21
Jul
08

Talking Points for July 22nd

Good Morning! It’s Priya here with some suggestions of what we should talk about tonight… (and thank you Will for stepping in last night)

KARADZIC ARRESTED: YOUR REACTION

The news that made me choke on my evening cup of licorice tea last night was the arrest of one of the worlds most wanted war criminals, Radovan Karadzic.

So who is he?

Karadzic was leader of the Bosnian Serbs (those Bosnians who were of the Orthodox faith, as opposed to Muslim or Catholic), the man who sought to create an ethnically pure (Serb) Bosnia during the early 1990s. He is accused of:

* Fifteen counts of genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and other atrocities
* Charged for the killing of some 12,000 civilians during the siege of Sarajevo
* Allegedly organised the massacre of at least 7,500 Muslim men and youths in Srebrenica
* Targeted Bosnian Muslim and Croat political leaders, intellectuals and professionals
* Unlawfully deported and transferred civilians because of national or religious identity
* Destroyed homes, businesses and sacred sites

There are people who do not believe he committed these crimes, or indeed that they were crimes at all…

People have been posting their reaction to his arrest here.

Global voices has a round up of some of the blogs reacting to the news and why the man has been arrested now, and not before…

Last night I spoke to people in Sarajevo who were worried that there may be a reaction from Serb nationalists who still consider Karadzic a hero.

Have a look at this video of the man himself, filmed DURING the siege of Sarajevo. He is standing on the mountains surrounding the city, from where the bullets and shells rained down on the city for 4 years.

His argument that Muslims usurped land rightfully belonging to Serbs is incorrect – Bosnia was part of the Ottoman Empire for 5 centuries (as was much of South Eastern Europe), indeed Sarajevo was built by the Ottomans. The Muslims were slav people (like Serbs) who had converted to Islam.

The international tribunal set up to try war criminals from all sides during the Yugoslav wars has only 2 years left to run, most people, including myself, never expected Karadzic to be caught. His military commander, Ratko Mladic, remains at large.

I want to hear from people all over the region: Bosnia, Serbia, Republika Srpska – what do you think of his arrest?

Is this a turning point for the region?

ARAB LEAGUE DEFENDS SUDANESE PRESIDENT

On a related point, Sudanese President Omar al Bashir was indicted for genocide himself last week – yet the Arab League have condemned the charges… So is al-Bashir quaking in his boots?

*****

INDIA: WILL A DEAL WITH THE US BRING DOWN THE GOVERNMENT?

And will India miss out on nuclear power that could solve its energy problems?

Let me explain: George Bush is keen to sign a deal allowing India access to civilian nucelar technology. This is despite the fact that India tested nuclear weapons in 1974 and 1998 and has refused to sign the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. It is currently barred from buying nuclear technology and fuel.

For many, this deal is a godsend, it allows India to keep its nuclear weapons while acquiring technology that could solve its energy problems, something Iran will never be allowed to do.

Opponents say the agreement will compromise India’s position as a politically neutral country, and that the requisite UN inspections would limit the country’s ability to develop its weapons programme and deter Pakistan, its main regional rival.

The Communists who were part of the coalition government pulled out – mainly because any deal with the US is automatically a BAD THING.

Today, the Indian parliament is holding a confidence vote that could bring down the government.

This article defends India’s nuclear strategy, which has given it a lot of bargaining power and importance.

Why India needs this deal. While this blog urges his government to stop the deal.

So what is at stake here? Is the deal a good or bad thing for India?

ZIMBABWE DEAL

The phones went crazy last night during our Africa hour as we asked for reaction to the power sharing deal between Tsvangirai and Mugabe. What are your thoughts today?

What else do you want to talk about?

MADE TO WORK?

Yesterday Bruce asked if the unemployed should be MADE to work. Keep posting your comments, I’m keen to hear what you think in your country.

And I like this:
The Ivory Coast has halved ministers’ salaries and slashed fuel prices in response to what Guillaume Soro, the prime minister, called the common man’s “cries of distress”.

Is this the example your government should follow?


110 Responses to “Talking Points for July 22nd”


  1. 1 Julie P
    July 21, 2008 at 21:35

    I’m not sure how these people managed to do this, but here is a lesson about traveling, check your boarding pass and turn up at the right gate.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/7517577.stm?lsm

  2. 2 Will Rhodes
    July 21, 2008 at 22:34

    I think most of the others are using the other threads, Julie! LOL

  3. 3 Mohammed Ali
    July 21, 2008 at 22:36

    I wonder who actually made the mistake?

  4. 4 Will Rhodes
    July 21, 2008 at 22:38

    I think we should have a few comments, as Sen Obama is making his way around the world, from the US posters on what they think about the polls in Europe showing that Europeans would vote 5 to 1 for Obama.

    Will he need to subdue the enthusiasm that Europe has for him?

    Will it help or hinder Obama in the general election come November?

    Why does it matter to the news media that he is so far ahead in those polls in Europe?

  5. 5 Shirley
    July 21, 2008 at 22:40

    Will, you are one cool dude. Thank you.

  6. 6 Will Rhodes
    July 21, 2008 at 22:43

    I don’t know why, Shirley – but thank you anyway. 🙂

  7. 7 Shirley
    July 21, 2008 at 22:47

    Iraq:
    Jim Watson, an Illinois State Representative from the 97th district, said that there is not an Iraqi alive today who has lived under democratic rule; and that the Iraqi people do not know how to form a democracy and make it work. I am curious about the perspective of our Iraqi WHYSayers on that assertion. (paging Lubna & Zaynab)

  8. 8 Mohammed Ali
    July 21, 2008 at 22:49

    @Will, thanks alot. I’m trying with the lesson. The only problem is that my PC is still refusing to download the BBCodeXtra ad-on.

  9. 9 Julie P
    July 21, 2008 at 22:51

    @Will,

    Dare to be different! 🙂

  10. 10 Shirley
    July 21, 2008 at 22:52

    Salafist destruction of religious monuments:
    Victor, why should they protest? They probably consider it to have been an idol, anyway. That’s how they viewed those precious relics in Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan, even though they were relics of different religions. The wonderful product of Saudi salafist propaganda. I wish that the Saudis had taken over some part of this world that had no Islamic signfcance. Can’t we ship them to the North Pole (what’s left of it)? Afghanistan: My heart broke, too. It was an even more uncomfortable feeling for me, watching Muslims (?) do the deed. Did anyone see the piece in National Geographic on Afghanistan’s treasures? Some dedicated individuals kept them under lock and key with strict secrecy until they know that it would be safe to bring them out into the open again. Unspeakably Beautiful Stuff.

    Capital Punishment:
    Jonathan, I don’t think that you meant to say that the faster we lobb off their heads, the less likely they are to break the law. What did you mean? Btw, the rate of adult males who commit suicide in Japan is due largely to a compounding of work stress and cultural quirks.

