Talking Points for 11 June

Goodmorning, it’s Karnie..

Thank you to all the night editors who’ve done a superb job as always!

A few thoughts this morning..first up..In a revealing Interview with Britain’s Times newspaper, President Bush expresses regret as being remembered only, as the American President who went to war. The Times says, “Bush regrets his legacy as a man who wanted war.”

He expresses frustration when it comes to America NOT being given more credit for the good that it does. He says, “America is a force for good.” Has he got a point?

Bob Geldof joined the US President on a trip to Africa recently and praised him for delivering billions of dollars to fight disease and poverty in Africa, and blasted the U.S. press for ignoring the achievement. In 2006 President Bush expanded the US Malaria Programme. Since 9/11, he also prevented further terrorist attacks on American soil. Is it time to give President Bush credit for all the good he has done?

Next..Afghanistan. At a Ministerial conference in Paris today, the Afghanistani government will ask ministers and other delegates from around 65 countries to give them 50 billion dollars in aid. They say the money’s needed for a five-year development plan. The world bank says it’s concerned about the way aid is being used in the country.

Should the rest of the world keep giving aid to Afghanistan? Has too much been invested in this country already? OR should we be digging deeper?

And one final thought from The Reverend Dr Giles Fraser (vicar of Putney, UK)…each morning BBC Radio 4 (national radio) plays out a “thought for the day” by an invited guest. This morning the guest, the Vicar of Putney spoke about war and the loss of soldiers’ lives.

This week Britain comes to terms with the loss of 100 servicemen in Afghanistan..The reverend quotes a poem by Wilfred Owen..many of you may know it – “Dulce et decorum est” – the poem describes the death of a soldier who couldn’t fit on his gas mask on time..

In his message the reverend asks..”Are we failing to appreciate the sacrifice of those men and women who have lost their lives in the service of their country?”

Is he right? OR is there still honour in dying for one’s country?

83 Responses to “Talking Points for 11 June”

  1. 1 steve
    June 10, 2008 at 19:32

    This is the big story in the US right now, the “tomato crisis”. Many places are no longer serving uncooked tomatoes. I went to a place for lunch yesterday that sells burritos and they had a sign up saying they were not serving salsa due to the tomato situation. As of yet, they have not found the source of the contamination.


  2. 2 Dennis
    June 10, 2008 at 19:44

    Steve, Brett, Dwight and Zak in the States, Abdelilah in Morocco, Katharina in Belgium, Bob in Australia, ZK in Singapore and Will in Canada,!!!!

    Hi everyoen around the world ….

    Onondaga Community College
    Syracuse, New York
    United States of America

  3. 3 Brett
    June 10, 2008 at 19:49

    Its one big party in here tonight!

    The tomato scare had everyone at Panera quite upset yesterday, I hadn’t seen irrational and immature actions and gestures like this since the spinach debaucle a year or so ago. Good thing for me, I’m not a fan of them raw. Even though I have tons of them in my garden lol.

  4. 4 Dennis
    June 10, 2008 at 19:58

    Tomatoes scare it doesn’t surprise me….because of the recent food crisis around the world in the past few years!

    How many moderators are on tonight?

    Onondaga Community College
    Syracuse, New York
    United States of America

  5. 5 steve
    June 10, 2008 at 20:00

    BREAKING NEWS: A plane with 180 people aboard crashed Tuesday while attempting to land at a Khartoum, Sudan, airport, according to Sudanese television

  6. 6 Dennis
    June 10, 2008 at 20:03

    I hope and pray that the death count is low on the horrible crash in Khartoum



  7. 7 Dennis
    June 10, 2008 at 20:04


    This is the link about the plane crash in Khartoum, Sudan.

    Onondaga Community College
    Syracuse, New York
    United States of America

  8. June 10, 2008 at 20:07

    Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is meeting top military officials and ministers to discuss a possible wider military offensive in the Gaza Strip. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7445725.stm

    What can any military action achieve when massive ones as early as 2006 and the current major blockade all over the territory failed to stop Hamas from sending its rockets into Israel?

    Isn’t there the risk of a human catastrophe in Gaza as Hamas has an increasing stock of weapons which can use in its direct confrontation with the Israelis?
    Is it possible for Israel to reoccupy Gaza and disarm Hamas?

    How can this affect its direct negotiations with Fatah for the establishment of a Palestinian state?

  9. 9 Dennis
    June 10, 2008 at 20:11

    I found some numbers on the plane crash in Khartoum, Sudan
    Here is the link, please copy and paste in to your address bar!

    [the bbc is reporting that the plane was coming from amman, jordan]

    *Also, Spain’s continuing Fuel Crisis…Now there are reports about shortages in @ the Petrol Stations [gas] and some food stuffs.

    @ 7.44pm post—i made a mistake: i should have said “everyone”…sorry for any troubles!

    Onondaga Community College
    Syracuse, New York
    United States of America

  10. 10 steve
    June 10, 2008 at 20:12

    @ Abdelilah Boukili

    Does Hamas announce to the world when they’re about to launch rockets into Israel?

  11. 11 Tino
    June 10, 2008 at 20:22

    “How can this affect its direct negotiations with Fatah for the establishment of a Palestinian state?”

    Considering Fatah just made nicey nice with Hamas, if I was Israel I would be planning a military offensive as well. Surprised it took so long seeing as how the majority of Palestinians voted for a terrorist organization.

  12. June 10, 2008 at 20:23

    @ Steve,
    Hamas as everyone knows justifies its actions because it sees Israel as an occupier. If you watched a BBC progrmme this weekend, the Doha Debate, the former foreign minister of Hamas Mahmoud Azzahar, senior Islamic Hamas representative was equivocal, especially when asked about his feelings when Israeli civilians were killed by Hamas rockets. He simply said he had feelings. He refused to divulge them despite the insistence of presenter Tim Sebastian. http://www.thedohadebates.com/output/Page1.asp / http://clients.mediaondemand.net/thedohadebates/index.aspx?sessionid=34&bandwidth=hi

    The questions isn’t announcing when rockets are to be launched. Both sides are on constant alert. The questions is when both sides agree to live side by side. Hamas isn’t just a problem for Israel, but also for Fatah whose members are pro-Western and in majority have secular leaning.

    And to be fair to both sides, Israel doesn’t tell Hamas when it is going to launch missiles against Hamas militants. It’s the rule of war.

  13. 13 kathi25
    June 10, 2008 at 20:26

    Belgian tomatoes are still safe. But they’ve never seen the sun, either 😦

  14. 14 Will Rhodes
    June 10, 2008 at 20:29

    This may be interesting as anyone knows, I am a political junkie!


    Big question to answer

    They said that if the courts decided they were allowed to force ministers to introduce legislation, they would be granting themselves the power to intervene in an almost limitless range of issues which should remain the responsibility of elected politicians.

    It would mean that anyone who thought a government had broken its word on, say, class sizes, tax or the number of bobbies on the beat, could go to court, get a judge to agree with them and, in theory, force the government to toe the line.

    So, whether Stuart Wheeler wins or loses this case about the EU referendum, he will have forced the courts to look again at where politics ends and the law begins.

