31
Jul
08

Talking points 1st August

Your moderators while we are away from the office are Mike in the US and Bob in Australia….enjoy….


168 Responses to “Talking points 1st August”


  1. 1 Dennis
    July 31, 2008 at 19:25

    Welcome to the moderators Mike and Bob

    Dennis

  2. 2 Dennis
    July 31, 2008 at 19:28

    The “arraignment” of Radovan Karadzic today in the Hague…

    He pleaded innocent to the charges…

    *Mark: is on his way to Beijing for the BBC WORLD SERVICE…We should wish him a good time*

    Dennis

  3. 3 steve
    July 31, 2008 at 19:48

    Interesting story in the US. Seems to only make national headlines when white perpetrators attack/kill a minority, but not when the reverse happens.

    http://www.cnn.com/2008/CRIME/07/31/shenadoah.beating/index.html

  4. July 31, 2008 at 20:08

    @Steve,

    When was the last time a mob of undocumented teenaged Hispanics attacked and stomped to death a U.S. citizen? You don’t think that would make the front page of the CNN’s website? I do.

  5. 5 selena
    July 31, 2008 at 20:18

    @Steve

    My goodness, what exactly are you implying?

  6. 6 steve
    July 31, 2008 at 20:23

    @ Portlandmike

    I never see frontpage CNN headlines about MS-13 attacks. There are also lots and lots of latino vs. black hate crimes in the US, but those don’t make national headlines either. Why?

    http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-hatecrime25-2008jul25,0,7191743.story

  7. 7 steve
    July 31, 2008 at 20:28

    Looks like Obama might be opening the door for reparations. Though his words could be interpreted many ways.

    http://starbulletin.com/2008/07/28/news/story05.html

  8. 8 Venessa
    July 31, 2008 at 20:39

    Steve,

    I’m not sure if I agree with what you are implying but regardless this was a seriously heinous act. These boys indeed deserve to be tried as adults and should receive harsh sentences. The fact that they were “such good boys” before should be a testament to that. Responsibility needs to be taken for their actions and providing leniency would be a mistake. I think that regardless of anyone’s ethnicity.

  9. 9 Asad_Babyl
    July 31, 2008 at 20:40

    @Dennis

    Good idea, let’s discuss whether the court putting up that show has any legitimacy at all. To me, it’s nothing more than a collection of self-important bafoons blowing hot air and has no legal standing to try, apprehend or hold anybody.

  10. July 31, 2008 at 20:41

    @Steve

    I think there is a difference between gang violence, and three young teenagers attacking a young man walking with his girlfriend… while hurling racial epithets.

  11. 11 Ana Milena, Colombia
    July 31, 2008 at 20:42

    🙂 Hi!
    Wow, Mark! Our best wishes for you! Enjoy as much as you can. We’ll look forward to having news from you in no time!

    I think On-line Networking and its implications might be a good topic to talk about. Experiences such as the incident that took place in Janyary, or even lately, show how exposed people are to getting their information stolen or manipulated. Yet, they’re becoming more and more popular.

    A victim of a fake profile: http://technology.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/tech_and_web/article4389538.ece

    Some months ago, a scandal surrounded Facebook:
    http://news.cnet.com/8301-10784_3-9854409-7.html

    Security gaps in Facebook:
    http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/story?id=3325951
    http://news.softpedia.com/news/Private-Profile-Info-Leaked-by-Facebook-90117.shtml

    Cheers!

    PS: by the way, I wonder if someone can help me… How can I post labeled links? Can I use HTML? Thanks!

  12. 12 Asad_Babyl
    July 31, 2008 at 20:44

    @steve

    Minority journalist associations. I wonder how much objective coverage you can get out of those guys, normally good at publishing only an enumeration of the evils committed by the white man.

    Electing Obama itself would be a sort of reparation by the liberals gloating in their white guilt.

  13. 13 Jens
    July 31, 2008 at 20:44

    well the obviouse talking point is

    Happy 1st of August to Switzerland, with 717 years of age, surely one of the oldest nations……

  14. 14 Jens
    July 31, 2008 at 20:45

    Steve,

    maybe they should be looked up in a predominantly latino cell block. i am sure thy will have a grand old time there.

  15. 15 Valentine
    July 31, 2008 at 20:55

    Marvelous,

    MOISE KATUMBI CHAPWE, exceptional in th RD Congo, a Governor with reflection and idears resembling to that of Europeans, puting in action the the 5 Chantiers of the head of state in reality, WOW!!! Katanga province will soon become a paradise in Africa. And you, do you know about katanga/Lubumbashi in the DR Congo and it’s governor?

    Valentine

  16. 16 Asad_Babyl
    July 31, 2008 at 21:00

    @Valentine,

    Aren’t africans attempting to reject european ideas of governance? what’s so marvelous about that?

  17. 18 steve
    July 31, 2008 at 21:04

    @ Vanessa

    “Responsibility needs to be taken for their actions and providing leniency would be a mistake. I think that regardless of anyone’s ethnicity.”

    Yes of course, but on all levels. First, they weren’t adults though. Kids do stupid things. Sometimes stuff like this. You’re either an adult, or you aren’t. They weren’t adults and shouldn’t be charged as adults.

    Second, what about the responsibility of the government? If the government did it’s job, the victim would still be alive, in Mexico. Had they done their job, these kids couldn’t have killed him.

  18. 19 Julie P
    July 31, 2008 at 21:06

    Bus ride in Cananda has one passenger getting repeatedly stabbed and losing their head.

    http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/americas/07/31/canada.bus/index.html

    According to one passenger it sounded like a cross “between a dog howling and a baby crying”.

  19. 20 Venessa
    July 31, 2008 at 21:08

    Steve ~

    So you think the victim should have been killed because he was here illegally? Isn’t that beside the point and a form of blame displacement? Shouldn’t he have not been attacked in the first place? The onus is still on the people that committed the act. They had a CHOICE and obviously made the wrong one that ended in a death.

