none. The state pays for the amount of time the prisoner sits on death row given appeals could be decades, the most expensive cost for the guards and staff that ‘protect the scum on death row’, like Scott Peterson who many say will never be executed for the amount of appeals he’s filed. Similarly the cost of the doctors, ministers; add to that insurance carried when the lethal injection fails and they have to use a ‘plan B.’ The state is on the hook for that prisoners death and they pay millions to insure it happens on time.

  69. 70 Abdi in Mandera Kenya
    June 7, 2008 at 07:09

    @ ZAK

    South Africa is well known for trormenting it’s immigrants.In kenya we have people from soamlia,and Ethiopia with him we live peacefully with.
    Why torment a person who has sake refuge in you’r own contry.

  70. 71 Abdi in Mandera Kenya
    June 7, 2008 at 07:13

    South African’s and the whole of the continent of Africa is delighted by Obama’s Victory.African’s are good at uniting when it comes to global matters.

  71. 72 VictorK
    June 7, 2008 at 07:50

    @ Scott, re Africa: you wrote, “I always feel bad having nothing to post on the WHYS Africa discussions, but I just don’t. I don’t think it is because we don’t care. Perhaps it is: part we don’t know much about them, and part we have low expectations of them anyway, because of so much consistent turmoil in Africa, new turmoil doesn’t seem noteworthy or exceptional.”

    But don’t WHYS bloggers often comment on issues across the world that they don’t necessarily know that much about (aren’t we all learning?), have low expectations of, or that seem hopeless (Palestine, Iraq, etc)?

    Africa is the home of the world’s three greatest humanitarian disasters: Darfur, Somalia and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Iraq is less significant – in humanitarian terms than at least two of these – and Palestine (a joke of an issue as far as I’m concerned) doesn’t even begin to count. Yet the disproportion in the amount of attention that these African stories get compared to Palestine and Iraq is extraordinary (a few thousand Palestinians have died in a period that has seen several million Congolese die, sometimes as a consequence of sadistically inhuman violence). And the explanation for the indifference to important African issues cannot be racism, since African, Afro-Caribbean and African-American bloggers here behave in the same way: a passionate, even hysterical, focus on issues like Palestine and Iraq; near-silence on far more important issues in Africa.

    I’d offer a different explanation. Firstly, there is an assumption (which may even be correct) that a story only gets interesting when it has a Western connection. Secondly, the opportunity to be critical, to the point of denunciation, of the West is a very powerful motivation for a lot of people (including some Westerners).

    By no stretch of the imagination is the West responsible for Somalia, Darfur or Congo. A good journalistic rule of thumb would predict that those stories, and others about places like Xinjiang and Chechnya – important as they are – will therefore not attract as much attention as stories about, say, Palestine or Iraq, where there is either a direct Western connection (Iraq) or a fabricated one (Palestine). This also explains why the many vocal Muslims on this blog (or anywhere else for that matter) never talk about Somalia or Darfur, although they are arguably the two most pressing problems in the Muslim world.

    I don’t care much for Islam, but Darfur and Somalia seem to me to be humanitarian disasters on such a scale as to deserve better treatment from WHYS- community and programme (i.e. to be treated as subjects as often as Palestine or Iraq). I don’t think WHYS should be entirely driven by the popularity of topics; weight should sometimes count for more than numbers.

  72. 73 Abdi in Mandera Kenya
    June 7, 2008 at 07:51

    @ Zak

    Let’s talk a bout the Possible formation of

  73. 74 Tino
    June 7, 2008 at 07:51


    I agree, which is why I said I think it should be limited to one appeal. If a jury finds you guilty twice – time to die. The amount of appeals they can file is absolutely stupid.

  74. 75 Zak
    June 7, 2008 at 08:03

    Well it’s only the witching hour here in Cali, I’m good to go on home brew espresso. I want to thank everybody who’s showing such great spirit here, it’s a privilege to have seen all the posts that I have today for the last 8 hours. We need Abdi to get added as a moderator by calling our friend Ros and reminding him that from California, you can check out of the BBC but never leave. I will stay on until he does get in touch with Ros and can moderate. Abdi do let me know.

  75. 76 Abdi in Mandera Kenya
    June 7, 2008 at 08:03

    I think it will be very Good if we could create a United State Of Africa.This will not only Create employment opprtunities for many Africans but it will also make it easy for Africans to travel to each others country without requring A visa nor a passport.
    what do you say my dear,

  76. 77 musdafe
    June 7, 2008 at 08:06

    @ ZAK,
    I Understand Africa need to unite to fight against Poverty and disease.

  77. 78 Zak
    June 7, 2008 at 08:17

    Tino: so going back to the original argument, if there’s even a chance that another country could challenge an execution the cost again goes up to make sure he’s not granted a stay so it really pails the cost in comparison to even life in prison. It some ways it’s unfortunate, I know personally I could have pulled the trigger on one like Peterson, so smug having hacked up a buried his wife. We have another just found guilty: Hans Reiser quite the immigrant story; one who held such an arrogant stance that jurors convicted based on it, he laughed after he was convicted.

  78. 79 VictorK
    June 7, 2008 at 08:20

    @Abdi: you wrote, re Barack Obama: “Many People A round the globe are talking about obama and which he will use in foreing policy.WE expect him to:

    -Icrease Aid to Africa,
    -Help to Eradicate Aids,Poverty and Disease
    -Help to fosterb greater Political friendship between Kenya and The US.
    -Help to Speed up the Formation of the “UNITED SATES OF ADFRICA”

    These expectations seem misdirected. They have a sense of unreality that I often encounter when looking at African issues (such as, on another thread, the belief amongst Somalis that they are really Arabs).

    What is Africa doing for itself to make foreign aid redundant? The continent is second to none when it comes to mineral wealth; but Africans have managed, anti-Midas-like, to turn gold into dross. Africa has no right to the money of foreign taxpayers, and should therefore have no expectations in this line.

    The same observation applies to eradicating AIDS, poverty and disease. This is the responsibility of African governments and Africans. If they can’t discharge it they should ask to be returned to colonial status and administered by a country that can make progress in handling these issues. You can’t be a sovereign state and still act like a dependent. I have no problem with NGOs and charities working alongside Africans in these areas, but I don’t think it right for one government to support another government by confiscating and transferring money from taxpayers.

    Re ‘political friendship’ – shouldn’t relations between states be a matter of mutual national interest? Talk of ‘friendship’ always seems out of place to me (I sometimes get uncomfortable listening to American politicians talk about Israel – as with Obama recently when he described Israel’s security as ‘sacrosanct’!).

    As for a United States of Africa – why? Many Africans seem to desire this, but I don’t really understand the political mathematics of adding together a set of failing and fractured states and getting as a result a prosperous and peaceful United States of Africa. Dreams are fine as long as they don’t take the place of realities. And what business is it of any American President to encourage the formation of a US of Africa? George Bush has had the impudence to repeatedly call for Turkey to be admitted into the European Union, despite the fact that the country is not European and is not wanted as a member by the people of Europe (as opposed to the elites). Being of Kenyan stock wouldn’t make Obama’s position on how other regions should manage their political affairs less impertinent than Bush’s, especially if a United Africa will simply extrapolate ethnic slaughter, kleptocracy, collapse of infra-structure, and all-round failure to a continental plane.

  79. 80 Abdi in Mandera Kenya
    June 7, 2008 at 08:29

    I Will Love to hear from Lubna IN Iraq,Dwight and ironically we haven’t heard from Steve and Brett two listners who ros regularly reffers to “regular and loyal listners”,,
    We want to know more about what they understand of the continent of Africa.

  80. 81 Abdi in Mandera Kenya
    June 7, 2008 at 08:43

    @ Victor
    THanks for your long Letter ,I have read read and understood it’s contents.But I must Say OBama can SAve Africa

  81. 82 Katharina in Ghent
    June 7, 2008 at 08:46

    @ Obama is our son:

    His father is from Kenya, that’s right, but he grew up in the US and I can understand that he doesn’t see himself as African/Kenyan, even if he visited his grandmother a few times. My son has an Austrian mother and a Canadian father and feels that he’s Belgian, because that’s where he grows up. Now there’s a confused child!

    @ Stem Cells:

    Hybrid stem cells are fertilized oozytes from animals (fairly cheaply and easily harvested), which have been enucleated (=nucleus with DNA removed) and then the mature DNA from humans has been inserted. To my knowledge, these cells are only being used to research how to reprogram the mature DNA so that it behaves like an embryonic DNA again.

    In the past the Nazis and the Chinese had these ridiculous “breeding programs/experiments”, but they didn’t understand that oozytes from one species cannot (almost never) be fertilized by the sperm of another species, because the key to penetrate the wall of the oozytes is wrong. Even if that worked, the genes are alligned quite differently on the chromosomes and the number of chromosomes isn’t the same. either. That’s why mules are infertile, but their parents are still related enough to mate.

  82. June 7, 2008 at 08:46

    Will Rhodes: I live in South Africa, and am also the founder of the SA Friends of Tibet, so the question of what the Chinese are doing in Africa, and how they are going about it, is important.

    Africa offers several points of access to the Chinese, which are denied to the West. First, the Chinese don’t mind dealing with corrupt regimes, and will even act to keep them in power if this suits their purposes. Second, they are able to make deals, such as the supply of weapons, in exchange for ‘access to the economy.’ This access always means access to the under-exploited mineral resources of those countries (usually minerals with industrial value.) The method thereafter seems to be as follows: Chinese experts are brought in to upgrade the mining plants, and to effectively run them. At the same time, the Chinese build roads and rail links from mines to ports, obviously for getting the minerals out and across to China. (There are over 5000km of Chinese rail in Africa, linking ports to mines.) Third, there is often a token Chinese military or other security force placed in the country to assure smooth running of the operations, and also to back up the regime in power. A number of Chinese officers have been spotted, for example, in Zimbabwe.

    The big advantage the Chinese have over the West is that they don’t allow moral qualms to prevent from from doing business. They are extremely practical and pragmatic, and the aim is to get the job of mineral extraction done, no matter what. The West, on the other hand, wants to see socio-political change before the’ll deal with Africa. So, the West loses out.

    Africa is gradually and speedily being sold out to China, with the full consent, it appears, of the Africans themselves.

    South Africa is, of course, the central base of operations, because of its infrastructures, logisitical, financial, banking and others. There is also an important protocol that was signed between South Africa and China in 1998, which stipulates not only economic cooperation, but also an ideological commitment to work together to establish a ‘new world order’ that is obviously designed to compete with and eventually supplant the American-European global economic system.

    Watch this space to see how, in the next five to ten years, Africa becomes the resources wellspring for China, while the West blunders along hypocritically insisting that Africa should become democratized before business can be conducted, as if conducting business were not, in fact, the fastest way to get democracies up and running.

  83. 84 Abdi in Mandera Kenya
    June 7, 2008 at 09:00

    @ Katharina in Ghent
    It’s really getting very hot .
    You Said Obama is ggod for Africa.thanks for your comment and please me company and feel free to post anyquestions on the blog

  84. 85 Zak
    June 7, 2008 at 09:02

    Katherina, are you a doctor, you sound like it? If possible let’s keep the discussion to the usage of umbilical versus embryonic stem cells. Hybrid stem cells are really a whole different thing that would be a separate discussion. If anybody can really make a serious argument for the usage of hybrids go ahead. But as was said it’s most often been associated with exactly the kind of negative regimes and fanatic religious disapproval that hold up progress. My point was to introduce a subject that even many Catholics can agree with in the use of Stem Cells, not everyone I understand. But if the breakthrough of curing childhood blindness can be seen for the truth I do believe people will begin to believe in the method.

  85. 86 Abdi in Mandera Kenya
    June 7, 2008 at 09:03

    @ denovan

    Please lets also talk a bout Kenya not neccessaraly on
    South Africa alone.I am proud to be a kenyan,and since I am the boss of the progrramme for this weekend I would love to sell my country to the entire globe

  86. 87 VictorK
    June 7, 2008 at 09:08

    @Abdi: you wrote, ‘Let’s talk a bout the Possible formation of

    Here’s a counter-proposal: instead, let’s talk about the benefits of revising the borders of all existing sub-Saharan African states, and re-drawing them to form smaller, more ethnically compact sub-states.

    An Africa comprised of ‘ethno-states’ would see countries whose people would be better able to develop the moral and national habits of loyalty, pride, cohesiveness, self-sacrifice and patriotism, none of which can really take root in the present Africa of ethnically diverse states. It would be an Africa in which ethnic pride could be positively harnessed as a force that made states compete with each other on various indices of success (education, infra-structure, healthcare, etc – as is the case in the West). It would be an Africa in which, for the first time in over 100 years, all ethnic groups would enjoy a measure of self-determination and the ability to live according to their wishes, and not in subordination to some larger or more powerful ethnic interest as is the case in much of Africa today. It would be an Africa in which national pride, national endeavour and national interest could all exist as real forces for progress, since for the first time the nation and the state would enjoy a one-to-one relation with each other, and an Africa no longer be subjected to the political perversities thrown-up by a multiethnic, multinational state, in which ‘the nation’ was a political fiction that inspired nobody to act on behalf of an equally fictitious ‘national interest’, and where all ‘national’ considerations were sacrificed to smaller ethnic/tribal interests.

    Wouldn’t an Africa comprising smaller, ethnically-based nation-states be a more solid foundation for a United States of Africa? Wouldn’t it mean the union of genuine states (with an unqualified right to secede from any such union) as opposed to the pretend nation-states that currently exist (Sudan? Nigeria? the Democratic Republic of Congo? rofl!). Wouldn’t it mean that consent to such a union was genuine, coming from each of Africa’s constituent ethnic nationalities, and not artifical and forced, a choice of elites and not of majorities (which is the problem with the European Union)? And wouldn’t it mean that a United States of Africa would be a union of viable states with real prospects of a prosperous and stable future, and not a union of failed states, which could only lead to an equally failed union?

    The key to Africa’s problems, it seems to me, is working with reality: and the principal reality in Africa centres on ethnicity and tribe.

  87. 88 Abdi in Mandera Kenya
    June 7, 2008 at 09:13

    @ Luban

    We understand your a muslim PLease let’s talk about this topic:
    Does Islam give womens the rights they deserve?,

  88. 89 Abdi in Mandera Kenya
    June 7, 2008 at 09:14

    @ Brett

    Join us in our debate;

  89. 90 Zak
    June 7, 2008 at 09:18

    ABDI you’ve got to use only the mudsafe user name. That’s the one that’s in the system and will let you moderate but you’ve got to find the ‘comments awaiting moderation.’ Please do not use the Abdi in Kenya one, it’s not allowing you access. As you can tell by the red bar tell you your comment is awaiting moderation.

  90. 91 Abdi in Mandera Kenya
    June 7, 2008 at 09:22

    @ Steve

    Steve you’r saying Hillary wouldn’t have been the best candiadate can you please give us enough reasons as to why obama was better off than her or is just that you want to please beacuase I am your host and Obama’s father hails from Kenya

  91. 92 VictorK
    June 7, 2008 at 09:28

    @ Donovan: thanks for your analysis of China’s role in Africa.

    I’ve always thought that if the United States loses its position as a superpower in the next 50-100 years (which is not impossible given the demographic changes that are making it a country with an increasingly third world profile) then China will be free to simply annex sub-Saharan Africa. Chinese communities are already settling in the continent (and there have been popular protests against them – characteristically ignored by the African elites) and you’ve already mentioned the Chinese military presence. Given a future Chinese population of several millions in Africa, a solid Chinese military presence their, and the collapse or decline of the United States – not as big an ‘if’ as some people might think – the Chinese will have a tailor-made scenario for intervening in Africa on the pretext of protecting their people and ultimately bringing Africa and its resources under their control.

    The response of Africans to China’s cynical exploitation of their resources (‘We love the Chinese, they never bother us about human rights like those pesky Westerners – God bless their role in the Sudan etc’) shows that a combination of hatred of the West, materialism, and complete indifference to African independence and interests will leave them vulnerable to conquest by a powerful and inhuman regime. Africa is a continent rich in potential and the Chinese have several hundred million people who are not going to beneift from its economic growth for a long time. Given the opportunity I don’t see why they wouldn’t resettle that surplus population in a conquered Africa, at whatever cost to Africans, including extermination.

  92. June 7, 2008 at 09:34

    Just catching up on all the overnight posts:

    Abdi: My post was about Africa as a whole, and about the economic exploitation of Africa by China. Read it and see for yourself. One of my good friends is a Kenyan refugee, a Maasai whose name I won’t mention, but who has told me a lot about discrimination practised in Kenya against the Maasai minority group. Would you care to comment on that?

    Tino: The problem with atheism is not that it denies the existence of a personal, often anthropomorphic deity, but that it averts its mindset from any affirmation of an Uncaused First Cause (ens causa sui). As a humanist Buddhist, I have no problem with the absence of a personal deity, but I certainly cannot twist my logic to assert that the phenomena which exist, exist without causes and conditions from which they must arise. (nihil ex nihilo).

    All religions and ontologocal philosophies are posing and answering a legitimate question: what is the first cause of all phenomena, and how do conscious beings stand in relation to that first cause?

    It’s a very difficult and complex question, especially in the post-modern world where there is so much philosophy, religion and science that have to be taken into account in answering the question. (The big bang, of course, is not a first cause in the philosophical-ontologocal sense).

    For me, the problem is not ultimately how people or groups of people answer that question, but whether the answers they find lead them to a meaningful and positive approach to living. If that can be found in atheism, good and well.

    Whether or not the atheist is prepared to acknowledge the logical assertion that there must be a first cause is their prerogative, as long as they realize that in denying the existence of an ens causa sui they remain in a philosophical mindset that is logically flawed and deliberately incomplete.

  93. 94 musdafe
    June 7, 2008 at 09:41

    @ Victor
    I am totally suprised that you understand very well about the continent of africa and How how thing are in Africa.Have you ever been to Africa?
    It seems you were taught a lot africa,or have learnt more africa.
    I like the idea peole find a lot pleasures in learning more a bout Africa.
    Ironically Africans themselves never find interest in learning more a bout America ,Europe and the rest of the World.

  94. 95 Bob in Queensland
    June 7, 2008 at 09:45

    @Zak and Abdi

    If Abdi goes to the “My Account/Edit Profile” section of the WordPress page, you’ll find there’s a box where you can enter a “nickname” and, just below, a pull down menu that lets you chose whether you display your login name or the chosen nickname. By memory, Once you’ve done this you have to scroll to the bottom and click on “Update Profile”. By memory, I think I had to also logout and log back in for the change to take effect. However, this should allow Abdi to display the name he wants and still be logged in with the right name.

    On the topic of the United States of Africa, my impression is that VictorK may have a pretty good point. So many of the existing problems seem to have been caused by arbitrary lines being drawn on maps in colonial days without regard for traditional ethnic differences. Bearing in my the internal problems suffered by so many countries, would there really be a realistic chance that all the old rivalries could be set aside to form the US of Africa?

  95. 96 Abdi in Mandera Kenya
    June 7, 2008 at 09:50

    @ Victor,

    Dear fellow listner,I don’t now what name to call ,but i guess you must be caller ” A white-African”.
    It’s because as much you know a bout Africa I don’t know much a bout it,.

  96. 97 Abdi in Mandera Kenya
    June 7, 2008 at 09:52

    @ ZAK
    I am now moderating Actively,Don’t worry Bob will also assist

  97. 98 Zak
    June 7, 2008 at 09:59

    OK Abdi, I took out the personal communications you moderated as they’re not necessary. Listening to Babyface on the groove XM 64 I’ll say goodnight:

    This is for the cool in you

  98. 99 Abdi in Mandera Kenya
    June 7, 2008 at 10:00

    @ BOB

    Thanks for your comments.Don’t worry about that as long as I can moderate.

    Bob do you thing the grand coalition government in kenya will work?
    How much do you know of last years disputed general Elections? Do you think that the polioticains behind the Killings of over 1,000 kenyanas and displacements of over 350,000 should be brought before an international court of law?

  99. 100 Bob in Queensland
    June 7, 2008 at 10:10


    I followed last years Kenyan elections with interest and a growing sense of horror as I’ve both visited Kenya and also have friends there.

    I sincerely hope the grand coalition can work but have to say that I’m not overly optimistic. This is one case where I really hope to be proven wrong though.

    I do believe that those responsible for the killings and the displacement should be “brought to book” but is this a case for the international community or wouldn’t it be better if it could be handled internally in Kenya? Surely international courts, as cumbersome as they are, should be a last resort?

  100. 101 Abdi in Mandera Kenya
    June 7, 2008 at 10:12

    People in America,Europle and Asia do beleive that we African live in Extreme poverty,and that Our thinking capacity is very law.I think It’s true that majority of us live belllow the poverty line as a result sef-interest by our Members of Parliament.We know of Bright students who couldn’t with their university Education because of Lack of fees,.
    But who is to blame for the mistry situation that this poorest continent on earth is in?..
    It’s not luck of rain that cause hungern in any country,Africa is the richest continent when it comes to natural resources.And yet It’s the poorest why is it so?

  101. 102 Abdi in Mandera Kenya
    June 7, 2008 at 10:15

    @ BOB

    I agree with you but who exactly is responsible.Is it President’s KIbaki’s Party Of National Unity or Prime MInister Raila Amolo Odinga’s Part-Orange DEmocratic MOvement?

  102. June 7, 2008 at 10:16

    Abdi: However much Victor may or may not be a White African, I definitely am one, and I fully agree with what he has been saying. China poses a huge problem for the future of the African continent, and the time to say and do something about it is now.

    Instead of playing the man, why not play the ball, and give us your views on the Chinese presence in Africa, as well as responding to the question I put about the discrimination in Kenya against the Maasai?

    The Pan-Africanist ideal is not yet realizable because ethnic divisions in Africa are still too sharp, and there is an almost complete lack of democracy on the continent. Democracy is the political dynamic which tends to minimalize ethnic conflicts and make possible wider inter-ethnic and inter-national cooperation. The problem is that that sort of width can result in a bigger overriding bureaucratic monster, such as obtains in the EU.

    On an ego-saving note: I must correct my double misspelling of ‘ontological’ in my previous post, which makes it seem that I have no right to take part in philosophical debates.

    o iften type in ‘i’ onstead if ‘o’, and voce-versa.

  103. 104 Abdi in Mandera Kenya
    June 7, 2008 at 10:21

    @ Victor

    Thanks for your comments .You’r well-come to join us again.
    this time we talking about The grand caolition Government and how far it will go!
    Bob says he follows kenyan’s politics very closely
    and that those behind the sorry state that kenya has underwent should be brought before a court of law do you agree with him?

  104. 105 Abdi in Mandera Kenya
    June 7, 2008 at 10:28

    @ denovan
    Thanks for message
    You agree with victor that’s good but you don’t agree that we will call him “White african” ha ha aha
    Back to discussions
    Maasai are not discriminated in kenya.they hold a specail place in the history of our country beacuse the name of our capital city -Nairobi is derived from a maasai word meaning “Cold Water”

  105. 106 Abdi in Mandera Kenya
    June 7, 2008 at 10:46

    Kenya was the most democratic country in Africa before last years general Elections.
    Kenyan’s have turned out in large numbers inorder to vote for the president of their choice but unexpectly the results of the general Elections turned out to be a very unafair one for the people of Kenya.
    President Kibaki says he won the Elections very fairly while Orange Democratic Movement Leader Raila beleives that he too had won the Elections since he; had 70% of members of parliament to be from his party.
    Many kenya’s still find it difficult to hail the wounds.

    What lessons do we learn from the peace deal in which he brokered?
    Is this the end of conflict resolutions in Africa with the beggining of another?