    That is a big question for anyone to answer, even the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Richards.

    Which is why he, alongside his colleague Mr Justice Mackay, have reserved judgement in this case.

  15. 15 Will Rhodes
    June 10, 2008 at 20:30

    Then we have this:


    The EU and the US have threatened Iran with further sanctions unless it verifiably suspends nuclear enrichment.

    The measures were announced after US President George W Bush held talks in Slovenia, during what is expected to be his last official tour of Europe.

    The “additional measures” would include “steps to ensure Iranian banks cannot… support proliferation and terrorism”, said a joint statement.

    Mr Bush said a nuclear-armed Iran would be “incredibly dangerous” to peace.

    “They can either face isolation or they can have a better relationship with all of us if they verifiably suspend their nuclear enrichment programme,” he said.

    “They’ve ignored the [International Atomic Energy Agency] in the past and therefore they can’t be trusted with enrichment.”

  16. 16 kathi25
    June 10, 2008 at 20:34

    Hi Dennis, how’s life?

    @ Fuel prices/rising cost of living:

    We’ve had a number of strikes from government employees because of the rising cost of living: last week it was the daycare workers, this week it’s the bus drivers, and who knows who else was striking, these were just the two groups were I was affected. I work in the private sector (or so they tell me), so what are we others supposed to do? Shall the government raise everyone’s taxes so that they can pay the government employees more???

  17. 17 Tino
    June 10, 2008 at 21:06

    “Hamas as everyone knows justifies its actions because it sees Israel as an occupier.”

    I do not care what they ‘justify’ it with. They attack, on purpose, innocent civilians. They launch attacks from schools and such.

    “And to be fair to both sides, Israel doesn’t tell Hamas when it is going to launch missiles against Hamas militants. It’s the rule of war.”

    Israel is also not carpet bombing Gaza, while Hamas if it had the power would do so to Israel. The two sides are not even close to morally equivalent. Intentions are far different.

  18. June 10, 2008 at 21:22

    @ Tino,
    you may agree with me that Both Israel and Hamas have so far failed to defeat each other.
    As for what you said, “Israel is also not carpet bombing Gaza,”, Israel has the weapons to erase even states in the region. But as a state with membership at the UN, it can’t attack Gaza indiscriminately. When politics and war mingle, there are no easy solutions. What is militarily possible is politically unacceptable.

    You can fire a rocket in no time. Taking a political decision takes much much more time. Israel in attacking Gaza needs to reach its targets. Destroying just building and killing civilians will not serve any purpose.

    After all what should be taken into considerations are both people, Israelis and Palestinians. Hamas doesn’t have the weapons to carpet bomb Israel. Israel, politically ,can’t destroy the whole of Gaza, including its people. It remains how the problem can be solved through the international major players inside and outside the Middle East.

  19. 19 Justin in Iowa
    June 10, 2008 at 21:29

    S. Koreans are massively protesting over the importing of American beef. When protesters are questioned why they are protesting, their responses are “oh its bad, its not good for you, its not safe” Why is it not safe “Well, um.. its just not safe!”

    How much of the S. Korean protests is grounded in facts now and how much is simply leftover hysteria from… 3 years ago? 4 years ago?

  20. 20 Count Iblis
    June 10, 2008 at 21:32

    I wrote about my view about the diplomatic process on the Iranian nuclear program here:


    Now, if Bush says:

    “They’ve ignored the [International Atomic Energy Agency] in the past and therefore they can’t be trusted with enrichment.”

    Then Bush should be notified that the IAEA is not the world’s “anti nuclear weapons police”. If Iran had acquired nuclear technogy by virtue of being an NPT member and then subsequently diverted it for a weapons program, then one could suspend Iran’s right to get nuclear technology under the NPT.

    But even that wouldn’t give the international community the right to prevent Iran from developing nuclear technology on their own. Indeed the NPT has a provision in it that allows countries to get out the NPT if they give a three month’s notice.

    But Iran’s violations of the NPT treaty are nothing of the sort. Iran was in fact denied nuclear technology they should have had access to under the NPT treaty. They then acquired nuclear technology on the black market.

    Their enrichment facility at Natanz was kept secret, but then they were not obliged to notify the IAEA about its existence until some months before it was supposed to come online. When that facility was inspected, no evidence for a weapons program was found.

    Nevertheless, Iran did negotiate with the EU-3 and suspended their enrichment activities for two years during the negotiations. Iran made it clear all along that they would not give up enrichemnt, but they were willing to negotiate about measures to reasure the rest of the world that they were not developing nuclear weapons.

    The Iranians were simply ignored and the EU-3 offer that Iran give up their enrichment program in exchange for some economic insentives, was (predictably) rejected by Iran. But what is more, the EU-3 then condemned Iran for rejecting the offer and for resuming their enrichment activities. Resuming enrichment was, so said the EU-3, a violation of the agreement that Iran suspend enrichment. Now, that’s very strange because Iran only agreed to suspend enrichment during the negotiations, not indefinitely (if they had, then there wouldn’t be any need for negotiations in the first place).

    So, the West has been negotiating with Iran in bad faith. The goal is not merely to make sure Iran’s nuclear program is peaceful. We want to shut down their enrichment program regardless of the facts about their nuclear program. This makes it impossible to reach a diplomatic solution.

  21. 21 Shirley
    June 10, 2008 at 21:42

    @ mods (no need to post) :
    “Doug in Eugene” on the vegetarian thread, post #318. When he used the words “wilt” and “tuna,” he did so with the intention of insulting other users.

  22. 22 Dennis
    June 10, 2008 at 21:57


    i am attending community college [name is mentioned in my posts]….taking 2 courses this summer….living in residence hall (suite/apartment)….

    otherwise, bored out of my head….

    UPDATE: Sudan airplane crash on 10 June 2008: http://NEWS.BBC.CO.UK/2/HI/AFRICA/7447243.STM

    We need to send our condolences to two BBC journalists who have passed away in the past few days:

    Onondaga Community College
    Syracuse, New York
    United States of America

  23. June 10, 2008 at 21:58

    California Tomatoes are cleared as well as 7 other states, Florida’s are contaminated. NPR has good coverage.

    I can’t image how disappointed Steve must have been when he didn’t get tomatoes on his burrito:

    It’s even better not to eat tomatoes. I cannot contemplate how someone could eat a raw tomato. The smell alone makes me feel like vomiting, and if I accidentally even taste it, I’ll get sick.


    As a chef this has been the proof stewed fruits are better and better for you: try soaking lightly stewed tomatoes with the skins still on in balsamic vinegar before adding them to salad. Or if you’re making a hot sandwich try just slicing tomatoes into the pan with a little olive oil and cook them as brown as you want – delicious. Anyone who’s ever had fried green tomatoes knows this best, there’s something like phenol, maybe Kathi knows exactly the chemical, in the green of the tomato and those will make you sick if you eat it uncooked. But deeply browned with butter and cornmeal again scrumptious. I learned to cook from Julia Child by the way, that’s a good story for a weekend though.

    On more stick atcha Steve: clearly the tomato issue is a big enough sore in your meal plan for you to put it here.

