09
Jul
08

Talking points 10th July

Bob, Victork and all who helped out- thankyou.  A couple of things there could well find their way on to the programme, not least the cannabis story….

Tino pointed to this from California, and there’s this in Oregon , both states where, as luck would have it, we are carried on partner stations. ( KALW and OPB )  There’s an argument- as you have debated below- for legalisation and of course – in the true spirit of WHYS – an argument against it. You brought it up, let’s see if anyone else bites…

You talked about G8 and i liked this article from the estimable Bronwen Maddox in the Times today..she says it’s easy to knock it, but it does bring leaders together to talk without high expectations..

“The G8 (which consists of Britain, the US, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and Russia) has ducked the one question it might be expected to answer, however – whether it is a club for the most-powerful democracies, in which case it should leave out Russia, or whether it is for powerful countries of any stripe, in which case it should bring in China. “

This free speech debate has been going on in Canada…what strikes me about this story is that truth or otherwise has no bearing on the case- it’s the causing offence that’s the issue. I think it’s an interesting area – if you say something that’s true does it matter whether you upset someone ?

have a look at this item from last night’s Newsnight programme…it’s called “Killing terror with kindness” – is this the way to go, as Saudi Arabia has done, by setting up a centre to rehabilitate captured al-Quaeda terrorists- it’s been called “the Betty Ford clinic for terrorists”…

Oh, and my favourite story of the day ? A vicar disguised himself as a down and out outside his church. None of his parishioners spoke to him or offered to help him….

Thanks- by the way to Abdelilah (if there are awards for listeners – and perhaps there should be – he’d get one ) for pointing out the podcast figures- it had escaped me, but caused a lot of joy in the office. Thank you all of you who download us…

oh, and to answer your points Shirley and Tino, printing great screeds of the Koran or the Bible or anything is just boring- if you want to link to your own blogs and invite people to read your tracts then do so, but this is a place for conversation- why is that so difficult to understand ?  I take your point Tino that this is an “open forum”, but here, as in society, there are rules.

have a good day


221 Responses to “Talking points 10th July”


  1. 1 nelsoni
    July 9, 2008 at 19:56

    Hello Every one,

    The Issue Of Female Dressing never seems to go away, Last week a woman in Turkey was convicted for exhibitionism for fishing

    in what was termed “improper clothing”.(http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7491484.stm)

    In Nigeria today, The Upper chamber of the Nigerian Parliament, the (senate) held it’s final public hearing on bill to

    prohibit indecent dressing. The Following Links will be of help to you.

    Senate debates bill on indecent dressing, others

    http://www.guardiannewsngr.com/news/article13//indexn3_html?pdate=070208&ptitle=Senate%20debates%20bill%20on%20indecent%

    20dressing,%20others&cpdate=070208

    Nigeria: Indecent Dressing – the Limit of Legislation

    http://allafrica.com/stories/200802190927.html

    Nigerian feminists fight ‘indecent dress’ bill

    http://www.thefword.org.uk/blog/2008/02/nigerian_femini

    Women mobilise against bill on indecent dressing

    http://www.punchng.com/Articl.aspx?theartic=Art200806221431460

    |What constitutes indecent or improper dreesing? and should it be phohibited where you are?

  2. 2 nelsoni
    July 9, 2008 at 19:57

    all comments are welcome

  3. 3 Mohammed Ali
    July 9, 2008 at 20:05

    Hi to Victork and Bob, Israel carried on rehearsal exercise with about 100 let bombers.Iran tested long range missiles that has the capability of reaching Israel. Iranian revolutionary guard commander said the missiles are ready to strike at any time when Iran is attacked. Are there two countries preparing an inevitable war? Comments are welcomed.

  4. 5 Mohammed Ali
    July 9, 2008 at 20:17

    What’s about Russia’s threat to react militarily if US goes ahead to build a messile defence shield in the Czech Republic. Should it be taken as a real threat or we are seen the reemergence of the cold was rhetorics?

  5. 6 Anthony
    July 9, 2008 at 20:24

    The whole situation with Iran and Israel, and us (the USA) complete B.S.!!! If there’s a draft, there’s no way I’m going to fight Bush and Cheney’s war!!! There is no way I’m gonna go and kill a bunch of innocent Iranians who are simply defending their homes and family!!!

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  6. 7 Tino
    July 9, 2008 at 20:29

    http://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/elections_j.htm#1341

    Drive to legalize – completely – marijuana in Cali.

  7. 8 Robert
    July 9, 2008 at 20:33

    Inevitable war?

    Iran knows that if it were to attack Israel it would receive a little bit more than just a slap round the ear from the US.

    Israel must see that any serious assault on Iran would lead to its destruction at the hand of the other powers in the region. Maybe they would get away with a one off attack to destroy a single high profile target like a reactor, but anything more will induce the wrath of other countries in the region and result in unpredictable violence against them.

    It’s sabra rattling, just like the Cuban missile crisis.
    Leaders like Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Ehud Olmert both want to be seen in there own peoples eyes as strong as it gives them power. Causing the destruction off their own country strips them of that power. Eventually an excuse to back down will be found (like the next round of talks) and the stand off put on hold until the next time.

  8. 9 Mohammed Ali
    July 9, 2008 at 21:03

    Completely legalize marijuana? Can someone please tell some of the good things marijuana does to the body?

  9. 10 Count Iblis
    July 9, 2008 at 21:13

    Dan Gillerman (Israeli UN ambassador) just said on CNN that Iran should not be compared to North Korea. He said that while North Korea developed nukes out of desperation, Iran wants to have nukes to attack Israel with and that their missile test is proof of their aggressive intentions.

    I think that this is the most ridiculous assessment of the stuation I’ve ever heard.

  10. 11 Tino
    July 9, 2008 at 21:29

    “Can someone please tell some of the good things marijuana does to the body?”

    Pain relief, stress relief, lowering intraocular pressure in glaucoma, reduction of nausea in chemo patients, etc.

    Of course none of that matters as adults should be allowed to decide to use it for themselves, in the same manner of cigarettes and alcohol – both of which are more harmful to the individual AND society.

  11. 12 Mohammed Ali
    July 9, 2008 at 21:37

    The Israeli Amb. To the UN really sucks on this. If N. Korea was seeking nukes out of desperation, then they could use it out of desperation.

  12. 13 victork13
    July 9, 2008 at 21:38

    Hello to everyone. I’ll do my best to be here – on and off – for the next hour and a half or so. With luck Bob and other moderators will be able to take the helm after that.

    @Nelsoni, re ‘improper dress’: Nigerian politicians are a strange lot. Given the multitude of problems their country faces – severe energy shortages despite being a major oil supplier, ethnic tension and hostility, an incipient nationalist-cum-terror movement in the Niger delta, underdevelopment and seemingly permanent third world status despite hundreds of billions of dollars in oil revenues over the past 30 years, the growth of of fanatical Islam in its northern states, pervasive corruption, the ever imminent threat of yet another military coup, and being displaced in the eyes of the world as the leading African nation by South Africa – despite all these problems and challenges it’s good to see that Nigerian politicians still have the time to concentrate on life’s more trivial issues.

    If frivolity were an olympic sport I think we know which country would walk away with gold.

  13. 14 Julie P
    July 9, 2008 at 21:52

    @VictorK and Nelson,

    On the dress issue…At the office we’ve all just decided that it would be best if we started issuing each other citations based on the amount of skin showing, hands, ankles, calves, and so forth. Since it is hot we figure we’ll all be broke by the end of the month.

  14. 15 Venessa
    July 9, 2008 at 22:02

    @ Mohammed Ali

    “Completely legalize marijuana? Can someone please tell some of the good things marijuana does to the body?”
    ____________________________________________________________

    I think Tino already nailed the medical benefits but you can insert cigarettes & alcohol in your question above and will probably be hard pressed to find any answer.

  15. 16 victork13
    July 9, 2008 at 22:03

    @Count Iblis: I didn’t hear the Israeli ambassador speak so I’ll not offer an opinion on whether his assessment was as ridiculous as you think it.

    I did hear a BBC News 24 report on the G8 Summit. Apparently, in calling for sanctions against Zimbabwe, Gordon Brown and George Bush have stated that the country represents a threat to the security of the region (I believe that this is one of the conditions that must be satisfied before the UN can embark on formal action against a country).

    If there were a competiton for the most shameless and transparent lie you’ve ever heard from a politician this would be one of my nominees. Zimbabwe is quite plainly not a threat to the region. It would be easier to make out a case for the UK and US’s actions in Iraq and Afghanistan having – indirectly and unintentionally – increased and intensified the threats facing those countries and several others in that region. But no one is talking about bringing the prestige of the UN to bear on either Bush or Brown.

    More attention is given by certain Western countries to Zimbabwe than to much greater humanitarian crises in Darfur, Sudan, Somalia and the DR of the Congo. Is it any wonder that some Africans are suspicious about the motives and passion of the British government when it comes to Mugabe? There doesn’t seem to be any good reason that they can avow for it.

  16. 17 Mohammed Ali
    July 9, 2008 at 22:03

    “WAR ON TERROR” vs CIVIL LIBERTY Few weeks back the British parliament passed a bill given the rights to law enforcement officers to detain a terror suspect for 48 days without charge. Today the American Congress passed the Surveilence Act Bill. This bill gives the right to the government to spy on individual citizens and this include tapping on their telephone lines and makes telecom immune to law suits on this issues. Is the “Was on Terror” making governments to erode the values of civil liberty? Is this the right way to go about fighting terrorism?

  17. 18 Dennis
    July 9, 2008 at 22:09

    Hi Bob and VictorK….

    How have you been lately….

    Started my second summer semester at community college….

    I am very sorry for not partipicating in the activities very much!

    Dennis
    Onondaga Community College
    Syracuse, New York
    United States of America

  18. 19 victork13
    July 9, 2008 at 22:16

    Hi Dennis. Hope the Semester goes well!

  19. 20 Venessa
    July 9, 2008 at 22:18

    What do people think about this? It’s about targeted advertising based on your surfing habits on the internet.

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=92372868

  20. 21 victork13
    July 9, 2008 at 22:20

    The European Union (EU) goes from bad to worse. How it violated its own procedural rules in order to pre-empt criticism from the small number of openly ‘Eurosceptic’ members of the European Parliament.

    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/daniel_hannan/blog/2008/07/09/european_parliament_bars_eurosceptic_groups

    The EU is a centralising and tyrannising disaster in the making.

  21. 22 John van Dokkumburg
    July 9, 2008 at 22:31

    Hello , a little confused , presidents talking better climate and cheaper oil but its a fact : both are impossible to work as one together ; what is realy good for all and for tomorrow our today ? What means fortune today does it have long term value ? Do we talk about basic values our high tech to ease our beeing … Oh nature, what is wrong … It is just because we dont know how to entertain each other anymore ; it hurts , no funny people … funny soul, it is not _ because : we have babylon rules . Dirt is in our country so in the source of countries law , from original selection to mixed dirt . Our laws are a sleep and blind for todays needs – it must chance – and then leaders are defent by the Law and so they can defend the good and hate the bad behaviour , its the law that change you , and we then see the differance between good and bad people .. and nothing else . Advice is what we want no old school economic bitch .

  22. 23 victork13
    July 9, 2008 at 22:34

    One of the imperatives for any Western education system is to teach people, from the earliest possible age, the three following points:

    1. the importance of free speech
    2. how social, political and intellectual progress – in fact, all kinds of progress, depend on free inquiry and the ability to exchange and criticise ideas without fear of being stigmatised as a ‘racist’, ‘Islamophobe’, ‘sexist’ etc.
    3. that words whose meanings denote things in the real world should never be confused with words that connote things that are abstract in nature or that relate to our feelings or state of mind.

    When someone makes an argument or offers a sugestion that you don’t like, that may say something about you (you’re oversensitive, apt to miss the point, inclined to emote rather than to counter-argue, etc): but it doesn’t make them a ‘racist’. The word is thrown about too liberally by some people as an act of verbal terrorism.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/2276499/BBC-Radio-4%27s-Thought-for-the-Day-accused-of-racism-over-African-%27moral-deficit%27-claim.html

  23. 24 Mohammed Ali
    July 9, 2008 at 22:39

    So what’s about the bad side of marijuana? Personally i know that marijuana has many positive medical benefits and therefore have no problem with legalizing it. But many Liberians will jump at me for saying this because marijuana is actually associated with all the bad things ranging from killing, maiming, raping and just all the negative effects of war that took place during our 14 year long civil war.

  24. 25 victork13
    July 9, 2008 at 22:39

    @Venessa, re targeted advertised: I think it’s fine so long as it also includes software giving people the option not to have their surfing habits tracked and logged. It’s about choice and consumer, not corporate, supremacy.

  25. 26 Justin from Iowa
    July 9, 2008 at 22:41

    I’d like to chat a bit about the attitude of employers and big business to their employees. We’ve seen a lot of changes in the last 30-40 years, and just wondering on people’s thoughts on that. A couple days ago I linked an article about how one of the big Kosher meatpacking companies in my area allows horrible safety hazards to take place. They get barely a slap on the wrist from the government when people are losing whole hands.
    Most of those workers, nearly all in fact, are immigrants or illegal immigrants. Do you feel that if you are in a country illegally, you are submitting yourself to exploitation without any recourse or response? Is it the risk you take?
    And is this any different than our companies going to another country where there are no, ore much fewer, worker’s rights and exploiting them?
    Or are worker’s rights part of a bygone age, something of the past that you shouldn’t expect in today’s day and age?
    A recent article in my local paper pointed out that several companies, when faced with claims on company health and life insurance, refunded the paid in monies rather than paying out the health and life insurance plans. And recent laws passed by the US government PROTECT the companies doing this from being sued.

  26. 27 Anthony
    July 9, 2008 at 22:47

    @ Mohammed Ali

    The only problem I have with weed is the social problems. It makes people and groups of people content with doing nothing. They just lie around and do absolutly nothing. I know potheads, and they have NOTHING going on for them now, or later on in life. Besides that, it’s a ncie medicine 🙂

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  27. 28 Robert
    July 9, 2008 at 22:47

    @ Venessa

    BT unfortunately trailed this technology a few years ago in a system called PHORM. This sparked criticism in the UK as it was potentially illegal, given that nobody on the trail knew about it in advance hence it is an invasion of privacy.

    Facebook also tried a similar system called Beacon. If you brought a product from a company taking part in the scheme then your FB friends would be told roughly what you brought when they go to the site (I think the idea being if your friend brought it then its a recommendation). Again the problem was people were not told about this. There was much criticism regarding facebook accidentally letting on to people where presents has been brought.

    Personally I’m not too concerned about the technology in of itself, so long as

    1) It’s opt in and made clear that your opting in
    2) It’s clear what the system does, who else will see the information.

    One of the major problem I think with the internet is that unlike previous industries where things took time to do and so the engineer/developer had time to sit and think through the results, on the internet things can often be rolled out or updated on the run. A traditional project involving pieces of metal might take 2 years to go from first idea to commercial product. Some updates to sites can go up in less that a few weeks from the first idea. Have people had the time to truly think through the idea completely and make sure the system is secure?

  28. 29 victork13
    July 9, 2008 at 22:54

    “Terrorists, with beards and long hair” launched an attack on the US’s Istanbul consulate, resulting in six fatalities.

    Wasn’t Turkey supposed to be a shining beacon of moderation? Muslim yet democratic, veil-wearing but pro-Western, a bridge between east and west…blah, blah?

    Historically Islam has always had a problem with the non-Islamic ‘other’. And it has always, when in a position to do so, used violence and repression to either wipe the other out of existence (Turkey was once as thoroughly Christian as it is today thoroughly Muslim), or to reduce them to second-class status, something that Islam’s traditions very helpfully provide for with the concept of the ‘dhimmi’ (Egypt’s Copts, amongst other minorities in what are today Muslim countries, could give a much fuller explanation).

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/2274180/Turkey-shooting-Six-dead-in-US-consulate-attack-in-Istanbul.html

    Unless Europe grows tired of life and develops a collective sense of suicide, Turkey is never going to be a member of the European Union.

  29. 30 Tino
    July 9, 2008 at 23:04

    “But many Liberians will jump at me for saying this because marijuana is actually associated with all the bad things ranging from killing, maiming, raping and just all the negative effects of war that took place during our 14 year long civil war.”

    It is demonized over here too, but without any concrete basis it seems. I have yet to read a murder/assault story where it shows marijuana as a cause for violent behavior. Reefer madness is a joke nowadays but was originally very serious.

    The negatives seem to be possible health complications. Studies have shown it going either way so far. One study in fact showed a lower incidence, compared to the general population, of cancer of the mouth, throat, and lungs but the difference was not statistically significant so no conclusions can be drawn from it as a health benefit. It also has more harmful chemicals than cigarettes, but the theory is that something – possibly THC itself – is counteracting them.

    http://www.news-medical.net/?id=18122

    “Dr. Tashkin say the new findings are surprising for several reasons; previous studies have shown that marijuana tar contains about 50% higher concentrations of chemicals linked to lung cancer, compared with tobacco tar, and smoking marijuana cigarettes deposits four times more tar in the lungs than smoking an equivalent amount of tobacco.”

    Pretty cool stuff, I hope more people research it thoroughly.

  30. 31 Mohammed Ali
    July 9, 2008 at 23:18

    @Victork, Funny how you describe the terrorists who attacked the US consulate in Istanbul. Is terrorism associated with muslims? What’s about the IRA? What’s about the Basque Separatist Movement, ETA, in Spain? I wonder they are muslim groups?

  31. 32 victork13
    July 9, 2008 at 23:22

    @Justin: you’ve a perfectly reasonable point – workers should not be so weak or defenceless that companies can exploit them with impunity. But in the same vein, workers should not be so privileged and entrenched as to be able to hold companies to ransom (as was the case here in the UK for many years, until Margaret Thatcher rose to office and permanently destroyed the power of the trades union mafiosi). It’s a question of balance.

    Illegal immigrants can’t reasonably expect to have the same expectation as citizens to be protected from exploitative employers. The only responses to illegals being maltreated are to punish the companies for employing them and to deport the illegals.