  106. 107 Abdi in Mandera Kenya
    June 7, 2008 at 10:57

    Challenging Questions?
    Do you now that Over 80% of African Population Spend less tha $1 a day! if yes Whom do you is responsible for this? the Government? Natural Factor? Africa’s people? Foreign Countries?..
    To me I think that hans outs are the causes of this sorry state! IF maize and food stuffs will be destributed free of charge by the United States of America why do people need to Work? so you see ?

  107. 108 Roberto
    June 7, 2008 at 11:10

    Cost per execution for drugs used : $86.08″

    —– My gosh, that’s like saying the cost for a trip is just the price of the gas for the car. Good luck trying convince anyone of that.

    I would prefer to think there is no one ignorant of the hundreds of thousands of dollars it takes to provide special housing, special counsels, and endless writs which clog up an incompetant criminal justice system all because of one death row inmate. The total costs per death inmate in Texas add up to a couple of 3 million or so by execution day..

    Then the DNA comes out and exonerates 10% of them who are only there because of ninny witnesses who wouldn’t know the hole in their noggin from a hole in the ground and gung ho prosecutors suppressing evidence and making up evidence for good career numbers.

    At any rate, nothing cheaper and more humane than a 3 man firing squad. Death is instaneous, and the cost of 3 bullets is neglible and the rifles already standard issue equipment that are seldom fired in the penal system.

    But then we’d get all the anti gun folks marching angrily in their pink pajamas and tinfoil beanies protesting gun violence.

    Reasonable, hardworking, folk in this world have always been caught between the wanton criminal class and the nincompoops who always manage to ruin every decent idea and system ever invented.

  108. 109 Abdi in Mandera Kenya
    June 7, 2008 at 11:10

    I have really enjoyed all your company this afternoon.
    Let’s keep on talking:
    I know many of you will be browsing when it’s late night here in Kenya and when I am already in a deep sleep.But Let talk more a bout Africa and I will do that for you exactly sometimes later today.At the Moment let have my Dhur Prayers and Luch(we eat Beans,fish and Rice) Well-come let’s have lunch toghter! ha ha ha ha……………………I will be back exactly after 35 Minutes.

  109. 110 Bob in Queensland
    June 7, 2008 at 11:15


    You ask:

    I agree with you but who exactly is responsible.Is it President’s KIbaki’s Party Of National Unity or Prime MInister Raila Amolo Odinga’s Part-Orange DEmocratic MOvement?

    Certainly, at least the western press reported that Kibaki’s re-election was as the result of substantial vote rigging. Does this match what you believe in Kenya?

    You also ask:

    Do you now that Over 80% of African Population Spend less tha $1 a day! if yes Whom do you is responsible for this? the Government? Natural Factor? Africa’s people? Foreign Countries?..

    Am I allowed to answer “all of the above”? Certainly foreign governments and companies have long exploited the natural resources of Africa and given a fair return. However, African governments must also shoulder a huge amount of the blame themselves. I’m sure you’d have to agree that corruption and mis-management are rife in a great many countries. You need only look at how President Mugabe has run a wealthy, self-sufficient country like Zimbabwe into the ground. Finally, yes, natural factors play a part. We’re talking about “Africa” as an entity but there are huge differences in potential wealth between, say, Ethiopia and South Africa…or Sudan and oil-rich Nigeria.

  110. June 7, 2008 at 11:47

    Abdi: Thanks for letting us know that there’s no discrimination against the Maasai in kenya. Now that’s been cleared up, I’ll just have to inform my Maasai friend that he’s got it all wrong and can safely go back home.

  111. 112 Abdi in Mandera Kenya
    June 7, 2008 at 11:51

    Thanks God I had had my Dhur Prayers and Lunch.So let’s keeep on talking,let me bring in Our saver.(sorry I have eaten lunch without you) ha ha ha …


    All Media Organisations reported that the General Election was rigged!and as I must agree with them.
    To the question of Causes of hunger in Africa.I do agree with what you said it’s only that I don’t understand how a continent rich in natural resources can be the poorest on earth.

  112. 113 Abdi in Mandera Kenya
    June 7, 2008 at 12:31



    Courts have in the recent past been releasing a worryingly large number of suspects facing charges of serious crimes, including murder and rape. As they free the suspects, the judges accuse police of failing to either follow the law or conduct thorough investigations that can justify the conviction of the accused.
    Courts must be convinced that a person is guilty beyond reasonable doubt for them to jail offenders. But police have been consistently failing this test.

    As criminals become more and more sophisticated, police continue to rely on old investigation techniques. This puts the investigative arm of the force at a disadvantage.

    That the force needs to be retrained and better equipped has never been in doubt, and this call has been made on many occasions. However, the force has failed to change with the times.

    Many officers still operate under the old rules, which allowed them to use torture to force confessions out of suspects. New laws have done away with confessions given outside the court, leaving police in a quandary.

    Police have also been detaining suspects at will, paying little heed to the legal requirement on the length of time one should be in custody before being charged. In some cases, suspects have remained in cells for months without being taken to court, thereby breaching their rights.

    This anomaly is now one of the loopholes that the courts have been citing when freeing dangerous criminals who have been in custody longer than the law stipulates.

    The courts must be commended for opening their eyes to these glaring anomalies. And by doing their work effectively, they have exposed a weakness in police work, which leaves the public vulnerable to all manner of criminals who, after release, can commit more damage.

    But rather than condemn the force wholesale, we should urge it to embrace change, take its officers for fresh investigation training and speed up the buying of equipment and building of specialised facilities — including forensic laboratories — that will make them more effective in their job.

    Strengthening the criminal investigations arm of the force will make it more professional and give it a greater probability of winning cases against dangerous criminals.

  113. June 7, 2008 at 14:51

    Well, if this is how it’s gonna be, why not just take a giant leap and discuss the meaning of life with special reference to Sartrian and Merleau-Pontyesque existentialism?

    The fundamental point about existentialism lies in its dogma that existence precedes essence, or, the thing comes into existence before its meaning and purpose have been established.

    In the case of a bedside lamp, we would say that essence precedes existence: the meaning and purpose of the lamp have been established before the lamp is brought into existence.

    By the tenets of existentialism this is not the case with human beings. We are like a machine built by a gorilla from random parts, and then we have to ask ourselves: what the hell is this machine, and what is its meaning and purpose. We than have to find a use for it.

    Its only use, says Sartre, is to be fully autonomous, to refuse having any final meaning or purpose ascribed to it, because, like the machine randomly constructed by the gorilla, it really has no pre-designed function or meaning.

    Thus, we are free to collapse into absurdity. Since I have no intrinsic meaning or purpose, I can sit around all day and mutter : uppa wuppa googy woogy, and you would have to accept that I am exercising my fundamental purpose to be fully autonomous.

    Such is the predicament in a universe without a first cause. Any takers?

  114. 115 steve
    June 7, 2008 at 14:56

    Hard to believe this happened in the US. If you have a problem with it, don’t watch it.


  115. June 7, 2008 at 15:02

    Hi Count Iblis
    We are again in trouble. If oil reaches $139/–per barrel, we are to blame. If there is religious or ethnic tension in the region, we are the obvious scapegoats. If a young scruff decides to blurt out some offensive remark on the Holocaust or Diaspora, again we are to blame. We are dragging our feet on the nuclear issue, then again, and Bushehr could be the target of attack.
    It is sad, nevertheless true. The term tact or soft diplomacy simply doesn’t exist in our vovabulary. Yet the loss of $2 trillion of American money in the Afghan, Iraq conflcit, and the death of over 3000 American lads and God knows how many other lads in the Iraqi war, not to mention the death and carnage of some 200,000 to 300,000 Iraqis plus 2 million refugees, someone must take the blame.
    Israel has problems of its own. Sleaze, ineffective plicies in the Gaza Strip, impatience of its lobbies in Washington, London, Rome and Paris for action,- who cares, – Iran, Somali, Beirut – so long as it makes a splash and diverts attention from real issues.
    Back to the enegy market, Russia commands supplies and dictates prices. It won’t take no for an answer. It is no longer the timid sheiks and sultans of the East who could always be pressured to coalesce who control oil supplies.
    Perhaps we and best wait and see!

  116. 117 Abdi in Mandera Kenya
    June 7, 2008 at 15:03

    @ Steve ,it’s from you’r host- Abdi

    It’s great to have you back,
    what else can we talk a bout? I know you’r a regular listner and you can’t run short of Proposal for debate.let’s have fun

  117. 118 shirley
    June 7, 2008 at 15:04

    My point was if we allow people to enter the USA who don’t believe in human rights and democracy, such as freedom for women, gays, etc. or even in freedom of religion (as much as I hate to say it), that this creates a real problem.

    What should we do about the people who are here and who are residents or citizens and who do not believe in freedom for women, gays, or different religions?

    You brought up an excellent point about the raids on law-abiding migrant workers in contrast to the laissez-faire treatment of undocumented persons who are convicted criminals.

    Our poor moderator-in-limbo Zak also gave an excellent anecdote concerning the kind of racial tensions that exist in the U.S. It really breaks my heart that it has come to that. What is the history of the bad blood between black Americans and Latino Americans?

  118. 119 Katharina in Ghent
    June 7, 2008 at 15:07

    Hi Zak,

    I’m not a doctor, I don’t have the nerve for sick people (the responsibility and the empathy, I mean). I’m a technician in a science lab, we work with mouse embryonic stem cells, that’s why I have some understanding on what’s going on in this direction. Human umbilical cord stem cells are nice because they have still quite some potential to differentiate into different cell lines, but mainly towards the vascular direction. One major branch in science is to find out how to reprogram cells so that they can develop into something different, say a skin cell into a liver cell. Theoretically every cell (except for red blood cells because they don’t have a nucleus) has 100% of the genetic information, but, depending on the degree of differentiation, only a small set of the genes gets “switched on”. It’s like a long one-way street with a lot of exits and no possibility to return.

    In terms of the article that you linked, it’s not clear to me how this guy treats the umbilical cord cells to tell them that they should behave like optic nerve cells, and since his colleagues in China and the world don’t know, he probably never published his work in a scientific magazine. What’s making me a little queasy about this article is that long term risks cannot be assessed because it’s too soon to tell, but from my work I know that when you inject normal embryonic stem cells into the skin you get a tumor… not a nice picture.

  119. 120 shirley
    June 7, 2008 at 15:09

    the Chinese don’t mind dealing with corrupt regimes, and will even act to keep them in power if this suits their purposes

    My understanding is that the same is true of the U.S., even if they do it in more of a covert way. Abdi’s idea of a United States of Africa is interesting, but even if it were to be realised, there would be no use if the governments that unified were all corrupt puppet states propped up by powerful foreign countries who want only to serve their own economic and political interests.

    Perhaps the most important starting point would be to remove foreign influence from African governance.

    Personally, I would be more interested in reducing national lines in Africa to reflect more the different ethic groups that exist in Africa, and then (if Africans still wanted a USA) federalise them. Abdi, Donovan, et al, your ideas?

    The reason that I don’t comment more on African topics is because I view myself as the white outsider who should leave Africans to determine their own policies. I can receive all the mental banging possible from good-hearted souls like Donovan, but I think that it could be some time before I am straightened out.

  120. 121 Katharina in Ghent
    June 7, 2008 at 15:15

    @ Abdi:

    10 years ago I spent my honeymoon in Kenya, it’s such a beautiful country. But the poverty that I’ve seen there (and the tour guides were quite careful to avoid as much as possible) is still hounting me today. Don’t get this down the wrong thoat, but I’m sure that a lot of the poverty in Kenya and most other African countries has a lot to do with mismanagement and corruption. Nigeria makes so much money with the oil, and yet the ordinary Nigerians see no benefit of it. Kenya makes a lot of money through tourism, but one kilometer outside the resorts the children run around with the blown-up bellies, chewing on some root. It was heart breaking.

    I hope your country gets back on track, soon.

  121. 122 shirley
    June 7, 2008 at 15:16

    Sa Sa, Abdi
    The three phrases that I learned in Swahili are reduced to one! How on earth did I let them get so dusty in my head? :=s

    You were asking about Muslim treatment of women. It was discussed on WHYS some time back, though it’s never a problem to raise the issue again if people want to discuss it.

  122. 123 Tino
    June 7, 2008 at 15:17

    “if there’s even a chance that another country could challenge an execution the cost again goes up to make sure he’s not granted a stay so it really pails the cost in comparison to even life in prison.”

    Just mandate one appeal per person, all people. If an illegal immigrant wanted to appeal the country could do it for him (his country) but American taxpayers would not be allowed to foot the biil for an illegal immigrant. One time for everyone else and have expedited executions. Then it would cost much much less than life in prison. We have a ridiculous death penalty system where plenty of people live out their natural lives which is completely stupid. The problem when you try to do things like this is that plenty of people complain because the death penalty is ‘wrong’. I am sorry but if anyone killed someone in my family I would want them very very dead. And I sure as hell wouldn’t want to pay for them to live.

  123. June 7, 2008 at 15:32

    Shirley: The fact is that Africa needs all the outside criticism and comment that it can get, because there is such a severe lack of the urge to self-criticism over here. So pile it on.

    The thing with China in Africa that most Africans don’t see, is that they’re going to find themselves subtly re-colonized (yep, that word again). They only see the short-term investment benefits and the willingness to conduct business on their own, often corrupt, terms.

    What’s needed is some mighty Western economic intervention to stem the Sino-African tide and bring the scenario back into balance. That may not be the pc view in Africa right now, but it’s the view I hold because I care about Africa and the future of all its peoples.

  124. 125 steve
    June 7, 2008 at 15:37

    Well Abdi, I’m not too sure, but later on today we’ll be able to talk about Hillary Clinton. TOday is the day she will “suspend” her campaign, and “back” Obama, though not officially withdrawing, so if something happens, she can re-enter and try to be President. I’m very curious to hear what she is going to say….

  125. 126 Abdi in Mandera Kenya
    June 7, 2008 at 15:41

    @ Sirley ,Katharina and Javadi

    Well-come I am you’r host in tha absence of ZAK till later Today

    @Shirly It’s good you speak Kiswahili Language” Sa sa
    means :How are you?;

    @ Katharina: It’s to have you back,you have been to kenya wear to in Particar?

    @ Javadi: WE can’t understand what your taking A bout ,Please explain it to us.thanks

  126. 127 Abdi in Mandera Kenya
    June 7, 2008 at 15:44

    @ Steve you’r right let’s talk about Hillary

  127. 128 Tino
    June 7, 2008 at 15:49

    “But I must Say OBama can SAve Africa”

    That is not his job and he better not make it his job. His job is to help the United States of America. Anything else is and better stay a side issue.

    @ Katharina

    Thank you for addressing hybrid stem cells very well. Like she said comparing them to Nazi/Chinese breeding experiments is ridiculous as the two are worlds apart.

    “If possible let’s keep the discussion to the usage of umbilical versus embryonic stem cells. Hybrid stem cells are really a whole different thing that would be a separate discussion.”

    I think they are all linked. The only reason to oppose ES cells is religious. I am sorry but a ~150 cell blastocyst does not count as a human life and quite frankly the idea is ridiculous. Saying the ‘life’ of a blastocyst is equal to the lives of humans suffering currently untreatable diseases could only come from something as utterly irrational as religion. One imagines the argument against hybrids is the same – and the only reason, or at least the primary one, they do it is because of a shortage of ES cells. I am sorry but if I had parkinson’s, MS, diabetes type 1, etc I would want the treatments that may come from this type of research. For the church to say it is against God – when God cannot be proven to exist and therefore has no business interfering in the real world – and use it as a reason to halt important research is stupid. Butt out.

    @ Donovan

    The problem with atheism is not that it denies the existence of a personal, often anthropomorphic deity, but that it averts its mindset from any affirmation of an Uncaused First Cause (ens causa sui). As a humanist Buddhist, I have no problem with the absence of a personal deity, but I certainly cannot twist my logic to assert that the phenomena which exist, exist without causes and conditions from which they must arise.

    Interesting argument. While I tend to agree there must be a first cause (though I am not sure) why does it have to be anything but natural.
    Give science some time and I believe we will figure things out. I am content to say I have no idea what happened yet – but I am relatively sure that it is not an entirely benevolent, omniscient, omnipotent being that never does anything whatsoever except hold back human progress. The idea that we should accept such a thing exists, in the face of mountains of evidence suggesting otherwise, and that we should do so based on books alone is absurd. The only reason most religions – especially the big three – are still around today is because children are brainwashed into believing it and we are taught that religion is above criticism. See the debates on this board for proof – when I criticize Islam I am called: “prejudiced, racist, ignorant” etc. Beliefs are not above criticism and it is time we moved on from the PC mindset that insulates them. Any secular belief can be strongly criticized but as soon as you say something about someone’s imaginary friend – despite the fact that it matters a lot since people govern themselves in the REAL world according to their beliefs – you are shot down for no reason.

    I would point out it does not seem entirely necessary to have a first cause though. I think it is impossible to say anything conclusive about that time just yet. After all, why is the first cause above the causal relationship?

    “People in America,Europle and Asia do beleive that we African live in Extreme poverty,and that Our thinking capacity is very law.”

    While I do think many people feel that way here, it is a crying shame. I imagine – and hope – most people who attend college meet at least one African (as in from Africa) student to dispel this image. My good friend is from Kenya (we both go to GT) like yourself and is incredibly intelligent.

  128. 129 Will Rhodes
    June 7, 2008 at 15:50

    @ Scott

    That is a broad and inaccurate post at the end of your link. Suggesting that all Hillary supporters must forgo their principles and, well, choice and vote for your candidate of choice seems like the “selfish” viewpoint.

    How are they forgoing their principles when they are voting for a man who represents them? When I say they are selfish and unprincipled is when they will stay at home or vote for McCain giving him the White House – that is irrelevant to them that they give the American people four more years of the same. That isn’t principles that is insanity en masse!

    It could equally be argued that the message sent by an Obama loss would do more good for the country and the Democratic process in general.


    Many people feel Mr. Obama does not rightfully deserve to be so popular, that he was in the right place at the right time, that this starving country romanticized him and conjured him into visionary that he is not. That his popularity stems mainly from the superficial not the substantive.

    Whether they feel he has the right to be popular or not; is not a point to argue – a fact is that the man is popular – if she has ran her campaign the right way she would now be the nominee rather than him! He has the same policies as her barring the healthcare policy – and with those I would rather see John Edwards policy than both Obamas and Clintons.

    You could propose a war on the prepackaged superficiality of politics and the message of this might best be delivered by an Obama loss.

    Again, why?

    It takes two to tango. Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton both had a dance. Mr. Obama is equally responsibly for the outcome even if it means loosing. It is valid to suggest, if Mr. Obama was so concerned about JUST a Democratic win, rather then HIS Democratic win, he should have gotten out of the race.

    I don’t understand that – were all the candidates to leave the race to give Clinton a coronation? The numbers added up and she was the one who should have been out of the race a while ago. She stayed in and, with certain comments she made, made herself even more unpopular. The primaries and caucuses are for the people to pick the person who they want to run; are they not? He won so those who supported Clinton should move over to him – like so many other nominees from the past, or has that now changed because it was her who lost?

  129. 130 shirley
    June 7, 2008 at 15:58

    But then the colonialist would be the U.S. instead of China. It’s like trading one slave master for another. It seems to me that extra-African countries are displaying an extreme lack of self-restraint in the face of corrupt African leaders like so many flies on the carcass. If we could hold off and allow the people of Africa to truly elect their leaders without our corrupting influences and ballot counting know-how (not), perhaps it would be a step in the direction towards true African sovereignty?

    I seem to have already caught some of that lack of willingness to self-criticise. Who would have known that there is no problem with discrimination of the Masai in Kenya? (sarcasm) Abdi, it may not be convenient, but then, truth rarely ever is convenient.

    I get as far as sa sa, and then I switch to Mandarin Chinese (ni how ma?) – and no, it’s not a Freudian slip related to the discussion topics.

  130. 131 Tino
    June 7, 2008 at 15:59

    Whew lots of posts overnight has to break it up:

    @ donovan

    “Thus, we are free to collapse into absurdity. Since I have no intrinsic meaning or purpose, I can sit around all day and mutter : uppa wuppa googy woogy, and you would have to accept that I am exercising my fundamental purpose to be fully autonomous.

    Such is the predicament in a universe without a first cause. Any takers?”

    That sounds about right, you will have consequences to your choice but why could you not do that, even at the expense of your own life via starvation/dehydration? The lamp represents a human solution to a human problem: light after the sun sets. First, we used controlled fire. I also think it is strange to talk of human ‘design’ as in design of humans. We are not designed by anything – we evolved. Which I guess means you could argue we were designed by environment, but eh, seems weak. The talk of essence confuses me – is it the same to say purpose?

  131. 132 Katharina in Ghent
    June 7, 2008 at 15:59

    Hi Abdi,

    I’ve been to a resort near Mombasa, and when I went there one a horse ride I saw the hungry children. I’ve also been to the Ambosely Nat’l Park, where we did a “Walking Safari” – with a couple of guys with guns and spears around us, just in case. This safari was one of the greatest adventures of my life, because I’m a passionate walker and I could really experience “African soil”. We also went to another park near Nairobi (where we saw the only lion of our trip), and there I could catch a glimpse of the slums, driving by. I saw great potential in a beautiful country, but I could also sense that under the calm surface all was not well.

  132. 133 selena
    June 7, 2008 at 16:08

    @ Steve

    Sometime I think you are a touch naive. The same vile things happen in the US as happen elsewhere in the world.

    Repeat after me now slowly: humans… are… the… same… no…matter… where…they…live…

  133. 134 selena
    June 7, 2008 at 16:11


    You are talking as though Obama will be the next president? Do you believe that will happen?

  134. 135 selena
    June 7, 2008 at 16:17


    “I don’t understand that – were all the candidates to leave the race to give Clinton a coronation? The numbers added up and she was the one who should have been out of the race a while ago”.

    Clinton should be treated like all candidates. She lost and that’s that.

    However, I don’t think that she should have left the race until the end. The reason I think that way is there is too much hounding in politics. Tony Blair was hounded, John Chretien was hounded. Hounding is childish behavior and some mechanism should be put in place to prevent the childishness.

  135. 136 Abdi in Mandera Kenya
    June 7, 2008 at 16:19

    @ Will Rhodes

    THanks for pumping up our support for Obama
    I agree with you said that Obama’s loss will do no Good for the continent Of Amerika.What we must understand is that we are not assuming that Obama will be the president of America but we are celebrating his victory in the Party nominations.
    @ denoavan
    On the issue of Islam and Women we would love to hear from Lubna in Iraq later Tonight.

  136. 137 Abdi in Mandera Kenya
    June 7, 2008 at 16:27

    @ Katharina

    well,I have understood the content’s of you’r email.
    What else can you tell WHYS listners around the world about Kenya?

  137. 138 Will Rhodes
    June 7, 2008 at 16:30

    @ Selena

    If you mean that Tony Blair was hounded out of office – that was his own doing. He made a promise to the British people that he did not keep. Any leader of a nation that does that deserves to be hounded out of office.

    If you mean in the change of leadership – again he made a promise to the party and over-stayed. Why Gordon Brown got a shoe-in I have no idea – he was promised the job of PM but shouldn’t have been – that is one of the reasons the Labour party have been left weak.

    @ Abdi

    History has been made in the US even now – the history books will be rewritten again if he should become president.

    That history is lost on some US citizens, but those are the ones who normally look only inside the US border.

  138. 139 Tino
    June 7, 2008 at 16:34

    @ selena

    I surely hope not but it is certainly possible. So many of my college friends get caught up in the ‘change’ nonsense without even understanding what the change will be. When challenged they will usually say something stupid like “anything is better than Bush”. Just because someone says they will change things without a detailed explanation, is no reason to vote for them but there you go. Another popular response around here is: “He is young and will understand us”. Just empty arguments kind of like their candidate.