  11. 11 Julie P
    July 21, 2008 at 22:58

    @Will,

    Concerning Obama and Europe. I often wonder why they report things the way they do. I saw that article about Obama and Europe and moved on.

  12. 12 Will Rhodes
    July 21, 2008 at 23:04

    The only problem is that my PC is still refusing to download the BBCodeXtra ad-on.

    Ali – if you mail me with the error, if there is one I will look into it. I can’t see why Firefox won’t download or install it – unless you have a pop up blocker on, and firewall etc. Mail me with as much information as you can and I can take it from there.

  13. 13 Mohammed Ali
    July 21, 2008 at 23:16

    @Will, I think that’s the problem. My Pc doesn’t have firefox. Besides I have pop up blocker on my computer. I will mail you in the morning. I’m currently blogging from my mobile phone.

  14. 14 Mohammed Ali
    July 21, 2008 at 23:21

    @Obama and Europe, let Obama forget about and concentrate on his campaign. The Europeans are not voting, only the Americans are. Europe can give you a 100-1 in the opinion poll, that still wouldn’t make you president of America.

  15. 15 nelsoni
    July 21, 2008 at 23:41

    Hi every one,

    It seems that we now have a new emerging trend in Africa. In the Kenya, powering sharing brought what some observers can describe as peace after the post election violence. Today, the strongman of Zimbabwean politics Robert Mugabe and Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangiri signed a MOU for negotiations. If this ends up in another power sharing agreement, this will give an incentive to some African leaders to abuse the election process and then wait for “Power Sharing Agreement”. Although bringing peace to Zimbabwe is very crucial in the short term, this “Power Sharing Agreement” solution to electoral fraud in Africa is setting a Bad precedent with long term Consequences.

    Serbia’s Captures Fugitive Karadzic

    P.S: Finally, I made my debut today on air on WHYS.

  16. 17 Mohammed Ali
    July 22, 2008 at 00:09

    @nelsoni, you are absolutely right. Already African, the majority, don’t like to leave power, then we are now condoning the act power sharing after leaders have rigged elections that they clear loss. African leaders don’t have to worry again about losing elections. Just hold unto power illegally, negotiations will be made and power will be shared with the rigging heading. The oppositions to are proving that only power they are after. They will therefore agree power sharing once it provides them the opportunity to loot the country too. I wonder how our continent will develop.

  17. 18 Dennis
    July 22, 2008 at 00:29

    Hi whoever is being on moderator duty!!!!!

    Hi Will, how have you been busy?

    Dennis
    Syracuse, New York

  18. 19 Will Rhodes
    July 22, 2008 at 00:33

    Hi, Dennis – I am moderating – I don’t know who is supposed to be, but until they show up I will keep doing it.

    Not that busy, no – the WHYers are all on posting strike I think. LOL

  19. 21 Julie P
    July 22, 2008 at 00:50

    @will,

    I think the WHYSers are on holiday, or as I like to say it, vacation.

    By the way, I don’t have to fake an American accent. The person in the video did a reasonably good job.

  20. 22 Dennis
    July 22, 2008 at 00:51

    @ Will,

    Strikes sometimes work…

    Dennis

  21. 23 Will Rhodes
    July 22, 2008 at 00:53

    When I try to put on a Canadian accent – my wife says I sound like George Bush! 😯

  22. 24 Julie P
    July 22, 2008 at 00:57

    Will, then you could probably do a southern accent fairly well.

    Try this. I live in Marietta, Georgia. Native southerners pronounce it
    May rhett ta, Jaw ja. Now try it.

  23. 25 Shirley
    July 22, 2008 at 01:09

    Word has it that Condy will facilitate peace talks between Palestine and Israel at the end of the month. If Palestine’s security forces are not in order, will it be worth it? Is the current situation truly “facts on the ground” and irreversable, or can the two sides agree on a pre-agreed boundary line such as the Green Line? What kind of consequences should Israel face for violations of the treaty and of international law? How should consequences apply to Palestine in light of the state of its security forces and fractionalised government? How should the treaty deal with individual actions, such as settler violence or people like the Palestinian bulldozer driver?

    These are things that serve as mental puzzles for me. As thoughts occur to me, I will try to word them out.

  24. 26 Shirley
    July 22, 2008 at 01:11

    P.S. Are Rice, Qureia, and Livni the right choices for the negotiations? Ok I shaddup now.

  25. 27 nelsoni
    July 22, 2008 at 01:18

    @ Mohammed Ali
    July 22, 2008 at 12:09 am

    I agree with you. During yesterday’s WHYS show, people were calling in and ending texts hailing the progress. For crying out loud, they just signed an agreement to talk, they have not agreed on any thing yet. I suspect Mugabe is up to something. Let us wait and see how the whole process turns out

  26. 28 nelsoni
    July 22, 2008 at 01:24

    @ Will Rhodes
    July 22, 2008 at 12:34 am
    Would YOU fake an American accent?

    I spent an early part of my life in UK thereby picking up a Mancunian accent.
    growing up with a Mancunian accent in africa is enough trouble but faking an American accent, definitely NO.

  27. July 22, 2008 at 01:25

    Bosnian Serb war crimes suspect Radovan Karadzic, one of the world’s most wanted men, has been arrested in Serbia after more than a decade on the run. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7518543.stm

    The arrest of Radovan Karadzic must be good news for the relatives and friends of his victims. Justice must be served. Such war criminals have nowhere to hide indefinitely as long as there are concentrated will and efforts to capture them.

    Only people with great influence can evade arrest for such a long time in a small country like Serbia. His weight as a prisoner will add weight to the political gain Serbia will have from Europe. He must be seen as big catch that will pave the way for Serbia to consolidate its relations with Western Europe.

    In The Hague Court prison, he can have good company with other war criminals like former Liberian president Charles Taylor.

  28. 30 Pangolin- California
    July 22, 2008 at 01:33

    @ Shirly- It is posited by some atheist philosophers that the only proof that there is a god is that he put the worlds oil under Saudi Arabia, Mecca in the middle and then populated the place with camel herding nomads. In essence, if there is a god he/she has one sick sense of humor. Random chance couldn’t possibly set that mess up.

  29. 32 Dennis
    July 22, 2008 at 01:35

    Will : No George Bush accent, your wife is correct….

    About the arrest of Radovan Karadzic, is long overdue…He deserves to be in the court room in the Hague….

    Dennis
    Syracuse, New York

  30. 33 Roberto
    July 22, 2008 at 01:36

    Word has it that Condy will facilitate peace talks between Palestine and Israel at the end of the month.
    ———————————————————————————–

    ** A joke.

    Woman gives credence to the phenomenon known as educated idiot.

    She seems to have never had an original thought in her life and has been a supporting part of what will go down as the most abject failure of a US presidential administration in history.