    FYI HTML users: in the header it will make hyperlinks for you and you can target links so they open a new window which is something that you can’t do in the posts(: Surely some of you know other tricks like Dwight posts from the editing window but I think it just sticks it in the first topic- share your wisdom while we’re all together as 1. I have to go filter my veggie oil fuel now so I’ll catch up on the barbs off this one later, like around 10:00 pacific!

  24. June 10, 2008 at 22:00

    Three of the biggest US internet service providers – Verizon, Sprint and Time Warner Cable – have agreed to block access to bulletin boards and websites that carry images of child sex abuse. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/7446637.stm . Is this measure effective in putting an end to child sex abuse.

    What should be done to protect children from being sexually abused, especially in countries where there is child prostitution through the internet and brothels?
    What should be done against incestuous parents as it was the case of Josef Fritzl who has seven children with his daughter Elizabeth. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7446176.stm

  25. June 10, 2008 at 22:11

    Shirley please: briefly why is that comment an insult, clearly not a very intelligent one but what the heck is it about? BTW: I’m going to recommend that WHYS removes that whole topic, it’s just a smoldering fire that won’t go out at this point. Can I get an yea?

  26. 26 Will Rhodes
    June 10, 2008 at 22:27

    Shirley briefly why that comment is an insult, clearly not a very intelligent one but what the heck is it about?

    It was a retort to Tino and I. It isn’t worth bothering about to be honest.

  27. 27 Janet T
    June 10, 2008 at 22:37

    totaly off topic- does anyone have any thing good or bad to say about the Peace Corps?? I’m thinking of my son, not for me.

  28. June 10, 2008 at 22:41

    Right Will, agreed, let’s leave it and use that as an example of how disseminated into insult that one has become; shame really. I actually thought it was a good topic but the way it was presented just inflamed tempers in the most extreme manner.

  29. June 10, 2008 at 23:26

    I also had a thought on the S. Koreans protesting US beef: Don’t eat it!

    With echoes of the fore mentioned disgust dancing in my head. Why on Earth would you put your lives on the line for one of the most expensive meats on the market, if you really thought it was contaminated? Do they not have butchers who know where the meat comes from, S. Korea is a free country, surely there’s all the orient they can get meat from. And if they pay more for communist beef it’s still the butchers job to get it for them, and charge them more. Jews in this country will pay extravagant amounts for imported Gefilte Fish and the like, the best sardines we get come from Canada. It’s like they’re praying for god to deliver them a new source, and a less expensive one too.

  30. 30 Dennis
    June 11, 2008 at 00:03

    Hi everyone….on Tuesday, on the East Coast in the United States in particular in Upstate New York, we have had a WARM [HOT] Weather for the past several days…

    On Tuesday, we have had horrible storms in the northern counties of the state of new york…..


    also, if you want to find any information: do a search of syracuse news services and you will find some information….

    *CHILD PORN: The 3 phone and internet [companies]….in the United States, it is a good idea….interest of full disclosure: verizon is my phone carrier.

    Onondaga Community College
    Syracuse, New York
    United States of America

  31. 31 ZK
    June 11, 2008 at 01:02


    That’s the story that’s caught my eye today. Canada, traditionally a refuge for American military deserters, is preparing to begin deporting some back south to face trial.

    Any thoughts on this? Is Harper’s government right to do so?

  32. 32 Will Rhodes
    June 11, 2008 at 01:24

    The Canadian election won’t be until the autumn – it will interfere with vacations if it is in the summer, ZK.

  33. June 11, 2008 at 01:27

    Security concerns are increasing by day. There has never been so much spending on security as it is the case now with millions of CCTV cameras that are increasingly becoming common place. In UK alone there are about 4.3 million cameras. Big political and sport events have become a huge security concern, necessitating a huge budget. It is estimated that the 2012 London Olympic Games will necessitate £600 million for security operations. For Euro 2008, there is there need for 43,000 police officers and soldiers distributed as follows: Switzerland has 16,000 full-time police and Austria 27,000, although both countries will use their armed forces for back-up and foreign police officers. A total of 1,100 foreign police officers will work in Austria during the finals, 850 from Germany, whose handling of the 2006 World Cup was widely deemed a success.

    Is the world getting more dangerous to live in and popular events become a headache for the security services. With a safe world, can’t the budgets for defence and security be allocated for social services, or should security and defence be considered as an investment contributing to the economy by at least creating jobs in all the areas related to them?
    What can make the world a safer place for all?

  34. 34 Will Rhodes
    June 11, 2008 at 01:35

    What can make the world a safer place for all?

    You could start with people stop killing each other or threatening to kill each other.

  35. June 11, 2008 at 01:37

    That is it, from here on out I am only eating meat. Those vegetables are dangerous you know. I mean lettuce at Chi-Chi was one thing. Really nobody should have been eating that food anyway. But tomatoes across the board? That makes up half of the Jr. Cheeseburger Deluxe at Wendy’s.

  36. June 11, 2008 at 01:53

    A French Muslim couple have opposed a government decision to contest a court ruling annulling their marriage because the bride lied about being a virgin. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7434361.stm

    The herald Tribune published an article about Muslim women in Europe who resort to medical restoration of their virginity. It also linked this with the issue of the Muslim couple in France whose marriage was annulled by court because the bride had lied about her virginity. http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/06/10/europe/virgin.php?page=1

    Is virginity really important for marriage? Which is better for a Muslim woman: to tell the truth about not being virgin or to cheat her future husband in believing that she is virgin by resorting to a medical operation? Does the importance of virginity affect women’s rights, especially when it comes to sexual freedom?

  37. June 11, 2008 at 02:03

    @ ZK,
    A soldier should prove loyalty to his country. Now military duty is optional. In the USA it’s no longer obligatory for every citizen to serve in the armed forces. Being a soldier entails responsibility and a sense of courage. Deserting the army is a treason. A soldier should resign from the military instead of deserting.

    Having a stand against the war is one thing. Deserting when called to serve in a war is another thing.

    As Canada and the USA have an extradition treaty, there is little chance that the deserters will stand a chance to remain in Canada. Only good lawyers and the ruling of the court can save them from being on trial in their own country.

    A country whose army is ready to desert quickly and in a large number is defenseless. Without the courage of its soldiers it will be an open gate for anyone, especially for the military of other countries.

  38. 38 Shirley
    June 11, 2008 at 02:08

    I wonder if it is the tomatoes themselves or some external contaminate. I remember hearing that the spinach that was causing e coli outbreaks some time ago was contaminated with waste from a pig farm. Btw, @ Steve, aren’t you a vegetarian? You don’t like tomatoes? Zak has a good idea with frying them. It brings out another flavour, especially when they are fried with onions and some curry.

    June 10, 2008 at 11:26 pm
    Is it possible that the U.S. might be dumping our meat on their markets?

  39. 39 Will Rhodes
    June 11, 2008 at 02:10

    Abdelilah – it is a common practice. In Japan this was first done I believe. Marrying a virgin is high on the ‘I do’ list to some cultures.

    Personally I don’t think it should matter. We do have to look at the abstinence debate, with all that palaver about pledge rings etc.