    As far as exploitation in other countries is concerned that’s a matter for each sovereign nation to address, isn’t it? I don’t think that Westerners have any business raising issues about the conditions of workers in non-Western lands, even if they’re working for or servicing Western countries. The BBC recently exposed – as they thought – a successful British clothing company, Primark, for using suppliers who employed child labour. Primark had entered into agreements with the suppliers that they wouldn’t use children as workers, agreements that the suppliers breached. The BBC still reported the incident as if Primark bore the great moral burden of what had happened (an approach that struck me as another instance of ‘liberal racism’: the view that dark-skinned people are not sufficiently moral and adult to be held responsible for their actions, but white directors of Primark are adult, moral and human enough to be held completely accountable for not only their failings – which were non-existent – but other people’s too!). India is an independent state with a fully sovereign government. If Indian children are being exploited by Indian companies and, corportations then it should be for the Indians to look into the matter and, hopefully, put it right. I don’t know what business any Western organisation has in prying into the employment practices of a non-Western state (except to damage successful Western companies, a motive that is perhaps more common than many people would imagine). Some Westerners have yet to wean themselves off a certain moral imperialism, a sense of their ethical superiority to non-Westerners and the right it gives them to endlessly lecture them about everything from democracy to child workers, and even to use force to bring them into the light (Iraq, Afghnaistan).

  32. 33 Venessa
    July 9, 2008 at 23:29

    Robert & VictorK ~

    I agree with your reasoning on this. My first reaction was this is a complete invasion (not that the internet is really all that private) but it is because of the concerns you pointed out. I too question whether or not the technology is secure. I know new software will often go out the door with known bugs to meet deadlines or marketing commitments.

  33. 34 Shirley
    July 9, 2008 at 23:34

    JonBenet Ramsey’s parents finally cleared! http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080709/ap_on_re_us/jonbenet_ramsey_dna;_ylt=AlAXHMMuNcMQkKwKqDhJXEes0NUE

    I cannot believe that the G8 Summit is over so quickly. Did they discuss food prices at all? Africa? Anything besides climate change?

  34. 35 Tino
    July 9, 2008 at 23:34

    “Is terrorism associated with muslims? What’s about the IRA? What’s about the Basque Separatist Movement, ETA, in Spain? I wonder they are muslim groups?”

    Of course it is, through their own actions. The IRA issue is for all intents and purposes resolved. The ETA does not bomb other countries. While they are certainly terrorists, it is not a global phenomena. Islam, on the other hand, has committed and continues to commit terrorist attacks all over the world for religious reasons. Thus, Islam is correctly associated with terrorism.

  35. 36 victork13
    July 9, 2008 at 23:44

    @Mohammed, re terrorists: the description you’re referring to is presumably the ‘beards’ and ‘long hair’. It wasn’t my description but that of an eyewitness to what happened.

    You must have blinked and missed the past 10 years: yes, terrorism is now firmly associated with Islam and Muslims. That’s not to say that only Muslims are terrorists (the FARC, ETA, the Tamil Tigers etc), or that most Muslims are terrorists. But I don’t see how anyone can reasonably argue that most terrorism in the world today is not Islamic in character, Koranic in inspiration, and is executed by Muslims. Here in Britain every week sees one or more groups of Muslims on trial for actual or – more usually – attempted terrorism. For months after the 7/7 terrorist bombings in London, and the attempted bombings on 21/7, virtually every Muslim male aged 15 to, say, 50 was viewed by most of the public as a potential terrorist. People would scrutinise them, their behaviour, their dress, whether they had a backpack, whether they were carrying a bag or some kind of package, whether they had mobile phones that could be used as detonators, whetehr they appeared to be praying (as in a final prayer), whether there were any wires noticeable about their person, etc. Muslims were scrutinised on the street, on the underground, on buses, in shops…Many Muslims complained about how this made them feel, as if they were being silently accused of a crime, and how they felt themselves to be under constant surveillance.

    Iraq, Palestine, Somalia, Chechnya, Kashmir, India, Britain, Spain, the USA, Pakistan, Bali, France, Turkey, Holland, Russia, Jordan, Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Kenya, Darfur, Sudan… ‘Is terrorism associated with Muslims?’: there really is no need for me to answer that one.

  36. 37 Robert
    July 9, 2008 at 23:51

    @Venessa

    It not just the bugs in the software that you need to worry about. You have to consider the bugs in the human processes all work places use and government laws that have unforeseen outcomes.

    First to highlight the human issues. In the UK we have had a few too many high profile data losses from government departments. The teams need to send some data to a regional office. They decide not just to transmit the data they need but the whole database (because it would take to long to sort?) and burn it to an unencypted CD (would have taken to long to secure it?) and then put it in the normal everyday post, or leave it on a seat on a train! About a 20% of the nations bank account details are sat somewhere in the UK postal system unprotected.

    Regarding laws. The US past its patriot act allow it access to all data stored on its soil in the name of national security. However this law as it turns out would allow the American government access to transaction data between people and companies all off whom are based abroad and the transaction having nothing to do with the states, save the the company providing the online storage space happens to keep the hard disk on US soil. Nobody involved in the transaction would have even known that they are exposing themselves to this (albeit theoretical at this stage) risk of uncle Sam snooping on them.

  37. 38 Venessa
    July 9, 2008 at 23:54

    Anthony ~

    I see where you are coming from because I do know people that sit around and smoke weed and have nothing to show for themselves but I would have to ask if it’s the marijuana or just the person. I know many more very successful people who smoke pot and seem to have no trouble carrying on with their daily lives.

    My observation is that the same people that are doing nothing would most likely be wasting their lives regardless of their drug habits.

  38. July 9, 2008 at 23:55

    Hello gang ! :-)… I do hope you guys all are doing very well… Ah, how beautiful and at the same time how unrealistic if we were living in a world where everybody is able of exchanging and criticising ideas without fear of being stigmatised as ‘Islamophobe’, ‘racist’, ‘sexist’, ‘antisemitic’, ‘anti-Western’, ‘anti-American’, and the list goes on and on !! Unfortunately there’re still till now some red lines that many all over the world would never dare to cross or even question… Because to those poor people their opinions and what they believe in are always right, while to them the ‘OTHER’ is always wrong and doesn’t deserve at all to be shown any kind of respect, because since it’s the ‘OTHER’, then it’s got to be ‘inferior’ to them… With my love… Yours forever, Lubna…

  39. 40 Dennis
    July 9, 2008 at 23:59

    @ Victork13 and everyone else..

    Semester is going well day 3 [classes for this semester started on Monday and run until August 7, 2008 and then i will be taking a vacation and 31 August 2008 and i will return to Syracuse and be for the rest of this year…

    I am taking a course right now to improved my reading!

    @ Lubna: I hope you are doing ok and your family and friends are “safe”, and i pray for you and your country every night…..Hugs and Kisses…

    Dennis
    Onondaga Community College
    Syracuse, New York
    United States of America

  40. 41 Julie P
    July 10, 2008 at 00:00

    Does any know exactly what Jesse Jackson said in regards to Obama?

    http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/07/09/jesse.jackson.comment/index.html

    Whatever it was CNN censored it.

  41. 42 Anthony
    July 10, 2008 at 00:02

    @ vanessa

    Thats true, but I know people who did great in high school, go to college, start to smoke, then made smoking weed their primary objective in life. I don’t understand it, but I have seen this happen.

    I HATE the fact that you face prison time for it, and we waste so much money on the “war” against it.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  42. 43 victork13
    July 10, 2008 at 00:03

    It’s just gone midnight so I’ll wrap up my moderating stint. There seems to be at least one other moderator about so the discussion should keep flowing. I left it later than I’d planned but there’s still some time to catch up with my reading (a book about the constituional outlook of the Confederate States of America, and its lessons for the US and the EU, and a life of Madame du Deffand).

    Good night all.

  43. 44 Shirley
    July 10, 2008 at 00:05

    Religion & Morality:
    Steve, this is going to seem laughably obvious to you, but I still want to hear your perspective on it. My understanding is that you are an atheist. I’ve seen you opine on issues of morality in such a way that paints you as morally conservative, though, which seems to be a diversion from traditional atheist moral values. I freely admit that most of the atheists that I have known to this point have been hippies. I just wanted to hear your perspective on why you tend towards a moral conservative viewpoint and any other diversions you might have form the “if it feels good, do it” crowd. The reason that it does not seem obvious to me is because I have spent a lifetime diving into religious texts and wandering past moral injunctions, even in casual readings. I don’t blame you for thinking my perspective funny: for me, non-religious ways of life have that same sense of outside-ness. I do want to hear your perspective, though.

    Vegetarianism:
    (Picking on Steve again) You’re also a vegetarian, right? I asked, and I am not sure if you missed me or I you, but I am wondering if you are totaly vegan or a dairified vegetarian. What is your reasoning? If you are a vegan, do you also abstain from honey? Any other thoughts that you might have would certainly be welcome. I’m just interested in hearing you ramble on these topics.

    Our HIV Discussion:
    We have so far to go yet. Reading the thread, hearing the discussion today, it really struck a chord in me, just as Monday’s quiet but heavy discussion from Olympic village did.

  44. 45 graceunderfire
    July 10, 2008 at 00:15

    Terrorism is associated with terrorists. Islam is by its canon and current interpretation of its holy writs, intolerant. Intolerance begets terrorists (If I believe I may damn to hell a person thats professes religious beliefs contrary to my own, then it is a small “leap of faith” to believe I may casually murder them as well.). In the minds of the victims, the fifth pillar awards every Moslem ownership of their intolerant brethren. A lack of general, Islamic condemnation of these violent people sounds in its deafening silence as tacit approval for their actions. Like it or not, these perceptions shape outsider’s view of the faithful.
    guf

  45. 46 Venessa
    July 10, 2008 at 00:21

    To the other moderators out there:

    I was able to approve comments the day that I was moderating last week but don’t seem to be able to anymore. What am I missing or doing wrong? All of the comments that are awaiting approval are still visible there just aren’t any actions available. I would like to help out if needed.

  46. 47 Venessa
    July 10, 2008 at 00:28

    “I know people who did great in high school, go to college, start to smoke, then made smoking weed their primary objective in life. I don’t understand it, but I have seen this happen.”

    I too have seen this, which is why I draw the conclusion that it’s the person. Some people are prone to addictive behaviours. Though I don’t think weed is addictive I think it can be tough for person to quit who possesses a predisposition to dependence.

    “I HATE the fact that you face prison time for it, and we waste so much money on the “war” against it.”

    Agreed! There are much larger problems that resources could be used for.

  47. 48 nelsoni
    July 10, 2008 at 00:31

    Hi every one. Quite a number of quality posts so far. As a student of international relations, I can boldly say without contradiction that the international system is full of double standards. Under the same situation, you have different rules for different countries. Iran’s missile test has sent the israelis back to the drawing board. Should they attack Iran first ( which would be a stupid thing to do anyway), they are well aware that Iran has the capabilites to retaliate claiming “the right to defend her self”. Watch this space. The G-8 summit has ended again with no useful thing achieved. I think its time the world moved on with the G-8 because simply they are of no use to their citizens or the rest of the world. One can not point of any useful thing that this summit achieved. Just the same old vague and half hearted commitments which will be forgotten the moment they leave Japan. What a shame!!

  48. 49 Shirley
    July 10, 2008 at 01:28

    Tino, you once again surprise me.

    Someone asked about cooking leg of lamb in today’s Martha Stewart re-run. She listed off some vegis and spices: garlic, rosemary, asparagus, baby, potatoes, and carrots. She also referred to her French Pea Soup Recipe, which can be found on her website, she said.

    Mohammed Ali, it seems to me that when you take away the freedoms that you are “fighting” for, then you are fighting for nothing, in reality.

  49. 50 Tino
    July 10, 2008 at 01:58

    Shirley,

    What can I say, I have diverse interests and concerns haha. Hmm I think I will try some pea soup, I really like it and havent had it for a while. First I am making Dolma though, I think on Saturday.

  50. 51 Luz Ma
    July 10, 2008 at 01:58

    @Anthony and Vanessa

    I completely agree with the legalization of mariguana, especially in the U.S. It will help to solve part of the drug traffic problem in Mexico.

    Also, I know people with rheumatoid arthritis that will definetely benefit from mariguana as a medicine.

  51. 52 Bob in Queensland
    July 10, 2008 at 02:28

    Hi all!

    Just to let you know I’m here and “button pushing” now–due to some gremlins in the email system, the email asking me to mod tonight/today took a couple of hours to arrive and I didn’t see it until I got up this morning!

    Anyway, I’m here and reading in….and I’m sure I’ll have something to say once I’ve seen what’s been posted so far!

  52. 53 portlandmike
    July 10, 2008 at 02:33

    I think that legalizing marijuana will have many positive results. Even though some people think that long time users have NOTHING going on… I believe that there are many long time users with big lives… I know there are many.

    But the worse part of criminalizing something that is EVERYWHERE is that our jails have had millions of users jailed over the years, for a product that is as ubiquitous as… well, grass.

    Prosecutors, jailers, bailers, lawyers, and all the “helping professionals” who work to get people off pot, make me laugh. It is an industry of finger waggers. What a waste!

  53. 54 steve
    July 10, 2008 at 02:45

    @ Shirley

    You don’t have to believe in God to have values. You don’t need to believe in God to believe in the golden rule. I’m sure lots of athiests are vegetarians. What did the animals do to harm me? I would have less problem with people eating me if we didn’t go kill off so many animals after one kills a human, after all, we kill so many more of them than they kill of us.. (<– as an example).. I’m an athiest that thinks abortion is wrong and the death penalty is wrong.

  54. 55 Bob in Queensland
    July 10, 2008 at 02:48

    Wow! You guys have hit a lot of nerves in the discussion so far and I find myself unsure how many replies I dare make all at once! Mindful of Mark’s note last night about message length and too many links, instead of my usual “catch up with everything” post, I’ll do a series of short ones.

    First off @ nelsoni

    Do you think the true issue with all the links you posted is really suitable clothing for women? Or, is it really about the woman’s place in these various male-dominated societies with the clothing just a symptom of a far greater problem? I suspect this is much more about maintaining male superiority and repressing any form of freedom of expression for women.

    On another tack, somebody yesterday posted a link to a small city in the USA where the new police chief is stamping down on young people (mainly male) who wear loose baggy trousers with their underwear showing. This seems to be an “urban” fashion statement in many countries and it’s one that strikes a nerve with me since we have a grown teenage daughter who has adopted this dress–her visit last weekend was peppered with parental “pull up your trousers” orders!

    Anyway the American police chief has declared showing your underwear constitutes “indecent exposure” and will be prosecuted as such. Can a fashion like this (even such a silly one), adopted by so many milion young people, be indecent?

  55. 56 Bob in Queensland
    July 10, 2008 at 02:52

    @ Many, regarding Israel and Iran

    I hope that both Israel and Iran are sensible enough to realise that any attack (by either of them) would turn into at least a large regional conflict (perhaps with nuclear consequences) and possibly World War 3.

    The trouble with sabre rattling like we’re seeing now is that it’s all too easy for somebody to make a mistake (or a commander “go cowboy”) and touch off a conflict that wasn’t intended.

  56. 57 Bob in Queensland
    July 10, 2008 at 02:58

    @ victor13

    Regarding the use of the word “racist” I tend to agree that it’s used all too often as a verbal hand grenade to substitute for real debate. It’s interesting that Barrack Obama made a speech aimed at black American youths yesterday that included some stereotypes that would have been immediately considered racist had they come from a white candidate.

    I have great respect for Obama and am not criticising his speech; rather, I just think that over-using the accusation of racism is a bit like “the boy who cried wolf”, lessening the response when GENUINE racism is found.

  57. 58 steve
    July 10, 2008 at 03:01

    @ Bob

    But it’s good that Obama is bringing it up even if whites are not allowed to say it. His message was to not have pretty hopeless dreams but rather to work hard in school and get real jobs rather than dream of being a basketball player or a rap star, which one is very unlikely to become.

  58. 59 Luz Ma
    July 10, 2008 at 03:02

    @Bob about women clothing

    ” I suspect this is much more about maintaining male superiority and repressing any form of freedom of expression for women”

    Well said!

  59. 60 Mohammed Ali
    July 10, 2008 at 03:02

    @Tino and Victork, i have to discuss religion because i don’t belive in them. But for our purpose and from your postings, can we say a working definition for terrorism is any act carry out by only muslim to kill innocent people?

  60. 61 Bob in Queensland
    July 10, 2008 at 03:05

    @ Tino

    Regarding terrorism, in one of your posts you mention that the problem with the IRA is, for all intents, over. You are of course right.

    However, it’s worth noting that the IRA terror was ended through “negotiating with terrorists” after many decades of armed struggle failed dismally.

    I’d like to hear your proposed solution to Islamic terrorism–and if it involves isolating Muslims, demonising a whole religion and lots of military action, I fear you’re in for a long struggle!

  61. 62 steve
    July 10, 2008 at 03:05

    I’m curious, does anything think she would have dated a pharmacist or a IT tech guy? In 7 months, he beat her 4 times, and rang up $30k in credit cards, yet a nice guy would no doubt bore her to death. If this were rare it wouldn’t be newsworthy, it’s that it’s so common. What drives women to love bad boys so much?

    http://www.boston.com/news/local/breaking_news/2008/07/boyfriend_of_be.html

  62. 63 Bob in Queensland
    July 10, 2008 at 03:12

    @ Many

    Regarding marijuana, call me an ageing hippy but I favour its legalisation.

    Whatever isolated risks there might be, it is certainly no more dangerous than tobacco or alcohol and probably far less so.

    However, by making it illegal, the authorities force otherwise law-abiding people into a world of illegal drug pushers, making the theory that cannabis is a “stepping stone” drug a self-fulfilling prophecy.

    I’ll be even more controversial. If even the genuinely harmful drugs could be obtained cheaply and without risk though official channels, we’d clear up a huge amount of associated crime–not to mention help control diseases like AIDS spread through needle sharing.