    Of course it’s easy for me to sit back in the cheap seats and BOO, but since she was a part of putting me there and there ain’t much else in the cheap seats for amusement, I BOO her and her ilk with relish.

    Cheers now….

  31. 34 Jonathan (cool, gray San Francisco)
    July 22, 2008 at 01:54

    @Shirley,

    I don’t know how to say it more clearly, but I can restate it at much greater length if that will help:

    1) Longer prison sentences do not deter crime. Some chest-pounding knuckle-dragger had claimed that criminal sentences in the countries of the European Union were “too short.” I pointed out that thee is no evidence that long sentences served to deter crime. (Also, they are enormously expensive, and they brutalize offenders needlessly, and they further marginalize offenders, rather than preparing them to lead productive lives after release.) Empirically, the EU countries with their short sentences have much lower crime rates than the United States, which has very much longer senences.

    2) What DOES actually deter crime is a high probability of being apprehended and convicted within the near future. As I put it, “swift and sure.” In other words, a 50% chance of serving a two-year term is a greater deterrent than a 10% chance of serving a ten-year term.

    Hence, if we really wish to deter crime, we should improve the efficiency of police and courts. If, instead, we wish to satisfy chest-pounding knuckle-draggers, long sentences will serve the purpose.

  32. July 22, 2008 at 02:32

    Mugabe has proven that he can offend the rest of the world and go scout free. The African Union has also proven to be even more docile to him because bulk of them lack the moral rectitude to speak about democracy. Shame on Mbeki and the belly driven Shangarai for sitting with this despot in the name of power sharing.

  33. July 22, 2008 at 02:47

    Radovan Karadzic savagery has come haunting you. Charles Taylor will be on site to give you a warm welcome. I hope some day Mugabe will join you guys. To a larger extent, the world is getting safer with these murderer behing bars.

  34. 37 steve
    July 22, 2008 at 02:49

    @ Jonathan, I don’t enjoy being called a “chest pounding knuckle dragger”. The example I gave was for a woman who murdered 5 people, who was still unrepentent, and served only 25 years. Do you honestly think such short sentences deter murder? Say you hate 5 people, you murder them all at age 18, you can get out of jail in time to have a full life, in your prime. That makes me a “knuckle dragger”? And I can find stats that show the US has lower crime rates than europe. We have only more violent crimes/murders, countries like the UK have higher property crime rates.

  35. July 22, 2008 at 02:57

    With the millions of correction centers in the world, one will assume that crime rate should drop drastic but conversely, crime rate has increased exponentially. It is clear that capital punishment has done more harm than good to society. Fighting to reduce the gap between the haves and havenot; providing more job opportunities; investing hugely in education is by far a better step to minimize crime.

  36. 39 nelsoni
    July 22, 2008 at 02:59

    ICC Roll Call: Slobodan milosovic, Charles Taylor and Now Radovan Karadzic. Next in line: Omar Al-ABashir, possibly Jorge W. Bushh. The long arm of the is getting even longer.

  37. 40 Bob in Queensland
    July 22, 2008 at 03:23

    Morning all!

    Re: accents, a fake American accent is one thing, but if you want something excruciating, listen to Dick Van Dyke’s version of cockney in “Mary Poppins”. (Can you tell our lad had that on DVD?).

    Now, more serious stuff. Regarding sentencing, I’m with Jonathan on this one. There’s no evidence at all that the severity of the sentence (or lack thereof) has any effect on the crime rate. It’s the efficiency of the police force and the likelihood of getting caught that make the difference.

    Steve asks:

    Do you honestly think such short sentences deter murder?

    Well, the USA, with the death penalty in many states and “life meaning life” in others, has the harshest sentences around and still has the highest murder rate in the “western” world. Yes, there are many other social factors involved but if punishment as a deterrent worked, these other factors should be mimimised.

    Regarding Radovan Karadzic, this is the best news in a long while. Only one more “biggie” to go in Servia.

    Finally, does anyone besides me have mixed feelings about the talks beginning in Zimbabwe? We’ve been saying how evil Mugabe is for so long–does it lower Tsvangirai’s credibility to be possibly entering power sharing with the old enemy. On the other hand, I’m the one who so often advocates talking that perhaps I should shut up!

  38. July 22, 2008 at 03:33

    In the heyday of Charles Taylor rulership, armed robbery became equated to treason. Armed robbers were chased and executed. Today, armed robbery is becoming the order of the day. It is clear that punishment does not reduce crime but rather inflame it.

  39. 42 Shirley
    July 22, 2008 at 03:38

    Kudos to the ICC. Slam him, and go get the next one. :=)

  40. 43 Will Rhodes
    July 22, 2008 at 03:45

    Please remember that even Radovan Karadzic is still only accused of the war crimes, even he has the right to a fair trial.

    He is still regarded as a suspect etc.

    We cannot be judge and jury but we can say how happy or unhappy we are that he has been captured.

    Not wanting to be a party pooper.

  41. 44 Mohammed Ali
    July 22, 2008 at 03:45

    When Taylor was arrested, i remember WHYS discussed it on air and I took part that day. Karadzic, we need to talk a bit about him and his colleagues at the Hague including C. Taylor. No matter how long is the arm of the law, it won’t Bush or Blair. Others can hide out for a while, but those two will hide out permanently. That’s the injustice about justice. Nelsoni, beleive Tsvangarai only wants power to help loot Zimbabwe. He will jump at any opportunity that will give him that power. Majority of African opposition leaders are no different from the power that be, beleive me.

  42. 45 Bob in Queensland
    July 22, 2008 at 03:54

    @ Will Rhodes

    A good and important warning on fairness.

    That said, as I was there for the carnage at Srebenica and during the siege of Sarajevo, I’d be happy to appear as a witness for the prosecution. Somehow I don’t think they need me though!

  43. 46 Jonathan (cool, gray San Francisco)
    July 22, 2008 at 03:57

    @Steve,

    I beg your pardon for the “chest-pounding knuckle-dragger” characterization; no personal attack was intended. Shirley asked me about a past post, and I clarified it without recalling to whom my original remark had been directed. Ad hominem attacks and childish insults are the last resort of a scoundrel who lacks both a foundation for his case and plain good manners, and are not my practice or custom.

    I’ll answer the rest of your post in a bit. I just wanted to get this out of the way as soon as possible. Again, my apology.

  44. 47 Mohammed Ali
    July 22, 2008 at 04:01

    @Bob, credibility? Tsvangarai does not have one as I have argue here most often. The guy is an African opposition, that means he will go to the extent of dining with satan just to get POWER. Once he has power, the people’s interest becomes a non-issue. My head is on the line for that.

  45. 48 Bob in Queensland
    July 22, 2008 at 04:05

    @ Mohammed Ali

    If we accept your analysis of Tsvangarai (and I fear you may well be right) are there any honorable politicians waiting in the wings or is all we can do wash our hands of Zimbabwe and leave it to its own devices?

