Talking points 3 July

Good morning it’s Karnie…

Big thanks to Laura in Minneapolis for looking after the blog overnight.

Today’s agenda is far from set..the programme will be determined in a very “democratic” meeting in a few hours time….- and .talking of Democracy, this subject just might be chosen for today’s global debate

Thomas a very keen, 1st class honours graduate from Oxford University AND work experience person at WHYS, put forward a suggestion earlier this week about more countries turining to Democracy..this “pitch” to the daily meeting came with detaliled graphs AND impressive statistics (in fact we’re still struggling to get over that graph, it’s made the team re-think their strategy for putting their stories forward to try and impress the editor! Thanks Thomas!) Read Thomas’s post here. The question we’re asking is: Is Democracy Inevitable?

More stories to think about..

The President of South Africa, Thabo Mbeki will soon be removed as the head negotiator in dealing with Zimbabwe..Are you surprised by this at all? His softly, softly approach has been condemned worldwide.

The UN is drawing up a list of other possibles, including the former UN Secretary general Kofi Anan and the President of Ghana John Kufour. Who do you think should be Mbeki’s replacement OR who do you think has the clout to be respected to take on the role of mediator in the current crisis that is Zimbabwe?

Here’s a thought provoking headline…”We are billionaires who can afford nothing“. This is a compelling story about a man who earns 50 billion Zimbabwe dollars but what is he able to afford?

There will be no fast cars and big houses, swimming pools and tennis courts for him…all he can afford is 3 bars of soap. Zimbabwe’s inflation is now at 8.5 million percent. Can hyperinflation do what Morgan Tsvangerai couldn’t? Economists believe inflation will rise to 100 million percent by September…Could this remove Mugabe from power?

And one more thought for you to comment on..Colombia’s highest profile hostage, Ingrid Betancourt has been rescued from the rebel group, the FARC together will 3 American citizens and 11 Colombian hostages.

Ms Betancourt says, her rescue was a miracle. Analysts are deeply impressed by the mission referring to it as a “textbook example”. Is the FARC weakening OR was this just an impressive rescue mission that other countries could learn from?

135 Responses to “Talking points 3 July”

  1. 1 Anthony
    July 2, 2008 at 19:23

    Why are gay people so opposed to the idea that they might not be born gay?

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  2. 2 Venessa
    July 2, 2008 at 19:34

    Welcom Laura! Thanks for moderating tonight.

  3. 3 Mohammed Ali
    July 2, 2008 at 19:40

    The opposition in Zimbabwe is not willing to talk to Mugabe, all they want is the presidency. What does that suggest? Is it only power they want, shouldn’t they be be advocating for a genuine solution so that the sufferings of the Zimbabwean people can come to an end?

  4. July 2, 2008 at 19:49

    @ Everybody,

    I think we’ve had enough talk about Zimbabwe. I understand that it relatively easy for the BBC to concentrate on it, but I think there are more pressing issues which can be discussed, i.e. illegal immigration, world economy etc.

    So many people are clamoring for governing Zimbabwe. What is there left to govern? Hasn’t everything been plundered already?

  5. 5 Robert
    July 2, 2008 at 19:50

    Anthony, what is your believe in sexuality then?

    If you are trying to suggest everybody is born heterosexual and somehow along the way they change I can see (and even support) why many non heterosexuals take offensive at your suggestion. Your implying that they are some how not normal, perhaps even wrong.

    If however your arguing that sexuality is a blank canvas when your born and that your life experiences mold what your preference is perhaps you just need to be more clear in your wording.

    Personally I don’t think it really matters either way. So long as your enjoying what ever your do, does it really matter why your doing it?

  6. 6 Mohammed Ali
    July 2, 2008 at 19:50

    The thing about our African oppositions is that they are no different from those in power. All they want is power in order to loot their countries too. This the trend Morgan Tsvangarai is taking.

  7. 7 Mohammed Ali
    July 2, 2008 at 20:02

    @admiral, is just a reference to Zimbabwe to to tell you that Africa’s opposition politicians are no different from the power that be.

  8. 8 Amy
    July 2, 2008 at 20:25

    @ Mohammed and Ackbar,

    While I agree with you Ackbar that there are lots of other issues that can be discussed other than Zimbabwe, Mohammed brings up a valid point. My thoughts would be that the MDC doesn’t want to talk to Mugabe simply because he is corrupt and can’t be trusted to change. I feel that way about some of my family who’s political view are so different than mine that it is useless to talk to them about certain things. They are so entrenched in their position that even when confronted with the facts, they still disagree and yell and scream. It could be that the opposition just wants power (and the power to inflict pain on their “enemies” ) but it also may be that they know it would be a waste of time and energy.

    All the best to both of you,


  9. 9 Anthony
    July 2, 2008 at 20:31

    @ Robert

    Blank canvas. But if doesn’t matter to you as long as they’re happy, are you OK with anorexia? They feel pretty? How about pedophilia if the 10 year old is consensual? They feel real good!!! How about necrophilia? It doesn’t hurt another person because they’re dead right? So it’s ok because it feels good?

    And yes, it’s not normal. What’s wrong with thinking it’s not normal? I know (and used to hang out with) a bunch of gay people I like them. They’re cool and funny people, but it’s still not normal (and I would tell them that whenever that topic came up).

    How is being gay an evolutionary advantage? Would nature want an animal to live but not procreate? And you already know the religious route. Just wondering 

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  10. 10 Tino
    July 2, 2008 at 20:40


    Will this crusade against marijuana ever end? Just when you think progress is being made – downgrading class – they want to reverse it. Same in the US, just as states start to move towards it, feds declare they override the state rules. Such a harmless drug.

    As for the article itself, there is no way to jump to those conclusions. These people may have had a previous history. Perhaps they drink regularly and if so why not draw the conclusion that alcohol did it?

  11. 11 Amy
    July 2, 2008 at 20:44


    Here is a provocative thought……maybe being gay is evolution’s way of controlling the population. If more people end up as homosexuals, there is no way to procreate (without the use of science.) Just thought I would throw that out there to answer your question about an evolutionary advantage. Could “turning” gay be the solution to all of the world’s ills?

  12. 12 steve
    July 2, 2008 at 20:46

    @ Amy

    But apparently bisexuality isn’t that rare, so that defeats the possibility of same sex sex as population control.

  13. 13 Anthony
    July 2, 2008 at 20:53

    @ Amy

    Hehe, lol! That’s a very interesting idea!!! I never thought of that. I really don’t think that evolutionarily makes sense, but interesting none the less.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  14. 14 Venessa
    July 2, 2008 at 21:02

    Tino ~

    I’m more concerned with people’s actions when they are drinking. Not when they are sitting around laughing stupidly while they munch on some food.

  15. 15 Amy
    July 2, 2008 at 21:09

    Vanessa and Tino,

    My husband and I were discussing this morning that Denmark is considered the happiest country in the world (http://www.reuters.com/article/oddlyEnoughNews/idUSN0145488820080701). I made the comment that I thought is should be Holland since certain things are legal there 🙂

  16. 16 Anthony
    July 2, 2008 at 21:14

    So, I was wondering the following:

    1)What is the price of gas where you live?
    2)Is it effecting your day to day/leisure activities?

    For me, the cheapest ARCO gas is 4.41 in Whittier California. I haven’t been to Chuck E Cheeses as much with my son, and have been drinking with buddies more at home that at bars. My buddies wanted to go to Vegas last month, but because of gas we didn’t end up going. I’m going to start riding my motorcycle to work when I get my breaks changed on them!

    I really wish LA had a better public transit system!!!

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  17. 17 Luz María from Mexico
    July 2, 2008 at 21:15

    Hi all!