    Has prohibition ever worked on any substance? Or does it just create a new criminal underworld with all the associated problems?

  63. 64 Shirley
    July 10, 2008 at 03:15

    Hi, Steve,
    What life experience do you have behind your opinions on things like modesty, marital faithfulness, abortions, etc.? Do you consider your values on those kinds of things to be related to your decision to be a vegetarian? Will I never learn if you eat fish or honey or drink milk? What are your views on things like cigarettes, alcohol, street drugs, etc.?

    I know that it seems like I am being pushy. I am just curious and want to know more about the people with whom I share planet earth.

    Bob & other mods on duty – board policies:
    I strikes me that I do not view the use of religious texts for use in discussing hot topics differently than I do the use of encyclopedic or media-based material. I don’t mean it in the sense that I feel that I have any right to tell someone not to drink alcohol because of what is contained in my rleigious texts. I do not. I mean it in the sense of describing what values or cultural norms are intrinsic to a rleigious system using the texts of that same rleiigous system. For this reason, I couldn’t wrap my mind around Mark’s request. I am certainly interested in hearing other people’s opinions on what kinds of dicussions are welcome on the WHYS boards, whether those standards change based on the GMT hours (business, night, week-end, etc.), and what kinds of referencing or citations are acceptable when one feels the desire to back up one’s points of view with substantive source materials.

    I was just beginning to enjoy that little debate with Tino, too.

  64. 65 Bob in Queensland
    July 10, 2008 at 03:18

    @ Steve

    Oh dear! This is going to be a strange day! I’ve found two areas where we’re in total agreement.

    First, regarding the Obama speech, yes, he was right and the content needed to be said. That’s one reason I think he might be a good president. My comment was not in any way criticising him, just the way that non-black Americans would have had to tip-toe around the issue to avoid people “playing the racist card”.

    Second, I’m also completely with you that religion is in no way necessary for a person to have their own moral and ethical code. The “golden rule” is the ten commandments after a good editor tightened up the verbiage–and it works in pretty well any situation without being imposed by a god (or having the threat of a hell hanging over you).

  65. 66 Tino
    July 10, 2008 at 03:26

    “But for our purpose and from your postings, can we say a working definition for terrorism is any act carry out by only muslim to kill innocent people?”

    Terrorism is not solely the domain of Muslims, as you pointed out the ETA is not Muslim. The majority of terrorists are, however, Muslim right now.

    “I’d like to hear your proposed solution to Islamic terrorism–and if it involves isolating Muslims, demonising a whole religion and lots of military action, I fear you’re in for a long struggle!”

    I think negotiating with the IRA was successful solely because they were motivated by secular goals. Islamic terrorism, ultimately, has the goal of restoring the caliphate. I do not think negotiating will work in this case.

    I am not entirely sure what to do though. It is a ridiculously hard problem to solve because they are motivated by religion. When someone views their mission as God-given and endorsed it is difficult to convince them to stop.

    The problem is no matter what we do, it does not seem to be a perfect solution. Military solutions inevitably bring some civilian deaths. Talking is a waste of time. Isolation is unrealistic. I am almost to the point where I think we should lay an ultimatum. Either the ummah takes care of their problem or we lump all of them into a group of bad guys and move from there. No immigration from Islamic countries, no mosques allowed to be built, harsh military action, etc. I do not like the idea, but I honestly think we have run out of options. They, unfortunately, seem to have much more fight in them than we do nowadays and I am honestly afraid if push comes to shove we might actually lose solely because we lack an equal will to get the job done. We also have much, much more of a self-critical element (which I used to consider good) and they seem to have none whatsoever. Anyone who criticizes their own way there is immediately condemned.

  66. 67 Tino
    July 10, 2008 at 03:30

    Shirley,

    Unless they start blocking your posts I would go with whatever you want to do. I will say I tried to shorten my posts and post less links after he said that, but I honestly think he is just kinda setting his opinion down. He shouldn’t be trying to change the way we use an open forum – unless we cross some obvious lines – and I do not think he was trying to do that though it did kind of come off as such.

    I know I will still post religious texts and such if I am so inclined.

    “Has prohibition ever worked on any substance? Or does it just create a new criminal underworld with all the associated problems?”

    Exactly what it does. It also makes it more expensive and causes a loss of possible tax revenue. California’s idea, from what I gathered in reading, is to sell stamps – one for growing a plant, one for buying etc. This represents an obvious and nice revenue boost for simply allowing what is fairly widespread already…

  67. 68 Dennis
    July 10, 2008 at 03:30

    I Have a story for you to discuss:
    legionnaires disease

    interest of full disclosure: this hospital in the link—is the hospital…onondaga community college uses for medical emergencies….

    http://news10now.com/content/top_stories/119681/legionnaires–disease-outbreak/Default.aspx

    [news10now is the regional 24 hour news services]

    Dennis
    Onondaga Community College
    Syracuse, New York
    United States of America

  68. 69 Bob in Queensland
    July 10, 2008 at 03:31

    @ Shirley

    Regarding religious texts, I don’t think there’s any prohibition on posting them as part of an explanation about why you believe a certain point of view. However, I think what Mark is trying to encourage is for people to post their OWN views, not simply quote (in some cases messily) a serious of newspaper articles….or a religious text.

    Last night’s “Talking Points” DID have quite a few posts that were mainly links to British newspapers without a great deal of supporting opinion from the posters…and links to long articles aren’t really the sort of stimulating exchange of views that WHYS is meant to be.

    However, on the other side of the coin, during last weekend’s Blank Page there was a very interesting discussion on why the Islamic religion is against alcohol. This included links to the religious basis for these rules which were entirely valid in context but were not the WHOLE debate.

    Certainly, in the guidelines for mods there is definitely NOT a ban on religious texts. However, my final comment is that, if you do post them, be prepared to have to justify them. The great thing about WHYS is that you have the opportunity to discuss things with people whose views are diametrically opposed to yours–which can be an uncomfortable experience, but always enlightening and thought provoking.

  69. 70 steve
    July 10, 2008 at 03:46

    Yes, why is Islam anti alcohol? I realize there are bad aspects to it, such as alcoholism, and the health consequences. It also ages you besides destroying your liver, but in Judaism and christianity, alcohol is actually used in religious ceremonies. However, ironically, at a bar, several months ago, I was talking to a Saudi, who was telling me about the black market and how you can find alcohol there. Obviously there is some market even in a place it is forbidden, so like the discussion about has a prohibition ever worked? The answer is pretty certain to be no.

  70. 71 Asad Babyl
    July 10, 2008 at 03:55

    @ Bryan

    Re: July 9th Talking Points

    “I don’t live in the UK and I don’t read the Daily Mail and my observations are based on wide reading from a variety of sources. I find it astonishing that people can so easily dismiss the gravest threat to Britain since the Nazis.”

    Finally, one rationale person who understands the gravity of the threat posed by Islam.

    It seems that Britons have not gotten away from the Nevile Chamberlain ideals of keeping the enemy by appeasement. Except this time friends, the enemy is already WITHIN Britain.

  71. 72 steve
    July 10, 2008 at 03:56

    @ shirley

    I’m not sure. Maybe some of it was religiously based. A lot of the 10 commandments makes good sense to me. It prevents conflict. I mean, if you’re trying to get with your neighbor’s wife, that’s going to create conflict between neighbors, so you shouldn’t do it. But even as a kid, I never believed in God, but I took the values anyways. I think the breaking point was when I was maybe 4 or 5 and my parents took me to a synagogue somwhere in Massachusetts when we were visiting my grandparents, and I wasn’t being quiet, and my dad said if I wasn’t quiet, God would strike me with lightning, and God didn’t, so I figured he didn’t exist, I surely couldn’t see him, nor hear him, but only could hear people, primarily the cantor.

    Drugs, cigarettes, etc? Dunno. They cause harm, that’s for sure. I think if people want to be free to hurt themselves, so long as they don’t hurt others (ie drink and drive, drive and do drugs) then they should be prosecuted harshly, if they want to harm themselves, then more power to them. Also included in that is that public funds shouldn’t be used to fix the problems, if you pay for health insurance, then be my guest to smoke, but not the taxpayer. I’m guilty of smoking when I drink, but in the US we have private health insurance. the taxpayer won’t pay for the consequences of my poor decisions. I think some drugs are so dangerous, that they shouldn’t be tolerated at all, such as cocaine. I’ve known several people that have died from it, and if they are combining drugs, and don’t know what they are doing, one can easily die. However something like pot is harmless and should be legal so long as you don’t drive under the influence.

  72. 73 Bob in Queensland
    July 10, 2008 at 03:56

    If you can skim through last weekend’s blank pages, you’ll find quite an informed discussion on alcohol and Islam, including links to an Islamic site giving the background and quotes from the Koran. However, the discussion also moved onto the inconsistencies in the rules such as caffeine in Arabic coffee or the chewing of Qat in many Islamic countries. A good discussion…but too long for me to summarise.

    No, prohibition never works…though back during the first Iraq war we had to rather quickly remove a pool satellite uplink operator from Saudi Arabia when we got wind his was, literally, making “bathtub gin” in hotel room!

  73. 74 steve
    July 10, 2008 at 04:06

    @ Bob

    Don’t wanna incriminate people, but at the US Embassy in a particularly pious muslim country, the term “tea” isn’t used to refer to the tea one normally drinks. It’s there.

  74. 75 Bob in Queensland
    July 10, 2008 at 04:21

    @ Steve

    Yup–in fact, I think it’s quite often taken in quite openly in a “diplomatic bag”. Certainly British embassies are usually good for a drink or two.

    It’s amazing how often I’ve had to visit the embassy when staying in certain countries…

  75. 76 steve
    July 10, 2008 at 04:33

    @ Bob

    i wish the US embassies were the same way. I worked at the US Embassy in Berlin in 1997, and other than parties, there was no booze. I went to I believe it was Sydney, at the Maritime Museum, and the tourguide on whatever ship it was, probably a destroyer, I barely remember, saw my Maryland shirt, and asked “what’s the only Navy that doesn’t have alcohol as part of it’s daily rations for the sailors?” and he points to me. I then replied, “something tells me Iran and Saudi Arabia don’t either”…. and he still tried to make his point.. However the welcoming party for new staff at the Principal Officer’s home in Berlin was pretty wild, all these incredible german beers I had never had before.. wow.

  76. 77 Bob in Queensland
    July 10, 2008 at 04:41

    It’s within my memory (1970) the the Royal Navy finally stopped the tradition of giving sailors their daily official “tot of rum” which was an eighth of a pint of very strong “overproof” rum. Above a certain rank, they got it neat; junior ranks had it diluted with water.

    Even now British ships aren’t dry–sailors just have to buy their own drinks in the wardroom, though there are limits on daily consumption.

    I suspect you’re right about the Saudi and Iraq navies though….

    (And if you like German beers you really need to visit Belgium sometime…WOW!)

  77. 78 steve
    July 10, 2008 at 04:44

    @ Bob

    I was in belgium for 3 weeks when I was 16, believe me, that shaped my beer drinking habits still to this day. Though I remember seeing or reading something about RN sailors still getting 2 drinks a day, maybe they have to buy them, but in the uSN, the ships are dry. Imagine being on a SSBN for 6 months without the abilitty to have a drink, especially after a rough day. I’m sure somebody sneaks some on board and nobody has a problem with it.

  78. 79 Murton
    July 10, 2008 at 05:06

    I live in the United States, where it seems a certain complacency about the disease, and it appears that a rising number of people are ignoring safe sex and engaging in unsafe activities. In the urban centers, such as New York, which I live near, it is clear there is less concern about being careful about not engaging in sexual behaviors which have a higher risk factor for AIDS.

  79. 80 Shirley
    July 10, 2008 at 05:29

    Senate approves surveillance bill: I am troubled at the apparent willingness of our Congress to roll over and play dead. It is disappointing, considering the amount of rhetoric that has been issued to the effect that there would be more opposition to Bush’s assaults on our Constitutional rights. Here is someone who is apparently not turning belly up for Bush: Pakistan rejects presence of foreign military: Pakistan’s top diplomat Wednesday rejected the idea of any foreign troops operating inside Pakistan, reinforcing its refusal to accept U.S. military aid in battling insurgents near the Afghan border.

    This – Attack on UN in Darfur – is just plain disappointing. I expected more from humans. The news from Zimbabwe, UN vote on Zimbabwe sanctions likely Thursday while admittedly most likely meaningless action, does leave me hopeful that perhaps something more might be done. Or maybe we will all pat ourselves on the back and roll over to doze off again? Iran missile test Is it a mere escalation of rhetoric? More tit for tat in order to balance the display of power? What is the likelihood that this will erupt?

  80. 81 Shirley
    July 10, 2008 at 05:35

    Towards a more bovine peace? Israel, Hamas trade cows for calm as part of truce International, internal criticisms of Israeli policy towards Palestine: Blair criticises West Ban roadblocks, Gaza blockade and http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20080709/wl_mideast_afp/mideastconflictwestbankattacks_080709075741;_ylt=AsnL7FFQPYGq3G8xJjzIv48UvioA>Most attacks on Palestinians go unpunished: Israeli group. And from within Palestine: PLO calls for implementation of ICJ ruling against Wall. The world really seems to be making a big deal out of the ICJ ruling.

    Palestinian PM criticises Israeli raids in West Bank
    Palestinian prime minister Falam Fayyad charged Wednesday that Israeli military operations in the West Bank are hindering his administration’s campaign to improve security in the territory. Earlier Wednesday, Israeli troops raided the Nablus city hall. Israel also raided six mosques and seized five buses belonging to schools close to Hamas. A strong Palestinian security presence in the West Bank is an integral part of the peace talks between Israel and Fayyad’s West Bank government. Israel is reluctant to rely on a recently beefed-up Palestinian police force to head off attacks on Israel or prevent Hamas from seizing control of the West Bank.

    Wednesday was the fourth anniversary of a ruling from the International Court of Justice demanding Israel dismantle parts of the barrier that jut into the West Bank. Palestinians threw rocks and tried to smash a bulldozer being used to carve the barrier’s route through farmland belonging to the West Bank town of Naalin, beating a civilian worker.

  81. 82 Shirley
    July 10, 2008 at 05:40

    Tino:
    Al Qaeda wants the Caliphate back? I consider them an even stranger bunch, then. Thank God I’m a Shia Muslim.

  82. 83 victork13
    July 10, 2008 at 07:20

    @Julie P

    Jackson said that Obama was talking down to black people – re the responsibility of fathers to tlook after their children – and he wanted to ‘cut his nuts off’.

    http://sensico.wordpress.com/2008/07/09/why-rev-jesse-jackson-is-apologizing-to-obama/

    Presumably because it was impossible to do the usual thing and denounce him as a ‘racist’ for telling the truth.

    You can speculate about what would have happened if a white McCain supporter had expressed the same opinion. CNN would definitely not have censored the remark. It would have been pointed out that in the days when black men were lynched their genitalia were indeed sometimes cut off. Literal and symbolic emasculation. The speaker would have been accused of wanting, in effect, to lynch Obama and of harbouring murderous intent. His intent would have been extrapolated to the entire African-American population. Eager journalists would have searched his past for any more comparable gaffes and racial indelicacies. If the speaker had had a position in public life before his ill-considered remarks then that position would have immediately ended as he was forcibly retired (regardless of how good a job he’d been doing up till then). Men like Jesse Jackson would have worked themselves up into a state of hysterical rage and would have trotted from one news studio to another denouncing the remarks, which they would have extrapolated to the entire American population who would all have been accused of being as guilty as the man who uttered the remarks. There would have been a call for corporations and the federal government – as a sign of good faith to the traumatised African-American population – to donate funds to Jackson’s organisation, and others like it, to assist in the fight against the cancer of American racism (cue the reverend’s frothy and emotive rhetoric). The Reverend Wright would have repeated his call for God to ‘damn AmeriKKKa’. Obama would have pointed to the incident as a vindication of his role as a political Messiah who had come down to earth to bridge America’s racial divisions and make it, for the first time in its history or in her adult life, something that his wife could be proud of. Saint Barack the Redeemer would have been propelled into the White House on a wave of white guilt.

    I doubt if the race-hustler and professional demagogue Jackson will face anything like that kind of fallout.

  83. 84 victork13
    July 10, 2008 at 08:04

    I very much doubt that a conflict between Iran and Israel will lead to a wider Middle Eastern conflict, let alone a third world war.

    People seem to forget that Israeli is not the only state in the region that regards Iran as a rival and an actual or potential threat. Israel and Iran are not in the same class militarily. The Iranians were stalemated for years in the war that Saddam launched against them. In 2003 we saw just how feeble and useless the Iraqi military really was when faced with a first-rate military power. But the Iranians couldn’t overcome it. I expect the Israelis, in any conflict, to similarly expose the hollowness of the Iranian military machine and teach President Ahmadinejad an important lesson about the difference between talk and action.

    And how do people expect the sides to line up in a world conflict? Most of the world hasn’t the slightest interest in the Middle East, despite the excessive amount of coverage given to it by the global media: sub-Saharan Africa doesn’t care; India will wish Israel luck but keep out; the Chinese are entirely pragmatic – as long as they can get oil from one source or another they will stand aside and hope that the US adds to its economic woes by embarking on another expensive military campaign; the Russians have no reason to get involved; the EU doesn’t have an army and no European government is going to go to war for Israel’s sake (though they will endorse Israeli and US action against Iran); the south east Asian nations have no stake in such a conflict and will happily watch from the sidelines; Latin America will continue to think football far more important; and while much of the Muslim world would doubtless like to join with Iran in inflicting a final Final Solution on ‘the Jews’ most of the Muslim world is also logistically and militarily incapable of playing a role in any conflict, and of those Muslim states that might be able to side with Iran some will in fact welcome its defeat while others will prefer to sit on the sidelines rather than risk facing a final solution of their own courtesy of Israeli nuclear warheads.