  46. 49 Mohammed Ali
    July 22, 2008 at 04:07

    @Will, I’ll begin to advocate that in war crimes and crimes against humanity cases, those accused should be guilty until proven innocent.

  47. 50 Bob in Queensland
    July 22, 2008 at 04:08

    @ Jonathan

    As a chest pounding knuckle dragger I wish to complain about your characterisation of my description as an insult. I wear my scraped knuckles with pride! (Though I must admit to having a coughing fit when I pound my ageing chest these days….)

    Just kidding.

    Well, not about the coughing fit.

  48. 51 Shirley
    July 22, 2008 at 04:13

    Jonathan: A 50% chance of serving a two-year term is a greater deterrent than a 10% chance of serving a ten-year term.

    I understand what you meant. Thank you.

  49. 52 Mohammed Ali
    July 22, 2008 at 04:19

    @Bob, when it comes to African opposition, the majority cannot be trusted. Remember Moi Kibaki in Kenya, Charles Taylor in Liberia, Obasanjo in Nigeria, Gbagbo in Ivory Coast, etc. they were all opposed to misrule in their respective countries. We need to keep talking because of the suffering masses and not for the oppositions.

  50. 53 Mohammed Ali
    July 22, 2008 at 04:24

    Good night to all, i’ll hook you up at the break of dawn.

  51. 54 Jonathan (cool, gray San Francisco)
    July 22, 2008 at 04:38

    @Bob Q.–

    You were THERE for Srebenica and the siege of Sarajevo? WOW! You were a journalist, or what? (I almost said “On business or pleasure?” but that would be sick even by my standards.) I remember that horrible time. Every day seemed to bring some new disgusting offense against innocent humanity and civilization itself. Acts of barbarity the more revolting for their ingenuity and cold deliberation. The UN of course and as always worse han useless, herding civilians into “safe zones” to be slaughtered. There’s something so chillingly atavistic about the project of un-civilization, dismemberment of a major city. Masterminded by a psychiatrist of all things.

    I’d welcome any personal stories you’d care to share, or any books or articles you might recommend.

    To our ever-vigilant Islamic observers and sympathizers, I’ll point out that the US was the instigator of the effort to rescue that besieged Moslem population. And there was no oil there, hence no opportunity to cynically and vaguely grumble that “it was about oil.” I’m sure you will come up with cynical, conspiratorial, irrational accusation, but at least it will have to be a different one. Or are you satisfied with your current policy of simply ignoring this episode, omitting it from the litany of complaints against the Great Satan? Anyway, you’re quite welcome.

  52. 55 Jonathan (cool, gray San Francisco)
    July 22, 2008 at 04:47

    Always a pleasure, Shirley.

    Did you ever clarify your stance on capital punishment for adultery, by the way? Last I remember, you recited a lot of tangential minutae, then called for a discussion of capital punishment in general. You neither defended nor took issue with the execution of adulterers though.

    Or is it exactly fair to ask you for a personal opinion on something you take to be divinely mandated? I honestly don’t know.

  53. 56 Jonathan (cool, gray San Francisco)
    July 22, 2008 at 04:55

    Bob, you’re such a hoot! I apologize for the offense I caused by my apology about the knuckles and stuff, how’s that. Some days I just can’t win. Yet I can’t seem to stay away. Will I soon be in a church basement, sipping burned coffee, admitting that i’m helpless to resist blogging? Turning myself over to a higher power would be a problem though.

    “I’m Jonathan, and I’m a blogaholic.”

    [chorus] “Hello, Jonathan!”

    I’ll slit my wrists first. At least it’s faster.

  54. 57 Bob in Queensland
    July 22, 2008 at 05:13

    @ Jonathan

    Not a journalist but a broadcast engineer working for one of the big TV news agencies. I did a bit of everything: satellite uplinks, editing, sound, camera once in a while.

    Funnily enough, my partner in crime for a lot of this was a cameraman by the name of Jonathan. Here he is showing off the non-penetrating hits on our armoured land rover (the missing bits of white paint): http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c188/Bobbsy/Bosnia%202003/LandRoverHits.jpg

  55. 58 Jonathan (cool, gray San Francisco)
    July 22, 2008 at 05:41

    @Steve,

    OK, now for the substantive stuff: Do I think short sentences deter murder? Well, I didn’t say it. I know that long sentences do NOT deter it. I know that even the death sentene does not deter it. That’s what I said, and that’s why I said it. Additionally, I think murder has the lowest recidivism rate of any crime, so long sentences are not justifiable either as deterrent or as protection against repeat offenses. Really, then, the only reason I can think of for long sentences is to satisfy some primitive and unlovely blood lust that has no place in determining policy in a modern state.

    I haven’t the time or inclination just now to check “stats” for property crimes vs. violent crimes, US vs. EU, and sentence length. But my impression, from your recitation in great detail of especially gruesome crime, is that we’re primarily concerned with violent crime, right? Either way, it should be easy to find the studies that demonstrate the futility of long sentences.

    Long sentences just don’t work. You may huff and puff all you like about mutilation, raping babies, cannibalism, or whatever tabloid dreadfuls capture your attention, but it won’t change the fact. Long sentences don’t work.

  56. 59 Jonathan (cool, gray San Francisco)
    July 22, 2008 at 05:54

    @Shirley,

    If by “cultural quirks” you mean that Japanese culture considers suicide honorable rather than shameful, then, yes, I think that’s what I said.

    It’s a funny feeling to get into a spirited debate, and have one’s adversary just vanish, not even saying “I remain unconvinced” or “OK, good point” or even “drop dead.” Oh, well. Best to you.

  57. 60 Jonathan (cool, gray San Francisco)
    July 22, 2008 at 06:00

    Bob Q.–

    Just us and the crickets again. So thanks for agreeing about sentence length. Does this mean that you may someday see the light about the non-problem of population growth too?

  58. 61 Bob in Queensland
    July 22, 2008 at 06:18

    Well, I see your point on population growth but I do wonder if it’s a bit of a chicken and egg situation. Yes, increased prosperity will certainly lead to lower population growth but my fear is that some parts of this crowded earth are just too far away from the level of prosperity needed for this effect to kick in. Conversely, if population pressure could be “artificially” reduced would this not speed the move to at least self-sufficiency if not ultimate prosperity?

  59. 62 Jonathan (cool, gray San Francisco)
    July 22, 2008 at 06:39

    No, no no no. That’s the old way of thinking. Circa 1960, one could speculate about how all those people in India could possibly feed themselves. We now need no longer theorize when we can observe actual facts. By the simple expedient of (yes, I know I’m a broken record) relaxing governmental controls, India became able to feed itself, and its economy began spectacular growth that continues, lifting its people from poverty.