    On the issue of Islam and women I think its obvious their track record sucks. Burqas, honor killings, sharia mandates unequal rights (inheritance, in law, etc), rape needs to be corroborated by male witnesses, death for rape (as in for being raped), gangrape as punishment for rape, beating for exposing an ankle, arranged marriage and death for violating said marriage, quite a long list. They won’t even shake hands with our women in power and mandate that they wear a hijab and such. If we were to mandate NO hijabs/burqas for them upon coming here, however, imagine the outcry. Thankfully much of that stays over there, I never really see Burqas for example (though I do see hijabs often). We have definitely had honor killings in the US though.

  139. June 7, 2008 at 16:40

    Tino: When referring to a first cause, I am not speaking about a first cause in time. I am speaking about asking the following question: What is the reason why existence itself ( as distinct from existing things and beings) just exists? While there are obviously intermediate natural causes for the things and beings that exist, there has to be, behind these natural causes, the fact of existence itself, the fact that things and beings ( and their natural causes) are able to exist at all.

    Atheism denies the existence of a deity, but the question of the existence of a deity is actually a secondary question. The primary question is: what is existence itself, and how did it come into being. It’s really in the same category as the question that believers in a deity are not allowed to ask : what caused the deity to exist? It’s a question way back of the big bang and God and all the other ‘intermediate’ causes we have been able to establish.

    ‘Essence’, in existentialist terms, designates the meaning and purpose of an existent entity. Of course, on a practical level, you are right in asserting that the person who spends his freedom absurdly will not survive. My illustration was in part humorous, but in part it does get to the heart of the problem of absurdity and meaningless in purely philosophical terms. If there is no ‘essence’ preceding human ‘existence’, it’s up to us to decide what our meaning and purpose, besides the mere purposes of survival, really are.

    Shirley: First, I would not equate US economic activity in Africa with the Chinese model, although I take your point about the US being subtly colonist as well. Second, when I speak about Western involvement, I don’t mean only the US. I mean Europe and India as well. (Yes, India is a Western culture.)

    Actually, I’d be over the moon with happiness if Africa were doing much more trading of ideas and commodities with India.

    No, Africa should not be left alone to find it’s own level of political competence. Good heavens, are you unaware of what is going on in African politics? No countries in the world where human rights are being systematically abused has the right to claim that no one should interfere in their sovereignty. That’s like saying: if my neighbour wants to beat up his wife (or her husband) every day, I have no right to interfere in the ‘politics’ of that situation.

  140. 141 Tino
    June 7, 2008 at 16:45

    Recent examples of Islam’s treatment of women:


    Girl’s school blown up.


    Two examples of female genital mutilations:
    “This, though, does not deter its proponents, who maintain that it is their inalienable right to live according to their traditional beliefs and customs, rather than conform to British values. Indeed, some argue that the freedom to carry out FGM is a fundamental principle of our multi-cultural society.”

    And, while this does not deal with the discrimination against women, it is a shocking – well maybe not shocking, but infuriating – example of Islam’s lack of self-criticism.


    “‘It isn’t just the people of Pakistan that feel they have been harassed by what your newspaper has begun,’ she said. ‘I’d like to know if your newspaper is satisfied with what it has done and what it has unleashed?'”

    “The matter of the cartoons, she said, was something Danes needed to reflect on.

    ‘Danes know that they have insulted people around the world by printing and reprinting the Mohammed cartoons, which were done in poor taste.'”

    In other words: It is not our fault we blew up your embassy, it is yours/your cartoons…insane. Of course I am sure the Danish government will be the usual good dhimmis and agree somehow. Never mind that freedom of speech thing.

  141. 142 Tino
    June 7, 2008 at 16:47

    “That history is lost on some US citizens, but those are the ones who normally look only inside the US border.”

    Are you tyring to say our own history is lost to us? If so, that is a pretty ridiculous assertion. We have to take US history multiple times during middle/high school and then again in college. We also have to take world history and many, such as myself, also take european history.

  142. June 7, 2008 at 16:47

    Hi Abdi
    Some of the criticism leveled at Iran is justified.
    Iran must be open about its nuclear activities.
    Iran must respect the civil agenda.
    Rule by opinion, as is the custom in shia creed, is unacceptable.
    Iran must tone down its rhethoric on Islamic fundamentalism.
    The Iranian public wants peace, stability and rule of parliament.
    Pls refer:
    Count Iblis referred to recent belligerent talk from Tel Aviv, and hinted at an imminent attack on nuclear sites in Iran.
    As my God the King of Israel lives on this most sacred sabbath, I refer all Americans, Israelites, Europeans and fellow Jews to their conscience: “Is this animosity warranted?”

  143. 144 Scott Millar
    June 7, 2008 at 16:58


    YOU | What should we do about the people who are here and who are residents or citizens and who do not believe in freedom for women, gays, or different religions?

    ME | That is a good point. I suppose there is not much we can do, except pass laws to protect human rights for all, and do our best to make sure these individuals don’t infringe on the rights of others.

  144. 145 selena
    June 7, 2008 at 17:01


    All politicians make promises they can’t, or have no intention of, keeping. It is a given!

    I never did like Tony Blair. He came across, to me, as a sycophant.

    Still, I don’t like the politics being kept in a tailspin and always having to watch your back after being elected by the people, whoever the people happen to be.

    We are always looking for the Saviour (witness Obama) and when s/he doesn’t meet our expectations we can’t wait to get rid of him/her.

    What I am saying is let them serve out their term and then go to the next person. How can anyone in the present system survive the onslaught?

    How can we crucify people and not turn a hair?

  145. 146 selena
    June 7, 2008 at 17:03

    @ Donovan

    Good post about existence ! It speaks to me…

  146. 147 Tino
    June 7, 2008 at 17:10

    @ Donovan

    Ok I understand now. My feeling on that issue is that it seems no more unreasonable to say existence spontaneously came out of nowhere, or has simply always existed – and arguable it is even more reasonable – than to say some all powerful being, who apparently came into spontaneous existence or always existed, created the universe.

    I think it is much better to say we do not know yet and kind of not deal with it until we have more information that might shed light on the issue. Excellent discussion points btw, love this kind of stuff.

  147. 148 shirley
    June 7, 2008 at 17:15

    Your comparison of African politics and the wife-beating neighbour are certainly apropos. My mind was stuck in how Western influence has resulted in the extreme corruption in Africa; and that is why I mentioned a complete withdrawal. But how to tie the hands behind the back long enough for the wife to gain sovereignty? Is European influence truly a viable solution? What is the nature of the relationship between India and Africa? Is there no place for the U.N.? Or is it too much a puppet of the U.S.? And how to get Africa to a placew where it can be independent of those influences without turning it into a mini-U.S.? I would hate to see white culture take over African cultures, huge monoculture crops take over multicultural farming that is more towards the subsistence level, and massive corporate investments and implantation of plants and factories.

  148. 149 Will Rhodes
    June 7, 2008 at 17:19

    Musharraf says he will not resign

    with the government proposing changes to the constitution aimed at reducing his powers, he indicated that he would not like his role to be purely ceremonial.

    “I will keep watching. I can’t become a useless vegetable,” he said.

    President Musharraf has been in power since leading a military coup in 1999, but stepped down as army chief last year.


  149. June 7, 2008 at 17:26

    @ Tino – one appeal.

    The reason why the “one appeal” approach doesn’t work. The Innocence Project . Justice, especially when it comes to taking of a life, should never be too rash and can never be too thorough. Our system isn’t perfect, but it is better then most. Fixing it requires not correcting the justice part of it, but the investigation part.

    @stem cell. – I actually do believe that there is a life in the embryo. However, I view them in a light more closely related to soldiers. I am Vulcan in nature. The needs of the many always outweigh the needs of the few. There is a moral line where a catch 22 forms many times with this ideology. Last night on NPR I heard a mind riddle that addresses this issue.

    If you were standing on a bridge, watching 5 men work on a set of train tracks below and you saw a freight train bearing down on them. They were all certain to be killed if you could not alert them. Next to you was a lever that would divert the train. If you pulled it, one man would die, but the others would live. Would you pull the lever?

    In the second scenario, the same 5 men are working. This time no lever. But next to you is a big guy who you could push over the bridge, he would land in front of the train, and the train would kill him, but put his breaks on and effectively save the other 5 men? Would you push the guy.
    Hear the show here: Morality

    Politics and why we feel differently about certain topics is rooted in answering the “why” of these questions. I think their guest’s theory is way off base and has more to do with personal space, but its science. May the best theory become law.

  150. 151 steve
    June 7, 2008 at 17:31

    Hahaha. Hillary is late to her own press conference. Classic narcissist behavior, it makes them feel important and powerful to make people wait for them.

  151. 152 Scott Millar
    June 7, 2008 at 17:33

    TO | WILL

    YOU | How are they forgoing their principles when they are voting for a man who represents them? When I say they are selfish and unprincipled is when they will stay at home or vote for McCain giving him the White House – that is irrelevant to them that they give the American people four more years of the same. That isn’t principles that is insanity en masse!

    ME | People DO NOT need to live by some arbitrary standards you define. Obviously the man in some way does not represent Hillary supporters. Don’t dare tell me Obama was popular because of substance, people liked him for whatever reasons, but few if any of those reasons were policy related. So they chose him for superficial reasons—as did many Hillary supporters. It is absurd to now enforce some allegedly higher standard and tell Hillary supporters they need to be substantive. In addition to this you can also argue that wagging a war against the superficiality of politics by Obama losing is quite effective and substantive, that democrats will perhaps put out some candidates with important differences next time, instead of prepackaged candidates engaged in a popularity contest.

    YOU | Whether they feel he has the right to be popular or not; is not a point to argue – a fact is that the man is popular – if she has ran her campaign the right way she would now be the nominee rather than him.

    ME | I don’t share your high opinion of popularity—it means nothing. Why someone is popular in politics is very much a point to argue. You must also hold pop music in such high esteem? You could also say if Mr. Obama ran his campaign the right way he would not need to worry about Mrs. Clinton’s supporters.

    YOU | I don’t understand that – were all the candidates to leave the race to give Clinton a coronation? The numbers added up and she was the one who should have been out of the race a while ago…… He won so those who supported Clinton should move over to him – like so many other nominees from the past, or has that now changed because it was her who lost?

    ME | People can make up their own mind on what they want or need to do and they don’t need to follow all the tacky traditions of the past and do what everyone else always did. There was clearly nothing normal and traditional about the race to begin with. So don’t now say everyone must act traditional because Will wants his candidate to win. How can you and many others wholeheartedly except this absurd notion that people should get out of races because they might lose? Tell that to marathon runners. Running is a right and every candidate can stay in as long as they like or can. It is the Democratic process.

  152. June 7, 2008 at 17:36

    Tino: Quite right. We simply don’t know what the uncaused first cause is, and that’s why atheists have no right to bombard religionists and vice-versa. It’s also why, given our fundamental ignorance, we need to choose, for the sake of our sanity and survival, the path of compassionate co-existence.

    Shirley: It’s not a matter of white culture taking over African culture. It’s a matter of a culture of fairness and honesty and accountability and goodwill and political maturity taking over African culture. Frankly, I don’t care where it comes from, as long as it comes.

    If it comes from within African culture itself, that is fine with me. But when is it coming? Culture is not about old traditions only. It’s about living together safely in an open-minded and open-hearted society.

    Really, there’s no such thing as white culture. Culture, in its social and communal sense, is universal. If what you mean is that you don’t want Indo-European traditions to penetrate African traditions, why not? WE should all be willing to take on whatever is good in other traditions, without giving up what is good in our own. As for what is bad, why the heck hold onto it?

    Monoculture etc. I agree fully. The way forward for survival in Africa is a return to subsistence farming by traditional methods. That is surely better than the poverty and starvation that obtains in Africa today.

  153. 154 shirley
    June 7, 2008 at 17:40

    Hello, Will
    Wasn’t Musharraf supposed to have been voted out of offices some ages ago?

  154. June 7, 2008 at 17:41

    lol, @Steve

    Then I am the most narcissistic person alive. I have my clocks set 20 min fast, try to make it to appointments by my clock, and most often don’t make it until 10 min. past the scheduled time. Man my feelings of importance really makes me do a lot of groveling for forgiveness.

  155. 156 shirley
    June 7, 2008 at 17:53

    @ all
    Lubna and I won’t be pestering you any more; 2-way contact has finally been established. Life is good.

  156. 157 shirley
    June 7, 2008 at 17:56

    What I mean is that I don’t want huge cement blocks and monoculture crops being dropped behind the honest politicans who don’t abuse the public for the wellbeing of their wallets. I can only assume that India would have the best potential for such-kind of involvement? But what is your experience with India’s involvement in Africa? The only clue that I have is Gujratis in Tanzania.

  157. June 7, 2008 at 18:02

    Question: Would you rather have a health insurance or would you rather be able to pay for medical service as you needed it?

  158. 159 Zak
    June 7, 2008 at 18:27

    Hey hey, thanks Bob you’re off the hook! All of Australia is off the hook! Cannot wait to get down to New Zealand at least. I will do us all the favor of purging the sole SOS ‘in-limbo’ communications as I heard myself no doubt lovingly described.

  159. 160 Zak
    June 7, 2008 at 18:52

    OK I’ll jump in on Dwight’s excellent question: Why should we do it any different than the government. Medicare and Medical are the systems that people depend on by majority. Anything the States pay for is a ‘less is best’ system.

    If the cost is only incurred by the visit then there’s a way to lower the overall cost to a reasonable amount. The problem I have with it is how the money gets so mismanaged by the health insurance companies. Ideally I would have a medical provider separate from the insurance which allowed pay by visit, co-pay as it is, like the State.

    That’s the whole issue, the lowest cost plans are just not affordable on the average. I’m almost convinced that socialist medicine is the only way. But not quite, I’ve always been about as fit as I can, working a ranch does that to you, so unless the cost came down to reflect my once in a blue moon visit it wouldn’t be worth it.

  160. 161 Will Rhodes
    June 7, 2008 at 19:08

    @ Scott – thanks for emphasising my case.

    The people of the Democratic party want primaries and caucuses – they get them and then wish them away when their candidate loses.

    All you need to do is listen to what Barack Obama says and what Hillary Clinton did say. Now, seemingly, they are one voice.

    You proffered that Obama should leave the race – I was the one who disagreed and still do. She lost a long while ago and carried on – from what I gleaned from her quit speech she was hanging on to promote females to run more for office. If that is the case alls well with me. Yippee in fact.

    Where you and I will disagree further is that, as I have said, those who say they are Clinton supporters, will vote for McCain are sycophants. They want to stop a Democrat getting into office – even though they are democrats – because their candidate lost, in so doing handing the White House to Republicans for four more years allowing Americans to be killed – good one eh?

  161. 162 Tino
    June 7, 2008 at 19:12

    @ Donovan

    “We simply don’t know what the uncaused first cause is, and that’s why atheists have no right to bombard religionists and vice-versa.”

    I disagree with this. Atheists, if they are actually atheists, should not take anything based on faith. Thus, they should hold the position that we currently do not know enough to draw conclusions. Religious people, on the other hand, try to make law according to their completely unfounded beliefs. Atheists should continue to bombard religious people until they are willing to keep their unproven, faith-based ideas out of the public sphere. I think people have a right to do whatever/believe whatever on their own but once it starts influencing everyone they need to be called out.

    Your views on culture match mine well, I think the PC/multicuturalist mindset has harmed us as it makes it nearly impossible to cut out the bad, as we are taught everything is equal and we have no right to judge – which is weird to me.

    This line I especially agree with: “WE should all be willing to take on whatever is good in other traditions, without giving up what is good in our own. As for what is bad, why the heck hold onto it?”

    @ Dwight

    I agree matters such as the death penalty should be taken seriously. That is why I advocated DNA testing for all past death row convictions and perhaps enshrining in law a requirement that DNA testing be done to secure a death penalty conviction – if it is not available I am not sure yet, either forbid the penalty or trust the system. All but three people on that page were from before 2000. Of the three, one confessed (making him an idiot). The rest were all overturned based on DNA evidence, which is why I think it should probably be made a law to require it for a conviction.

  162. 163 Tino
    June 7, 2008 at 19:24

    “They want to stop a Democrat getting into office – even though they are democrats – because their candidate lost, in so doing handing the White House to Republicans for four more years allowing Americans to be killed – good one eh?”

    First of all, they have every right to vote for anyone they want. If they voted for a third party candidate, I am sure you would not care – which means you only care because you are biased against republicans. Secondly, I doubt their aim is to ‘stop a democrat getting into office’ – why is it impossible that their views would line up more with a centrist republican than a far-left democrat? You also assume McCain is somehow itching to get more Americans killed. The man has seen the worst that war has to offer, if he says we need to fight I fully believe him.

  163. 164 Zak
    June 7, 2008 at 19:25

    enshrining in law a requirement that DNA testing be done to secure a death penalty conviction – if it is not available I am not sure yet, either forbid the penalty or trust the system

    Prisoner work programs; that’s the only solution. It’s another thing that’s disappeared on the whole due to Chinese factory outsourcing being cheaper than what the companies have to pay the state. Even in the darkest holes of solitary they can be making the fabric of society. But too many cases, cold cases for instance have no DNA, the Hans Reiser case I mentioned earlier a prime example, that guy probably buried his wife in Russia where she came from. Death penalties just cost too much, as I said it’s not a moral argument, except for back to the fact that it leaves the States that have it bankrupt in the budget.

  164. 165 Tino
    June 7, 2008 at 19:26

    Forgot to add: as an independent one other reason I want a republican as President right now is that it is a democratic congress – I VASTLY prefer having opposite parties in control of congress and the president, as they can generally only pass mostly middle of he road things.

  165. 166 Tino
    June 7, 2008 at 19:26

    If you limit to one appeal, the financial problems go out the window. On prisoner work programs though I could not agree more.

  166. 167 Tino
    June 7, 2008 at 19:36


    Honor killing


    Algerians arrested for ‘illegally practicing a non-muslim faith’. Why do stories like this get so little coverage, but everyone flips out on the West for various ‘rights abuses’. Where is Amnesty on these two issues?

  167. June 7, 2008 at 19:37

    Shirley: Indian involvement in Africa is really quite minimal, but I hope that it will increase. Traditionally there’s been quite a lot of anti-Indian sentiment from the African side, and that has been reciprocated by Indians, especially after the treatment they had in Uganda, and the disgusting treatment they had down here in South Africa during the apartheid years. I think that the strong pro-Chinese leanings in Africa these days won’t have a very good effect on relations between Africa and India either. There is some trade in vehicles (Tata and Mahendra), in textiles and other fields, but nothing that would lead to significant cultural exchanges at present, which is what I would like to see.

    To justify my presence on the blog, I’d like to suggest some topics for WHYS that I’d find interesting:

    Again, I’d like to appeal for some attention to the Serbian situation, and especially the illegal declaration of independence by Kosovo. How do Serbs feel about the EU and about being part of the European situation that has done them so much harm? When are they going to be given some international justice, including significant compensation for damage to their country by the mad bombers?

    Another subject that I think is important is the question of the Maasai people in Kenya, their maginalization and the injustices which they suffer as a minority group in that country. In this regard, WHYS might consider interviewing my friend Miyere, a Maasai human rights activist with a degree in political science.

    I also don’t understand why the Tibet issue has gone completely quiet. After all, nothing has changed for the better, and Tibet is still inaccessible to outside observers. Or does there have to be a rumpus and some killing before these questions can be raised in the media? For one thing, I’d like to know why the IOC is keeping so tight-lipped. They decided to award the olympics to Beijing, so they do owe us an ongoing explanation as to what they are doing about Tibetan human rights, and Chinese involvement in Zimbabwe.

    I’d also like to hear Tony Blair questioned by various religious personalities on the intentions of his faith foundation, and what the stance on Iraq now is.

    On a lighter note, I’d love to have a program on the world’s funniest books. I’m always after a really funny read, and would love to have some suggestions, the whackier the better, as long as the books are really funny.

  168. June 7, 2008 at 19:48

    Tino: On the religious issue we’ll have to agree to disagree then. But I would add this: there’s good religion and bad religion, and there’s good atheism and bad atheism, it all depends on what religionists and atheists get up to. I don’t find that atheists generally tend to keep quietly to themselves. They are usually just as vociferous in shouting out their point of view and trying to get the whole world to see things their way as people of other religions than the atheist religion do. But I do take your point about not wanting religion to force us to believe that the sun revolves around the earth. On the other hand, a lot of what the world accepts as truth today is based on an uncritical faith in science which, after all, is not in a position to give us the final answers either.

  169. 170 Zak
    June 7, 2008 at 19:55

    Alright even with the useless banter removed we’re accelerating faster than Patrick’s Indy car.

    I’m going to put this out there as my last topic and then we can move on. Based on Masdar City in Abu Dhabi, that I really want feedback on, I’ll put it in the form of a question:

    If you had 50 billion dollars to rebuild or build the infrastructure of your city what key components would build?

    Let me give you an example to inspire the mind:

    The 14th century leader of the Tatars Timur took as one of his many wives an English girl who was captured by Greek pirates, he called her Alisoun. Alison turns out to have been a favorite companion of Chaucer, he wrote a monumental adoring poem about her with some heavy overtones. Anyway she was from Devon and terrified to be in the middle of Persia with a King Maker. Timur became fascinated by her, he eventually let her go back to England at the end of his life. To prove his earnestness he built a replica of the town, Devon. All designed by her to spec, somewhere in the South of Uzbekistan now, Samarkand.

  170. 171 Abdi in Mandera Kenya
    June 7, 2008 at 20:14

    Hi again,Congragulations you have all been fantastic and electrifying! It cann’t really get better than this!

    @ ZAK,

    Later talk and discuss about Hillary ,What is next thing for her to?,can she become Obama’s running Mate? Steve had asked me early in the Morning a bout this.

  171. 172 Dennis
    June 7, 2008 at 20:33

    Hi Abdi and Zak!

    I am sorry for not being around…

    Lubna, school this week has been fought with many obstacles, moved in to one suite in the residence hall and couple days ago, i was moved up to the RESIDENCE ASSISTANCE [RA’s] Suite……..

    Otherwise, I have 1 class for June and July or otherwords, 2 classes for the summer…

    It is horrible HOT today outside, but we have the best air-conditioning in the world..! cool 60 degrees in our suite.

    Onondaga Community College
    Syracuse, New York
    United States of America

  172. 173 Dennis
    June 7, 2008 at 20:37

    You saw the news on Saturday [depending on what part of the world].! that Hillary has dropped out of the RACE for being the Democratic Party nominee in November 2008 presidential elections and is going to support Barrack Obama!

    Corruption: That is being much a going standard in Countries around the world, with problematic governments……

    On Saturday [BLANK PAGE10] on BBC NEWS website, there is a report about problems in tunisia about the increasing price of food!

    Onondaga Community College
    Syracuse, New York
    United States of America

  173. 174 Shirley
    June 7, 2008 at 20:37

    Hi, Dwight,
    It is so tempting to say that I would like to be able to afford whatever health care I would ever need. What is the guarantee, though, that I would always have such an income to support that need? Assuming that there were legislation to enforce living wages, is there any way to guarantee that everyone would be able to get a job in the first place? It really does seem to me that the best way to ensure that no-one falls through the cracks is to establish public healthcare for everyone.

    A belated welcome back to Zak! I said “in limbo” because of the tenuous grip that you had on the wakeful state of being that would ensure that you wouldn’t be typing with your forehead. I am sorry that you had so much trouble last night.

    Donovan, What could India – or any country – do in Africa to remove the corruption-based political systems that are in place now and replace them with home-grown ones that would steadfastly reflect the will of the people and steadfastly take care of the people? The only kind of political interference that I am familiar with to this point is territorial and economic coloniation of one country after another by various Western countries. I’m not sure that I’ve ever seen a beneficial relationship between two countries on unequal power and development levels.