    @Amy about homosexuality

    I have thought that too! I think it is a topic worth more study.

  18. 18 Mohammed Ali
    July 2, 2008 at 21:18

    @Anthony, procreation is natural and being gay or lesbian wouldn’t do anything to stop it. You remember someone told me about in vitro.

  19. 19 steve
    July 2, 2008 at 21:23

    Liberal blogger shot in DC. Nice how that handgun ban preventing this shooting!


    Advice to anyone in DC, don’t go walking around Adams Morgan at night. Just like with the U street corridor, I don’t know anyone who wasn’t been mugged there at night.

  20. 20 Venessa
    July 2, 2008 at 21:23

    Amy & Tino ~

    The article that Tino linked made me laugh so hard I nearly snorted my soda out my nose. Of all the drugs in the world I think marijuana is one of the most nonsensical drugs to grind an ax about.

  21. 21 Julie P
    July 2, 2008 at 21:23

    I ran across this article and wondered how wide spread murdering a spouse with anti-freeze is. It just seems odd to me that the only time I ever hear of murder by anti-freeze it always involves spouses.


  22. 22 Robert
    July 2, 2008 at 21:30


    Anorexia is different because it is damaging to the health of the person and people should intervene to stop that damage. I hold the same attitude on smoking and also on alcoholism by the way. Not being restricted to just heterosexual relationships does not in anyway damage your health.

    A 10 year old is not old enough to truly understand what is going on and so is not able to give its consent to such acts. Trying to us that as a argument is very weak come back.

    Before I make the next statement I really don’t have an opinion on this, and as I said before I don’t have an opinion either way or really even care, but to be devils advocate and offer a competing argument against your last paragraph:
    Evolutionary advantages, your implying that if it is not an evolutionary advantage then it must be due to environmental factors. Why is it an advantage that somebody has blue eyes another brown? Using the logic of the Darwin theory you’ve just tried would imply that nurture must decide our eye colour, which I hope you see is clearly ridiculous. Therefore evolution does allow things through even if it doesn’t aid the survival of the species. Its a random process and something has to be thrown out into the world for it to either survive or die. If it’s not a disadvantage it will survive by virtue of not leading to the death off anybody with it.

  23. 23 Amy
    July 2, 2008 at 21:31

    If the only option to a person who wants kids is in vitro, there wouldn’t be a lot of kids running around. As someone who has friends and family who have tried to conceive via this method, it isn’t easy. It is something you really have to want and be willing to wait for the pregnancy to happen. There is no guarantee it will work. Conceiving a child the old fashion way can take a while too, but in vitro is so much more emotionally draining that some people give up. If that were the only option for a “gay” majority, I truly think there would be a decline in the population over time.

  24. 24 Venessa
    July 2, 2008 at 21:32

    Anthony ~

    I just looked at a receipt for the last time I filled the gas tank. I paid $4.49/gal. Personally I don’t even like to look at the price anymore when I pull into the pump. We have cut back on a few things in our home too. My husband and I are not struggling like I suspect a lot of other people are but rising gas and food prices have cut into our budgets.

    Fortunately I telecommute about 50% of the time and my husband is a full time telecommuter. That has really helped out a lot. We have 2 vehicles but really only drive one of them. I really feel for the people that this is hurting.

    I heard on NPR last night that middle class have had the lowest increase in wages. From 2001 to 2007 people that have the median incomes in this country have had maybe a $1 raise in that time.

  25. 25 Katharina in Ghent
    July 2, 2008 at 21:34

    @ endless homosexuality debate:

    1) There’s a certain gene on the X-chromosome, which, if the mother is a carrier and passes it off to her son, will make him gay. The gene is called Xq28, if anyone wants to look it up. Now this doesn’t explain lesbians, and it also doesn’t account for all homosexual males, but it accounts for a good part and these men are indeed born gay. (Maybe we could get Peter Gizzy to take the test… )

    2) Homosexual men often don’t procreate, at least unless they either realize later in life or tried living a lie, but if you go waaaay back thousands of years, when we were all still living in a cave, these men may have contributed to raise their sisters children (and the sister, of course, may have been a carrier of Xq28). Because these children had one extra provider, they would have had an advantage making it to adulthood over other tribe members who had only daddy bringing home some roadkill…

    Am I the only one who saw the movie “Kinsey”? It’s about the life and the studies of Dr. Alfred Kinsey, who in the fifties for the first time made some serious studies about sex in all its colors and varieties. Basically one of his many conclusions were that there are some (maybe 10% each, if I remember correctly) who are either 100% straight or 100% gay, with the big rest somewhere in between, leaning more into either the one or the other direction.

    Recently, it also has been found out that the way the brain of homosexuals works resembles more people from the opposite gender than of their own, and I doubt that family or friends can influence this in a meaningful way. It’s either there or it isn’t.

  26. 26 Mohammed Ali
    July 2, 2008 at 21:36

    Where I live in Liberia a gallon of has cost US $5.00. It is obviously affecting our daily activities. Transportation has increase tremendously as other commodities.

  27. 27 Amy
    July 2, 2008 at 21:37


    I filled up the other day and it was $4.14/gallon. That was with a 10 cent/gallon discount from the grocery store I shop at regularly. I am part of their rewards program for the reason of that discount. I do try to bunch up my errands to try and curb my gas usage and try to drive my husband’s car (which gets better gas milage than my minivan) when possible. I know that we have cut back on a lot of things (going to the movies, out to eat) to make sure the budget stays in tact.

  28. 28 portlandmike
    July 2, 2008 at 21:38

    “Male Homosexuality Can Be Explained Through A Specific Model Of Darwinian Evolution, Study Shows” http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080617204459.htm
    You ask “Why are gay people so opposed to the idea that they might not be born gay?” In many cultures homosexuality is just normal behaviour. Recently Christians in America have been crusading against gays, and because they “love the sinner, but hate the sin,” they have decided because the sinner can “choose” not to have sex, then all gays must ave chosen to be gay in the first place.

    Sexuality is spread out on a bell curve, and not one of us chooses what attracts us and what repells us. Do you feel you could enjoy being gay if you decided to choose that?

  29. 29 Luz María from Mexico
    July 2, 2008 at 21:40


    1)What is the price of gas where you live?

    In Monterrey, Mexico is U.S $0.69 per litre (U.S.$2.60 per gallon) for the cheapest gas. The more expensive gas is U.S.$0.86 per litre (U.S.$3.2 per gallon)

    2)Is it affecting your day to day/leisure activities?

    So far not. But my husband and I just overcome a difficult economic situation that lasted 2 years, so I cannot compare because we cut almost all our leisure activities during that time. However, we are being careful with our expenses now that all prices are rising.

  30. 30 Katharina in Ghent
    July 2, 2008 at 21:41

    @ raising fuel prices:

    Here in Belgium I now have to pay 1.61 Euros per liter, if I got it right in my head that would make something like 8-9$ US a gallon… Thanks to the very weak dollar though, this means that prices have increased “only” by about 30 cents (Euro) over the last six months. I have to use the car to get to work, but on the weekend we have decreased the use of it as much as possible. We’re not yet hurting from the rising fuel (and food!) prices, but it is making a dent in our budget.

  31. 31 Anthony
    July 2, 2008 at 21:42

    @ Robert

    Eye color:

    1)-Medical implications
    “Those with lighter iris color have been found to have a higher prevalence of age-related macular degeneration (ARMD) than those with darker iris color;[50] lighter eye color is also associated with an increased risk of ARMD progression.[61] An increased risk of uveal melanoma has been found in those with blue, green or gray iris color.[62][63]

    Eye color can also be symptomatic of disease. In particular, yellowing of the whites of the eyes is associated with jaundice and symptomatic of liver disease, including cirrhosis, hepatitis and malaria.”