    A large labor force is a comparitive advantage, not a disadvantage. Each person has one mouth but two hands, so to say. So India has used its large, cheap, English-speaking labor force to create call centers, software companies, and all manner of enterprises. It’s just a myth that crowding prevents prosperity. Manhattan is one of the densest spots on earth, and one of the richest.

    Predictably, India’s population growth is slowing. Q.E.D.

  60. 63 Jonathan (cool, gray San Francisco)
    July 22, 2008 at 06:54

    Oh, go ahead, just nod and smile and say yes, I see it all now. It’s easier that way.

  61. 64 Bob in Queensland
    July 22, 2008 at 07:33

    Grumble grumble.

    Nah, I wasn’t nodding and saying yes–I was interrupted by a phone call from one of the grown “children” needing to use dad as an ATM again–I had to make a dash to the bank to deposit some money for him. (Internet transfer not deemed fast enough in his “emergency”). Hmm…there’s a WHYS for us: do parents ever stop being ATMs?

    On the population issue, I wonder if India is a slightly skewed example. Say what you will about the Raj, but English colonialism left a legacy in terms of government, education and language that makes it atypical of overpopulated countries. Would your example work as well in Bangladesh or Ethiopia?

  62. 65 Pangolin- California
    July 22, 2008 at 07:50

    Malthus was still correct. It is all well and good to claim that each person has but one mouth and two hands while ignoring that the amount of arable land doesn’t grow but in fact shrinks with more intensive use. In fact just a bit to the southeast of you the Westlands Water District is retiring about a third of its farmland due to salting.

    The same economic miracle that you tout in India is about to be reversed due to rising food prices because the Punjab is salting up due to overuse of irrigation practices. Since ‘salting the land’ is the ages-old definition of utterly destroying your enemies the Punjabi farmers have been rather stressed lately.

    The Green Revolution having the rather nasty achilles heel that it requires several calories of fossil fuel to produce the average calorie of food if not more things are going to be a bit dicey.

    Nature bats last.

  63. July 22, 2008 at 07:51

    Good Morning From Kenya!
    @ ALL
    Very interesting News in the Kenya! Vistit local Newspapers Website! 72 Students Charged For Arson!
    http://www.nationmedia.com/dailynation/nmgindex.asp

  64. 67 Tom
    July 22, 2008 at 07:55

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/7517380.stm

    China and Russia agreed on their 4,300km-long border following decades of disputes. For China, that’s one down, but many more to go. Other nations that it has border disputes with include Japan, India, Vietnam, Burma, Bhutan, North Korea, Phillipines, Malaysia, Brunei and Indonesia. The last 4 over the small islands and reefs in the vast South China Sea.

    By settling the border with Russia, it has effectively written off the large expanses of land lost to Czarist Russia in the 19th century to their northeast and northwest 8 times the size of Britain.

  65. 68 Pangolin- California
    July 22, 2008 at 08:07

    For those needing help ignoring the sad state of the world…..
    http://www.pangloss.com/index.html

    Meanwhile, back in reality…..

    “Development Report #15: A bitter harvest: Farmer suicide in India”

    “Alongside India’s tremendous middle class growth and the much-celebrated boom of its IT sector, a quiet emergency of debt-driven suicide has taken hold in the countryside. It is estimated that between 1993 and 2003, as many as 100,000 indebted Indian farmers took their own lives. Many of these farmers died consuming the very same pesticides they had bought to use on their fields.”

    I can assure you from conversations I have had with the local rice farmers that the increased prices for grain have been trumped by the increased prices of diesel fuel, fertilizer, minerals and pesticides. This game is still not played out yet.

  66. 69 Pangolin- California
    July 22, 2008 at 08:22

    @ Abdi- How reassuring; I thought that only white fraternity boys engaged in senseless rioting and arson and here you reassure me that people are the same all over. Thank you. As an explanation our local fraternities like to burn couches in the middle of the street every fall.

    I am interested in your observations of bicycle use in Kenya as there is a project there that has piqued my curiosity. Are Kenyans determined to use cars despite high oil prices or are they open to alternatives like bikes and trams.

  67. July 22, 2008 at 08:38

    @ Pangolin in California
    Thank you very Much for you’r interest in Kenya,
    as you know kenya’s live in exreme poverty,life without food,water and proper shelter.Hence the Majority spend less than $ 1 per day!,
    Therefore the majority use bikes and not care,even the few with cars use bikes especially when fuel cost goes high!

  68. 71 Pangolin- California
    July 22, 2008 at 08:54

    @ Abdi- The other thing that interests me about Kenya is that frequently street scenes do not show as much greenery as is common in the US. Are water supplies prohibitive or do human factors inhibit planting of flowers and decorative trees and shrubs?

    The BBC did a section on urban gardening and micro-farming in Africa but I didnt’ catch which country that was in. It seemed to be very beneficial to those that had access to plots of soil. Is this something that you attract the attention of the average person there?

    At $1 per day any bicycle could be a major investment for a family. I have a bike fitted out to carry large amounts of cargo but the cost would shock you; $1000 US. Still much cheaper than a car and if I could get out on it more it would improve my health.

  69. July 22, 2008 at 09:09

    @ Pangolin
    Human factor has really contributed to streets populations and flowers are rare in Nairobi,The city is highly populated as people from all corners of the country come to Nairobi to look for job Opportunities,
    Interesting to Note that you’r bike costs $ 1000,that is the same price to that of a second hand car in Somalia.

  70. 73 Pangolin- California
    July 22, 2008 at 09:10

    @ All- Once again I must ponder the need for a preview button instead of a submit button. Excuse my mangled grammer but reflect upon my mangled logic.

    Till tomorrow.

  71. 74 John in Germany
    July 22, 2008 at 09:50

    Thev’e agreed to agree, shook hands, and the cold steely atmosphere is still cold and steely. Zimbabwe god help you. Once again Mugabe has blamed all but himself for the downfall of the economy, the health services, and so on. The African Union has what?. seems to me that in two weeks there will still be confrontation.

    If the generals don’t get their way, there will be no change, and all the talking will be hot air. What can we do?. nothing. Just be sucked in again and again.

    So politics is, kill the opposition, in reality loose the election, but don’t worry because the opposition that really won will be forced to talk to you, and to accept, that although you’ve lost, you’ve won.

    John in Germany.

  72. 75 Katharina in Ghent
    July 22, 2008 at 10:06

    Hi everyone!

    @ Karadzic: It’s a good feeling that run as long as you might, in the end you will get caught and have to stand trial. Let the judges decide over his conduct during the Balkan war…

    Did anybody notice that the Portuguese authorities have stopped looking for Madeleine McCann?

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/7518143.stm

    It basically means that they gave up. Very sad indeed, will there ever be an investigation as to why the police reacted too slowly in the beginning?