  40. June 11, 2008 at 02:28

    Count Iblis: Thanks for the deeper insight into the Iranian nuclear programme.

    Yes, the west has been negotiating in bad faith, but this has been an ongoing trend since the inauguration of the GW Bush administration. Not only negotiating in bad faith, but lying to the world, to other world leaders, to the UN security council and, worst of all, to their own people.

    I put no faith whatsoever in whatever the US and the sycophant EU have to say about Iran. My faith in the US ended (and I had been a solid US supporter until then) with Colin Powell’s ‘presentation’ of ‘proof’ for Iraqi WMD to the UN. As I sat watching it, and feeling the disgust creep up, I realized that the US was on its way downhill.

    So, in the case of Iran, the benefit of my doubts does not go to the US. In the case of the EU, I can only hope that whatever policies they develop on Iran will not take US hysteria and duplicity in middle-east matters into account.

    And, in case it should come up, I am not an anti-Israeli, anti-American person. But until definitively and irrefutably convinced of Iranian wrongdoing, I am definitely pro-Iran. And by ‘wrongdoing’, I don’t mean pursuing a peaceful nuclear programme.

  41. 41 Justin from Iowa
    June 11, 2008 at 02:36

    Abdelilah,what if your country starts an unjust war that you oppose, and then because of the contract you signed when you joined the military forces you to continue in the face of that?

    What if you join the military because of duty and honor and wanting to make a difference, and find yourself in a situation where killing civilians happens and you can’t stop it, when you find yourself fighting dishonorably and can’t see a way to stop it?

    What happens when your government continues to extend your term of service again and again, and the trauma of constant fighitng breaks you?


    Just some thoughts.

  42. June 11, 2008 at 03:02

    @ Justin,
    When it comes to consciousness objection, some soldiers can be excused for refusing to continue in the army. But deserting out of cowardice, this needs punishment. Soldiers are trained to make sacrifices. It’s their bad luck that some of them have to die for the rest to live in peace. You may remember George Orwell who ironically said in his book 1984, “war is peace”. As you may remember the old song which says,”War is stupid…. and love means nothing”
    It is the lack of trust between nations and the conflict of interests that has led the world into many wars.

    in the case of the USA, since the First World War, it has never fought a war against any of its neighbours. All its wars were in distant parts of the world, mainly Europe, the Middle East and Asia. This can give justifications for some soldiers to question the validity of their combat. But it’s better for a soldier to stand trial for refusing to go to war than to desert inn the middle of the fight. Deserting in such a fashion is like gratuitously surrounding or cooperating with the enemy.

  43. 43 Brett
    June 11, 2008 at 03:11

    What can make the world a safer place for all?

    I’ll give you a hint… “He’ll be out of office soon.”

  44. 44 Shirley
    June 11, 2008 at 03:12

    In Shia Islam, it is possible to establish as one of the conditions for the marriage that the husband/wife be a virgin. When any condition is stipulated in a marriage contract, it is something about which both of the prospective spouses are aware: one requested it, and the other agreed to it. Should it transpire that the one on whom the conditino was imposed was not actually a virgin, the marriage can be annulled. This is different than a divorce. It is possible for one to respond to such a situation by declining the marriage offer. One could decline without specifying any reason, or refer to some other circumstance, or simple declare an incompatibility.

    I have not personally met someone who has been in this situation. I haven’t even heard of this condiitpn being set yet among my circle of friends and acquaintances. Perhaps Lubna might have had experience with this.

    I still feel that if the husband is so particular over a piece of skin, he doesn’t have to be married. If anyone ever made such a demand of me or of my daughter(s) if I am thus blessed, I would turn him away without a second thought. It’s as insulting as the family who wants to see a picture before they even know whether the woman prays, wears hijab, volunteers at the masjid, etc. Look at the impact that these egotisctical and chaivenistic demands are having on women, such that they would get surgeries to restore what was there before. Repugnant.

    There are two opinions in Shia scholarly thoght regarding the marriage of Prophet Muhammad with his first wife: 1) she was young and a virgin; 2) she was older, previously married, and had other children. I accord with the first and point out in addition that after her death, Prophet Muhammad married non-virgins and only one other virgin. It wasn’t as much of an issue for him as the piety of the woman or the potential for social networking with the marriage. Since he is the ideal and example for Muslims to follow, men (and women) should take note and focus on what is really important in a prospective marriage partner.

  45. June 11, 2008 at 03:59

    Is it possible that the U.S. might be dumping our meat on their markets?

    That’s it exactly. The US is the only country that imports nearly as much as it exports, Australia has been a leader in beef production and export yet they import basically none. Apparently Australia was the supplier of S. Korea’s beef previously; Chinese beef has enough health concerns that they’ve ruled that out too. But it’s America’s insistence on exporting so much of our product that creates problems; beef is not even as threatened as our fish like Salmon, California alone was exporting more than every other country. There’s no question beef is overproduced, the amount has been reducing for the last 5 years but it’s still pandemonium. Anytime countries traffic, import and export, meat they have problems. America just hasn’t figured out yet that with the dollar fading away exporting that much on top of importing is breaking the bank. We pay more for the imports and get less for the exports- insane.

  46. 46 Ana
    June 11, 2008 at 04:32

    Hello everyone! I want to propose a new topic instead of talking about tomatoes, fuel prices or the Israel and Palestine issue lets talk about something different, lets talk about the 110 years of US occupation in Puerto Rico! Puerto Ricans are asking for self determination and the BBC has only a small article and major US news papers do not even mention it. If the US believes in DEMOCRACY how can it still have a colony?!


  47. June 11, 2008 at 04:39

    One more cinefile reference and this one is fairly graphic but I heard the Fritzl character mentioned after the child woke up, and who could blame her if she screamed from the shock of new surroundings.

    The movie: Sin City. The character Cardinal Rourke. I won’t say how much I’d like to see the finish, finely portrayed by Mickey Rourke, done to this character but the similarities are there (don’t scream). A Father figure with the pretense to be above the law to the disgustingly gory extreme, like a demon daring anyone to take a shot at his soul. Each figure seems to have the same detachment as though the crimes were someone else’s fault.

    Seeing the new Indy movie I saw a preview for another Frank Miller graphic novel: Spirit. Coming to the screen in December with the same production format as Sin City, black and white on a green screen, undoubtedly Robert Rodriguez at the helm again to reprise his original masterful work. Perhaps that’s why it draws such a hate reference but I absolutely love that Frank Miller format and you really haven’t seen Sin City until you see the expanded edition DVD that has the actual graphic novel in it with each story extended and presented individually.

    Cheers 🙂

  48. June 11, 2008 at 04:51


    Puerto Rico is hardly alone, most of the Caribbean is in the control of other countries, US/British Virgin Islands, Turks and Caicos, that’s 2 for England, Martinique for France.

    Although I don’t necessarily disagree with your point it’s hard to believe Barbados is one of the only independent nations of the smaller islands and it’s had a rockier history than just about all the others beyond maybe Jamaica. Independent nations are subject to so much scrutiny that it would cripple the already exceedingly poor Puerto Rico. I honestly think and hope it will happen eventually but right now when America’s economy is so weak there’s very little chance it would end in anything but a catastrophe for the people.