    Neither Iraq nor Afghanistan led to a regional or global conflict. Why should Iran? The Iranian leadership must really have a death-wish since they are doing their very best to provoke a conflict with Israel and the US. The Americans, learning from Iraq and recalling Serbia, should they choose to get involved – as Israel has the means to do the job on its own – seem likely to confine their activities to air strikes and missile attacks. The American interest is not Israel’s security. That ought to be a strictly Israeli affair and the US will further damage what’s left of its international reputation if it gets involved in a conflict solely to advance another country’s national interest. The US – and Western – interest is in taking pre-emptive action against the distribution of portable nuclear devices and dirty nuclear bombs to terrorist groups. The Iranian leadership has shown itself to be completely irresponsible, and doubtfully sane, on the nuclear question. It cannot be trusted not to share nuclear weaponry with terrorist groups. This is a risk that the West cannot afford to take since its in Western cities that Islamic terror will strike with nuclear devices (some experts are aleady saying this is inevitable, the only questions being ‘when’ and ‘where’). The Iranians must never be allowd to get to the position where they can pose such a threat. That’s the basis for American action.

  84. 85 Rick
    July 10, 2008 at 08:15

    @victor13 Re: child labour
    I think it is important for our media to expose the link just because subcontracting could well be a way that the Co. involved simply sidesteps the issue with a wink and a nod. No,you can’t tell other countries what to do with their labour laws but you can inform the end user so they can make better buying decisions. Unfortunatly, I don’t think a high percentage of consumers in the west give a damn either way.

  85. 86 Pangolin Hussein- California
    July 10, 2008 at 08:21

    @ Terrorism- Terrorism is a tactic used by everybody from anti-abortion christians in the US, the Sendero Luminoso in Peru, the Nepalese Maoists and Sikh separitists in India. The signature of terrorist groups are that they are overwhelmed by the dominant military force and/or the dominant political force.

    Islam ≠ terrorism. Terrorism is the hummingbird attacking the falcon.

    @ Obama- My criticism of Obama’s statement is that the simple “stay in school” message ignores the realities of limited resources and added stress in black communities. A better message would have been to climb school like a ladder. Get those college credits as soon as possible. Get a few in high school if you can get them. Get an AS or AA degree from a community college if 4 more years of school looks like too high of a mountain. Get a job skill certificate ASAP and then climb back on the ladder to a university degree.

    America is littered with black adults with 2 or three years of university education, no degree and college loans they can’t pay. Our college financing system is more or less a fraudulent loan system run for the benefit of the banks at the expense of the poorer and more challenged students.

  86. 87 Pangolin Hussein- California
    July 10, 2008 at 08:50

    @ Iran vs Israel- Israel can no more eliminate resistance from Iran than the US eliminated resistance in Iraq or Afghanistan. This is for technical reasons and trade route reasons independent of what is generally know to be ‘military force.’

    First the Iranians have had seven years to observe closely the military capabilities of the US and therefore Israel. Anything truly critical to their percieved ability to retaliate is bunkered beyond our reach. Bombing them will bounce rocks and kill people but leave the nasty hardware intact.

    Second the flow of oil can be cut off by weapons far smaller than are needed to retaliate against the US Navy. Iran would be better served to puncture tankers without sinking them. A few pounds of explosive will punch a hole in a tankers hull sufficient to cause an oil spill. This puts the tanker out of commision. Also the Saudi oil shipping complex is a target too fat and easy to ignore if ballistic missiles are available.

    Thirdly the US economy is utterly dependent upon the flow of Saudi Oil to it’s trading partners. If the Iranians can cut off Saudi and Iraqi oil shipments for even a few months all economic bets are off. Of course amoral politicians in the White House or the Israeli government can practically print their own money if they make bets based upon insider trading knowlege of the exact day the new war starts.

    If Israel attacks Iran everybody suffers. The price of cooking fuel and rice in New Zealand and Madagascar will go up. A very small number of fat white men will get very, very wealthy. But Iran will still be there.

  87. 88 Julie P
    July 10, 2008 at 09:07

    @Victor13,

    I read over CNN’s website, including FOX News, which is where Jesse Jackson made his comment (off camera in front of an open mic), but it was not listed. I watched the both stations when too, but got nothing. Thanks for posting what I could not find, or was too tired to look for. I had decided Jesse’s comments went on air before I got home from work, or after I went to bed, but not while I was awake. It reminded me of different speeches Bill Cosby has given in the past about the current state of black youth and parenting. Cosby had been taken to task about his position on black youth and parenting that are the same as Obama’s. It’s an unpopular position to take and to speak out on regardless of who you are. My immediate memory of when Cosby said the same thing over the years was he was that he is a traitor.

  88. 89 victork13
    July 10, 2008 at 09:23

    @Pangolin: the enemy is not “Iran”, the Iranian nation, but the Iranian leadership.

    Talk of an Iranian resistance doesn’t seem relevant. The lesson of Iraq is the folly of substituting non-military objectives (freedom and democrcacy) for military ones (capture or kill Saddam, replace him with a friendly strongman). Iraq and Afghanistan are not instances of US military capability: they are lessons in how superior military capability can be undermined and neutralised by misplaced political impertatives and lack of will. The business of the military is to kill not – as the US and UK administrations have corrupted it – to ‘win hearts and minds’. The resistance in Iraq and Afghanistan is actually evidence that the US has failed to exert its full military capability, since if it had many of the leaders of that resistance – like al Sadr – would have been killed a long time ago, in cold blood if necessary.

    Military objectives would be quite simple: kill Ahmadinejad. Kill his immediate supporters. Kill the Mullahs who are actually the real power in the country. Then give the Iranian people the chance to replace their leaders with men who can see sense. If the new leadership proves to be no better than the old one, then start destroying the nuclear facilities. I doubt if they are so well bunkered as not to be susceptible to massive bombardment. If they are then irradiate the area so completely by etonating nuclear devices over it that it will be impossible for anybody to work there for years. Target Iran’s military infra-structure and make it clear that the end result will be to leave Iran much weaker in a region full of enemies. Destroy civilian infra-structure as a means of forcing the Iranians to divert funds that might be used to re-build the nuclear programme into restoring the devasatated infra-structure. Of course, the oil fields should not be attacked. Depending on its feasibility occupying – and in effect annexing – the oil fields, at least on a temporary basis, should also be considered. That’s how you conduct a serious military campaign, not the shambolic liberal welfare-workers’ war in Iraq.

    I’m glad that you have raised the prospect of Iran attacking Saudi Arabia. The Saudis are one of the countries who would probably, although secretly, welcome an Israeli attack on Iran. They are not unprovided with defences themselves. The Iranians, if they were to attack Saudi Arabia, would be making Hitler’s fatal mistake of attempting to fight a war on several fronts simultaneously. Their defeat in such a conflict would be guaranteed.

    It’s time to destroy the regime.

  89. 90 Pangolin Hussein- California
    July 10, 2008 at 09:41

    @ What Condi said- “We are also sending a message to Iran that we will defend American interests and … the interests of our allies,”

    @What Condi meant- The US government is telling Iran that they are not allowed to retaliate when Israel attacks it. We will also attack Iran if there is any attack on Israel, Saudi Arabia or oil shipments or facilities. If this causes hardship to the American people or anybody else in the world they know can write their complaints on toilet paper use it in the usual way.

    This is what happens when you allow your elected representatives to auction themselves to the highest bidder; other governments purchase them and use them as sock puppets.

  90. 91 victork13
    July 10, 2008 at 09:46

    @Julie P: yes, I remember the controversy that Cosby’s remarks caused. As with Obama, his statements were perfectly true and his recommendations were clearly intended to improve things in the black community. But he was vilified mercilessly by many members of the African-American establishment as a sell-out, a traitor, etc. This despite the fact that he has always supported black causes and has donated generously over the years to scholarships, community groups and so on.

    What’s this really all about? It’s already, for a long time, been more or less impossible for a white public figure to speak honestly about black issues. Even when people can loosely interpret a casual remark as an indirect criticism – like Trent Lott’s praise of Strom Thurmond and regret that he hadn’t become a Dixiecrat President – it can have devastating consequences. An entire group has been exempted from any kind of criticism or critical examination. Presumably the intention was originally to inhibit criticism of blacks by whites. But that kind of well-intentioned totalitarianism has a logic of its own and it shouldn’t be surprising that it has now expanded into a blanket ban of criticism of blacks by anybody at all, and will fully mature as a proscription of any kind of criticism of any minority group.

    Here in Britain and the rest of the European Union we are experiencing a parallel development in the targeted curbing of free speech. Only in this case the favoured minority is Muslims.

    I regard it as basically a free speech issue.

  91. 92 Julie P
    July 10, 2008 at 09:57

    @Victor13,

    I see FOX News finally has posted some of the content of Jesse’s remarks. My position on things of that nature is, there are some who do not want to talk about, or face up to failures within their own communities, so it gets swept up under the carpet. From my point of view, I want this to come from their own mouths, so they come out from under the carpet and address the issue.

  92. 93 Rick
    July 10, 2008 at 10:21

    victork13
    Iraq and Afhanistan are prime examples of how bombimg a country back to the Middle Ages is only step 1. You can then step in and occupy it , or walk away and let chaos reign. Any country, especialy an islamic one is not going to welcome an occupier with open arms. You are in for another Iraq and its the US who couldn’t handle a third front at the moment. If you walk away we may well end up with worse than we have now.
    We didn’t get Osama or Sadam (until someone fingered him) so why would you think we would get Ahmadinejad or the mulahs?
    What about civilian casualties? They are people just like you and me buddy, just trying to make it through the day. They have no more control over their leaders than you or me and dont deserve to be bombed.

  93. 94 Pangolin Hussein- California
    July 10, 2008 at 10:22

    @ victork13- The real world is NOT a Tom Clancy novel where all the pentagon’s goodies work and the bad guys die convienently in the last chapter. Did you know you can make a particularly nasty isotope of plutonium with some thorium, some depleted uranium and an electron gun? Totally useless for conventional nukes but quite poisonous if oxidized a few hundred feet above Tel Aviv. I assure you the Iranians know this as do the Israeli’s. Nobody gets to use nukes.

    Simply bombing the tunnel entrances to know nuclear facilities won’t work even if they use ground penetrating nukes. If the Iranians were smart they have alternate tunnels that originate inside whatever mountain and terminate just short of the surface. As to the ‘make it glow’ sentiment; US soldiers proved in the 1950’s that a nuclear battlefield can be occupied an hour after detonation with minor precautions. Sure they die of cancer in high numbers but that takes 20 years. I used to work with an atomic veteran.

    The power fantasies of US and British conservatives are without foundation in reality. An attack on Iran will likely result in unforeseen but damaging blowback. Sure we kicked Saddam out but the result is a bit like putting your dangly bits in a rose bush; it’s not so easy to back out and it hurts to stay in. Either way you bleed.

  94. 95 victork13
    July 10, 2008 at 10:23

    @Pangolin: I agree with one point in your last post. If the US is to attack Iran it should be in defence of American interests (interets that I think are threatened by the Iranian regime’s nuclear intentions).

    There is something bogus and unwarranted in proposing to attack Iran because to do so would be good for Israel. It’s for Israel to attack Iran for that reason, not anybody else. There’s something absurd about involving yourself in yet another military conflict on behalf of an ally who is perfectly capable of using military force to secure its interests.

  95. 96 victork13
    July 10, 2008 at 10:48

    @Rick: the Israelis have shown how to handle targeted killings. At the moment the movements of a man like Amhadinejad are perfectly well known to US intelligence because he’s not in hiding (even visting Columbia recently). This is the time to eliminate him and other targets, before they go to ground. If we cannot kill Ahamdinejad & co. then there are other potential military and infra-structure targets, all intended to make the cost of developing a nuclear capability more than the Iranian regime can bear.

    You’re right about the reaction to an occupier and how the US would be stretched on a third front. But a Serbia-style bombing campaign is all that’s needed. Occupation only comes into play when you lumber yourself with sentimental objectives about nation-building and spreading freedom and democracy. Iraq, I hope, has cured the Americans of those delusions. If there is to be any kind of occupation it should be of the oil fields.

    You asked about civilian casualties. I would hope they could be avoided. If they can’t I would point the finger at the Iranian regime for having provoked this conflict. The Iranian government is not worrying about the civilian casualties that will occur if (when) they startt arming Islamic terrorists with portable and dirty nuclear devices. We in the West must look to our own security and defend ourselves against the threat of nuclear attack, whatever the consequences for our enemies. Our enemies have the option of de-escalating the situation by abandoning their nuclear ambitions. Civilian causalties on the side of the aggressor mean very little to me.

    @Pangolin: you need to lay your cards on the table. ‘Hussein’? Are you a Muslim?

    By the time the oxidised plutonium variant has been released to do its damage over Tel Aviv I think that Iran will have become a permanent part of history as a result of the Israelis launching multiple nuclear devices at every strategic installation, known and suspected. Israel may suffer grievously in any conflict with Iran; Iran will, for all practical purposes, cease to exist. There will be a victor. It will probably also lead to the permanent resolution of the Palestinian conflict. If you’re going to incur the wrath of the world for destorying Iran in self-defence, then you won’t make things any worse by the mass expulsion of Palestinians from Israel, Gaza and the West Bank. Two birds with one stone. Is that really what the Muslim world wants?

    I think that Western countries have a much less charitable and sentimental view of the Muslim world today than they did pre-9/11. The slogan ‘kill them before they kill us’ would sum it up.

  96. 97 Pangolin Hussein- California
    July 10, 2008 at 10:49

    @ Julie P- The pretense that black men in the US aren’t targeted by law enforcement, suffer from job discrimination, housing discrimination and eductational discrimination is simply insufferable.

    Just to start the schools in largely black communities are substandard at best. Then there is the FACT that the CIA funded the contra war in Nicarauga by introducing crack cocaine into black neighborhoods. Add to this the US prison system that is a human rights violation by the finding of US courts and discriminates against black people by design.

    I’m a white guy, I don’t like rap music and I barely talk to the black family next door, but I’m not so soulless as to lay all the blame at the doorstep of black americans for their problems. Being born a black man in America is like starting a 400 meter race 50 meters behind the other runners. I can’t blame them for thinking the game is rigged.

    Oh, has it occured to anybody that Jesse and Barack might be playing y’all for fools? Does anybody really think Jesse Jackson says a single stray word on FOX news property? If I were him I’d assume I was being recorded from the moment I left my car.

  97. 98 Pangolin Hussein- California
    July 10, 2008 at 11:24

    Again the assumption that terrorism is somehow unique to Islam. Please spare us the lies. The Iran-Contra affair was essentially an illegal terrorist war paid for by an oulaw faction of the US government against a legally elected socialist government.

    The US is right now funding terrorist groups that are acting inside Iran.

    If an Israeli/US attack on Iran results in a significant restriction in world oil supply for a single year millions of people worldwide will face famine and millions in the US will lose their jobs. World food supplies are inseparably tied to the price and availability of oil.

    The rabid dog in this play is Israel. Their sovereign rights stop at their borders and they have no right to dictate terms to Iran. Their repeated threats to attack Iran along with the expectation that the US will back them up shows the world precisely where the blame for any resulting chaos lies.

    The nuclear genie is out of the bottle and the US cannot stuff it back in no matter how much bluster it plays for FAUX news service. The information required to make toxic nuclear isotopes is all over the web and it doesn’t require a massive lab to do it. A US boy scout did it with some thorium and a desktop rig.

    b.t.w.- No, I am NOT islamic. Actually I was raised high-church Anglican, King James bible, bells and smells, stand-up, sit-down, purple robes and wave the incense. I added ‘Hussein’ to my avatar to indicate support for Barack ‘Hussein’ Obama and to mock anti-islamic bigots.

    Thus endeth the lesson.

  98. 99 Roberto
    July 10, 2008 at 12:10

    At the moment the movements of a man like Amhadinejad are perfectly well known to US intelligence because he’s not in hiding (even visting Columbia recently). This is the time to eliminate him and other targets, before they go to ground.
    ————————————————————————————-

    —— This ignores that Ahmadinejad is no more than a stooge of the Mullahs who run Iran. He wields no real power other than to give a public talking points face to the regime.

    It’d be equivilent of the Iranians knocking off Ronald McDonald as though that would give them some kind of strategic advantage over the US.

    It will not be the US attacking Iran directly. That falls under the aegis of Israel if sufficiently threatened as they have done in Iraq and Syria with previous surgical strikes. Iran will do little more than launch a few worthless missle strikes in a tit for tat move, honor restored, and standoff resumes. They won’t be invading each other’s countries or emptying their arsenals on each other. Not yet.

    Unless you fall into the category of believing the US is ready to carry the torch of World War 3 and ignite the globe in a massive military takeover, Ahmadinejad is safe from assassination as I doubt anyone in Israel wants to kill this clown either.

    Everyone who counts in this dispute knows the real potential for war is the future, when Iran actually does obtain nukes. Now is the time for saber rattling, the minor scuffles, and the real leaders and diplomats to step forward and negotiate the long term peace.

    Dollars to donuts any Israeli strike comes after US presidential elections after the Israelis get a sense of what the politics will be. IF it comes they won’t be advertising it with a big Club Med show in advance.

    Right now there are other avenues to pursue like the Syrian talks which could be a huge coup for peace if any agreements are reached, far more fruitful than some high risk strike of uncertain value on a heavily bunkered Iranian target.

    Whether any peace can be brokered remains to be seen. It happened with Jordan and Egypt, so it’s not impossible.

    At any rate, our opinions mean nothing. It’s what happens in closed international power broking sessions that the everyday man has no say in that determine the future.

  99. 100 victork13
    July 10, 2008 at 12:17

    @Pangolin: thanks for the clarification. That name and your apologetics for Islam naturally made me wonder.

    You are aware of the fact that the Iranian leadership has repeatedly declard its intention to wipe Israel from the face of the earth? Taken together with its attempt to acquire a nuclear capability, Israel’s likely attack on Iran doesn’t require any further explanation, or justification. It would be a welcome breath of fresh air if some people on this forum would at least be candid and state what, in the circumstances, is implied in their defence of Iran and criticism of Israel: ‘I want the Jews to die’.