  73. 76 Jonathan (cool, gray San Francisco)
    July 22, 2008 at 10:16

    @Pangolin–

    Free and friendly advice about preview vs. submit: Try composing in a small notepad window, or use one of the many virtual post-it programs in which pressing a hotkey pops up a small “sticky note” onscreen, in which you can type your post, then polish your prose to a fine sheen and copy it into the blog window when it’s done. There’s a free one called “stickies” and another called “notezilla” that costs a few bucks, both very good.

    That gives you the chance to correct mistakes like, oh, saying the man-made Hetch Hetchy dam/reservoir/aqueduct system is a natural wonder, or that it’s greedier to keep a building empty than to rent space in it, et cetera, before they get posted for the world to see and giggle at.

  74. 77 Bryan
    July 22, 2008 at 10:34

    Jonathan (cool, gray San Francisco) July 22, 2008 at 1:54 am

    “Chest-pounding knuckle-draggers” is a contradictory image. How can you drag your knuckles when you are busy pounding your chest?

    I feel little or nothing for the criminal and I think that lenient sentences are an insult to the victim of crime and damaging to society at large. My sympathy is with the victim of crime. Now that either makes me a chest-pounder or a knuckle-dragger but it can’t make me both.

  75. 78 Jonathan (cool, gray San Francisco)
    July 22, 2008 at 10:38

    Oh Pangolin, you just make it too gosh-darned easy. I didn’t say anything about the “Green Revolution” — yet another straw man. Hong Kong has precisely zero arable land, but no shortage of food. I could go on but it’s clear you’re a true believer, not to be swayed by mere facts. And a poor loser.

    If Malthus had been correct, you wouldn’t be here to say so, or me to laugh about it.

  76. 79 Robert
    July 22, 2008 at 11:40

    Yet again I am shocked to see African “democracy” at work. First with Kenya and now with Zimbabwe. Does this continent not understand the concept that in a democracy there is winning party and a losing party? The winning party forms a government the losing party is there to question and challenge them as an opposition.

    Since when has power sharing EVER been part of a democratic system when there had been a clear winner at the polling both. Could you have imagined Gore becoming Bush’s vice president in 2000?

    What happens at the next election? More of the same?

    This send out a very clear message to the world that the votes are irrelevent. Throw enough toys out of the pram and you will get what you want.

    Also what does it say for the strength and power of the constitution and courts in these countries. It reinforces the belief in these politians that they can rewrite the rules out of convienence when they want.

    Unless these countries
    1) Generate a consistent constitution and set of rules
    2) Stick to them
    they will never develop. Development is not bricks and mortar. Development is the having a stable and predictable rule of law. With this you generate a climate in which people will invest (both building businesses and getting training or even just staying in country rather than fleeing) and the rest will follow.

  77. 80 Jonathan (cool, gray San Francisco)
    July 22, 2008 at 11:51

    Bob Q–

    That’s so funny! I think I may have more insight now into the source of your personal passion for population control.

    Well, when I have my say about English colonialism, I usually praise its legacy of government, education, and language. Be that as it may, India’s climb from basket case began about 15 years ago, for indigenous reasons, quite a while after you lot departed. But OK, deny me a billion people just because you taught some of them English.

    I offer another 1.5 billion in China. Basically the same story in the same time frame for the same reasons, in which the Empire can’t claim a part unless you count the Opium Wars, a more troubling legacy to say the least. Another hyperpopulated country, formerly dirt-poor and famine-frequent, lately enriching itself at a fantastic sustained rate, by producing more than before.

    Those preoccupied with population see people only as eaters, as if they were so many cattle, ignoring their role as producers, inventors, traders, creators. Intuition, observation, logic, and experience all show this to be a mistake.

    The evidence that human beings, freed from oppressive governmental control, quickly work to become richer (and incidentally less fertile) is overwhelming. If Bangladesh and Ethiopia achieve that happy condition, then, sure, why not? Botswana and a few other African countries are doing it. People is people is people.

    Seriously though, Bob, I won’t push this any further with you. I enjoy an exchange of ideas and a chance to enlighten, but I dislike proselytizers and the idea of being one. I have no wish to be a nagging pain in the neck pressing a tiresome subject. In short, I won’t be pounding on your door to persuade you to accept Jesus. Fair enough?

  78. 81 Bryan
    July 22, 2008 at 11:53

    Ah yes, the ‘peace’ process. Both Hamas and the PLO have in their charters the destruction of Israel. Neither Hamas nor the Fatah of the ‘Palestinian Authority’ have renounced this intention, though they will fiddle with the truth a bit for their international audience.

    it’s all deviousness and semantics. If they will not deviate one inch from their obsessive Jew-hatred, how can there be peace? I have posed the following question before on this blog:

    What have the Palestinians done to fulfil any of their obligations under the Road Map?

    And the related question:

    What are their obligations under the Road Map?

    I wonder why these issues are never discussed and why people always drone on exclusively about Israel’s obligations. Come on folks, it’s a simple question. I’m sure you can answer it. Maybe we can even make a WHYS programme out of it. Imagine that.

    If the Palestinians lay down their weapons, there will be peace. If Israel lays down her weapons, there will be no more Israel.

  79. July 22, 2008 at 12:24

    The news that made me choke on my evening cup of licorice tea last night

    What?! Where do you get that? I must try some!

  80. 83 Roberto
    July 22, 2008 at 12:28

    Please remember that even Radovan Karadzic is still only accused of the war crimes, even he has the right to a fair trial.
    ——————————————————————————————-

    —— Hague is not the place for justice.

    It’s a place for bureaucratic legal mangling of ethics and logic. War by definition is an atrocity against humanity, but this Kradzic trial strikes me more as victor’s justice.

    The circus atmosphere of the Milosovich trial is pretty much the signature trial the Hague will be remembered for. There were plenty of atrocities on both sides, and at the end of the day when the smoke cleared, Serbs bombed back to the medieval ages by, ahem, NATO, Kosovo wrested from them, and the rest of Yugo carved up for Bosnians and Croats.

    There is something to be said for a strongman like Tito or Saddam who clamp the lids down on these simmering tribal and religious conflicts.

    So far as I know, the Hague has let any of the few Muslims involved in atrocities off the hook, making Serbs feel like Europe’s whipping boy. I have zero confidance these new borders will remain.

    On a micro side note, albino citizens in Tanzania have been killed, butchered, chopped up for various body parts and potions made up by witch doctors who make big bucks passing out all this supposed good mojo to local clients.

    So, albino Africans are going the way of the gorillas, rhinos, and elephant, only these are local citizens with families, not animals in the bush.

    My last National Geographic sits on my kitchen table, face up in plain view, yet unseen and unread by me. Cover features a portrait shot of mountain gorilla killed in rebel conflicts with a SCREAMING RED leader, “Who Murdered the Mountain Gorillas?”

    How many hundreds of thousands of Africans will be run down by roving gangs or rebels and shot up, hacked, raped and sent into the bush to live like animals?

