11
Jul
08

Blank Page No. 15

Abdi in Kenya and Venessa in the US are your hosts for the blank page this weekend. We have some special programmes from South Africa next week ahead of Nelson Mandela’s 90th Birthday on Friday 18th July, but still lots of time to talk about what you want to discuss…..take it away Abdi and Venessa………


279 Responses to “Blank Page No. 15”


  1. 1 Abdi-you'r moderator with Venessa
    July 11, 2008 at 19:24

    Hi ,all and well-come to Blank Page No.15!,

    I,Abdi Ibrahim Ali in Kenya and.Vennessa in the US….will be keeping you company over the weekend!

    On behalf I and Venesssa ,,may I thank Chloe tilley for giving us the opportunity to Moderate the Blank page this Weekend! Thanks Chloe ,we will do our very best!

    We want to exceed the highest comment ever made on a blank page,-we want attract over 500 comments!,and Basically we will be discussing any topics you feel is relevant,

    Once again thank you for joining us and well-come!

    off we go…………………….

    Let’s began with What Brett a regular listner to WHYS has to say

    Well, as of now and being that I’ve been listening to the World Service all day, the only thing that has jumped out at me is the Ice Shelf that is on it’s way out. In fear of starting another redundant ‘Climate Change’ debate, anyone have anything else more stimulating? 🙂

  2. 2 Julie P
    July 11, 2008 at 19:30

    I ran across this earlier today and thought several topics that could come from this. My thoughts went to sorcery and the supernatural being alive and well in rural Indonesia. Superstition and the belief of having power over people resulted in multiple and unnecessary grizzly scenes on farm there. All and all there is no excuse for murder.

    http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/asiapcf/07/10/indonesia.execution.ap/index.html?iref=newssearch

  3. 3 Venessa
    July 11, 2008 at 19:31

    I have something I could really go on about ~ frivolous lawsuits! Is it only prevalent in the US? And I want to know how some of these cases even make it to trial when there clearly is no case.

    I happen to be in the process of being sued and had to give my deposition yesterday. To say the least the situation is laughable. You know it’s bad when the court reporter taking the deposition is trying to contain snickers. Regardless I’m still going to have to go to trial and it’s a big waste of my time.

  4. 4 selena
    July 11, 2008 at 19:35

    @Vanessa

    You have made me curious… 🙂

  5. 5 Susan USA
    July 11, 2008 at 19:39

    Unfortunately, there are way too many lawyers in our country and our court system is so backed up with frivolous lawsuits. All you have to do is file a complaint and the next thing you know your being served. Look at our media..commerical after commerical containing ads for “If you were in an accident, you maybe entitled to immediate compensation”. All these commericals do is lure the opportunist, just waiting to come out.

  6. July 11, 2008 at 19:42

    Oooohhhh Frivolous lawsuits and the US! I’m sure there are plenty around the world but from my understanding the US has the highest instance of them. It’s the American way! If you can’t earn money through hard work, do something stupid, blame someone else, and take all their money and assets!

    I was sued on behalf of my insurance company as a result of a traffic accident years ago when the occupant of the other vehicle was too stupid to have her 4 year old child in a car seat or even bucked in with a seatbelt. She tried to sue for pain and suffering for the child and nearly double the value of her car. The judge awarded her less than what my insurance company actually offered her initially. Serves her right.

    Steve, I’m sure you’ve got plenty on the lawsuits, give us some good ones and some facts!

  7. 7 Carolien from the Netherlands
    July 11, 2008 at 20:00

    Although the lawsuits one is definitely interesting, I’d opt for the International Criminal Court preparing another indictment on Darfur. (Also in the news today…) Something along the lines of ICC indictments, do they help or hurt? If you look at what happened in Uganda with the warrant out for Kony’s arrest, is a similar situation about to unfold in Darfur, where the conflict could be ‘frozen’ by the ICC? Is the ICC being too reckless in handing out warrants? (As they cannot be rescinded once they’ve been issued…) Would a warrant improve or aggravate the situation in Darfur? Sort of law-like as well, right? But maybe a little bit too technical?

  8. 8 nelsoni
    July 11, 2008 at 20:31

    @ Carolien,
    The proposed indictment on the sudanese president and other top government officials will just make the situation ball out of control. It will with out doubt aggravate the Darfur crisis. Because there will be no incentive for the sudanese government to negotiate peace with an indictment hanging over their heads. Some times, these guys at the ICC do not think. I doubt if they think about the consequences of their actions. It’s very easy for the to pass indictments which will surely cost more lives in Darfur.

    Sudan ‘crimes charges’ worry UN

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/7501066.stm

  9. 9 nelsoni
    July 11, 2008 at 20:35

    @ Abdi ,,,,,

    I saw the picture you took with Ros. It seem you had the short end of the stick. I could barely make your face out because it was so dark. 🙂

  10. 10 Bryan
    July 11, 2008 at 20:42

    Carolien from the Netherlands July 11, 2008 at 8:00 pm

    Academic, though, isn’t it? The ICC can prepare an indictment but how do they extract the chief slaughterer of innocents from Khartoum to stand trial? And why isn’t the US bombing Khartoum into submission when it did the same to Serbia over far fewer atrocities? Through the Jangaweed, the Khartoum terror regime has slaughtered more than 200 000 of its Muslim citizens simply because they are black and not Arab. This is a racist attempt at genocide and it is to the eternal shame of the UN (and specifically China, that keeps on vetoing anti-Sudan resolutions out of concern for its cosy oil interests there) that it has been allowed to continue.

    Apartheid South Africa was run by a white regime that was brutal in many respects but never came anywhere close to the crimes of the bloodstained Khartoum regime. And yet the entire world mobilised against apartheid. I guess when people of a darker shade than white South Africans commit far worse atrocities it’s OK.

    Osama bin Laden was based in Sudan for a while. Perfect place for the murderous chief thug of a racist terror group. Note his callous disregard for the innocent African victims of the US embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania.

  11. 11 nelsoni
    July 11, 2008 at 20:44

    how many of us still remember the Srebrenica genocide? i was young at the time but I still remember what happened and how the UN stood by and watched doing nothing

    Srebrenica reburies 300 victims

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7501523.stm

  12. July 11, 2008 at 20:51

    Hi Venessa,
    Here is another example of the frivolous lawsuits in the USA reported by Vanessa Heaney.

    A judge sued a local dry cleaners in Washington DC for sixty-seven million dollars because they lost his trousers. http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/learningenglish/newsenglish/witn/2007/05/070504_trousers.shtml

    The Americans are known for being the most litigious people on earth to the delight of lawyers who keep busy all the time!

  13. 13 Venessa
    July 11, 2008 at 21:00

    My incident is somewhat lengthy to recount so here’s the shortest version which is still really long (sorry):

    Essentially this was road rage against me. I was merging onto the freeway about 10 miles from downtown Portland and was nearly sideswiped by this woman. I flipped her off, end of story for me. There was no yelling or screaming, just the bird. (There are more productive things for me to do than get totally bent out of shape over someone’s jackass maneuver.) After cutting me off this lady cut across 3 lanes to the fast lane and I continued on in the far right lane. As usual and as a result of all the lane hoppers the left lane slowed down considerably. By then I had caught up to where she was in traffic and when I looked over at her she was screaming and waving her hands at me. I just simply shook my head and continued on. This agitated the woman enough for her to slam on her brakes, cut across lanes to ride my bumper and then go around me cut me off and slam on the brakes several times trying to get me to rear end her.

    Well when you’re driving erratically on a freeway at 60 mph I tend to get scared. I called police dispatch because I was afraid to pull over. I stayed on the phone with them as this woman continued to follow me downtown where I was going to meet police officers. After we had gotten downtown she had pulled up on the curb next to me at a light and was threatening me. She continued to follow me for another 10-12 blocks and then eventually drove off. This is all recorded as a result of calling police dispatch and my attorney holds a copy of the audio and hers as well. After she left I stayed on the phone with dispatch, pulled over and waited for some police officers to arrive and talk to. After that I went home.

    Later that night the police showed up to my house and were ready to take me in for a hit and run. Allegedly my vehicle hit hers. The police officer pointed out some substance on my car (looked like it could have been paint transfer but it was nowhere near the color of her car), which I wiped off with my finger, no scratches whatsoever. After a ton of harassment by the fine Portland police officer (I hope you detect my sarcasm. I could go on forever about the police around here too) she decided not to press charges and wanted my insurance information. The next thing I know I’m getting demand letters in the mail etc. from her insurance company. Of course my insurance company gets involved and deny the claims.

    This incident happened in April 2006 and her medical bills amounted to about $6k. She never reported any damage to her car or had any repairs done. In December of this last year I was served papers for a $100k lawsuit. On top of all of this she’s claiming I was directing racial & derogatory comments at her. I would love for someone to tell me how that’s possible when we are driving down a freeway at 60 mph with windows rolled up and the majority of the time I was on the phone with police dispatch. Just typing this frustrates me!

    Her deposition was pathetic. She couldn’t even keep her story straight. In fact everything she did to me is exactly what she is saying I did. She also claims that she is still suffering from pain that is affecting her day to day life but this woman can’t recall her last doctor visit or if she ever went to PT for her injuries. Now I’ve been in PT before; I find it hard to believe you don’t remember if you went or not. On top of all of this she has a very colorful past. She has been in court 3 times for evictions (her husband has been 4 times), she has been charged with theft & fraud, has claimed bankruptcy 2 times and is in the middle of her 3rd one, has filed other lawsuits of the same nature and has been sued; which by the way she lied in her deposition about.

  14. 14 Venessa
    July 11, 2008 at 21:01

    To say the least I am frustrated by the situation. I can think of a lot of other expletives I would like to use but this is not the proper forum to do that. J

  15. 15 Shirley
    July 11, 2008 at 21:01

    Brain-Boosting Games
    Do the work? There are some games called Brain Age available on the Nintendo DS platform which claim to boost a person’s mental abilities, such as memory and mntal agility. Has anyone tried these? Do they work? There are other games available for various gaming systems. Some are spin-offs of Brain Age; others have their own presentations.

    And then there is the vast millieu of puzzle games on so many platforms, digital and otherwise. I enjoy the print versions and PC-based games the most. These days, it’s (it + is = it’s!) Taipei, the Chinese block-matching puzzle game. I also enjoy Pipe Dream and Jezzball.

    In Pipe dream, one must “construct” a pipe that will carry goo about for as long as possible using pieces given you in quite a random order. This game is based on the same idea as Tetris, except that you cannot eliminate material that you have successfully completed. In Jezzball, one needs to box in some bouncing balls in order to eliminate at least 75% of the original space. One clicks on the board in order to begin drawing a line; and if a ball hits it, any uncompleted line is deleted and a life lost.

    I didn’t get very much from my experience with Brain Age. However, after I began to play Taipei and Pip Dream, I noticed that I was able to reach into m memory bank better, retain information hat I had gleaned, and think forward in logical steps – all of which I seem to have lost from several years of relative mental inactivity.

    If puzzle games do not work for everyone, what do other people use to regain or maintain mental ability?

  16. 16 Shirley
    July 11, 2008 at 21:03

    Bryan, which Google terms did you use? http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=%22Martha+Gellhorn+Prize%22 is slamming me with all kinds of links.

  17. 17 nelsoni
    July 11, 2008 at 21:09

    @ Abdelilah Boukili

    The judge is just plain wicked and greedy

  18. 18 selena
    July 11, 2008 at 21:10

    @Vanessa

    I am truly sorry for you. I hope it all goes well.

  19. 19 Justin from Iowa
    July 11, 2008 at 21:11

    Well, if the world didn’t hate the US and the US military right now, maybe they would.

    Time for the world at large to get off their damn high horses, and either put up or shut up.

    The US gets cussed out for sticking their noses into other country’s business, then they get cussed out for staying out of other country’s business. Well world, this is what you get. Time for someone else to step up to the bat, like china, or russia, or india. Oh wait, none of those countries care, or they are more than happy to deal with sudan, rather than DEAL with sudan.

    Bitch bitch bitch. I’m sick of it. In the end, you can’t help people who aren’t willng to help themselves. You can’t teach sheep how to be wolves, or sheep dogs.

    If every one of those slain had taken one of their killers with them, if 1 in 5 had taken one of their killers with them, if 1 in 10 had taken one with them, changes might be taking place their. And if nothing else, there would be far fewer of the murdering bastards left.

  20. 20 Venessa
    July 11, 2008 at 21:12

    @ Abdelilah Boukili

    The courts should award money to the business owners for dealing with this crap. A judge of all people should be above such a ridiculous thing. $1000 was more than fair. In fact I would say he would be entitled to a new pair of trousers and maybe a couple hundred bucks for the inconvienence. Then he can make the choice to never go to that cleaners. Stuff like this sickens me!

    I was sued when I was 18 as well. I was in high school at the time and the guy was enough of a jerk to have the police yank me out of class to serve the papers. I sold this guy a car (1977 Honda Civic; loved that car!) and 2 weeks after he bought it he didn’t want it. he paid $500 for it – you get what you pay for! Anyway, I did counter sue in this case because I could to recover my costs. The judge found in my favor and awarded me extra money for wasting my time and the courts.

  21. 21 Julie P
    July 11, 2008 at 21:17

    @Venessa,

    The world is full of trash. Plain and simple.

    Did the police officer ticket you?

  22. 22 Venessa
    July 11, 2008 at 21:17

    Selena ~

    Thank you! I just take it in stride. I can be ugly about it but it’s counterproductive. It’s just another experience to add to the arsenal of strange dealings in my life. Of course like many of the frustrating things such as this I have been able to laugh about them later. These events certainly become comical stories later on. It’s much harder to be amused in the midst of the drama.

  23. 23 Venessa
    July 11, 2008 at 21:20

    Julie P ~

    No ticket was issued. Even though the cop was a complete jerk to me and treated me like a criminal his police report wasn’t that bad at all.

  24. 24 Dennis
    July 11, 2008 at 21:30

    Abdi in Kenya and Venessa in the US ….Welcome to the moderators for the weekend…

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

  25. 25 Julie P
    July 11, 2008 at 21:32

    Venessa,

    I’m sorry this is happening. I’ve dealt with some real SOB’s over car accidents, but nothing like that. She looking for money and you’re the convient whipping post.

  26. 26 Venessa
    July 11, 2008 at 21:40

    Hi Dennis!

    How’s school? Hope you don’t have to study all weekend. 🙂

  27. 27 portlandmike
    July 11, 2008 at 21:40

    @ Vanessa,

    I’ve lived in a dozen states and there is something wrong with the police in Portland, Oregon. There is a separation between them and the people. And, they are very dangerous. It seems like every month they shoot a drunk or schitzophrenic in an unnecessary show of force!

  28. 28 Carolien from the Netherlands
    July 11, 2008 at 21:41

    @ Bryan

    Yup, which is exactly what happened in Uganda: warrants were issued, and Kony is now in hiding somewhere in the bush, and so reaching a peace accord is very difficult to say the least. The situation seems to have calmed down but I suppose is still a long way from being resolved. And yup, it’s probably a bit too academic and technical, but still an interesting debate I’d say. Can you achieve peace by enforcing (‘universal’) justice? Simply remove those who are committing crimes again humanity/ other atrocities, and the country will know peace? Or do you need peace accords in place before you can administer justice? Do you need a stable environment to be able to enforce justice?

    I agree with you 100% that Darfur itself is such a painful issue. I can’t believe how little attention the ‘developed’ world is paying to it. So few peacekeepers there, all African Union because other countries have yet to contribute any troops… and so little media attention.

  29. 29 Venessa
    July 11, 2008 at 21:48

    Julie P ~

    Thank you. I think we all get the wonderful pleasure of dealing with some of the finest SOB’s out there.

    Thankfully I handled it the way I did or else it would simply be my word against hers. Given what has happened I strongly suggest anyone else in that situation do the same. There are a lot of people that want to do nothing for something and don’t care how they get it.

    I think the cop was hard on me because of the neighborhood I lived in at the time (it wasn’t the worst but it wasn’t the most desirable either) and I’m about 20 years younger than the woman who did this. What the cop didn’t realize is I owned the house and I happen to be a very productive person. He made a lot of assumptions during his interrogation that really bothered me.

  30. 30 Venessa
    July 11, 2008 at 21:59

    portlandmike ~

    I couldn’t agree with you more. I have several experiences with Portland’s finest that make my skin crawl. There is something definitely wrong with them and they are truly a trigger-happy bunch. It doesn’t mean all of them are bad, but the majority seem to be a problem.

    You wanna know what’s even better than my lawsuit is some guy rear ended me on Hwy 26 near 217 in bad traffic about a year after this crazy lady chased me. When I pulled off the road he kept going. I jumped out of my car and ran down the freeway to get his license plate number and then called the police. After the officer arrived he decided since the guy lived in Portland and he was a Beaverton police officer there really wasn’t anything that could be done. What kind of crap is that?

    I had some police officer show up on my doorstep threatening that I will lose my house, job & vehicle and he would love to book me based on some unidentifiable black substance on my bumper but this cop wouldn’t do a thing. Something is very wrong.

    I am fired up today. hehehehehe! 🙂

  31. 31 Julie P
    July 11, 2008 at 22:02

    @Venessa,

    I had a guy one time hit me. He just was not paying attention. He made a left turn in front of my car and hit the left headlight, grill, and quarter panel. He was so pious and judgement, it was unbelievable. He knew where I worked, and what I did for a living and thought me to be too stupid to operate a car because it. (I was a self employed hairdresser at the time, and he must have come into the salon where I worked and remembered me. That’s all I could think of.) The cop shut him down johnny on the spot. Let me tell you when I got into to court the judge passed judgement on me for nearly the same reason. Thankfully, the cop came to my defense or I would have been charged with the accident. Not only did he want the damages to car paid for; he wanted his “injuries” taken care of. He still filed a claim with my insurance company anyway. Since no one was charged with the accident my carrier refused to pay out. (My insurance agent called me to talk with me about this. He asked me my side of the story, thought the guy was being jerk because he had damaged his vintage car and needed someone to blame for his poor judgement. He denied the claim and the jerk went away.)

    Hang in there. The person’s behavior on the road is definitely an extension of how they are off the road. JERKS!

  32. 32 Katharina in Ghent
    July 11, 2008 at 22:04

    Hello everyone,

    TGIFffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffff! So glad to be here at another blank page and sleeping in and relax and enjoy!!!!!!!!!! Okay, enough celebrations of WEEKEND! 8)

    @ Venessa:

    I was rather shocked by your terrible story, it sounds like something that could only happen in a movie! To be honest, this is one of the things that terrify me about the US, anybody can sue anyone over anything, or worse, nothing! Thankfully, here in Europe there has to be more reason behind a case to make it to court, and then also the fines/rewards are much more within reason, as far as the lost pants go, court would most likely just award a new pair of pants of the same quality/brand.

    @ Shirley:

    If I had the time for these brain teasers, maybe I would enjoy them, they might even be useful! For the last half hour I’ve been wrecking my brain over a topic which I thought earlier this week might make a nice topic for the BP, but I just can’t remember! Problem is, my life is so clogged with so much BS with cherry on top, that the fun things must suffer… 😦

  33. 33 Susan USA
    July 11, 2008 at 22:07

    Now you know why our car insurance premiums and deductables are so high.

  34. 34 Katharina in Ghent
    July 11, 2008 at 22:12

    I got it, I got it!

    Has anybody out there already seen the newest PIXAR movie, Wall E? We watched it the other night, and I found it the most courageous one so far, in terms of telling our children what happens when you mess up the planet. Happy Feet was already quite nice in that perspective, but the Antarctic is far away and they didn’t touch global warming. Here, Earth is practically dead because humans have trashed it up completely, including the sky. I found it an excellent opportunity to discuss environmental protection with my son (six years next Friday 🙂 ).

  35. 35 Katharina in Ghent
    July 11, 2008 at 22:30

    Hi again,

    I know there are plenty out there, like Will, who say that there’s still plenty of oil to last a long time, but I found this article by a group that seems to be quite serious about what they say: Oil production has already peaked. That bicycle starts looking quite attractive now!

    Click to access 2007-12_EWG_Bulletin_2_E.pdf

  36. July 11, 2008 at 22:36

    Hello Venessa my love and my Precious Abdi… A very good luck to both of you guys over the weekend Inshallah… Actually there’s something rather funny which I’d like to ask all of you guys about : MOUSTACHES !!! If you were a boy, do you have a moustache ?! If yes then why, can you describe it to us, and what does having it mean to you or add to you ?! And if no then also why, and how do you view other guys having it ?! And if you were a girl, do you like a guy with a moustache or a guy without a moustache ?! And why ?! With my love… Yours forever, Lubna…

  37. 37 Venessa
    July 11, 2008 at 22:36

    Julie P ~ I’m glad that jerk didn’t get anything. It’s always a shame when someone does. I like to think karma will come back and bite them in the butt! At least it makes me feel a little better….

    BTW I think I forgot to mention that the “damage” to my car was on my REAR BUMPER! How do you commit a hit and run on a freeway with your back bumper?

    Susan USA ~ You are absolutely correct! As long as such absurd lawsuits are catered to it will be a problem.

  38. 38 Venessa
    July 11, 2008 at 22:40

    Katharina ~

    I want to go see Wall E! I love PIXAR movies. I have not seen Happy Feet though.

  39. 39 Amy
    July 11, 2008 at 22:42

    Hi everyone. Checking in from Taylorville, Illinois. Just wanted to give everyone my best for the weekend.

    Amy (from Beaverton, Oregon)

  40. 40 Venessa
    July 11, 2008 at 22:45

    Hi Lubna!

    My husband has a goatee (sp?). I don’t recall that I have ever seen him without it but he seems to think I have (I’ve known him for 7 years now). I really like it on him. He actually grew a full beard for awhile during the winter. Surprisingly I really liked it. He shaved it because it was itchy.

    I have dated other men with & without facial hair. I think it depends on how they maintain it that makes a difference for me. I’m not too keen on having stubble scraped along my skin.

  41. 41 Venessa
    July 11, 2008 at 22:46

    Hi Amy! I hope you’re having fun with the girls. Tell them hello for me.

  42. 42 Dennis
    July 11, 2008 at 23:58

    Hi Lubna, i missed you my dear friend….the second semester here started on Monday following the 4 of July in the United States…..