  49. 49 Ana
    June 11, 2008 at 04:52

    In local news papers it is stated that the US representative, at the meeting in the UN, regarding the issue of status of PR is an ‘internal one’. Does this seem lubricious to anyone else?

  50. 50 Ana
    June 11, 2008 at 05:56


    I understand that you may have a perception that Puerto Rico is as you state ‘exceedingly poor’ it actually is not. One of the biggest problems Puerto Rico has is that due to its status it cannot negotiate wit any other countries and establish trade agreements as it is simply not allowed. More over Puerto Rico has to use the US naval fleet system for any type of commerce; this is particularly unfair as the US naval system is one of the most expensive in the world.

    Second, yes Puerto Rico is not the only colony is the world but this does not make it any better none the less. There is great political persecution still in Puerto Rico if you favor independence. I cannot vouch for the type of relationships that the other smaller islands in the Caribbean have with their colonizers but I hope they have a good one.

    Third I appreciate that you hope that Puerto Rico one day gains its independence, but the issue at hand is that nowhere in the US and international media is this given the amount of attention it deserves. A people vouching for self-determination is important, it should be given the amount of media attention that it deserves. I think it’s unfair that tomatoes get more attention.

  51. June 11, 2008 at 05:58

    ZK nuff said: but your advice on the blog is incorrect.

    OK does it seem lubricious, as in to say that they’re avoiding the issue?

    I don’t trust anything this administration does so I don’t think you can take anything they say at face value. This current administration will go down in flames for major corruption if nothing worse so a little denial of a small island, that’s not a big deal.

  52. 52 ZK
    June 11, 2008 at 06:03

    Zak, well done on missing my point. Please continue our discussion via email in order not to detract from the ongoing conversations here, much appreciated.

    Anyone think PR’s governor’s latest comments are political retaliation for his FBI arrest and indictment?

  53. June 11, 2008 at 06:11

    OK Ana I take it you’re Puerto Rican? – tal buena! My info comes from hearing Rosa Hilda Ramos the Goldman Prize winner. Based on the work she has done to clean up the poverty and from what she said is still going on this is where I’m coming from to say that there’s a lot of poverty. She actually speaks of the inability of the wealthy to accept the poor and to me with that kind of disparity makes the collective attitude of the State poor. Now perhaps it’s coming around but still the same: with a lot of growth still to come the island would benefit more from maturing first to a more stable economy than the mainland and then break off into it’s own. But it cannot be a fight because just like you said our military has to be a consenting partner.

  54. June 11, 2008 at 06:17

    Let me explain the poverty comment again. What Rosa said was the way she allowed for prosperity from her environmental work boosted the economy and they still had a long way to go. She is a wonderful woman and I don’t underestimate her work with the environment so please don’t think I believe it was just a simple gesture of hers. I’m just reading what she said about how this elevated the poor aspects of the State.

  55. 55 Anna of Sydney
    June 11, 2008 at 07:51

    The current world tour by the Dalai Lama is being tarnished by in-fighting within the Tibetan Buddhist community. Members of the Dorje Shugden sect have staged protests in India, the UK, and are set to follow the Dalai Lama to his current stop in Australia.

    It’s been reported that the Dalai Lama has used the recent Olympic Torch controvery to clamp down on the Shugden sect. His apparent aim is to unify and purify Tibetan Buddhism in order to consolidate his power within the government-in-exile.


  56. 56 kathi25
    June 11, 2008 at 08:43

    Good morning, everyone!

    @ child pornography:

    We will never be able to eradicate this, there will always be sick people who get a knack out of this and where’s a demand, there’s a (sick) supplier without a conscience. But if this step makes it more difficult to access child pornography on the internet, than that’s at least a step in the right direction.

    @ virginity:

    1) Many men don’t even recognize a virgin when they see one, I’m speaking of experience…

    2) I used to live around the corner of the red light district here in Ghent, and on the weekend the streets were full with young men, some of them distinctly arabian looking. They’re not virgins anymore…

    3) Many cultures still try to dominate female sexuality, and insisting on a virgin is just part of this. There’s also the mutilation, locking the women up, etc.

    4) I think this whole virgin-thing has brought nothing but troubles on women all over the world. If anybody can give me one single good reason why nature came up with this, please tell me.

  57. June 11, 2008 at 09:16

    Kathi25: I guess I’m on your side because I married a divorced lady, and we’re still arguing politics at breakfast after 20 years.

    Shirley: Given the above, and say I wanted to become a Muslim tomorrow, what would I and my wife have to do?

    But today I’d like to raise the question of American isolation in the world. The debate on Iran, small though it’s been, has got me thinking about all the other cases where the US, under Bush, opted for enmity rather than friendship. Given that the Democrats may take the election, isn’t this a good time to diagnose the extent of American alienation in order to ascertain the extent of the remedy needed?

    Most of Europe was alienated by the Rumsfeld ‘Old Europe’ speech, especially France and Germany. And even where the govts of the EU preserve a stony cordiality, there is a sense of separation.

    Russia was also given a few slaps in the face, and all cordiality finally shut off by the Bush rush to recognize Kosovar independence.

    The Serbs detest America. Africa has lost respect. The entire middle-east is inimical, even in countries which have ‘normal’ relations with the states. The Brits feel a need to recover from the Blair submission to US policy. South American countries co-exist uncomfortably after their condemnation of the Iraq crime.

    Who’s left? ironically enough, it looks like only China’s still a buddy.

    What’s to be done?

  58. June 11, 2008 at 09:59


    In order to assure species reproduction Nature had to make sure sex was a really attractive activity. It has to be more pleasurable then golf, hunting, or reading a book on quantum theory. really if you take the attraction out of it, sex is really messy disgusting business. Unfortunately, such a strong attraction comes with some ill-conceived side effects.

    “There can be no good with out evil, no light without dark, no heroes without villains.”

  59. 59 John in Germany
    June 11, 2008 at 10:51

    There is of course Honour in dying for your country if you are a military person in action. One point that is worrying; there is a lot of difference if you are defending your country if it is attacked, or involved in war with another country. Not in the Honour, but in the reasons for the word to be applied.

    How do military persons feel themselves about being sent to police a country because of politics, and are put into danger, not in defending there own liberty but that of others, who also have a political target. Worst still if they are hated by those that they have been sent to defend, and protect. Which occurs very often in this day and age.

    The ordinary soldier deserves honour, respect, from his country men and women.
    He or she does what they are told, till the end.

    John in Germany

  60. 60 Mohammed Ali
    June 11, 2008 at 11:03

    I have been following the stories of HEAD SCARF or TURBAN worn by individuals in countries like France, Turkey, etc. This issue has being causing some problems with muslims in those countries because the wearing of head scarf has been banned in Public schools and offices. In Turkey the the ruling party has been taking to task for wanting to reintroduce the wearing head scarf in public places.
    My question is why the ban, is it the government to decide what we wear on our heads in a free world or it is a ploy to ban muslims from wearing what is seem to be a religious symbol.