    2) The age of consent 150 years ago in many developed countries was 10. They seemed to be able to understand back then.

    3)And gay’s, having massive sex parties, spreading diseases is good for you? Being addicted to sex is OK. How is that different from booze? Almost every gay guy I know has had so many partners, they can’t even remember a count.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  32. 32 Katharina in Ghent
    July 2, 2008 at 21:44

    Thanks, Mike, for the beautiful link! (Or, as the spam would say: Good work! 😉 )

  33. 33 Anthony
    July 2, 2008 at 21:46

    @ Amy

    I wish I had a 10 cent discount!!! At least its not as bad as Katharina!!! I would do nothing but work and my xbox 360 is $9.00 was the price per gallon. YIKES!!!

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  34. 34 Anthony
    July 2, 2008 at 21:47

    @ Katherina

    The Xq28 link was disputed in 1999, and no scientist thinks that the 1993 test was valid.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  35. 35 Katharina in Ghent
    July 2, 2008 at 21:50

    @ Anthony:

    Welcome to the beautiful world of science. Dispute is the salt in the soup, it just means that the percentage may not be as high as it was originally claimed. As I said in my previous post. it doesn’t account for all male homosexuals.

  36. 36 Anthony
    July 2, 2008 at 21:52

    @ portland mike

    Hehe, did you even read it? It adds to my point, that it both, but not a specific “Gay Gene”. Thanks for the help to my cause, lol 🙂

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  37. 37 Julie P
    July 2, 2008 at 21:53

    Fuel prices:

    While in college one of my professors put me onto the student organizations wholesale card that he was the adviser for. Having developed the habit of shopping there for items that I would need in bulk, I also began buying my gas there as well. The cost of gallon of gas has consistently been between 10 to 15 cents a gallon cheaper than on the street. By the time renewal for the membership comes around the amount of money I have saved in gas has paid for the membership, plus a tank of gas. I still have reduced the amount of driving that I have done, but I began doing that long before the cost of fuel got to the price it has. Developing habits early is helping me with adjusting to the environment we are in. To date I have not paid more than $3.92 a gallon for gas, but I have not been to put gas in my car for four days either.

  38. 38 Robert
    July 2, 2008 at 21:55

    Being addicted to booze will destroy your liver. Being addicted to sex will do what exactly? Having sex without protection granted leads to the risk of infections but the act of sex itself doesn’t.

  39. 39 Mohammed Ali
    July 2, 2008 at 21:57

    @all, how much do any of you know about Liberia?

  40. 40 Nick in USA
    July 2, 2008 at 21:58

    Response to Steve’s article about DC shooting.

    I kind of missed the debate about this, and I’m still a bit ignorant to the finer points, so I’d like to ask a question. The “if handguns are outlawed only outlaws will have guns” argument seems kind of like nonsense to me. If handguns are outlawed here, then where will outlaws get them from? The gunmakers will stop producing them. Isn’t America the largest purchaser of handguns? I mean, if this was done on a federal level eventually the existing handguns would all dissappear.

    Another topic I would like to talk about is Kuwait. I was looking at stats for murder rates, and google gave me a chart. Apparently, Kuwait has significantly fewer per capita than the US and is even comparable to countries like Holland. However, they are a muslim culture. Why is this the case? What are they doing differently?

  41. 41 Katharina in Ghent
    July 2, 2008 at 21:58

    @ Anthony:

    Did YOU read it??? It says in there that there may be an advantage if the females are carriers for certain genes (be it now Xq28 or some other) and therefore may have more children, even if that means that male offspring may “end up” (=be born) gay. How can this be contributing your side??? If anything, it contributes my caveman theory.

  42. 42 Venessa
    July 2, 2008 at 22:01

    Whether or not you agree with people being gay at the end of the day does it really hurt anyone? Everyone has a right to happiness and if that means you want to be with someone of the same sex so be it.

    Anthony ~ It doesn’t sound like you have had many positive experiences with gay people. There are a lot of people out there that meet the stereotype, but those are the same people that are drawing attention to themselves to get a rise out of people. In my experience most of them have been hateful towards heterosexuals. Fortunately my gay friends don’t behave this way and most of them you wouldn’t even know they were gay. There should be no need for anyone to run through the streets declaring their sexual preferences nor should anyone be ashamed.

    I have many gay friends and I will say that many of the men have had more partners than they know but you can say the same thing about heterosexuals that go to sex parties and spread STD’s. Not just gays have this sort of soirée’s. You can’t just single out one group of people and say they are the only ones doing it when this is not the case.

  43. 43 selena
    July 2, 2008 at 22:08


    “Almost every gay guy I know has had so many partners, they can’t even remember a count.”

    Sounds like a lot of hetero guys to me. It is a macho, not a gay, think, I imagine.

  44. 44 Robert
    July 2, 2008 at 22:09

    Re Price of petrol.

    I was paying over a pound a liter back on the Scottish islands about 2 1/2 years ago. That was before the dollars nose dive so I guess back then would have been about $7 a gallon back in 2006, I shudder to think what it will be now,

    I don’t think it is hurting the European and British as much for two reasons. One we already paid a lot of tax on the petrol to start with, the incremental increase due to oil prices is therefore a smaller percentage and doesn’t feel as bad (although it is). Second one of the reason people are buying oil stocks is because of the dollars decline, those of us not working in dollars therefore a protected slightly from the increase as Katharina points out.

  45. 45 Mohammed Ali
    July 2, 2008 at 22:09

    @all again, how much do any of you know about Liberia?

  46. 46 Anthony
    July 2, 2008 at 22:14

    @ Katharina

    Yup. I read it. So gays are kinda like castrati’s/slaves to the women. They are there to bond, and then help take on responsibilities of a mother. Sounds good to me, my mom should have one, hehe :).

    @ venessa

    No. I’ve prob hung out with more gay people than you, hehe. My sister was in theater and went to the L.A. school for the arts. My house growing up had nothing but gay guys there.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  47. 47 Venessa
    July 2, 2008 at 22:15

    Selena ~

    Your comment just made me think of one I heard. I was out with a couple friends. One guy was gay and a couple others weren’t. Now this is not 100% verbatim but this is pretty much how it went.

    The straight guy says, “No wonder gay guys get more action! Guys are just hornier in general. If I was gay I could get laid every night!”

    To which the gay guy says, “Yup! If you’re interested I can help you out.”

    So to your comment Selena ~ I agree!

  48. 48 selena
    July 2, 2008 at 22:22

    @Mohammed Ali

    I don’t know much about Liberia, I am afraid.

  49. 49 Venessa
    July 2, 2008 at 22:24

    Mohammed Ali

    I don’t know much about Liberia either. What do you want to talk about?

  50. 50 Mohammed Ali
    July 2, 2008 at 22:26

    @all, bye for now from Liberia.

  51. 52 Julie P
    July 2, 2008 at 22:29

    @Mohammed Ali,

    One of the reasons I began debating on the BBC a number of years back was to interact between people from other countries in a safe environment. I wanted to learn more about other people who I would not have otherwise have the opportunity to interact with. In the process, for those who wanted to, they could learn more about daily living and concerns of those living in the US. On my last trip abroad I met one person who I had been interacting with through the BBC for coffee and lunch for a tete a tete. Why don’t you tell us a little bit about life in Liberia?

  52. 53 nelsoni
    July 2, 2008 at 22:29

    @ mohammed ali. U once told us on WHYS during civicus world assembly that u got a lot of teenage mothers in liberia. Charles taylor’s country. Africa’s first female president uhm anything else. Oh yeah. Its in west africa. .