    Venessa July 11, 2008 at 9:40 pm

    Hi Dennis!

    How’s school? Hope you don’t have to study all weekend.

    @ Venessa….

    How school–pretty nice—class 4 days a week [no fridays] in the summer…10.30am to 12.30pm eastern is the time of my class….

    Study–i have one assignment to write and type in the computer centre on monday…

    Love all of you, my dear friends…

    🙂

    Dennis
    Onondaga Community College
    Syracuse, New York
    U.S.A.

  43. 43 Luz Ma
    July 12, 2008 at 00:28

    Hi all!

    Hi Vanessa and Abdi. I hope you have a nice weekend moderating Blank Page.

    @Vanessa
    I am sorry for your situation. Your lawsuit story is the most ridiculous lawsuit story I have heard in my life.

    I am a lawyer and it amazed me the frivolous lawsuits that the U.S. legal system allows. Some class actions are just scandalous.

    Here in Mexico it is very difficult to make a case in civil court for any kind of damages. It is not a good thing either, because many people deserve being compensated because of the wrongdoings of others.

    I was in a car accident a couple of months ago. I was driving my mother´s car and a very irresponsible teenager skip a stop sign and hit us with his brand-new Mercedes Benz in the side. My mother´s car was total loss. My older daughter and my brother were also with me, luckily nobody was hurt (thank God for booster seats and safety bealts). The teenager was driving without a driver´s license, but not the insurance company nor the police cared about it. He declared himself the responsible of the accident and his insurance company paid for the loss of my mother´s car. However, I would have like that he was held responsible for driving without a license. I didn´t want more money, only that he was not allowed to drive for a while. It was not the case. That is the sadness of my country, the law-enforcement system is very bad and corrupt.

  44. 44 Luz Ma
    July 12, 2008 at 00:30

    I want to see Wall-e too!!! Probably I will go to see it with my older daugher and some friends next week.

  45. 45 Luz Ma
    July 12, 2008 at 00:41

    @Shirley

    I love all games that put my brain to work (puzzles, board games, PC games, word games, memory games, card games, etc.). My daughters like them too. They especially like “time management” PC games and memory games.

    I think they are fun and also beneficial for gaining, maintaining and regaining mental ability.

  46. 46 Luz Ma
    July 12, 2008 at 00:46

    @Lubna

    Personally, I hate moustaches. Sorry, but I cannot see myself kissing someone with hair in his face. I have never do it and never want it to do.

  47. 47 steve
    July 12, 2008 at 00:55

    a mustache? blech. I shave every other day, and I get a decent beard going by the time I shave again. I once went a week without shaving and it was a nightmare, though I once dated a girl that liked facial hair and she would yell at me every time I shaved.

  48. 48 Dennis
    July 12, 2008 at 01:18

    ABOUT MOUSTACHES:

    i have to keep shaving because the hair grows to fast…and it bothers my face…

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

  49. 49 Shirley
    July 12, 2008 at 02:28

    Salam, Lubna
    I require that my husband keep a beard, since it is practically required in Shia Islam.

  50. July 12, 2008 at 05:12

    Good Morning From Kenya!,
    Corruption in Africa,

    We all know that Africa is most corrupt continent on earth!,we also know that Africa is the poorest continent on earth!,We also know that Africa is the richest continent on earth when it comes to Natural Resources!,we also know that Africa is the highest continents interms of Populations!,

    But continent”s is faced with serious drouhght,poverty,ignorance,diseases,war and unemployment ! the root of this causes been corruption!,,

    So I am asking how can put a total end to corruption in Afriaca!? How can we return the Millions of Dollars which were stolen and continue to be kept in Banks in the USA and Europe?

  51. 51 portlandmike
    July 12, 2008 at 05:54

    @ Abdi

    I believe that there is a way for EVERYTHING to change. That way is for people to learn to keep their agreements with one another. Your word must become the most important thing about you… about everyone. You must take your agreements totally serious, from smallest to largest.

    If you agree to meet someone at 8:00 in the morning, then you MUST be there. If you will be late, or something catastrophic happens, then you must inform those people that you had an agreement with as soon as possible that you won’t be coming through like you agreed. You must apolagize.

    If you agree to have a work project or product completed or delivered by a certain date, then you must do it. No excuse is possible.

    If you agree to love honor and obey, when you get married, you must not break your agreement. If you fail to keep your agreement, you failed. Ones life, everyone’s life must become built about doing what you say you will do.

    Once people start taking themselves, and their agreements seriously, the whole world looks different. Because if you keep your agreements EVERYONE will know very quickly that you are a person who keeps their WORD. And people that keep their word are looking to do business only with other people who keep their agreements.

  52. July 12, 2008 at 07:17

    @ Portlandmike

    I agree with you that one must do everything to Fulfill his promise!,..
    But My dear we are talking a bout how to eradicate poverty in Africa! Many Thanks

  53. July 12, 2008 at 07:28

    @ Nelsoni

    Thank you very much for you;r interest in my photo in which I took with Ros just a few days a go! however here is a more a clear picture of me and Ros!(is a picture that I will never forget in my life!,It will be a memorable and a moment of happiness that I will never forget in my life!,
    Me and Abdi

    I,Ros and Members of the Umande Trust Office who allowed WHYS to Broadcast from their office!
    Umande Trust staff

  54. July 12, 2008 at 07:42

    @ LUZ ma

    What is wrong with Moustouches! You said you don’t feel comfortable kissing someone with Moustouches? why is it?
    Islam encourages men to keep short their mostouchae,because it’s what our prophet Mohamed (P.B.U.H) use to do,
    please give us reasons as why you beleive it’s never good to keep moustouches!

  55. July 12, 2008 at 07:53

    @ Lubna
    Assalm Aleykum ?
    Thanks for wishing me and venessa the best of luck! and for starting off a good and an excellent debate a bout moustouches!

    I myself,I am only 21 years old,and I haven’t had the pleasure to have moustaches yet!,(I don’t know wether it’s a genetic variation or wether or not my age doesn’t allow me! )but for sure I will love to have moustouches in the future because it was the sunnah of our Prophet Mohamed (S.A.W) not to shave moustouches.And as a muslim I must follow the sunnah of our Prophet!
    (N/B)-
    by the way Lubna do you feel that it’s a good for as a Muslim lady like you to wear Hijab and totally cover her face,hands and feets or you feel it’s good to wear Hijab without covering you’r face,hands and feet!?

  56. 56 John in Germany
    July 12, 2008 at 08:29

    Here we are again.
    Most of us predicted the out-come of the Zimbabwe elections. we also talked about the UN Security Council.

    If the veto right are continued as they are, then we can expect nothing. Proof again that Politics and Politicians come before Dead and dying and hungry women and children. This has nothing to do with crocodile tears, but is reality through and through.

    Russia or China have no real reason to veto except maybe their own interpretation of peoples rights. Maybe the rest of the World should go it alone. At tje moment Russia seems to be flexing its muscles, she should be careful, you can still get Arthritis, even though you train.

    Mugabe is laughing all the way to the Christmas tree, and collecting the goodies all the way there.

    What a world, what a sin against humanity. I only hope somewhere someone cares, and has the guts to put that man down where he belongs.

    Have a nice weekend if you can. Leaders of our world.

    John in Germany

  57. July 12, 2008 at 08:34

    1. Waiting to Be the Person You’re Not!

    How early in life does purpose start? How far back can you look and expect to find clues or specific indications of your ultimate purpose?

    So what clues does your past hold to your present purpose? What did you love to do as a child? What was easy for you to learn? What did you enjoy doing?

    I dreamed of travel when I was young. I collected stamps and loved to gaze at foreign stamps, finding the country on a globe and then thinking of how I would get there one day. Today I have visited many of the countries I dreamed of visiting.

    Spend some time reflecting on your past this week and check out if you’re waiting to be someone you’re not. The insight you gain from yesterday can provide important evidence as you seek to confirm your purpose today. Have a great weekend with me and venessa in the US as you’r host and moderators this weekend

    2.Is Your Work Your Purpose?

    WHO ARE YOU?

    I am not asking what you do. You may sell insurance, but who are you? You may also be a missionary to some people group, while insurance pays the bills. When people ask you what you do, like I just did, how do you respond? Do you say that you’re an insurance salesperson or a missionary? If you answer the salesperson, then you are defining yourself by what you do. If you say missionary, you are focusing on purpose and not on what buys your food. You may only get to the mission field once a year on your vacation time, but the other weeks you’re praying and working for that mission. You don’t have to quit your occupation to embrace your purpose. You may simply need to distinguish between the two.

    Spend some time reflecting on your past this week and check out if you’re waiting to be someone you’re not. The insight you gain from yesterday can provide important evidence as you seek to confirm your purpose today. Have a great weekend!

  58. July 12, 2008 at 08:51

    3.You Are The Problem!

    You may be the greatest obstacle you face in your PurposeQuest. It’s not the economy, your education, how much money you have, or your age. The problem isn’t any of those things. The problem is you. More specifically, it’s the way you think.

    What’s more, you are probably trying to change yourself while holding on to old thought patterns, expecting different results while you think the same thoughts. You are seeking a personal transformation, and you are focusing on changing your habits, knowledge, spiritual disciplines or place of employment. If you are the problem, then wherever you go and whatever you do, you take you with you, along with your old habits of thought. When that happens, even if you pray or read the Bible more, you won’t see any difference in your life.

    You need to change your mind if you are going to change yourself. It’s that simple, but that difficult.

    I want you to become aware — aware of what you are thinking. Listen to yourself think; listen to what you say. Try to be more conscious of how you are limiting yourself, or how you are limiting what God can do with your loaves and fishes.

    4.Self Interest is the Best Interest!

    Every now and then someone asks whether or not it is selfish to pursue purpose. They may ask where the cross of Christ comes in when you are doing something that you love doing. Many people still feel that God will give you an assignment that you hate doing and that is somehow more spiritual than doing something you enjoy. My answer to those who ask those questions is that self-interest is the best interest where purpose is concerned.

    So now you know why I say that self-interest is really the best interest where purpose is concerned. Don’t deny who you are, but then don’t try to choose the sphere where God wants you to give yourself!

  59. 59 Bob in Queensland
    July 12, 2008 at 09:10

    Good morning Abdi!

    I hope you have a good day moderating! I really enjoyed following that link to the picture of you and Ros–good to see what you look like (and how happy you look there!).

    Anyway, in your first post of the morning you ask how to cure corruption in Africa. I wish I had an answer for you (I don’t) but the one thing I can say is that any solution will have to come from Africans themselves; it can’t be imposed by outside influences. However, one thing that gives me some hope was hearing the students at the school Ros visited last night–I wish that many of the kids I’ve known in the UK and Australia were as bright and aware of the world they live in.

  60. July 12, 2008 at 09:11

    5.Servant or Friend?

    I have often said and heard it said, “I’ll do whatever God wants me to do.” While that sounds spiritual, in a sense it really isn’t. How can saying, “I’ll do God’s will” be anything but spiritual? Have I gone too far this time in my pursuit of purpose and excellence?

    So what can you do this week with your role in life — the friend of God? Whatever it is, I know it will bring you joy and extend God’s kingdom into some sphere of human existence. Enjoy it, trust God, and stop putting onto God what He has put into you.!

  61. 61 Katharina in Ghent
    July 12, 2008 at 09:17

    @ Abdi:

    Those are some very serious thoughts for a 21-year old, I hope I’ll ever be wise enough to come up with some relevant answers… Most of us just live and struggle through their lives, taking one day at a time. I had a teacher in high-school who said that when you want to find out whether some kid was on drugs or not, you should just ask him “What’s the purpose of life?”, he would have no answer. I found that quite remarkable, because I never did drugs, but I still wouldn’t be able to come up with a meaningful answer (and I don’t suffer of clinical depression either).

  62. July 12, 2008 at 09:20

    @ BOB In Quensland!

    Dear my precious Friend!I am moderating succesfully ,I was just having you in mind and wondering why we haven’t heard from that part of the world!.

    Thanks for having the pleasure of perusing through my photo which I took with Ros!..

    @ Corroption In Africa!

    You said Let’s the Africans decide! But the Africans don’t even know that Corruption exists in Africa so how will they fight Corruption in Africa!
    @ the School Children-Though they might be facing in the photo-they are well a ware of the poverty,and the problems they are going through!

  63. 63 Bob in Queensland
    July 12, 2008 at 09:21

    @ John in Germany

    I was going to bring up the Russian and Chinese veto of the sanctions against Zimbabwe but you beat me to it.

    My first thought on hearing the news this morning was “typical” but then the reporter added the Russian explanation of WHY they voted against it. They said that, since the situation in Zimbabwe doesn’t threaten other countries, it is outside the remit of the Security Council which was set up to deal with INTERNATIONAL threats.

    Now, I’m not sure I believe this is the actual reason for the Russian veto but it does raise some interesting questions:

    -If the UN as constituted is only supposed to deal with international issues, is it time for a “new” body with wider ranging powers?

    -how should the UN (or the “new body” I so easily created in point one) decide what domestic issues merit outside action? If action against Zimbabwe is justified, what about Burma? China/Tibet?

    -what happens if the international community decide that something done by a country like the UK or USA is worthy of censure? Maybe the vote count last election in Florida or some of the anti-terrorism laws being passed in both countries.

    Basically, I’m asking how the world should decide when interference in an independent nation is justified.

  64. July 12, 2008 at 09:24

    @ Katherina in Ghent
    Hakuna Matata,Habari Yako?
    Hi my dear! It’s great and fantastic to have you !
    well,You can be wise to think more than I do kathi! won’t you?
    In life you must live to the fulliest!
    If you know you’r purpose in life you will a chieve anything that You will hope to achieve!
    in life “set goals and a chieve!

  65. 65 Katharina in Ghent
    July 12, 2008 at 09:40

    Hakuna Matata, Abdi!

    I guess, in the end it’s all about setting certain goals and doing your best to get there. But what if you don’t actually know what your goals are? There are people out there like my friend who have known since kindergarten that they want to become a doctor, now she’s one and all’s fine. I on the other hand was always a good student, but I just had no clue what I wanted to do with my life, and my parents weren’t of much help either, I didn’t want to become a stay-at-home-mom like mine and my dad saw me as a bookkeeper… if you ever saw my desk, you’ll know that I’m the last person on earth to do that sort of thing!

    So what I’m trying to get at, is that sometimes “purpose” is less obvious than it seems, trial and error are more what it comes up to…

  66. 66 Katharina in Ghent
    July 12, 2008 at 09:42

    @ Bob:

    I also heard that the UN should only intervene in conflicts between countries, but aren’t there many examples where it were conflicts within the country, such as Apartheid in South Africa or the Darfur conflict?

  67. 67 Virginia Davis
    July 12, 2008 at 09:42

    Abdi and Venessa: Thank you.

    And thank you for your last posts, Abdi. More rather than less describing the process I am involved in for myself now. In email connection with the Portland office for the Obama campaign and will go to grand opening potluck Sunday afternoon. Politics is and has always been important in my life. Maybe I should latch onto “governance?”

    Has anyone noticed how much, for the most part – not you, Will Rhodes – we diss politicians?

    Right now it is one in the morning and I am still putting away my groceries from a monthly grovery shopping at Hawthorne Fred Meyer.

    Watched Charlie Rose – part of program about Virunga National Park in Congo,
    the rangers there, the killing of six giant gorrillas recently brought on by the illegal making of charcoal which is necessary for daily life and those that do this, now inside the Park. 6 million people killed in 10 years of civil war. The need for an alternative to charcoal, such as compressed vegetation bricks. Much of this covered in the National Geographic.

    Re legal stuff:

    I brought a civil suit against the Department of Human Services and the State Registrar for discriminating against me as a mentally ill employee. It was never our intention to go to trial – my lawyer convinced me early on we wanted to settle and not roll the dice for me as a crazy secretary with 12 jurors. It took close to 2 years. Probably the funniest part was when MS. PU (our nickname for the State of Oregon’s Assistant Attorney General who we were up against) demanded every piece of paper I had in my possession which related in any way to my employment and which she didn’t already have. My lawyer wrote back and said, in effect, “It’s all in the basement in black storage bags and you are welcome to sift through it if you see fit.” I paid my lawyer/law firm $15,000 up front to establish that I WAS NOT a victim; an 11 point guideline to hire and retain the mentally ill which ended with “And if you are sane when you go to work for the State and you acquire a diagnosis, mental health professionals, and meds, then the State must go back and start with you from point 1 of this guideline. ” and the guideline became a part of the public record; and the Registrar who had terrorized me into quitting had to sit and answer my lawyer’s questions for close to two days – such a weight lifted off me after that was over. Anyway, MS PU offered $25,000 and the guideline. We accepted. My lfaw firm did $10,000 pro bono. So I came out with $10k which is what I suggested to my lawyer at the get go.

    Another time I filed a small claims court suit against the woman who bought the house my (then) real estate agent had me pay for an appraisal for – I had almost done the deal but my brother-in-law, a contractor, advised me against it which was a contingency so I backed out. The scum agent let her have “my” appraisal and ripped me off the appraisal fee. The judge told me I didn’t have a legal case.
    The house owner was nice enough not to collect her court fees from me.

    And then I just made it through a claims process with VISA against a young mortgage broker who charged me close to $400 to talk with him and let him jerk me around until I said “no” I couldn’t afford what he was trying to lock me into.
    VISA found in my favor and got the $ back.

    And finally, a note on energy – wind energy that is, from today’s (Friday’s) CS Monitor:

    “A decade’s worth of satelite-gathered data could soon provide a global map of the best places to locate offshore wind farms, NASA said Wednesday. The information includes speed, direction and power of winds near the ocean surface.”

    Virginia in Oregon

  68. 68 Katharina in Ghent
    July 12, 2008 at 09:51

    Hi Abdi,

    I just found this sad story about a Canadian missionary couple in Kenya that was severely beaten up and assaulted… Will the violence never end in your country?

    http://www.cbc.ca/world/story/2008/07/11/kenya-missionaries.html

  69. July 12, 2008 at 09:52

    @ Katherina!

    I understand how difficult it is to a chieve a goal that was never set beforein the firts place!and this is major problem that is facing many people today!

    For example ,right now you as katherina just set a a goal of watching the World Cup 2012 in South Africa and tell me given all that time wether it isn’t possible!,Look at you ‘r friend all that she wanted was to be a doctor,and finally she become,though I am afraid to say you had no luck but it may it was that God wanted you to be a different person than the person you’r today!

    Yes ,I agree that sometimes in purpose qu “you’r luck” contributes a lot!,
    But a bove you have really work hard!

  70. 70 Katharina in Ghent
    July 12, 2008 at 09:54

    BTW, Abdi, I just looked at the pictures, you look really happy there! Must have been very nice for you!

  71. 71 Katharina in Ghent
    July 12, 2008 at 09:57

    Sorry, but watching the world cup 2012 will never be my goal 😉 Anyway, I finally found my place in life and I think I’m right there where I should be… and I don’t mean sitting on the computer, typing away, even though… it’s a very important part of my life, so probably God (if he exists) has put me there.

  72. July 12, 2008 at 10:00

    @ Virgina In Oregon!

    Thank you too for your long and exciting Article!

    @ legalm Stuff

    I am really sorry about that and wish you the best as you claim you’r bonified dues!,that also reminds me of A HIV+ women who also discriminated against by her employes,and was later sacked from her job,after seeking justice from the High Court here in Nairobi-the court a warded her Kshs 2.2 Million!

  73. July 12, 2008 at 10:03

    Hello again gang ! :-)… Thanks a million for all of your responses regarding the topic of moustaches… Actually I have to admit that a guy with a light facial hair can look so nice sometimes ! :-)… But in the end it all depends on the face of the guys himself… There’re some guys who look very nice with facial hair and there’re other guys who don’t look nice at all with facial hair… It all depends on the shape of their faces… Hi my Precious Dennis, and thanks a million for your extraordinarily kind words… I do wish you all of the luck in your college Inshallah… As for me, I’m currently enjoying my 3 months long summer holiday, and within a while from now the results of my final year exams will appear, OH MY GOODNESS !!! And Salaam my Precious Abdi, it was really very lovely to hear you on the WHYS programme the other day, and to answer your question : I always cover my feet, but I don’t cover neither my face nor my hands till the wrist… I’m wearing the Islamic Hijab for eleven years now, and I’m feeling very proud of myself and of what I’m wearing… My choice to wear the Islamic Hijab has made me love myself more, appreciate myself more, respect myself more, and it made me higher and more precious in the eyes of myself and in the eyes of others… It has freed me if I may say… Venessa my love, don’t you ever let them bring you down darling… With my love… Yours forever, Lubna…

  74. July 12, 2008 at 10:04

    @ Katherina

    Kathi I said Watching World Cup 2012 just as an Example!,I know you have bigger gaols to chase and hopefully you willl a chieve them!,And always Put God (he exists) in you’r plans!

    @ Picture of Me and Ros!

    Thanks for your comments!,I will be watching them as much as I can,

  75. July 12, 2008 at 10:07

    @ Katherina!
    the violence has ended and it will end in my country,the missionary copuples were attacked just as we kenyans are been attacked by criminanls,you know katherina every country has “bad elemments’

  76. July 12, 2008 at 10:16

    @ LUBNA

    Thank you very much in deed for joing us again,
    It’s a great to have on show when we were broadcasting from kibera,here in Nairobi! I remeber you eamiled in and Asked “is it Good to inter-marry? and I replied to you live On air “Yes it’s Good”

    @ Hijab

    I really appreciate that you wear Hijab and Practice all the Good deeds that a muslim girl is expected to Do! well-done Mashallaah

  77. 77 Bryan
    July 12, 2008 at 10:59

    Venessa July 11, 2008 at 9:00 pm

    Venessa July 11, 2008 at 9:48 pm

    That’s a real horror story. I am amazed that in all the time you were in touch with the police they didn’t manage to get a patrol car or three on that woman’s case when she was posing a serious danger to yourself and other drivers. They should have had her off the road in the shortest possible time. And did the police get as aggressive with her as they did with you? Possibly their aggression had something to do with the fact that you reported the other driver. (Can’t have people being responsible citizens and giving the cops work to do.) Could also be that she is in with the cops.

    Best of luck with the case.