    I don’t care if they are “kids.” What they did was kill someone by beating them. I hardly call that just doing some stupid kid thing. I call smoking pot and going to parties and getting drunk stupid kid stuff.

  20. 21 steve
    July 31, 2008 at 21:10

    What I’m implying is that hate crimes only make national headlines when the victim is not white, and the perpetrators are white.

    Last year, there was a rash of attacks on Baltimore busses, by blacks, against whites, attacks, racial epithets, etc. Only made the local news. Do you think it would have only been local news if the roles had been reversed?

    http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/local/bal-te.md.mta07dec07,0,4653017.story

  21. 22 steve
    July 31, 2008 at 21:12

    @ Vanessa

    “So you think the victim should have been killed because he was here illegally? Isn’t that beside the point and a form of blame displacement? Shouldn’t he have not been attacked in the first place?”

    of course not, and of course he shouldn’t have been attacked. But had the government done it’s job, he wouldn’t have been there to be attacked. I’m sorry, but that’s the truth. Had he not broken the law, or the US government enforced its laws, he would be alive today.

  22. 23 steve
    July 31, 2008 at 21:13

    @ Julie P

    That is why you don’t take Greyhound.

  23. 24 Jens
    July 31, 2008 at 21:13

    Steve,

    the kids were around 17. at 17 you know the consequences of brutally beating somebody. these guys belong behind bars for a long time and have their lives equally as effed-up as they did to this guy.

    you know it really does not matter if one is an illigal immigrant in this case. he is a human and as a human he bleeds equally as red a blood as you or I do.

    trust me rasists like that do not care, they would have found another person of color. if i would have seen this incident i would stuck their baseball bats up a place where the sun does not shine.

  24. July 31, 2008 at 21:17

    @Steve

    If CNN produces “national headlines” then so does FauxNews
    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,316101,00.html

  25. 26 selena
    July 31, 2008 at 21:17

    @Steve

    Bringing the government into this is supposed to accomplish what exactly?

    I am confused!

  26. 27 Julie P
    July 31, 2008 at 21:18

    @Steve,

    I fly Midwest, on rare occasions United, BA, or Delta. I have only read about one person dying on a Delta flight, but their time to go was in the loo, so I guess when it’s your “time to go, it’s your time to go”!

  27. 28 steve
    July 31, 2008 at 21:20

    @ Jens

    17 is not 18. 18 is majority.

    It’s like how a 20 year old, who turns 21 tomorrow, cannot buy a beer legally today.

  28. 29 steve
    July 31, 2008 at 21:21

    @ selena

    Vanessa brought up responsibility, and the government didn’t do its job, that’s why I brought up the government.

  29. 30 steve
    July 31, 2008 at 21:23

    @ Mike

    Are you suggesting Fox was lying about that story?

  30. 31 Venessa
    July 31, 2008 at 21:27

    Steve ~

    I don’t dispute him breaking the law and yes, he probably wouldn’t have died if he wasn’t here but that doesn’t mean somebody else would be in his place. There are many “what if’s” in life and questioning his legality sounds like a defense that an attorney would use when there isn’t better argument. We aren’t talking about his legality; we are talking about the fact that he was beaten to death. I don’t care if it is here or somewhere else in the world; the crime was atrocious and should not be diminished by his legal status.

  31. 32 Jens
    July 31, 2008 at 21:31

    Steve,

    it is not as if on your 18th birthday you get a silver spoon full of wisdom you did not have the day before.

    these kids are rasists menaces and belong punished the hardess way possible, like live without parol. i really do not care for such people and the excuse they were not 18 is a ver pisssss poor one. i knew right from wrong when i was 17.

  32. 33 steve
    July 31, 2008 at 21:32

    @ Vanessa

    But if the government had done it’s job, the crime couldn’t have happened. It’s not always the illegal being a victim. There are people who get murdered by illegals, or killed in drunk driving accidents with them. If the government had done it’s job, those events wouldn’t have happened either. I’m not taking away anything from the heinousness of the crime that was committed, but perhaps the government should do it’s job so things like this don’t happen again? There will always be hateful people, and nothing can be done about that. But others things we can have more control over.

  33. 34 steve
    July 31, 2008 at 21:36

    @ Jens

    But we have bright line age rules for lots of things. Those kids weren’t allowed to vote. Are they suddenly more informed to vote by turning 18? They are not adults, the law says so. They can’t be denied the vote, but then held liable as an adult criminally. YOu need to pick one, you can’t have both.

  34. 35 Jens
    July 31, 2008 at 21:38

    Steve,

    you are naive. they would have beaten any person of color. these guys are idiots and should be treated like the lowest form of life. they thought they were supirior because they were jock’s of their class and as such clearly demonstrated their total disregard for human life. guess what? i disregard their lifes, because their lifes are worthless.

  35. 36 steve
    July 31, 2008 at 21:45

    @ Jens

    Jens, I don’t see them having a conviction. Remember the “innocent until proven guilty” thing? You want them thrown to the wolves. You don’t know them. Maybe they had a problem with illegal immigrants and not “any person of color”. YOu don’t know if they would have attacked a black or an asian. You just think they would because you make all sorts of judgments of them due to them being “jocks” or whatever. I have a feeling being a jock doesn’t make someone a murderer. Perhaps the problem is elsewhere? You simply can’t know. Perhaps they hate illegal immigrants? Doesn’t excuse in the slightest what they did, but you can’t presume tehy would have attacked “any person of color”.

  36. 37 Jens
    July 31, 2008 at 21:50

    OK, perhaps they hate illegal immigrants. So steve how do they know he was an illegal immigrant. maybe they beat him to death because he was mexican/latino. as far as i am aware illegals do not have illegal tatooed on their forheads…..or wear the illegal immigrant star on their chest.

    these guys a rasisits that is it. they beat somebody to death and off they go to adult jail for the rest of their lifes. their they can think about how miserable their lifes have turned. plus i hope they make it to a ripe old age behind bars, being daily reminded what kind of morons they are.