  53. 54 Venessa
    July 2, 2008 at 22:48

    I think Mohammed Ali might have logged off for the night. It’s 9:48 PM there. Hopefully he will respond to us when he logs back on.

  54. 55 Jonathan (sanguine San Francisco)
    July 2, 2008 at 22:53

    Hi Venessa, selena, Katharina, and others–I found this post very instructive and I think you might too.
    https://worldhaveyoursay.wordpress.com/2008/07/01/is-it-easier-to-be-gay-in-your-country-than-ever-before/#comment-41624 . It’s saved me a lot of time today.

  55. 56 Anthony
    July 2, 2008 at 22:59

    So that Texas man who shot those two intruders that were breaking into his neighbors was found innocent. Any comments? I would almost be afraid to shoot someone breaking into my house because California law is way to liberal. I think if someone is going to break into your house, then they probably wont mind killing you. So I have decided if that happens, they’re dead. Plus they were illegal!!!

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  56. 57 Jonathan (sanguine San Francisco)
    July 2, 2008 at 23:09

    @ selena ~~

    Good point you made at 10:08 p.m. Also, duh, thanks, yes, it all makes sense now that I see the salient word was “count.”

  57. 58 Mohammed Ali
    July 2, 2008 at 23:16

    @all, Liberia is a small country in West Africa with a population of 3.4 million. It was founded in 1822 by free slaves from America and gained independence in 1847 on July 26. The country just emerged from 14 years of brutal civil was that killed about 300,000 persons. The president is Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the granddaughter of a German. She is the first democratically elected female president of any African country. She is making democracy to work in Liberia like never before in the past. She is gradually recovering the country’s shattered economy and has curtail corruption to a larger extent. Majority of our past presidents, all of whom were men miserably plundered the country’s vast natural resources. My question is “Can women make the difference where men have failed” taking the Liberian scenario as a case study?

  58. 59 nelsoni
    July 2, 2008 at 23:20

    @ All, I have got a question. After blogging on WHYS, participating in the live shows, what next? How do translate what we talk about in to real benefit to the society? Or does all the talk end here with out action? I’d like to know how your being part of WHYS has helped you make a difference in your sphere of contact. Comments are welcome. 🙂

  59. 60 Luz Ma
    July 2, 2008 at 23:42


    About your comment : “Plus they were illegal!!!”

    Would you think differently about this case if the intruders weren´t illegals?

  60. 61 Luz Ma
    July 2, 2008 at 23:45

    By the way, I am Luz María from Mexico… Luz Ma is short for Luz María and it has been my nickname since I was born.

  61. 62 Anthony
    July 2, 2008 at 23:48

    @ Luz Ma

    I’m sorry, I forgot to say that in the story, the fiance of the man is going to try to sue the shooter. So now people can get sued for defending their neighbors from illegals???

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  62. 63 Julie P
    July 2, 2008 at 23:55

    @Mohammed Ali,

    We had a mayor in Atlanta who allowed the city to go into a state of decline that in my opinion was about to leave the city one giant slum. For example, under his administration our water and sewer system fell into major disrepair. Along the way I heard stories about the mayor was seen leaving city hall with briefcases full of money. Politics being what it is, I blew it off as partisan politics. Years later he was tried and convicted of stealing the city’s money. He is currently serving a prison sentence in Federal prison. His replacement for the city was a woman. She went into his office after she was sworn in and it wasn’t long afterward she held a press conference on the state of the city and that she was going to have to implement a very strict monetary policy to turn the city around. She did. At first she was maligned for the policies she enacted and carried. After a time, the city turned the corner and began to proper again. She is still in power and has become to be thought of as one of the best mayors this city has ever had. That said, I do not believe that it is the sex or gender of a person that makes a great leader. Great leaders are not made, not born.

  63. 64 Jonathan (sanguine San Francisco)
    July 2, 2008 at 23:55

    @Mohammed, that’s an archetypal WHYS question. You’ve got an honest, competent president, who also is democratically elected, and also is female. So you derive “can women succeed where men fail?”

    I guess “Can democratically elected, honest, competent presidents succeed where thugs and dictators fail?” wouldn’t spark a lively debate. Never mind that it’s maybe a bit closer to the mark.

  64. 65 nelsoni
    July 2, 2008 at 23:57

    @ all. How has WHYS helped you in making your world a better place?

  65. 66 Jonathan (sanguine San Francisco)
    July 3, 2008 at 00:01

    Hi there Luz Ma, how nice to see your face!

    The answer to your question can be stated in the form of a math equation, thus: b + r = b where b is bigtory, r is rationalization, and b again is bigotry again.

  66. 67 Luz Ma
    July 3, 2008 at 00:03


    “I’d like to know how your being part of WHYS has helped you make a difference in your sphere of contact”.

    Being part of WHYS has allowed me to have conversations, again, with people around the world. Since I lived in Montreal for 6 years, I become accustomed to interact with people from other countries/cultures/religions. I missed that a lot when I moved back to Mexico!!!

    And for what difference has it made in my sphere of contact… Well, my older daughter knows that I “talk” with people from around the globe when I am typing in the computer and that I listen every day a radio program where people from different countries talk about something important. I want her to become interested about what is happing outside our community/town/country. The more exposure that she has to the world outside Mexico, the better 🙂

    I am starting a new job in August. Although I am thrilled to have a permanent job, I am little bit sad because I won´t be able to listen WHYS live (since here it is broadcasted at 12:00 p.m. and I will be working at that time) and probably I won´t have enough time to participate –as often as now- in the blog.

  67. 68 Julie P
    July 3, 2008 at 00:12


    WHYS has confirmed my belief that the personal is political. I take from these forums what I like and leave the rest. Where I walk, I have started a recycling program where I work. The president of the company has implemented it company wide. WHYS has opened a dialogue among my co-workers, with the result being more respect about others struggles. These may be small steps, but it is one small step on the road to bigger and better things.

  68. 69 nelsoni
    July 3, 2008 at 00:28

    @ luz ma. Thats excellent.( your daughter). I started listening to BBC when i was around 10 Years. And Being a Part of WHYS has helped me impact my world positively by resolving little conflicts and disputes. It may be strange but i kind of learnt by observing how the presenters moderate the show on radio.

  69. 70 Luz Ma
    July 3, 2008 at 00:28

    Ingrid Betancourt was rescued by the Colombian government


  70. 71 Amy
    July 3, 2008 at 00:33

    Luz Ma,

    I watched the press conference on CNN and I was so moved watching her reunion with her mother. I cannot imagine not seeing my mother/husband/children for 6 years!

  71. 72 Amy
    July 3, 2008 at 00:37


    I have shared my interest in WHYS with a lot of people and my daughters are so excited to know that they now have “friends” from all the corners of the world. My 8 year old knows that I “talk” to people all over the world and wants to know when we can visit. Everyone – heads up – Natalie and Abigail are heading your way. You’ve been warned 🙂

  72. 73 Jonathan (sanguine San Francisco)
    July 3, 2008 at 00:48

    @ nelsoni~~

    When I first came across WHYS, I had great hopes for inspiring, instructive discussions.

    The very first post I made resulted in a call from one of the staff, who said it was the funniest post she had ever seen, and that I should await a phone call to go on the air. I waited but the phone didn’t ring. Same thing a week or two later: a call telling me to wait for a call that never came.

    I’ve caught maybe half of the radio shows. I’ve visited the “talking points” almost every day, read most posts, responded to many, and contributed many of my own ideas, usually to meet with resounding silence. I’ve suggested propositions for “question of the day,” also eliciting only the sound of distant crickets.