    Carolien from the Netherlands July 11, 2008 at 9:41 pm

    Tribal identity and loyalty is still much too strongly entrenched in Africa. Probably the best we can hope for in most African countries is a benevolent dictatorship. If Morgan Tsvangirai finally manages to take over from Mugabe, will he be any better, or will the destruction of Zimbabwe simply continue under the new strong man?

    Shirley July 11, 2008 at 9:03 pm

    I Googled something like “Mohammed Omar international press award” since that was all the information your PCHR article gave. Now I see that the award has a name, it was a joint award and the journalist spells his name “Omer” and not “Omar.”

    “…that I have won the 2008 Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism, along with my respected colleague Dahr Jamail.”

    http://www.newstatesman.com/middle-east/2008/05/gaza-palestinian-israeli-voice

    So again, what else is PCHR getting wrong or omitting from its reports?

  78. 78 John in Germany
    July 12, 2008 at 11:25

    Hi Bob in Queensland.

    I believe that the situation in Zimbabwe, is already causing serious problems in Africa, that exceed the statement, internal. What disturbs me most of all is the callous attitude of Mugabe and his generals toward his own people. (tribal requirements are very prominent in Africa. Zimbabwe is not split in to tribal areas,for governmental purposes, therefore Mugabe is responsible for the hell that most Zimbabweans live in. More serious he does not care a damn. and flaunts his attitude before the whole world. The Russians and Chinese are helping him, have they no feelings for the people of Zimbabwe.

    We all look after our own(well i hope so) if we notice that neighbours need help, we are there ready if needed.(well i hope so). As far as i see it The UN is using a feather to try and dislodge a leech.

    It was what we expected, but it still hurts, this inability of our leaders to deal with the problem.

    Have a nice day, when it comes.
    John in Germany

  79. July 12, 2008 at 12:37

    IS BIAS IN WORK PLACE ILLEGAL IN YOU”R COUNTRY?
    (When WHYS was in Nairobi,Something Funny happened here in Kenya!,Ros was suprised that such kind things could happen here in Africa!-especially in Kenya!)
    A case in which an HIV-positive widow sued a catering firm over the termination of her employment due to her health status raises interesting issues.

    It is instructive that the parties concerned preferred to settle the matter of damages out of court, but this does not detract from the impact of the court order.

    The court ruled it was illegal to terminate employment due to an employee’s HIV status, just as it is illegal for an employee’s health status to be disclosed to a third party without his or her consent, or even to carry out an HIV test on an employee without his or her consent.

    While it is not certain on what specific law the parties based their agreement on since the HIV and Aids Control Act has not yet taken effect, the spirit of the law is clear: Stigma and discrimination against persons living with HIV and Aids are not only inhumane, they are totally out of sync with global trends.

    Long gone are the days when Aids was associated with sexual promiscuity, homosexuality or contamination through the sharing of hypodermic needles among drug addicts.

    Ordinary, straightlaced folks are increasingly becoming infected through carelessness — one of the partners engaging in unprotected sex — and it will no longer do to pass moral judgment on such people.

    Secondly, it has been proved that with easy access to anti-retrovirals, people living with the virus can lead productive lives for decades.

    What then is the rationale for sacking a worker because he or she is HIV-positive?

  80. 80 nelsoni
    July 12, 2008 at 13:48

    Hi guys. So much to talk about. About the moustache, personally i dont like the it. So i am clean shaven at all times. About my purpose in life, right from childhood, I have always known what I wanted from my life. To help people and bring smiles to faces of millions all around the world. Make money and spend it on making peoples lives better. About the UN resolution on Zimbabwe, I foresaw the veto. Russia and The US/BRITAIN dont see eye to eye on a number of issues. So its their own opportunity to get one over them. For China, its they got business interests to protect so it alot of sense as they dont care a hoot about good governance.

  81. 81 selena
    July 12, 2008 at 13:50

    Abdi and Venessa,

    Thanks for keeping things rolin’ along.

    Lubna, beard or no beard is alright with me. But I don’t like it when it is scratchy.

  82. 82 nelsoni
    July 12, 2008 at 13:58

    Next week program in south africa will not be complete about discussion on xenophobia there. This may make a few people uncomfortable but hundreds of thousands of football loving people(yours sincerely inclusive) 😉 will be there. We need assurances to know we will be safe or if we will be better off watching the world cup on our wide screen HD TV at home. We need answers on how the goverment is tackling security issues there.

  83. 83 ZK
    July 12, 2008 at 14:07

    Ex-White House press secretary Tony Snow has died of cancer at 53. Cancer is a horrible way to go, but I have a serious question — do Americans feel any less sympathy for his family because he worked in the Bush administration?

  84. 84 selena
    July 12, 2008 at 14:18

    @ZK

    So sad when someone dies at that age from cancer. I am not sure I understand sympathy and how it is invoked.

    But I can imagine that the stress of the Bush White House would hasten the death of someone with the propensity to develop cancer.

    In my view that would especially apply if that someone didn’t quite buy into the process.

  85. 85 selena
    July 12, 2008 at 14:22

    In case anyone is wondering I meant invoke but I also don’t know how it is evoked. lol 🙂

  86. 86 nelsoni
    July 12, 2008 at 14:30

    Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Tony Snow in their hour of need.

  87. July 12, 2008 at 16:07

    @ Selena
    thank you too,
    I hope we shall be talking a bout something very interesting later today so don’t go away!

  88. July 12, 2008 at 16:12

    @ ZK,
    Let a lone Tony’s death.I think it’s human to feel sorry to the death of any human being!,

    Americans are good at assisting the dead.For Example in 2003 when they invaded Iraq and killed innocent people and toppled the late Sadam Hussein out of power because of Crimes that he never committed!

  89. July 12, 2008 at 16:17

    @ Nelsoni!

    Great Idea’s and a wonderful purpose in life!,I think we all know people around the people live in adesperate situation-Life below the poverty line!-(spending less than $ 1 per day! for a whole family is unabeleivable and force someone with Human Heart to commit suicide!

    IMagine Mr Nelsoni Christiano Ronaldo of Manchester United is Complianing that Man Utd is not paying enough Dollars!( HE EARNS $ 240,000 per WEEK!,

    What can you say a bout this injustices!

  90. July 12, 2008 at 16:22

    African leaders a great disservice
    Most Africa leaders are tarnishing the good names of other countries.
    Leaders come and go, and the African lot have to learn to accept defeat.
    As a result of their reluctance to respect democratic processes, innocent citizens continue to suffer.
    The era of dictatorial leadership is long gone and it is high time such leaders were told as much.
    Democracy is a government of the people, by the people, but of late, we have witnessed some strange trends in Africa.
    African leaders should emulate their Western counterparts.
    We have seen numerous smooth power transfers in America.

    Why not Africa?

  91. 91 Katharina in Ghent
    July 12, 2008 at 16:31

    @ mustache:

    beard or no beard doesn’t make too much difference as long as the guy looks good with it, but this so-called Three-Days-Beard is horrible to kiss! I once dated a guy with one and it gave me cold sores around the whole mouth! Trust me, you don’t feel hot when you look like a duck…

  92. July 12, 2008 at 16:34

    Is road safety no longer an issue?
    Who will save us from the matatu(vehicles that offer transport services) madness?
    What is commonplace now is that the traffic police generally are there to be seen. Their taking of bribes is no big deal, as looking at the interest of us poor Kenyans is only taken as a nagging afterthought.
    Overloading makes the police even happier for it is a welcome avenue to higher bribes. Speeding is back on our roads with a bang.
    Accidents are everywhere such that people only discuss them when close relatives of friends are affected.
    There are times I travel a lot, and if something does not happen soon, adrenaline may stop my heart due to overuse.

    I am afraid of dare devil drivers who fly at 140km/h. I used such a matatu last week and somebody is now in Kerugoya hospital nursing broken limbs.

    I remember Mr John Michuki’s days in Transport ministry with nostalgia.

    A few days ago When WHYS come to Kibera Slums to Broadcast from here in Kenya (7th July), I used a Eastleigh matatu from Town at night, and what I went through, was an experience I’d not want repeated in my life. Does anybody care any more? I know many people are taking such daily agonies on the roads but suffer silently.
    What is the situation like in you’r country?

  93. 93 nelsoni
    July 12, 2008 at 16:46

    @ abdi. As a life long supporter of manchester united, I am sick and tired of him. I have watched him @ Old trafford a few times. Yes he’s a great player. He should come out and say in black and white he wants to leave. I think Sir Alex should sell him. There is no point having a player whose heart and mind has left old trafford. If he stays, it will be very difficult for him to give his best. I have being speaking with a few people in manchester, they want to leave because they now doubt his commitment to the club who stood by him through difficult moments. I wish him all the best. Just take a look @ all the players who left manchester united for real madrid. Beckam and co, what useful thing did they achieve? If the money is not enough, he can buy himself out of his contract at manchester united and move to real madrid.

  94. 94 steve
    July 12, 2008 at 16:52

    Wow, Assad has a very attractive wife. I guess it pays to be a dictator.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7503205.stm

  95. 95 nelsoni
    July 12, 2008 at 16:56

    @ Abdi. I hope you listened to WHYS yesterday (african edition). The kids spoke intelligently but I was amazed at some comments some of those “innocent” children made. One said she would marry at 14 and she said so confidently. Another said he would not mind giving a bribe. I wonder what Ros’ would have thought when he heard them say these things. As I heard them speak, I started trembling. These are the future leaders of tomorrow. I think children should be the focal points of proper civic training. They should learn the right thing when they are young or else, they will be much worse than these present leaders. Its easy to bend Iron when it’s hot. Work should start now.

  96. 96 Katharina in Ghent
    July 12, 2008 at 16:58

    @ Steve

    Which one do you mean, the short guy to his right? 🙂 Sorry, but there’s no woman in the picture that you linked…

  97. 97 nelsoni
    July 12, 2008 at 17:00

    @ Steve. About Assad’s wife. You sure have sharp eyes. 😉

  98. 98 nelsoni
    July 12, 2008 at 17:04

    @ steve, in the light of what you just said, if all the wives of heads of states, presidents, prime ministers, sheiks, tyrants , dictators … Were to line up for a beauty parade, who do you think will be the winner?

  99. 99 steve
    July 12, 2008 at 17:05

    @ Katharina, oops they changed the picture on me 😦

    http://www.daylife.com/photo/03Ke8eI5szbBQ

  100. 100 Katharina in Ghent
    July 12, 2008 at 17:07

    Okay, got it! Well, maybe she and Carla can go shopping together… or start singing (aaaaaaahhhhh!)

  101. 101 steve
    July 12, 2008 at 17:41

    @ nelsoni

    probably the wife of King Abdullah of Jordan.

  102. 102 steve
    July 12, 2008 at 18:03

    Warning, this link is very offensive, don’t click of you are offended by very racist stuff, but I want people to see into the mind of racists/antisemites.

    This lunatic blames the Jews for the Columbine shooting. Wow.

    http://judicial-inc.biz/85rachel_joy_scott_killed_because.htm

  103. 103 victork13
    July 12, 2008 at 18:19

    Re Zimbabwe: I hate to say it, but the Sino-Russian veto was a vote for commonsense and international legality. For the UN to endorse sanctions against a country requires that the country in question should be a threat to regional security. Bush-Brown’s asserttion of this in connection with Mugabe’s regime was a barefaced lie, up there with WMDs.

    The spectacle of international law being applied lawlessly, or perverted to serve the convenience or whim of powerful states, is far more dangerous to the peace and security of the world than anything now happening ion Zimbabwe. The governments of the US and UK should not be allowed to invent pretexts for even the most commendable or well-intentioned action.

    I think the MDC should be supplied with arms, covertly or overtly..

  104. 104 victork13
    July 12, 2008 at 18:36

    The situation in Darfur has already affected the stability of one neighbouring country, Chad, and I recall that the Sudanese have been accused of interfering in the internal affairs of Uganda by supporting ‘rebels’ there. Added to the principal fact of a long-standing, on-going racist genocide, the case for the UN deploying sanctions and other punitive actions is incontestable.

    Unfortunately the Chinese – and probably the Russians as well – are likely to veto this. Again, I think the best response – in the absence of concerted international action – would be the direct one: arm the people of Darfur, and do it openly.

    I hope the proposal by the ICC to indict Omar al-Bashir and other members of the Sudanese regime goes ahead. The idea that this is going to make things worse, given that there has been no let up in the genocide over the years, is fatuous. Anything that will bring pressure to bear on the regime, that damages its reputation (and its remarkable how even hardened tyrants, like the Chinese, can be exceptionally sensitive to criticism), that limits the freedom of its leaders to move about, and that keeps international attention focused on Darfur is to be welcomed. That, together with a a flow of arms to the people of Darfur, can only make the right kind of a difference .

  105. July 12, 2008 at 18:38

    @ Nelsoni!

    A agree with you that Christiano Ronaoldo is not the greatest of all players!Just Like I am wondering why he earns $ 240,000 per week.He is now at Man Utd for 5 years,and you can I magine how much he already Has!,and yet is complianing that Man Utd is not paying him enoough Cash!,is this undirect way to tell the world that he is leaving for Real madrid?

  106. 106 Venessa
    July 12, 2008 at 18:40

    Hi Lubna ~

    I am very curious about the Hijab. I believe you are studying to become a doctor; do you wear scrubs or your Hijab? Are there times when you don’t wear it and why?

  107. July 12, 2008 at 18:40

    @ Victor
    You Said!

    “The spectacle of international law being applied lawlessly, or perverted to serve the convenience or whim of powerful states, is far more dangerous to the peace and security of the world than anything now happening ion Zimbabwe.”

    I am afriad I don’t a gree with you because of this reason!

    If the International Commmunity Shouldn’t intervene to the Crisis facing the Zimbabweans! Who Else Would!

  108. 108 Venessa
    July 12, 2008 at 18:43

    Abdi ~

    What would you want the International Community to do?

  109. July 12, 2008 at 18:51

    @ Venessa my co-host and moderator,
    Thank you very much for joining me on moderating Duties,I would be keeping you company even though it’s getting late at night here in Kenya!

    @ Zimbabwe’s intervention by the International Community!
    I expect them to take serious the Problem these people are going through!,they should Provide a willing heart but not empty hard talks

  110. July 12, 2008 at 19:03

    @ Victor -The situation Of Darfur!

    Just like people of Zimbabwe,Somalia,and Kenya have Suffered Recently,I think the World is not talking a bout the Problems facing Darfur People!

  111. 111 victork13
    July 12, 2008 at 19:06

    @Abdi: the UN has procedures for authorising international intervention. This includes, when sanctions are being proposed, first satisfying the condition that a country poses a threat to regional security. Nobody, by any stretch of the imagination, can reasonably make that claim re Mugabe’s regime. Has he supported rebel movements in neighbouring states or raided those states? Is he threatening, like Iran, to annihilate a neighbour? None of Zimbabwe’s neighbours, the regional entities whose threatened security would justify the UN’s applying sanctions, has ever made such claims. Even the BBC, one of the regime’s foremost enemies (forget impartial broadcasting on this occasion), which gladly broadcasts unverifiable anecdotes that damage Mugabe, has never suggested that Zimbabwe is any kind of regional threat. The US and UK governments, who are not better placed than Zimbabwe’s neighbours to make a judgement on this point, are alleging something that is patently untrue. They are lying, again.

    The whole WMD incident has taught me that contentious claims of the US and UK government no longer deserve the benefit of the doubt; that they can lie as shamelessly as the most contemptible banana republic; and their claims and professions need to be scrutinised carefully before being allowed.

    If the procedures that amount to the UN’s constitution can be subverted by any government that can get a lie circulated and accepted where is the safety for small and weak countries? Where is international law? Serbia is already suffering from a form of international lawlessness that the British and American governments have been instrumental in perpetrating. If international procedures – which act as checks and balances on large, powerful nations – can be dispensed with then what is left but power? Would you be content with a situation where, when it suited them, the members of the Security Council could decide to act against any country they chose to even though the country they had selected as a victim had done nothing, had contravened no international obligation, that would warrant action against it? However tempting, the Zimbabwe situation should not be allowed to become a precedent for international lawelessness.

    None of this is to say that no action should be taken: the countries of the world should arm the MDC.

  112. July 12, 2008 at 19:07

    @ ALL WHYS FAITHFULLS AND AMIABLE LISTNERS & CONTRIBUTORS

    Here is the Thought of The Day…………………….

    1st Donkey:- my owner beats me a lot

    2nd Donkey:- so then why don’t you run away?

    1st Donkey:- I would have run away, but the future here is very BRIGHT…………………

    When my owner’s beautiful daughter is naughty, he tells her “I’ll get you married off to a donkey!”

    So I’m here on this hope……..

    Keeping Hopes may not improve your future, but it will certainly
    Reduce the pain of Today !!!

    Have a lovely day.

  113. July 12, 2008 at 19:16

    DID PRESIDENT KIBAKI LOST THE 2007 GENERAL ELECTION?
    The incumbent Kibaki was sworn in for a second term despite major irregularities in vote-counting, sparking tribal attacks that killed more than 1,000 people, the worst violence in this East African nation in nearly two decades.

  114. 114 Virginia Davis
    July 12, 2008 at 19:23

    hello all and Abdi:

    a joke about cancer (and +++ thoughts to Tony Snow’s family).

    Remember Archie Bunker and Edith – well, when Edith (the actress) left All In The Family, she died of cancer. and why: because Archie was always telling her to
    “stifle.”

    Because, friends, to my simple child’s mind, cancer is a revolt of cells. And being mean to your cells, makes them revolt.

    OK.

    The Columbine narrative is terrible, Steve. Hate-mongering. Just as “crazy” in its own way as the two young men who pulled the triggers of the guns involved.

    Re: Zimbabwe and Dafur and Burma – stepping way back, it is clear to me that the world, the international community, is transitioning from a concern (expressed and implemented by) of the united nations for situations between nations, whatever that might be, and concern for individual citizens, groups of individuals citizens. At the far end of that logic and coming back, when do
    you intervene: should the UN intervene in the US internal treatment of blacks in US prisons? When a geographic/ethnic area is hit by a cyclone/hurricane and the nation does not respond or accept help? Or is part of the transition: the response of groups (geographical) nations.

    I think the wife of the Syrian head of state is lovely! Does anyone know that there has been a serious outbreak of violence in a Syrian state prison which was kept out of the world/national media almost entirely? Sarkozy’s goals, limited as they are for the “Mediterranean Union” (which includes Germany) is a way to get things started and the joint control of “north” and “south” is good structure.

    And Lubna and ladies: I have a moustache which I shave before going out.
    When I was employed by the State, for about six months, I didn’t and bleached
    with peroxide. I liked it. It was clear that my boss didn’t so I started shaving again…..smile.

    Lovely Portland afternoon….

    Abdi: please take care when you travel and tell us more about the “good transport minister.”

    Virginia in Oregon

  115. July 12, 2008 at 19:28

    To the long-suffering people of Zimbabwe: we’re there for you!The listners of WHYS always talk about you!
    THIS WEEK, ROBERT MUGABE fired a shot at the international community, saying its members “could shout as loud as they like” but that it wouldn’t make a blind bit of difference to election plans in the country since it was for the people to decide.

    It is very unnerving to find myself agreeing, even if it is just in part, with Mugabe. Democracy is, indeed, the voice of the people being heard and respected. It’s just that he has chosen to muffle that democratic voice.

    Let’s not forget that opposition MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai won the first round of elections back in late March. Mugabe and his cronies may like to think that such a resounding call for change can just be forgotten amid the chaos and bloody terror of present day Zimbabwe – but it cannot. The people of Zimbabwe will not forget. We will not forget.

    SATURDAY, MARCH 29, MARKED THE first day of the end of this regime. Mugabe’s posturing as a hero of anti-colonialism which once earned him popularity in Zimbabwe and in Africa is fooling no one any more. African voices of democracy and justice are being heard.

    And let me also calmly point out to Mr Mugabe that the international community has no need to shout because the truth can be heard even when it’s a whisper.

  116. July 12, 2008 at 19:30

    @ Virginia
    Thank you very Much for you’r sweet comments for Me<

    @ Travelling within Nairobi:I would next time take as much Care as I can!

    The Good Minister is currently the Acting Finance Minister!

  117. 117 Katharina in Ghent
    July 12, 2008 at 19:33

    @ Columbine:

    Can it get any sicker??? Maybe I could find some “proof” that the orthodox Jews in Antwerp are guilty of making it rain it Belgium all the time… after all, they’re wearing these big hats even when it’s sunny! I think I’m on to something… need to think it over some more…

  118. July 12, 2008 at 19:39

    Hi ,Guys it’s almost 10pm at Night Here in Kenya! and I regret I have go and sleep! But I promise I will catch you After exctly 8 hours-tommorow Morning!-Please my dear Brother and Sister till then Keep it at Blank Page NO.15 and keep on talking! as I leave you with this burning questions!,don’t expect me to answer it immediatly if you have any querry,but submit you’r comments/suggestion and I will deal with them tommorrow in the Morning!

    Should Our politicians never learn from mistakes?
    The Government’s tendency of putting itself into disrepute without the slightest provocation has been demonstrated once again by the saga surrounding the secret sale of Grand Regency Hotel.

    Whatever actions are taken now, the damage has been done. We are again seeing a government prone to corrupt and underhand dealings, and officials who display incredible arrogance and utter contempt for the public mood.

    Still, the Government must do the honourable thing. Without further delay, it must revoke the sale of the hotel and also take disciplinary action against those involved.

    It will not fully redeem itself in the eyes of the public with such actions, but at least it will have shown that it is sensitive to the public mood.

    One would have thought that with the outrage that greeted revelations of the Anglo Leasing scandal three years ago, the Government had learnt a big lesson.

    It should have learnt from that episode that the era of impunity was over.

    Indeed, at the time, the Government initially earned kudos for the steps it took in response to the public anger and disappointment that greeted the exposure of Anglo Leasing.
    Goog night…from Kenya,,Kawaheri ya kuonana!
    @ Vennesa Take charge,in my absence you the Boss!,Wishing you the best oF luck my dear co-moderator!