  37. July 31, 2008 at 21:53

    @Steve

    >>Last year, there was a rash of attacks on Baltimore busses, by blacks, against whites, attacks, racial epithets, etc. Only made the local news. Do you think it would have only been local news if the roles had been reversed?<<

    No. You say first that CNN makes “national headlines” with their “biased” reporting. Then you say that the Baltimore story only made the “local news.” Im showing you that fauxnews had that story.

    Perhaps those boys that stomped a man to death should be let go. Mexico should be put in jail… and the U.S. too for not enforcing immigration laws for sixty years, when it comes to our Southern border.

  38. 39 steve
    July 31, 2008 at 22:01

    @ Mike

    Then only Fox chose to take the story of the baltimore bus beatings. Let’s not forget the baltimore bus beating victim was a woman as well. Normally stuff like that would make CNN, but since the attackers were black, the ignored the story, and only “Faux” news on a national level covered it. Why?

    Fox news did cover this PA story.

    http://www.foxnews.com/wires/2008Jul25/0,4670,ImmigrantKillingStudents,00.html

  39. 40 nelsoni
    July 31, 2008 at 22:04

    Hello every one,

    Hello to our Moderators Mike in the US and Bob in Australia.

    Guess who is blogging? Fidel Castro

    Fidel castro’s blog in Spanish and English

    I find this very curious

  40. 41 Venessa
    July 31, 2008 at 22:08

    Steve ~

    As splendid as it is to think the government should have done their job and are the ones to blame I still think the individuals are responsible. Speculate all you want and that still doesn’t restore someone’s life. How about if those boys were never born then the victim would still be alive, or maybe if the victim never met his fiancée he wouldn’t have been walking her sister home and would have never been attacked. Maybe if the parents of the boys never let them go out together that night the victim would still be alive or maybe…Speculating is fun….

    The reality is the government is a horrible babysitter (nor should it be babysitting in the first place) and implying it is responsible for a murdered victim that happened to be here illegally is absurd! The individuals committed the act and had a choice not to; the onus is theirs alone.

    “I wouldn’t have killed him if he was here legally or if the government did their job and kept these illegals out of here I wouldn’t have had to beat him to death.” Sounds like a load of crap to me!

    Here legally or not anyone committing a crime like this should get a harsh punishment. If you don’t know right from wrong (or what is acceptable) in the place you live you’re an idiot. My suspicion is these kids knew exactly what right and wrong are given their once bright futures.

  41. July 31, 2008 at 22:08

    @ Steve,

    Maybe CNN didn’t cover it because she wasn’t stomped to death?

  42. 43 Jens
    July 31, 2008 at 22:14

    Vanessa,

    Ditto

  43. July 31, 2008 at 22:21

    @ nelsoni,

    Those links aren’t working. Go figure!

  44. 45 Julie P
    July 31, 2008 at 22:28

    @portlandmike,

    The Spanish one is. Perhaps, a Spanish speaking contributor and translate?

    http://www.cubadebate.cu/index.php?tpl=design/libros.tpl.html&newsid_obj_id=8860

  45. 46 steve
    July 31, 2008 at 22:39

    @ mike

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/07/09/AR2006070900215.html

    This story didn’t make national headlines, though the police response did. A high ranking police official said something like blacks don’t live in Georgetown, so if you see some late at night, be careful. That created a firestorm, but not the murder. If you notice, one of the defendants was 15, and wasn’t being charged as an adult, despite a murder and attempted rape occurring.

  46. 47 steve
    July 31, 2008 at 22:41

    @ Vanessa

    “If you don’t know right from wrong (or what is acceptable) in the place you live you’re an idiot. My suspicion is these kids knew exactly what right and wrong are given their once bright futures.”

    then there’s no reason 17 year olds shouldn’t be allowed to vote or drink if they know right from wrong. If we pick arbitrary ages, and stick by them only in certain cases (ie no 17 year old can vote, but a 17 can be charges as an adult, despite not being an adult) it looks like we are picking and choosing what constitutes being an adult. Either charge them as juveniles, or give all 17 year olds the right to vote, and to buy beer.

  47. 48 Shirley
    July 31, 2008 at 22:44

    It might be possible to force Karl Rove to comply with his subpoena and testify before Congress. An AP article from Yahoo News states, “Bush officials who have defied their subpoenas, including Bush’s former top adviser Karl Rove, must appear as part of a probe of whether the White House directed the firings of nine federal prosecutors.” What’s interesting is that the judge, U.S. District Judge John Bates, was appointed by Bush. Normally, he is rather careful to appoint people who support his broad concept of Presidential powers.

    The NYT piece contained the following information: “Judge Bates called his 93-page decision ‘very limited’ and emphasized that he could see the possibility of the dispute being resolved through political negotiations. The White House is almost certain to appeal the ruling.” But doesn’t that practically negate the effectiveness of the ruling and the ability to enforce it? The judge went on to emphasise that it is up to the courts, not the executive branch, to determine the scope of its immunity in particular cases. I would not be surprised at all if the White House contests that idea, given the nature of their power-grabbing efforts.

    The NYT aricle also named the citation of the “ringing” comment: “Today’s landmark ruling is a ringing reaffirmation of the fundamental principle of checks and balances and the basic American idea that no person is above the law,” said Representative John D. Conyers, the Michigan Democrat who is chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. I find it interesting that the AP piece did not name Congressman Conyers.

  48. July 31, 2008 at 23:02

    @ Steve,

    The story you linked to made no reference to race. I can’t see how this tragedy is similar to three young men stomping someone to death because of his nationality.

  49. 50 steve
    July 31, 2008 at 23:12

    @ Mike

    My point is that if the victim is not white, and the perpetrator is white, the story makes national headlines. If the victim is white, and the perpetrator is not white, the story doesn’t make national headlines.

  50. 51 Jens
    July 31, 2008 at 23:13

    Steve,

    the irony was that THEY were DRINKING, I guess that will mitigate the circumstances………

    “sorry your honor, i was drunk and just had to beat an illegal immigrant to death. promise won’t do it again….”