    Well, I can’t be bothered with modern anthropologic notions wanting to equivicate humans with apes, even if the apes seem to be more civilized than far too many of our brothers.

    This NG will be put on the shelf unread when next month’s issue comes out. First time that’s ever happened and somehow symbolic in my view of current global events.

    Die in a traffic accident in the US, the body part bounty hunters will be coming like thieves in the night to slice and dice you for more modern witch docs to pass along modern mojo for big bucks.

    This is said to be progress and the height of civilization, along with the Hague.

    Gee, who do I thank?

  81. 84 Jonathan (cool, gray San Francisco)
    July 22, 2008 at 12:35

    @Bryan–

    Well, this is what can happen when children are whipped viciously for small infractions. You’re a poster boy.

    You acknowledge that long prison sentencing does not deter crime, that it incurs a huge expense on society, that it uselessly brutalizes people, and that it actually reduces the chance that they will become productive citizens upon release, thereby “damaging society at large.”

    Knowing all this, you still favor long sentences, for no reason whatever that you can articulate. (You claim as a fig leaf “sympathy with the victim of crime,” but you surely cannot imagine that a longer sentence will bring back a murder victim, unrape a rape victim, heal an assault victim, etc.) I suspect you are an unwitting link in the well-documented chain of abuse, whereby an abused child harbors resentments that all too often make him an abuser as an adult.

    There’s no contradiction between knuckle-dragging and chest-thumping; gorillas do it all the time. Here’s how it works: You walk on all fours, hence the knuckle dragging. Periodically you stop to make a point by beating your chest and roaring. Whatever the relative logical faculties, though, gorillas are renowned as “gentle giants,” so their instincts, sentiments, and actions are more benign than your own.

  82. July 22, 2008 at 12:42

    @ Brett I disagree i cant think of anything worse! But then again i dont like aniseed.

    @Bob Q as a young adult i hope my parents never stop being a ATM… my grandparents still give my parents a sub at Christmas.

    ~RE Karadzic what will happen to him now… an expensive trial followed by execution?

    @ Will I grew up in germany and went to an international school where I had lots of american friends. I came back to the UK and it took over 3 years for me to loose my American Twang. Its not a question of doing an american accent but more a question of how to loose one! When i went on a german exchange recently we had to speak english with american accents for our hosts to understand us!! They had learnt english from american oral tapes….

    @Robert are you really suprised by African Democracy
    ” Does this continent not understand the concept that in a democracy there is winning party and a losing party? The winning party forms a government the losing party is there to question and challenge them as an opposition.”
    This continent was devided up by european colonialists but at its heart it is still very tribal. Prehaps some of the european standards of democracy are not yet applicable to Africa. Europe was hardly equal in its democracy… right up to the victorians only a minority of Britians population were emancipated, and most seats in parliament could be bought. Even today with the UK’s voting system of first past the post, our elections are not necessarily representative of the will of the people. Americans system (which in truth i dont really understand) is even more complicated… and thus prehaps un-representative.

    Thats all for now :Dxxx

  83. 86 Jonathan (cool, gray San Francisco)
    July 22, 2008 at 13:05

    @Roberto–

    Wow. I guess I didn’t know what to expect from a defender of the monster Karadzic and the barbaric Serbs, because frankly I didn’t expect such a defender to appear at all.

    But it’s entirely fitting that an attempt to defend these butchers should take the form of an interminable, incoherent, rambling rant. After all, there is no case to be made or found for them within the bounds of normal, sane, organized thinking.

    I can assure you that nobody cares one fig what you do with your “National Geographic” magazines, or even how you can describe in detail the cover of an issue you insist is “unseen” by you. The implicit comparison of human beings with apes is disgusting and instructive of the workings of a sick mind. The only sound sentiment in your entire blathering screed was that “…apes seem to be more civilized than far too many of our brothers.”

    Right you are, sir.

  84. 87 Robert
    July 22, 2008 at 14:11

    @Hannah

    I think what I find disturbing is the pretence that this is democracy. It is also the fact that in Kenya’s case it has been endosed by the international community. It may be the only way forward and the practical side of me is all for it, but don’t dress it up as democracy.

    The colonial powers during the victorian days and before made no pretence of representing the common person. Everybody knew it was just for the rich.

  85. 88 Dennis
    July 22, 2008 at 14:11

    Radovan: was arrested that took a lot of years for that to happend….

    Dennis
    Syracuse, New York [USA]

  86. 89 John in Germany
    July 22, 2008 at 14:23

    Lets see.

    A gore has been caught, there is no doubt that he committed the crimes he is accused of, but still, how long will it take to sentence him?. How about lynch justice, of the type he used?. No chance we are civilised, and all of those that commit crimes against humanity know that, so they take the risqué knowing that no matter what happens, they will always get a fair trial, and may be a very expensive lawyer team will get them of anyway, or at least reduce the sentence to minimum, there is always a chance.

    John in Germany

  87. 90 Jonathan (cool, gray San Francisco)
    July 22, 2008 at 14:35

    @Dennis,

    A lot of years, indeed. Conveniently they managed to dig the guy up right in time for Serbia’s bid for admission to the EU, which I think should happen sometime after Zimbabwe’s admission to the EU.

    Cynicism aside, I am once again available for dancing in the streets! Did I say I was against capital punishment? Maybe just this once….I want to see how that big bushy head of hair behaves upon the application of 50,000 volts, and see him perform one last quaint little folk dance. BZZZZT! Yes we can!

  88. 91 Tom
    July 22, 2008 at 14:58

    @ Roberto,

    Karadzic commanded the Bosnian Serbs forces and undertook ethnic cleansing in a genocidal scale. This included the wholesale rounding up and massacring of all muslim males within Srebrenica, including young boys. For this, he is deserving of trial. Yes / No?

    For most parts of the war, the serbs were on the offensive and have made impressive gains over both the croats and the muslims. It was only in the final stages of the war did the serbs began to lose ground. Even then, following the peace accord the serbs were able to retain some of the lands lost. So the pending trial is not exactly a victor’s trial. Nobody really won the war. Yes / No?

    Karadzic himself was arrested and handed over by Serbia. Presumably his own nation has given up on him. Yes / No?

  89. 92 John in Germany
    July 22, 2008 at 15:16

    Time to Go.
    Wish you all the best.
    John in Germany

  90. 93 selena
    July 22, 2008 at 15:23

    As in all stories, there are three sides. Karadzic is not the only war criminal that this war turned up?

    His own nation appears to have given up on him because they want something that they think is more important than Karadzic. It was ever thus!

    It surprises me that not many seem to be looking at the big picture. The conversation is still firmly focused on us vs them.

  91. 94 Roberto
    July 22, 2008 at 15:23

    Wow. I guess I didn’t know what to expect from a defender of the monster Karadzic
    ————————————————————————————————

    —- Best to guess again.