    I was once even scolded for saying something completely innocuous–told I was “not contributing to the conversation” — by someone who has consistently exhibited, and endorsed, some of the most offensive, obnoxious views on WHYS,

    After a couple of months now, well, I wish I could say that I’d been able either to lern anything or to teach anything, or to notice any new ideas, or see any minds changed.

    the best I can say is that I still have hopes.

  73. 74 Luz Ma
    July 3, 2008 at 00:53

    I actually cried. The footage that I saw didn´t have sound, so it was even more moving since I could concentrate in their expresions and non-verban language.

  74. 75 Luz Ma
    July 3, 2008 at 00:57


    Thanks for your comment. I would like that my daughters know that they are different ways of thinking and view the world. I think is the first step to become a tolerant and open person.

  75. 76 Luz Ma
    July 3, 2008 at 00:59


    I liked your math equation 🙂

  76. 77 viola
    July 3, 2008 at 01:01

    @Mohammed Ali:

    I know that Liberia was founded as a homeland for American freed slaves. How this happened, I don’t know. I’ve never read any history about Liberia. Why do you ask? Are you Liberian?

  77. 78 viola
    July 3, 2008 at 01:12

    @Mohammed Ali:

    Went back and read your last comment about Liberia. I suspect that if women as a bloc were to remain in power in any one place as long as men have been in power in most countries, there would eventually be the same problems with women in power as there are now with men in power. As a woman I hope not, but as a human being I know that both genders are capable of human failings. Many women are so heavily concerned with family and nurturing that possibly this attitude of nurturance and concern for others will carry over when they exercise power in the political arena.

    Do you think men lack this instinct for nurturing others or have it to a lesser degree than do women?

  78. 79 Anthony
    July 3, 2008 at 01:41

    @ nelsoni

    Start a Militia, spread the word, and take over California, then America, then Liberia, and then the world!!!!

    Anyone else here pro capitol punishment? 🙂

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  79. 80 nelsoni
    July 3, 2008 at 01:49

    @ Jonathan. I had the same experience too. The very first post i made earned me an invitation to come on air but alas the call never came.

  80. 81 steve
    July 3, 2008 at 01:50

    I think some people might find this funny:


    This church is pretty close to where I live. I walk by it every time I walk home from work. It’s a Church with a gas station underneath it. Not the best picture in the article, but look how low the gas prices were when the picture was taken!

  81. 82 nelsoni
    July 3, 2008 at 01:53

    @ Anthony, This your militia idea is still wit you? Though i have not read the American constitution, I suspect that in there will be a clause calling for you to be jailed or something. How about forming a community service group in your area? That will be much more productive.

  82. 83 Julie P
    July 3, 2008 at 01:55


    I drive by a gas station that went out of business a couple years ago. On the odd occasion I drive by it and the sign is posted from gas $1.01 a gallon. But, I tell you what I’ll take $1.69 a gallon over what we have now.

  83. 84 nelsoni
    July 3, 2008 at 01:56

    @ All: I do hope the WHYS team will give us an opportunity to tell the world how we have affected our world positively by our CONTINUED participation on WHYS

  84. 85 nelsoni
    July 3, 2008 at 01:58

    Some times I tempted to ask myself, “Do we really set the agenda for WHYS?

  85. 86 nelsoni
    July 3, 2008 at 02:06

    Who knows maybe we can even start WHYS foundation.

  86. 87 Julie P
    July 3, 2008 at 02:10


    I have been contacted twice to interview on the show, but the call never came. On the other hand, I’ve still been on the air a total of 16 times. It’s been a year and half since my last appearance as my schedule has changed, but I still keep getting invitations from them.

    Last week Amy and I talked about the recent development in the Everglades. She suggested it would make a good topic for WHYS. The subject did turn up in the HYS forums as a topic. I don’t know if Amy and I were the reason it was there, but I did like seeing the world debate it.

    Will Rhodes wrote in one day not happy about the possibility of anonymous witness(es) being introduced into the UK legal system. A couple of days later it was a topic of debate in the HYS forums. I wouldn’t know if he was the reason for it, but there it was.

  87. 88 Anthony
    July 3, 2008 at 02:13

    @ nelsoni

    The second amendment states that we are allowed to bear arms, and have a militia 🙂 YAAAA FOR AMERICA. It would also be a community service group.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  88. 89 nelsoni
    July 3, 2008 at 02:29

    @ Julie P, 16 times? 😮 thats interesting. I hope to be making my debut soon.

  89. 90 nelsoni
    July 3, 2008 at 02:30

    @ Anthony, all the very best with your community service group.

  90. 91 nelsoni
    July 3, 2008 at 02:41

    It seems we have a very quiet moderator this evening/afternoon/morning (depending on your time zone). If no one hears frm me again its because I have probably fallen asleep on my couch wit my computer staring at me.

  91. 92 Julie P
    July 3, 2008 at 02:48


    I can’t remember all of the topics I was called for, but I remember the death of James Brown was one, Iran was another, the 2012 Olympics (Atlanta had been an Olympic host city, so I got a call) and then the strangest one of all was about removing the sperm of a recent deceased male soldier, so it could be used to impregnate a young woman and guarantee the continuation of the family line.

    You’ll get on. I did ask them if they were going to hire me, or pay me. The last two times I went to London I told them when I would be there if they wanted me to make an in studio appearance. It was taken a joke.

  92. 93 Tino
    July 3, 2008 at 02:53

    “Anyone else here pro capitol punishment?”

    Very much so. I know if someone I care for was killed I would want to see the murderer face the same fate. In addition, the death is ridiculously humane (as long as it is via lethal injection).

  93. 94 Luz Ma
    July 3, 2008 at 02:54


    I have talked two times in the show and five times my comments were read. The second time I made a comment in the blog was the first time they called me.

    However, the second time they called me to talk in the program, they said they wanted an opinion from a latin american on that topic (virginity). So I suppose I have been lucky to be in the program two times in one month because I am one of the few people from Latin America that post comments in the blog.

  94. 95 Count Iblis
    July 3, 2008 at 02:55


    Some times I tempted to ask myself, “Do we really set the agenda for WHYS?

    No, you don’t. The WHYS Staff just uses you unpaid volunteers to moderate the blog during the night so that the blog can stay open 24/7. 🙂

  95. 96 Venessa
    July 3, 2008 at 03:02

    Tino & Anthony ~

    I’m for capital punishment. My father was stabbed to death when I was 9.

  96. 97 Will Rhodes
    July 3, 2008 at 03:09

    No, you don’t. The WHYS Staff just uses you unpaid volunteers to moderate the blog during the night so that the blog can stay open 24/7.

    And we are proud to do so, Count! 😉 🙂

  97. 98 Amy
    July 3, 2008 at 03:10

    Count Iblis,

    First, volunteers usually are unpaid (and we moderate knowing we aren’t going to be paid). Secondly, while those of us that post don’t generally set the agenda, our ideas are taken to heart. I have seen the topic arise out of the Blank Pages from the weekend as well as from the overnight talking points. A lot of the time the topics come come from things that happen within 6 hours of the show. Julie P pointed out that some of the topics we have posted about have shown up on other BBC shows. I kind of like that – share the wealth as it were. I know that the WHYS staff does read through the posts to see if there is something worth while to put on air so you just never know.

    @ Nelsoni,

    I have been on air once, but it was for the edition that airs in Africa. I didn’t know that at the time (they just didn’t get to me for the regular show) so my husband was listening for me at work but it was still cool to be on air with the BBC from here in Oregon. You’ll get your chance!