  51. 52 Venessa
    July 31, 2008 at 23:14

    Steve ~

    I have not mentioned age in all of this other than they should be tried as adults. Often your arguments distract from the point someone is making but I’ll go with this.

    No blanket law ever covers the gray areas. They will always exist with exceptions to every rule. That is why these individuals could have been tried as juveniles but according to the article they are charged as adults. You can correct me if I’m wrong but haven’t lower state courts have been given flexibility in this gray area that allows some latitude in how the crime is charged. Obviously it was legal for them to charge them as such. I conclude that as an attorney you too utilize this to your full benefit in your cases….

    Arbitrary ages for voting and drinking don’t really provide gray areas. Either you’re old enough to drink or vote or you’re not. Being old enough to drink and vote also have absolutely nothing to do beating someone to death. The argument you keep making doesn’t apply to violent crimes; it relates to whether or not you are old enough to buy beer and cast a ballot.

  52. 53 Jens
    July 31, 2008 at 23:17

    Steve,

    how was that again in texas? you know the jena 6 and the beating of the white kid? as as i rember that one made national news and the kid did not require a hospital stay. i rember the treatment of the bl;ack kids was pretty harsh.

    kind off puts an end to your hypothesis……

  53. July 31, 2008 at 23:23

    @ Steve,

    I don’t think you have made your case. If a group of minority kids beat someone to death because of their whiteness, it would be national news.

    As in the Jena 6 episode… thanks jens!

  54. 55 Jens
    July 31, 2008 at 23:29

    Steve,

    look at these statistics and i think we can end the debate. the data is from the FBI

    By Race
    An analysis of available race data for the 7,330 known hate crime offenders revealed that:

    58.6 percent were white.
    20.6 percent were black.
    5.7 percent were groups made up of individuals of various races (multiple races, group).
    1.1 percent were Asian/Pacific Islander.
    1.0 percent of known offenders were American Indian/Alaskan Native.
    12.9 percent were unknown.

  55. 56 Venessa
    July 31, 2008 at 23:38

    Steve ~

    “If you notice, one of the defendants was 15, and wasn’t being charged as an adult, despite a murder and attempted rape occurring.”

    I did notice the 15 year old being tried as a juvenile but there was nothing in the story of his involvement other than being arrested. The story in the article described only 3 people attacking but there are 4 arrests. If the 15 year old was one of the assailants then by all means he deserves the same charges, no exceptions!

  56. 57 Shirley
    July 31, 2008 at 23:42

    Venessa, some questions to toss into the mix: Should the boys be tried as adults? Have they made a terrible error ofjudgement that their young minds rationalised or failed to analyse before they acted? Might it be possible that they would receive the best instruction on how to become hardened criminals once inside the prison syetm? Could they be properly rehabilitated with age-appropriate sentencing?

  57. 58 steve
    July 31, 2008 at 23:49

    @ mike

    in LA, there are hate crimes between blacks and hispanics all the time and it never makes national headlines. It only gets national headlines when whites do it. The only exception I can even think of was Colin Ferguson, and that was because he did a mass shooting.

  58. 59 Jens
    July 31, 2008 at 23:52

    Shirly,

    who cares if the become hardened criminals inside, since they should never see the outside again. if your sense of entertainment is to go out get hammered and beat people to death, then you do not deserve to be outside. in fact i see nothing wrong with the death penalty.

    Steve,

    just another case where your hypothsis is being shattered. how about the link below. kind of reverse and it made national news….i can pull x-amount of such reports.

    http://www.cnn.com/2008/CRIME/07/24/road.rage.killing.ap/index.html?eref=rss_latest

  59. 60 Jens
    July 31, 2008 at 23:55

    Steve.

    you cannot compare gang crimes to hate crimes. these guys kill one another because of drugs and money. why should the national news report the slaying of every single gang member. to me this is waste disposal, since scum eliminates scum eliminates scum….

  60. 61 Anthony
    July 31, 2008 at 23:55

    I think it’s funny, that if a child does graffiti or steals in the U.S., the parents have to pay for it, but then if the child murders someone, the parents don’t have to share in any jail time.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  61. 62 steve
    July 31, 2008 at 23:56

    Jena was in the national headlines because it was about hateful acts and then hateful retaliations. It wasn’t a single incident. If i recall my facts, white students hanged nooses from trees, then black students beat up a white student. THe nooses were terrible, but it’s not the same as beating someone up. Beating someone up is worse.

  62. 63 Jens
    August 1, 2008 at 00:01

    Steve,

    this is exactly our point. beating somebody up is worse. it is even worse when one beats an other person up, because one is drunk and just wants to kill an illigal immigrant.

    in the case of the Jena 6 there was actually a direct taunt and attack against the balck community, and frankly i can understand the reaction, although i do not agree with it.

  63. August 1, 2008 at 00:02

    @ Steve,

    Gang violence between blacks and Hispanics in L.A. isn’t national news.

    If in the story you submitted originally, the victim was a white man, and the perps were Hispanics yelling racial epithets, it would be news… big news. You don’t seem to believe that?

    >>black students beat up a white student. THe nooses were terrible, but it’s not the same as beating someone up. Beating someone up is worse.<<

    Hunh?

  64. August 1, 2008 at 00:03

    There can be no mitigating circumstance that supports underaged kids being brutish and murderers but i also thing that rehab will be the best place for these kids and not long jail sentences.

  65. 66 steve
    August 1, 2008 at 00:10

    @ mike

    No, if the victim were white in the original story, CNN would never have picked it up.

    Are you suggesting that a symbolic, but hateful act is worse or equal to an act of violence?

    Here’s an example of hispanics attacking a white firefighter that didn’t make national headlines

    http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1935779/posts

  66. 67 Jens
    August 1, 2008 at 00:11

    Steve,

    so phsycological cruely is not as bad as physical?

  67. 68 steve
    August 1, 2008 at 00:12

    @ Jens

    “in the case of the Jena 6 there was actually a direct taunt and attack against the balck community, and frankly i can understand the reaction, although i do not agree with it.”