  119. 119 Venessa
    July 12, 2008 at 19:42

    thank you for the kind words Abdi! Have a good evening. 😉

  120. 120 victork13
    July 12, 2008 at 19:42

    @ Abdi: I think international action should focus on the world’s most pressing issues. The most important of these would be Darfur, Somalia, the DR of Congo, Chechnya, Iran and Iraq. Fashionable issues like Palestine would be way down on my list. Even issues like Zimbabwe would only be middle-ranking. A thing isn’t necessarily important because the Arab League makes a huge fuss about it or because the British and American governments froth over it. The number of lives that have been lost, and/or that are likely to be lost, is my rule for assessing the importance of a national crisis.

    Re Darfur, let’s point the finger at the culprits. First and foremost is the Islamic fundamentalist regime in Khartoum, which is directly responsible for the deaths of 300,000 Africans, who were admittedly guilty of the crime of not being Arabs. Before that the barbarous Sudanese regime managed, over several decades, and in the name of Islam, to murder several million Africans, who as well as not being Arabs offended by not being Muslims either. This has been the traditional way in which Arabs and Africans have interacted since the Arab invasion and occupation of Africa 1400 years ago (n.b. Sudan is just another country stolen by Islam through Jihad from its rightful owners: it was once a Christian country and went by the name of ‘Nubia’).

    Next is the Arab League. Compare the sound and fury of this organisation when it comes to Israel and Palestine. The Palestinian issue, properly considered, is quite unimportant. The number of Palestinians who have lost their lives in this conflict is in the very, very low tens of thousands (if even that). During the last 4 years in which 300,000 Africans have been murdered in Darfur (not to mention the unknown number of women, girls and even boys who have been raped), the number of Palestinians who have lost their lives is in the very low thousands.

    While the Arab League constantly howls about Israel, it has used its collective diplomatic weight to defend Sudan’s genocidal regime from any kind of effective UN action. The explanation is Pan-Arab racial solidarity (according to the agreed upon fiction that the northern Sudanese are ‘Arabs’ ) and the traditional contempt with which Arabs have regarded Africans.

    I also point the finger at the wider Muslim world. More Muslims have died in Darfur than have died anywhere else on the planet (with the possible exception of Chechnya). And yet there has not been a syllable of protest from any Muslim government or any popular protest from any Muslim people. They can march over a teddy bear, over a cartoon, over a speech by the Pope that they have never read or heard. But over the systematic extermination, plunder and rape of fellow Muslims – nothing. It is to the eternal shame of the Muslim world, and their religion, that protest over Darfur has almost entirely come from the Western world, from Christians, from Jews, from atheists, from humanitarians.

    And the last group that must bear some share of the responsibility for what’s happening in Darfur is Africans. The AU knew perfectly well that they lacked the resources and, more importantly, the will to be an effective peacekeeping force in Darfur. The Janjaweed have been killing the AU force in Darfur as sport, the last incident of this kind having occurred a few days ago. But it was the AU who insisted on ‘an African solution for an African problem.’ It was the AU – perhaps acting under instruction from the Arab League – that barred any Western (i.e. effective and competent) involvement in a Darfur peace-keeping force. Whether it was to minister to African vanity (‘we are as capable as anybody to do this job’ ) or in obedience to Arab petro-dollars (and isn’t it that great enemy of Black Africa, Gaddafi, who bankrolls the AU?), the losers were the people of Darfur, who continue to be murdered, pillaged and raped. (And, I have to ask, where is Saint Nelson of Robben Island, that posturing fraud, in all of this?).

    The one practical option for the people of Darfur, as I’ve alreasdy said, is to send them arms.

  121. 121 Venessa
    July 12, 2008 at 19:58

    Good day to all wherever you may be!

    I hope that I can appeal to another moderator to help out today. I told Choloe that my husband and I need to go scout for a camping location for our annual trip today. It seems as a result of the horrible weather we had in June most of the lakes on Mt. Hood are still closed.

    I look forward to catching up on everything later this evening!

    Cheers! 🙂
    V

  122. 122 victork13
    July 12, 2008 at 20:05

    @Virginia Davis: you wrote, “… the world, the international community, is transitioning from a concern (expressed and implemented by) of the united nations for situations between nations, whatever that might be, and concern for individual citizens, groups of individuals citizens.”

    I think you’re right; I also think that it’s a development that should be challenged and checked.

    The present basis on which countries are organised, the nation-state, allows – acrtually if you are fortunate enough to be a Westerner, potentially for much of the rest of the world – the governed to hold their rulers accountable, and for government to be government by consent. Where this is not the case, or is only imperfectly the case, it is still an objective worth aspiring to. However discontented people may be with the accountability of a George Bush, say, do they seriously expect to hold a trans-national organisation of international bureuacrats p[ossessing no national loyalties, more accountable?

    The UN and its agencies should not be allowed to intervene directly in the affairs of any state, on the pretext of concern for individuals or groups, except in the case of on-going genocide or systematic mass murder that a government is unwilling or unable to stop. And even those interventions should only ever be on a temporary basis and should terminate with the restoration of full sovereign rights to the state in question.

    Bureaucratic despotism supposedly in pursuit of human rights is as bad as any other kind of tyranny, and is in no way preferable to the government of a people according to their traditions, their preferences, and through their freely chosen leaders.

    I admire the US’s refusal to compromise its sovereignty by signing international treaties – however seemingly desirable – that would transfer even an iota of its sovereign rights to extra-territorial bodies.

  123. 123 Katharina in Ghent
    July 12, 2008 at 20:06

    Hey Venessa,

    Enjoy your trip, I’ll be around for a little while longer, checking occasionally. (It’s only 9pm where I’m sitting.)

  124. 124 selena
    July 12, 2008 at 20:11

    Hi Venessa,

    I will help out until bedtime.

    Enjoy!

  125. 125 Katharina in Ghent
    July 12, 2008 at 20:38

    BTW, Selena,

    Is that an iceberg in your picture? You live in BC, right? Do you see a lot of icebergs there?

  126. 126 selena
    July 12, 2008 at 20:48

    @Karthi

    I live on the East Coast.

    It is a small iceberg… very small.

    Hundreds of icebergs float past my door each spring. This year there were more than usual.

  127. 127 Katharina in Ghent
    July 12, 2008 at 20:55

    @ Selena,

    Uh-oh, sooooo close! At least I was in the right country… 8)

  128. 128 selena
    July 12, 2008 at 21:01

    🙂 Presently, I am in Paris. But I was around for the icebergs.

  129. 129 Bryan
    July 12, 2008 at 21:10

    victork13 July 12, 2008 at 7:42 pm,

    Good points. But I guess as long as China feels it is OK to put oil ahead of morality and continue to arm the genocidal regime in Khartoum and veto Security Council resolutions the slaughter will continue unabated.

    Spielberg got it right. The Chinese are deeply complicit in the Darfur genocide and they have no right to be hosting an event that embodies the best traditions of humanity until they show some humanity themselves.

    There should be a worldwide boycott of the Olympics. I certainly wont be putting a single cent into watching it.

  130. 130 Bryan
    July 12, 2008 at 21:20

    I meant to add that the BBC failed miserably to bring the role of the Chinese in Darfur to the attention of the international community. I followed the BBC’s reporting on the issue for a number of years. China was barely mentioned. In fact, it was only when the UN recently got a little more exercised than usual about Darfur that there was anything on the BBC remotely critical about China’s role in Darfur. But It’s probably fair to say that most other media were equally lethargic and complacent about the issue.

    Some causes are more fashionable than others, I guess.

  131. 131 Dennis
    July 12, 2008 at 21:32

    Regarding Icebergs….Katharina—i have not seen any!

    Welcome to the moderator on duty!

    Dennis
    Onondaga Community College
    Syracuse, New York
    U.S.A.

  132. 132 Dennis
    July 12, 2008 at 21:34

    Venessa:

    Talk to you later enjoy your vacation hunting….

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

  133. 133 Katharina in Ghent
    July 12, 2008 at 22:15

    Paris, Paris, or Paris, God-knows-where? If it’s Paris, Paris, you’re only about 2 hours drive away from me, practically neighbors!

  134. 134 Luz Ma
    July 12, 2008 at 22:24

    @Abdi about moustaches

    Sorry for the delay on my answer. My dislike of moustaches is a personal distate. I have never like it. I don´t find atractive men with facial hair. But, as I said before, it is personal taste.

  135. 135 selena
    July 12, 2008 at 22:25

    Kathi,

    It is Paris, Paris! That is where I am! 😉

    Is it only a two hour drive? Goodness!

  136. 136 Katharina in Ghent
    July 12, 2008 at 22:27

    Send the Eiffel Tower a kiss from me… How long are you staying?

  137. 137 Luz Ma
    July 12, 2008 at 22:34

    @Steve
    Politicians and “trophy” wives… very common around the world. I am not surprised.

  138. 138 Julie P
    July 12, 2008 at 22:37

    @Luz Ma,

    I agree about facial hair. I don’t like it either. It’s so dated too.

    To add, you read my mind about “trophy” wives.

  139. 139 Luz Ma
    July 12, 2008 at 23:06

    I am trying to keep with all the comments, however, I think I won´t have enough time. I have a busy busy weekend with family and friends engagements. I´ll try later, after my daughters´ bedtime.

    @Abdi about your question Waiting to Be the Person You’re Not!

    Many goals and dreams that I had as a child have changed. Some are still there. I am quite happy with my life, especially my love life. Growing up I thought it would be difficult to find the right guy for me; it was the opposite, I got married at 21 with a guy that is not only the love of my life but also my best friend,

    Regarding my career and financial goals, I am now in a good career path (very recently indeed). And for the money, I am not a very ambitious person in that respect. I don´t want fancy stuff or a big house or a big car. I only want enough for me and my family to live comfortable, to take nice vacations (because I love to travel), to buy good books (I am a bookworm) and to save enough for my old age because I don´t want to be a economic burden to my children (my husband is 17 years older than me, so the chances are that I outlive him some years).

    I am the person I always wanted to be. In one word: Happy!

  140. 140 Luz Ma
    July 12, 2008 at 23:10

    @Julie

    Yes! moustaches are dated… well, at least in the Western world. It reminds me of my father in the late 60s and 70s, he didn´t look good with the hippie look.

  141. 141 Julie P
    July 12, 2008 at 23:34

    @Luz Ma,

    Yes, I know facial hair being dated is a Western phenomena. It was quite common growing up in the 70’s and managed to survive into the 80’s, on some men anyway. I have spent some time today thinking when the last time I saw a man with facial was. It was a college professor from five years ago. By that time he was already a grandfather whose beard was rapidly turning white. He decided to keep it, so he could play Santa at Christmas. Of course, he fits the role of Santa a little better than he would like! 🙂

  142. 142 Shirley
    July 13, 2008 at 02:59

    Abdi, assalamu `alaykum! Sa sa, habariaku? (I think?) May God forgive us all (there are at least four of us Muslims here) for neglecting to greet each other. Your call for reparations for Africa was beautiful; and it made my day to read it. Do you think that part of reparations for Africa should include the interference of countries who imposed anti-democratic dictators on the people in order to establish the will of the people and keep them safe while they establish their will? If so, then how could such a thing be accomplished without another Iraq happening – that is, without the intervention resulting in just another colonisation?

    Regarding the hijab etc., I feel that it is mustahhab (recommended or praiseworthy) to cover the face and wish that I had a niqab. However, it is looked down upon by the Muslims where I am at to cover the face, and I feel so much social pressure not to cover my face. It is so disappointing. Also, some Muslims impose cultural rules on women who wear niqab. The worst of them is that if a woman is not graceful and naturally quiet, she should not cover her face. I think that it is not proper to impose rules on us that are unrelated to Islam. If a woman does not want to cover her face, then it should be fine. If a woman wants to cover her face, then it should be fine. The only thing that really bothers me about the attitude of non-Mulims is that they forget that one of the freedoms to which they so often refer is the freedom to dress as they please. And that is exactly what I am doing. Rearding the feet, my findings to this point indicate that Ayatullah Sistani has ruled it wajib (obligatory, fard in Sunni terms) to cover the feet. Even before I switched to Shia Islam, I covered my feet after someone pointed out a characteristic on them. I don’t feel like specifying, now that I cover my feet.

    Facial hair dated? I have relatives who look smashing when they grow their beards. And (Lubna, especially) have you seen pictures of Imam Khumayni when he was young? His beard was, I think, part of his beauty. http://frogpond.com/lms/ipro/Site_1/Images/43/330-330.jpg

    Lubna, Zaynab, Abdi, are you all excited about Ramadan coming up?

  143. 143 Shirley
    July 13, 2008 at 03:05

    Bob: If the UN as constituted is only supposed to deal with international issues, is it time for a “new” body with wider ranging powers?

    Yes. Otherwise, how can we properly support the “never again” policy?

    If action against Zimbabwe is justified, what about Burma? China/Tibet?

    Yes. Yes. The question is what kind of action.

    What happens if the international community decide that something done by a country like the UK or USA is worthy of censure? Maybe the vote count last election in Florida or some of the anti-terrorism laws being passed in both countries.

    You are too cool for words.

    There must be some point at which I would object to foreign intervention. But inasmuch as foreign intervention would serve to establish and/or maintain the will of the people and bring to an end any humanitarian abuses, my current opinion is that I am all for it.

    Bryan: and the journalist spells his name “Omer” and not “Omar.”
    That was me, not PCHR. I am accustomed to spelling the name as Muhammad `Umar, though I am aware that most Palestinians use the O instead of the U in Umar and caught another “o” in the way that Muhammad was spelled…anyway, it was me not dubble-sheking teh speilig.

    Katharina: That’s exactly how absurd such thinking is. I about fell off the chair laughing.

  144. 144 Zainab
    July 13, 2008 at 03:27

    Hello All, how are you?
    @ Lovely Amy
    How are you Amy it’s been sometime since i last read a post of you? Insha Allah,everything is ok. How are your daughters, i wish you all the best.

    @Lubna, how are you dear?
    I like to see men with acceptable moustache and beard. (not like the moustache of famous Abd Homd)
    Note: Adb Homod is Saddams presidential secretary (Abid Hamid), his picture is available here:
    http://ar.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D8%B9%D8%A8%D8%AF_%D8%AD%D9%85%D9%8A%D8%AF_%D9%85%D8%AD%D9%85%D9%88%D8%AF.

    @ Hi Venessa,you said “I am very curious about the Hijab”
    About Hijab: it is the modest dress, it is compulsory for every Muslim women, to cover all her body except her face and her hands my hands till the wrist. I wear hijab and as Lubna I’m happy and proud of what i am, hijab states my identity as a Muslim woman. Usually, When I’m out,I cover my hair with the headscarf, and wear a long skirt with a shirt that is to cover my body, though when i go to college I prefer to wear long shirt reaching my knee, with a trousers, (some don’t accept the trousers, but I’ve asked about that, and the answer was it’s ok as long as one wears a long shirt and as long as it doesn’t bring the attention of people.) There are different hijab’s dresses, like: Abaya: covers the head and whole the body, Juba: covers only the body, and of course one must wear a headscarf with all the kinds of hijab.
    As to where and when we don’t wear hijab, of course we don’t wear it all the time: we don’t wear it any time at home, when we are with our family (including all women, and the father, grandfather, brother, uncle, husband, son, nephew), and we are free to wear anything we want, in front of them. that is as long as there is no (male) stranger, we don’t wear hijab. we don’t wear Hijab in front of women. Why we don’t wear it in front of those people, because they don’t look to us with bad, vicious eyes.
    The importance of Hijab is concentrate more on woman’s mind and personality rather than on her appearance.
    yours truly,
    Zainab from Iraq

  145. 145 Dennis
    July 13, 2008 at 03:46

    Hi everyone!!!!!

    Long day of cleaning and doing laundry…..

    I am sending out my condolences and sympathy to the family of Tony Snow….

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

  146. 146 Dennis
    July 13, 2008 at 03:49

    @ FACIAL HAIR!!!!

    Here at OCC….There are a lot of guys with
    facial hair….

    Most of them, look nice but most…GET RID OF IT…..

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

  147. 147 Venessa
    July 13, 2008 at 03:53

    Thank you to Katherina and the other mods out there that helped me today. I am finally back and it looks like I have some catching up to do.

  148. 148 Venessa
    July 13, 2008 at 04:19

    Zainab ~

    Thank you so much for the explanation. Religious and cultural beliefs always fascinate me. I was not raised with any religious background and do not have a belief in any deity.

    May I ask what is meant by “those people, because they don’t look to us with bad, vicious eyes.”?

  149. 149 Shirley
    July 13, 2008 at 04:57

    Just to clarify: If one were to walk into a clothing stall in the market and ask for a hijab, the store owner would point to a variety of medium- to large-sized squares of fabric which we then fold in half diagonally to form a triangle and place over our heads, tuck, fold, pin, etc. until it covers our heads, stays put, and looks nice. The best ones comm from Turkey. Somtimes, the headscarves are made of stretchy material and sewn to slip over the head and stay without all the folding, tucking, and pinning. If you’re not as skinny as a twig or a young child, you usually cannot wear these pieces. It just doesn’t look right. There is a related piece, though, that is made of non-stretchy fabric, is sewn down the front, and is pulled over the face to hang from the head. It usually covers a woman until at least her elbows. I have been calling these “khimars” for lack of a better word. I don’t know what they’re really called.

    For covering our faces, we have one-piecers that are secured to our heads by an elastic strap. They usually reveal the eyes. There are some two-piecers that also reveal the eyes. The outer layer is pulled out atop the head to blend the veil in better with the headscarf. My favourite is the three-piecer. The outermost layer is pulled out atop the head, another lighter fabric covers the eyes, and a third piece covers the face leaving the eyes out. That piece makes it optional to cover the eyes or leave them out. As far as I know, these are all called niqabs. There is this terrible square piece that one is supposed to tie with an infinitissimily small knot in the back of the head. The one cloth covers all of the face. It makes the wearer look like Darth Vader. Any time a shopkeepr shows me one, I feel insulted. I want a real niqab, thank you very much.

    In general, the things called abayas are robes made of thin fabric and more open sleeves. They usually do not have any fastenings down the front of the gown or pockets at the sides. Some have snaps on the shoulders, and the pieces in the front overlap each other. The jilbab does have fastenings down the front and, sometimes, pockets on the sides. It is also made a slightly thicker fabric. There is a gown that is closed axcept, sometimes, for a short zipper at the top to allow the head to go through. I have not seen one yet that is made of very thin fabric. I’m not sure what people call it, but I call it torture. My favourite piece is what Zainab described when she talked about the abaya. The Iraqi head-to-toe abaya totally rocks! I love it and miss mine desperately.

    It is indeed permissible to wear loose-fitting slacks, according to the rulings of Ayatullah Sistani. And don’t let anyone tell you otherwise, Zainab. I saw it for myself in a book called “A Code of Ethics for Muslim Men and Women.” It contains the rulings of eight maraja` and pulled the rulings for Ayatullah Sistani from his Tawdih al Masa’il and his Minhaj as-Salihin (two of the many compilations of his rulings). As long as we cover our bodies (with the option of leaving the face and hands uncovered), we are fine.

    And boy, do women ever let loose when they are at a women’s-only gathering! We Muslim women are some of the saviest clothing shoppers on the planet. We are demanding when it comes to outer clothing as well as indoor clothing! I cannot adjust to it and still prefer to dress modestly in a women’s gathering.

    Zainab, you said “The importance of Hijab is concentrate more on woman’s mind and personality rather than on her appearance.” This is true. However, I think that the very most important reason that we Muslim women cover our bodies the way that we do is to obey the command that we believe God gave to us.

    Here’s an oddity: I never felt that skirts, even long ones, were very modest. To this day, when I wear a skirt, I always wear slacks underneath it. I am the only Muslim woman that I know of who does such a thing.

  150. July 13, 2008 at 05:47

    Good Morning From Kenya!
    I am back to keep you company all day long!
    I start with Giving You a copy of Daily Newspaper!
    To Find out What’s in news in Kenya this Sunday Morning Go To:

    http://www.nationmedia.com/dailynation/nmgindex.asp

  151. 151 Luz Ma
    July 13, 2008 at 05:51

    @China and Russia’s vetoes on the UN’s Zimbabwe resolution

    To my knowledge, the UN Security Council could only intervene when there is a threat to peace and security among nations. It is, indeed, at the international level. In terms of intervention and sanctions, it is the only UN body that can impose them.

    The International Criminal Court (ICC) only may exercise jurisdiction over genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes and it does not have universal jurisdiction (only can prosecute nationals of countries which have ratified the Roma statue or individuals who have committed these crimes in countries which have ratified the same statue.

    However, there is a third way for the ICC to exercise jurisdiction: when the UN Security Council has referred the situation to the Prosecutor (irrespective of the nationality or the accused or the location of the crime).

    So, in the end, everything is political. Obviously, if members of the Security Council could find their interests threatened, the chances are that they are not going to support any action against the individual or individuals accused of these types of crimes.

  152. 152 Shirley
    July 13, 2008 at 06:07

    Luz María,
    From what you have said, the only way that any tangible action can be got for imbabwe is for the UNSC to refer the case ot the ICC? As for Darfur, since the violence has spread to Chad as the Janjaweed chase the refugees there to rape and kill, there is no doubt that the genocide has an international impact.

    But what about an eleciton gone bad? Is that something else that the Security Council would have to refer to the ICC? Seems to me that we should give the General Assembly the authority that is currently held by the Security Council and dissolve the SC. The SC appears to be an elite group who are not subject to the checks and balances of a truly democratic system. If the GA were to hold the power of the SC while yet keeping its structure (being composed of all member states, one vote per member, etc.), perhaps some progress could be made on these issues. At least then we woudl nopt have to worry about the US, Russia, or China vetoing resolutions.

  153. July 13, 2008 at 06:09

    @ Victor13
    Hi,my dear thank very much for you’r long and educative article to be honest I didn’t knew all that Much!
    you said
    “Re Darfur, let’s point the finger at the culprits. First and foremost is the Islamic fundamentalist regime in Khartoum, which is directly responsible for the deaths of 300,000 Africans, who were admittedly guilty of the crime of not being Arabs”
    How are are the Islamic Fundamentalist responsible for all theses who funded them to accompolish this herculan task?