  98. 99 Dennis
    July 3, 2008 at 03:17

    Hi Laura,

    Welcome to you time as moderator…

    Onondaga Community College
    Syracuse, New York
    United States of America

  99. July 3, 2008 at 03:22

    @ Count,

    The listeners do set the agenda as long as they can suggest a topic for which the WHYS team can get speakers on the show and which can interest the audience. There are numerous examples. The talking point page is for that.

    As an example for this, the debate , “Is it an honour to die for your country ?
    https://worldhaveyoursay.wordpress.com/2008/06/11/on-air-is-it-still-the-greatest-honour-to-die-for-your-country/ was suggested by ZK https://worldhaveyoursay.wordpress.com/2008/06/11/im-not-going-back/

  100. 101 Will Rhodes
    July 3, 2008 at 03:24

    It seems we have a very quiet moderator this evening/afternoon/morning (depending on your time zone). If no one hears frm me again its because I have probably fallen asleep on my couch wit my computer staring at me.

    Nelsoni – the people who moderate do just that, moderate, it doesn’t mean that we have to set the agenda. Everyone who uses this blog sets that agenda. If you think there is a story you want to talk about then please feel free to add it, with a link and your thoughts.

    Some of the best stories come from the regulars who have something to say.

    I am quiet during the time I moderate because I don’t want to be the school master dictating what people want to say.

    If we just said “This is tonight’s topic” I am sure that most people would go find what they want to talk about – and you can do that here all the time.

  101. 102 Amy
    July 3, 2008 at 03:29


    Well said! I have only moderated once but have chipped in since I was given the moderating rights. I like to see where everyone wants to go and them hop on for the ride.

  102. 103 minneapolislaura
    July 3, 2008 at 03:39

    Hello All!

    Well I’m just signing on now… thanks for everyones understanding about being quiet. I work at a summer camp and hardly have time to sleep and eat much less moderate, but I said I would help out on the late shift tonight.

    The discussion thus far is fascinating- keep it up!

    Laura at Phantom Lake YMCA Camp, Mukwonago WI (formerly Minneapolis)

  103. 104 Amy
    July 3, 2008 at 03:43


    I was just talking to a friend yesterday about summer camps and she used to go to Camp Mukwonago when she was a kid!!!!! My older daughter returned today from 3 nights/4 days at camp (for the first time) and she loved it. How great that you give of your time that way. I know how demanding kids can be and I know I could never take it (maybe that’s because I have my own kids…….)

  104. 105 Anthony
    July 3, 2008 at 03:44

    @ venessa & tino

    Yeah, and people think I’m cruel. My friend was stabbed by his wife, and then his wife strangled their 3 and 6 year old. She admitted to it and it was very obvious that she did it. She’s on her NINTH COURT DATE?!?!!? I cannot understand this waste of money??? And when she does get life, she’ll be wasting more money, plus you cant rehabilitate people like that, not would I want to take that chance. I can’t believe they haven’t killed Richard Ramierez yet!!! The U.S. legal system is seriously flawed!!!

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  105. 106 Anthony
    July 3, 2008 at 03:46

    @ vanessa & tino

    What do you think about that rapist almost getting the death sentence in the states? It was voted on an was rejected, but 5-4. Thats close!!!

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  106. 107 minneapolislaura
    July 3, 2008 at 03:50


    Phantom lake (“camp mukwonago” as you called it) is the second oldest YMCA camp in the United states, it’s so great to hear of people who know of it randomly! This is my 12th summer (i went from camper to junior counselor to staff) and currently hold a director position (i’m in charge of the junior counselor program I was once apart of). I’m not sure i’ll ever be able to “do a real job,” because i love this one so much.

    My whole life is about kids though (child pysch and youth studies major in college)… working at a summer camp definitely isn’t the life for everyone!

  107. 108 minneapolislaura
    July 3, 2008 at 03:57

    @ WHYS participation conversation

    The reason I got into WHYS in the first place (about 7 months ago maybe?) is because I was contacted to be on the show after I left a comment on the general BBC HYS i believe. It was definitely a shock to get a phone call from BBC a 7:30 AM… keeping in mind i’m a college student who’s age generally grants her a one way ticket to “You-Don’t-Know-What-You’re-Talking-About” Town.

    Since then i’ve spoken about 3 or 4 times on air. The best was when I was recently in England and had the chance to be in the studio and see how everything operates. Being the host is no easy feat, that’s for sure. Ros or who ever is doing it has to balance a million things at once- and sound intelligent at the same time.

    All I did was read emails, but it was very fun.


  108. 109 Venessa
    July 3, 2008 at 04:20

    Anthony & Tino ~

    “Yeah, and people think I’m cruel. My friend was stabbed by his wife, and then his wife strangled their 3 and 6 year old. She admitted to it and it was very obvious that she did it. She’s on her NINTH COURT DATE?!?!!? I cannot understand this waste of money??? And when she does get life, she’ll be wasting more money, plus you cant rehabilitate people like that, not would I want to take that chance. I can’t believe they haven’t killed Richard Ramierez yet!!! The U.S. legal system is seriously flawed!!!”

    That irritates me too. I’m sure life in prison isn’t all that pleasant but then why should I care if it is? Pretty much the malicious acts these people committed just determined the value they put on human life.

    At least I can say the guys that murdered my father are in jail but it certainly doesn’t give me a warm fuzzy knowing that hard working tax payers get to pay to keep such criminals alive draining resources that could be much better spent elsewhere.

  109. 110 Bob in Queensland
    July 3, 2008 at 04:29

    G’day All!

    First off, today has been instructive–I wondered if I was the only one to be asked to wait for a call to be “on-air” then not hear back. The difference is–in my case waiting up for a call means trying to be alert between 3 and 4 AM!

    Regarding summer camps, they’re a largely American phenomenon. However, I remember that summer camp song from my formative years (was it Alan Sherman?) and can’t think about camps without starting to hum “Hello Muddah. Hello Faddah. Here I am at….Camp Granada”. I’m ashamed to admit I can do about 4 or 5 verses!

    Now onto the serious bits!

    First off,

    @ Anthony

    Why are you so concerned about how gay people become gay? It’s clearly an issue you care passionately about but I’m curious as to why. From my previous posts you clearly know my views but, frankly, it’s not something I’d particularly worry about discussing unless somebody else brings it up. Whatever your views of the origins, homosexuality is a fact of life and anything we say here isn’t going to change that.

    I will say though that I was concerned about your characterisation of the gay lifestyle as “having massive sex parties and being addicted to sex”. I daresay that may happen in some cases but then it also happens with heterosexuals. I have to say that, of the gay people I know, all are either in a permanent monogamous relationship or (if “single” ) at least in “serial monogamous relationships. The only “swingers” I’ve ever knowingly met were heterosexual (and not a couple I chose to keep in contact with!).

    @ Admiral

    I fear I have to agree with you about Zimbabwe. While in no way minimising the saddness and seriousness of what’s happening there, we’re at the stage where the conversation is going around in circles: “We should do something.” “But what can we do?” “Nothing…it has to be a local/regional solution.” “Yeah, but we should do something..”.

    I fear I also agree that Morgan Tsivangarai may turn out little better, but who knows?

    Which brings me to my final thought for now:

    “What makes a good WHYS topic?”

    Some topics seem to generate much more (or much higher quality) discussion than others and I wonder what the difference is?

    Clearly, there are some “givens”:

    -the topic must be of internation interest and importance

    -the topic must be “fresh” and not talked about too much in the past

    -there must be something to actually discuss–simply mentioning a natural disaster or plane crash can only get a lot of “oh that’s horrible” remarks but there’s no issue to talk about unless something untoward (like Burma) is also happening.