    I disagree. Committing an act of violence is worse than an act of symbolic hate. Sticks and stones can break my bones, but names can never hurt me.

    If neonazis were marching down the street with swastikas, and shouting anti Jewish things, if I go out and beat one up, I’m worse than they are. I committed an act of violence.

  68. 69 Jens
    August 1, 2008 at 00:15

    anyway,

    better go. there are many crimes going down every day and they make not national news. why did we hear about perterson kill his wife ad nauseum, but joe doo’s killing is not news worthy.

    who exactly decides who’s death is more news worthy than the death of another person?

    my guess is the media because they make their bucks with sensational news.

  69. 70 steve
    August 1, 2008 at 00:19

    @ Jens

    The media picks stories due to their biases. If you’ll notice, the only missing person stories that make national headlines are of attractive, white women/girls. If you are black, unnattractive, or male, they’re simply not going to cover the story.

    Lacey Peterson was an attractive woman, who was also pregnant, so that would get lots of people tuned in. If a woman murders a man, or her children, those tend to make the headlines, though the press will be more sympathetic to the woman, finding an reason, focusing on mental illness, or something like that.

    Black on black murders? The national media would never touch it in a million years.

  70. 71 Jens
    August 1, 2008 at 00:20

    steve,

    you must understand the that segragation etc was still something in the near past. the nooses must have truly hurt this community for decades.

    as i said i can understand their reaction, but i do not condone it.

    on the otherhand these kids went out got hammered and killed a person. apparently they had a bright future, most likely build on the backs of the millions of illegal immigrants they hate so much.

    if anything the press reports proportionally more hate crimes commited by minorities against whites than the other way around, ESPECIALLY when you condider that 60% of these crimes are commited by whites (FBI stats).

  71. 73 Jens
    August 1, 2008 at 00:26

    steve,

    as we slowly spiral down the vertigo of loss of humane behavior, we will get a brief glimps of our selfimage as we get flushed down the toilet we have created.

  72. 75 steve
    August 1, 2008 at 00:31

    @ Jens

    We don’t even know if they killed him because he was hispanic or because he was illegal. We don’t know what happened. There might have been a confrontation, words exchange, they might have just hated him. Doesn’t justify anything at all.

    Re: Jena

    Yes, segregation was in the recent past. But so was the holocaust. can i go to germany and beat up neo nazis because they worship hitler? Acts of violence are worse than words or symbols of hate.

    Racial bias

    In 2006, law enforcement agencies reported that 4,737 single-bias hate crime offenses were racially motivated. Of these offenses:

    * 66.2 percent were motivated by anti-black bias.
    * 21.3 percent were motivated by anti-white bias.

    An analysis of available race data for the 7,330 known hate crime offenders revealed that:

    * 58.6 percent were white.
    * 20.6 percent were black.
    * 5.7 percent were groups made up of individuals of various races (multiple races, group).
    * 1.1 percent were Asian/Pacific Islander.
    * 1.0 percent of known offenders were American Indian/Alaskan Native.
    * 12.9 percent were unknown.

    The U.S. population’s racial distribution in 2006 was as follows:[18]

    * Total population: 299 million
    * White alone (including White Hispanic): 74% or 221.3 million
    * Black or African American alone: 13.4% or 40.9 million
    * American Indian or Alaska Native alone: 0.68% or 2.0 million
    * Asian alone: 4.4% or 13.1 million
    * Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander alone: 0.14% or 0.43 million
    * Some other race alone: 6.5% or 19 million
    * Two or more races: 2.0% or 6.1 million

    According to these stats, whites are 74% of the population, but commit 58.6% of the hate crimes. Blacks are 13.4% of the population but commit 20.6% of the hate crimes.

  73. 76 Bryan
    August 1, 2008 at 00:32

    From ‘Talking points 31 July’:

    Jack Hughes July 31, 2008 at 1:47 am

    Thanks for the link, Jack – really pertinent to many of the discussions on this forum.

    nelsoni July 31, 2008 at 2:09 am

    nelsoni – I agree totally. “Is the BBC impartial?” would make a great WHYS topic. They had something like that a few years ago on HYS. I could probably dig it up if people are interested.

    Jonathan (sunny San Francisco) July 31, 2008 at 8:18 am

    []

    Bob in Queensland July 31, 2008 at 8:30 am

    Bob, who partook strenuously in that debate, is agreeing with him with a ‘nudge, nudge, wink, wink’.

    Re the Murdoch accusation, this is ‘shoot the messenger’ tactics:

    Bob in Queensland July 31, 2008 at 5:47 am

    The point here is not whether the report employs “spin” or not, but that the BBC itself acknowledges the bias, as do Jeremy Paxman and ex-BBC staff like Robin Aitken and Anthony Jay, as I mentioned recently.

    Bob in Queensland July 31, 2008 at 12:22 pm

    And Bob’s claim that the BBC “takes action” when bias is uncovered just doesn’t stand the test of scrutiny. I would like to see some examples of this action-taking.

  74. 77 Venessa
    August 1, 2008 at 00:52

    Shirley ~

    “Have they made a terrible error ofjudgement that their young minds rationalised or failed to analyse before they acted?”

    Yes they made a despicable error of judgment. It’s a lame excuse to think their “young minds” can’t analyze beating someone to death but are excellent students and star athletes.

    “Might it be possible that they would receive the best instruction on how to become hardened criminals once inside the prison syetm?”

    Life is all about choices and life is not fair. When they made the choice to beat someone to death don’t you think they deserve to be treated like criminals? These “good kids” will remain so if they truly are as excellent as everyone says they are.

    “Could they be properly rehabilitated with age-appropriate sentencing?”

    What is “age-appropriate sentencing?” Handling everyone with kid gloves is exactly why people are out there committing such crimes in the first place. Give people a real punishment and they might think twice about doing it.