    You wrote “Again the assumption that terrorism is somehow unique to Islam. Please spare us the lies”. I think this is entirely in your head. I don’t believe anybody has been so foolish or absurd as to assume that terrorism is unique to Islam, though Islam is far more productive of terror than any other ideology or creed. That may be unwelcome to Muslims and their fellow-travellers, but the facts often have that difficult quality.

    If only you knew how your statements about African-Americans read. Don’t New York City and the district of Columbia have some of the highest per capita rates of education expenditure in the USA? Aren’t black schools in those two places some of the worst in the country? Might it be something other than race, an anti-academic culture say, that explains sub-standard educational attainment amongst blacks (unless, that is, someone is a racist)?

    I’m shocked at what you claim about the CIA introducing crack-cocaine into black neighbourhoods. IT sounds terrible, as well as fantastic. Do you have any links to reputable sources (i.e. not to Reverend Wright or the Reverend Farrakhan) that would shed more light on this?

    Similarly with the US prison system discriminating against “black people by design”. Do you allow any role to higher crime rates amongst African-Americans, or are innocent black people simply plucked off the streets and dumped into domestic Guantanamos for the fun of it? This is a side of America that most people hadn’t even dreamed of. I wonder, why aren’t African-Americans fleeing this appaliing American regime of persecution and terror to start new lives in better countries?

    “Being born a black man in America is like starting a 400 meter race 50 meters behind the other runners. I can’t blame them for thinking the game is rigged.” Yes, just ask Harvard man Obama and his Princeton-educated wife. Isn’t yours a perfect expression of ‘liberal racism’: blacks are nothing but victims. They exist only to be pitied. They have absolutely no control over their lives. Other people will things for African=-Americans that they can only suffer. They are not responsible for themselves, for their lives or for their choices. They are on the same plane as children, and should be treated accordingly – firmly but also with kindness. Isn’t this just how a slave-holder would have argued. In fact, I recall reading just this kind of claim by reactionary (I use the word as a description, not as an insult, since I quite like the writer it’s applied to) ante-bellum thinkers like George FitzHugh in defending the institution of slavery in the Southern states. Now I know that as well as ‘reactionary’ and ‘ultra-conservative’ I can now also refer to him as ‘modern, progressive, pro-black, High Church, West Coast Liberal-esque George Fitzhugh….’!

    Your comments about Jesse Jackson are surprising. Playing us for fools? More fool him, in that case. He said it. It was reported. He had to make a grovelling apology for it. I suppose that you also think he was executing some subtle master-plan when he got caught describing New York as ‘hymie-town’?

  100. 101 steve
    July 10, 2008 at 12:40

    @ Pangolin

    “I’m a white guy, I don’t like rap music and I barely talk to the black family next door, but I’m not so soulless as to lay all the blame at the doorstep of black americans for their problems. Being born a black man in America is like starting a 400 meter race 50 meters behind the other runners. I can’t blame them for thinking the game is rigged.”

    So why do blacks get so many more scholarships due to race alone and why do they benefit from affirmative action, yet still so few wish to go to University? Why did Obama have to come out and say that they should aspire to go to school rather than to become basketball players? If anything, the reason being born a black man possibly sets him 50 meters behind is due to the culture of shunning education, thinking that is “being white” and all the black on black violence, which constitutes most of the homicides in US cities. It’s not racist whites killing blacks, it’s blacks killing blacks, for the most stupid of reasons, as if there were a justification for murder.

  101. 102 Jonathan (sunny San Francisco)
    July 10, 2008 at 12:55

    @victor,

    Oh surely you’re too smart for this! Surely you understand the principles and reasons by which scolding sentiments directed at members of a minority group are entirely different when uttered by a member of that group than by a member of the group’s historical oppressors. It’s not new, it’s not mysterious or unfair, it’s widely known and easily understood, and it’s certainly nothing at all to do with “free speech.” Please say you’re having us on for a laugh. Please?

  102. 103 Jonathan (sunny San Francisco)
    July 10, 2008 at 12:58

    Hi Steve. I just want to say I’m sorry about yesterday, when I said I misunderstood you and all that. I went too far and I don’t really think that, in the cool light of dawn here. Friends?

  103. 104 Jonathan (sunny San Francisco)
    July 10, 2008 at 13:08

    @Julie,

    Your first source for this sort of thing should probably be youtube, I think. Beats actually sitting through O’Reilly as I did.

  104. 105 Jonathan (sunny San Francisco)
    July 10, 2008 at 13:30

    @WHYS maestros:

    Well, it’s fallen like a lead balloon here thus far, but the topic of repealing drug prohibition is a perennial favorite for me.

    I’m imagining it done up as a full-bore WHYS project, with input from drug producers, farmers, smugglers, users, judges, parents, gangsters, economists, crime victims, criminals, lawyers, criminologists, sociologists, psychologists, just to start, from producing countries and consuming ones. (A gentleman in Iran held forth here at some length and fervor, maybe a week ago, about the ruinous effects of opiate addiction there.)

    You could bring an international perspective.to a compelling story. Heck, it could run for a week. Presumably a week without much other news….

  105. 106 Pangolin Hussein- California
    July 10, 2008 at 13:33

    @ The thinly disguised racism of conservatives- I have seen an elementary school in Harlem and it wasn’t a building you would want to send your kid into. My best man went to that school. Education expenditure does not guarantee equality as inner city schools have more students with health problems requiring special education, higher costs in general and much lower inputs by community members. Majority white schools have more money to spend, better facilities and more experienced teachers. This has been proven many times and is evident where I live. The one majority black/minority high school in the county is a rotting hole with no money and the worst teachers in the county.

    “Released on April 13, 1989, the Kerry Committee report concluded that members of the U.S. State Department “who provided support for the Contras were involved in drug trafficking…and elements of the Contras themselves knowingly received financial and material assistance from drug traffickers.”
    In 1996 Gary Webb wrote a series of articles published in the San Jose Mercury News, which investigated Nicaraguans linked to the CIA-backed Contras who had allegedly smuggled cocaine into the U.S. which was then distributed as crack cocaine into Los Angeles and funneled profits to the Contras. According to Webb, the CIA was aware of the cocaine transactions and the large shipments of drugs into the U.S. by the Contra personnel and directly aided drug dealers to raise money for the Contras.”-http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CIA_drug_trafficking

    Black on black violence in the inner cities is the same as Norteno-Soreno violence or Sunni-Shia violence; it’s turf war for survival income when other options aren’t available.

    Legacy admissions, music scholarships for classical music, dance scholarships for ballet, fencing scholarships, swimming scholarships, lacrosse scholarships, these are avenues for white people to get into the top universities that are simply unavailable to poor, urban blacks who cannot afford ballet, fencing, or swimming club fees or don’t have a handy lacrosse team to practice with.

    I keep reading little hints that black people are simply refusing to toe the line from people that ignore the realities of their lives. A black teen has eyes and he can see that his school is rotting. He doesn’t have a new computer to write his papers on. (try the net on a 5 yr. old machine) He can see the three year old cars the white kids go to college with. He KNOWS that the white guys, like my brother, who buy crack from him won’t get the jail time or the charges he will get if they get caught. His survival is likely going to depend upon the people around him so he fits in; just like you do with your peers. Also financial aid for college is a joke compared to the EU where students who are admitted recieve free tuition and stipends.

    Black people are exactly the same as the rest of us genetically; except for the skin color. Most have better than 1/3 european ancestry. Yet people keep insisting that these people who are so genetically close to us are refusing easy money. It’s a completely vapid argument.

    Oh, Barack Obama’s mother was of an elite class of educated white people. Not exactly the same as East L.A.

  106. 107 Jonathan (sunny San Francisco)
    July 10, 2008 at 13:33

    Wow, it sure looks like I know how to clear a room!

    What’d I say?

  107. 108 steve
    July 10, 2008 at 13:34

    @ Jonathan

    No problem. A year or so ago WHYS did a show on Drugs, I forget the specifics of the topic, I don’t think it was about legalization, but they had a female guest on talking about her using drug, and the show ignored an important issue until they asked my question on air. This woman was unemployed, yet did some very expensive drugs. I asked how she got the drugs, and I knew the answer before she said it. She would have sex for drugs. And I think that was the most important message of that particular show.

  108. 109 Julie P
    July 10, 2008 at 13:36

    @Johnathon,

    Thanks for your suggestion. All I can say is it’s tough during the week to stay as informed as I do on the weekend. I need to work, which takes up a good chunk of my week.

  109. 110 Jonathan (sunny San Francisco)
    July 10, 2008 at 13:40

    Call me dense Steve, but, um, what exactly was the important message you illuminated in the case of the drugg addict?

    Drug addicts are desperate?

    They degrade themselves when they must?

    They’re irresponsible?

  110. 111 Pangolin Hussein- California
    July 10, 2008 at 13:45

    @ Jonathon- There are claims that certain kind of drug addiction can be cured by a one-dose ingestion of Tabernathe Iboga. Unfortunately for Muslims it is unlikely to be made available as the users invariably claim to “see god.” It would be a little problematical since Mohammed was the last prophet.

    Nasty paradox that.

  111. 112 Jonathan (sunny San Francisco)
    July 10, 2008 at 13:47

    Julie, hey, I know all about it. I used to work and may again. Hence my time-saving idea. And in this instance, also stomach-saving, given the alternative.

  112. 113 victork13
    July 10, 2008 at 13:54

    @Jonathan: I think I understand the principles and reasons that you mention (it’s always possible that I don’t). it’s just that I disagree wtih them.

    ‘Scolding sentiments’ are very different from informed criticism, and when it comes to shaping public policy I think it more important to address the central issues than to avoid causing offence. I think that the line you endorse is open to abuse. The use of the ‘N’ word comes to mind. Some African-Americans claim that it’s fine for them to use it but not for non-blacks. They even have the effrontery to claim that when they use the word it’s as a term of endearment and a way of robbing it of its racist sting. I think that words don’t change their meanings because people want them to or claim they have. The ‘N’ word is an insult. It’s an insult even when used by blacks. Even Richard Pryor, whose comedy was very liberal with the word, eventually realised this and stopped using it so casually (after a visit to Kenya as I recall, where he observed how nobody referred to anybody else as a ‘N’, affectionately or not). There is also, when you decide to introduce a double standard, the temptation for the group for whose benefit the standard is intended to use their privileged position to bully others. Part of the attraction of the ‘N’ word being permitted to blacks but not to others is, I suspect, the pleasure some blacks take in dictating to whites how they are to behave while throwing in their faces their (blacks’ ) freedom to do what is forbidden to whites.

    There are also several assumptions in your post that need to be examined. To what extent is the minority in question considered a part of the national community or an alien presence? There’s a point where respecting the traditions and different experience of a minority is really tantamount to regarding them as ‘other’. My view is that the way to bind minorities into a national community is to treat them as if they were a part of that community, and that means criticising them with the same frankness that you’d show to any other constituent of the nation. If whites were being murdered at the same rate as African-Americans it would be a national emergency. But nobody, black or white, makes much of the issue or the fact that the number of African-Americans who have died in the past 30 years is greater than the number of Americans who died in Vietnam. This is the fruit of accepting that African-Americans aren’t like other Americans and are to be treated accordingly.

    And isn’t reference to a group’s ‘historical oppressors’ much too loose a phrase to use? If we’re talking about slavery we’re talking a minority of whites. If we’re talking about racism – which was admittedly more pervasive than slavery – isn’t this equivalent to blood guilt? Because a man like Theodore Bilbo

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theodore_G._Bilbo

    was an unabashed racist in the first half of the 20th Century is surely no reason why any white American speaking honestly, but respectfully, in the 21st on matters of race should watch his step? I think that there’s a duty of civility but not an obligation to defer to the sensitivities of any minority group. Freedom of speech, another important consideration, can’t flourish in any environment which says that difficult matters with a painful history should be swept under the carpet. Freedom of speech is very relevant. In Europe we are subjected to constant attempts by national governments and the European Union to erode free speech in order to respect the sensitivities of one particular religious minority. All criticism of that minority by those who are not part of the faith is in danger of being treated and punished as ‘hate speech’, a development which only serves to accentuate the sense that the group in question is different, alien and not part of the national communities of Europe. Same dynamic, same disastrous outcome.

  113. 114 Jonathan (sunny San Francisco)
    July 10, 2008 at 13:54

    Pangolin: Why, oh why, does everything seem always to turn into ISLAM no matter the subject! Argh! Devout, responsible Muslims wouldn’t be drug addicts anyway, would they.

    Aaahh, that’s better. Yes, ibogaine; I’ve heard of it but don’t recall specifics.

  114. 115 selena
    July 10, 2008 at 13:59

    @Jonathan

    I get the impression, rightly or wrongly, that Steve thinks any woman who has sex outside a Puritan marriage is a non person.

    Should we tell Steve that sex is a bodily function not a test for humanity?

  115. 116 selena
    July 10, 2008 at 14:20

    @Victor

    You will have to forgive me for saying again, your posts are too long to read. I feel I am missing something when I don’t read them but usually skip them all the same.

    🙂

  116. 117 Angela in Washington D.C.
    July 10, 2008 at 14:21

    @Victok K13

    I am a black female and I agree with most of your post. However, most blacks do not want to discuss or air our dirty laundry into the street. Many people get offended if they hear people criticising black men in the media. Most blacks do not want to discuss the fact that many black men are not their for their kids, don’t pay child support, and some of them live a double life (down-low). I remember when the Down-low life style wen tpublic several blacks were mad.

    I may get offended on certain things but I think people should discuss issues that exist in any community. Racism still exists and although at times it is difficult to hear things, you accept it.

    Furthermore, I have always had more issues with people of my own race than other races. Most of my friends have different backgrounds. I have tried carry myself with respect and I still get criticized for trying to act in one way or another.

    Plus, I absolutely hate hearing the N-word from anyone.

  117. 118 Jonathan (sunny San Francisco)
    July 10, 2008 at 14:31

    @victor

    Goodness! So many words! All to say, at monumental length, that, no as you suggested at the outset of that magnum opus, you don’t understand the matter at all.

    It’s not a double standard, or a favored group.

    Of-bloody-COURSE Africans don’t use the “N-word” (God how I hate THAT infantilizing custom of coyly spelling the unspeakable as if protecting some nonexistent innocent child from the horror of whatever word!) Why on earth would they? It’s an American word for an American circumstance and context. But I digress.

    It’s amazing how this fogs even the mightiest mind.

    Look. Since we’re hypothesizing, picture this: A theatre filled with Jewish vacationers at a Jewish resort, in the Catskills, or anywhere. Let’s make it, oh, 1940. 1950. Our audience is roaring with laughter as a Jewish comic performs a Jewish act, replete with caricatures of stereotypical Jewish gestures, sayings, accents, habits, etc. The spirit is one of fellowship and mirth and a bit of irony perhaps.

    Act II: Same audience, same theatre, in fact the same exact material,, word for word, as in act I. But this time, the performer doing those spirited caricatures of Jewish behaviors and accents and sayings is an archetypal high-bred, nasal-toned, contempt-oozing, ruling-class WASP.

    Not so funny.

    Can you be so oblivious, or so invested in denial, that you have to ask why?

    The words change meaning, the message changes, everything changes. The messenger is the message, obviously and unavoidably and instinctively. I suppose you could conduct a study about it, or read ones done already, or agonize about it, but to no purpose. It’s not fair, unfair, legitimate, illegitimate, or any of the rest of the windy and indignant hoo-hah that inflates your perambulation.

    It simply is.

  118. 119 steve
    July 10, 2008 at 14:32

    @ Angela

    That’s part of the reason why DC has such a high HIV rate. I was listening to NPR, and how the black community is in complete denial about homosexuality, so the rates are atrocious. I wish I could find a link to it, if there even is a paper version of the story, but they intereview a lot of black males describing how the black community views/treats homosexuality and even condom usage amongst hetereosexuals. It was rather shocking and would explain why the HIV rate is so high here.

  119. 120 steve
    July 10, 2008 at 14:34

    @ Jonathan

    That they are desperate and will degrade themselves and put them at serious risk to get drugs. So each time she had sex for cocaine, she risked :

    (1) lowering her almost non existant self esteem even further

    (2) getting AIDS or another STD

    (3) getting the drugs that could lead to an overdose

  120. 121 steve
    July 10, 2008 at 14:38

    Jesse Jackson is worried he’s going to be out of a job if Obama wins.

    http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/07/09/jesse.jackson.comment/index.html

  121. 122 selena
    July 10, 2008 at 14:44

    @Steve

    It is impossible to understand you unless we get a notion of what you mean by things like self-esteem…

    Did you answer my questions yesterday? I haven’t got time to go back and read all the posts?

    So, what do you mean by self-esteem?

  122. 123 steve
    July 10, 2008 at 14:46

    @ Selena

    That’s a dictionary definition of self esteem. There is a thing called google. I didn’t invent the word, but it basically means self respect. Someone who has sex for drugs doesn’t have much self respect for obvious reasons.

  123. 124 Jonathan (sunny San Francisco)
    July 10, 2008 at 14:53

    @Steve,

    But that’s not a message. That’s a set of facts. It’s possible to derive a message from a set of facts, but it doesn’t happen on its own. Watch as I derive two opposite messages from that set of facts:

    Message 1: “Thus we see that drugs are a road to ruin and depravity that must be prohibited with draconian laws, enforced with the full force of a mighty state!”

    Message 2: “Thus we see the folly of drug prohibition, which turns a private indulgence into a ruinously expensive, legally perilous crawl through a world of violence and horor and danger and degradation far worse than the drug itself!”

    You found your own “message” so compelling that you don”t remember what the show was about, but the only message you got was just another circumstance for you to cram into your template of irresponsible victims to blame and scorn. It’s not a message; it’s just a dead end.