  154. July 13, 2008 at 06:11

    @ LuZ Ma
    -Moustouches!,It’s OK good Luck

  155. July 13, 2008 at 06:18

    @ Katherina In Ghent
    What type of a kiss is A Eiffel Tower Kiss?
    A special one for People in Europe and the USA?
    Not for Africans Like Me?………….ha.ha..a

    @ LuZ Ma-Goals and Purpose in Life:

    It’s wonderful to note that all you’r purpose in life was to find a soulmate who will give you real love,happiness and Joy!
    Congrugulations! YOu have already achieved a husband who is not a good friend but you’r childhood Sweatheart!,

    Luz Ma, I have Never Married before and I will hope that My wife-to-be will love so dear just as you love your Husband!

  156. July 13, 2008 at 06:26

    @ Shirley
    Assalam aleykum? as you said we ask God For His Forgivenes!,But Honestly I never Thought that You’r a muslim Collegue of MIne!
    You asked ” Do you think that part of reparations for Africa should include the interference of countries who imposed anti-democratic dictators on the people in order to establish the will of the people and keep them safe while they establish their will? If so, then how could such a thing be accomplished without another Iraq happening – that is, without the intervention resulting in just another colonisation?”

    Yes!,Look what has to happen will happen!let these dictators be Toppled! If sadam Hussein who was totally innocent was a accused of been in a possession of Weapons of Mass destructions that was never there!was toppeled and killed why is the international Community not willing to do the same to Mugabe who is a dictoter and seems to be a bove the Law!
    @ a bout Ramadhan Coming UP!

    I am in deed very excited and enjoy keeping a way from food,drinks and bad deeds during the Ramadhan!
    Wishing You the Best and the Most Memorable Ramadhan.Inshallah it will be a great one!

  157. 157 Luz Ma
    July 13, 2008 at 06:36

    @Abdi

    Thanks for the Daily Newspaper link. It is midnight in this part of the world, so I need to keep awake because my youngest daughter is still awake and does not want to go the sleep (maybe if I read her some news…)

    However, I cannot blame her. She had a very difficult day. Yesterday she fractured one of her fingers (fortunately it was a tinny fracture) and after being all afternoon at the doctor’s office, she went to sleep past her bedtime. However, we had to wake her early in the morning to take her to an appointment with a pediatric traumatologist for further assessment. Thank God the fracture is tinny and it will be healed in two weeks. Later, we had the birthday party of my niece. My daughter couldn’t play a lot since she has a cast in her hand, but still she had a good time. So, obviously, she took a long nap in the afternoon and that is the reason she is still awake at this hour… Tomorrow is going to be a nightmare to put her again in a proper schedule!!!

    I have to tell you, my daughter is a very “spirited child”. Do you know the term? It is the term that is given today to children that are very active and intrepid. She is quite a handful. Yesterday she was jumping in the bed, when I heard her, I rushed to her bedroom to stop her, but I was late, she fell and landed in her right hand. She didn’t cry, only complained of pain in her finger. In 15 minutes it was totally swollen and purple. Then we rushed to her pediatrician’s office.

    Any of you were like that as children? I was a very quiet child, so I cannot relate to my daughter (regarding this issue). Sometimes I get tired of telling her “No” all the time. She is so full of energy and enjoys a lot physical activity. I don’t want to restrict her nature, but I don’t want either that she harms herself.

  158. 158 Bob in Queensland
    July 13, 2008 at 06:42

    G’day all!

    Sorry I’ve been a bit quiet this weekend–I sat up far too late on Friday night to listen to Ros’ show from the school (well worth it) but managed to give myself a mild dose of some kind of flu so haven’t felt like doing much for the past couple of days.

    Anyway, I’ve been thinking a bit about the whole issue of foreign/international intervention in national politics. As Luz says in her post just above, it is indeed very political and I, for one, can’t think of any workable system for deciding how and when to make such an intervention.

    There are just oo many differing points of view and vested interests in the world. Let’s face it. If it was a “one vote per country” democracy then chances are there are enough anti-western sentiments that the first countries to be censured would likely be the USA and UK for their invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan. This wouldn’t be accepted to the project would die.

    On the other hand, if the decision making process was weighted towards richer, western countries then the message would be “might makes right” which would also be unacceptable.

    ….so, I despair of the world ever being able to effectively deal with domestic problems–except when the big players of a vested interest of course.

  159. 159 Luz Ma
    July 13, 2008 at 06:45

    @Shirley

    I also think the Security Council is an elite group. They are the former allies of WW II. Many years have pass since then. UN reform is essential in this and many other matters.

  160. July 13, 2008 at 06:52

    @ LUZ Ma!
    I appreciate very much you’r a wake at a midnight so that you can take part in the Blank page,You have really touched my heart and you’r exactly the type of listners that ai reffer to them as loyals of WHYS,amiable listners,and faithfull’s of WHYS!thanks a million time!,
    I really feel sorry for you’r daughter for damaging her finger!though i am happy to note that it wasn’t that serious! I wish her quick recovery!
    I understand what you meant by ” Spirited Child”.

    Just like you I was a quiet person when I was a child even though I retain that habbit till then!

    let me give one of the greatest secret to a successful life!

    IN LIFE SEE MORE,HEAR MORE BUT TALK LESS!

  161. July 13, 2008 at 06:56

    @ BOB

    Great to have you!,Sorry for bad Flu you had since listening to Ros in Tanzania -Mwanza last Friday!
    But I wonder how ” a mere bad flu” has costed us you’r wonderful comments/contribution every weekend!

  162. 162 Luz Ma
    July 13, 2008 at 06:57

    @Abdi

    We have to agree to disagree in the moustache issue 🙂

    About purposes in life: thanks for your kind words. I hope you find the love of your life and build a marriage based in respect and love. It has worked wonders for me.

    P.S. I think I didn’t make myself clear in one of my previous posts. My husband is not my “childhood sweetheart”. On the contrary, he is much older than me. I met him when I was 18, but started dating him until I was 20 and then I married him. He was my professor at Law School (yes… that cliché!!! LOL). We have been together for 9 years. Best years of my life so far… and still standing 🙂

  163. 163 abdihakim
    July 13, 2008 at 06:58

    @luZ Ma
    hi how are doing…….
    why are you wake at this moment becouse you have said that it is midneieght are you at worka stiil or your at home?…..
    we are in sunday morning at same time cool day and your said that you are in starday neinght……..
    i think that we are in two different world but the we are in the same genration
    i think you have gomputer in your house thayt is why wake at this moment………..

  164. 164 Bob in Queensland
    July 13, 2008 at 07:00

    @ Bryan (9:20 PM on July 12th)

    In fact, it was only when the UN recently got a little more exercised than usual about Darfur that there was anything on the BBC remotely critical about China’s role in Darfur.

    I think you’re critical of the BBC for the wrong reason here. It’s not the job of any news organisation, particularly one mandated to be as impartial as possible, to be critical of any country or countries. The BBC’s role is simply to report.

    However, the story choice is the issue here and that’s where you’re partially right about some causes being more fashionable than others. That is undoubtedly true, but there are many factors affected journalistic “fashion sense”. For TV in particular (and more people get their news from TV than any other source) it often comes down to the availability of pictures. Some stories might as well not exist if there are no camera crews and satellite uplinks nearby. Sudan is partially an example of this.

    Beyond this though, I’m sorry to say the interest in a story is directly proportional to it’s effect on the rest of the world. A conversation I once had with an un-named US network news producers sums it up:

    Me: We have some spectacular pictures of a plane crash in XXXX. You actually see the plane crashing.

    US Network producer: Did any Americans die?

    Me: No, I don’t think so.

    US Network Producer: I don’t think we’re interested then. It’s a busy day in DC.

    Darfur had two strikes against it: no cameras around and little effect on the western world so it wasn’t a fashionable story, to the shame of media everywhere.

  165. 165 Luz Ma
    July 13, 2008 at 07:03

    @Bob
    I think you are absolute right in your previous post. It is so sad, but it is the true. Sometimes I think the world is hopeless. I don´t want to think that way, but after seeing the attorcities we do to each other, I think we never would manage to live in peace. Sad, sad, sad 😦

  166. July 13, 2008 at 07:09

    @ LUZ MA

    My dear LUZ Ma,I am very Much delighted By you’r Kind words!,The lines you wrote a bove have brought back some memories in my life!,
    I once loved so dear a former High School classmate with whom we sat on the same chair from class one till High school only for her to go to America and marrying a nother person!,Even though she say’s the man was her parent’s choice for her,I don’t beleive her at all,
    But anyway I have moved on and I have found my love and my soulmate!
    Best of Luck Luz Ma,I thank you for joining us and If you wish you might go and sleep,I understand you’r tired and feeling Sleepy because it’s past Midnight in you’r country!,thank you a million times! Sweet dreams!

  167. 167 Luz Ma
    July 13, 2008 at 07:14

    I am going to sleep… finally my daughter is rubbing her eyes and yawning (yeah!!!) See you in the morning (here)… keep on the good conversation!

    @Abdi
    Congratulations for finding your soulmate. You are lucky for having that blessing in life.

  168. 168 Bryan
    July 13, 2008 at 07:23

    Shirley July 13, 2008 at 3:05 am,

    “Bryan: and the journalist spells his name “Omer” and not “Omar.”
    That was me, not PCHR.”

    PCHR got it wrong as well, as did many other sources, judging from a quick scan of the relevant Google page.

    Anyway, whether Omer or Omar the guy is a typical propagandist for the Palestinians (though he claims to be balanced) and his writing has to be taken with a very large pinch of salt.

  169. July 13, 2008 at 07:40

    Even Though You’r Well-come to set out an A genda,Today we shall be Basically Be talking a bout:
    BURNING TOPIC 1: Can Africa sustain its population?
    Uganda’s population today is 30 million. The United Nation says that number is set to double in the next 15 years.

    The East Africa country is in fact one of the fastest growing countries in the world. On average a Ugandan woman gives birth to seven children.

    The situation is similar across much of sub Saharan Africa. By 2050 Mali, Liberia, Burundi, Chad, Guinea Bissau and Malawi are projected to triple in size.

    Nigeria will become the world’s fourth biggest country overtaking Indonesia.

    As the world celebrates the United Nations Population Day this week we ask:

    Is Africa’s big population an asset or liability? Who should plan the continent’s size? Should governments embrace China’s one child policy? Can Africa cope with the challenges ahead?

  170. 170 Bob in Queensland
    July 13, 2008 at 07:57

    @ Abdi

    A few days ago the BBC reported a prediction that, at current rates of growth, the world population will be 9 billion by the year 2050.

    The world simply couldn’t sustain that level of population so Africa–and everywhere–will have to embrace population control. I’m not convinced that China has the right method with their one child policy–but some for of control is essential.

  171. 171 Katharina in Ghent
    July 13, 2008 at 08:02

    Good morning Abdi!

    I said, “Send a kiss TO the Eiffel Tower” not “an Eiffel Tower kiss”! The first means just a kiss in your hand that you blow towards the Eiffel Tower, the other one I imagine to be something awfully romantic from a Hollywood movie…

    About your link: 12% chance that a murder gets solved?????? That’s basically saying, “Go ahead, don’t worry, we won’t catch you.” Is there any chance that the police will ever become less corrupt and actually start doing their work in your country?

  172. July 13, 2008 at 08:05

    BURNING TOPIC 2:
    Is there an alternative to prison?
    Magistrates and judges in Lagos State are being asked to use community service instead of mandatory prison sentences for certain crimes.

    People convicted of minor offences will be asked to clean toilets, and help care for children and the elderly in government approved homes as punishment.

    The option to use community service is rare throughout Africa, where custodial sentences are usually the default punishment for crime.

    But with increasing overcrowding in prisons, could it be a workable alternative? Or would Africa’s slow – moving justice system, make it unworkable?

    Should all offenders go to prison? Would you support community service for light offences? Which activities would serve as adequate punishment? Or do you think if the threat of prison is taken away, it will encourage more criminal activity?

  173. 173 Katharina in Ghent
    July 13, 2008 at 08:09

    Sweet dreams, Luz Ma,

    I was a fairly active child, and my son is too, but within “reason”. However, my nephew (9 years old) is a very active child, and my brother has his problems with him. This boy would need to do sports every day “to get it out of his system”, but both parents work and his mother especially (who just started working about a year ago) is not interested in putting too much effort into him… This way, you get a child that’s always bored, and, because his mother insisted that you must not impose any limits on him so that he can develop “naturally”, he also often behaves quite badly. (My sister-in-law studied child psychology, I’ve come to realize that they make the worst parents of all.) It’s a real shame, but I’m still hopeful that the kid will learn to fit into society on his own…

  174. July 13, 2008 at 08:12

    @ BOB

    yes,I Understand you’r comments;But you see BOB african’s can’t do proper family planning!
    Hence african’s find it difficult to decide the number of Children they want to have! This is mostly found in Somalia,North Eastern Kenya-My home area where you will see a man married with Four Wifes each wife having a minimum of eight to nine children.

  175. July 13, 2008 at 08:19

    @ Katherina
    Morning to you too,
    I slightly Miss Understood You!
    The Police in My country are very,very corrupt!
    They operate on selfish and self-interest Basis!
    I understand you have been to Kenya 10 years ago during you’r hooney moon and you must know that they mismanage matatu’s(Transport Vehicles)
    By the way katherina,Why did you take all that long time to return to Kenya?

  176. July 13, 2008 at 08:45

    BURNING TOPIC 3:

    Marrying and settling in life is one of the MOST IMPORTANT FACTOR IN LIFE!
    So, I am asking! What is the right age To marry? @ 15?
    @ 18?,@ 30’s?.@ @ 40’s? Are a bove 4o years and still single? why have you decided so?..Do you beleive it’s good to Marry after Graduating and securing a stable Job is the best Moment To Marry?

  177. 177 Bob in Queensland
    July 13, 2008 at 08:52

    @ Abdi

    When you can “Africans CAN’T do proper family planning” I assume you actually mean “DON’T”?

    If this is the case, what stops them? Is it lack of money or is it old traditions that make large families a matter of pride? Either way, what will it take to change things because one fact is that neither Africa nor the world can cope with unrestricted population growth?

  178. July 13, 2008 at 09:03

    @ My precious BOB in Quensland-Millions of Miles away!

    Though Lack of Money can be a cause of the high Population growth in africa ,the Major factor is the tradition of a particular society! and the best way to stop high population growth is to educate the local residence about the problems the continent is facing hence the need to introduce family planning on them!

  179. 179 abdihakim
    July 13, 2008 at 09:08

    hi to everybody…………….
    Is Africa’s big population an asset or liability?
    yes!!
    becous if everybody plans his family and the goverment plans their ecnomics.
    becouse in africa you will see the people are rich but the country is poor.
    in westan country the people are poor and the country is rich .
    means that africans each and every body needs to bee a devolloped person but not the country,and the ecnomicees is not for all the people.
    it needs to be planed for the whole contant by the leeders for the ecnomic by equal. the countary and the people.
    the govoment should take amaximum taxes as to devolop the country.
    at that time each an evrybody can safayf becous the country is rich.
    in the family they have to do what we call family planing? which means aperent should plan their family…
    you will see afamily which consist about to 15 people may happen the perents deos not have any work and cannot exeist like that way………….

  180. 180 Jack Hughes
    July 13, 2008 at 09:37

    // ZK wrote

    “Ex-White House press secretary Tony Snow has died of cancer at 53. Cancer is a horrible way to go, but I have a serious question — do Americans feel any less sympathy for his family because he worked in the Bush administration?”

  181. 181 Bob in Queensland
    July 13, 2008 at 09:40

    You know, Abdi, I think “education” is probably the answer to at least 75% of the questions posed in here, especially if you take a wider view of the meaning of the word to include simply getting to know other people and their views.

  182. July 13, 2008 at 09:56

    @ BOB

    I agree with you that ‘Education’ Could be the answer to Africa’s Population Growth!,not only to this problem but other problems which include -Unemployment and poverty!

  183. 183 abdihakim
    July 13, 2008 at 10:02

    Hi, to evrybody again…is me abdihakim
    who should plan for the continent’s Size?
    every body who is in africa…….
    first the people, the leaders, the ecnomics.
    by the people they have to know size of the continent and the purpulatiopn they have to mimize the high rate of purpulation by family planing.
    the goverment should know the population by hospitalty and ecnomic rate.
    most efort must do by the people becouse they are the people who leaves in africa they have to devalop their continent by any way and any means and UNINATED NATION shold give suport and westan countries by mandate…………

  184. 184 Bryan
    July 13, 2008 at 10:08

    Bob in Queensland July 13, 2008 at 7:00 am

    “I think you’re critical of the BBC for the wrong reason here. It’s not the job of any news organisation, particularly one mandated to be as impartial as possible, to be critical of any country or countries. The BBC’s role is simply to report.”

    True, and it falls woefully short of its mandate to report impartially. To take one example, the BBC is firmly entrenched in the Labour camp. Jane Garvey inadvertently gave that particular game away. The radio clip where she acknowledged the BBC’s adoration of Labour after Tony Blair’s 1997 victory seems to have gone down the memory hole, but here’s part of the transcript:

    Jane Garvey: So, I had to get a bit of sleep, and I do remember I walked back into, we were broadcasting then from Broadcasting House in the centre of London, all very upmarket in those days, and the corridors of, er, Broadcasting House were strewn with empty champagne bottles.

    Peter Allen: (chuckles heartily)

    Jane Garvey: I’ll always remember that, er, not that the BBC were celebrating…

    Peter Allen: (still chuckling throughout) No, no. No. Not at all!

    Jane Garvey: …in any way shape or form, and, er, actually, I think it’s fair to say that in the intervening years, uh, the BBC, if it ever was in love with Labour, has probably fallen out of love with Labour, or learnt to fall back in, or basically just learnt to be in the middle somewhere, which is how it should be, um, but there was always the suggestion that the BBC was full of pinkos who couldn’t wait for Labour to get back into power, that may have been the case, who knows? But as I say, there have been a few problems along the way over the last ten years. Wish I hadn’t started this now…

    Peter Allen: Interested to hear people’s memories of May the 2nd 1997, you know the email, drive@bbc.co.uk, or text…

    Now if any more definitive proof of the BBC’s political stance were needed the BBC has been obsessively chasing the ten-year-old non-story of Spelman’s nanny as if it were some major earth-shattering event. Only because she is a Tory, of course.

    It is as if the BBC has thrown all caution to the winds and now doesn’t care whether the bias is obvious or not.

    So yes, in the light of the above, it is not unreasonable to expect the BBC to be critical of China or at the very least to expose China’s reprehensible actions regarding Darfur.

  185. 185 Bryan
    July 13, 2008 at 10:29

    Abdi, I can’t agree with you on Saddam Hussein. He was worse than Mugabe, gassing thousands of civilians to death with, yes, his WMDs and torturing political opponents to death. His crimes are too long to list here.

  186. 186 abdihakim
    July 13, 2008 at 10:35

    hi am there still there with you……..

    Is there an alternative to prison?

    yes…………..

    besides of that crime,the judge must know what the crime is?..
    prisoners have aright becouse they are huiman like the other huimanbeing besides that they have done crime only.
    same part of the woeld mostly what happen is if the person nationalaty of that country.
    they wiil harast him and that is not fear becouse evry bperson in this world have the same right with the other. you have to look the huimanright for evry one.as may idae says the goverment should have alimite burnashment for any crime not for the person who is he?
    any way prisoners have aright………………..

  187. 187 Bob in Queensland
    July 13, 2008 at 10:59

    @ Bryan

    I wonder if Tony Blair would have agreed with you about the pro-Labour bias the morning he heard Andrew Gilligan’s report about how Labour “sexed up” intelligence reports to justify the Iraq war?

    BTW, if you want to look at bias, look at the very narrow remit of the Hutton enquiry into this story–which prevented public scrutiny of a lot of the major issues.

    Or how about all the reporting of the “honours for funding” investigation? Very pro-Labour that.

    If you’re judging BBC impartiality (or the lack there of) on one 11 year old sound clip, have a look at the ENTIRE output. You’ll find things pretty closely balanced.

    As for champagne bottles the morning after the election, you would also have found them at the news organisation that I worked for….but you would have found them after ANY election, whoever won. Drinks were a gift to the staff after a hard nights work. I can’t speak for the beeb as I’ve never worked there but that was the situation for us.

    (OT aside: the 1983 election was memorable for me in the technical department. After working all night then having a few drinks, I was finally heading home about 1600–when a Sony delivery truck turned up out from with about a half million pounds worth of 1-inch professional video tape machines for me that weren’t expected for another 3 months. I didn’t really want to deal with all the Dalek-sized machines sitting on the pavement at just that moment… )

  188. 188 Katharina in Ghent
    July 13, 2008 at 11:27

    @ Abdi

    Why I didn’t come back to Kenya? To put it in a catch phrase, I came to Kenya because I got married, and I didn’t come back to Kenya because I am married. Now, before you get any false ideas, let me explain: Honeymoon is a special (hopefully) once in a lifetime travel, and there you’re willing to spend a lot of money, but soon after the trip we moved from Austria to Canada and had very little money, and what we had went into visiting family. Then the baby came, then we moved to Belgium,… Come to think of it, in the last eight years we had exactly one vacation where we didn’t visit family or friends.

    As to when the perfect time is for marrying: when you’ve met the perfect partner (doesn’t mean that he or she has to be perfect, but has to match you perfectly. Nobody is perfect.) Age doesn’t matter too much, even though many prefer to get married once they have completed their education and started their career. The simple reason for that is that in Western society, once you’re married you’re expected to be able to stand on your own two feet and not need daddies money all the time. I know that other cultures have solved this differently, and there different answers apply.

    But you’re just 21, you still have your whole life ahead of you. (Lucky you… 😉 )

  189. 189 Zainab
    July 13, 2008 at 12:00

    Hello all,
    @Shirley
    Salam alycom,
    Of course I’m excited about Ramadan coming up, Though this year Ramadhan month will be in summer that is we have to fast from 3 am to 7:30 or 8 pm, Allah be with us.Al hamdu li Allah, I already fasted last Thursday, the first friday night of Rajab, it’s called Laylat al ragha’ab. Next thursday will be Imam Ali’s birthday, so congratulation.
    About Hijab and wearing trousers, I’ve checked with , i’ve sent an email to the office of Ayatullah Sistani, (and to be sure i sent sms because my friend told me that it is unacceptable to wear trousers). and the answer was ” it’s ok, as long as we one wear long shirt with it and it does not get the attention. ”
    @Vennesa, how are you?
    May I ask what is meant by “those people, because they don’t look to us with bad, vicious eyes.”?
    Well by those people I mean “the father, grandfather, brother, uncle, husband, son, nephew” we women are allowed to not wear hijab in front of them cuz they don’t look to us with badly.
    Yours truly
    Zainab from Iraq

  190. 190 victork13
    July 13, 2008 at 12:11

    Reparations for Africa?