  75. 78 Shirley
    August 1, 2008 at 01:00

    Fidel’s Blog:
    He raised the quesiton of whether the conditions for competition were equitable for Cuban athletes, given that, as he said, other countries had many times more citizens (I think that he was trying to associate wealth and political power with numbers of citizens). He pointed out that athletes from countries such as the U.S. and Japan “no están bloqueadas económicamente y disponen ambas de enormes riquezas. Nadie les roba ni les saquea atletas” – “are not economically blocked and have enourmous wealth. No-one robs them or kidnaps their athletes.”

  76. 80 Bryan
    August 1, 2008 at 01:16

    Anyone who wants to take a look at a fine example of bias in the reporting of white victims of racial crime as opposed to black need only access the BBC. Here’s Wikipedia’s article on the horrific murder of Kriss Donald, who was white, and the BBC’s lack of coverage thereof:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kriss_Donald

    Scroll down to “BBC Newswatch interview with Fran Unsworth” under “References” for a video of a seriously unconvincing justification of the attention lavished on the Anthony Walker case (he was black) as opposed to the Donald case.

    Britain is positively pickled in political correctness when it comes to perceived victims groups like blacks and the BBC is cheerfully leading the PC pack. Now I know the good old US of A has more than its fair share of people beating the PC drum. That’s why I tend to agree with Steve’s perception of bias in reporting of racial crimes, depending on the race of the victim.

    And Jens, you shouldn’t get too triumphant about having “ended this debate.” It’s a little premature:

    Jens July 31, 2008 at 11:29 pm

    In the current PC environment, I would imagine it’s a helluvah lot harder for a white attacked by blacks to have the attack classified as racial, but a lot easier the other way around. That would play havoc with your stats.

  77. 81 nelsoni
    August 1, 2008 at 01:16

    @ portlandmike
    July 31, 2008 at 10:21 pm

    The links are working now.

    thanks

  78. 82 nelsoni
    August 1, 2008 at 01:22

    @ Julie P. Both links are working now. Thanks a million Shirley for helping out.

  79. 83 Bryan
    August 1, 2008 at 01:23

    Could be that this post is too long. Just vanishes.

    Anyone who wants to take a look at a fine example of bias in the reporting of white victims of racial crime as opposed to black need only access the BBC. Here’s Wikipedia’s article on the horrific murder of Kriss Donald, who was white, and the BBC’s lack of coverage thereof:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kriss_Donald

    Scroll down to “BBC Newswatch interview with Fran Unsworth” under “References” for a video of a seriously unconvincing justification of the attention lavished on the Anthony Walker case (he was black) as opposed to the Donald case.

  80. 84 Will Rhodes
    August 1, 2008 at 01:29

    Now that water has been found on Mars how do the religious zealots balance that there is an even more increased probability of life ‘out there’.

    If ET came to Earth – which religion do you think he would practice?

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/7536123.stm

  81. 85 Bob in Queensland
    August 1, 2008 at 01:30

    G’day all!

    Bob here, a bit earlier than usual. WHYS is taking over our lives in this household–my wife ended up being interviewed by the producer of the African version of WHYS (on the childbirth story), didn’t get to bed until well after sunrise and was excited enough to wake me sufficiently that I never got back to sleep!

    So..media bias again, eh? WHYS is going to have to bite the bullet and do a major topic on this one at some point. I think most of my thoughts on this are already known, but one comment to make here: be a bit wary of assuming story choice on the day is determined by a worthy discussion of the importance of stories and how they fit the editorial policy of a programme. It ain’t necessarily that logical. Ignoring the World Service for a moment (since they’re almost totally international in coverage) a programme planning meeting at a typical national broadcaster might be a bit like:

    -First off, once you knock out ad breaks, sports, weather, credits etc. a half hour show might have room for 15 minutes of news if your lucky.

    -The foreign desk and the national news desk haggle strongly about how much time each gets. “I have a racial killing in Podunk.” “Who cares about Podunk? I have a plane crash in Thailand.” “There were no Americans on the Thai plane. More people will care about Podunk.” “Yeah but we have pictures of the plane actually crashing into a school then bouncing into an orphanage.” You get the idea.

    -As hinted above, unless a story is strong enough to be a reporter-only piece, often the quality of the video can be a deciding factor. This, in turn, often comes down to the quality of the various agencies and local affiliates people like CNN depend on for coverage.

    -Then, despite the wrangling for space on the show finally being resolved, all the plans are thrown into disarray minutes before airtime because of something really worthy like an upset in a football game or spectacular video of a waterskiing squirrel coming in.

    In short, don’t assume that every choice is analysed like we do in here. Day to day practicalities dictate what’s covered far more often than journalistic integrity.

    Right. I’ve given away too many secrets. I need more caffeine.

  82. 86 steve
    August 1, 2008 at 01:33

    @ Will

    Europa has ice and possibly liquid water below the icy surface of it It’s possible there could be life in the oceans under the ice, due to geothermal vents. What little atmosphere europa has, is mostly oxygen.

  83. 87 graceunderfire
    August 1, 2008 at 01:34

    Humans are not objective. Journalists are human. Journalists are not objective. Move on.
    guf

  84. 88 Will Rhodes
    August 1, 2008 at 01:36

    Steve –

    Yeah I know – but that wasn’t the question. 🙂

  85. 89 Bob in Queensland
    August 1, 2008 at 01:44

    @ Dennis

    Re: Karadzic

    One correction to your very early post. Karadzic didn’t enter any plea at the first hearing. He has several weeks to enter a plea or, if he refuses to enter one, an automatic not guilty plea will be recorded.

  86. 90 Dennis
    August 1, 2008 at 01:49

    @ Bob in Queensland,

    sorry for the mistake, i was reading it and typing a homework
    assignment for class….

    Dennis
    Syracuse, New York
    USA

  87. 91 steve
    August 1, 2008 at 01:58

    @ Will

    You should see the Carl Sagan show about the possibility of life in the universe. There are billions of stars in our galaxy, many of them have planets. There are billions of galaxies, even in sci fi, we cannot even contemplate leaving our galaxy, it’s just too darn big, so with all the stars and planets out there, to think we are the only life in the universe is, well, silly. Of course there’s other life out, there, problem is that it’s so darn far away!