    However, beyond that, I wonder if:

    -the best topics are ones with shades of grey rather than where views are totally polarised. I often don’t participate in mideast topics too much because of the intransigent pro-Israeli and pro-Arab views that always swamp the Blog. Depending who I respond to, I get accused of being both pro-Palestinian and pro-Israeli…mainly because I can see the wrongs on both sides.

    -it probably shouldn’t be an American topic. Politics there are too polarised (both “Liberal” and “Conservative” get tossed out as dirty words. Also, there is a serious tendency for any criticism of American policy to be tossed out as “bashing”. When the “bashing word comes out, you know the “we saved you (or France or Einstein) in WWII and look at the respect we get” post is not far behind. I usually bow out at that point because useful discussion is over.

    Anyway, what do YOU think makes a good topic?

  110. 111 minneapolislaura
    July 3, 2008 at 04:42


    I’d agree that topics with a hazy middle ground can be a lot more interesting than ones with clear cut very opposite opinions. Although there is a plethora of really intellingent people here… and they generally have something interesting to say no matter what is being discussed 🙂


  111. 112 Luz Ma
    July 3, 2008 at 04:44


    About your question: what do YOU think makes a good topic?

    I think you answered that question in your comment:

    “the best topics are ones with shades of grey rather than where views are totally polarised”

    Any topic where you can say “well, it depends…” it is a good topic for me.

    And, of course, the topic must be of international relevance.

    Good night from Monterrey, Mexico!

  112. 113 Julie P
    July 3, 2008 at 05:07


    Here is my favorite topic posted by you last weekend concerning topics of days gone by.

    “-That bright thing growing bigger in the sky: a real danger or scare-mongering. (WHYS Dinosaur Show…just before the meteor strikes)”

    Too true about on any subject. I was chuckling about that today as I saw comments coming in. Oh, so true! We’re going to debate on, even with Armageddon fast approaching.

    I like debating a whole host of topics, especially those everyone can relate too. I have a propensity to bow out of topics too that are very divisive, or something that comes much to close to me personally. I have a difficult time remaining objective on some subjects. I will recuse myself from them or plead the Fifth Amendment.

    It’s bed time, so I’ll catch you some other time.

  113. 114 Tom
    July 3, 2008 at 05:50

    @ Anthony

    Since we’re continuing with the topic of homosexuality, here’s something to ponder. You said on TP-July 2 that:

    So when I decide to have a relationship with a dog, or have sex with a dead body, it’s just in my genes :). I mean, since I want to have an open relationship with a dog, that must mean it’s in my DNA somewhere right?


    A tiger that has always hunted deers and cattles one day killed and ate a human. It finds human meat more tasty than those of deers and cattles. From then on it hunts (either thru choice or impulse) only humans until one day it was shot dead by villagers.

    So is the gene to eat humans in the tiger’s DNA? Or just its fondness for red meat?

  114. 115 Mohammed Ali
    July 3, 2008 at 09:24

    Yes I am a Liberian. I beleive one of the purposes of this WHYS forum is for people to interact with others of diverse background and cultures. I beleive it is our duty to make our colleagues know about our own cultures and countries since we already have vast knowledge of their own. That led me to the question of “How much do any of you know about Liberia”.

    The second point is that there is this argument that democracy doesn’t work in every society. I have argue to the contrary saying that it depends on the kind of leadership a country has. From the inception it didn’t seem to work in Liberia as well. Another argument that I have also countered is that women are weak minded and therefore would not make good leaders. Now we have a female president in a country were democracy could not work and has turn things around. That led me the question “Do Women Make the Difference Where Men Failed?”

  115. 116 Mohammed Ali
    July 3, 2008 at 09:47

    WHYS has created two impressions in the community I live. One is good and the other is very wrong. Here people(especially the youths) only listen t the BBC when there is war. To hear the voice of your colleague on the BBC is unimaginable. These are the two different opinions:
    1. I have made the community through WHYS to know that dialogues are the best solutions to problem and not war like we did for 14 years. At least they are now learning to engage into debates rather than engaging into fist fight, stabbing or threatening to kill as it was when we just emerged from war. Isn’t this a positive development?

    2. Since most of my friends in the community have heard me participating on the WHYS program on about 6 to 7 occassions, they tend to beleive whatever I tell them without investigating. They have this beleive that whatever is said on the BBC is true and cannot be questioned. The fact that I regularly participate on the WHYS program means that I do not lie. This is a very wrong impression which I’ll have to erase.

  116. 117 Mohammed Ali
    July 3, 2008 at 11:09

    Hi Karnie,
    Before commenting on any of those issues stated above, could the regular WHYS bloggers be given one day in the week the opportunity exclusively to determine the topic for discussion on that day? We spend sleepless nights just to ensure that the blog is alive.

  117. 118 1430a
    July 3, 2008 at 11:47

    hey guys.bonjour,namaste and salam walekum where ever you are.:)
    Can we get away from politics for some time please.i know it is the most important thing around the world but c’mon take a break.
    i have got a perfect idea.
    how many of you have a facebook,my space or hi 5 account???
    lets talk about this.how many of you think that this type of a communicating service is good or bad.give your thoughts on this.i promise you this will help.
    this type of networks are rocking the world as old friends are reconnecting after years.
    give it a try!:)

  118. 119 Katharina in Ghent
    July 3, 2008 at 12:00


    I never looked into facebook or any of the likes, I already have to apologize to my family when I dare to log into WHYS… My husband on the other hand started with facebook now and found some old friends, with the result that he plays with them risk over the internet every evening, so that I have to fight with him over access to the computer. Like I said to him the other day: “At least, my virtual friends are smart!” 😉

  119. 120 Bryan
    July 3, 2008 at 12:46

    Bob in Queensland July 3, 2008 at 4:29 am,

    “I often don’t participate in mideast topics too much because of the intransigent pro-Israeli and pro-Arab views that always swamp the Blog. Depending who I respond to, I get accused of being both pro-Palestinian and pro-Israeli…mainly because I can see the wrongs on both sides.”

    You have neatly encapsulated the extremely damaging “moral equivalence” fallacy that has become so prevalent in the Western world in recent decades through the iron grip that the left has on education and journalism. Yes, there is wrong on both sides, but how much wrong – or are both sides equally wrong, in your opinion?

    Why is the Israeli side “intransigent” when the Israelis have withdrawn from Lebanon and Gaza? On the other hand, can you point out just one obligation that the Palestinians have fulfilled according to their obligations under the Road Map? (Yes, the Palestinians do have obligations, not only the Israelis. People might be surprised to learn that.)

    Who is more “wrong” – the Palestinian terrorist who sets out to deliberately murder Israeli civilians or the Israeli soldier who unintentionally kills Palestinian civilians while trying to neutralize the terrorist?

    Your attitude mirrors that of the BBC as it pretends to be “impartial” and find the “middle ground” in its reporting on this conflict while leaning in empathy towards the Palestinian side and regarding the Palestinians as the ones with moral integrity and right on their side.

    In fact, when you think about it there is no middle ground between Palestinian terrorists and Israelis who defend themselves against the terror attacks. It doesn’t exist.

    It is ridiculous that I have to actually point these things out.

  120. 121 1430a
    July 3, 2008 at 13:04

    hello katharina.sad to hear your story.hehehe….lol:(
    by the way you know what,thats the same case in my home.i am always tagged into this facebook and WHYS and my mom complains me that i might have eye problems.

    Anyways,i do think these networks are quite helpful as i can make friends with people from Paris and Los Angeles with the click of a button.but this type of networks can be dis-advantegeous if not used in proper manner.
    but i think you should open an account.:)

  121. 122 selena
    July 3, 2008 at 13:06


    It seems the opposite point of view is always ridiculous to those of us who believe our cause is the correct one.