    Is the granting of Olympic Games locations to various countries on the same order as negotiating with them? This owuld be in the sense that some think it necessary to refuse to talk with certain countries, while others feel that diplomatic progress can be made with discourse between two opposing governments. Is it rewarding bad behaviour to accept a bid for hosting the Olympic Games from a country with known human rights abuses? Or is it an inroad towards the kind of political discourse that could lead to progress?

    In the case of China, as long as the world does not speak with one voice to the Chinese government and act accordingly, there is no reason for China to cease its wrongdoing. Where one country punishes China, another country is more than willing to have relations with the country.

    Perhaps dissolving the Security Council and granting that authority to the General Assembly might be what is necessary?

  174. 175 musdafe
    June 7, 2008 at 20:37

    @ Katherina,

    You were in kenya 10 years ago in the coast in the second largest city known as Mombassa
    Great to hear about that but May I ask
    can speak a little bit of Kiswahili like shirley?
    Shirely can only say Sa sa .
    Hope to hear about you tommorow.
    It’s late night hear in Kenya
    I am off to sleep
    ZAK will keep you company till we meet again
    Thanks for your company since morning
    and keep it right here

  175. 176 Dennis
    June 7, 2008 at 20:39

    Good Night Abdi in Kenya!!!

    Welcome back to work Zak in Cali…

    Onondaga Community College
    Syracuse, New York
    United States of America

  176. June 7, 2008 at 20:40

    Answering my own question: Would you rather have health insurance or be able to pay for healthcare services as you need them?

    First a little background. It hasn’t been that long ago that doctors worked for chickens, carpentry, and other needed services. What happened between there and here has many folds. Our understanding of the human body has grown extensive as we went from religion based witch doctors to science based physicians. The cost and time of education to become a doctor rose immensely. Also, we started holding doctors culpable for mistakes and our own ignorance. We in the west inherited a belief that we were allowed to claim immortality. last entered the insurance companies. They artificially allowed the costs of medical treatment to artificially rise out of the hands of the average person. If there were no insurance companies and the free markets were allowed to rule unabated, the cost of health care would be much more reasonable. Insurance companies pay those high prices allowing the free market rules of selling to the highest bidder to maintain. Universal healthcare will just solidify this relationship even more.

    One other thing happened that has complicated thing. The wage disparity between the highest paid Americans and the lowest paid Americans has risen exponentially. Health care cost each of us the same hard number, but a much bigger sacrifice for the poor.

    Let me pay with a chicken.

  177. 178 Shirley
    June 7, 2008 at 20:43

    I now realise that my mind is a vast emptiness of ideas on how to build cities. Might I offer an idea for a community farm or three? I was dreaming up ideas for rainwater collection systems to use for irrigationa and ther purposes yesterday, but I didn’t get much farther than thinking of a double-stop system that would inclue a main shut-off valve and individual shut-off valves for each sector. The Romans used to use storage tanks along the waterlines to pick up water when the water pressure got too high. That’s all that I can really think of right now.

  178. 179 selena
    June 7, 2008 at 20:44


    Canada has a national medicare system.

    However, I have not seen a physician since my second child was born.

    I have always been healthy and don’t subscribe to checkups and such.

    Personally, I believe that in an ideal world people should be able to make enough money to pay for all services. We don’t live in an ideal world, so the only fair way is national insurance.

  179. June 7, 2008 at 20:52


    If you look around that site they reference many studies showing the reason and logic behind false confessions. “Idiots” are right many times. People have to do math in their head about what is the best option. sometimes they are threatened with fates worst then death. The page I listed was just a bulk reference. There are many more recent cases if you look at the “case file” link.

    In the end I agree with you on the DNA testing. I also think that if a prosecutor is found to have hidden evidence or coerced witnesses that were obviously fraudulent, that prosecutor should have to spend equal time in prison as the person they falsely prosecuted. I have seen many blatant forced cases on TV programs.

  180. 181 Shirley
    June 7, 2008 at 20:56

    Abdi, do be a good sport and let me know of some other useful phrases in Swahili. (I’m fine. Thank you. You’re welcome. Please. etc.)

    I would be thrilled if more people could and would use other than currency to compensate others for goods and services. If there is any way to prevent such a system from being corrupted by artificial inflation, maybe that could be incorporated into the concept of a perfect city? By the way, when you referred to universal health care, did you mean the socialised kind?

  181. 182 selena
    June 7, 2008 at 20:58

    Abdi and Zak

    You have got a great page going… isn’t that wonderful? Thanks!

    Re: Hillary

    Her speech was good and it seems that Obama will be well advised to take her as Vice President. If he does, they will have a good chance at winning the election.

    If Obama picks someone else, he will probably lose the election. The question is whether he has the backbone to pick Hillary. His record so far does not suggest, to me, that he will step outside the norm for such things.

    But hope springs eternal… 🙂

  182. June 7, 2008 at 21:15

    Shirley, I guess what I’m thinking about is a way in which the whole sense of Indian swaraj and the general pleasant, kind and other good qualities of the Indian people could somehow filter through, together with an ongoing relationship with the world’s biggest democracy. Of all the places I’ve been, India was the one that left me with the best impression of the way a developing country with masive poverty and a host of other problems, and with such a huge population, could still remain so essentially non-violent. Hard to articulate, and many people would rightly point out that India has many social evils….and yet…there’s the sense of the people as a whole striving to rise above all that, and not placing their whole mindset on the material aspects of life. Yes, hard to spell it out, but I would like to see a similar mindset take hold in Africa.

    Yes, the security council is an undemocratic parody of what a world watchdog should be. The general assembly has passed 3 resolutions calling for self-determination for the Tibetan people, and these have all got nowhere, thanks to the security council.

  183. June 7, 2008 at 21:25

    @ Shirley

    There are plenty of battering networks around the net. You can even barter your house for vacations. Trade your house for somebody else’s. Just do a search for barter sites on your favorite search engine.

    Yes, I mean anything that adds a middle man in between you and your healthcare provider. We can’t very well back down from the system we have now at the drop of a hat, but it is something our politicians should be driving towards. No politician say today, “We want you to be able to pay a doctor one day.”

  184. June 7, 2008 at 21:36

    @ Selena

    Obama probably will not pick Hillary. He really doesn’t like her or her politics. He surely doesn’t fear loosing the election because of her supporters. Too many issues that her supporters care about are in jeopardy if the next president is a republican. Also, many republicans hate John McCain and would like to see another candidate run on the conservative ticket in 4 years. They know that they can let a democratic executive and legislative take the heat for the last 8 years of damage they have had. The question is, “Does he have the backbone to resist the Clinton corruption machine that has plagued Washington for 30 years?”

  185. 186 Zak
    June 7, 2008 at 21:38

    Sho’ is wonderful Selena:

    That’s what I was thinking on health care, Canada, I remember now hearing how good their system is. Selena’s point about staying fit is the real key though, personally I wouldn’t trust my health to anybody but me.

    I can further that to say that for my 2 siblings who succumbed to the lethal fate of cancer; my brother was an extremely fit National Guard officer when he got hit by a car and suffered a debilitating head injury. It was after a period of sedentary time that he was diagnosed with a brain tumor, connected no doubt to the trauma as well.
    My sister was also out of shape, though we tried to get her to be more healthy. Reason being that if you have a genetic tendency toward a disease then you have to do everything in your power to stay fit both mentally and physically.

    My dad had alzheimers that killed him and it also was due to head injuries in large part.

    I stay as mentally active as I can, and I’m fit as the Jr. Olympic gold archery athlete I was at 14. Oh yeah and I sometimes stay up extremely late at night to moderate a group of outspoken intelligentsia.

  186. June 7, 2008 at 21:55

    Mbeki’s Silence and Ineptitude re Mugabe ( … nKhululeko!!! … )

    Date: 2008-06-06

    Before we become hysterical and cry about the “black on black” violence – let us not forget from whence these unpredictable acts of rage originated.

    After almost 400 years of colonial rule (which meant a lot more than just “ruling” over those who were colonised) – but the enslaving of many countries with hundreds of differing cultures languages and traditions … the whole dehumanisation of Africa (and other developing countries).

    The pain and anguish that erupted from these barbaric invasions by “self-proclaimed” viceroys of the “One and Only God” who ruled by merciless acts of violence – over and over again – proclaiming their guardianship of the Holy Bible and their “God-Given” right to rule over everyone of colour – the world over …

    Much of what prevails in the developing world … or fails is the aftermath of colonialism – for it was their intent to poison the minds of their subjects by creating divisions between neighbours – thus “Divide and Conquer” or “Divide and Rule”.

    As we have long become fully aware of their dastardly deeds – how can our President – a former cadré of the Liberation Struggle be so comfortable and lie down to sleep at night whilst ignoring the injustices perpetrated by his comrade in The Struggle – one Robert Mugabe.

    Just what was it that so many thousands gave their lives for – but for the betterment of all peoples of Southern Africa – not just the hoity-toity upper-crusts.

    The main issue here is that our Beloved Madiba – Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was the first to open his arms and outr doors to the people of Africa – for without their help and camaraderie, our “Struggle” would have been all the more harder.

    Lest the “magnanimous West” forget – our liberation forces approached European countries and the US of A to come to our aid in dealing with the evils of former regimes that ruled under the ward of their respective “mother” countries. I recall hearing many in the late 50’s and 60’s flatly turning us down. It was obvious that the unity between the “white” brethren was far stronger than mere justice and humanity. Those ignoble words: “You are either with us or against us” was uttered over and over again by those of European heritage.

    It was many years ago that I foresaw this probable internal violence coming about. After all, was it not the promise of many former leaders that they rather see Africa implode – self-destruct as the infrastructure disintergrated about them. This was the devious agenda that the insecure white powers that be had built their final – dying hopes on the failings and collapse of Africa … and that Africa that would indeed become worthless …

    This is why, all I hear is hollow mouthings from most economically powerful – industrialised nations still seek ulterior means to pillaging the natural resources of Africa. If it means to pit one group against the other – so be it – for the collapse/failure of possibly viable African countries belies everything that they believe in – a strong rich – dependent free white run and stable country.

    If all whites broke their ties to Africa and other developing countries – the West would never be happier.

    Whatever have the masses done to be ignored – to be ridden rough-shod over – trampled into obscurity – their identity and civil rights robbed of them … yet again …

    This whole feeble attempt to create awareness movements – protest marches only serves to incite matters further – for unless we are aware – of the history of Africa – past and present and keep abreast with the prevailing winds of change
    and how it impacts our people – we are nothing more than being after-the-fact know-it-all’s who admonish and dictate from far off lands – virtually divorced from our kith and kin in our homelands. At best, we can be guilty of inciting mass violence – fueling the mistrust that the former rulers created.

    That said; how can you … President Thabo Mbeki turn a blind eye … sit idle … speechless – whilst our brothers and sisters up North suffer gross injustices in the face of all that is Holy – in the context of Africa’s Liberation Struggles.

    I’m sure the Spirits of the former Giants of Africa: Kwame Nkhruma, Julius Nyerere, Jomo Kenyatta, Oginga Odinga, Tom Mboyo, Kenneth Kaunda, Patrice Lumumba, Eduardo Mondlane, Albert Luthuli, Walter Sisulu, Steve Biko and our beloved Madiba are all bleeding in sorrow and disgust …

    What about the many who suffered brutal – endless … often fatal torture at the hands of these viceroys of that “God” fellah.

    But, what of our cardrés of the struggle – the Ronnie Kasrils and eloquent Kader Asmal and many others who “conveniently” hide behind the comfort of their protective homes?

    Those of us who have spent any amount of time – years being housed at the magnanimous government’s expense in five-feet by eight-feet cells – should never forget from whence we came and for what we gave our lives for …

    Whatever happened to our Dream of Africa – where so many hundreds of thousands have given their lives in dedicated conviction for?

    Since when did corruption (lies, deceit, exploitation, theft) become the new truth …

    Come on Thabo Mbeki – search your soul and rekindle the promises that you made during the struggle. Remember the words of Mwalimu:

    “And no citizen of Africa can live in the comfort of their own self-respect – while other African citizens are being denied merely for being born for what they are …”

    Here, our hearts go out to our Zimbabwean, Malawian, Moçambiqano and Angolano brothers and sisters in these trying times …

    WOZA – we herald you for your unselfish efforts. May other women of Africa follow suit. (photo of three Zimbawean women outside of Zimbabwe Embassy, Washington, DC)


    These events have brought to us … all a very sad state of affairs for our country(s) – for during the decades of the struggle – it was our neighbours who stood by us – for us – never once shunning their camaraderie for a Free South Africa … For All!

    We all should hang our heads in shame – especially those in power who remained silent for so long – while our brothers and sisters suffered these ignominious acts of brutality … barbarism … while the police forces were rendered incapable.

    The Spirits of Nkrumah, Nyerere, Kenyatta, Kaunda, Mondlane, Lumumba, Sisulu, Luthuli, Sobukwe, Biko and our beloved Madiba – in his latter years – are all crying out – imploring … asking … “Whither Brotherhood?”

    Ya’khala ‘nkhomo!!!

  187. 188 Zak
    June 7, 2008 at 22:06

    Re: Owen

    Abdi check out this post ^

    Maybe you can email him as I’m sure you guys would be able to have a good discussion. If you can get him to post again we’d all really like it.

    Welcome Owen.

  188. 189 selena
    June 7, 2008 at 22:20


    Gotcha! 😉

    Would that all political machines were not corrupt!!!

  189. 190 selena
    June 7, 2008 at 22:26


    I think people spend far too much time worrying about their health and not enough time living.

    I would venture to say that if we took care of our emotional health the genetic predispositions would not gain control.

    But health care is a business and business must prevail in our money dominated society. Hence people are encouraged to worry constantly, so that they will buy the next brain candy or buy into the next cure all product.

    I love Canada’s healthcare system, even if it is needlessly overworked. If one does have an accident or become ill, there is immediate help available.

  190. 191 selena
    June 7, 2008 at 22:30


    I cried when I read your post.

    Everyone who thinks the fundamentalist Muslims are unique should read your post and reflect on what fundamentalist (?) Christians did to the colonies.

    Why do humans never learn?

  191. 192 Zak
    June 7, 2008 at 22:45

    Agreed Selena- Owen has given us a gift with his perspective an it’s my sincere wish that WHYS makes every attempt to bring his perspective to light. I will make sure Ros sees it.

    The health care issue is also a critical one in the states and I really don’t think anyone would seriously think Obama who doesn’t want a mandate would allow Hillary to do what she did as the first lady in the VP spot by recommending that plan of a mandate. Ironically I think the country might be ready in 8 years and that could be her best chance.

    But the whole discussion calls into question whether our current system is working. When you look at a hospital like St. Judes that seems constantly short on funding to deal with the tragic effects of cancer on children you have to wonder if there isn’t a better way. Especially in light of the discussion we had that I participated in concerning the family in Canada with the courts forcing more treatment. It’s amazing how much discrepancy there is between Canada and the US; there the kids have to be treated, here we can hardly afford to keep them in treatment.

  192. 193 Tino
    June 7, 2008 at 22:51

    On the healthcare issue, I think the health insurance companies are NOT to blame. It seems to me that malpractice insurance would be to blame. People are willing to sue their doctors over anything. I think it should be left to only careless mistakes (Like leaving an item inside a patient, etc). I can say that my family would have been screwed without health insurance. I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in 04 and had surgery + radioactive iodine treatment. The cost was absolutely incredible for: surgery, scans, RI treatment, thyrogen tests ~every year, synthroid which I will take forever (copay is $25 and ~$14 for generic, per month would be way more without). It is worth it to pay health insurance costs in case something like that happens. When I had surgery my surgeon – who I liked, mostly for this reason – flat out told me the risks. She said I had ~3% chance of her hitting a vocal nerve and changing my voice permanently, ~1% chance of taking a parathyroid in which case I would need to monitor calcium levels for my life. I would never dream of bringing a suit for either of those, seeing as how she is saving my life, but I can easily imagine many people doing so.

    They provide a service, and a good one. If you do not think it is worth it do not spend your money. Do not complain about how expensive medical treatments are after that, however. You would have to pay for it under public health insurance ANYWAY. the choice is what changes – it would no longer be optional.

    “Everyone who thinks the fundamentalist Muslims are unique”

    They are, in the present day. To contrast, what if fundamental Jainists came to power – no one would have a problem. Seeing as how they forbid killing any life, no one would care. Christianity had plenty of things to be ashamed of, but they left the fourteenth century a while ago – I think it is someone elses turn to do so.

  193. 194 Will Rhodes
    June 7, 2008 at 22:59

    First of all, they have every right to vote for anyone they want. If they voted for a third party candidate, I am sure you would not care – which means you only care because you are biased against republicans.

    You bet your life I am biased, Tino.

    Secondly, I doubt their aim is to ’stop a democrat getting into office’

    Then why on this God’s Earth would they vote for a Republican?

    why is it impossible that their views would line up more with a centrist republican than a far-left democrat?

    Because you don’t have a centrist Republican running? How can you equate McCain to a centrist candidate? He wants to carry on what Bush has been doing – hence his lacking in the polls of any sort of measured popularity.

    You also assume McCain is somehow itching to get more Americans killed.

    Now I wonder why I am assuming that? Let’s see – could it be to do with that he wants to increase numbers in Iraq now that ‘The Surge’ has failed? Could it be to do with anything like verbiage such as “We will win the war in Iraq!” How will he “win” with less troops? Oh, of course – he can win the war while bringing troops home – I get that one, crafty John.

    The man has seen the worst that war has to offer, if he says we need to fight I fully believe him.

    I agree – prisoners of war to get treated pretty badly, could be why John McCain hates war, eh? Now, where is that place in Cuba where there are combatants that aren’t actually combatants – and actually don’t really get tortured since some seem to believe a certain torture isn’t torture?

    Let me think on that one, Tino.

  194. 195 Zak
    June 7, 2008 at 23:30

    Big Brown’s taking off for the triple crown!

  195. 196 Zak
    June 7, 2008 at 23:36

    Big Brown loses may be hurt, pulled up in the back stretch and may be done for good – terrible shame. Horse racing has become just another example of over stressing the animal kingdom.

  196. 197 selena
    June 8, 2008 at 00:20


    Would that we are talking about the fourteenth century when we are talking about Christians who believe they have the right to rule others?

    Sadly, Owen is talking about the twentieth century and now.

  197. 198 Shirley
    June 8, 2008 at 00:27

    Who is it on the Security Council that stops the resolutions?

    Zak & all:
    devil’s advocate: But the waiting lines are so long that people are dying off just waiting to be seen by the doctor and are flooding in to the U.S. to take advantage of our unbeatable system. (Do you guys have stats, please?)

  198. 199 Shirley
    June 8, 2008 at 00:39

    Horse racing is animal cruelty brushed, oiled, and dressed up. Curses on the idiots that caused the death of that filly.

  199. 200 Zak
    June 8, 2008 at 00:50

    Anyone who thinks that John McCain is a centrist now needs to seriously look again. At one time he did stand up against certain special interests such as lobbyists but now he takes their money just the same; based on his definition of the limits. That is playing big money lobbyists backed by corporate interest to the fullest. He’s saying the bigger the company the more I want them involved in my campaign and the little companies can stay out. He would be lost in the center because the man has no economic policy. All he knows is the capital gains system of taxes and rewards, Bush and Cheney liked that too, Halebertan, Black Water, do you really think McCain is going to up and terminate their contracts. He’s just waiting to give them the go ahead to spend more than 3 Trillion dollars more to ‘keep the peace’ in Iraq, and rebuild the oil infrastructure while they’re at it.

    Somewhere in the midst; the underlying premise of criminal activity is surfacing in the wake of ole’ GW and Dick Cheney. That will be the unraveling of the ‘security firm’ handouts and then you know what will hit the fan. So if they think McCain has a real shot at the White House you don’t think one little ‘disgruntled employee’ screaming “the CIA agent leak came straight from Cheney” is going to bring down that house of cards, do you? No, McCain will be expected to uphold the mantle of right wing lobbyist funded politics rewarding the big guns to the fullest. He could only survive in the wake of Bush economic policy for as long as he lived in office.

  200. June 8, 2008 at 02:05

    But the waiting lines are so long that people are dying off just waiting to be seen by the doctor and are flooding in to the U.S. to take advantage of our unbeatable system.

    Shirley who did you quote or is that conjecture- I think it’s slightly missing the point.

    The problem isn’t how many doctors we have it’s how much they cost. True that hospital waiting rooms are seldom empty but how many of patients actually even see a doctor, as much work is done in hospitals by nurses as doctors. So when you break it down the doctors themselves are a certain brand in America, everybody’s got to have one. It misses the point of individual care and it puts money in the pockets of fewer rather than more. Children’s hospitals sure you don’t need explanation of the funds shortages, I can think of several that have closed down altogether between my home and SF, and many more clinics are on the brink here. So you have to ask how much can we take away from our children to keep the masses healthy. So all in all people are undoubtedly attracted and also deceived by the shear numbers of doctors available in the US. Time and again I’ve seen my family and friends let down by doctors with examples too numerous to mention but it seems you know my story. If you want examples I have them, but stats are just the facts, people aren’t numbers.

  201. 202 Shirley
    June 8, 2008 at 02:37

    I quoted my family. They are strong supporters of the William Buckley Jr brand of conservatism. They dearly miss reagan and wish that some other Bush could have four more years. The famous line for them when it comes to universal health care is the waiting lines in Canada and how those poor people come here to get quality medical care for serious ailments. I tried gleaning information from the webpage for PBS Frontline’s “Sick Around the World,” but the website doesn’t seem to have very many transcripts or presentations of data or stats. I have no information at my fingertips to deal with this line of thinking. There is a difference between knowing fact from fiction and actually presenting it in a way that would earn a decent mark in class. And in order to discuss anything with my family, the decent mark in class kind of presentation is requisite.

  202. 203 Tino
    June 8, 2008 at 02:39

    “Now, where is that place in Cuba where there are combatants that aren’t actually combatants – and actually don’t really get tortured since some seem to believe a certain torture isn’t torture?”

    Lol G-Bay holds people that deserve it sorry, wrong card to play on me. PS water boarding is not torture. My friends and I used to do essentially the same thing while playing in the pool. No lasting damage, no death – suck it up. If you can plan the deaths of thousands I think you deserve a little fake drowning.

    You basically hold the viewpoint of everyone who tears my country down – you play pure party politics seeing as how you admit bias based on being simply republican.

    He is also still a centrist – supports environment, has differing stance on immigration, etc. I am sorry but being a centrist does not mean being to the left, it means being towards the center. Also, towards Zak as well, Obama is not a saint. He has his own scandals as well, such as Rezko and his sketchy stock deal. It is somewhat – and sadly – expected in politics. This does not change the fact that McCain is still a centrist in many viewpoints, a scandal does not unmake that fact.

  203. 204 Tino
    June 8, 2008 at 02:46

    “Would that we are talking about the fourteenth century when we are talking about Christians who believe they have the right to rule others?”

    In the 20th century, unless you present some kind of convincing argument, I do not see any religious motivation for colonialism, hence my comment. It seems to be much more secular based.

  204. 205 Rick
    June 8, 2008 at 02:52

    Re: medicare
    Australia has a duel system, both public and private and it seams to work. We can buy health insurance and access the private hospitals which offer a superior service with no waiting lists. Or you can go public much like the Canadian system. The 35% of people who go private take the preasure off the public hospitals. High earners are penelized through the tax system if the don’t go private. The new Rudd government has just been elected on a promice to fix the public hospital elective surgery waiting lists.