  124. July 10, 2008 at 14:55

    Away back in the late sixties I worked at a Canadian book publishing company. Marijuana was smoked in the art department all day long, with no ill effect. The designers, the layout people, the illustrators all smoked and the department was filled with the pungent odour.
    None of these people ever touched harder drugs, such as cocaine, least of all heroin, and never have since. Interestingly, they all drove home, no problems. Marijuana doesn’t affect driving like alcohol does – not by a long shot.
    Now that the “evil weed” has been legalized in some countries, I think the U.K. needs to check with those countries and have a look at their stats.
    We can surely see whether more people are going to harder drugs. This seems to be the greatest fear.
    Legallising the weed would do wonders for the economy especially if it can be taxed. And farmers can grow it without fear. And look at the dealers it would get rid of!! And look at the now known health benefis for certain illnesses. I think marijuana should definitely be legalised, not simply non-criminalised as it is in Canada – which means if you are caught with a small amount for personal use, you won’t have a criminal record following you for the rest of your life. This is a far far cry from “legalising” however, and shows somewhat of a scaredy-cat attitude on behalf of the government.
    Well, those are my thoughts; I’m 68 and I would have an occasional puff if it were legal to do so.

  125. 126 steve
    July 10, 2008 at 15:05

    @ Jonathan

    Actually the show wasn’t even going to bring up the topic. But if you don’t think prostituting yourself out to get drugs isn’t that big of an issue, then I feel bad for you. Do you have a point other than to disagree with everything I say? The show wasn’t going to bring it up, I brought it up, and it showed a ignored consequence of drug usage. having sex in exchange for drugs, which is common.

  126. 127 Jonathan (sunny San Francisco)
    July 10, 2008 at 15:06

    Thank you, DottheScot! I enjoyed your post until the part about taxation. That was, in hipster vernacular, a “buzzkill.”

  127. 128 Bob in Queensland
    July 10, 2008 at 15:10

    @ Steve

    Just to give Jonathan a bit of support on this one, if drugs weren’t illegal then the need to “degrade” oneself (or engage in other criminal activity such as theft) would disappear at a stroke. It’s the criminalisation of drugs that causes so many of the associated problems, not the drugs themselves.

    Before you say it, I don’t want to underplay the danger of drugs like cocain, heroin, speed and so on. However, making people criminals as well as addicts compounds the problem rather than solving it. To repeat what I asked earlier: can anyone think of any situation where prohibition–of anything that some people desire–has ever worked?

  128. 129 Marsha
    July 10, 2008 at 15:12

    I quit smoking pot years and years ago. I am no advocate to legalize it so it can be smoked for recreational purposes. BUT, hemp is phenominal plant and if the American regime would get off it arogant oil horse and take a look at it, they’d see a plant that is cheap to grow (unlike corn) does not deplete the soil (unlike corn) can be used for food, fuel, fiber for clothing and when including the canibus sitiva species, medicine and recreation. What more could we ask from a plant. … and if it were legal to grow, they could tax it … oph my god , yes, the government could make legal money off of it and it would certainly unburden the courts and jails in this country. I say LEGALIZE the stuff.

  129. 130 selena
    July 10, 2008 at 15:15

    @Steve

    Dictionary definitions don’t mean a thing. Google is just a road to a repository of other people’s opinions.

    So we Google and read all the stuff and then we encode what we read into our own program. That’s the sticky part. For we each encode in different ways.

    When I ask you about self-esteem, I am not asking for a definition; I am asking what self-esteem means to you.

    An example:

    I don’t subscribe to the moral codes of the various Gods. So, if I needed food to feed my child, it wouldn’t bother me one bit to receive money for sex. My child would matter far more than the opinions of people who set out codes of behavior for other people.

    (I may add, from experience, people people set codes of behavior for others to which they, themselves, seldom adhere.)

    My well-being would not be affected in any way by receiving payment for sex. It would be affected if I could not feed my child.

    From what I am hearing you say, you think I would not have any self-esteem, if I received payment for sex.

    So, the question again: what does self-esteem mean to you?

  130. 131 steve
    July 10, 2008 at 15:18

    @ Bob

    She was still a drug addict, she didn’t work. She just did drugs all day long. She had no money. Yes, if drugs were legal they’d be cheaper, but if she has no income, she’s still going to prostitute herself out to get the drugs if she continues to be an addict and not work. Legalizing drugs wouldn’t have any effect on her and her choices.

  131. 132 selena
    July 10, 2008 at 15:25

    @ Steve

    Is it anyone’s business if I want to sell my body for drugs? What is this word prostitute? I don’t hear much negative from you about the men who pay the money.

    Get real Steve, my dear one.

  132. 133 Jonathan (sunny San Francisco)
    July 10, 2008 at 15:28

    well you needn’t snap my head off, steve. It’s not that I disagree with you; it’s just that I watch you hurl yourself against the same door until you’re a bloody pulp, and I can’t stop myself opening the door and tryiing to lead you through it.

    I didn’t say prostituting for drug money wasn’t a big deal. How could you think that after reading what I said? Of course I have a point, and of course it’s larger than disagreeing with you, andI made it rather nicely. Anyway, I will try to stay out of your way, and I expect we will each think the other a fool, but we will each resist the urge to confirm the other’s suspicion.

    Now there’s a modus vivendum we can live with!

  133. 134 Angela in Washington D.C.
    July 10, 2008 at 15:32

    @Steve

    I completely agree or how black men who are not gay but have conduct with other men will not use protection because that would mean they are thinking about the act. These same men go on to have relations with women. Also men who have been in jail will come out and have relations with women but their appetite changed while in jail and they still mlike to appease their other desires.

    It just scares me, so much that I haven’t dated a black man since my sophmore year of college. I realize other races have problems but the secrecy with black men is appalling. All men are not this way, but the attractive ones thought they were God’s gift to women and could never just have one, even if they were married. Plus, knowing a lot of guys are experimenting.

  134. July 10, 2008 at 15:35

    Hi Everyone
    Iran is again looming large in the media. There is general alarm at the recent fireworks in Tehran. No immediate threat, a show of strength, nothing more. There is also public awareness in Iran that something is wrong.
    But given the situation in Iraq and Afghanistan, no one in London or Washington has the stomach for another war.
    On the brighter side, Iran is actually supplying electricity to some parts of Afghanistan, with the added prospect of supplying gas in the near future.
    Drought, food shortage, dwindling Forex revenues and sanctions are hurting.
    Syrian, Israeli peace talks could include Iran! Why not? See what Israel has done for Turkey, we are envious.
    Incidentally, secular, Muslim rift in Turkey spells trouble. It could rip Ankara apart.
    Refusal of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki to grant long-term accommodation to Washington has also deep implications. Iraqi Arabs will not be easily appeased, although it hasn’t bothered President Jalal Talebani.
    God help us.

  135. 136 steve
    July 10, 2008 at 15:38

    @ Selena

    “Is it anyone’s business if I want to sell my body for drugs? What is this word prostitute? I don’t hear much negative from you about the men who pay the money.

    Get real Steve, my dear one.”

    Well, I’m guessing in the UK that prostitution likely isn’t legal, it surely isn’t in most of the US, so it is the public’s business if you want to sell your body, as it’s illegal to do so. Also, I have a feeling someone who is completely smashed on coke who is having sex with her dealer is likely to use protection, so now we bring the STD issue into the picture. Then pregnancy as well? Actually the men are giving them cocaine for the sex, not money. You think I think highly of drug dealers or something? If you think having sex with cocaine dealers is any way a positive thing or something that doesn’t deserve criticism, then I pray that’s now what “gurl power” is about. It’s a crying shame that women will have sex in exchange for drugs and it’s a bigger shame that you don’t seem to think there’s a problem with it. How is that “gurl power”? Would you want your daughter to grow up and have sex with drug dealers so she can get high?

  136. 137 Julie P
    July 10, 2008 at 15:49

    @Steve,

    Would you like your sons to grow up to disrespect women so much that they feed the addiction of a drug addict by any means necessary, like having sex with them in exchange for drugs? Or are women the only people to be chastised for this?

  137. 138 Jonathan (sunny San Francisco)
    July 10, 2008 at 15:50

    What is the name for that circular swirling pattern where water goes down the drain? Is it a spiral? Or a helix?

  138. 139 Angela in Washington D.C.
    July 10, 2008 at 15:54

    @Julie P

    I think the men that use prostitutes are disgusting and the prostitutes themselves are disgusting. The women don’t have any self respect and the are probably pathetic.

  139. 140 steve
    July 10, 2008 at 15:56

    @ Julie P

    I’m curious, how is giving someone what they want disrespecting someone? You can turn this any way you want, but show me a woman who isn’t independently wealthy who uses cocaine, and I’ll show you a woman that has sex in exchange for drugs. It is COMMON. I’m not talking just addicts, people who are unemployed. These are regular women, that have jobs, that like to “party” and have sex with their drug dealers in exchange for drugs. Should they be pitied and viewed as victims not responsible for their decisions as well?

  140. 141 selena
    July 10, 2008 at 15:57

    @Steve

    It used to be the law that women couldn’t vote! Come to think of it, there was a time when men couldn’t vote either.

    Now if all people thought that the existing laws were sacrosanct then I guess we would still be ruled by Kings.

    Do you realize that drug dealers are not the issue here? The issue seems to be your idea of sex and what it represents.

    Sex is a tool, Steve. If you want to change behavior, you have to see sex for what it is, a simple bodily function.

    There! That must be the tenth time I have said that. 🙂

    I don’t feel ashamed of my opinions. My self-esteem is inrtact, so far.

  141. 142 steve
    July 10, 2008 at 15:58

    @ Angela

    But honestly, other than the exchange of money, is seeing a prostitute, or being a prostitute, really that different than the one night stands that goes on every single day? Is going to a club and having sex with someone you’ve known for 2 hours and will never see them again any less disgusting than paying for sex or being paid for sex?

  142. 143 selena
    July 10, 2008 at 16:00

    @ Jonathan

    Gottcha!

    But even drains can be unblocked. 😉

  143. 144 Julie P
    July 10, 2008 at 16:00

    @Steve,

    Explotation, plain and sinmple.

  144. 145 Julie P
    July 10, 2008 at 16:05

    @Angela,

    Thank you for recognizing that there are two people involved in prostitution. However, I would like to add that the men involved also have low self-esteem as well and are as equally pathetic.

  145. 146 selena
    July 10, 2008 at 16:06

    @Steve

    Sex is only disgusting if you buy into the religious dogma that sex is disgusting and paying for sex is even more disgusting.

    I thought you said you didn’t believe in religion.

    What’s missing? Are you hiding your light under a bushel?

  146. 147 Angela in Washington D.C.
    July 10, 2008 at 16:09

    @Steve

    I think they both are disgusting. I try not to judge people that like one night stands but I think women should have more respect for themselves. As you have mentioned before, there are two many diseases out there and why put yourself at risk because you can still catch things with protection. And some of those things can stay with you for life, even if it doesn’t kill you.

    @Selena

    I don’t exactly see sex as a bodily function. However, people look at things differently. I don’t support using sex as a tool but I also realize that many women are doing far better than I am for using it as a tool. I just say more power to you. Although I still believe if one has self respect and knows their worth, they would not use sex like that. However if one chooses to, it is their decision and they have to live with themself. I could not do that but that is just my opinion.

  147. 148 Angela in Washington D.C.
    July 10, 2008 at 16:10

    @Julie P

    I completely agree. I think the men that use prostitutes are pathetic.

  148. 149 steve
    July 10, 2008 at 16:13

    @ Selena

    Who said sex is disgusting? I would think STDs are pretty disgusting. Didn’t you see the pictures of herpes in your sex ed courses? Are you denying that women that have sex in exchange for something have low self esteem?

  149. 150 Julie P
    July 10, 2008 at 16:22

    @Angela,

    At one time I met a man who I dated very briefly. The day he confided in me that he had gone to a prostitute. (One of many reasons why I do not have sex with a man early on. I like to get to know them, including their past. Once they get comfortable they will blab anything.) Immediately I lost all respect for him. He told me what he thought about himself and what he thinks about women all in an instant. It’s contemptable to defend going to a prositute.

  150. 151 selena
    July 10, 2008 at 16:23

    @Angela and Julie

    Good girls! Men who use prostitutes are disgusting. They are far more disgusting than the women because, but for them, there would be no prostitution.

    I have been fortunate all my life because everything has come easy for me. It is precisely because of this that I would never judge the less fortunate.

    Who knows what any one of us would do in similar circumstances? It is the generalized judging that is troublesome.

    Women are too quick to agree with men who say prostitutes are the scum of the earth. The men who think that way are very often users. There is a dark side there that is dangerous to society…. much more dangerous than prostitution, in my view.

    Personally, I think sex is primarily for procreation and if it had not been condemned in the religious texts as something wicked, there would not be so much undercover (sorry)activities around it. We are so attracted to the dark side!

    And advertising doesn’t help much. Everything is sex, sex, sex.

  151. 152 selena
    July 10, 2008 at 16:30

    @Steve

    I guess we are in the spiral now… 🙂

  152. 153 Angela in Washington D.C.
    July 10, 2008 at 16:40

    @Selena

    I realize that their are women that use sex as a tool to support their family because that is the only thing that they can do. I feel saddened that some women get into that situation. I am blessed that I am not in a predicament like that. I do not think the act of sex is disgusting. Since I am religious I approach sex from a different angle. However, I would never say that I am a saint because I have had sex and I am not married. I think it is wrong but I do it also.

    Everything is sex, sex, sex but that doesn’t mean it is right. I remember hearing about a girl who watched Sex and the City and engaged in a lot of sexual activity. I loved the show and I watched it when I was in high school but I didn’t think it was the right thing to do because they have it on television.

    Plus, most people nowadays accept the undercover activities around sex like it is no big deal. However, I wasn’t raised to accept that.

  153. 154 steve
    July 10, 2008 at 16:46

    @ Julie P

    So you condemn a man for going to a prostitute? what about a woman that never worked a day in her life and gets married very early and doesn’t work a day in her life? Some think marriage is legalized prostitution. Because of some church ceremony it’s somehow different?

  154. 155 selena
    July 10, 2008 at 16:51

    @Angela

    Sex is a natural expression of love between two people. Unfortunately, it has been blown out of proportion as something dirty, mysterious and sinful.

    And the woman is the culprit. How much more nonsense are we going to buy into?

    I don’t have a religious bone in my body but i would never dream of giving my body to men on the make.

    However, in today’s climate, I would never judge those who do. There are so many messages that encourage sex at any age.

    That is what is disgusting… not sex.

  155. 156 steve
    July 10, 2008 at 16:55

    @ selena

    You must have an interesting definition of “love”. Sex is anything but “love”. I cannot even write what I want to say on here, as I’m a mod and wouldn’t approve this if anyone else wrote it… But imagine what goes on, are you seriously telling me that that is “love” to you?

    PS: are all the casual relationships and one night stands all “expressions of love between two people”? What about when it’s 3 or 4 people involved? not like that is rare.

  156. 157 Shirley
    July 10, 2008 at 16:58

    Pangolin, you probably remember the discussion about the Islamic prohibition of drugs. Add to that the fact that we do not believe that anyone can see God and, as you have stated, the fact that we do not believe that there is any Prophet after Muhammad, and technically there should not be a problem in introducing Tabernathe Iboga. Unfortunately, money trumps religion and any sense of ethical or moral values. The fact that people in the Muslim world can make more emoney raising drug crops and selling drugs than they can in more honest entrepreneurial ventures means an impossibly uphill battle trying to quell drug farming and use in the Muslim world. It really is too bad that people posing as Sufi sheykhs use drugs. They make a bad name for Muslims who really do practise tasawwuf (Sufism).

    Lubna, have you seen this floating around in the news? “Security is better without the Mahdi Army,” said a 42-year-old resident [of Sadr City]. What is the reality on the ground?

    Jonathan, I’ve finally begun to read through the Frontline Darfur transcript.

  157. 158 Angela in Washington D.C.
    July 10, 2008 at 17:00

    @Selena

    I do not believe the women is the culprit. I feel female liberation has led to a different view on sex.

    @Steve

    I personally don’t think there is anything wrong with a women that doesn’t work a day in her life and is married. People used to do that but for some reason a lot of individuals think it is wrong is a women just gets married and has kids. Plus, most women that stay at home like that actually work. Keeping up a house is not easy. She is doing a lot more than just having sex with her husband. It is very different.

  158. 159 steve
    July 10, 2008 at 17:04

    @ Angela

    There are lots of women that married “up” don’t work, got married, had kids, have a nanny and maids, and do nothing other than shop. That is no different than being a streetwalker in my book.

    I’m curious about any potential double standards. What do you think of men that don’t work and stay at home? Of course that’s rare, given that’s not really an option for men, though women have the option of working or not working. Say if it were realistic for men to not work, how would you view them?

  159. 160 Angela in Washington D.C.
    July 10, 2008 at 17:05

    @Selena and Steve

    In today’s society sex is merely seen as an act. Some people see sex as an act of love, but not for the most part. Most men I know, are able to separate their feelings from sex. Most women are not, which is why I think women should be wary of approaching sex like a man. I only know a couple of females that have been able to do that.

  160. 161 steve
    July 10, 2008 at 17:10

    @ Angela and selena

    I think you both underestimate modern women. Women are very at ease with casual sex these days. It’s pretty much the norm. Friends with benefits are quite common. One night stands are common. This is not about “love”. Sex is basically a bodily function these days. There are girls in middle school who charge money for oral sex with school bathrooms. In Japan, girls hang outside of malls and have sex in exchange for handbags or clothes. There’s obviuosly no shortage of women willing to pose naked or have sex on camera for the internet. It’s viewed as means to get something. You are very mistaken if you think women are viewing sex as some emotional, loving experience. Women have basically become like men are supposed to be, while men are getting feminized.

  161. 162 Angela in Washington D.C.
    July 10, 2008 at 17:10

    @Steve

    There is a double standard. I am a bit traditional, so I don’t see a problem with women who get married and have that kind of lifestyle. I must admit that I beleive the man should be the breadwinner. So unless he is independently wealthy, he should work. I wouldn’t want to marry a lazy guy and if we get divorced I have to pay alimony.

    But we have the double standard with a women. Men can go out and have sex with several different women and it is okay but a women cannot do the same thing.

    It is a double standard, but as you mentioned another time, men and women are not equal. Therefore we should not look at them as equals, as least I don’t.