  61. 61 Katharina in Ghent
    June 11, 2008 at 11:12

    @ American reputation:

    There’s this saying: It takes years to build up a good reputation, and it takes five seconds to destroy it.

    Sure, the US has done a lot that’s good, but if I recall correctly, they’ve also had some questionable campaigns in Africa concerning AIDS/Prevention (saying the usual, if you don’t have sex you won’t get AIDS), so even there not all was well. Also, probably a lot more people got killed in Afganistan and Iraq than rescued in Africa.

    @ honour to die:

    If this hadn’t come from a British minister, I would have thought it to be extremely cynical. In the US, the army recruits mostly young people who have very few alternatives in terms of education and jobs, and then they send them to places where no US citizen would ever set foot. I don’t know the recruitment practices in the UK, but generally speaking, I believe that there are very few people who dream of dying as a hero.

  62. 62 Mohammed Ali
    June 11, 2008 at 11:26

    Hi Karnie,
    Why it is true that President Bush likes war, the majority of us Liberians are and will forever remain grateful to him for several reasons:

    1. When Liberians were being killed in their thousands by rebel groups and forces loyal to the Taylor government with no sight on when the conflict will, it was Mr. Bush who took the bold step by asking Charles Taylor to leave Liberia so that his people can taste peace. It was clear that if Mr. Taylor had remain in Liberia the mass slaughter of civilians by both sides to the conflict was going to continue.

    2. The Bush administration deployed American soldiers, warships, jet bombers to ensure that no group falter on the Conprehensive Accra Peace Accord.

    3. Till now, the Mr. Bush and the American people remain the single largest suppoter and donor to Liberia in order to ensure that this country does not return to war.

    4. Through the tireless campaign of the Bush administration, the World Bank, IMF, and other crediting countries were able to clear liberia of her debts that she could not pay even in hundred years time.

    There are many more that Bush has done for Liberia that he will forever be remembered for and for that we hail. Notwithstanding, his regime will largely be remember for it war legacy.

    We wish him good health and long life as he ends his term.

  63. 63 Guy Fox in Key West
    June 11, 2008 at 11:28

    I have lived in Amerika most of my life. I know the nature of the capitalist/fascist beast on Wall $treet and on K $treet in $ewertown (Washington D.C.). Yeah… I know the $ystem and the kulture here! George W. Bush wanted war! He wanted to show his daddy that his member was bigger and bolder. Bush is like most other Amerikans; they suffer extreme insecurities… causing them to be bullies. Amerikans are constantly needing to prove they’re No. 1. If they are brash and arrogant… it is because they are afraid. It is the same with the Israelis.

    And now… our dry drunk $ociopathic President (George W. Bush) and Dick “Darth Vader” Cheney (Amerika’s real President) are plotting to bomb the Islamic REPUBLIC of Iran, probably for the $ake of the Zionist theocracy in Israel. Hey! When it comes to Israel, the tail always wags the dog in Amerika. Heaven forbid that anybody dares criticize Israel’s apartheid policies in Gaza.

    If Bush gives orders to attack Iran, and the Joint Chiefs at the Pentagon don’t stand down on such insanity, the world spot price for crude oil will immediately $pike to $350.00 a barrel… and after that the moon! There will be NO FOOD in Tesco. The United $tates will probably lose one aircraft carrier and possibly other war ships. The $traights of Hormuz will be blocked; there will be a world wide embargo against importing oil to the United $tates. Guerrilla war will rrrage all over the Mideast… especially in IRAQ-NAM. China, Russia and other client $tates of Iran will come to the aid and $upport of the Persians… as they did when Amerika attacked Vietnam for the purpose of war profiteering. Might as well call it what it is!

    We know who the bullies are! It is the people of Amerika; they are responsible for the actions of their leaders. Indeed! They re-$ellected Bush in 2004. This certainly tells the tale.

    Go ahead Mr. Bush! Make our day! Bomb Iran… and $uffer the fate of Napolean and Hitler when they pushed their empires too far.

  64. 64 Brett
    June 11, 2008 at 12:14

    There is honor in defending your country. There is no honor in partaking in an offensive against a country which has been proven time and time again to pose no major threat to the US, and on misleading and falsified grounds.

    I get sick to my stomach when I think of all of my friends over there, risking their lives, and having THEIR honor and their trust taken advantage of by those sitting in a comfy chair calling the poorly guided shots for these young men’s lives.

  65. June 11, 2008 at 12:21

    Guy Fox: No, too strongly put, and therefore out of balance.

    BUT, I have just heard Bush on the radio calling for more sanctions against Iran etc. etc. I’m sure he regrets his legacy (i.e. what others are saying about him) as the president who wanted war. I’m equally sure that he doesn’t regret the fact that he has been the president who wanted, and still wants, war.

    This guy just needs to get out of office asap, no matter what he regrets or doesn’t regret. He is the worst president America has ever had, and in any other country, bar the fascist regimes, he would have been fired long ago.

    I can only hope that sanity will prevail with regard to Iran.

  66. June 11, 2008 at 12:34

    Honour in dying for your country:

    In the seventies I spent two years in the South African military, most of that time in the active border zones, with mortars and RPG’s across the Zambezi River, and so forth.

    As it turns out, I didn’t die, but I might have. If I had died, and lived to remember it, I would have thought of myself as a damned fool.

    It’s one thing dying for what’s right, and another thing dying for what politicians tell you is right.

  67. 67 steve
    June 11, 2008 at 12:40

    @ Ana

    Occupation of Puerto Rico? Please. They love the benefits of being American citizens. If they actually went for independence, and lost US financial support they get while not paying taxes, it would immediately become a third world country. They want the status quo.

  68. 68 Tino
    June 11, 2008 at 14:08

    Agreed on the PR issue.

    “Puerto Rican Status Referenda have been held four times to determine the political status of the island of Puerto Rico in relation to the United States of America. Since the establishment of the current Commonwealth status in 1952, further attempts to change the island’s political status were held in 1967, 1993, and 1998. An additional referendum in 1991 sought to amend the relationship through an amendment to the Puerto Rican constitution. Each time, the results favored retaining the commonwealth status over the possible Independence of Puerto Rico and Statehood.”

    They have spoken multiple times.

  69. June 11, 2008 at 14:32

    It’s absurd that lives of Patriots were lost in such large numbers in a war that i would describe as a bad war. It’s true that terrorism is horrible and detestable, and that nuclear weapons are a danger to the entire world, but it is also true that losing lives for unclear motives is terrible and very unfair to the aggrieved families.

    The time is ripe to withdraw all British and American Troops from Afghanistan and adopt a more friendly and peaceful approach to resolve the conflicts in the area. I believe a peaceful approach would be welcome to build some degree of trust in both camps as opposed to an armed approach!

  70. 70 steve
    June 11, 2008 at 15:10

    Typical limousine liberal: not in my back yard! All the talk about being compassionate for the needy, but would rather knock down a house so rich people can walk their dogs some place!