    For what? The dollar amount to be? To be paid by whom? To be paid to whom (bearing in mind that the sole talent of African governments is for looting their national treasuries)? Will these reparations be net of the billions in aid that have poured into the continent post-independence (to very little purpose)?

    I’m surprised that people can take seriously this suggestion. Name a country that got to be wealthy from aid and global welfare, as opposed to developing the habits and institutions of prosperity: hard work, discipline, honesty, competence, respect and security for private property, frugality, competition, a free market, high rates of saving, capital formation, reward for enterprise and creativity, minimal bureaucrcacy, etc.

    Africans should be ashamed to be still touting this welfare cheque panacea, which can only ensure their continued impoverishment, as well as being entirely unmerited.

    As to other countries being liable for installing and supporting Africa’s dictators: what does this mean? That African countries are treated as sovereign states and their leaders are dealt with accordingly? Why should that be a problem? Robert Mugabe is a classic African dictator. Can anybody argue that Mugabe is anything other than his own man? Even the Chinese – adored and loved as they are throughout black Africa, simply for not being the West – are not responsible for Mugabe, however many secret arms shipments they try to smuggle to his regime. Africans need to start taking responsibility for themselves, their leaders and their mistakes. Otherwise what was the point of independence?

  191. 191 Zainab
    July 13, 2008 at 12:27

    Hello all again,

    @Shirley.
    You said you missed your abaya?!! do you really have abaya, O! it’s really beautiful. Actually i don’t have abaya, though my mother has. I wear Abaya only when we go to Ziaraht , usually when we visit Imams. When I visit Imam al Kadhum (a.s), I take my grandma’s abaya cuz she lives in al-kadhumia.

    @ Venessa, sorry for the previous mistake.
    Those people the father, grandfather, brother, uncle, husband, son, nephew” we (women) are allowed to not wear hijab in front of them cuz they don’t look to us badly, i mean they are our family, they don’t look to us the same way strangers do.
    Yours truly,
    Zainab from Iraq

  192. 192 abdihakim
    July 13, 2008 at 12:37

    hi goodafternon….

    Marrying and settling in life is one of the MOST IMPORTANT FACTOR IN LIFE……….
    yes i agree with you………….
    and its the most and first in life….
    there could be no if life without marraige.
    we all know that every body in this run’s after marry and come in this workd after marriage. after all that i can there is no body who can oppose marrying…….

  193. 193 Pangolin Hussein- California
    July 13, 2008 at 12:43

    @ Africa- Two references should be studied when looking to the future of Africa. The first is Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed, a book by Jared Diamond. The second is the website Dieoff.org that details the potential for population collapse in an energy restricted environment. Without a massive investment in agriculture and elevation of the status of the small farmer Africa will face famine. A birth control program to shame China’s would be helpful also.

    This applies equally well to he Islamic countries from Morocco to Bangladesh. Few of these countries are able to feed their people to from internal sources and to depend upon trade in a crisis will mean death for far too many.

    @ HIjab- I see the protests of Hijab-wearing women as to their happiness as something akin to the little dogs that believe that they are the masters of the house. Anyplace where the Hijab is universal or worse, the burqa, women are still effectively a form of property. Murders of women by husbands or male relatives are rarely prosecuted and marriages are generally by arrangement.

    Ask the women of Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Somalia or Yemen how much protection the burqa offers against their Muslim brethren. Better they should be wearing a Brazilian bikini and be armed with AK-47’s and RPGs. Random beatings by the Mullahs NEVER happens in Brazil.

  194. 194 Pangolin Hussein- California
    July 13, 2008 at 13:29

    @ African reparations- Africa is going to get it’s reparations in the form of data from the west on scientific findings. There will never be more than token payments which will do nothing to improve the lives of common people.

    This simple improvements in cooking stoves called the rocket stove will do more to improve the lot of African women than billions of dollars in aid paid to corrupt governments. Likewise these low tech ceramic water filters will save millions of people from water-borne illness and secure clean water for drinking and cooking.

    Africa can also take for free various concepts in concentrating solar power, organic farming, permaculture, bicycle transport and tie-dye t-shirts in exchange for thier music and culture that the west is plundering.

    But if they expect cars, machines and shipments of grain they may as well ask for the big rock candy mountain. There will be no reparations.

  195. July 13, 2008 at 13:44

    @ Bryan
    ON SADAM HUSSEIN!
    Why Do I say that He is Innocent?-
    He Never Had weapons of Mass Destructions in which he was a ccused of been in a possesion of!-
    Since He was A muslim the A merican wanted to topple him out of Power!
    If he was a dictator why did many people in the bush Administration Resign?

  196. July 13, 2008 at 13:48

    @ Katherina

    Hi my precious kathi,thanks a million time for keeping me company since yesterday,thanks too for you’r lovely comments a bout me a bove!

    Katherina one think I like most a bout you is that you understand Africa very well-in particulart kenya-my beloved country! My dear you also write good Kiswahili languages!

    Best wishes!

  197. July 13, 2008 at 13:53

    @ John in Germany
    Hi,there to be honest you’r long and exciting articles “sounds racist”-and I am wondering who approved it”
    N/B-Please if they are other moderators out there who could be Moderating beside me-and moderating faster than me,-because I read every comment 3-4 times before I Approve it!,please READ VERY ,VERY CAREFULLY BEFORE YOU PUBLISH ANYTHING ON THIS BLOG!……BE SERIOUS!

  198. 198 victork13
    July 13, 2008 at 13:58

    @Pangolin Hussein: your prescription for Africa is plausible. But I think most of the people who clamour for reparations dream of trillions of dollars being poured into the coffers of African governments (and pouring right back out again into clandestine Swiss bank accounts).

    Re the burkha/hijab. Your argument on this is, again, sound, but out of context as far as Islamic countries are concerned. Why should this issue be any concern to those outside the Muslim world? I used to get exercised about Islamic gender apartheid in the Muslim world. Then I noticed something: lots of Muslim women support it, defend it, celebrate it, and don’t have any problem with it. That’s when I concluded that it was impertinent to try to reform people against their will and in defiance of their traditions, or to criticise what they regarded as appropriate and praiseworthy. I would support an absolute ban on the hijab/burkha in my society because it goes against our Western values and traditions when it comes to gender equality and women’s dignity (and as far as I’m concerned no woman in the West should be given the ‘choice’ of wearing these garments, any more than we’d ‘allow’ someone the choice of being a slave). But in a Muslim land, where practically all the men, and what would appear to be most of the women, support this kind of thing, I think it’s a waste of effort for a Westerner to take a stand against it.

    Genocide and mass murder apart, the welfare of Muslims in their own countries is strictly a matter for them.

  199. July 13, 2008 at 14:05

    QUESTION THAT NEEDS YOU”R ANSWER!
    DO YOU THINK THE GRAND COALITION IN KENYA WILL SURVIVE?

    There is little doubt that the grand coalition is creaking. There are two assumptions one can make of the appointment of a Commission of Inquiry into Amos Kimunya and Grand Regency Hotel and all that.

    One is that the authorities want to get to the real bottom of the saga in their own way. The other could be to cast doubt on the findings of the earlier cabinet sub-committee which somehow managed to unravel the whole thing and pinpoint three culprits in one super-productive, heavenly afternoon.

    This sub-committee was supposedly a creation of the same government. You have to marvel at the wonders of our grand coalition.
    So will you advice the formation of Government of National Unity in you’r country should you’r had an Election Dispute?

  200. 200 victork13
    July 13, 2008 at 14:12

    @Abdi: you are obviously entitled to your view that something posted by John in Germany ‘sounds racist’. But you really should say why, with citations, so others can take a view on the fairness of your allegation, and so John himself can respond to something specific.

    You should also define what you understand by the word ‘racist’. I take it to mean the view that there are permanently superior and inferior races, as unalterably determined by genetics, and that race alone is a sufficient reason for treating people more or less favourably. But there are other definitions. Several rather popular definitions on this blog run as follows: racist (a) anybody who disagrees with you on a race-related issue; (b) anybody who regards race as a legitimate subject of discussion; (c) anybody who makes a generalisation – however factual – about an entire ethnic or racial group; (d) anybody who makes a critical reference to an ethnic or racial group; (e) anybody who makes a negative comment about Muslims or Islam (despite the fact that neither constitute a race).

    You may recall that WHYS had a programme about the race-IQ controversy generated by an eminent scientist, or rather by the reaction to comments he’d made about Africans. If that programme hadn’t issued, and if somebody had introduced the subject into this forum, I have no doubt at all that he would have been mercilessly hounded as a ‘racist’.

    People really ought to think very carefully before throwing out this term.

    I did have a look at John’s posts and I have to say that nothing in them struck me as racist.

  201. 201 Tino
    July 13, 2008 at 14:15

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7503757.stm

    Now it is time for the US to follow suit and start backing up our own values over theres.

    As for the hijab:

    “Why we don’t wear it in front of those people, because they don’t look to us with bad, vicious eyes.
    The importance of Hijab is concentrate more on woman’s mind and personality rather than on her appearance.”

    So you are afraid men will look at you with bad, vicious eyes when you are uncovered? Maybe the Muslim men who go around beating and raping women (recent egyptian advert compared it to wrapped and unwrapped candy…) but in the West there is no such thing.

    As for it making one concentrate more on your mind/personality, that is also wrong. All I can think of when I see hijab/burqas on women is their appearance.

  202. 202 Tino
    July 13, 2008 at 14:18

    theres = theirs so there is no confusion, oops.

  203. 204 selena
    July 13, 2008 at 14:34

    @Victor

    You left out a biggie: anyone who says anything negative about the Jews.

    I,too, saw nothing racist in John’s posts.

    @ Abdi

    Please tell us what troubled you? It is important to say what is on your mind.

  204. July 13, 2008 at 15:00

    @ Victor13 & Selena

    Thank you for you’r concern about racist comnents!by
    John in Germany -who Wrote a very racist article ‘
    His comments were racist because of the following reasons-(not on negative thoughts about Islam but a bout Africa-)
    -He tells us-(the africans)-that we live only on-handouts-though he says in avery clever and in in-direct way!-
    -You see,you said ‘you don’t see anything racist in his comments”- Because you haven’t may be read it very carefully as you should!
    -He airs his view in such an arrogant manner!-which I beleive Mr John with his dignity and selfworth couldn’t have spoken in such a manner!
    If anyone else want to come in defence of John just as Victor and selena have done you’r well-come but please read his articles and give us reason!
    Best Wishes!,

  205. July 13, 2008 at 15:08

    @ Victor13
    My precious Victor13,you said…………..
    “I would support an absolute ban on the hijab/burkha in my society because it goes against our Western values and traditions when it comes to gender equality and women’s dignity (and as far as I’m concerned no woman in the West should be given the ‘choice’ of wearing these garments, any more than we’d ‘allow’ someone the choice of being a slave). But in a Muslim land, where practically all the men, and what would appear to be most of the women, support this kind of thing, I think it’s a waste of effort for a non-Westerner to take a stand against it”.
    I Can’t say anything,I leave it to LUBNA,AND ZEINAB
    @ LUBNA & ZEINAB
    Defend hijab that you are wearing right Know!

  206. 207 victork13
    July 13, 2008 at 15:15

    @Abdi: could you quote directly from what John wrote? I looked again, and simply couldn’t see anything that corresponded to what you paraphrased.

    Give us the text you object to and the specific grounds you have for regarding it as ‘racist’.

  207. 208 victork13
    July 13, 2008 at 15:25

    @Abdi, re the hijab/burkha: your quote from my post about this contains a semantic typo by me. What I meant to write (and I’ve now corrected the entry) was: “But in a Muslim land, where practically all the men, and what would appear to be most of the women, support this kind of thing, I think it’s a waste of effort for a Westerner to take a stand against it”. [‘non-Westerner’ corrected to read ‘Westerner’].

    I don’t see any reason for Lubna or Zainab to defend the wearing of the hijab/burqa, any more than a Western woman should defend to a Muslim the wearing of skirts or bikinis. If it’s appropriate to the particular society and culture, then very well. My point was that it is the business of Muslims alone how they conduct themselves in their societies (apart from the practice of genocide or mass murder); and it is for Westerners alone to decide what should be permitted in their societies (and I don’t think that should ever include the hijab/burkha).

    Sorry for any confusion.

  208. July 13, 2008 at 15:33

    @ Victor 13
    My precious friend,please let’s stop this racist topic at there! I am sure later in evening Mr John in Germany will come to his defence.Let’s wait and see what he has to say!
    Congrugalations for defending John,I like that!

  209. July 13, 2008 at 15:40

    The comments that John in Germany wrote a bove are not racist and I have honestly Approved them -The one I felt was “sounds racist”-is no longer on this Blank Page!-in other words I have deleted the long Article my Friend John in germany Wrote!-

    So if there is anyone out there Probably Mark Sendell,chloe,Ros or Karnie can tell me how to retrieve deleted items in the Blog..through my yahoo email address so that i can quote were exactly i felt was a racist chart against us-the Africans!-

  210. 212 Shirley
    July 13, 2008 at 15:41

    A tangent to the discussion on hijab:
    Here in the West, we sometimes have moments of co-operation between Muslim groups and liberal or progressive movements. In general, liberals and progressives campaign to gain more civil liberties for people so that they have the freedom to live their lives as they please. But at the personal level, is this really their goal? One of the reasons that the relationship between the two groups is periodic and not more steady or long-term is because the Muslim groups are expected to live their lives in a way that fits the liberal and progressive worldview. For example, a Muslim activist would be accepted if she dressed as most non-Muslim westerners do, if he dated, if they went out to drink and dance at clubs every Thursday, etc. But when a Muslim reserves his Fridays for congregational worship, or regularly wears a headscarf and robes, or declines to attend meetings at clubs or bars, that vision of one’s freedom to live his life as he pleases turns into demands that one expose her skin or go bar-hopping with the rest of the gang.

    Is it that hard for them to understand that our freedom to live our lives as we please means that we will conduct our lives according to our religious beliefs, even if it means that we are perfectly happy to do so? (yes, I intended that particular wording) That we do not share the mainstream Western vision of the pursuit of happiness; that our pursuit of happiness is achieved by means foreign to theirs? Yes, we share the goals of a more sustainable lifestyle and preservation of the environment. Yes, we share the goals of the liberation of nations subjected to occupation and oppressive dictatorships. And Yes, we firmly believe in the freedom to dress, worship, and enjoy ourselves according to our preferred ways, even if those ways are religious. In my view, religion need not be an enemy to freedom and peace.

  211. 213 victork13
    July 13, 2008 at 15:42

    @Abdi: happy for this to be my last post on the subject of racism..

    It was less a matter of defending John than of failing, despite repeated attempts by me, to identify what in his posts could require a defence.

    Sometimes it’s a bit too easy to charge somebody with racism, but a little bit more challenging to supply evidence to make the charge stick. ‘Racist’ is a serious charge (the kind of thing that, if true, could get the offender banned from this forum). I think that people have a responsibility to use the word and make the charge only when there is clear-cut evidence to support it, and not just as an expression of disagreement or distaste for another’s opinion.

  212. 214 steve
    July 13, 2008 at 15:42

    @ selena

    some of the comments about Jews on here were that jews infect school systems with “jew indoctrination”. You don’t see a problem with that?

  213. July 13, 2008 at 15:48

    Should 16-year-old Kenyans marry, drive and vote?
    My Comments!
    This is the question that has got Kenyans debating seriously in recent weeks. Are our teenagers (for that is what they are) ready to tackle the adult world? With our traditions almost completely adulterated by western culture, it is widely believed that there is no longer a system where families and communities can adequately equip their young ones with the right “tools” to handle adult issues.

    Nevertheless, Immigration minister Otieno Kajwang has opened up a big debate with a controversial proposal to issue national identity cards to 16 and 17 year olds. This proposal has drawn massive reactions from Kenyans with those for and those against the move. But even those for the move have reservations about the “readiness” of our teenagers to grasp the responsibilities that come with being an adult.

    One week ago, Kajwang said he would table before the Cabinet a proposal to lower the age at which a Kenyan becomes eligible to enjoy “adult rights” such as the right to be issued with a National Identity card and therefore to vote; the right to marry and the right to drive.

    I dare ask: Should 16-year-old Kenyans marry, drive and vote?

  214. July 13, 2008 at 15:54

    Is MPs’ clamour for grand opposition genuine? some of Our MPs’ here in Kenya were asking for Grand Oppossition After the Formation of Grand Coalition Government!
    They have surfaced forcefully in an unusual and unexpected manner to haunt the leadership of the delicate Grand Coalition Government at a most critical time. Meet the emerging abrasive crop of legislators in the Tenth Parliament determined to keep the Government on its toes.

    In a clear disregard of the peace accord brokered by former United Nations Secretary General, Dr Kofi Annan that led to the creation of a grand coalition government, the MPs are now pushing for the exact opposite — a grand coalition opposition.

    Are party bosses guilty of promoting dictatorial traits or are the legislators rebels crying foul for missing out on Cabinet positions? Alternatively, are they heroes of a just cause?

  215. 217 victork13
    July 13, 2008 at 15:57

    “Is it that hard for them [Western liberals] to understand that our freedom to live our lives as we please means that we will conduct our lives according to our religious beliefs, even if it means that we are perfectly happy to do so?”

    And wouldn’t that freedom, I ask, be most fully enjoyed in a Muslim country?

    As a Westerner I don’t expect any Muslim country to change its traditional way of life or compromise its values to accommodate people from my culture. I think the Saudis are perfectly entitled to ban non-Muslims from Mecca, and to forbid the building of Churches, temples and synagogues on their soil. I have no problem with Moroccans banning the Bible. Muslims are in a majority in Egypt and so the Coptic Christian minority (whose country it originally was prior to having it stolen from them by successful Jihad) have no choice but to accept their dhimmi status. etc. But why is it so hard for Muslims to understand that as a Westerner, I reserve exactly the same right to determine what is and is not acceptable to the traditions and values of my society? I and my fellow Westerners are fully entitled to decide that Islam is incompatible with our way of life, that we should not extend the principle of freedom of religion to an ideology that is hostile to the well-being of our societies, and that Muslims in Western societies must conform to our core values (including dressing in ways that we find acceptable) or re-locate to an environment more agreeable to them. I also favour – inspired by the Moroccan example – banning the Koran as hate speech.

  216. 218 Tino
    July 13, 2008 at 16:04

    “I and my fellow Westerners are fully entitled to decide that Islam is incompatible with our way of life, that we should not extend the principle of freedom of religion to an ideology that is hostile to the well-being of our societies, and that Muslims in Western societies must conform to our core values (including dressing in ways that we find acceptable) or re-locate to an environment more agreeable to them. I also favour – inspired by the Moroccan example – banning the Koran as hate speech.”

    Exactly. Could not have said it better.

  217. July 13, 2008 at 16:20

    @ Tino
    Islam is areligion that preaches peace-Muslims are known for their kindness,and patience.It’s also a duty of every Muslim person to protect his/her religion against external a buses and discriminations!,Though I must admit that some of my fellow Muslims do attack innocent people in the name of ‘protecting islam”-it’s wrong to attack aperson!,
    The Quran not the “kuran’ as you have wrote is a miracolous scripture which guides mankind to the right direction,so if anyone bans it as a hate speech he will be wasting his time!Because the Quran is Memorised off-head by over 2 billion Muslims across the Globe-hence it’s Durability for forever!

  218. July 13, 2008 at 16:30

    @ Julie P
    Thank you very much for You’r Link..
    Poor economy stalls couples’ divorce plans,-indeed it’s true..But why do people fall in Love when they have Money,and when their is no Money,their is no LOve!
    Here in Nairobi I was having a drink in Hotel here in Eastleigh another Beautiful lady from my somali speaking tribe come to me and said “I LOVE YOU BECAUSE YOU ARE DRESSED VERY NICELY AND YOU HAVE A EXPENSIVE MOBILE!I was suprised beyond words.
    So it’s clear that ladies don’t us but they love the person we are.
    Julie can defend you’r fellow ladies on this habit!

  219. 222 Tino
    July 13, 2008 at 16:34

    Abdi,

    The early verses may preach peace, but those delivered later do not. Using the generally accepted concept of abrogation in the Qur’an, one concludes that the book does NOT preach peace – which you allude to by admitting your fellow muslims attack innocent people with a religious justification. Any other book that called for jihad on some other group and called Christians and Jews apes and pigs, among many other things, would likely be banned under that legislation.

  220. 223 Shirley
    July 13, 2008 at 16:59

    Victor, in Saudi Arabia, women are forced to cover their faces. To the best of my knowledge, the law to this effect was passed not because of a belief that it is religiously mandated, but because covering the face is perceived to be part of the Saudi culture. The women there are also made to wear black robes. Again, my understanding is that this is not based on any religious edict, but on the fact that this is perceived to be part of Saudi culture. I think that Saddam also used to have a law mandating that men not grow beards. Obviously, there is no rleiigous basis for banning hair on the chin and jaw. He made the law because he was legislating Iraqi cultural norms: it is a common hairstyle in that part of the world to sport a moustache on the upper lip and no beard at all on the chin. Turkey has their law banning the hijab in universities and certain jobs. If we in the West legislate how a person dresses based on cultural norms, are we any better than they? How does such legisation work with the Constitutional principle of pursuit of happiness and freedom of expression?

    In my opinion, to legislate a prohibition on clothing styles goes against the kind of human freedom that is associated with a democratic society. It reminds me more of the kinds of laws that Saudi Arabia and Saddam’s Iraq pass and used to pass.

  221. 224 Shirley
    July 13, 2008 at 17:01

    Hi, Bob
    When I read the transcript of the PBS Frontline show on Darfur, I realised that it was world pressure from activists and grassroots organisations that caused any action at all to be taken. International pressure also kept a lid on Bush’s pick as ambassador to the UN. Perhaps that same kind of pressure could spark some forward movement in terms of re-distributing power in the UN. It is a lot of hard work, though. The amount of man-hours, writing, calling, organising, mobilising, public speaking, etc. is enough to overwhelm the average person. It would take a dedicated core of people who would regularly rally the rest of the people in order to keep such an issue in the spotlight. Is there that kind of support? Or do we need more squeaky wheels? Do you sometimes feel as if the only check left in the system of checks and balances is the voice of the people, and that only when you cannot ignore the people any longer for fear of mass rioting?