  88. 92 Dan
    August 1, 2008 at 01:58

    @ Will Rhodes
    Religious Zealots will not get excited by water on Mars or by what you term “The Possibility” of life.
    I think that the entire human civilization will be in turmoil if intellegent life is found elsewhere especially here on Earth.

  89. 93 steve
    August 1, 2008 at 02:02

    @ Dan

    Just remember that you’re standing on a planet that’s evolving
    And revolving at nine hundred miles an hour,
    That’s orbiting at nineteen miles a second, so it’s reckoned,
    A sun that is the source of all our power.
    The sun and you and me and all the stars that we can see
    Are moving at a million miles a day
    In an outer spiral arm, at forty thousand miles an hour,
    Of the galaxy we call the ‘Milky Way’.
    Our galaxy itself contains a hundred billion stars.
    It’s a hundred thousand light years side to side.
    It bulges in the middle, sixteen thousand light years thick,
    But out by us, it’s just three thousand light years wide.
    We’re thirty thousand light years from galactic central point.
    We go ’round every two hundred million years,
    And our galaxy is only one of millions of billions
    In this amazing and expanding universe.

    The universe itself keeps on expanding and expanding
    In all of the directions it can whizz
    As fast as it can go, at the speed of light, you know,
    Twelve million miles a minute, and that’s the fastest speed there is.
    So remember, when you’re feeling very small and insecure,
    How amazingly unlikely is your birth,
    And pray that there’s intelligent life somewhere up in space,
    ‘Cause there’s bugger all down here on Earth.

  90. 94 Julie P
    August 1, 2008 at 02:04

    @Steve,

    About “Ah, youth”…Alas, Hyde Park former hunting ground of a king is now the land roaming, unrepentant youths. On my last visit there while I walking past Kensington Palace, I had the privilege of watching some of London’s finest youths attempt to hijack a park worker from his vehicle. Four strapping young men piled into his vehicle and attempted to push him out. Once they had their fun they jumped out and then taunted him. The park was packed and I was the only person to come to his aid. It was as if no one else was there except the driver, me, and the four youths. Once the youth left the driver told me that is not an usual occurrence and not call the police. You’re welcome!

  91. 95 Dan
    August 1, 2008 at 02:08

    @ Steve
    I heartily agree and for empirical proof one merely has to look at the two Presidential contenders.

  92. 96 Julie P
    August 1, 2008 at 02:10

    @Nelsoni,

    Learning how to use some of the html codes can be pretty tricky. I can’t habla espanol, but I tried for that link! 🙂

  93. 97 Dan
    August 1, 2008 at 02:27

    Intellegent life on another planet might be an interesting topic on a slow news day.
    A NASA Astronaut says we have been visited and their technology dwarf’s ours. If true, how do we get the Government to “fess up”?
    What are the Social, Religious and Economic implications? How would one prepare a narcisistic population who believes we are the top of the evoloutionary ladder?
    What happens if they share advanced technology with us? How will we use it?
    Would humans travel to another planet to live, vacation, to procreate with Aliens?

  94. 98 steve
    August 1, 2008 at 02:32

    @ Dan

    Highly unlikely intelligent life has ever came here. The fastest speed their is is the speed of light, and even if it were possible to travel at such a speed, the universe is a huge place. Say if intelligent life were 1000 light years away, it would take at quickest, 1000 years to get here. They would either have to have incredibly long life spans, or be a generational trip, or just not bother because it’s too far away.

  95. 99 Dan
    August 1, 2008 at 02:36

    @ Steve
    As we understand the universe I agree but in the past 100 years we have seen many things we thought were impossible.
    Who can tell if wormhole technology is something another race perfected or if using a different form of communications project a virtual presence?
    I may never live long enough to know but I am loathe to rule it out.

  96. 100 Will Rhodes
    August 1, 2008 at 02:36

    Steve –

    You are assuming that the speed of light is an absolute – it possibly could be but we don’t know.

    Science is an infant at the moment given the span of time that has past on this Earth.

  97. 101 steve
    August 1, 2008 at 02:44

    @ will

    the speed of light is an absolute, and the only things that can even go the speed of light is light or radio waves. it’s impossible to go faster, it’s probably impossible to even travel at the speed of light, though it’s possible to go 99.9% of it. There would be all sorts of issues, such as time dilation, as well.

    if even “warping” space were possible, imagine the energy that would be needed to accomplish something like that. There’s a reason why FTL travel is limited to science fiction, because it is just that, fiction. It would be cool as hell, but not gonna happen.

  98. 102 Dan
    August 1, 2008 at 02:49

    @ Steve
    You are not exactly accurate.
    Scientists know how to create a “warp” bubble around an object but they cannot figure out how to shut it down from inside the bubble. It may never be possible but then again they thought surpassing the speed of sound was never going to be possible.
    Thanks to all…I enjoyed “reading the mail” but it has been a long day and I am desperate for sleep.
    Good night to all.

  99. 103 nelsoni
    August 1, 2008 at 02:51

    @ Bob in Queensland. I agree with you. WHYS may have to bite the bullet at some point and do a show on media bias because its one topic that never seems to go away. I did a bit of research on the Rupert Murdoch his company owns the Times Newspaper( as you rightly mentioned) BSKYB operators of Sky news, News Corporation that also includes Wall street journal and Of course Fox news. After reading quite a number of articles, I think it made alot of sense why he would go for the BBC’s jugular. Personally, watching Sky news over the last couple of days has being annoying. I think some of their presenters are opposition members in journalist cloak. Over the last couple of days, their interviews with labor mp’s has being far from objective.

  100. 104 steve
    August 1, 2008 at 02:55

    @ Dan

    Scientists knew the “sound barrier” never existed. During WW2, the germans had rockets that flew at many times the speed of sound. The first man made object to enter space was the German V-2 rocket, which flew at over 2000mph all before Chuck Yeager ever broke the “sound barrier”. They were just concerned whether a human could survive such speeds.