  71. 71 Shirley
    June 11, 2008 at 15:38

    Zak and Ana, an excellent discussion of Puerto Rico. While I hardly know anything about Puerto Rico, I am more inclined to agree with Zak about the extent to which poverty is a problem in Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico might not be on the same level as another country that has been devestated by wars and natural disasters, but to claim that poverty is not a problem in any part of the world is to look at one’s country with one eye closed.

    However, I do agree with Ana. I don’t see any difference between colonisation and occupation. For al that we ignore Puerto Rico to death politically, it should be its own self-determining nation. So should Martinique. The Virgin Islands. Haiti. Iraq. Tibet. Ireland.

  72. 72 steve
    June 11, 2008 at 15:45

    Puerto Rico doesn’t want independence, they love the status quo. Best of both worlds, don’t have to pay taxes but gets federal aid and are US citizens. This “independence” movement will get as far as vermont’s or Hawaii’s.. It’s only a few, loud people, and if Puerto Rico ever went independent they would come crying for the US to come back and give them money.

  73. 73 Ana
    June 11, 2008 at 18:19

    RE: Puerto Rico


    Please let me make something clear, I never said Puerto Rico was a rich country, but people have a place to live and food, everyone has access to electricity, water, education etc. So for me that is not poor but definitely not rich in by any means. Puerto Rico does have a lot of potential. I do agree with what you where saying that there is a divide by class and that is to the determent of the economy as any type of divide in a country has a negative effect. Regardless I think I know what you mean.

    Regarding if his reaction comes as a result of the FBI accusation I think it is fair to say that helped move the topic forward, but the reality is that he was always leaning towards that direction. Recently in PR tensions have been high , as someone was killed; the FBI has come into peoples homes and refuses to cooperate with the state attorney etc and this is all related to political affiliations. But yes I think it helped move the issue forward.


    Ok you obviously do not know the history of Puerto Rico at all! First we do not enjoy the ‘benefits’ that you say we do, as we do not have a liberty! How do you think it affect the psyche of a nation that cannot establish relationships whit anyone, have control over laws, and have people be politically persecuted for their believes.

    Second if you think for a moment that the US does benefit from having PR you are sadly mistaken, PR small as it may be it the third largest consumer form the US.

    Third, the White House Task Force regarding PR said that PR was a colony and that it coud be given to any other country whenever the US wanted. That is not really democratic and Puerto Ricans do not want to be traded like a stock.


    Yes there have been many referendums before but things are changing the political scenario has changed greatly is the last few years.


    Thank you for acknowledging the simple fact that the current situation should be given more importance as all countries that are looking for self determination should.

    Let me just state this I simply want the issue to be given more importance in the international and US media. If you agree with my opnion or others that is ok that is what living in a democracy is about but lets give all the people in the world the opportunity to have the sitution in their countries given the importance it deserves.

  74. 74 steve
    June 11, 2008 at 18:27

    @ Ana

    “First we do not enjoy the ‘benefits’ that you say we do, as we do not have a liberty! How do you think it affect the psyche of a nation that cannot establish relationships whit anyone, have control over laws, and have people be politically persecuted for their believes. ”

    Care to provide some examples of your claims? You have no liberty eh? Gee, as US citizens you can move and live anywhere you want in the US. YOu get the benefits of Us government spending, without having to pay taxes. You can’t vote? Move to a state, it’s your right to do so. People in Washington, DC can’t vote either. Please…. Having no liberty happens to people in Burma or Darfur, not Puerto Rico.

  75. 75 Roberto
    June 11, 2008 at 20:48

    And, in case it should come up, I am not an anti-Israeli, anti-American person. But until definitively and irrefutably convinced of Iranian wrongdoing, I am definitely pro-Iran.

    —— Maybe you should consider that Iran has been the primary financier of sectarian violence in Iraq, Lebanon through the Syrians, and Palestinian Hamas.

    Yes, the US supports Israel financially, but also Palestinian PLO, Jordan, and Egypt. I don’t see Iran supporting Kosovo for example, or engaging in any peaceful pursuits whatsoever, but they do a pretty good job going on about destroying Israel, which would have to be via nuclear attack because they are too incompetant to do it any other way.

    Yes, the US has lost much of it’s post cold war moral authority thanks to the corporate takeover of US politics and the seizing of the political debate by Herr Rove. Typical ham-handed policies as have happened to most of the powerful states in history have crippled it.

    The US is still a beacon of hope and the good it has accomplished greatly outweighs the bad. The Persian state is the last great contribution from the Iran region and that too many moons to count back without getting lost in time.

    All this nonsense about preventing bad actors from obtaining nuclear weapons just that. Anyone can have the people in place to create the design. It’s just a matter of importing the materials, and with all the global corruption and black markets that operate in every region of the world, it’s gonna happen. We’ll see the usual handwringing by the usual disconnected from reality political types, and everyone to vow never again, and again, and again, on ad infinitum.

    I greatly resent that this current US administration has put party politics ahead of world diplomatic relations. At one time the Iranians could have been dealt with just as the US has sucessfully dealt with more dangerous Russians and Chinese. It’s like that summary of how the 9/11 attacks were allowed to occur, “a failure of imagination.”

    You sir, are anti US and anti Israeli in spite of your assertions to the contrary. This ain’t a conflict you can sit on the fence on. That’s what war is all about, and most assuredly Iran is in a proxy war with the US and Israel.

  76. 76 Roberto
    June 11, 2008 at 21:00

    Puerto Ricans are asking for self determination and the BBC has only a small article and major US news papers do not even mention it. If the US believes in DEMOCRACY how can it still have a colony?!

    ——- I suggest you study up Ana. Puerto Rico ain’t goin’ nowhere soon with all the disingenuous hot buttons you have pushed if you are representative of a large segment of the population.

    When there is a consensus in Puerto Rico, Puerto Ricans will decide to change their status through the democratic process, but not until.

    BTW, Hillary got a huge welcome in the Puerto Rican democratic primary, so you would seem to be out of step to the way a large number of Puerto Ricans see their future.

    Good luck.

  77. 77 Ana
    June 11, 2008 at 21:52


    First of all please say what are the “disingenuous hot buttons ” I have pushed?

    1) The sentiment in Puerto Rico is that things need to change (I have not said which way that is) as I cannot speak for a whole country and only for myself, but the need and want for change is present. If in the past people where content with their situation this does not mean that they feel like this now.

    2) Regarding Hilary I suggest you be the one that learns more about Puerto Rican history. Puerto Rico has an 80 to 85% voter turnout which means about 2million people vote in each election not even half of that population voted in the US primaries. And the sentiment all around from people of all parties was ‘what for?’. I am just saying what I heard on the street. Besides about 80% of the population does not speak English so they could not have understood what she was saying to begin with.

    3)I do agree that Puerto Ricans need to be the ones that determine their future whatever that means, but after the White House Task Force Report came out it clearly stated that they could do with PR what ever they wanted I think that is not very democratic if you ask me. If you do not trust my statements look for it online.

    4) What is so wrong about having the story more widely published? That is all I wanted in the first place. And yes Puerto Rico is a colony and the US says so, and the fact that the governor visited the UN to state that it wants the rights that Puerto Rico was once promised is not to much to ask for, basically to be a real commonwealth. The fact that this is happening is a big deal. I am simply stating that what is happening is important and should be given more coverage in the news. Roberto you do not have to agree with me and that is ok but what is wrong about wanting a little more news coverage?