    Never defended the indefensible. The gist was the incompetent way the Hague is run and any notion of justice in this world as handed down by snooty long nosed judges on the dole.

  92. 95 Jonathan (cool, gray San Francisco)
    July 22, 2008 at 16:00

    Glad you filled me in on the “gist” Roberto, since you wandered all over the lot, from the tiresome and obscene cliche about “atrocities on both sides” and the poor serbs, to applause for Saddam Hussein, to a lengthy digression on Afrian apes, African albino humans, African humans in general, American car crash victims, and your magazine reading habits.

    It was indeed a “guess” because you didn’t leave a clue. If your “gist” was some point against the Hague, you didn’t make it and you still haven’t made it. What exactly don’t you like about it, and why, other than its failure to prosecute the imaginary corresponding war criminals on the other side, who didn’t exist, and hence didn’t spend lazy months cheerfully picking off the citizens of Belgrade with sniper rifles, as your heroes did to Sarajevo?

    “Long nosed?”

    To paraphrase the famous description of fox hunting: The unspeakable in defense of the indefensible.

  93. 96 selena
    July 22, 2008 at 16:15

    Jonathan!!!!!!

  94. 97 1430a
    July 22, 2008 at 16:25

    hi guys
    after the beating my most of the guys on the last comment i made,i am scared to write on the WHYS.
    well i hope you guys understand that i am just 16 and learning the art of writing so if i make any mistakes or offend anyone of you please forgive me.
    again SORRY,if i have made any mistakes.

    Thank you
    Abhinav

  95. 98 Anthony
    July 22, 2008 at 16:48

    Hi everyone,

    Just here to say that the new Batman movie is the greatest film of all time :). We should talk about that.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  96. 99 Julie P
    July 22, 2008 at 16:50

    @1430a,

    There is no need to apologize for comments that you have made in this, or any other forum. You have just as much right to state your opinions or beliefs just as much as anyone else. Congratulations on taking an interest in the world around and participating in this forum. Keep coming back.

  97. 100 selena
    July 22, 2008 at 17:12

    @1430a,

    Hey, you are very welcome here. Don’t mind what people say! Some people just need to vent and sometimes we are in the way when they do.

    It is great to get the perspective of a 16 year old. You have much to teach us about today’s generation and from your own experience.

    I hope that, in return, we don’t leave you jaded.

    So, say what you want to say; I, for one, am listening to every word.

    🙂

  98. 101 Luz Ma from Mexico
    July 22, 2008 at 17:38

    @1430a

    Everyone is entitled to an opinion in this blog, no matter age, race, religion, occupation, etc. Yours is as important as anyone else. I would feel sad if you stop contributing to WHYS. Nowadays, it is not common to come across people your age interested in world current events. I congratulate you for being interested and giving your opinion.

    I am listening too! 🙂

  99. 102 Luz Ma from Mexico
    July 22, 2008 at 17:40

    @Anthony
    Probably I will see the Batman movie today (if my mom can babysit my daughters). I am looking forward to see it. I´ll let you know my opinion as soon as I have one…he,he!!
    🙂

  100. 103 Jonathan (cool, gray San Francisco)
    July 22, 2008 at 18:03

    Selena!! Huh? What did I say????

    (Where’s my smiley for “befuddled innocent?”)

  101. 104 Jonathan (cool, gray San Francisco)
    July 22, 2008 at 18:18

    1430a–

    I don’t think *I* beat up on you or even corresponded with you at all, but if I did, I’m very sorry. For heaven’s sake, don’t pay any attention to me. Nobody else does! “)

  102. 105 John LaGrua/New York
    July 22, 2008 at 21:07

    Prosecution of war crimes and crimes against humanity should be extended to major players such as Bush/Blair and their Irag war proponents such as Rumsfeld,Wolferwitz,Feith et al.By isuuing warants for arrest they would be confined to their respective countries and further discredited by evading justice .The prospects of equal treatment for the small fry and the major criminals are slim but symbolic gestures are important as a deterrent as Dr.Johnson .”The prospect of hanging concentrates one’s mind.” most wisely observed.There is a report that some of the Bush terror team have been warned not to travel out of the US by legal counsel Laurence Wilkerson .It would be only fair for them to have nightmares as to the possibility of suffering the same fate of their innocent victims.Equal jusice before the law ! Who can disagree with that in a civilized society?

  103. 106 Bryan
    July 22, 2008 at 23:45

    Well, that’s pretty bad form, guys, to allow jonathan’s insulting post to remain while deleting my response. In case it was deleted in error, I’m posting it again:

    Jonathan (cool, gray San Francisco) July 22, 2008 at 12:35 pm

    “@Bryan–

    Well, this is what can happen when children are whipped viciously for small infractions. You’re a poster boy.”

    Is it impossible for you to debate anything without insult? Who the hell gave you the right to decide who or what I am?

    “You acknowledge that long prison sentencing does not deter crime, that it incurs a huge expense on society, that it uselessly brutalizes people, and that it actually reduces the chance that they will become productive citizens upon release, thereby “damaging society at large.””

    You’re mixing me up with someone else. I didn’t say any of that.

    “I suspect you are an unwitting link in the well-documented chain of abuse, whereby an abused child harbors resentments that all too often make him an abuser as an adult.”

    Spare me the pop psychology.

    Drop the insults and get the basic thing right of who said what to whom and I’ll debate your points.

  104. 107 Tom
    July 23, 2008 at 01:46

    @ 1430a

    WHYS is a relatively friendly place to discuss or opinionate world issues whatever your angle is. I’d recommend this place more than those newspaper forums just because of the academic nature of the people who frequent this place. You may get the odd jabs from those who disagree with you, but the spirit of this place is to discuss the point and not the person. So I wouldn’t worry too much about posts that attack you personally.

  105. 108 Bryan
    July 23, 2008 at 07:49

    Tom, it’s my understanding of the rules of WHYS that abusive personal attacks are not allowed. That is as it should be. The internet is riddled with comments on debate forums from people trying to prove how clever they are and how effectively they can put the other person down.

    It’s a major waste of time and space and distracts from the debate.

    Here’s a good rule:

    Play the ball and not the man.

  106. 109 John in Germany
    July 23, 2008 at 15:52

    @Tom
    At last, someone who has stated a fact close to my heart.
    Debate, but not among certain groups, but in general. It seems to me, and it possibly cannot be avoided, but academics raises its head quiet often. i had intended to stop posting, because many interesting items(i do not include my postings here) have just not been picked up. but have been ignored for, yes at times personal messages concerning E-Mails and such.

    Of course contacts will be made, but this place is not for that, but to debate on given themes. The time differences are a problem, but some moderators have overcome this as well. None of us are here because we are lonely, but because we would like to debate in a shared and lively manner. We don’t want to join a clique, but to be an effective part in an informative learning process, that is in its nature very unique due to its origin, the BBC.

    John in Germany


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