    And before you jump on me, that applies to all sides and everyone, no exemptions.
    (Still, if it helps feel free to jump!)

    No matter how noble our cause, there are always things to learn from open minded people.

    What would our reason for being here be, otherwise? Surely not just to promote our one-sided opinions without listening to the opinions of others!

    Isn’t it always the others who are close-minded?

  122. 123 Bryan
    July 3, 2008 at 13:26

    selena July 3, 2008 at 1:06 pm,

    My point has nothing to do with closed minds or the fact that I support Israel. Let’s leave the Israeli/Arab conflict aside and talk of groups ‘A’ and ‘B’.

    Now nobody has any stake in the matter since they can’t identify with imaginary groups and only have their moral compass to factor into the equation. So here’s the question again:

    “Who is more “wrong” – terrorist A who sets out to deliberately murder civilian B or soldier B who unintentionally kills civilian A while trying to neutralize terrorist A?

    What’s the answer?

  123. 124 Bob in Queensland
    July 3, 2008 at 13:30


    I think you have neatly proven my point.

    As I said, I can see wrongs on both sides of the conflict. If your contention is, as it appears to be, that Israel is fully justified in every action it takes, then you and I will have to respectfully agree to disagree.

  124. 125 Bryan
    July 3, 2008 at 13:48

    Bob, the following from my post at 12:46 pm obviously escaped your notice:

    “Yes, there is wrong on both sides… ”

    I note that you have sidestepped the debate.

  125. 126 Bob in Queensland
    July 3, 2008 at 14:26

    @ Bryan

    Guilty as charged (on sidestepping this particular debate at least) because I really don’t want to get into a circular debate on who has more right to the land or which atrocity is worse.

    Suffice to say I was in Lebanon when the massacre at Sabra and Shatila happened with Israeli complicity. I also spent five long years waiting for news when one of my best friends was kidnapped by Islamic Jihad terrorists.

    Neither side is going to convince me of the “justification” of their position.

  126. 127 Peter Gizzi UK
    July 3, 2008 at 15:19

    Hi everybody,
    Have had a quick scan down the entries. Will not bore you with what you already know about me, but

    Katerina in Ghent I would happily have the gene test done but have no idea what I would have to do? If it is expensive then sadly I would not be able to afford it. Do let me know.

    I do not drive so am not directly affected by fuel prices, though of course see food getting more expensive. A thought. Diesel fuel must cost less to produce as it is less refined? Why then is it often more expensive than petrol? I realise in The UK this is the 55% tax. Is it also oil companies cashing in yet again?

  127. 128 Anthony
    July 3, 2008 at 16:06

    @ Tom

    I tiger will eat anything if its hungry, from a dog to a human. What do you think its easier to catch, a human or deer (since the Tiger doesn’t understand that humans might have guns).

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  128. 129 Shirley
    July 3, 2008 at 16:23

    Hamas and Fatah still argue between themselves: Hamas official criticizes Abbas for introducing Iraqi President and Israeli Defense Minister

    Israeli Army invades Nablus, Jenin, abducts 10 | Israeli troops inavde a mosque near Ramallah | Israeli army invades village near Nablus and abducts 24 civilians | One injured, three abducted during Israeli invasions near Hebron

    Israel seals Gaza crossings after (disputed) rocket attack | Egypt closes Rafah crossing terminal after riots Also, AFP‘s coverage. Egypt uses water cannon as Palestinians try to storm border The article also had the interesting tidbit: The Gaza Strip was set meanwhile to receive its first cement shipment in a year as Israel reopens border crossings it shut down after militant rocket attacks last week that breached a truce. Israel doesn’t allow medical patients to cross in order to receive treatment. Another Palestinian dies at Gaza border due to medical condition 20th this year, 2nd in 24 hours. The other was a baby.

    Israel’s Deputy PM Calls for Breach of International Law: Deputy Prime Minister and Shas Chairman Eli Yishai also responded to the attack, stating, “Israel should demolish the home of the perpetrator’s family. See also this AFP article. Also, Israeli PM calls for ghettoisation of Jerusalem & nearby villages using wall: AP. | Israeli forces attack homes in Jerusalem old city, one civilian injured A homeowner was beaten so badly that he needed to be hospitalised.

  129. 130 Bryan
    July 3, 2008 at 16:36

    Bob in Queensland July 3, 2008 at 2:26 pm,

    Interesting that you have to go back decades to Shabra and Shatilla, atrocities committed by Lebanese Christian allies of Israel and not Israelis, to find evidence to back your assertion that both sides are equally guilty in this conflict. I only have to go back one day to find the latest episode in the long and grim history of Palestinian terror against Israeli civilians.

    I have no intention of trying “to convince [you] of the “justification” of [my] position” because I can see that would be futile. But frankly I find it incredible that you will not concede that deaths resulting from deliberate, calculated terror against civilians is a completely different thing to deaths resulting from defence against that terror.

    Makes me wonder what the pro-Arab side could possibly have objected to in any of your comments on the Arab/Israeli conflict.

  130. 131 Shirley
    July 3, 2008 at 18:05

    Bryan, we do not have to go back several years to find instances in which the Israelis have killed hundreds of Palestinians. We don’t even have to go back further than several weeks to have accounted for dozens of Palestinians killed by Israelis. The fact is that Israelis attack Palestinians more often and with more force; and their attacks impact all aspects of Palestinian life. Not only do dozens of people die, but many more are injured, homes invaded and destroyed, roads torn apart, water services disrupted, industries paralysed or destroyed, farms ruined and laid to waste, etc. It is obvious that the powerful military force, combined with the extent to which the civilians are armed, of the smaller population has been used to inflict disproportionate injury upon a larger population in a way that not only violates international law, but any moral system.

  131. 132 Tino
    July 3, 2008 at 21:25


    The fact remains that the ONE thing Palestinians have to do to stop any and all attacks is: stop killing Israelis. That is IT. Israel gave back land – still didn’t happen. What do you propose Israel does exactly, take a few rockets and look the other way?

    They deserve everything Israel tosses their way and more. They only need to stop killing Israelis and Israel would no longer kill any Palestinians. The situation is very simple.

  132. 133 Shirley
    July 3, 2008 at 21:32

    @ mods: It looks as if the WHYS staff forgot to set up a TP 04 Jul page? Or do they already have a topic in mind for 4th July?

  133. 134 Tino
    July 3, 2008 at 21:33


    “He also noted that Muslims lead the world in violence and terror.

    “Muslims are killing Muslims. When Christians kill Muslims, it’s the Crusades. When Jews kill Muslims it’s murder, and when Muslims kill Muslims, it’s like talking about the weather. Nobody really cares about it,” he said.”

    Quite so.


    “The recent re-publication of a cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad by the Danish press and release of Dutch MP Geert Wilders’ film “Fitna” have precipitated a wave of Muslim protest, some of it violent, throughout the world. Following these developments, several Arab columnists wrote to condemn the violent reactions, arguing that the Muslims themselves had committed iniquity against both their coreligionists and everyone else, thereby harming the name of Islam.”

    About time I see some Muslims speaking the truth – the West is not harming Islam, Muslims are.

  134. 135 Tom
    July 4, 2008 at 02:48

    @ Anthony

    I’m using that example as a comparison of your assertion that if one decides to hava relationship with a dog then a desire for dog is in the person’s DNA. The truth may well be that the desire for love, company, sex, or all of these may well be in the DNA of that person. Having a relation with a dog then is just the consequence of these desires. A lonely person may love cuddly pandas so much that he/she may fall in love with one, only to be mauled to death by it.

    Maybe I’ve missed something, but I’m still not sure of your personal stance on human sexuality.

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