  205. 206 Tino
    June 8, 2008 at 03:03

    Canada Health Care:

    “In this first edition of the Euro-Canada Health Consumer Index, Canada places 23rd out of 30. With respect to clinical Outcomes, Canada compares well with the best performing healthcare systems. In terms of Generosity, with the exception of the provision of sight restoration surgery, Canada performs poorly, and in the areas of Patients’ rights and information, Waiting times and accessibility, and the Provision of pharmaceuticals, Canada’s performance is in the bottom tier. These factors, combined with a very high level of spending on healthcare, contribute to putting Canada at the bottom of the Bang-for-the-Buck (BFB) scale.”


    “One of the major complaints about the Canadian health care system is waiting times, whether for a specialist, major elective surgery, such as hip replacement, or specialized treatments, such as radiation for breast cancer. Studies by the Commonwealth Fund found that 57% of Canadians reported waiting 4 weeks or more to see a specialist; 24% of Canadians waited 4 hours or more in the emergency room.[20]

    A March 2, 2004 article in the Canadian Medical Association Journal stated, “Saskatchewan is under fire for having the longest waiting time in the country for a diagnostic MRI — a whopping 22 months.” [3]

    A February 28, 2006 article in The New York Times quoted Dr. Brian Day as saying, “This is a country in which dogs can get a hip replacement in under a week and in which humans can wait two to three years.”[21] In a 2007 episode of ABC News 20/20, host John Stossel cited numerous examples of Canadians who had difficulty accessing health care.[22]

    According to the right-wing Fraser Institute, treatment time from initial referral by a GP through consultation with a specialist to final treatment, across all specialties and all procedures (emergency, non-urgent, and elective), averaged 17.7 weeks in 2005.[23][24] However, the Fraser Institute’s report is greatly at odds with the Canadian government’s own 2007 report.[25]

    “Since 2002, the Canadian government has invested $5.5 billion to address the wait times problem.[26] In April 2007, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced that all ten provinces and three territories would establish patient wait times guarantees by 2010. Canadians will be guaranteed timely access to health care in at least one of the following priority areas, prioritized by each province: cancer care, hip and knee replacement, cardiac care, diagnostic imaging, cataract surgeries or primary care.[27]”


    http://www.city-journal.org/html/17_3_canadian_healthcare.html (2007)
    http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20070914/belinda_Stronach_070914/20070914 (2007, one of your MPs went to the US for treatment)

    No thanks, Ill take our system. I like knowing the cancer I had would be cut out of my body quickly and that I didn’t have to deal with folliculitis for even a week.

  206. 207 Tino
    June 8, 2008 at 03:06

    More nonsense from Pakistan, absolutely appalling.


    “Pakistan will ask the European Union countries to amend laws regarding freedom of expression in order to prevent offensive incidents such as the printing of blasphemous caricatures of Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) and the production of an anti-Islam film by a Dutch legislator, sources in the Interior Ministry told Daily Times on Saturday.”

    “…explain to the EU leadership the backlash against the blasphemous campaign in the name of freedom of expression. ”

    “They said that the delegation would also tell the EU that if such acts against Islam are not controlled, more attacks on the EU diplomatic missions abroad could not be ruled out.”

    Ok to recap: Eliminate freedom of expression or you will probably get bombed again. Not “I cannot believe this happened in our country, we will do everything in our power to assure it never happens again”.

  207. June 8, 2008 at 03:14

    Sorry for the delay all; it got so quiet I took time to water the chickens.

    Shirley: if you combine what Canada does and what Rick is talking about in Australia you can see where the US is just too slow to adapt, part of me thinks it’s a leftover of the coldwar philosophy- fear the socialists!

  208. 209 Will Rhodes
    June 8, 2008 at 03:20

    fear the socialists


  209. June 8, 2008 at 03:31

    OK back in the drivers seat. I really don’t think you can quantify people within health care, it’s unique to every one.

    Here’s the best example I can think of to demonstrate the problem in American health care. Everybody knows you cannot just walk into any hospital USA and see a doctor, too crowded, even in the 80’s when my brother was sick.

    But now disease is on the rise: West Nile, Avian Bird flu, TB, Norwalk virus, to name a few. Diseases that we know almost nothing about and some like TB that are now ‘drug resistant.’

    So how are we going to begin to accommodate all of this influx without a universal plan, beyond an individual payer system. There just isn’t enough to go around bottom line. The supply of medicine even can become an issue that shuts down hospitals, that just has to end.

  210. 211 Bob in Queensland
    June 8, 2008 at 03:53

    Morning all!


    Regarding 50 billion to renovate my town, I really like where I live and wouldn’t change much of the actual fabric of the place.

    (As an aside, the UK went through a phase of building “new towns”–basically planned communities–in the 20th century. The planning got many of these badly wrong and, at best, they were pretty mediocre. The best of them now have evolved so they look “normal” and it’s hard to tell they were planned in the first place! Maybe a natural hotch potch of development is the best way to go!)

    Anyway, when I get your cheque for $50 billion (is it in the mail yet, by the way?) I’ll put it into a few big infrastructure projects. First, I’ll restore the passenger rail link to Brisbane (the major city about 100 km away). The tracks are still their used for freight but will need a lot of upgrading to give a fast, safe passenger service. However, this would take quite a few cars off the road.

    Second, I’d install extra reservoirs for water. We’re in the middle of a drought that shows more storage is needed in the wet seasons we do get.

    Indeed, I think water–worldwide–is an issue as serious as food shortages and oil prices. That might be a major topic for us in WHYS very soon.

    Third, and unfashionably, I’d build a big road bypass scheme. The city where I live is on a major highway network linking the fertile coast to inland communities thousands of miles away–as such we have huge trucks thundering along a couple of our streets 24 hours a day. With this would be a second “range crossing”–we’re at the top of a steep escarpment and, when the single twisty road up that gets blocked, chaos ensues!.

    With the change I’d fund a city wide party because I’ve never before lived in a place with such friendly people…you’re all invited of course!

    Re: Barter

    It occurs to me that, if barter became a major force in trade, it would be subject to exactly the same laws of supply and demand as money-based capitalism. If I had the only chicken in the neighbourhood and everyone grew potatoes, I could likely get 10 pounds of spuds for an egg. However, when people see these prices, everyone will buy chickens, the barter rate will drop and (if the chickens are grain fed) the smart people will plant whatever cereal crop grows best.

    Re: US Health Care

    At the risk of being insulting, having lived in Canada, the UK and Australia, all with puble healthcare, I genuinely don’t think America can call itself civilised as long as the quality of your health care depends on the money in your wallet. Bush harps on about human rights–isn’t decent health care just as much a human right as freedom of speech? Frankly, probably more so–if I have a heart attack, I’d rather have a cardiologist than the right to criticise the government for stressing me!

    Re: Horse Racing

    I don’t have any real interest in racing but one thing I DO know from my little exposure is that the animals involved WANT to run. They live a very pampered existence and, if put out in a field by themselves, they’ll still race each other because that’s what they like doing. Of course some races–steeplechases with dangerous jumps for example–should be looked at for possible cruelty but to condemn all racing as cruel seems to put political correctness ahead of the reality.

  211. June 8, 2008 at 04:06

    Hi donovan roebert,
    Akbar here in Tehran
    In your 5.36 p.m. comment, you mention ‘compassionate co-existence,’ is that a political premise, and can feelings be allowed to intefere with civil rule? I like the bit about ‘fairness and honesty and accountability’ as tools of government but not as random ‘goodwill’ gesture.

  212. June 8, 2008 at 04:06

    Hey Good’ay especially mate!

    I’m actually going to pay you with counterfeit N. Korean made US super notes delivered with the return address from: Kin Jong Il. Should be there by Monday no doubt.

    I do like rails; but how about these solar powered PTS they got in Masdar (personal transport system) You’ve got enough sun down under to do that no doubt. Imagine each individual town with it’s own hub and inner transport. Norway has actually done that on rail for the most part, But sun, sun sun down under would make solar power more fun I think.

    The problem with horse racing is the breeding, a horse like Big Brown will probably never run again, he’ll become a stud horse and live a very sedentary life in comparison which will ‘preserve his steed.’ It’s well known that stallions lose their desire to breed the longer they run so this reverses the instinct. Many people think that’s the kind of engineering that puts odd weaknesses in the genes causing anomalies that take down a filly like 8 bells.

    Glad you’re up and running cause I’m going to make some dinner here quick if you can watch for a bit.

  213. 214 Shirley
    June 8, 2008 at 04:28

    Green World, One City at a Time:
    Maybe if the people can prevent government/speculative interference in the bartering system, the prices would be naturally regulated by the hypothetical situation that you described. Maybe people would buy chickens as the price of eggs rose too high.

    How do we make transportation greener?

  214. 215 Bob in Queensland
    June 8, 2008 at 05:24


    Yup, I’m around on and off for the next 10 or 11 hours–happy to help as needed.

    Re: Horse Racing

    I must admit I was thinking about the racing itself, not the issued of breeding (or should I say “in-breeding”?). I’m well outside things I’m expert on here but it does seem that any time an animal is “pure bred” for specific characteristics you do seem to also accentuate certain undesirable genetic traits too. In that regard, yup, I can agree there is cruelty.


    How do we make transportation greener?

    In the short term we don’t. We just use less of it. A happy byproduct of where I’m living in Australia is that the vast majority of the food I use is produced within a couple of hundred kilometers of where I live…and usually much closer than that. I realise that, in this, I’m very lucky since a fluke of geography lets a wide variety of crops (temperate to tropical) and animals to be raised. However, I’m also consciously avoiding out of season imported goods. Even as a confirmed foodie, this is actually not as hard as I thought. It’s actually nice to have a specific season for certain foods rather than have bland and flavourless versions of the same thing year round.

    In the longer term, I’ll predict that in my lifetime we’ll start to see clean and sustainable energy sources that will allow long distance transport without all the drawbacks that presently exist. (To put that in perspective, I’m in the second half of my 50s now, so they don’t have long!) What those sources and systems will be, I won’t guess–Zak mentioned one up above–but I bet that, with oil getting scarce and expensive, the impetus is now there to do something.

  215. 216 Dennis
    June 8, 2008 at 05:27

    Hi Friends!

    Hillary is out of the race! @ least she going to support Barrack.
    I hope that she will released her delegates, so they can become BARRACK delegates…Then Barrack should then offered Hillary the Vice-Presidency and or some high-level diplomatic post.

    ~Helathcare: I wish the government would take it over because far too many people go without it!

    Onondaga Community College
    Syracuse, New York
    United States of America

  216. 217 Dennis
    June 8, 2008 at 05:41

    STEM CELL RESEARCH: It would be a necessary start to get rid of HORRIBLE diseases i.e. diabetes and cancer among those not-mentioned!

    BBC LOST AN EMPLOYEE IN SOMALIA: I send out my deepest condolences and sympathies to his friends and family [and including people at BBC]

    KENYA: i hope that the country will get thru its politicial problems and once again become a great country!

    ZIMBABWE: Same thing as i mentioned for Kenya.

    Onondaga Community College
    Syracuse, New York
    United States of America

  217. 218 Dennis
    June 8, 2008 at 05:43

    I saw this story about Iraq going to have meetings in Iran’s capital of Tehran:


    Onondaga Community College
    Syracuse, New York
    United States of America

  218. 219 Abdi,in Mandera Kenya
    June 8, 2008 at 05:54

    Good Morning! well-come again

    Today I and my co-host willl love to talk more a bout Barrack Obama!
    Kenyans are celebrating Senator Barack Obama’s success in the US Democratic Party nomination, not because they expect goodies from him if he becomes the most powerful leader in the world; they know there won’t be any.

    At one level they are doing so because of a sense of kinship. His father was Kenyan, after all.

    But the bigger reason is that he is a role model for almost a billion black people in the world today who are used to coming last in everything important. The black race is the poorest, least powerful, most unhealthy, least hopeful of them all.

    One of the least acknowledged facts of life is that being black is not the easiest thing in the world.

    A black person carried the legacy of slavery, colonialism and, increasingly, the failure of Africa to quickly pull itself out of the mire of poverty, war, hunger, disease and ignorance.

    Even promising countries such as South Africa and our own have had their moments of madness.

    In their secret hearts, Africans see in Sen Obama’s victory a confirmation that a black person can be anything he or she wants to be if they work hard enough and are smart and lucky enough.

    IN DIPLOMACY THEY TALK ABOUT THE “ripe moment,” when all factors arrange themselves to suit a deal. Sometimes all it takes to arrange those factors into a ripe moment for the beginning of a brighter future is optimism and faith. And that is what Sen Obama has done for Africans.

  219. 220 Abdi,in Mandera Kenya
    June 8, 2008 at 06:06

    Exactly what do we mean when we say that Barack Obama has made history? For the professional historian — because he has studied so many cases — the answer is double-edged and scary.

    For it is clear that, whatever the history-maker has done, he has done it in opposition to a solid status quo which — precisely because of the breakthrough — is redoubling its effort to roll back the wheels of history.

    Barack Obama has done what no other black American has ever done. Yet this is historic merely because, despite amazing futuristic techno-scientific achievements, his country’s mind remains enslaved by the most primitive tribal ideas about colour, gender and religion.

    That is the dilemma that will face my friend’s son. By making history, he raises to its zenith the expectations of the mass of humanity throughout the world, especially among what Americans call “people of colour.”

    The expectation is not merely that he will be elected. Much more important is that, if he is elected, things will change overnight. Women, fringe sects, ethnic minorities, blacks — the whole kit and caboodle — will finally feel that they really belong inside what playwright Zangwill called The Melting Pot.

    But even this desire must be concretised. A tempestuous wind called Katrina recently revealed to a shocked world that hunger still rasps millions of people in the richest country in history and that the poverty line still dangerously coincides with the colour line.

    That the “coloured” mass will be moved safely above the poverty line is the most important expectation that Barack’s election will symbolise. But, of course, it will be a tall order. No individual — no matter how committed — can ever deliver such goods.

    For, as Rutherford Hayes, one of America’s own presidents, once observed (daring to edit the apotheosised Abraham Lincoln), the District of Columbia’s is a “…government of the corporations by the corporations for the corporations…”

    One of Barack’s great merits is that, while he is profoundly conscious of the people’s debilitating wants — their biological, mental and spiritual gnashing of teeth — in his nomination acceptance speech, he amply showed that he is also keenly aware of Hayes’ adage.

    Joel Rogers and Joshua Cohen — two of America’s own distinguished political scientists — show, in their book On Democracy, that no denizen of the Oval Office has ever dared to move drastically to loosen the economic tyranny of the corporate family.

    The best that anybody can do — if he wants to be elected or re-elected — is to pay lip service to “less government” and poverty alleviation at home and to the commitment, ever since Woodrow Wilson, to democracy, human rights and national self-determination in other countries.

    In The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte, Karl Marx asserts that history repeats itself, the first time as tragedy, the second as farce. John F. Kennedy made history by becoming America’s first Roman Catholic president. And he was the first post-war candidate to fire the world’s imagination with wonderful vistas of the future.

    He failed to deliver and ended up in tragedy. But aphorisms by individuals are not gospel truths. Marx’s epigram often comes to pass. But it is not an iron law. As members of a thinking animal, we need not automatically fit into the intellectual pigeonholes of analysis even by a political historian like Marx.

    The upshot is that one can consciously and deliberately avoid repeating negative history. And, even where national or international circumstances should force one into repeating history, the repetition need not be farcical. This admonition is particularly germane to Barack.

    Among the campaigners for the White House, none — certainly not Kennedy — has ever risen to the intellectual heights of Adlai Stevenson, that other son of Illinois. But Barack is also extraordinarily intelligent. And he is second only to JFK with that “human touch” which Stevenson so lacked.

    In other words, Barack combines the intellectual force (which was so absent from the White House especially under Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and George Bush) and what Shakespeare called “the milk of human kindness” (of which, in post-war times, Jimmy Carter has been the only epitome).

    But all were in office by virtue of the constitution, a document by which Thomas Jefferson and the revolutionary “founding fathers” do not even pretend to protect anything else but the corporate family’s property and “liberty”. Adherence to that constitution, then, is the best that we can expect of Barack.

    Nevertheless, because he is not likely to treat any race with deliberate injustice, Barack Obama — like Jack Kennedy and a future Hillary Clinton — will have helped to liberate America from the racial, gender and sectarian dragon which has hag-ridden and debilitated that society for so long.

  220. 221 Dennis
    June 8, 2008 at 06:14

    Good night from a VERY HOT Syracuse, New York another several days of this.

    I am very happy that Barrack got the nomination in quotes….

    Onondaga Community College
    Syracuse, New York
    United States of America

  221. June 8, 2008 at 06:22

    Sorry for my constant cinofile references, that’s a movie lover now what were you thinking; see the Dreamers for Bertolucci’s definition. But I really can’t believe WHYS could even dream the notion that Barrack and Hillary could be any kind of mates and I want to put that notion to rest in permanence: here’s the scene from Blazing Saddles.

    Gene Wilder and Clevon Little aka Sheriff Bart and Jim are sneaking into line at the thug roundup for Hedly Lamar, played by Harvey Korman a fantastic actor (this is a shout out to him as well having just died).

    So they see 2 KKK members in line and they get a notion: Jim, Gene Wilder, holds Bart out by the collar to the KKK members from behind a rock and says [squealing in drawl] “Oh Boys, look what I got here.”

    Sheriff Bart, Clevon Little, adds to the perfect illusion [raunchy voice] “Yo, where’s the white women at?” Needless to say they pummeled the KKK members behind the rock.

    Now it’s just an illusion that Sheriff Bart wants white women, can anybody see parallels in the media’s current favorite illusion?

    The best thing he could do is appoint an African American woman VP, like Donna Brazil, hey maybe he was serious about Oprah

  222. June 8, 2008 at 06:29

    Ciao Denis, hope you get a kick out of my take on the Hillary VP idea.

    Alright Abdi, be careful not to put the brand of slavery on your culture, my people had their babies thrown in the same river African slaves rowed on. Very few cultures have not seen slavery at one time tales of the Christians under the Saracens you know. Africans and Jews have had the toughest time getting along but both escaped the dungeons of Babylon. I find that putting a label on tends to bring oneself down the level of the slave driver we all seek to escape.

  223. June 8, 2008 at 06:55

    Abdi what accounts for this flowing prose; did you get your hands on a real keyboard?

    While we Americans may be a bit naive in some minority less communities like mine admittedly is; we still find ways as I said – I studied African music for a 5 year course with a professor from the UV Ghana and played professionally with a drum troupe since I was 15. I absolutely adore classic soul music like Funkfest on the Groove I’m listening to again Friday and Saturday nights.

    Americans are conditioned much more by the terms of our president- literally if we’d had any more of Bush the country would have died. It’s not like it really isn’t ever that way though, the same could be said about Clinton. The difference between us and many other countries including some in Africa, is that we don’t tolerate the abuse after 8 years at the most. So while we’re conditioned to our circumstances we also guarantee those circumstances change frequently.

    But I will challenge you to say Americans is more prejudice than some African countries, S. Africans for instance clearly deal with change in a very violent manner. Even in Kenya, violence preceded the power sharing agreement.

    For all a leader can do he cannot be effective left in power, that power will corrupt him absolutely. So even if Obama goes for all 8 he’ll still have to leave and it will be another President that has to carry on the work he started. It’s precisely that change never happens overnight that keeps us growing strong.

  224. June 8, 2008 at 07:06

    OK that’s about going to do it for me. I have to get up early to stop a thief from stealing my veggie oil fuel! I will be able to moderate again after 2100 hours GMT, that is midnight in Kenya. I hope Abdi will return the favor of me staying up until 2 am last night by going long. I will check in periodically throughout the morning but I’ll be running around so just make sure you give Abdi lots to jaw about. I’ve done my best to provide some American pride points to go along with his African pride, all good.

    Let’s keep the tone mellow and not jump on each other – remember humor is better than humorless – politicians make speeches. I give you the song I’m out on: Houdini, Friends:

    Friends. How many of us have them.
    Friends. Before we go any further; let’s be friends.

    PS: the spam filter has been picking up some regular users posts so wait to dump it until it’s been thoroughly checked. There is also one piece of spam getting through that needs to be deleted. It’s a list of hyperlinks, hoping Bob and Abdi are watching for this thanks again. Zak

  225. 226 Katharina in Ghent
    June 8, 2008 at 07:39

    Jambo, Abdi, Hakuna Matata! (This completely exhausts my knowledge of African language, and I’m not even sure it’s yours…)

    What else can I say about Kenya? not much more, I’m afraid, I’ve been there only for one week, and we mainly saw the nature part of it. I remember getting a local newspaper in my hands where the headline was that some woman got robbed on the streets and the robbers spit on her hand to get the wedding ring off her finger – I found it peculiar that this made headline news. Other than that the newspaper seemed to report life just like it would somewhere else, but the pictures on the road spoke a different language, so I guess things are even more relative in Kenya than anywhere else.

    The waitor in the resort near Nairobe never saw snow, even though the Kilimanjaro has snow on the top all year round, but he never got to go there…

    I’ve never seen so many stars at night, no air or light pollution around.

    @ Stem Cells:

    Human embryonic stem cells are harvested from surplus embryos from in vitro fertilizations, where the parents already got the children they wanted and the surplus would be destroyed otherwise. THEREFORE: these “babies” – I’d rather call them life forms – would die anyway, but this way they can possibly help to cure some seriously sick adults or children. I’m not cold hearted, but they’re just a bunch of cells, I’ve seen them under the microscope. Any woman with an intra uterine devise is “aborting” embryos at exactly this stage.

    @ health care:

    I’d rather wait a little to get treated than not be able to afford treatment at all. The problem with the Canadian healthcare is that about 15 years ago the government had to cut spending drastically because the budget was so bad, so a lot of doctors and nurses headed south. Especially in the country side it can be really difficult to get a family doctor, many women just simply deliver their babies in the emergency room of the local hospital. But still: any resident of Ontario (and for the other provinces it’s prabably the same) can go to a doctor and get treatment, no matter whether he’s employed or not or whther the treatment is expensive or not. I’ve also heard of a lot of Americans coming to Canada to get treatment because it’s still cheaper.

    Here in Europe the situation is generally better, even though the doctors aren’t always great. In Austria for example I’d rather not go to the dentist, all they can do is pull teeth, or so it seems sometimes.

  226. 227 Abdi in Mandera Kenya
    June 8, 2008 at 08:38

    @ katherina in Ghent
    it’s you’r message from you’r host Abdi in Mandera,Kenya!

    Hakuna Matata kenya (for those who don’t know it means “No problem”
    Katherina I am really suprised that you understand Kenya in and out!

    @ ZAK
    Be right there for us,You’r really doing great job!

  227. 228 zainab
    June 8, 2008 at 08:39

    Hello all how are you?
    I like football (Soccer) very much it’s my favorite sport.
    Today i’m so happy for yesterday OUR Football national team has won over the Australian Team.
    And yesterday too, started Euro 2008, well i’m so sorry for the English team is not in, this is really upsetting. Maybe this year i’ll be one of ٍSpain fans.
    wishing Good luck for all
    yours truly,
    Zainab from IRAQ

  228. 229 John in Germany
    June 8, 2008 at 09:01

    A Zimbabwe Judge has made a decision? how long will he be a judge?. The UN is visiting Africa-What for?: What will they achieve?. i have the feeling nothing, the free world has had time enough to do something, it is now to late.

    Our leaders have done nothing, a few have been good enough to make statements. and that is it. Or have we missed some news?. These man and Women have had Years of experience, are able to refer to the best of Universities. Have been nourished by the best political mentors, have the backing of most of us, concerning the bad side of Africa, and what is the result, sorry to say this but nothing. Have we already arrived at the two tier World- Those with-and those without.

    Nice reading again this morning, Zak is right, grievance enough in our world, without us joining in. Time differences make it impossible for us to join in most of the discussions. A sort of time barrier, as far as i can see, but the enjoyment i get from reading the night contributions, after Breakfast is enormous

    Have a nice night or day according to your location.