  162. 163 Angela in Washington D.C.
    July 10, 2008 at 17:16

    @Steve

    I agree that modern women feel that way. However, some women do still look at sex as a loving experience. Plus, I am sure many of the women that look at sex like that are jsut kidding themselves because they eventually change their ways. Women feel thatit is ok when you are younger but who wants to be having casual sex the rest of their lives. Maybe some people do but I know myself and can admit that I can’t do it. It is hard enough finding someone that I am even attracted to.

  163. 164 steve
    July 10, 2008 at 17:17

    @ Angela

    But most double standards benefit women. men have to make all the efforts in dating, asking out, risking rejection, etc. Men have to work, women have the choice to work. You ever said it’s fine for a woman to not work, that a man must be the breadwinner, so that he doesn’t sit at home and you have to pay alimony to him, where you have no problem with her not working and he having to pay alimony to her.

    As for men having sex with several women, it’s more of an accomplishment. It takes an effort for a man to have sex, where a woman only needs a pulse, and doesn’t have to make any effort. It’s more of an accomplishment for a woman to not have sex, whereas today, it’s very easy for a guy to be a virgin for his entire life. See the difference? And also, who says women can’t do the same thing? They do. It’s very common. If you think about it, if you say were with a 28 year old women, it would take a miracle for her to have been with less than 15 guys in her lifetime, whereas it’s simply not as easy for guys to have numbers. I know women that have no idea how many guys they’ve been with, they’ve lost count. Only a small percentage of guys have that ability, most guys don’t, hence why pareto principles apply in dating, a small percentage of men get most of the women.

    Again, why is a guy lazy if he doesn’t work, but a woman isn’t lazy if she doesn’t work?

    Another double standard has to do with work. Women pretty much, given they have the option of getting married, have the ability more realistically have jobs they love, whereas men, given they know they ahve to be the breadwinner, have to take jobs they probably don’t love, for financial reasons. My friend in NYC works with disabled kids in a NYC public school, loves his job, but it doesn’t pay much, so he doesn’t have the highest quality of life. All the teachers in his school are female, most are attractive, but all work jobs they love, getting paid very little. But guess what, they’re all married to very wealthy men, so they can work that job that they love, and still hav ea high standard of living. My friend doesn’t have the luxury of marrying a rich woman, because women marry up, not down, in the vast majority of cases. So he realizes he cannot stay in that job for a career duration because it financially doesn’t make sense and he will likely have to work a job he doesn’t like for financial reason.

    Lots of double standards, and most benefit women.

  164. 165 Julie P
    July 10, 2008 at 17:27

    @Steve,

    You don’t like female prositutes and condemn them. I have the same right to condemn men who go to them, unless since I am a female then it is different for me? Am I not allowed to hold a strong position because of my sex? Are only men allowed to hold strong positions, especially with regard to the opposite sex?

  165. 166 steve
    July 10, 2008 at 17:28

    @ Angela

    “Women feel thatit is ok when you are younger but who wants to be having casual sex the rest of their lives. Maybe some people do but I know myself and can admit that I can’t do it. It is hard enough finding someone that I am even attracted to.”

    While I’m sure women want to “settle down” when they get older (for various reasons, not all of it is by choice), they cannot let go of the baggage from all the casual sex though. These women tend to be basketcases, and given how common casual sex is these days, there will be many basketcase women out there who cannot have a committed relationship, so look for the divorce rates to go up even higher in the future.

  166. 167 steve
    July 10, 2008 at 17:31

    @ Julie P

    When did I say I don’t like female prostitutes and when did I condemn them?All I said is that they have low self esteem. I have a friend that used to be a prostitute. Do you think I don’t like her? Do you think I condemn her?

  167. 168 Angela in Washington D.C.
    July 10, 2008 at 17:32

    @Steve

    I completely agree. I was raised by a women that beleived you either worked or stayed home and raised your kids. My mother is very old fashioned. i don’t know about most women but I definitely know that from a very early age it was programmed into me to marry up. I went home for the holidays and my uncle even said that you may be single all of your life because there is not point in getting married to someone who can’t bring anything to the table.

    Many people view women like that as being gold diggers but at least everyone is not like that. I realize that it would cause problems if I married someone who didn’t have a decent salary. It is not like I just want to live off of them but I want someone who could provide for me and children. This girol I know married this guy that makes half the amount she makes but he loves her deeply. She pretends that it doesn;t bother her that he makes less money but it does. I am realistic to know not to get into a situation like that.

    Some people think women have it easier but if I got married and stayed at home with kids, I would still be doing a heck of a lot of work. Especially if you take time with them.

    There are many double standards but if you like modern women, you don’t have to worry about those becasue most of them don’t even care about getting married.

  168. July 10, 2008 at 17:35

    Thanks to the WHYS team for giving me a listener’s award. This is the second one I have got from WHYS so far, as Ros has in his daily email given me the most curious listener award! https://worldhaveyoursay.wordpress.com/2008/02/13/your-questions-our-answers/

    In fact according to BBC usage site: http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio/siteusage/ for June, WHYS ranks 11th, with 208,547 downloads. Considering there were 20 shows during this month, there was as an average daily 10,427 downloads. Here is a view of the rank of WHYS for those who don’t want to scroll the usage site. http://www.flickr.com/photos/abdoukili_17/2655427929/

    The biggest download before this new record was around 66,665 last March. In short, WHYS is getting bigger. So, no wonder if there is a plan for WHYS on TV. I think the TV show will be a success.

    Congratulations to all WHYS team, to loyal listeners and contributors on this achievement.

  169. 170 Angela in Washington D.C.
    July 10, 2008 at 17:38

    @Steve

    The men are the ones that benefit from the idea of casual sex. The women become basketcases, as you said. Which one is worse the basketcase or the women who wants to be taken care of? Or are they both bad? I would never be with someone for their money, nor would want to be with someone that doesn’t have any money.

    I have a traditional view of marriage. I even plan to have the “obey” that everyone takes out of their wedding vows.

  170. 171 Julie P
    July 10, 2008 at 17:38

    @Steve,

    There always two people in the act of prostitution, yet only the woman’s has been taken into account. When the man’s part was brought in, it was either pooh poohed, or it rejected out of hand.

    You know the former prostitute, but you do not know the ones you hypothetically write about.

    When it comes to writing about people you and those you don’t it is very easy to pass judgement.

  171. 172 Angela in Washington D.C.
    July 10, 2008 at 17:38

    @Abdelilah Boukili

    Congrats!

  172. 173 steve
    July 10, 2008 at 17:41

    @ Julie P

    What am I hypothetically writing about? When have I passed any judgment?The only judgment passed in here was commenters saying that they have no respect for men that see prostitutes, and that prostitutes are all victims and not responsible for their decisions. I have made no judgment. I have said that prostitutes have low self esteem, that isn’t a judgment, it’s a statement of fact. When did I say they are bad people or worthy of insults or anything like that?

  173. 174 steve
    July 10, 2008 at 17:52

    @ Angela

    “The men are the ones that benefit from the idea of casual sex. The women become basketcases, as you said. Which one is worse the basketcase or the women who wants to be taken care of? Or are they both bad? I would never be with someone for their money, nor would want to be with someone that doesn’t have any money. ”

    That’s a tough question. The basketcase isn’t capable of a committed relationship, so you would want to avoid them, but you would never know until too late, becuase they will hide it, and make you suffer for their bad decisions. I’ve experienced this. As for the woman who wants to be taken care of, well I would personally avoid that, but if a guy has no problem with that, then it’s not “bad”.

    Say if you had no money, what would you think if a guy rejected you because you have no money? You said you would reject a guy who has no money. I can only presume you wouldn’t hot it against a guy to reject you for that reason since you would do that to him if he had no money.

  174. 175 Julie P
    July 10, 2008 at 17:53

    @Steve,

    Did I say that prostitutes are not responsible for their choices or are victims? NO.

    “If you think having sex with cocaine dealers is any way a positive thing or something that doesn’t deserve criticism…” Your own words.

    And going to a prostitute doesn’t deserve criticism, then why not?

  175. 176 Katharina in Ghent
    July 10, 2008 at 17:59

    @ Prostitution:

    I don’t know the situation in the US, but in Europe the vast majority of prostitutes are women from Eastern Europe or Africa who were brought over under false promises and are now shamelessly exploited. Men go to prostitutes because they have right now that special itch, and they don’t want to bother with finding a woman who may or may not find them attractive enough to give in. I used to live about 30 meters around the corner of a hooker street, and most men that were standing around there, trying to decide whether they will give in on their impulse or not, looked 100% pathetic.

    Steve, if you say that there are 28year old women who have slept with at least 15 guys, then there must also be a lot of guys around who live a similarly promiscuous life, because for most people, either they are on the collector lane or not. And even for the most innocent men or women, they usually have to kiss at least a few frogs until they find their princ/ess.

  176. 177 steve
    July 10, 2008 at 18:00

    @ Julie P

    Don’t do this. You ignored my comment about not having condemned or insulting prostitutes. You said I had done that, and I didn’t. Or perhaps “judging” was the word. You accused me of doing something I didn’t do and I want to hear you retract your statement. Rather than chance the subject every time. YOu are comparing a woman having unprotected sex while high in exchange for even more drugs with going to a prostitute, as if they are comparable. Apples and oranges. Of course both deserve criticism, both are illegal acts. However, in places where prostitution is legal, it doesn’t deserve cricisim.

  177. 178 steve
    July 10, 2008 at 18:07

    @ Katharina. Not all prostitutes are exploited women from some other place. Ever been to Vegas? Many willingly get into the business, and are there on their own accord. Are they likely in need of mental help? of course, but they are adults making adult decisions.

    I mentioned this before, but a month or so ago I was talking to my friend’s then girlfriend, now his ex, and we were talking about her going to law school, and she suddently broke down and started crying, saying “I’m such a slut, I had sex with 20 guys before I was even 21 years old”. In major cities, it’s very easy and very common for women to have been promiscuous like this. Sure, there are guys who are even more promiscuous, but as the world works, these guys are rare, and women seek them out, as women desire men that other women desire, so a small minority of men are getting most of the women, this is also why STDs are so prevelant. If you think this girl has not much emotional baggage, you would be wrong. She’s 22 now and has a lifetime of baggage. What do you think her number will be when she’s 32? I don’t think I’ll even approach half of her number in my entire lifetime!

    Actions have consequences and promiscuity in women leads to serious baggage/issues, which will be taken out on someone else (ie the guy she settles with). I think it’s wrong to subject someone to your baggage. My ex girlfriend did this to me, and had we gotten married, my life would have been a nightmare due to her making me suffer for her past bad decisions. She made just dating her a nightmare. I pity any guy she tricks into marrying her, though he would be a fool anyways, for there are lots of red flags.

  178. 179 Angela in Washington D.C.
    July 10, 2008 at 18:08

    @Steve

    Actually, I completely understand guys who would reject me for having no money. I personally don’t want to be taken care of but if I got married and had kids I would like to stay home while they were younger. It would hurt my career but I think children are important. I would want to be with someone who would understand. I don’t think it is selfish. I would be giving up a lot of freedom and would have to sacrifice. That is what I meant by that statement.

    If someone did not agree then that would not be the right person for me. I have dated guys that didn’t have a lot of money but I know the type of lifestyle I want. I will have it single or married. I cannot say I would not work at all but for a period of time. I know many males that would not want someone with my expectations. But at least I am honest and I know what I want.

    I don’t agree with women that just marry for money but if it makes them happy. As for my comment about guys, I am ambitious and want a good paying job and a job I like. I want someone like that. I can’t stand guys that complain about the way their life is, when they can change it. I look at it like: I am doing this and why would I want someone who is not doing at least as much as I am. Please let me know if that seems wrong?

  179. 180 Julie P
    July 10, 2008 at 18:08

    @Steve,

    I will not retract anything. I said nothing about women having unprotected sex with in exchange for sex with men, but then the men are too, if that is what is taking place. The only way anyone could know this if they have had sex with the prostitute themself. This is not comparing apples and oranges. This comparing like to like.

  180. 181 steve
    July 10, 2008 at 18:11

    @ Angela

    Say if a guy has a noble job, that he loves, but it is low paying? Like my friend in NYC, who works with disabled kids in a public school. That’s such a noble job, I cannot think of anything more noble than that, but it doesn’t pay that well. Is he a “loser”? I know lots of guys who had to give up jobs they loved, jobs that made a difference, because they wanted to get married, because apparently money matters that much. It’s a sad world we live in, but that’s life, and they all realized that if you want a woman, you need to make more money than she does. But imagine if the world weren’t that way. People doing jobs they loved, there would be a lot less miserable people in the world. But it’s pointless thinking about an ideal world because the world isn’t ideal.

  181. 182 Angela in Washington D.C.
    July 10, 2008 at 18:15

    @Steve

    First of all, I don’t know many girls that will discuss their sexual past. I look at it as being your past and deal with it. It is never a good thing for a female to discuss all of her baggage. My cousin’s ex did the same thing and she wondered why they broke up. Most people do not believe lying is the best thing but I would never discuss my past because any number more than one is too much for most guys. As long as you don’t have any diseases, I don’t care what you do.

    I dated this one guy and told him about my freshman year of college. I kissed a lot of guys at parties and he totally freaked. I wasn’t even having sex then. He on the other hand was a total player and had sex with more than 50 people. I learned afterwards.

  182. 183 Julie P
    July 10, 2008 at 18:17

    Steve,

    In the case, or even cases, that you mentioned, like working with disabled children, the men made their choices and are responsible for them. Could it be they have low self esteem that they think a woman would not want them as they are? Maybe they don’t know that people are attracted to people on their same economic level.

  183. 184 Venessa
    July 10, 2008 at 18:19

    The viscosity of the fluids in your joints increases when you smoke it for arthritic purposes. This guy is denying facts because he’s totally against it.

  184. 185 Angela in Washington D.C.
    July 10, 2008 at 18:19

    @Steve

    I don’t consider guys that love their work but don’t make that much money are losers. I dated this guy who was a teacher and is from NYC. His family wants him to go back home so he can get a job and make a lot more money but he loves his job and he is good at it. We had a different outlook on life. He is an awesome person and I know he will definitely have no problem finding a wife. I wanted different things than he wanted but he is still a good friend.

  185. 186 steve
    July 10, 2008 at 18:20

    @ Angela

    I’ve found that women can only hide the baggage for so long, then it comes out. It’s not like they normally say, “omg, I’ve had sex with 50 guys in the past 3 years” but you can see the issues coming out the more time you spend with them. Honestly, I’d much rather not know. I don’t even want to know she’s had a boyfriend before, however the issues always come out eventually. It’s not as simple as just not having diseases. I’m sure herpes sucks, but the mental problems that someone can get from promiscuity is even more scary to me. Also, it’s very hard and pretty pointless to have a relationship with someone who is a commitmentphobe. promiscuous people are pretty commitmentphobic. Unless one is eager to get divorced, it’s not very wise to get involved with one. Maybe I’m weird, but I don’t want to get cheated on and then pay alimony to someone who violated their vows, but maybe that’s just me.

  186. 187 Angela in Washington D.C.
    July 10, 2008 at 18:24

    @Julie P and Steve

    Just because a man’s economic level is lower does not mean a woman would not want him. I know several guys that have married women who were well off. It is not often but if it is the right person for him she would not care about his income. The guys I know that love their jobs but don’t make that much money don’t have a problem with self esteem.

  187. 188 Angela in Washington D.C.
    July 10, 2008 at 18:31

    @Steve

    Most women think men want them to be completely honest. I dont think it is wise. Plus, who in their right mind would want to pay alimony on someone who cheated? I think their should be a law or something that states if you cheated, you don’t get alimony. Plus, some people have been with several people but are not primiscous, especially people that dated several people. However, I do understand about some women because I know this girl who will have a one night stand and tell the person it is ok if you don’t call I understand because most guys don’t call. She is really sweet but it is hard for her to commit. I always ask about this guy or that guy but it seems that she just likes sleeping around. Then she will think about and feel bad but she keeps doing it. I think it is very stupid but I don’t know many women like her.

  188. 189 Abel
    July 10, 2008 at 18:34

    Hello this is Abel from Portland, OR.

    Be careful about convoluting the issues of legality with ‘healthy’. Just because a drug or substance is legal does not make it healthy. Smoking cigarettes for example is legal for those of age, but is by no means ‘healthy’. If marijuanna is legalized, it will just funnel $$ to Phillip Morris and other huge tobacco companies. I think that decriminalization is different than legalizing. I think many countries in Europe handle their drug problems and addicts in a more effective manner than here in the US.

  189. 190 steve
    July 10, 2008 at 18:34

    @ Angela

    Actually my friend in NYC that works at a public school used to date a surgeon. She got so insecure that he didn’t make more money than her that she ended it, as she cared more what her friends thought than what she thought. Just like I look down on men that get trophy wives, I look down on women that marry men for status/prestige or wealth reasons.

  190. 191 Angela in Washington D.C.
    July 10, 2008 at 18:54

    @Steve

    I think it is sad some people care about what their friends think. I personally don’t care if my friends don’t like the person I am dating because they don’t have to deal with it. I understand your view but every women that wants someone with a decent job is not after wealth. I don’t care about their wealth but I guess I know the lifestyle that I want and I want someone with that same view. I am not saying the person has to have a very large salary but enough that if I didn’t work for a while it would be ok. And I know several guys that just want a trophy wife. The bigger issue is that someone must really know what they want and realize the pros and cons. Most trophy wives will cheat on their husbands and most women that marry purely for money will see their marriage end when another younger prettier girl comes around.

  191. 192 Julie P
    July 10, 2008 at 19:03

    @Angela,

    I know that, I was making a point.

    I have a girlfriend who works for a Fortune 100 business in a highly paid position. She married a man who does a job he loves, but earns much less. She never cared about the income discrepancy. He struggled for a while, but adjusted. She cared more about being in a mutually loving relationship.