    About population control: do you think that if people in the developing world were better supplied with health care and contraceptive methods that they would, of their own accord, not have so many children? I do not think thtthe psychology of the african people is so different form that of American people. We have some access – certainly inadequate, but some access, nonetheless – to health care. We are generally able to stave off hunger and even nourish our families. This leads to a greater potential that our children will survive into adulthood. We don’t have the pressure that we did 200 years ago to have huge families so that perhaps three of our children would survive and have children fo their own; and we have of our own accord reduced our family size in accordance with the relative health of our society. Wouldn’t it make sense that if other people around the world were given the same opportunities of access to health care and nutritious food, they would choose of their own accord to have smaller families? Maybe the solution is not so much in legislating population control as it is in raising the standard of living for people in developing nations. I also feel, though, that there should be some equalising force so that the people at the top no longer waste resources inordinately and leave the rest of us at the bottom without adequate resources to sustain a healthy life.

  222. 225 Shirley
    July 13, 2008 at 17:03

    Luz María & Active Children
    Oh, Luz, you would not believe the things that happen sometimes! The women’s section at one mosque that I used to attend had a very steady supply of babies; and I was witness to crashes, falls, fights, and all sorts of injurious activity. Usually, we saw plenty of busted lips; I actually witnessed one child break the nose one time while sleeping! Kids are that active. When I have my own, I think that I will become a nervous wreck.

    Katharina, your comment about both parents working brought a quesiton to my mind: Does Europe have the same problem that he U.S. does in that it is nearly impossible for one income alone to support the household? I strongly feel that wages should be adjusted to cost of living such that one income can support the financial needs of a family so that parents can be more involved in the raising fo their children.

  223. 226 Julie P
    July 13, 2008 at 17:07

    @Abdi,

    People marry for a lot of different reasons; however, from the way I understand it, people divorce for three basic reasons; money, children, and sex. Concerning money, it may be a cultural difference from where you live than where I live. Within in my culture it breaks down along economic status, i.e. working, middle, and upper middle class. Normally it breaks down like this: those with a high school education marry right out of high school, those with a bachelor degree marry after graduation or somewhere near there, and so with master’s or Ph.D., although some will marry during their studies. From what I have witnessed couples normally start out with nothing and build lives together. After that things become complex as people make decisions on common and personal goals. I happen to feel that people do not talk enough about money prior to marriage. Some men and women are fiscally conservative, and others are not. I think both men and women make poor choices of mates based on a more primal urge, sex. Speaking for myself, I often have a difficult time getting men to slow down and date, to build a friendship and to see if we have shared values, which includes money. Often times I find men are attracted to me because I am self made, that I have taken a couple of major life set backs, but have managed to succeed in spite of that. I think both men and women like to be around people like that, but too often I think either sex have rescue fantasies. Since I have succeeded, in this case means financially, men are more attracted to me. That is the external environment. In my family divorce is rare. There have been two, both because of infidelity on the husbands parts. I watched my parents struggle different life phases, and I saw them have bitter fights along the way. Interesting enough they have no memory of them.

    That said, on your question about the woman in hotel bar. Two things: bars are a bad place to meet people and can lead people to form opinions about the opposite sex based on those encounters. I think people are extremely shallow in that environment. I discontinued going to bars because of that. The second is I find that are men who like to flaunt their success and I should throw myself at them. Not! Defend her and other women like her? Chances are they are not anyone I would like to know. I have a tendency to rid myself of people like that. Both sexes. They are a blight.

  224. 227 Tino
    July 13, 2008 at 17:34

    “To the best of my knowledge, the law to this effect was passed not because of a belief that it is religiously mandated, but because covering the face is perceived to be part of the Saudi culture.”

    No way. They justify it with a religious basis. It is not part of Saudi culture, as many other Muslim countries have similar rules. It is religious in nature, just as a hijab is worn for religious reasons.

    “If we in the West legislate how a person dresses based on cultural norms, are we any better than they?”

    I do not care about being better. I care about protecting my own culture. Turkey’s laws are excellent – secular establishments are kept secular. Something that covers a woman entirely while allowing men 100% freedom in their dress is against what women in the west pushed long and hard to get – equality. Our culture has this equality as a cornerstone and allowing it to be tossed aside for a religion that promotes hated of us is a ridiculously bad idea. If their book tells them to wage war on infidels I fail to see why those infidels should extend their own freedoms to them…

  225. 228 Shirley
    July 13, 2008 at 17:36

    Victor, Tino,
    I honestly feel that your advocacy of the legal implementation of a certain culture and the banishment of others is, essentially, a call for ethnic cleansing and the establishment of the same kind of nationalist state that was established under Nazi Germany. It goes against the concept of a multicultural and democratic society in which every person is equally afforded the right to pursue his own happiness and to express himself as he sees fit. And to call for the removal of a people who wish only to freely exercise their religion and pursue their lives in a manner that pleases them on the basis of their religion or their ethnicicty smacks of the very racism, in my opinion, against which our country was established and contravenes the very principles set forth in our Declaration of Independence and our Constitution, both of which are available online for the perusal of anyone who wants to examine their texts.

    Regarding the conept of abrogation, the idea that some verses revealed later than other verses abrogate the verses which were revealed earlier is one of the simplistic distortions of Islamic methodology employed by the Salafists and other modernists who have been trying to change Islam. I find it strange that anyone would agree that their simplistic methods of literal translation and selective approval of texts is an appropriate way to approach religious source-texts, unless, like them, those who agree with such methods have a pre-set agenda that they are determined to pursue at any expense, even the dismissal of legitimate religious and political methods in favour of more radical and fanatic methods.

  226. July 13, 2008 at 17:41

    DO YOU WANT TO KNOW MORE A BOUT YOU”R HOST AND MODERATOR FOR BLANK PAGE NO.15

    Here is my photo taken 7 day’s ago with Ros!in Kenya
    Me and Abdi

    Here is a previous blank page No.10 which I Moderated!
    https://worldhaveyoursay.wordpress.com/2008/06/06/blank-page-no-10/

  227. July 13, 2008 at 17:49

    A WONDERFUL AND A EXCELLENT LINK A BOUT KENYA,WITH WONDERFUL PHOTO”S!,THAT YOU WOULD NEVER HAVE WISHED TO MISS!…………….
    http://www.invest-in-kenya.com/biodiesel.html

  228. 231 Tino
    July 13, 2008 at 18:07

    “I find it strange that anyone would agree that their simplistic methods of literal translation and selective approval of texts is an appropriate way to approach religious source-texts, unless, like them, those who agree with such methods have a pre-set agenda that they are determined to pursue at any expense, even the dismissal of legitimate religious and political methods in favour of more radical and fanatic methods.”

    How is saying the peaceful verses override the violent ones not selective approval? It is identical in methodology to do that. As for interpreting it literally, most Muslims believe it to be to word of god and the perfect book, free from error, so how else would one interpret it under those guidelines?

    “I honestly feel that your advocacy of the legal implementation of a certain culture and the banishment of others is, essentially, a call for ethnic cleansing and the establishment of the same kind of nationalist state that was established under Nazi Germany.”

    This is just ridiculous. Nowhere does either of us state we wish to exterminate muslims. Not once. We simply state that we do not wish their culture to override ours. As victor has said, if you would like to repress women and offer them less rights and live by sharia law – there are places to do that and we should not be accommodating such attitudes as they run contrary to OUR western culture.

    “manner that pleases them on the basis of their religion or their ethnicicty smacks of the very racism”

    Racism = race. Islam = religion. Please understand the huge difference. A race cannot be changed, a religion is a set of freely held beliefs wide open to criticism. Especially if said religion calls for my death for not believing in Allah.

    “It goes against the concept of a multicultural and democratic society in which every person is equally afforded the right to pursue his own happiness and to express himself as he sees fit.”

    The problem of tolerance is that it tolerates those who are intolerant. Islam is an intolerant faith – as evidenced by the draconian laws in all Islamic countries. Once one permits an intolerant position, you can quickly see how it forces their ways upon others. Look at Harvard’s gym hours, plenty of segregated sex use in pool hours, banning of piggy banks, objecting to puppy adverts, objecting to use of sniffer dogs, rioting over cartoons, firebombing danish embassies over cartoons, CAIR calling for Islam to not be one of the faiths in America – but the DOMINANT one. Once Islam is given an inch it takes a mile. I believe victor and myself are simply advocating not giving an inch.

    My position would change upon Islamic reform, but in that area I am not holding my breath…

  229. 232 Tino
    July 13, 2008 at 18:09

    More rational logic to support abrogation:

    If someone tells you two contradictory things, do you assume the first one or the second is correct? I know if someone told me they wanted to be friends and later said they hated me and wished me the worst – I am not going to believe the first….especially if evidence backed up the second. (it does in this case)

  230. July 13, 2008 at 18:18

    @ Tino
    contrdictios’
    I think it’s good to monitor someone very closely before excepting him/her as afriend,instead of be-friending the wrong person only for him to wish you the worst later!

    @ Islam

    Islam encourages good public relationship!

  231. 234 victork13
    July 13, 2008 at 18:18

    @Shirley: there are two things about the hijab/burqa that it’s difficult to understand. The first is how, when Muslims themselves boast that Islam permeates every aspect of their lives, including how they dress, some of them can then claim that the hijab/burqa is nothing to do with Islam at all and just a reflection of secular(!) culture. The second is how the wearing of the hijab/burqa is to be found in a variety of societies, most having very different cultural roots, but all having one thing alone in common: Islam. But, we are to believe, the hijab/burqa is a spontaneous non-Islamic cultural phenomenon that just happens to be gaining ground in Islamic societies and communities, and nowhere else. It’s curious how, when some of these societies have non-Muslim minorities who are just as indigenous to the country as Muslims (sometimes more so) none of those minorities wears the hijab/burqa, despite its supposedly non-secular and purely cultural antecedents.

  232. 235 victork13
    July 13, 2008 at 18:25

    @Shirley: I’m not a liberal and I don’t hold with the programme of Western liberals. I don’t think that liberal values are universal and suited to all societies. I think President Bush was as well-intentioned as he was wrong when he claimed that all people want ‘freedom’ and ‘democracy’. They don’t. I am, though, able to recognise and respect the virtues of non-liberal, or even illiberal, societies and practices. I have a great deal of respect for the position of most Muslim countries on abortion, for example, a position that would send most of our Western liberals into hysterics. I can now, in retrospect at least, give a dictator like Saddam his due, as the kind of man necessary to maintain order amongst a people like the Iraqis. Toppling him was an error, since Iraqis are quite obviously only capable of making something of themselves under the rule of an iron-fisted despot. Similarly with the Saudis. There’s no reason to think that Sauid Arabia can do any better than the House of Saud, which is good enough for me. The Saudis, in fact, teach us in the West a very important lesson: an illiberal society that is able to maintain its existence by committing itself to, and acting on, clear beliefs about itself and its survival, is superior to a liberal society that refuses on principle to commit itself to any kind of belief, including a belief in the validity of its way of life and the paramount importance of its right to exist. Liberal laissez faire, permit everything, is not a system of belief: it amounts to the negation of belief, which is why liberals are always at a disadvantage when faced with anybody, from bin Laden to the rulers of the old Soviet Union, who actually believes in something, including their right to dominate and rule liberals and liberal societies.

  233. 236 victork13
    July 13, 2008 at 18:25

    @Shirley: That’s why I reject your “argumentum ad Hitlerum”: “If we in the West legislate how a person dresses based on cultural norms, are we any better than they [Saudi Arabia, Saddam, Turkey].” We are not better than them. We have our way of life in the West, which suits us, and they have theirs, which suits them. But they are better than us in one important respect: they never allow the hostile opinion of the rest of the world to deter them from doing what’s in the interests of their society and its survival (though the Turkish establishment have foolishly started to give ground, under pressure from the dogmatic liberals of the European Union, on their traditional, and wise, hostility to Islam. Ataturk was a Turkish nationalist but he obviously hated Islam, which he exorcised from his country’s public life, and would probably have eradicated completely if he had thought that practical).

    I’m happy to be thought worse than Saudi Arabia or Saddam for supporting actions that will preserve the integrity and existence of my society and way of life. I believe in many things that Western liberals do – such as freedom of religion – but unlike them I believe that such things are only possible in a certain social and cultural context, and that it is more important to maintain and defend that context than to unthinkingly and absolutely apply a principle like ‘freedom of religion’ in a way that will destroy the society and culture that makes such a freedom possible in the first place. That means treating Islam, which is destructive of the Western way of life, as an alien intrusion, to be heavily regulated or, if necessary, completely banned.

  234. July 13, 2008 at 18:36

    Can we talk more about Free Primary Education!,
    The mission of the Ministry of Education is “To provide, promote and co-ordinate lifelong education, training and research for Kenya’s sustainable development. To focus on priority areas within overall education goals, notably towards attaining ‘universal primary education’ by 2005, within the context of the wider objective of ‘Education for All (EFA)’ by 2015”

    The Kenyan Education system provides for eights years of primary, four years of Secondary and four years of University Education. This system was introduced in 1985. This is commonly referred to as (8:4:4) system of Education.

    Government expenditure on Education is substantial and higher than any other sector.
    Primary Education is free and compulsory. Secondary Education tuition is subsidized for students in Day Schools and the Goverment provides fees guidelines to all public schoools.University Education is subsidized for those selected through the Universities Joint Admission Board.

    For those who meet the entry requirement for University admission and are not selected they have the opportunity to join the University under the parallel degree program and pay the requisite fees cahrged for the various discipline.

    What is the situation like in you’r country?..I love to hear from you all!…….I love to hear from the other 4 Continent!

  235. July 13, 2008 at 18:38

    The Kenya government, through the Ministry of Health strives to provide quality healthcare for all citizens so that they may lead economically and socially productive lives.The provision of Health services in Kenya is liberalized. There are Public/Goverment Hospitals and Private Hospitals

    The provision of Healthcare services in Government Hospitals is either free or subsidised on cost sharing basis.

    Currently there are 2 Referral Hospitals in Kenya: Kenyatta National Hospital and Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital.Does you’r country have similar health care services?

  236. July 13, 2008 at 19:06

    WATCH A VIDEO CLIP OF POSTCARD FROM UGANDA'(this was taken when WHYS visited Africa last year!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/worldhaveyoursay/2007/05/postcard_from_uganda.html

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/worldhaveyoursay/2007/05/postcard_from_ghana.html

    More comments about Africa by former WHYS team who have now left WHYS..Read what vicky,shona,james,David and Richards Robben have to say a bout Africa!
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/worldhaveyoursay/2007/05/africa_over_and_out.html

  237. 241 victork13
    July 13, 2008 at 19:18

    @Shirley: you wrote, “I honestly feel that your advocacy of the legal implementation of a certain culture and the banishment of others is, essentially, a call for ethnic cleansing and the establishment of the same kind of nationalist state that was established under Nazi Germany. It goes against the concept of a multicultural and democratic society….”

    No, not to legally implement a culture, but to regulate or forbid an ideology that is inimical to the established culture. Muslims do this as a matter of course with other religions; non-Muslims are just as entitled to do the same.

    I don’t recall anybody offering a view about the physical treatment of Muslims. My approach parallels Islamic practice, except that what I recommend would involve subjecting Muslims in the West to a kind of dhimmi status (what’s sauce for the goose…). What I would hope to see is the gradual extinction of Islam in the West, as Muslims abandoned their faith or decided they’d rather practice it elsewhere. There would be no ethnic cleansing. Muslims have shown that the strategy, properly applied, can be highly effective, as the current state of Christian North Africa, Christian Egypt, Christian Turkey (Byzantium), Christian Syria, Hindu Pakistan, Zoroastrian Iran, Buddhist Afghanistan etc makes clear. I don’t see how any Muslim can object to being treated by non-Muslims in just the same way as they have treated non-Muslims.

    I reject ‘multiculturalism’ and diversity as liberal prejudices. Every established society is entitled to insist on a common public culture and to suppress anything that challenges or is incompatible with that culture. All Muslim states agree with me on this point when it comes to their internal affairs; but hypcritically many Muslims insist on applying a different standard when it comes to the West.

    Democracy is not an end in itself. It’s a means. It’s concerned with how a society is governed, not how a society is constituted. Democracy cannot be pleaded in defence of practices which threaten a society’s composition and existence. In time of war people immediately place democcracy behind the need to secure national existence. They would be suicidal not to. Democracy is a contingent good.

    Your reference to the Nazis is empty name-calling.

    Tino has already pointed out that ‘racism’ is inapplicable to an ideology or creed like Islam. I think it would come as news to America’s founders to discover, as you allege, that ‘racism’ was the thing “against which our country was established”. The approximately 1/5th of the population who were slaves in 1776 would also raise an eyebrow at that one.

    Your position is summed up in these words of Louis Veuillot: “When I am the weaker, I ask you for my freedom, because that is your principle; but when I am the stronger, I take away your freedom, because that is my principle.”

  238. 242 nelsoni
    July 13, 2008 at 19:42

    @ the Moderators,

    I have got a printed copy of the house rules and I have studied it carefully.So i wonder why some legal comments I made suddenly vanished? I need answers

  239. 243 Luz Ma
    July 13, 2008 at 20:08

    @Katharina

    I agree with you about child psychologists as parents. I know a few that are not good either. Usually they do not put limits on their children regarding bad behaviour.

    I am enrolling my daughter in sports. Luckily, my husband was also a “spirited” child, so he knows what works best for her. He is still very active, so he does not have trouble keeping up with her.

    @Shirley

    Thanks for your words 🙂

  240. 244 Venessa
    July 13, 2008 at 20:41

    nelsoni~

    I just checked the spam and I did not find any of your comments. I did recover one of Shirley’s. Did you possibley have links etc attached to the comments that did not appear?

  241. 245 nelsoni
    July 13, 2008 at 20:56

    @ Venessa. No links. It was a response to what Victork13 said about darfur last night. Well if you can’t find it, It’s Ok. I will take as one of those things. Hope you are enjoying your moderating. Thanks for your speedy response

  242. 246 Katharina in Ghent
    July 13, 2008 at 22:06

    @ Shirley:

    I don’t think that it’s absolutely necessary in Europe for both parents to work, in my brothers case she stayed at home for something like eight years, and then she started her own gift shop because she was bored senseless at home (see: not putting too much effort in him), also in my own family, if I really wanted to and we cut down on our expenses just a bit, I could probably stay at home full time. Problem is that I get seriously frustrated when I’m at home all day over an extended period of time. In general, schooling and health care are being taken care of in probably all European countries, so that alone takes a big burden of a family. Public transportation is more than just hear-say, so you can do without a car or only one car. Car-insurances (when you haven’t had an accident) are also reasonable, so yes, I believe that most families would be able to make it with one income, at least for a while. The only thing you have to watch out for are landlords, the owner of the last apartment where I lived has just taken us to the cleaners… there goes our holiday. 😦

  243. 247 nelsoni
    July 13, 2008 at 22:30

    @ Abdi : About the right time for Marriage,

    Well I can speak from the perspective of a guy.
    Personally, I will be ready for marriage When I have the Financial Capablity to cater for a Family, there’s no point jumping into marriage only for your wife and kids to suffer as a result of your financial diarrhoea

    2. I will get married after achiving some certain dreams, though Many married people will hate to admit it, there are a lot of things they would have loved to achived before getting married ….

    3. When the right person comes along….

    to be continued

  244. 248 Bryan
    July 13, 2008 at 23:37

    Bob in Queensland July 13, 2008 at 10:59 am

    “@ Bryan

    I wonder if Tony Blair would have agreed with you about the pro-Labour bias the morning he heard Andrew Gilligan’s report about how Labour “sexed up” intelligence reports to justify the Iraq war?”

    Yes, this is a fair point. The BBC could hardly be accused of being pro-Labour here. But I think they saw Blair joining up with Bush to attack Iraq as an enormous betrayal of the left-wing ideology the BBC shares with labour.

    However, if this is the only point you can find, you shouldn’t be turning around and accusing me of the same thing you are doing:

    “If you’re judging BBC impartiality (or the lack there of) on one 11 year old sound clip, have a look at the ENTIRE output. You’ll find things pretty closely balanced.”

    It’s not an eleven-year-old clip, by the way. The two were reminiscing last year about the ’97 elections. I don’t know why you assume that I base my entire judgement of the BBC’s political slant on one incident. I have become aware of literally thousands of such clear examples of left wing bias from the BBC over the years. And the bias has been documented throughout the internet.

    I also don’t buy your explanation that the BBC staff were simply drinking because it was an election. They were celebrating the Labour victory. Have another look at Jane Garvey’s words from the transcript I provided at 10:08 am. She gave the game away, quickly realised what she had done, tried to backtrack and fumbled with some damage control, realised it was useless and concluded with, “Wish I hadn’t started this now.”

    Ex-BBC staff have also provided clear evidence of the left-wing, pro-Labour bias. Have a look at Robin Aitken and Anthony Jay, to mention just two. I am afraid the game is up, old chap, and it has been for quite some time.

    Abdi July 13, 2008 at 1:44 pm

    “@ Bryan

    ON SADAM HUSSEIN!

    Why Do I say that He is Innocent?-

    He Never Had weapons of Mass Destructions in which he was a ccused of been in a possesion of!-”

    Yes, that is what everyone says, forgetting that he used weapons of mass destruction on the Kurds, gassing them in their thousands, leaving men, women and children to die in agony. What happened to his remaining WMDs is anyone’s guess. They are probably in Syria.

    “Since He was A muslim the A merican wanted to topple him out of Power!”

    No, it was because he was a sub-human monster and very dangerous indeed. It had nothing to do with the fact that he was a Muslim. I find it difficult to believe that anyone can defend him.

  245. 249 Pangolin Hussein- California
    July 14, 2008 at 00:58

    @ Hijab- I must say that I am dead set against the spread of Islam in the US if it was the form of Islam that is prevalent in either Iran or Saudi Arabia. Nor do I see any problem with banning Hijab in the workplace or banning the requirement of HIjab by a Muslim business owner.