    John in Germany..

  229. June 8, 2008 at 09:32

    Hi Akbar Javadi : In speaking about compassionate co-existence in societies, I am not speaking about feelings. Compassion is an intelligent mindset which involves an intention do refrain from harmful actions. That would be good for any government or society, together with the notion of goodwll, which denotes a live-and-let-live attitude. So these two seemingly ‘unpolitical’ notions could easily be enshrined in some form of legislation.

    By the way, I love Iranian films, and wish that there were more out there to choose from. Looks like a great country too, beautiful nature, architecture etc. It’s one of a few more places I’d like to visit, and is first on my list.

    Shirley: The Chinese would prevent any movement on the Tibet issue in the security council, obviously. But, historically, in the late fifties and sixties, it was British political skullduggery that stopped things going further with regard to Tibet. In fact, historically speaking, the British were one of the major causes for China feeling that invading Tibet was a safe bet internationally. It’s a long story, and has to do wiyj interests in British India, the Russian question etc. which obtained in the early 20th century.

  230. June 8, 2008 at 09:59

    I am really having avery enjoyable moments here! I hope you too you’r enjoying yourself whether you’r using you’r laptop at you’r house to read this may in England,Iraq,America,or Germany! or you might be browsing an internet in a public centre in Accra,Nairobi,Lagos,Kampala,Dar e salam,
    or even in Johnesburg,
    BBC WHYS is basically a global conversation and you set the a genda so let me know what we would like as to talk a bout this lovely Sunday?

  231. June 8, 2008 at 10:01

    @ Zeinab

    You like football but you haven’t told us more a bout who you believe will win the Euro 08.
    What do you think of Portugal?.
    But I am afraid we won’t go far on this topic!

  232. June 8, 2008 at 10:13

    @ John in Germany

    Contrary to you’r blog I think the UN has really done a lot for this poorest continent on earth whom we all call Africa.Why,a good example is myself-
    -Since we don’t have access to the internet here in Mandera
    I have been using the internet of United Nations-World Food Programme Office In Mandera to Host the BBC’s WHYS and to Bring together people from all walks of life a cross the world!
    It’s such a huge assistance from them.
    -The UN has helped to reduce poverty level in Africa interms of delivering Aid and free humanitarian assistance to the most vunerable communities in our societies.
    -Former Secretary general of the UN Mr Koffi Annan has a played a great role in bringing back peace to Kenya,after the last years disputed general Elections.
    What more will you ask from Them?

  233. 234 Pangolin- California
    June 8, 2008 at 10:27

    @ Health Care- It’s all well and good to read about criticisms of socialized medicine but I, personally, am going bankrupt due to an intractable chronic pain condition. In the US you must either have an urgent condition or have insurance to get treated without paying exorbitant costs. Should you have a chronic condition that is debilitating but not critical you must first bankrupt yourself before government assistance is available.

    In addition dental care is entirely seperate from the medical system. Never mind that that dental caries are infections just like a staph infection is you cannot really get low-cost or no-cost care. Frequently the poor have missing teeth that could have been prevented by relatively cheap treatments and resulting health problems that include increased incidence of heart disease.

    Anyone who touts the effectiveness of US medical care has never been in a situation where they were refused care due to lack of funds. Our system is so pathetic that instances of gangrene are on the rise as well as deaths due to dental infections.

    As a United States citizen I can say that this issue alone is enough that I would gladly renounce my citizenship and emigrate to any nation with a decent medical system. Seriously, the US is a nightmare if you are sick and without insurance.

    Asking a healthy person to judge a health care system is like asking a blind person to judge a painting.

  234. 235 Bob in Queensland
    June 8, 2008 at 10:29

    Actually a general discussion of the UN and its varied roles is a very interesting topic.

    There are times when it’s biased, heavily politicised and totally ineffective. However, in other areas it performs good works with reasonable speed and efficiency For example, I don’t think anyone can argue that the Security Council or General Assembly are particularly effective–and it’s also pretty clear that, especially with the permanent members’ vetoes, their decisions are often biased.

    On the other hand, UNICEF, the WHO and the World Food Program as mentioned by Abdi do substantial good works in many of the poorer parts of the world.

    What should the role of the UN be? Is it incompatible to be both an aid agency and a world police department? How about value for money? Could volunteer organisation spend the money better or does the UN do a good job?

    Interesting topic, I think!

  235. June 8, 2008 at 10:35

    Owen ‘Mshengu’ Greenland:

    Your cris de coeur for justice in Zimbabwe is understandable in the highest degree, but you are laying the blame at the wrong door. The old worn-out lament against the dehumanizing practices of colonialism, and the devastation wrought by the colonial heritage are overplayed, and no longer relevant to the socio-economic and socio-political failures in Africa.

    What has destroyed Africa is the culture of corruption and entitlement engendered by too many decades of squandered European aid. The rsult has been a mindset exclusively obsessed by political ideology and completely unconcerned with practical issues such as creating a viable economy through hard work and perseverance.

    Most of the nations of the world have gone through periods of conquest, enslavement, dehumanization etc., but they have always recovered by their own intellectual and practical efforts. To list them would be waste of space, but any reading of modern history would prove my point.

    Stop blaming others for Africa’s ills. Look at Africa’s own record in the last 40 or 50 years since being de-colonized. The way forward for Africa is to start practising some genuine self-criticism. It is not up to Europe or anyone else to get Africa on its feet. The time for that has come and gone.

    Now it’s either up to African nations to get their act together, or China will do it for them. I assure you that that will make European colonialization look like a picnic.

  236. June 8, 2008 at 10:51

    @ Pangolin in Carlifornia

    sorry for you’r health conditions,
    the health care system in the US system is some that I am not honestly
    familiar with But I can tell you of what I know a bout my own Country-kenya,
    -Medicine are not a free and one must pay for it.
    -Special Treatment and assistance is given to those suffering from Tubercolosis and related illness.
    -Maternity service is done free of charge.
    What a bout in carlifornia?

  237. June 8, 2008 at 11:01

    @ BOB

    It’s great to have you back!
    I agree with you the UN topic is veryb interesting!
    I must admit that when it comes to the situation of Somalia the UN has done very little to help a country which-
    -Had stayed without a stable gov’t for the last 17 years,
    -Somalia people have no access to Good health,and lack basic needs of life ,I think the UN should have done something and put Somalia first before any other country

  238. 239 Nge Valentine
    June 8, 2008 at 12:01

    Hi there,

    When I look around me, i see green pastures, natural rivers and dams, virgin forests, natural resouces, vaste lands uncultivated but, how comes that Africa, my continent is suffering the most from the food crises rather than Europe where we have artificial rivers, artificial dams, green house farming and all the rest? Can someone put this on the table for discussion for me please?
    I got this information from the meeting being held in Italy to resolve the problem of food crisis that Africa is the continent most affected, unbelievable. in my opinion I think Africa can feed the whole world if he makes use of his milions of millions of hecters of land and natural resources.
    See you soon

  239. 240 Roberto
    June 8, 2008 at 12:24

    I think the UN should have done something and put Somalia first before any other country

    —— The UN is just a global bureacracy with very little practical power.

    Somalia is a big place and currently an intractable mess. The poster child for ongoing religious/tribal violence. The warlords provide what little structure that exists and the everyday people that I’ve seen look like they are miserable.

    There is very little a weak org like the UN can do in Somalia without a government for backbone. We’ve seen the Iraqi dictatorship toppled in a gift to the Iraqi people, and how quickly they fell into a Somali like state with religious and tribal wars undermining a weak government propped up by the strongest nation in the world. I would remind you that the UN was forced to flee Iraq, and has returned with only a few people, basically zero influence at this point on that country.

    Africa clearly suffers from a lack of visionary, unifying leadership. Mandela has given Africa the gift of vision and leadership with his lifeworks, but he is a doddering old man now and cannot do any more. As previously mentioned, it is time for Africans to do for themselves.

    When I talk to Africans in the states, it’s interesting how they all seem to say the same thing, that everything is fine in Africa. But the horror stories continue unabated, and it’s the same old excuses I hear: colonialism, blah, blah, blah, slavery, blah, blah, blah, cold war, blah, blah, blah.

    Until Africa develops some patriots with vision and leadership, it’s all for naught. I’ve no doubt there are innumerable local leaders doing admirable work, but they cannot stand up against the forces of anarchy and evil ripping through every part of the globe, not just Africa.

    If Africa is the cradle of civilization as is popularly claimed, then obviously civilization is dying. What can be done about it? It cannot come from America, the UN, and most certainly not from China. It has to come from Africa, and right now there is nobody who can step up.

    I can only pray that my pessimism is proven wrong as there is always hope. I do hope Africans will look at what Obama has accomplished and perhaps see something better for their children. Perhaps they can imagine themselves in him rather than some warlord.

  240. June 8, 2008 at 12:41

    To refer back to Ros’s intro, and the question of Latino-African American conflicts and the xenophobic attacks in South Africa, and their interconnectedness:

    First, I think it’s not useful to cover these events with the blanket ‘xenophobia’ label. Xenophobia seems to imply an instinctual-emotional negative reaction to people of other races, and the term acts to obscure the practical aims that lie behind these outbursts of violence and conflict.

    It’s probably more helpful to see cultural-ethnic clashes as having to do with the values and goals of differing ethno-cultural groups. In this scenario you are dealing with an indigene and a non-indigene group, and the indigene group is perceiving that the non-indigene group is acting to threaten or thwart the indigene value-goal system. The indigene group has its aims in terms of lifestyle and traditional philosophy of life, and these are seen as becoming weakened by the non-indigene group, through its alien cultural views, but more importantly, by its practices within the society of the indigene group.

    People don’t have a problem with different cultures unless those cultures and their attendant activities are seen to pose a threat to indigene value-goal systems. That’s why certain non-indigene groups are seen as more threatening than others.

    In South Africa, the threat is that foreigners are taking up scarce resources and employment opportunities. Many of these foreigners have become quite successful in South Africa, owing to their enterprising nature and business skills. This seems to have ignited some intense envy among locals who haven’t succeeded in the same way, for whatever reason. The perception remains, that the foreigners have succeeded by appropriating local resources and exploiting local opportunities that could have been used by locals. On the back of this, there has been sheer criminal opportunism, the chance to loot and rob.

    None of this looks like xenophobia plain and simple, and I think that the whole multicultural issue in the world needs to be re-examined on the a priori basis of excluding the idea of xenophobia altogether, so that the real social dynamics behind the apparent brute xenophobia can be analysed and dealt with in honest, practical, non-pc ways.

    See Pim Fortuyn for a good example of how this process of examination might have been started off in Europe, had he not been gunned down by an anti-xenophobic nutcase.

  241. June 8, 2008 at 13:34

    Yes Let’s dig deeper and talk about the crisis facing Somalia

  242. 243 Tino
    June 8, 2008 at 14:15

    @ Pangolin

    Do you have health insurance or are you paying out of pocket? If you are paying out of pocket, why didn’t you have health insurance? I am far from healthy – had cancer, folliculitis, and am still having neck trouble so I am due for a barium swallow soon – but with health insurance and I like our system. To me, health insurance helps so much I would forgo literally everything except for the very basics – food, shelter – for it. I can see a specialist almost instantly and can get scheduled tests quickly also. Prescriptions would be insanely expensive without it as well.

  243. 244 Shirley
    June 8, 2008 at 14:25

    Green World, One City at a Time:
    Maybe solar-powered mass transit might not be available for a $50 billion new city now, but perhaps the new green city could have plenty of walking and biking trails, as well as bike paths throughout the city for those who choose to bike instead of drive. Perhaps it might also be possible to encourage carpooling through HOV lanes and maybe even charging extra toll for single users of larer cars.

    A problem that I caught on to quickly is that it is nearly impossible to make longer trips from one urbanised area to another using a bicycle. Sometimes, only a freeway will get on there, and I don’t think that bicycles are allowed on those things. In more rural areas, it is rather common to see people making extended trips together on bikes. I would assume that anyone who wants to make a daytrip on a moped would face the same challenges.

  244. 245 selena
    June 8, 2008 at 15:13


    You are quite right about healthcare. People with insurance and/or the means to pay have no idea how traumatic it is for people who are just making it financially.

    Unfortunately, the sufferers are the people who are working just to make ends meet, never mind healthcare. The people at the top and the people at the bottom do not have to worry. It is the low income workers who suffer the most.

    No one should be able to profit from providing healthcare. Yet it is probably the most profitable business in society.

  245. 246 Shayhar
    June 8, 2008 at 15:27


    A member of an organized foreign gang gets priority for an organ transplant in LA. He did ‘donate’ $100,000 to the school later. Does he deserve the transplant for his contributions or should he be on the waiting list like other Americans? And should doctors reserve medical confidentiality for criminals?

  246. 247 selena
    June 8, 2008 at 15:40


    I live in Canada and once worked in the healthcare system. I can assure you that statistics and ratings do not tell the whole story. Statistics are skewed to favor whatever model is currently on the table for consideration. This time there is a big push toward privatization.

    NO ONE in Canada goes without healthcare. But there is a caveat: the rich have to wait in line with the poor. Heaven forbid!

    My friend was put on the waiting list for a lung transplant. When he found out he had to wait his turn in Canada, he deposited a million dollars in three different American hospitals, to bypass the system. He quickly got his lung. But some other person in the US was made to wait longer.

    I don’t find that morally or ethically sound. 🙂

    Of course, the rich who have to wait believe we should have a system where they get first crack at the services. My friend wanted to use his money to pay off everyone in sight. The rich are busy lobbying for an end to Medicare.

    The statistics are quite different when the number of people in the US, who don’t have access to healthcare, are factored into the equation.

  247. June 8, 2008 at 15:57

    Hi there we want you to set out an agenda for discussion

  248. 249 selena
    June 8, 2008 at 16:10


    To whom are you addressing your request? 🙂

  249. 250 Bob in Queensland
    June 8, 2008 at 16:30


    I’m with you 100% on the health care issue. As I said in an earlier post, I think health care should be viewed as a basic human right and for the provision to be determined by money rather than need is simply wrong.

  250. June 8, 2008 at 17:03

    Alright you funkateers- Good doc Abdi will be with you for at least 2 more hours I hope. I’ll be back for sure then to moderate.

    Lubna is feeling a little blue so show some good cheer for our good friend who’s been living in a war zone for far too long.

    Bob done good- sleep well. Hakuna Matata – so Jah seh. Abdi.

  251. 252 selena
    June 8, 2008 at 17:10


    Talk to us, Lubna.

    Tell us a story. We all all ears, my darling girl 🙂

  252. June 8, 2008 at 17:29

    Not sure if we’ve lost Abdi, YO ABDI you in the house?

    Turns out I don’t have to go as far to catch my veggie oil thief so if it comes down to it I can moderate but ideally I’d like at least an hour soon to take care of business.

  253. 254 steve
    June 8, 2008 at 17:36

    Often times you’ll hear people saying you cannot have mass killings if you don’t have guns. Well, someone killed 7 people with a knife in Tokyo.


  254. June 8, 2008 at 17:39

    Selena I made you an editor- sent an email to explain. Let me know if you would please.

  255. June 8, 2008 at 17:46

    I think the expression: don’t bring a knife to a gun fight is appropo here in America where every hoodlum on the street has one.

    But the far east is much more accustomed to blades as a weapon so it doesn’t surprise me, in a short radius a knife can be more deadly than a gun, unless someone else has a gun, again.

    Steve you mentioned on the Obama topic seeing the kind of racial tension between Latinos and African Americans. I’d like to know where in DC you’ve seen it, is it dominating the violence in Anacostia like Watts and Compton LA?

  256. 257 Will Rhodes
    June 8, 2008 at 17:50

    Police, armed forces, education, fire service, ALL government departments including homeland security and the IRS – the governmental senate and house – in fact anything that is government run/funded is socialised.

    So why not health care?

  257. 258 Will Rhodes
    June 8, 2008 at 17:52

    Zak – if you have to leave and cannot moderate just drop me a line and I will do it.

  258. June 8, 2008 at 17:54

    Just like the coldwar fears die hard Will – money is the tail wagging the dog with health care.

    There are 3 editors now checking in so I’m going to do my stuff for about an hour. I asked Selena to watch but Will and Steve can do too if you would kindly.

    Abdi I think has passed out on Senator Beer. Cheers.

    OK thanks a bunch guys, Selena and Will can moderate for a bit.

  259. 260 selenayvonne
    June 8, 2008 at 18:00


    In case Zak is gone already…

    Glad you are there as I don’t seem to be into the right page for moderating. At least the page is not in the same format as the last time I moderated. So, I will have to figure it out.


  260. June 8, 2008 at 18:06

    @ ZAK

    I am the house and moderating! Good to hear from you ZAK,
    please read email in your inbox for me.

  261. 262 Tino
    June 8, 2008 at 18:23

    I do not understand, Selena. If you choose not to buy health insurance – that is your own damn fault. I am not rich, I simply have health insurance…because it was worth it to me. If you do not get it you made the choice and have no right to complain that you have to pay so much money now. I do not wait in lines, I do not wait WEEKS to see a doctor when I have a problem. Rather keep our system the way it is, thanks but not thanks to socialized health care.

    “No one should be able to profit from providing healthcare. Yet it is probably the most profitable business in society.”

    Absolutely the wrongest statement ever. Money draws the best people, if you take away profit, how many people will go into the field. I am sorry but I happen to like the fact that the money draws some of our best and brightest into the healthcare industry. You really think that innovation and technology in this field will not stagnate without a possible profit? Did you actually think this idea through? Why is profit valid for foodstuffs?

  262. 263 Scott Millar
    June 8, 2008 at 18:41

    TO | WILL

    Wrong again. I don’t want primaries and caucuses, never have, never will. Another sweeping generalization with no substance.

    Yes. I certainly stand by the notion that Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton should have both left the race if their sole interest was in a win for the Democratic party. They were both selfish, by standards you proposed.

    Another fumbling example of how your words on Mrs. Clinton’s supporters are as cretinous as the journalism uttered on Fox News: “Where you and I will disagree further is that, as I have said, those who say they are Clinton supporters, will vote for McCain are sycophants.”

    Now you offer that a potential loss for Mr Obama is the fault of everyone else’s lack of good judgment but his own. What third-rate convenience.

  263. 264 Shirley
    June 8, 2008 at 18:44

    I am more inclined to think that the corruption that plagues Africa’s governments is a direct result of the West’s colonialisation of Africa. Puppet governments had to twist political and economic policies in order to suit the colonisers. It is hardly possible that those leaders did not also line their own bank coffers. I think that today’s corrupt leaders are only the continuation of the line of succession in corrupt leaders who are empowering and enriching themselves at the expense of their people while trying to brown-nose Western leaders.

    Perhaps the kind of intervention that is needed is a third-party peace keeping (or similar) force to ensure that the people can organise politically, hold elections, and vote their choice in thsoe elections. Thoughts?

  264. 265 Scott Millar
    June 8, 2008 at 18:49

    Perhaps we should ban managed healthcare too, for the sake of innovation?! Because clearly if socialized healthcare stops innovation so do managed healthcare companies. The greatest and smartest innovation would perhaps be if everyone had healthcare—this would certainly do the most good.

  265. 266 selenayvonne
    June 8, 2008 at 18:56

    @ Tino

    If all people can afford health insurance, why are there so many people with no coverage in the US?

    I can afford coverage. When I travel, I am fully covered. But I know people who visit their children in the US, who can barely afford the ticket. Canadian Medicare wouldn’t even get close to what they would need, if they got into an accident while there.

    It is all very well for me to talk. I don’t have to worry. But I care about those who do have to worry.

    When I talk about wait times, I mean for an organ transplants. There is always a waiting list when you are waiting for someone else to die to get their organs. Do you think someone with money should surpass you in such cases? My Canadian friend, with the money, went past people in the US who had insurance. How would you feel in that circumstance?

    Actually, all money does is draw the money grubbers into the industry. You get bad medical personnel and good personnel everywhere. But that doesn’t matter, because if someone tells the public something is the best, the public will believe it is the best.

    It’s like silicone breasts and cadaver lips. That’s the best! 😉

  266. 267 Will Rhodes
    June 8, 2008 at 19:03

    @ Scott – I must bow down to your use of English, Cretinous, fumbling, third-rate.

    You use:

    Wrong again. I don’t want primaries and caucuses, never have, never will.

    Then what would you propose as an alternative?

  267. June 8, 2008 at 19:39

    OK, thanks I’m back in. Abdi you’re off the hook dude! I will try to get your photo up for you while you sleep mon. Talk to you in your morning.


  268. June 8, 2008 at 19:45

    @ Selena

    I don’t understand why Luban is missing from the blog Today,she was their on Friday .
    Lubna please if you’r there please keep in Touch
    We need you to tell us a bout “How Islam treats women!,are their right’s violated?,Do they feel over burdened in doing domestic work as Islam teaches that Women must Stay at home.?
    If you aren’t Lubna and you’r an Islamic lady ,as you’r host along with Zak we will really love to hear from you.

  269. June 8, 2008 at 19:49

    @ ZAK

    It’s getting late at night here in kenya,and I am somehow feeling tired,and I will be off to sleep in 30 minutes time.But will join you early in the Morning Kenya time.
    Anyone out their will help you esp Will,Bob,or even Selena
    Good Luck

  270. 271 selenayvonne
    June 8, 2008 at 19:52


    Let’s hope Lubna is enjoying her weekend.

    I do hope she is safe.

  271. 272 selenayvonne
    June 8, 2008 at 19:53


    Good Night! Sleep well!

  272. June 8, 2008 at 19:55

    @ Selena
    OK let’s hope she is enjoying her weekend!

  273. June 8, 2008 at 19:58

    Don’t worry about Lubna she’s understandably under the weather and no doubt will be up and running soon after she rests for the night right now in Baghdad. If anybody wants to contact her direct leave a message on the blog and I will forward it to her via email, that would be a nice gesture. I was actually thinking it would be really cool if we could all go to Iraq at her graduation but I know that’s far fetched. At least we could send her a card chain mail style that would be soooo nice as our dear friend likes to say. Perhaps I’ll cultivate some addresses so we can start that.

  274. June 8, 2008 at 19:58


    Young Kenyans supporting US senator Barack Obama have launched what they call a worldwide campaign to defend the likely Democratic presidential nominee from smears by opponents.

    Obama, whose late father was from Kenya, made history on Tuesday when he became the first African-American to win a US major-party presidential nomination.

    The Illinois senator will face Republican John McCain at the general election in November.

    Peter Mbae of the Sen Barack Obama Worldwide Supporters said the new network would organise online forums, public meetings and demonstrations to raise awareness on Obama’s policies.

    I am off to sleep,Good night from Kenya,ZAK take control !bye

  275. 276 Katharina in Ghent
    June 8, 2008 at 20:03

    Hi Zak,

    This here is for Lubna: Ahmed the dead terrorist, it’s absolutely hillarious, my whole lab has been laughing about it for weeks.

    Hi Lubna, my love,

    Here’s a video clip that will hopefully cheer you up (provided that you have a wicked sense of humor…)

    I hope you’re doing well.


  276. June 8, 2008 at 20:09

    OK Katherina I’ll wait so she can see the messages in the morning; but what do you think about being the last stop before Baghdad on a chain letter around the world, I could start send it to Shirey, Selena, Abdi, anyone else who wanted, WHYS, and then you, and finally Lubna.

    I know it’s a risk that it’ll get there but it’d be worth it; the world could only hope to express that much love to a person in her place.

  277. 278 selenayvonne
    June 8, 2008 at 20:18


    Perhaps we could get an organization to fund a trip to Lubna’s graduation (when does she graduate?).

    As we are a Web group, perhaps the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation would like to sponsor us.