    I had a boyfriend who had his own business and did very well at it. When the business failed he was devastated, naturally. When fe finally decided to give it up and work for someone else he said to me “I don’t know how you could want me, I am a failure.” I was never there for his business or money, I was there for him because of him. For a while he was surprised I did not leave him. He went on to have an extremely successful career, but he took a beating and I did not waiver in his hour of need.

    I do not know what it will take to get the point across that across to men; things have changed!

  192. 193 Venessa
    July 10, 2008 at 19:19

    Steve ~

    I think there are women out there that want to “marry up” and know a few of those women myself. Personally I could care less if the person I’m with makes a ton of money or not. I’m interested in the quality of the person not the size of their wallet.

    When I was single I had a hard time dating because most guys were uncomfortable that I owned a house and they didn’t – that was quite strange to me. My husband was unemployed when we started dating and until recently my income was higher than his. He thought it was crazy that I wanted to be with someone who couldn’t afford to take me on a decent date.

    The reality is there are shallow people that will sadly try to get everything they can from someone without regret. The people I know who follow that trend find ways to justify the behavior.

  193. 194 steve
    July 10, 2008 at 19:22

    @ Julie P

    But if your boyfriend had met you during his “failure” phase, would you have dated him? Let’s not forget there are many more double standards. Ie, there’s no hindrance for a woman to live with her parents, to not have a car, whereas a guy is a loser if he lives with his parents or doesn’t have a car. I had a girlfriend once who lived with her parents so she could save money. i jokingly told her that I should do that to, and she seriously replied “don’t, I will dump you if you do”. and she meant it. So it’s okay for her to live at home, but not me?

    Same with employment, a guy who is unemployed simply isn’t going to be doing much dating, whereas it’s not a hindrance for a woman at all. Back when I was doing contract work, I was at a party with a “friend”, he’s actually a friend, but is just stupid I guess, but he would introduce me to women at the party, saying “this is my friend steve, he doesn’t have a job, he’s looking for work” even though I had a job and was making way more than my friend. guess who was totally turned off by hearing that? My last girlfriend wasn’t even working when I met her. Lots of double standards.

  194. 195 Julie P
    July 10, 2008 at 19:24

    @Steve,

    His self-esteem was so low he would not have made available. So point moot.

  195. 196 steve
    July 10, 2008 at 19:25

    @ Vanessa. The vast, vast majority of women date/marry at least the same income level, or higher. Only the tiniest minority of women will date/marry men that earn less than they do. Women are more educated than men now, and women in many areas make more money than men, and you find a lot of the “there are no good men left” mentalities, meaning there aren’t enough guys they find attractive that make at least much money as they do, and preferably more. So there is an impact this makes on society.

    Sure, I know of cases where the husband doesn’t even work, but that’s the exception, and it’s rare. very rare.

  196. 197 Angela in Washington D.C.
    July 10, 2008 at 19:30

    @Steve

    Most women are not as concerned about finances as men think they are. Plus, as you noted earlier most modern women are not concerned with money. I know plenty of women that would date a guy who lives at home. I could not but only because I could not go back home to parents hosue. They wouldn’t allow it.

  197. 198 Venessa
    July 10, 2008 at 19:38

    Steve ~

    I’m not sure that women’s concern over having lots of money is as prevalent as you think. Don’t men make more money than women in general? I would have to say that is a consideration in this discussion.

  198. 199 steve
    July 10, 2008 at 19:39

    @ Angela

    So it’s just a giant coincidence that lots of women marry up? That kind of reminds me of a chick telling me it wasn’t that a guy spent $25,000 on a ring that she liked, but what it “symbolized”. I chuckled her little justification of it not being about money. Oh yeah, not all women are materialistic, my last girlfriend doesn’t care about money (though I made a LOT more than she did) and was pretty down to earth and linked camping and hiking and stuff like that… but many women are materialistic. I know this chick in Rockland County and she always wants to set me up with women, but I “have” to make at least $200,000. at LEAST $200,000 a year for her to do this. Imagine the hell those women would be.. I know lots of guys working jobs they hate because their wives demand the lifestyle. I know guys who got divorced for quitting their jobs to take a job they would like, which paid less. I know guys who got divorced at the mere prospect of losing their jobs. Materialism is fairly common I would say. Don’t forget to take a look around where you live. Angela, look at McLean, VA, or Potomac, MD, or anywhere McMansions are popping up. It’s all about materialism, look what I’ve got! Look at my house! It’s better than your house. This materialism is what’s destroying this country.

  199. 200 Julie P
    July 10, 2008 at 19:41

    @Steve,

    And I think you have your answer as to why that is, because too many men still believe the 1950’s standard of mate selection. While in the market the first thing out of their mouths is what they do for a living and how much they make, or here’s another favorite of mine: males wanting to fix me up with their friends. First things first: I’m a good catch because 1) I have a college education 2) I have a professional career. 3) I make good money. 4) I can cook. 5) I look great in a bikini. Then when it comes to the men they want introuce me they list off their job title (always VP of something or other), their salary, their education, then personal attributes. Wouldn’t you make a cute a couple? Men have just a big a role in this as women.

  200. 201 Venessa
    July 10, 2008 at 19:48

    Steve ~

    Materialism is a big issue in this society I have no doubt about it but both men & women are guilty of that. I plenty of guys out there that want the best of everything too along with their arm candy.

    The guys that work their jobs because their wives “demand” a particular lifestyle get what they deserve then. If they are too spineless to stand up for themselves then it explains why they are in their current situation.

  201. 202 steve
    July 10, 2008 at 19:52

    @ Julie P

    When in DC, the first three questions a woman will ask you in say a bar is :

    (1) what do you do?

    (2) where are you from?

    (3) where did you go to grad school

    Two things about this, as any DC native will tell you, first, they presume you are a transient like them, and the other questions are gauged to determine your level of status, because this is a status town, and it attacts people who are attracted to status, money, and power. So here, it’s the women that are overly concerned with that stuff. when a woman asks me what I do, I say “I like to ride on the bike trails, and take photos with my digital SLR.” then she’s like “no, I mean what do you do?” and I say “what do you mean?I just told you!” and she basically shouts “what is your job and how long have you been there?” rather than ask me how much I make. Anyone in DC can confirm this is standard. In Manhattan, women will just ask you how much money you make and stop talking to you if the level isn’t high enough.

    I never talk about my job because why think about it when you’re not there? It’s a way to fund my hobbies/travel/activities, though in a status town, the living to work is more prevelant than working to live.

  202. 203 Angela in Washington D.C.
    July 10, 2008 at 19:59

    @Steve

    There are some women that want to marry up and then some that want to marry UP. Not all women are materialistic. However, I know people who have gotten a divorce because their spouse took another job. Things change when you get married even though I would love to marry someone who made a decent salary, not $100,000 and up. If they choose to change their plans, I would have to deal with it. This is why I am not one of those women who obtained an art history major in school. If someone wanted to spend a lot on a ring I can understand but some guys should know if the woman says that she must have a ring totaling____ amount, it might be a sign not to be with the person. Most americans are materialistic. Are you one of those Americans that are not? Most people have some desires, not all of them are as extreme as others. The houses in McLean are very nice but everyone doesn’t want that.

    My last boyfriend was a physician and I felt bad because he had all of his stuff together but since I just got out of school recently I was not as financially stable as he was. I didn’t want to get into a serious relationship with baggage. I want all of my loans paid off first.

  203. 204 Julie P
    July 10, 2008 at 20:17

    @Steve,

    All I can tell is to move. Think I’m kidding? I’m not. Look, Atlanta can be very status driven as well, although not as much as where you live. There are plenty of people who are like that, especially in our financial district, or along the Golden/Platinum Ghetto. I used to do hair in the financial district. I saw men and women go through the dance you just described. I wouldn’t play it. I don’t like the people, the lifestlye, or the values. Phoney! Phoney! Phoney! Too much BS. Fake men. Fake women. It can leave a person jaded and cynical about the other sex. I won’t do it. Since I went to college and switched careers I am the same person I was before that. In my business people make a good living, more than many. I see it change people. I hate that. I like my jeans, t-shirts, and Keds (although I have to order Keds online if I want any more.) I like many of the same things I did before.

  204. 205 Angela in Washington D.C.
    July 10, 2008 at 20:26

    @Julie P

    I actually think Atlanta may be worse than DC.

  205. 206 Bryan
    July 10, 2008 at 20:32

    71 Asad Babyl
    July 10, 2008 at 3:55 am,

    Yes, the problem of Islamification (if there is such a word) is certainly now within Britain. That makes it even more difficult to fight than the Nazis.

  206. 207 steve
    July 10, 2008 at 20:36

    @ Angela

    If I used your way of thinking, I wouldn’t be able to get married until my 50s, becaucse that’s how long it will take me to repay my student loans! Maybe early mid 40s at soonest, but if I were to repay it on time, I will be 57 when I’m done.

    I make low six figures, but given how much money I owe, I would consider myeslf poor, though I could live on credit like the other irresponsible people in this area and gotten a no downpayment mortgage, lease a BMW, like the other insecure people do here. So I would say I’m not materialistic.

  207. 208 Julie P
    July 10, 2008 at 20:37

    @Angela,

    It depends on what circles you travel in. I could hang out with the aforementioned set, but I won’t. I don’t like the lifestyle. I hang out with the down to earth people. If a screams phoney I move on. It’s not all that hard. I like my friends and like my life.

  208. 209 Pangolin Hussein- California
    July 10, 2008 at 21:11

    @ Women, Money and Status- I love reading all these posts from women saying ‘no really, I’m not a gold-digging whore but…. ‘ and that but always amounting to a professional-grade earning level. If your romantic life has a checkbox for the income of a potential mate you are a whore. Don’t be ashamed, it’s the American way.

    Of course reality will have it’s way and then many women are left sitting home alone friday nights at 40 talking to thier little dogs about how nasty and unfair the world is. Then there are the ones who do latch on to some poor schmuck and then put him through the hell of in-vitro fertilization and then adoption because they wouldn’t take a bet on an otherwise decent but broke guy when their ovaries still had life to give.

    All that simply to cut off mister MBA and stock-options off in the bedroom. He doesn’t really mind at that point because he’s spending his saturday mornings “golfing.” Never mind the stop he makes on the way to the links, he’ll take a shower in the clubhouse.

    Any man who’s talking among men will tell you the most critical information a woman wants to hear is his annual earnings. It doesn’t matter if she’s mamma rasta, the lady you met at the zen center or a Jehovah’s witness it’s ALL about the benjamins. She isn’t going to be around you enough to fall in love unless you got the cash.

    The only difference between a prostitute and a wife is the prostitute will give you an honest quote on the price you’ll pay. It’s NEVER free.

  209. 210 Angela in Washington D.C.
    July 10, 2008 at 21:13

    @Steve

    Well I can understand about the student loans. I just wanted to have a better handle on my finances before I got into something serious. Although I want someone who has a decent career, I don’t want them to think that I am just trying to take advantage. I know it doesn’t make sense. I dont want to get into something when I am trying to get a handle of my finances. I just felt inadequate. I used to many credit cards when I moved because I had to get a new wardrobe and I want to pay that off before getting into something serious, more than my loans. I just look at those cards as baggage. Although it is not as much as some people have, I just have to get rid of it first,

  210. 211 steve
    July 10, 2008 at 21:16

    @ Pangolin, very colorful post. I honestly cannot think of any reason for men to get married these days, especially given the divorce rate, and how most divorces are initiated by women, for usually no reason other than “i fell out of love”… But even wanting to be married, I don’t understand it. I like some companionship once in a while, but marriage, it just seems to condependent. Are people really that incapable of being on their own? Yeah, I did know a chick that I no longer speak with, who said that i’m not a golddigger, but the guy HAS to make a certain income becuase guys who make less than that are “losers”. Pretty funny stuff.

    Actually the prostitution thing, at least how comedians say it, is that you’re not paying her for sex, you are paying her to leave afterwards. hehe.

    I feel bad for my friend whose wife is pestering him to get a higher paying job. He likes his government job, but it doesn’t pay that much, and you know his wife is forcing him to get a private sector job that isn’t as secure, so that she can live the easy life. She was a lawyer, decided she didn’t like it, and quit, and now is a teacher, making very little money. So my friend is gonna get a job, and probably laid off, and then she’ll leave him because he’s unemployed. It happens a lot unfortunately. But she isn’t happy with his level of income, even though SHE gave up a high paying lawyer job because it isn’t fun. so he has to be the one to work a job he doesn’t like so she can go shopping. But he knew what he was getting into when he married her so I shouldn’t feel that bad for him.

  211. 212 Angela in Washington D.C.
    July 10, 2008 at 21:18

    @Pangolin Hussein- California

    I can admit that I want someone who will have a decent career but I would not just sleep with the person just because they have money. I have actually met guys that thought because they had a lot of money I would just stay around, while they are messing with other women. They said as long as I am giving you money why does it care. You can say it is the american way but it does not make them a whore. A whore will sleep with anyone that is around.

  212. 213 steve
    July 10, 2008 at 21:19

    @ Angela

    lots of chicks have debt and bad credit. It’s pretty common. I wouldn’t not date or commit to a woman because she has some debt, though if she had bad credit, that’s a different story. I looked up my ex girlfriend on her local county clerk’s website and she had a default judgment against her from a credit card, owes several thousand dollars. Had we gotten married she would have given me bad credit. I would have been able to be in one of those free credit report dot com commercials wearing a eye patch, and selling tshirts to tourists.

  213. 214 Pangolin Hussein- California
    July 10, 2008 at 23:02

    @ Angela- If lack of money is a dealbreaker the lady is a prostitute. If you don’t think that honest prostitutes don’t have a list of conditions above and beyond cash in hand you’re living in a fantasy world. They can range from color of the skin to acceptable shoes.

    I mean c’mon, do you think that white girls from the suburbs watch “Pretty Woman” again and again because they love opera? You’ll never see a guy as good looking as Richard Gere at the opera unless he’s with his boyfriend or a cougar twice his age.

    The girl made the big sale, she landed the contract, collected the white carbon retainer and could look forward to a life with a single task required of her to live in luxury. And women LOVE that movie.

  214. 215 Bryan
    July 10, 2008 at 23:50

    Pangolin Hussein- California July 10, 2008 at 8:50 am

    “@ Iran vs Israel- Israel can no more eliminate resistance from Iran than the US eliminated resistance in Iraq or Afghanistan.”

    Ah, yes, the noble concept of “resistance” – similar to the French resistance against the Nazis, no doubt. We hear Hamas talk ad nauseum about the noble resistance of their terrorist cause but this is the first time I have heard anyone claim the same for Iran. I wonder what the Iranians are resisting when they train and arm and sponsor terrorists to murder Israeli civilians. I guess they must be resisting civilization as they resort to barbarism.

  215. 216 steve
    July 11, 2008 at 00:02

    @ Pangolin

    Yeah, movies like Pretty Woman are horrific, because it makes girls/women think they can go through life making horrible decisions and then still have prince charming sweep them off their feet. It’s fantasy, but they feel entitled to it. Movies liek that and shows like Sex and the City are incredibly damaging to women.

  216. 217 steve
    July 11, 2008 at 00:04

    @Angela

    How would you describe the women that would only consider me if I made at least $200,000 a year?

    Remember, $200,000 is probably lower middle class in Manhattan. Rich guys are a dime a dozen, hence why women don’t seem to waste their time there and straight up will ask you how much you make there.

  217. 218 Julie P
    July 11, 2008 at 00:33

    @Steve,

    I wouldn’t live there. It’s too expensive. Really when a person wants to live a certain lifestyle, then a person must consider all of the factors. Rent/real estate prices, utilities, food, transportation, entertainment, discretionary money, hidden expenses, Roth IRAs, and other investments. I wouldn’t live in Alexandria either for the same reason. I took a quick look at rents in either place, Lower Manhattan and the first place I saw in Alexandria. Give me a break. I can’t even compare the apartment I live in to what is available in NYC. For the love of God! I could live in one of the most expensive homes available for in Atlanta. Since I’m not in the high flier club it’s out of the question. As for A.V. for something comparable to what I have here means I would have to fork out $500 a month more than what I am paying. Not a snowball’s chance… As for anyone who chooses a mate based solely on superficial criteria, then they aren’t worth it. Men and women do it all of the time though. Pick up your skirt and run like hell when you meet those.

  218. 219 Bryan
    July 11, 2008 at 07:29

    Pangolin Hussein- California July 10, 2008 at 11:24 am

    “Again the assumption that terrorism is somehow unique to Islam.”

    Obviously nobody said that, or even implied it. But I would guess that Muslims are responsible for 99% of the terrorism in the world. Not a day goes by without despicable acts of terror by Muslims in the name of Islam:

    http://www.thereligionofpeace.com/

    “The rabid dog in this play is Israel. Their sovereign rights stop at their borders and they have no right to dictate terms to Iran.”

    Not even when Iran is attacking the “rabid dog” through its terrorist proxies – Hezbollah and Islamic Jihad – and threatening to wipe Israel off the map? Who is the really the rabid dog here? Strange idea you have of rights. When I last looked, every country has the right to defend itself. Your gross prejudice against Israel disqualifies you from rational debate on this issue.

  219. 220 Angela in Washington D.C.
    July 11, 2008 at 12:11

    @Steve

    I you would be able to tell if a women only wanted you for your money, so you wouldn’t have to worry about being with someone like that. As for women who want a guy that makes a certain amount of money, I think it is kind of stupid. I don’t know many women who will say that they would only date someone who made a certain amount of money. Most women like that are just straight gold diggers and you should stay away from them.

  220. 221 selena
    July 11, 2008 at 13:19

    Marriages have always been about position and money and cementing families. It used to be that parents arranged partners for their children. Many still do and others thrust their children into the space of acceptable partners. Nature does the rest.

    Men didn’t give a hoot what their wives were like as long they kept their place and turned a blind eye when they had affairs and prostitutes.

    The Women’s Movement told women that they could have love in their lives and be free from male domination. That has largely been a myth.

    Is it any wonder that women and men opt for security? If you are looking for love, it is possible you may have to live in a shack.

    Love and money are not constant companions. If you don’t like this opt out and stop criticizing others for accepting it.


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