    Showing up at work in a Hijab is as disruptive as if a woman wore a hot pink, lycra T-shirt and mini with ‘slave’ in bold lettering and a studded dog collar. Every new person that walks in the door would spend more time dealing with the mode of dress than purchasing goods or services.

    Here in California we have learned one thing from hard experience is that once a religious group starts demanding that the women wear odd uniforms those women are effectively slaves. Their lives always involve lists of restrictions that the men are exempt from and revolve around service to husbands and family.

    It is also useful to note that almost every Muslim-majority country REQUIRES Hijab and harshly punishes those that refuse to wear it or speak out against it. As such it is not a matter of choice or freedom but a demand by those in power that they comply with Islamic law.

    More important to me than freedom of religion is freedom FROM religion. I don’t want the state dictating what I believe any more than a Muslim would appreciate being forced to wear a Speedo swimsuit and a crucifix.

  246. 250 nelsoni
    July 14, 2008 at 01:16

    @ all

    I was going through the house rules earlier on today. (I have a printed Copy). The rules says something about long posts.

    The House Rules
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/help/4176520.stm

    I think that a quite a number of us are guilty of violating that part of the rules.Quite a number of these Posts are Intelligently written and sthemome of could be mistaken for abstracts or a literature view for a thesis because of thier lenghts. Let’s see how we can make our posts shorter and easier to read.

    Kind Regards

  247. 251 Dennis :(
    July 14, 2008 at 01:23

    Hi friends…..

    Sorry for not playing in the BLANK PAGE sandbox with you…My laptop is
    having some PROBLEMS….

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

  248. 252 Julie P
    July 14, 2008 at 02:16

    @Nelsoni,

    We’ll do better on the length of our postings. 🙂

    As an aside. Could you picture us at all an open bar? We sure would be a bunch of talkative drunks!

  249. 253 Dennis :(
    July 14, 2008 at 03:41

    Julie,
    it would be alot of drunks at that party.

    Dennis~Syracuse, N.Y.

  250. 254 Shirley
    July 14, 2008 at 04:20

    Katharina, Yo’ve given an amazing insight. I must admit that two of my biggest fears related to doing the family thing are health care and housing. I have sworn off house ownership because of all of the muddy troubles that I have seen here in the States. I am not sure if Europe and beyond are also having the same troubles with home purchases. I’d much rather rent an apartment. Even after I had someone quote me the cost of home insurance and yearly home taxes, the mortgage mess scares m profoundly. Health care – it is so difficult to get good coverage out here without selling off one’s own arms and legs to afford it. It’s scary.

  251. 255 Shirley
    July 14, 2008 at 04:25

    Tino, Victor, Pangolin
    Are you all assuming that if the government of the United States allows Muslims to live in this country and practise their religion, they would take over the country and impose their rleigion and religious laws on everyone else? To me, such an idea seems preposterous enough to sound comical.

  252. 256 Bob in Queensland
    July 14, 2008 at 04:48

    @ nelsoni

    Thanks for posting the timely reminder about posting length–when I logged on this morning I noticed some very long ones and was debating what to say! Doing my “Mark” imitation, I’d just remind everyone that WHYS is a place for discussion, not long speeches!

  253. 257 Bob in Queensland
    July 14, 2008 at 04:56

    @ Shirley

    Do you sometimes feel as if the only check left in the system of checks and balances is the voice of the people, and that only when you cannot ignore the people any longer for fear of mass rioting?

    I basically do agree with you, though in the “west” it’s not so much the fear of rioting that catches a politician’s attention; it’s the effect on the weekly popularity polls that gets them interested.

    Following on from the earlier part of the conversation that started this train of thought, the media bear a terrible responsibility. A stroke of an editor’s pen can decide whether a story is given the “oxygen of publicity” or not. If I lived in Darfur, I’d hate to think my future depended on whether the editor of a main newscast has an extra minute to fill or not–and the choice for that minute is between my life or cute pictures of a waterskiing squirrel!

    Alas, that’s the sort of choice programme editors make several times a day.

  254. 258 Bob in Queensland
    July 14, 2008 at 05:02

    @ Many, regarding “abrogation”

    I’ve found this an interesting debate and would just like to toss in a question:

    Doesn’t exactly the same thing happen with the bible, except in reverse. The old testament is full of fire and brimstone and stoning sinners. It’s only when get to the new testament that peace and “loving your neighbour” start to be the catch phrases.

    However, depending which version of Christianity you follow, you may still find an awful lot of preaching of the old testament values.

    Just as Islam can be peaceful or violent depending on which verses you follow, the same can apply to Christianity (though admittedly to a lesser extent).

  255. 259 Mohamed
    July 14, 2008 at 05:05

    Dear Human rights activists,
    I am calling from the small nation namely, Rep of Maldives in the Indian Ocean. As the world knows that Maldives is on its way to start the 7 th term election. I urge international community to monitor this election because I have seen and experienced the brutal way of enforcing and supporting to win the election by the current leader. I was in the military for the past decade and have enough information how this election will pass and the route how the will not be free and fare.
    There are major 7 ways that current ruler of Maldives gotten to win his election.
    1- Proposing he is the leader of the religion and the only person who knows the actual religion
    2- Giving small loans to the public and locking the income opportunities around the country, so that always people will be afraid that they will be sentenced if they don’t pay back on time.
    3- Running the government share private companies and closing the income opportunities to the potential people.
    4- Enforcing Army officials and police official to support him or the threat will be, loosing the job or lacking the promotion.( There will be a way that ,they will find a way to throw the person if they find guilty of not voting him)
    5- Strengthening the power of the team by giving illegal opportunities to the rich people and family people even if they don’t have enough capacity or education to serve the people. He offers people’s money to his own needs.
    6- The person is definitely proud being a president of the poor people and nation. So that his major objective is to show his richness life to international community. But a person in this country is in hunger and fighting for inflation.
    7- Previous ballot box has got two keys for one lock, so that they can be changed after finish the session or while in transportation. All these are done by army or police heads of this nation. They act as a slave of the ruler, but forgotten that the people of this nation has some rights.

    Please help us free from this person.

  256. 260 Tino
    July 14, 2008 at 05:06

    Shirley,

    I definitely think they will continue to try to change our ways to match theirs in the name of ‘tolerance’. Once again, Harvard mandated women’s only gym hours. Plenty of places ALREADY do men/women only swim hours. Britain catches flak for puppies in advertisements. Sniffer dogs wear booties there, now. Two kids got detention for not praying to allah. Harvard broadcast the Adhan for an entire week – please show me a university broadcasting the Apostle’s Creed. Footbaths and prayer rooms are sometimes even considered mandatory. Burqa’s and hijabs are allowed to be worn. It is all getting quite a bit ridiculous and I definitely think it is going to be worse way before it is better.

    How is it preposterous, when it is already happening…?

  257. 261 Bob in Queensland
    July 14, 2008 at 05:08

    @ Shirley (4:25 AM)

    Well, they had Islam busily taking over the UK last week, so why not the USA?

    @ Victor/Tino/Pangolin

    If you’re going to start imposing restrictions on Islam (which I believe might require a amendment to the constitution in the USA) where are you going to stop. Let’s be honest: “freedom of religion” in the USA is used as an excuse for some pretty “nut case” sects over there. It’s no coincidence the Waco and Wacko are such similar words.

    Oh heck.. Shut up Bob and pass the Kool-ade!

  258. 262 Tino
    July 14, 2008 at 05:08

    “the same can apply to Christianity (though admittedly to a lesser extent).”

    Exactly. If you apply abrogation, Christianity is actually peaceful, etc. Since the new testament is all about Jesus and Christians are too, it follows that they will emphasize the New Testament.

    Of course whatever is in a book becomes kind of meaningless if your followers do not follow it. So regardless of what he Qur’an preaches, Muslims are acting out violently all over the globe and all Islamic governments are highly intolerant. Actions > words.

  259. 263 Tino
    July 14, 2008 at 05:13

    “where are you going to stop.”

    Anything that does not stand in direct opposition to our own values. I mean it seems pretty simple really – you come here and agree to live our way or do not come at all. If your religion cannot deal with equality for women, dogs, pigs, or a lack of mandatory religious areas (footbaths/prayer rooms) then it is not welcome.

    Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Sikhs, crazy cults, do not demand special treatment like Muslims. I am sure Hindus might not like commercials or advertisements selling dead cows but I have yet to see mass protests, with calls for beheading. I am sure Sikhs might not like some portrayal of turban-wearers, but I have yet to see embassies firebombed. In addition, wherever they govern, people are treated fairly. Islamic govts are extremely intolerant and yet Muslims constantly wish for special treatment/exceptions when they do not offer even basic equality to others once powerful.

  260. 264 Tino
    July 14, 2008 at 05:16

    @ abrogation

    Forgot to add: In Christianity, the Bible is considered to be written by men and therefore is open to error and interpretation. The Qur’an is considered to be the perfect book, free of error, and the direct word of Allah. This leads to obvious, and critical, differences in the way the religions change over time.

  261. 265 nelsoni
    July 14, 2008 at 05:24

    @ Bob in Queensland

    Thanks for noticing the long speeches too

    hope we can put an end to them

    kind regards

  262. 266 Shirley
    July 14, 2008 at 05:41

    Abrogation:
    Bob, this is a quote from an old post of mine on another thread.

    The reason that we Muslims are not all dashing into the streets and killing non-Muslims where we see them is because the immediacy of the commands in verses such as 2:216 or 2:29 applied to certain battles that the Muslims were fighting at the time of their revelation. Those battles have long since finished. Islamic scholars explain that where we have verses on a subject, some of which are general and some of which are conditioned, the conditions set out in the latter explain and limit the generality of the former. Other verses in the Qur’an put limitations and conditions on jihad. For example, 2:190, 9:36, and 22:38 (poss 39) state that we are only to fight those who are fighting against us, and that we cannot exceed limits. Other verses, such as 2:208, 4:90, 4:128, and 8:61 indicate that peace is the better way.

    The thing is that Islam does not need to resort to a simplistic use of abrogation to achieve a jurisprudential basis for peaceful relations with non-Muslims. Examining the text of the qur’an in the contexts of their relevatory histories, as well as in the contexts of other Qur’anic verses, leads to a general command for peaceful interactions, with the use fo force or violence to be reserved as a defensive method.

    If the concept of abrogation applied as militant jihadists applied it, then they would have to begin to allow people to eat meat that was not slaughtered Islamically. They would have to declare the hijab optional and not obligatory. Neither of these are proven out in Prophetic Traditions. Rather, Prophet Traditions uphold the obligation of restricting oneself to Islamically slaughtered meat and of covering the head for women. The Salafists have hardly made any changes that cannot be disproven, even by a novice.

    Freedom of Religion:
    By the way, do you think that freedom of religion has lent itself to incidents such as Waco? And do you think that freedom of religion has been abused by sects such as the polygamist FLDS compound in Texas that was recently in the news? When is it too free? And how do we prevent people from using religion to abuse human rights, such as oppressing women, or holding slaves, or hate speech against people of various religious or ethnic backgrounds? What is the balance, do you think?

  263. 267 Bob in Queensland
    July 14, 2008 at 06:17

    @ Shirley

    Regarding the abrogation debate, despite what somebody said earlier about the Qu’ran being the word of god and not open to interpretation, this does not always work in practice. I’ve seen hugely varying interpretations and justifications for horrendous atrocities. I have to say that your, peaceful, version is much closer to the Muslims I have know well over the years but it is not the only interpretation.

    As for freedom of religion, of course it has lent itself to both violent incidents and to seriously strange sects in the USA. However, on balance, this freedom (so long as it doesn’t harm others) is preferable to trying to impose restrictions. As soon as you do that, you’re on a slippery slope towards the sort of repression the founding fathers of the USA were fleeing from.

  264. 268 Shirley
    July 14, 2008 at 06:40

    Bob,
    Here’s the conundrum, though, Bob. There are some who say that some of our founding fathers came here to establish their own little theocratic settlements so that they could impose a rleigious law on their communities based on their interpretations of Christianity. Based on thsi (assuming that it is true), are we beholden to their original intent of government? Or can we change it in the same spirit with whcih we changed our elections to become more representational? “More” because we still have that insipid electoral college nonsense.

    Also, is there anything about Western culture that is worth preserving via legislation?

    You definitely have a point about the existence of varying opinions on which interpretation of sacred texts is the corect one. I’ll toss in another grant: it is more difficult for those who share my views to argue our cases, because it requires a more complex approach to the interpretation of source-texts. I never did see the logic, though, in the more simplistic approaches of my respected contenders. This is why I took the road of complications and lengthy dissertations.

  265. 269 John in Germany
    July 14, 2008 at 08:05

    @ Abdi.
    Are you sure, there is nothing racist abut anything that i write, it seems to me it is once again the difference in attitude according to birth. Or could it be that you are racist towards me?. And the moderators that approved my pieces, did so according to their experience and values.

    Please define what is racist in my writing, and i would be pleased to comment.

    Why is racist defined as white against coloured, There is more racism between none whites, starting with tribal conflicts. i will go no further.

    As a soldier i worked with many various races, and we were the best comarades.
    I believe very strongly in live and let live, but also that all parties must work at getting on together. if i am a guest in another country i should at least understand the language,customs, and the people, and not expect the host to know my language, nor to change thier customs to suite me.

    I wish you peace of mind and tranquillity.

    And to all of you out there, a good day.

    John in Germany.

  266. 270 Pangolin Hussein- California
    July 14, 2008 at 08:56

    @ Freedom of religion- In the US you are allowed to believe whatever you want to believe and profess that belief whenever you want as long as you are not at work or acting as a government representative.

    What is NOT allowed, and the Supreme Court is quite clear on this, is ACTS that are in violation of local, state or federal law. Two examples. The Sikhs believe that they must carry a knife at all times. Homeland security has a problem with this that overrides the Sikh religious preference. Secondly various religions have declared that the smoking of cannabis is a sacrament. The supreme court says that you can believe that cannabis is a sacrament all you want and profess that belief but you can still be jailed if you’re caught with flowers or leaves of cannabis on your person.

    So it would be quite legal for Congress to dictate nudism in certain circumstances if they so chose. You would be free to believe whatever you want as you stood there starkers when required. Meaning that if a local authority decides to ban Hijab in public places to reduce the risk of terrorism, even if that risk is fictional, then that law could be legal as long as it didn’t express a religious preference.

    @ Shirley- I am quite sure that the local Sikhs would disagree with a statement that ‘Islam is a peaceful religion’ and that its adherents ‘don’t attack those who do not attack first.’ Many Hindu, Buddhists, Sufi, Bahai, Coptic Christians, Mandeans, Zoroastrians, Alevi, the Ahl-e Haqq, Ahmadi Muslims and other minority religionists would probably attest to the religious repression that found expression in the form of beatings and deaths. I am also quite sure that in most Islamic nations that kind of casual schismatic groups that are common in Christian nations are dealt with by the application of sharp and sticky steel.

    I oppose going to war with Islamic nations or making false generalizations about Islam. I’m not so dense as to believe that Islam is a profession of peace in all aspects.

  267. 271 Jonathan (sunny San Francisco)
    July 14, 2008 at 09:20

    Well, I was going to kick the habit cold turkey, just stay away from WHYS all weekend. I fell off the wagon though, first just a quick dip into the dog-eating thread, which only made me hungry to mainline the hard stuff on the blank page. Hello, I’m Jonathan and I’m powerless over my addiction to WHYS. Which way to the coffee and donuts? Lot of catching up here! (Was I missed?)

    Shirley, I am delighted to see your inteest in retaining/regaining/improving brain power via PC video games. The news is very encouraging, that puzzles and games of almost all varieties dramatically improve cognitive function in people at every age and level of cognitive function, by “exercising” the brain like every other muscle in the body. Not a muscle, but you know…. My understanding is that pretty much any gme involving puzzle, logic, fast action, etc. will benefit your brain, by forming and strengthening the gazillions of neural connections that otherwise slowly tend to fade away. Paper based puzzles and such also exercise the mind to the same end, lacking only the fast-reaction aspect.

    Speaking of fast action, you said you’re reading the Frontline Darfur transcript (they just had another Darfur film by the way). You can watch the actual film there on the site, you know!

  268. 272 Jonathan (sunny San Francisco)
    July 14, 2008 at 09:54

    @Shirley,

    There is no conundrum. For once it doesn’t matter a whit whether or not you believe the notions that you say you “like to assume are true,” rather than actually finding that out. It’s even of no consequence whether in fact they are true or not. Specifically, “some of our founding fathers” may or may not have intended to “establish their own little theocratic settlements.” Doesn’t make the slightest difference.

    What is absolutely sure is that we are not, in your words, “beholden to [their] original intent.” That’s because we have a Constituion, which is very brief and which I commend to you and to everyone actually. VERY brief, impressive given its earth-shaking importance and the massive length of the laws imposed in the succeeding centuries.

    Whatever the intent of whoever whenever, our controlling document clearly forbids gov’t from either helping or hurting any religion, or adopting any one as a state religion. Perceived encroachments on it excite vigorous efforts to maintain it. Its protections are really largely intact. They are quite radical for their time and for our own. Ironically (since those who most bitterly resent its restrictions are the religious folk who perceive it as restricting them), it is credited with maintaining religiosity in the US, alone among developed Western countries. (The lovely cathedrals of Europe are almost empty of all but tourists.) Separating church and state, it seems, ultimately benefits both, even if they think otherwise.

    The “establishment clause” of the first amendment is so strictly interpreted that both the country and the states are forbidden even from taxing religious enterprises.

    To imagine that we are beholden to the intent of would-be theocrats from centuries ago requires deliberate ignorance of the Constitution and of our history. To speculate about changing what one does not know in the first place is just frivolous.

  269. 273 Jonathan (sunny San Francisco)
    July 14, 2008 at 10:22

    @shirley again

    If *I* were trying to argue the merits of Islam, I just might not rush to summon for my cause the issues of oppression of women, slavery, hate speech, and violence. I know, I know. Just sayin’… those might not be your very strongest cards.

    Without minimizing your impressive level of immersion in the details of Islamic law and scholarship and texts, I humbly suggest that occasionally turning from the theories on paper to the realities of life in Islamic countries might be instructive. It’s just great that there’s all those reasons why Muslims have such peaceful relations with everyone, Muslim and non-Muslims alike.

    But out here where life is actually lived, there is no end of the most horrific violence by Muslims, for example in Darfur, and Kuwait, and Iraq, and in wars and atrocities and massacres too routine and too numerous to cite or to require citation. To say nothing of the several attempts to extinguish the people and the state of Israel, an unpleasant habit finally broken not by scholars of sacred texts but by the immensely superior tactics and courage of the hugely outnumbered, out-financed Israelis, who consistently prevailed and inflicted defeats so numerous and humiliating against her enemies that they finally grew weary of the effort, preferring to detonate bombs on schoolbuses and in restaurants, a tactic more consistent with their abilities and their morality.

  270. 274 Jonathan (sunny San Francisco)
    July 14, 2008 at 10:48

    @Mohamed–

    I wish I could say “the world” would rescue you from a dictator so fearsome that you dare not even mention his name in your plea. Unfortuntely, the US is busy right now, and has squandered its presumptive moral credibility, and lately does more harm than good. (It seems we have accomplished what Saddam Hussein never could, even with a vast and terrible secret police and the gruesome machinery of enforcement at his service: We have united Iraq in support of Saddam.) We are in bad odor these days, and arguably have no right to go about setting things right even if we were absolutely benevolent and faultlessly competent anyway.

    If you’re a former colony, you might conceivably interest your former colonial masters in intervention. It’s a very long shot, and the intervenntion could well be on the wrong side.

    Neighboring countries might offer help, but it’s easier to get them in than to get them out, if you take my meaning.

    As for the United Nations, if the Maldives is sufficiently inconsequential, and the UN especially courageous and magnanimous, they might manage to say a few oblique words of support. You’d be well advised not to count on even the words, though, and you may be sure that action will not follow unless and until you can demonstrate at least a 20-year history of unambiguous slaughter and terror by one side against another. Even then, chances of talk are slim, and of action, almost zero.

    Best wishes, and sorry not to be more encouraging.

  271. 275 steve
    July 14, 2008 at 12:47

    Something tells me that NASCAR is gonna get a new beer sponsorship now that Budweiser is european. I would pick Sam Adams, as that’s actually a good beer.

  272. 276 Bob in Queensland
    July 14, 2008 at 13:12

    So Steve….what you’re saying is that it’s okay for Budweiser to have a European name to make it sound like a proper beer instead of the weak dishwater it actually is….but it’s not okay to really BE European owned?

    The world is going mad!

    (Agree on Sam Adams though…of the main American beers that’s tbe one that’s actually very drinkable.)

  273. 277 Tino
    July 14, 2008 at 13:33

    “The Salafists have hardly made any changes that cannot be disproven, even by a novice.”

    Funny how novices can disprove it, but the exact things you say are wrong are in the majority by now. In addition, why could the peaceful verses not be seen as relating only to that time period? Nothing in your arguments is any different or more right than in theirs. Also, if the book is error free and supposed to be relevant to all times, shouldn’t all verses have equal weight and the only time to toss would be in contradiction – which would invoke abrogation.

    “They would have to declare the hijab optional and not obligatory. Neither of these are proven out in Prophetic Traditions.”

    I disagree. If they, as men, wanted it to be done their possessions (women) would have no choice but to follow or be ‘beaten, lightly’ as it says to do…

    Of course, again, as Jonathan says: “I humbly suggest that occasionally turning from the theories on paper to the realities of life in Islamic countries might be instructive.” This is what matters. Your book could be completely lacking in violent verses but if its adherents are constantly bombing, shooting, hacking, strangling, and repressing others – there is still a huge problem.

  274. 278 Shirley
    July 14, 2008 at 14:38

    [chorus] Hi, Jonathan. And yes. I cannot stop laughing, though, so more later.

  275. 279 Pangolin Hussein- California
    July 15, 2008 at 05:57

    @ Tino- “Your book could be completely lacking in violent verses but if its adherents are constantly bombing, shooting, hacking, strangling, and repressing others – there is still a huge problem.”

    Yep. People keep making the mistake of thinking that Buddhists must always be pacifists just because the Buddha said so. Real life has other ideas.


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