  278. June 8, 2008 at 20:24

    Yeha I’D LOVE THAT. I actually might be able to check that out, my brother in law invented the portion of the internet that comes after the @ symbol that’s in email addresses and he knows Gates.

  279. 280 VictorK
    June 8, 2008 at 20:25

    Well done Abdi and Zak, you’ve got a nice head of steam driving this Blank Page -first to pass 300 posts?

    @Owen: your entire post was a statement of what is wrong with the African mindset. A combination of unproductive rage, self-pity, unwillingness to assume responsibility, lack of initiative, inability for self-criticism, and psychological dependency on whites. I’m sorry if that sounds harsh, but what else can be said? Is it any surprise that Africa is in the state it’s in when your attitude is so characteristic of the continent? No people in in the history of the world made anything of themselves by sitting on their hands and whining. That’s a privilege that we normally reserve for children; it cannot become the philosophy of an entire continent. If Africans were to take a collective vow to address their problems without ever mentioning Europeans they might be surprised by how much time they would thereby release for original thinking about the issues they face. On the whole, the colonial period was the last time that Africa knew good government. Compared to the disastrous mess Africans have made of the world’s richest continent it is an act of supreme chutzpah to berate Africa’s former colonial powers. I think a person must either be very ignorant or misinformed about Africa’s post-independence history, or hold Africans in utter racist contempt by regarding them as insufficiently adult/human to be treated as responsible for themselves, to take the view that anyone is to blame for Africa’s failure other than Africans

    @ Roberto: you wrote that, ‘Until Africa develops some patriots with vision and leadership, it’s all for naught.’ Quite true. But there can be no patriots in the absence of a genuine nation-state, and most African countries are fabricated states in which some ascendant tribal power governs several hostile and alien nations against their will, having been forced into an artificial ‘national’ union when colonial borders were first established (borders that Africans have chosen to maintain). Africa is the last word on the unviability of multinational and multicultural states, and on the catostrophic results of ‘diversity’ carried beyond a certain point (the Somalis are truly a weird exception to this: they are not cursed with ethnic diversity, being one of the most homogeneous peoples on the face of the earth – which makes their plight even more astonishing. They clearly have a natural instinct for anarchy). Your pessimism may be justified. There is currently no reason to think that a hundred years from now Africa won’t be even more chaotic, diseased and failed than it is today.

    I do wish that WHYS would focus more on issues that are important in their own right, and not topics that are ‘sexy’ for the time being (‘sexy’ here meaning that lots of people are dying or being beaten to a pulp, or there is an American/Western connection to provoke lots of denunciatory comment). Somalia, Darfur, DR Congo, Xinjiang, Tibet (yes, Tibet), and Chechnya for starters. And not just as one-offs, but subjects that are revisited according to the latest state of play.

    @Tino: re Pakistani chutzpah – yes, part of the usual pattern of Muslims trying to bully and threaten non-Muslims into treating Islam with as much reverence as if it were our religion. More evidence why – except for diplomatic and trade links – the West must detach itself from the Muslim world, and Islam must be expelled from the West.

    I thought Hillary Clinton gave a dignified, mature and stateswoman-like speech yesterday (I don’t care for her politics but I’ve never felt the need to hate her, or really understood why some people do so passionately). I still don’t understand how Obama won with his platform of feel-good phrases about change. Doesn’t Hillary have more in common with Obama politically than she does with McCain? That would make those of her supporters who say they’ll vote for McCain spitefully perverse. The one policy that I wholeheartedly endorsed that Obama and Hillary had in common was getting out of Iraq and Afghanistan. I expect McCain to triumph in a landslide in November (400+ in the electoral college, according to my crystal ball).

  280. June 8, 2008 at 20:36

    I’ll try to get my bro in law to get in contact in the next few weeks, I’ll let you know.

    Hey Victor, I’m hoping we go over the total on the veggetarianism topic so we can say we really did something productive in the time after that boiler match was on the air- 21 posts to go to tie 22 to fly all the way to Baghdad.

    Even though I haven’t heard much about it I suspect maybe a few minds got turning from the Masdar video; mine couldn’t stop thinking about all aspects of bettering our lives for well… Let’s just say that virtual trip permanently altered my vision

  281. 282 Tino
    June 8, 2008 at 20:43

    “If all people can afford health insurance, why are there so many people with no coverage in the US?”

    Plenty of people can, and choose to spend their money elsewhere. I have a friend who thinks because he is pretty healthy now he doesn’t need it. That kind of mentality is ridiculous. I have told him multiple times he is an idiot and I think he is finally coming around. I paid 1500 dollars to take care of everything I have had to do so far – minus meds. It would have cost an inconceivable amount of money otherwise. For the people who cannot afford it, there are already programs and if there need to be better ones fine. But universal healthcare is a bad idea in my opinion.

  282. 283 Katharina in Ghent
    June 8, 2008 at 20:53

    Hi Zak,

    this sounds like a great idea, also Selena’s has a certain appeal, but that’s a little bit more difficult to organize… Anyway, you can count me in for the letter.

    Good night everyone from (more or less) sunny Belgium,

  283. June 8, 2008 at 21:11

    Shirley: With regard to your question addressed to me about what is wrong with Africa, and your opinion that European colonialism must be blamed, please see Victor’s posting. He has said it all, much more to-the-pointly than I could bring myself to do.

    I am very unhappy about the situation in Africa. I live in Africa, and I walk around and drive around and use my eyes to see what I can see in Africa, and what I can see are Africans riding on a wave of ‘independent’ arrogance that assumes that the rest of the world owes Africa a living while Africa spits on the democratic and other good values of enlightened countries.

    There are times when living in Africa is a very fearful experience. When something goes wrong in Africa, it is never the Africans to blame. When our South African electricity commission, laden with affirmative action executives, recently began to fail to generate enough electricity, owing to bad management, bad planning and bad economics, the statement in parliament that got the greatest applause was the statement that ‘Now the Whites can feel how it is to live without electricity.’ Hoorah Yebo Yippee screams of applause.

    As if the problem was that whites have electricity and blacks don’t. But, shirley, you won’t really be able to get it until you see it and live it, and pull your hair out over it.

    Now my big fear is Chinese involvement in Africa; a new source of easy money on easy terms. It’s easy moeny on easy terms that has destroyed Africa. Do you know that the measure of an African nations progress is taken from the status quo (economic and otherwise) that obtained at the date of the end of colonialism in any particular country? Yes, it is so. And, sad to say, all the African countries were better off except for one wee factor: they were not ruling themselves.

    The only exception to this paradigm is South Africa. Don’t ask me why. Ask yourself. Or ask Victor.

  284. 285 VictorK
    June 8, 2008 at 21:12

    @Abdi: I think it’s perfectly natural for Kenyans to take pride in Obama, though his ‘Kenyanness’ doesn’t really bear too close scrutiny (a bit like JFK’s ‘Irishness’, which in reality was a very thin and sentimental overlay on a WASPish base).

    I’ve read stories how every second Kenyan is now claiming to be Obama’s ‘cousin’. More worrying are the stories of how some Kenyans expect the wealth of America to start flowing in their country’s direction the day after an Obama win. Isn’t that an instance of the prevailing cast of mind that hampers Africa’s economic prospects: a desire for consumption without production, the fantasy that politics has anything to do with wealth creation, and the reduction of politics to ethnic clientelism? Do Kenyans realise how this appears to the rest of the world, epecially in light of the fact that Obama’s dad was hardly God’s gift to fatherhood and Obama’s connection to the country is of the most insubstantial kind?

    More geneally, re the oncoming contest, I expect the story of Obama’s having been raised a Muslim to start being circulated by the Republicans in the next few months (it appears to be true. It shouldn’t be significant, but it can’t help him). Those pictures of him in Somali traditional dress will do the rounds again. And that wife of his must have said something that was captured on tape that could prove very damaging. His many ultra-left and America-hating associates, friends and mentors can expect to be under the public spotlight until November. And we can’t rule out something completely out of the blue such as an endorsement from somebody like Ahmadinejad (“I prefer him to the old, trigger-happy white guy”). The Republicans would be entitled to treat something like that as a sign from God that he’s voting for McCain. Obama eventually abandoned the lunatic church he was a member of and repudiated the pastor he said he could never repudiate: I think both will still be useful for Republican mud-slinging. And there’s always the possibility that a tabloid will reveal that Obama once participated in Nazi-themed orgies with prostitutes, or something just as scandalous (and he does seem too squeaky-clean to be true).

    I think this may turn into a very dirty election, even though McCain has effectively said he doesn’t want anything along those lines. Fun times between now and November for us observers (except for Obama’s expectant Kenyan cousins).

    p.s. – ‘Catostrophic’ – what’s that? Re my previous post!

  285. June 8, 2008 at 21:16

    There may be a larger picture we can all agree is the problem with health care: disease is on the rise and many are incurable, again: Aids, West Nile, Avian bird flu, and drug resistant TB. That is one primary reason health care exists, to combat disease.

    If we are to find the solution; forget how it’s implemented for a minute. We must take from the health care systems what works, Canada has a working system like Australia and as Katherina mentions much of Europe. We also have to slash the programs that don’t work.

    This is very near to being an epidemic crisis in the US, if we don’t find a solution and the economy tanks even lower: we will run out of options.

    So there’s little point in arguing; the issue is very critical and I think if WHYS were to do a show it would be about the health care systems that work to combat disease the best in the face of the influx, because none are perfect, but some are better than others.

  286. 287 selenayvonne
    June 8, 2008 at 21:18


    Plenty of people are not all people. 🙂

    And then there are people who can’t get coverage, for one reason or another.

    I am sure you believe what you have is best. But, believe me, if for some reason (and there are horror stories) you lost coverage, it might be a different story.

    Healthcare should be available to all, no matter what! And the rich should have the same coverage as everyone else, no more, no less. That, simply put, is what universal healthcare is all about.

    I could never wish for anything better for me than the same coverage as the family/child down the road…

  287. 288 selenayvonne
    June 8, 2008 at 21:21


    A lot of what happens in healthcare is unnecessary. People should have to pay for unnecessary care.

    What is missing in the package at the moment is prevention and wellness.

  288. 289 Pangolin- California
    June 8, 2008 at 21:26

    @- Health Care- In the US if you have certain ‘pre-existing conditions’ no amount of money will buy you health insurance. My sister, who is quite well off, has a genetic blood condition discovered when she was working for company A and covered under their insurance. When she changed jobs to company B she was also covered under a group plan. Now that she is self-employed no amount of money will buy her medical insurance.

    Claims that health care should remain under the capitalistic system are just ideology in defiance of fact. Socialized healthcare provides better patient outcomes for the entire population at less cost. In the US we pay more for health care and get less. As far as health care goes a citizen of Cuba is better off than the working poor in the US. Of course a chronic, untreated condition will keep you poor as you can be unfit to work.

    If you are outside the US be warned that the economic model our governmet is promoting is just as happy to throw you into the streets sick and starving as to make you rich; actually more happy. Desperate workers are cheaper to employ and easier to exploit.

    It would be useful to note that this same system is just as willing to deny you the grain your country needs if you cannot meet our price. Any nation that imports a major percentage of it’s food risks blackmail by the US wealthy speculating on the commodities market. Don’t count on help from us; look at the mess we made of Iraq.

  289. 290 selenayvonne
    June 8, 2008 at 21:31

    @ Donovan

    The Africans were better off before white men set foot on their continent. What came after has been false and intrusive.The civilization we introduced should be measured against the African standard, not some Christian ideal.

    It will take a long, long time for the Christian intrusion to be forgotten. Much the same as the aboriginals, in Canada, can never forget what was done to them in the name of God and King and country.

    But, in every situation, dwelling on the past simply puts the brakes on any move forward.

    To tell the truth, I am a little tired of being held to ransom for the sins of my fathers. But, at the same time, I fully acknowledge their guilt.

    We would all be better off if we went back to a simple life. But who knows simple?

  290. 291 Amy
    June 8, 2008 at 21:32


    Count me in for Lubna’s letter. I too am a little under the weather (too many birthday parties which means too much cake) so I’m not going to post about health care at the moment.

    The sun is finally out here in Oregon (but only for a few more hours before the clouds return) so I am hoping that cures my tummy ache.

    Lubna dear, if you are reading this weekend, feel better. Know that you are loved by many around the world!

    Amy in Beaverton

  291. June 8, 2008 at 21:35

    A lot of what happens in healthcare is unnecessary.

    Couldn’t agree more; unfortunately I’ve seen too many examples of the failures in my own and other families to prevent those kind of unnecessary visits to the doctor. A child given anitbiotics so many times that they become immune for instance. So I do think it deals with the level of comprehensive coverage that falls short on an individual provider basis, when it becomes part of the larger responsibility then providers are forced to look at the bigger picture and say: this child has been on Penicillan so many times that more won’t work.

    I have a niece with Asthma because her house was left by a contractor with the roof torn off during a storm and mold infested the walls. Another with juvenile diabetes that wasn’t helped by sugar intake. It breaks my heart to see what brought them to this state but the reasons are even more dark, ultimately I have to blame the family, they were avoidable consequences but now it’s too late. Let me tell you this though, it wasn’t for lack of money, that family has a 7 figure income.

  292. June 8, 2008 at 22:16

    Selena: I will not at all be held to ransom for the sins of my fathers.

    But I’d like to sign off on a positive and authentic note. I’ve lived in Africa all my born days, and I’ll be here when I die. Both my kids are returning to live in South Africa after more than ten years in Europe? Why? Who can say….there’s just that indefinable something, that note of chaos and sprawling nature and the sense of freedom that they bring.

    I spent years living among the Zulus, imbibing their intricate and ancient culture, and their very complex and expressive language. I learned to respect them a great deal for their generosity and nobility, and had many fine discussions.

    I have a Tswana ‘son’ whom I rescued from a criminal background and who calls me every now and then to chat and to reaffirm our close bond. I love him very much.

    I have friends among the Maasai, the Malawis,and even entertained some Rwandan guests during the terrible troubles there. etc etc. I miss these people when I’m not here. When I’m abroad and I catch a note of African music, there’s that inner tug: gotta get home.

    There is nothing like the sound of drums beating throughout the night in the distance as you sit up reading some very complex and contorted western writer, and sink into the incongruity of your whiteness in Africa, and yet manage to feel so at home that you’ll always come back, no matter how charming or ‘civilized’ the dull non-African country you’ve been visiting has been.

    It’s sometimes scary, baffling, hair-raising and infuriating, but I don’t believe I could have had a better life experience anywhere else. I may be waxing unduly lyrical, but such are my most genuine feelings about this continent.

  293. 294 selenayvonne
    June 8, 2008 at 22:30


    Your post was lovely!

    You don’t sound at all like someone who is imposing his will on another people.

    We can all be gracious visitors to another country. We can even learn to call another country home, as I do France.

    It is when we feel the need to bend another people to our idea of what is right, that I feel it is imperative we examine our personal motives.

  294. 295 selenayvonne
    June 8, 2008 at 22:34


    You are so right. Money is no indication of common sense, when it comes to healthcare.

    Personally I believe there is very little need for antibiotics in this day of good nutrition and healthy immune systems.

    Today’s children can fight most infections, given the chance.

  295. June 8, 2008 at 22:50

    Having studied African culture to embellish my great love of the music the magnanimity rings so true. There are no doubt both reasons for staying and leaving S. Africa for some conflict is unbearable understandably. While others like Donovan can make a home forever and that’s a powerful alliance.

    Lubna is the finest example of solidarity I know, in a country that’s been kicked from every direction and had it’s finest students and doctors leave she has stayed. That is truer pride than many of us will every know. But how can you blame people for leaving a war zone.

    In African culture there is a message and a vessel that gives transcendence the means and the mode is in the music. What I mean by this is after 5 years of studying and playing Ghanian Djembe drums with a huge African troupe I found my own rhythm within as just about anybody can from experiencing that culture to the fullest. It led me to find the origins of my own culture and move to a Dumbeg drum and play for a belly dance troupe at the same time. There’s just no way to describe how ingratiated I am for that but there’s a book that can give you a sense of what happens to your regular American immersed in African music called: African Rhythm, African Sensibility, by John Miller Chernoff. It’s a trance inducing read by itself and certainly the most well respected piece of it’s kind, almost as good as Out of Africa and equal in demonstrating culture.

  296. 297 Will Rhodes
    June 8, 2008 at 22:56


    Iran and Iraq make deal that will not allow the US to attack Iran from Iraqi soil!

  297. June 8, 2008 at 23:17

    All that’s in that agreement ends at the bottom of the page. The US forces in Iraq do not have the supplies or equipment to move into Iran without walking into a slaughter. For the most part it comes across as an excuse Bush is making to avoid dealing with Iran, he’d rather duck negotiations in pursuit of ‘a way around.’

    It’s no secret that the Navy might just be provoked by falsified evidence and if Bush thought he could get away with an attack you can bet it would be air and sea based alone. Iran is not shy on armed forces on the ground and there’s no way a land invasion was ever on the table anyway.

  298. 299 Will Rhodes
    June 8, 2008 at 23:28

    Yet in diplomatic terms it is a kick in the teeth to the US who are in initial stages of negotiating with Iraq as to how long their troops will be stationed in Iraq.

  299. June 8, 2008 at 23:36

    Right, but I really don’t think Maliki can do anything but play both ends against the middle, at one time he’ll protect Iran from the US but then ask them ‘nicely’ not to back Shia militant groups? Frankly I don’t trust Iran to not provoke the US further in Iraq, they profit as much from the war as anyone and it’s a fallacy if the President says anything else.

    If Iran can get the US to stay in Iraq Pres. A. can test the mettle of his rhetoric against Israel and allied countries. It will be a miracle if the kind of tensions that brought about that falsified video tape don’t go on to exploit the conflict. What I hear in the Bush Admin saying ‘there will be peace in the middle east’ is “we’ll take out that Iran threat for you, now all you have to do is live with the Palestinians.”

  300. 301 Will Rhodes
    June 9, 2008 at 00:25

    This is true – and we have to factor in that Israel has both asked for the new stealth fighter from the US and that they will take out Iran’s nuclear aspirations if others do not act.

  301. June 9, 2008 at 00:33

    I did also want to mention to everyone, anyone, who’s interested in alternative energy this story of Methane gas fuel It’s accompanied by the BBC program One Planet and the podcast on 5/28 is superb. It’s really remarkable how the volcanic activity has and is still accumulating more than 50 billion cubic meters of methane. When the BBC went out on Lake Kivu the official told them he thought maybe over 60 billion CM. The most interesting thing is that the lake can serve Rwanda, and DRC Congo. Plus by using this gas it eliminates it’s most deadly destruction powers on global warming gas emissions. Truly amazing how such big things can come from a relatively small effort but this is already happening and they will provide enough energy for both nations, 350 megawatts of electricity for each.

  302. June 9, 2008 at 00:40

    Ultimately I think it would be better if the world ignored Iran as much as possible, they play Iraq like a pawn. It’s actually dismaying to see Maliki buddying up to them like that. If Iraq is going to gain back their sovereignty it will most likely be to hold Iran accountable for the damage done already. Iran just needs to be isolated like N. Korea until they give up the rhetoric and get down to peaceful acceptance with hezbollah recognized. Perhaps in the new administration where now Obama has realized that talking in response to threats is impossible and we certainly know where McCain stands, the cold shoulder may force Iran to play ball for peace.

  303. 304 Will Rhodes
    June 9, 2008 at 01:07

    now Obama has realized that talking in response to threats is impossible and we certainly know where McCain stands, the cold shoulder may force Iran to play ball for peace.

    This is why I cannot fathom why anyone would be against that policy of talking. The only way forward is talking – even the fundamentalist Islamic terrorists are beginning to come around to understanding this. Britain and the IRA finally talked in the open and we have a relative peace in Northern Ireland.

    It is possible – with the correct political will.

  304. 305 Will Rhodes
    June 9, 2008 at 01:21

    Methanol is a way forward, Zak – as long as the safety aspect can be addressed.

  305. June 9, 2008 at 01:34

    Will it is my belief that open negotiations are vital with all nations but; open ended silence is an option. Obama is smart enough to recognize this, we’re already ‘talking to Iran’ but in order to have real diplomacy there must be no threats of “nations disappearing off the map.” Leaving the silent card on the table is something that probably hasn’t been done to Iran since Jimmy Carter so it would have some effect no doubt, especially now when there’s no gain for Iran unless they do, unlike the 80’s.

    On your second point I do believe you meant methane, methanol is wood grained alcohol used in making biodiesel. But methane, that is prevalent during frequent trips to Chevy’s or in a cow pasture and that stuff is SBD (silent but deadly)!

  306. 307 Will Rhodes
    June 9, 2008 at 01:52

    LOL Nope – I meant Methanol.


  307. June 9, 2008 at 01:58

    Well what about Lake Kivu, there’s like 1000 and 1 Chevy’s under there?

    And unless you’re making moonshine you don’t need to worry about methanol.

  308. 309 Will Rhodes
    June 9, 2008 at 02:29

    I think it`s cool – it is a matter that most of the industrial world has been duped for a long time. I remember back in the 70’s when the real first fuel crisis happened many were then talking about getting away from oil – it would be way too expensive in the 1990’s – some said we would have flying cars by that time, too.

    But now there must be a concerted effort to move away from oil – the technology has been in place for at least 30 years – but those who duped us were the oil companies because oil, once again, became cheap.

    Alternative fuels are in abundance – it is a matter that they have to be invested in. Yet, the people who need to invest are not around today – the old oil men are dead and gone. Big business wants big bucks very quickly so you need to look at governments to invest in such things. Then you come back to the age old scenario – government wants its money back so you come to a status quo where no one is willing to do anything hence oil will be back on the market at 50 bucks a barrel and lower once things come around to normality again.

    Remember – when the US invaded Iraq oil was just 35 bucks a barrel and that was seen as too expensive. Now what we need is real commitment to not use oil.

  309. June 9, 2008 at 02:34

    It’s almost like karma that we’ll run out of oil; it’s the only thing that can keep the planet from exploding at this point. I keep having this mental picture of a half century from now with freeways full of cars not moving. Like one giant parking lot that just gets left there – it’s definitely a more symbolic vision but it does ring a bell.

  310. 311 Will Rhodes
    June 9, 2008 at 02:35

    Oh and congratulations on getting over 300 posts!!

  311. June 9, 2008 at 02:36

    Thanks, we’re trying to beat the veggie topic-

    Come back over here Selena, I get you, just your name says enough to know that you’re wise, you could be a goddess with that name. Plus you remind me of Selena the singer who has to be one of the most tragic figures in show biz at least for my time in it, she was my fav.

  312. 313 Will Rhodes
    June 9, 2008 at 02:47

    Oh there is still a lot of oil out there, Zak – and please don’t be fooled that this oil is too hard to get at.

    If you look at the Alaska reserves, that is just beneath the surface – Canada can produce oil for a very long time, the same is with Venezuela.

    The OPEC cartel is still keeping oil prices high – if that cartel could be broken oil would come down to 20 bucks and below. Even to pre-70’s levels. Along with OPEC you have Wall St – Israel said it would bomb Iran’s nuclear facilities, oil went through the roof. Many still believe that oil is high because of the economics of supply and demand. That would be applicable IF oil was in fact in short supply – it isn’t. The pumping of the oil is what is holding the price high – or lack of pumping which brings us back to OPEC.

    If you want to break up OPEC you have to hit them where it hurts, but where is that place? The OPEC nations could open their pumps and swill the world with oil in a few weeks.

    But, neither OPEC want to do that, governments want to do that or the oil companies want to do that. All of which are making a killing at oil this high and while that is happening none of them will intervene to bring that cost down.

  313. June 9, 2008 at 03:00

    Well there’s a lot of oil before you break down all the petroleum products that are using significant amounts of it. Cars don’t’ even use as much as roads and all the tar based products. So yes, perhaps we won’t run out per se but there will come a time where there’s a choice between a car or a road to drive it on and the former is easier to replace.