  78. 78 Roberto
    June 12, 2008 at 01:01

    First of all please say what are the “disingenuous hot buttons ” I have pushed?

    ——- Per Wikipedia:

    Support for the pro-statehood party, Partido Nuevo Progresista (PNP) and the pro-commonwealth party, Partido Popular Democrático (PPD) remains about equal. The only registered pro-independence party, the Partido Independentista Puertorriqueño (PIP), usually receives 3-5% of the electoral votes…..

    …..In 1950, the U.S. Congress granted Puerto Ricans the right to organize a constitutional convention via a referendum. Puerto Ricans expressed their support for this measure in 1951 with a second referendum being held to ratify the constitution. The Constitution of Puerto Rico was formally adopted on July 3, 1952. The Constitutional Convention specified the name by which the body politic would be known. On February 4, 1952, the convention approved Resolution 22 which chose in English the word “Commonwealth”, meaning a “politically organized community” or “state,” which is simultaneously connected by a compact or treaty to another political system.

    To Wit: Clearly the Puerto Ricans are not only voting as I previously attested, but they don’t consider themselves a colonly by their own vote.

    Perhaps you and some compatriots consider Puerto Rico a US colony, but that’s hardly what the status quo would suggest.

    There have been a few referendums which look to me to affirm the status quo as a commonwealth.

    If you’re upset about the infinite intractable politics of the US executive and congresssional and judicial branches, here’s a big newsflash for ya: That line is about 300 million and includes millions of illegal foreign nationals in the US as well as US citizens. .

    I can guarantee that if Puerto Rico, which does host several dozen consulate offices from European and South American countries, if PRs voted in yearly referendums to change the status quo to that of a US state or a independently recognized nation, the likelyhood of that happening would be strong in the current global environment.

    Just pushin’ hot buttons which are code for extreme disinfranchisement from your own community won’t accomplish the task. In other words, you shouting colony doesn’t make it so.

  79. 79 Roberto
    June 12, 2008 at 01:11

    Puerto Rico has an 80 to 85% voter turnout which means about 2million people vote in each election not even half of that population voted in the US primaries. And the sentiment all around from people of all parties was ‘what for?’

    ——- And you claimed there was no democracy on PR. For shame.

    Here’s a another clue for you: In US presidental elections which traditionally have the highest voter turnouts, barely 50% of eligible citizens vote. Of that 50%, approximately 35% are reps, 35% dems, and 30% independent voters.

    Primaries maybe garner 25% of the electorate, split equally between rep, dem, and independents. So, Hillary got a huge turnout in PR in comparison to the US, just like I alluded to.

  80. June 12, 2008 at 02:23


    Take heart, Mr. Bush! You’ll be remembered for other things besides ‘the president who went to war’. Try these on for fit:
    ‘the president who repeatedly violated the Constitution of the United States with pre-emptive attacks and illegal wars; he who invaded and occupied Iraq under false pretenses of WMD, lies about their existence and threat to the US, deceits to the American people and to Congress about Iraq’s intentions and realities.’ Then of course there’s the Patriot Act, wire tapping, secret prisons, prisoner torture, denial of habeas corpus, and multiple violations of the Bill of Rights and the Geneva Convention. In addition, many of us will remember you for massive and repeated assaults upon our forests and river valleys, for the decimation of our wildlife and destruction of wild places through mining, clear cutting, oil drilling. And we’ll remember you for the abrogation of human rights at Guantanamo and other prisons. Further, we’ll remember you most certainly for your disdain and scorn of the American people, for thinking us usefully stupid and hopelessly self-indulgent–putty in the hands of the master manipulator; and we’ll remember you for having made us the laughing stock of the world, having reduced us to a feared and despised entity, having destroyed America’s standing among its peers in the family of nations, having presided over and orchestrated our descent to the lowest common denominator in ethics, morals, human values and Integrigy; and having reinvented America as a power with imperialistic designs of its over the world’s resources, its wealth, and its laws, a nation who cares not a fig for the well being of others. Yes, Mr. Bush, there is indeed much to remember you by. For the culture of Fear, Greed and Deceit you created whose fruits you now leave behind. Much ground to wish one had never ever heard of you! Or do so again!

  81. 81 Rob
    June 12, 2008 at 08:46

    When will our Politicians wake up and start looking after the best interests for our country.

    Many politicians claim they are powerless to do anything about price rises in oil and food.
    My response to that is they are either liars or they are being controlled by powerful Multi Nationals.

    Listening to a lot of financial experts they say that anything upto U$40 a barrel in the price of oil is caused by speculators. These speculators buy oil hold it and sell it later for a profit. These people cause artificial shortages which drive up the price so they can make a profit.

    When this is done with food such as corn , wheat etc the result is the same , artificial shortages and inflated prices.

    These speculators cause untold misery to millions of people by their actions and create nothing productive.

    What is the solution. Well really its easy, ban the speculative trading of strategic commodities and only allow the trade of them between the supplier and the end users, thus eliminating these parasitic speculators.

    But I am afraid that this will never happen as politicians are too gutless and money means more than human well being.

  82. 82 Pangolin
    June 12, 2008 at 08:54

    @ Afghanistan- The BBC world news which comes on at midnight locally just announced that the puppet government in Afghanistan has gone hat in hand to the EU to ask for cash. The damn fools might just be dumb enough to give it to them. Afghanistan: still the graveyard of empires.

    @ Iran- Bush and the Israeli’s saber rattling means nothing unless it’s some sort of preparation for a bombing run. It’s a thin wire they tread on since even an angry and crippled Iran can close the Straights of Hormuz and release EFPs to the Shia in Iraq. It would be a kind of suicide by idiotic aggression.

    @ Puerto Rico- I’m astonished with how little I know of the situation; keep posting.

    @ Bush’s (dubious) Legacy- The idiot distraction in Iraq is going to be seen as a futile effort expended to continue doing the wrong thing at the wrong time while opportunity to batten down US economic hatches was ignored. The twin spectors of Peak Oil and Climate Change are about to kick the world’s economy around like a football at a Mexican elementary school.

    @ The EU Carbon Trading Scheme- Who the heck do these people think they are fooling? Carbon trading is a scam and every investigation proves it. The short, fast way to emissions reduction is conservation which simply isn’t funded in the US. The easiest conservation measure, geoexchange heating and cooling is severely underfunded. Probably because George Bush, Al Gore and John Edwards all have these systems installed in their houses.

    @Virginity- Really, are we saying anything new bringing this along for another day?

  83. 83 Tino
    June 12, 2008 at 20:53

    “Yes there have been many referendums before but things are changing the political scenario has changed greatly is the last few years.”

    Then hold another one. I fail to see why we should view your statements as anything but the opinion of someone who is pro-independence – but which very well may not reflect the general population. I mean all this talk of ‘occupation’, and the commonwealth has not even ONCE voted for independence. Isn’t that just a little bit ridiculous? I know the US is always the bad guy but come on….

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