  314. June 9, 2008 at 03:12

    Before I go from this one I want everyone to know it was a pleasure and you have my thanks for making it so grand. One thing that I’ve especially enjoyed is reading all the comments on the editing page; a lot because with a wider format you can read them thoroughly so much easier. Now I realize that for WHYS purpose they want the comments short and sweet so they shrink the viewing pane down. But I think in the wake of Will’s genius in getting us to moderate ourselves it would be really great if on the weekends we could widen the box a little (get it think outside the box). If you mods who know what I’m talking about agree I bet we could get Ros to let us do it for the weekends.

  315. 316 Bob in Queensland
    June 9, 2008 at 03:14

    G’morning Zak and everyone!

    Wow! What a busy night (that’s Aussie night!) I have a lie in after trying to watch the Grand Prix (but falling asleep part way through) and find this many posts! I’ll be catching up until Ros arrives!

    However, jumping right to the end of the line, the post above me jumped out:

    @Will Rhodes

    Oh there is still a lot of oil out there, Zak – and please don’t be fooled that this oil is too hard to get at.

    I’m honestly not sure what to believe on this. On one hand, politicians (not always the most trustworthy mob!) are blaming OPEC and calling for more oil to be pumped but, on the other hand, I hear experts say we’re getting near the end of viable reserves.

    I suspect part of this is down to this difference between “real” reserves and “economic to produce” reserves. A whole lot more oil just became economic with the price at $140 a barrel–but the downside is that the price has to stay there for these reserves to STAY economic.

    Also, I suspect there’s the issue of processing. Unless there’s the capacity to transport and refine the crude, the black muck isn’t much good to anyone.

    I suspect the reality is somewhere in the middle. OPEC may be dragging their feet somewhat but, with the increased demand from huge emerging nations like China and India (a couple of Billion people who were were on bicycles a decade a go but who aspire to cars now) supply will never fully catch up.

    Even if you’re right about the cartel, I think we need to start getting used to a world of expensive oil and alternative energy sources (and lifestyles)….which, from a global warming perspective is a GOOD thing!

  316. 317 Will Rhodes
    June 9, 2008 at 03:15

    But my point wasn’t directed at just vehicle’s. It is the whole shebang. The oil producing nations are smiling quietly while lining their pockets.

    If OPEC worked in the world of a free market each nation who produces oil would be in a price/pumping war right now. From plastic bags to Oil fired electricity power stations would be dropping prices because oil would be so cheap – not environmentally friendly – but that is what would happen.

    This, more than any other reason, is why the dependence on oil must be broken. Not the cost of gas at the pump but because the world is being held to ransom by a few nations.

  317. 318 Dennis
    June 9, 2008 at 03:16

    I am sorry for not being around this weekend!

    Thanks Zak and Abdi for being moderators this weekend….

    Lubna: i hope you are safe my dear friend….

    Onondaga Community College
    Syracuse, New York
    United States of America

  318. 319 Dennis
    June 9, 2008 at 03:17

    This is our first weekend on BLANK PAGE with over 300 posts!


    Onondaga Community College
    Syracuse, New York
    United States of America

  319. 320 Tino
    June 9, 2008 at 03:23

    @ Will

    Could not agree more, well stated posts.

  320. 321 Will Rhodes
    June 9, 2008 at 03:23

    Bob – I don’t have time to do it now but I will find you the figures about economically viable oil reserves. One to leave you with is this: Saudi could produce the same amount of oil it has produced for the last 30 years for the next 60 and that is pumping at full capacity (almost double what they pump now). And that ISN’T with the new fields that they have.

    Iraq, by the way, has as much oil under its soil as 2/3 the Saudi fields. They haven’t been exploited yet.

  321. June 9, 2008 at 03:32

    Good’ay Bob, night Denis. I never get tired of Good’ay in writing so Good’ay to everyone.

    And yes Will I’m well aware of the deals Sr. made while GW Jr. was trading aces with the bin laden family.

    Ultimately though it’s like this: we may run out in 50,100 or 1000 years but at this pace we’re going to run out. That’s a pretty good argument to say that if it’s not burning manufacture; let it lie with oil.

    But it’s true that the oil rich nations have never made any sense nor been able to work with each other. I was in Venezuela in 1980 and there were cars, but nobody driving them, people walked in the streets by vast majority as they still do today because most of their oil is in our cars.

  322. 323 Shirley
    June 9, 2008 at 03:43

    Have you seen posts in which I indicate that my wish is that both the primary and the regular elections be held on one day which would be a federal holiday, on a one-man-one-vote basis, with paper ballot or paper-verified voting?

    Do you plan to keep it a secret? How do you plan on doing that when Lubna has access to this thread and those posts?

  323. 324 Rick
    June 9, 2008 at 03:44

    Re healthcare
    I have heard that in NZ they have brought in laws to cap payouts for personal injury suits. And because of that, the cost of medical liability insurance has dropped dramaticly as has court time spent on frivoulous claims. Have we any Kiwi bloggers that can verify this?
    It sounds like such a simple solution.

    On another note, I hear that they also have car registration based on milage. What a good idea – user pay for hiways etc.

    Why can’t our governments learn from other’s sucesses?
    Could it be that vested interests don’t want them to?

  324. June 9, 2008 at 03:47


    Will is driving, figuratively, at some very broad-stroke, and for the most part in my opinion valid points, what is your point in reference to agreement?

  325. 326 steve
    June 9, 2008 at 04:03

    It’s supposed to be 98 degrees in DC tomorrow. It’s not even summer yet.

  326. 327 Shirley
    June 9, 2008 at 04:08

    I’m a firm believer that the one responible for breaking it needs to be a part of fixing it. That’s why I suggested that the West be part of the process of establishing people-elected governments that are not corrupt. My problem is that I doubt the ability of Western governments to honestly guard against corruprion, even in such a process.

    What is your view of the African Union?

    Selena, Katharina:
    Your contributions to the discussion on health care have been invaluable. Thank you.

  327. 328 Shirley
    June 9, 2008 at 04:12

    I am more concerned that Iraq not sign on to an agreement with the U.S. that would allow the U.S. military (or any other department or puppet of the government) to stay in or otherwise influence Iraq. How can Iraq claim to be free as long as the U.S. has influence?

  328. 329 Shirley
    June 9, 2008 at 04:15

    I am much more concerned that Iraq not sign any agreement that would give the U.S. permission to stay in any shape or form; and I would like to see the day when Iraq can be truly free from influence and interference from the U.S.

  329. June 9, 2008 at 04:25

    OK, I’m back from a traditional Pomo Indian meal: slow smoked Abalone; now does that make me a traitor to my all veggie diet – eating fish/shellfish?

    Never mind rhetorical question of course I’m no vegan. But this is perhaps to the pinnacle of the veggie discussion. Does your State/Country manage the eco-systems properly, there’s about to be a moratorium on Abalone up and down the Pacific coast so I probably won’t have Abalone again for maybe even 10 years since we only get it fresh out of the ocean. The moratorium will stay in place until the population replenishes itself, like the Salmon. Unlike in S. Africa where poachers have diminished the population down to almost no Abalone, and the poachers are largely responsible for the methamphetamine drug trade. I heard this on the CBC a report on how honest workers harvesting shellfish have been forced out by poachers. So bottom line with meat consumption, if you can’t regulate it, you can’t eat it.

  330. June 9, 2008 at 04:29

    Right on target, got to borrow from Sarah’s post just now on that veggie topic:

    “This is the stupidest debate I’ve seen on WHYS in a long time.”

  331. June 9, 2008 at 04:32

    OPEC is something that I know a little bit about. First, we must understand that OPEC only accounts for 1/3 of the oil production. There are a few other big players out there with the OECD being one of them. The produce something along the lines of 28% of the oil. It is the aggressive nature of OPEC that gives it its bad name.

    The oil issue is one that seeps into every other world problem from the Muslim western conflicts to world hunger. It is kind of like when it physically seeps into the water. It’s just nasty stuff.

    Something that I couldn’t understand that I had an economics professor explain to me was why the Saudis were so coddled by the US. The short of the story is that they were just one of the players when OPEC started. The Idea was that OPEC members would set a barrel per year quota, and everybody would stick to it. That would mandate a price that was predictable. However, many of the OPEC members would cheat. They would produce a few million barrels more then they promised, and market prices would come tumbling down. So the Saudis said, “Forget it. We want everybody to produce to their capacity, then we will set the quota, and we will meet it with whatever is left.” To me that seemed counter intuitive. That is until you see the results of the chess match. Now 15 Saudis jump on a plane, inspired by the outcast son of another Saudi oil king/ tycoon and attack the US. The US response? Invade a little nothing country in the Middle East. Then try to use the cause as a catapult to invade the weakest oil producing country in the Middle East. Proof? Our president was not at an OPEC meeting addressing the oil shortage. He was wallowing on the floor in front of the Saudi king begging for increased production. The Saudis and the Iranian and most people in the middle east gaurd their oil reserve estimates like a national secret. In a way it is. nobody really knows how much is left.

    The last ironic twist to this story is that the bush administration got exactly what they wished for. What is that old saying about wishing? Many left minded people accuse the orchestrators of the Iraq invasion of going after the oil. Quite the contrary. The big oil and energy lobbyists used their influence to have some of the competition removed. Less supply from Iraq’s “food for oil” plus all of the cheating going on there. Also the turmoil in the Middle East also generates higher prices. I don’t think that anybody expected for it to get out of control as much as it did.

    It all fits together nicely if you look at all the pieces as a whole. Cheney’s “meeting” with the energy giants, ENRON, the over eagerness to invade Iraq, the lack of concern for catching Osama Bin Ladden, the huge profits by the big oil companies, and the push to let those companies drill now in the off limits sites.

    One thing is certain. Blaming lack of drilling and oil production for the current problem is like blaming the lack of crack dealers for the epidemic. “If we could just get more crack on the streets, everybody who wants it would be able to get it and they would have to rob for it.”

  332. 333 Bob in Queensland
    June 9, 2008 at 04:37

    @Will Rhodes

    This, more than any other reason, is why the dependence on oil must be broken. Not the cost of gas at the pump but because the world is being held to ransom by a few nations.

    We’ve come to the same conclusion but for different reasons: I’m personally far more concerned about the damage being done to the environment by greenhouse gases (and even things like burying the plastic bags you mentioned) than I am about the politics of OPEC. Either way, we can’t afford to keep burning fossil fuels.

    As for the statistics you mentioned, I’ve seen ones that “prove” the sort of numbers you quote–but I’ve also seen others that take a far more pessimistic view of reserves (even if we wanted to keep burning oil). As I said before, as a layman I don’t know which to believe. A friend once told me that “87.567% of all statistics are made up on the spot”. I think he may be right.

    I do think this makes an interesting topic though: are fuel prices being driven up by governments, the oil companies and speculators or actual shortage. Maybe Ros has the resources to get somebody who really knows! (But I wager he’d actually find two “experts” who disagree!)

  333. June 9, 2008 at 04:41

    why the Saudis were so coddled by the US. The short of the story is that they were just one of the players when OPEC started.

    To the extent that when 9/11 happened and flights were grounded; members of the Bin Laden family were in this country just thrilled to have old GW in office after all the backroom deals to secure the oil futures in Saudi Arabia. So one flight that didn’t get canceled was the one those Bin Laden’s were on. The pilots refueled in Jersey and picked up a few more passengers but when they learned who was on board they threatened to revolt (all that courtesy of Terry Gross on Fresh Air).

  334. 335 Tino
    June 9, 2008 at 05:00

    @ Zak

    I was agreeing with Will’s assessment of the oil situation. Agree with OPEC stance, agree with the fact we have a lot of oil we are currently not drilling for a variety of reasons, etc.

  335. 336 Pangolin- California
    June 9, 2008 at 05:05

    I am dismayed to see such a poor conversation on oil prices here.

    First, the supply of fossil hydrocarbons is quite large but the majority is held in oil sands and oil shales. Look up ‘Athabasca tar sands’ to get a good understanding of the difficulties involved in retrieval of this oil. As to the liquid petroleum M. King Hubert predicted that oil production would peak and then rapidly decline. Many nations are already past this peak and there is much speculation that the whole world has peaked a few years ago. Hence the term ‘Peak Oil.” Look it up.

    Second, petroleum useage is largely for transportation with a tiny fraction going to heating oil, electrical generation and feedstock for chemicals. As far as efficiency goes the least efficient use of petroleum is in moving people in planes and private cars.

    Third, even if all our continents floated on infinate seas of oil we shouldn’t burn another drop. Global Warming is very real and very dangerous and the potention for engaging dangerous positive feedback loops is very near. Before the industrial age CO2 concentrations were at 280 ppm and now they are approaching 400 ppm. We have literally put millions of years of carbon emissions into the atmosphere all at once.

    Check out some of the peak oil and climate change blogs. Look for yourself and see if you can refute their evidence. They have quite large amounts of very real evidence that says we are in a great deal of trouble.

  336. June 9, 2008 at 05:09

    I do believe Will’s in line with the thinking that whether it’s freon in fridges or oil in cars burning a hole in the ozone it’s got to go.

    I actually got a chance to talk to Kevin Phillips, who was a onetime bigshot economist in the Nixon admin. but has since left the party and become a huge critic of the Bush admin. I asked him why he thought Bush would bank on the increased value of oil at the start of the Iraq war. He said that Bush’s economists figured a 15-18$ a barrel rise; instead in the course of invasion alone the price of oil went up 500%. And in the wake of the dissent against the invasion, OPEC started selling off dollars, and sending more oil to China and less to the US. This maneuvering caused Bush to fail in his quest to break up OPEC.

    So when you look back on 8 years of Bush’s war it really does make you think: did he really think eventually OPEC would cave? The reality is yes, OPEC hung Bush out to dry in Iraq. But it’s a dog eat dog world and the milkbones are in GW’s shorts.

  337. 338 Tino
    June 9, 2008 at 05:16

    “Global Warming is very real and very dangerous and the potention for engaging dangerous positive feedback loops is very near.”

    It is far from conclusive and anyone who says they are 100% sure either way is simply wrong. Even the NAS says: “even given the considerable uncertainties in our knowledge of the relevant phenomena, greenhouse warming poses a potential threat sufficient to merit prompt responses. Investment in mitigation measures acts as insurance protection against the great uncertainties and the possibility of dramatic surprises.”

    Their position is essentially we aren’t sure, but in case it turns out to be true, we should invest in conservation/technology. Very real and very dangerous should = possibly real and possibly dangerous.

  338. June 9, 2008 at 05:22

    Burning oil, that is the problem. It doesn’t harm the environment to the extent of catastrophe to make petroleum jelly, or industrial hand cleaner, etc. But as soon as you light it up CO2 goes right into the atmosphere. I really think most Human Beings recognize the consequences of not heeding this warning. I burn almost no petroleum in my ride, just bought the last 7 quarts of petroleum oil I’ll likely ever buy. But that’s only because they don’t yet make a synthetic break in lube oil, and why not. For all those profit motives of OPEC member countries and every other entity that has a share in oil. The fact is we could be beyond the profit motives that hold us back; that’s the problem regardless of who holds them.

  339. 340 Tino
    June 9, 2008 at 05:52


    First hand account of McCain’s POW ordeal. It is extremely long (17 pages) but extremely moving. I already admired and respected him but my god the stuff they went through is beyond belief.

  340. June 9, 2008 at 06:00

    Where is my Kenyan brother mon?

    This was the first song I learned in an African dialect but I’m not sure which one could be Ghanaian or Swahili:

    Abdi Abdi
    Che che koule
    Che offinsa
    Offinsa langa
    Langa Langa
    Kum Adende

    Abdi, Abdi where do you roam to carry the water home? Do you pass it to your brother and your mother and your father who brings it home?

  341. June 9, 2008 at 07:18

    IT’s A WORLD RECORD MADE,IT”S OVER 300 comments! ,Never before had Blank page attracted more than 189 comments!
    @ ZAK,
    MAY I THANK ALL OUR CONTRIBUTORS ESPECIAL THANKS GOES TO BOB,STEVE,WILL,KATHERINA,LUBNA,VICTOR,TINO,SELENA AND of course to all our listners across the globe since it’s possible to thank each of please except this as our appreciations for your contributions!

    Once again on behalf of ZAK and Myself may I thank all our contributors who kept as company since Friday ,Thank you all ,

    To my Friend ZAK.You are geniuos and I enjoyed co-hosting with you,thank you bro,!

    With that few Remarks ,It’s bye from Kenya!!!!!!!!

  342. June 9, 2008 at 07:32

    I have a friend I have known all my life who is at the South Pole right now. He is stationed at the base where they studying the effects of global warming. I asked him if it was just a cyclical. He said they have seen what in the past taken 1000 years occur in less then a hundred.

    Thousands of the world’s most prominent scientists have input in the Nobel Prize nomination and process. They felt that this issue was so profound that they awarded it in the name of this cause. That many scientist conducting that many analyses carry a lot of weight.

    Global warming now has reached the point akin to the average person who believe the world was flat in Columbus’ day. Recall a quick understanding of the law of conservation (energy can neither be created nor destroyed, it can only change form.) to understand how and why it is the result of influence. Back to oil. We are sucking what is known as “potential energy” in the from of “black gold”. When we burn it in our engines it is turned into heat energy. This energy that was trapped under the ground dormant at that point has been introduced into the economic system to be regulated.

    No, volcanoes do not spit more greenhouse gases into the world then all the engines in the world. It is not that simple at least. And sorry “Rush” minions. Greenland was named as such for a marketing ploy. The founders thought, “Frozen tundra land” was not going to attract too many tourists. The ice sheets are over 100,000 years old. There was never any farming there.

  343. 344 Rick
    June 9, 2008 at 08:04

    Its hard to believe there are still people around that have any doubt whatsoever that human activity is causing climate change. Trying to justify the old v8 4wd maybe? Wake up sunshine, your decendants are going to have to live in this mess too.

  344. 345 Katharina in Ghent
    June 9, 2008 at 08:38

    Hi Zak and Abdi,

    It was a great weekend! Thanks to both of you and congratulations! Looking forward to the next blank page…


  345. June 9, 2008 at 09:53

    At the tail end of things, I’d like to say to Shirley: Those who ‘broke’ Africa (if colonialism actually did ‘break’ Africa) have already done all they can to fix it. I reiterate that either the Africans themselves have to get on with fixing it, or the Chinese will do the job for them.

    To the complaints dept. : The BBC programs on South Africa yesterday (Xenophobia and the endless rainbow nation thing) once again did a very good job of coaxing out of the interviewees the sad ‘fact’ that apartheid had dehumanized them to the point where violence has become a way fo life. What a dismal failure of an approach to such a large problem.

    It’s far more accurate to argue that the blacks who were youngsters in the 70’s and 80’s were dehumanized by the ANC, which practised a deliberate policy of alienating the youth from their ‘old-fashioned, status quo-accepting, parents’, and set them on the path of riotous and rebellious anti-social behaviour. At the same time, they alienated these youngsters from the education system and from the idea of education itself : liberation first, education later, was the slogan. This policy was attended by the burning down of schools, assaulting of teachers etc. Perhaps the BBC vaguely recalls these events.

    Please, please BBC: start asking pertinent questions that will at least make a beginning to some form of self-criticism among black South Africans. Don’t keep fanning the anti-white flame as you did in Zimbabwe, with your one-sided reporting on white farmers and landowners.

    I can even recall, when the Ellis Park stadium in Johannesburg collapsed due to corrupt ticket sales and consequent severe overcrowding, how a young BBC reporter found a way to blame even this on the famous and convenient ‘legacy of apartheid.’

    Please, be responsible journalists, instead of being part of the problem. Remember how, largely due to the malice and wrongheadedness of journalists and reporters (BBC definitely included), Pim Fortuyn was slandered and misrepresented in ways that led to his being murdered on May 6, 2002; a date that journalists that remember for the sake of the integrity of their work.

  346. 347 selenayvonne
    June 9, 2008 at 12:47


    I may not be very smart but I am one of ‘the people around’ who believes that human activities are not the sole cause of climate change.

    The climate has been changing ever since there has been a universe. Whatever humans do, or do not do, will not make a whit of difference to that fact. What is happening now is mainly due to nature in my opinion.

    Having said that, what is the benefit in polluting the planet?


  347. 348 selenayvonne
    June 9, 2008 at 12:51

    @Abdi and Zak,

    Great weekend guys! Thanks for the camaraderie everyone!

  348. 349 Tino
    June 9, 2008 at 13:09

    “Its hard to believe there are still people around that have any doubt whatsoever that human activity is causing climate change.”

    What is hard to believe is that people think its certain (either way) when we do not understand plenty. Do you have any idea how many assumptions the the models use that we have no clue are correct? Look at the cooling trend going on now – that was NOT at all predicted but it happened.

    Selena states my position pretty well. I do not agree that we are likely behind the warming trend – though it is possible – but I also do not see the need to pollute for no reason.

  349. June 9, 2008 at 16:46

    Global warming at the intense rate that we humans are causing is a fact. Facts that one can touch, see, and feel if they would like to do the global traveling. Trying to prove it any deeper then showing the effects on cute polar bears and mountain caps is futile. It is kind of like having a physicist explain quantum laws. The only difference is that most people will say to the physicist, “Oh that sounds possible, I can believe that. Nothing I can do about that.” But when it comes to global warming people are a little more critical of the data. “Oh but that would mean I have to change my ways. I prefer just not to believe it.” There are psychological test that have been conducted to prove just that. Self deception is just a defense mechanism.

    However, the important thing is that it has now caught the attention of the policy makers and the industry. You don’t see BP putting out commercials saying, you have been told this, but here are the facts that they can not account for. Mainly because those facts don’t exist. No instead congress is mandating more efficient cars, BP is running adds talking about “a green future” and the auto makers are pushing reduced fossil fuel technology like candy on a playground. My friend in Antarctica said, “It’s not my job to convince everybody in the world. I just need to convince the people who control the world policies.”

  350. 352 selenayvonne
    June 9, 2008 at 17:05


    Yes there is climate change and yes the ice is melting in the arctic.

    No one is disputing that. What there seems to be a dispute over is the cause.

    It appears (and seems logical to me) that there is abundant archaeological evidence to suggest that climate change was happening long before man did anything to pollute the earth on a massive scale.

    There is nothing we can do to stop climate change. If we do try we will only make things worse, as we always have done when we interfere.

    Every unnatural thing we do has the potential to backfire.

    Well perhaps there is one thing we can do and that is give up the idea that we can do something.

    Nature is awesome ans we need to respect her! That’s all!

  351. June 9, 2008 at 18:15


    That is what I am saying. There is evidence that humans are causing it. Hundreds of thousands of years of consistent base data applied to the last 100 years.

    There is also plenty we can do about it. But it requires the human race to take a long view. Something that it seems we have the inability to do. Kind of like asking a parasite to consider the health of its host.

    But for my children and grand children’s sake, I can not give up the impossible fight. We have at least gotten to the point where most scientific debates will not even start off from the discussion of the cause. Even republican controlled scientific research and data processing groups have had to admit our (human) influence.

  352. June 9, 2008 at 20:21

    Hey Selena, bet you didn’t see this comment but that proves my point exactly!

    I also stuck your hat in the ring to be a permanent mod so you have a fan in me here!

    Seriously though I really do like your unique style, perhaps because I speak Spanish, and Italian, and a little French, classical style.

  353. 355 Tino
    June 9, 2008 at 20:49


    The so called ‘proof’ relies on assumptions about things we do not know. Therefore NOTHING is conclusive. It is simply possible, so nothing radical should be proposed. Conservation should be encouraged and investment in tech should be pursued. Unless you think you know more than the National Academy of Sciences, which says the same exact thing.

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