  101. 105 Bob in Queensland
    August 1, 2008 at 03:06

    @ Nelsoni

    The thing with bias in the media, the viewer/listener still has the ultimate sanction. If they don’t believe their new source they can always try another one!

    My media background, such as it is, was with an agency rather than one specific broadcaster. We sold the same news pictures to the BBC, Sky New, Fox News, CNN, ABC, CBS and a couple of hundred others. It was always interesting to see the variety of spin that different organisations could put on the same source pictures.

  102. 106 Will Rhodes
    August 1, 2008 at 03:08

    Steve –

    You are making the absolute argument using today’s physics. Yes, I agree, they are all we can work with at present, but we didn’t have these physics yesteryear – they were there but not defined.

    That universe is as massive as you say – and we know that things are out there we cannot even contemplate – but as humans do, we will find out one day.

    Never say never or absolute is absolute.

  103. 107 Bob in Queensland
    August 1, 2008 at 03:10

    @ Steve, Dan and Will

    As one who read “A Brief History of Time” and failed dismally to understand even those “simplified” concepts, I won’t comment on faster than light travel.

    However, to paraphrase one of my favourite films (Contact): the universe is an awfully big place, and if we’re alone (or even just have no way of contacting other civilisations) it seems both a huge waste of space–and a very lonely existence.

  104. 108 nelsoni
    August 1, 2008 at 03:12

    @ Bob in Queensland. You made a good point however I’d like to look at it from another angle, I think the some of the listeners/viewers are actually biased. They expect stories to be reported in a particular way to align with their mindset. When this does not happen, the Media organization is said to be biased.

  105. 109 nelsoni
    August 1, 2008 at 03:14

    @ Julie P. I tested the links before posting however they are all ok now. Thanks for checking it out. You can also use google translate to translate the pages.

  106. 110 Bob in Queensland
    August 1, 2008 at 03:48

    @ Nelsoni

    I agree with your point about listener/viewer bias 100%. What the vast majority of people mean when they say that “XYZ Radio/TV” is biased is actually that the particular broadcaster doesn’t actively support their views. A lack of overt or implied support is often mistaken for bias against.

    Of course this is not always an easy issue. As discussed recently, the BBC came in for criticism during the most recent Iraq War for attempting to be even handed in their coverage rather than adopting a jingoistic “let’s get behind our boys” approach as happened during, for example, WWII.

    Whether an even handed approach is bias or fairness is a difficult question in that case…and one which I haven’t made up my mind on.

  107. 111 Dennis
    August 1, 2008 at 03:53

    Good night and see everyone on the NEXT stop on WHYS…..

    Thanks Bob and Mike

    Dennis
    Syracuse, New York
    USA

  108. 112 nelsoni
    August 1, 2008 at 04:33

    @ Bob in Queensland. Please take a look at this. BBC STAFF PROTESTS and HANDS OFF THE BBC. I wonder how many people still remember this.

  109. 113 Bob in Queensland
    August 1, 2008 at 04:47

    I remember that well and you can count me amongst the many people who consider that the Hutton inquiry was very much a whitewash. The Labour Party (the same Labour Party that the BBC is supposedly a mouthpiece for) set the terms of reference so tightly that Hutton was unable to look into the very actions of the government that provoked the whole episode.

    I watched a lot of the testimony at the inquiry as it happened and the conclusion reached by Hutton, based on his limited remit, certainly didn’t match the verdict I would have reached.

  110. 114 nelsoni
    August 1, 2008 at 05:08

    @ Bob in Queensland. I am sure people who say the BBC’s pro labour didnt remember that incident. Sky new’s coverage of the Labour crisis has being very one sided. The presenters ask labour mp’s questions like opposition members not as journalists.

  111. 115 Jack Hughes
    August 1, 2008 at 06:10

    @Bob,

    I would be happy if they just reported the facts – instead of drifting in and out of opinion.

    UK politics is not a good area to debate bias or lack of bias: you have 2 sides that would just love to have the BBC in their pocket and will scream “bias” unitil they get their way – or at least spoil the opposition’s hopes.

  112. 116 steve b - uk
    August 1, 2008 at 06:17

    Hello everyone

    I would like to add my voice to having a prog on media bias – and BBC bias or lack of it. I understand that it has been done before but I missed it and, anyway, the topic is incredibly important.

    Thanks

  113. 117 Jack Hughes
    August 1, 2008 at 06:26

    @Bob

    In the early days of the Iraq invasion the BBC and other media were in lock-step in describing how it was going to be like “stalingrad and vietnam rolled into one”. Well that was just an opinion and a wrong opinion at that.

    I remember seeing Rageh Omar at Bagdhad airport saying how the Americans were “bogged down 20 miles away” when a US tank drove slowly past behing him.

    Fast forward to late 2006 and every single BBC report was “drifting into civil war”.

    Even unrelated programmes recycled this opinion. Jenni Murray on Radio4’s womansour:

    “…and as Iraq slides into civil war we talk to 2 iraqi women…..”

    Is she now an expert on Iraq ? No – she is just recycling the house opinion.

    The civil war never happened and things actually seem to be improving. That’s why we hear less and less.

  114. 118 steve b - uk
    August 1, 2008 at 06:36

    WHYSers, good morning

    With the Chinese government blocking some internet sites, I would like to suggest a topic for a programme –

    ‘is it ever justified to censor an news organisation?’

    For example, in time of war or to stop panic or because people are not intelligent enough (?) to understand the complexities of a subject.

  115. 119 Jonathan (sunny San Francisco)
    August 1, 2008 at 06:53

    Hi Bob. You said if people don’t believe the news of one outlet, they can find another, or words to that effect I think. You’re right in that an open, free, and crowded “marketplace of ideas” is the best approach to informing a populace–it’s the most consistent with a free society, better than some official Ministry of Truth or some law against reporting “fale” things, or requiring “fairness.”

    I’d just comment that when a news organization turns to spreading propagnda, be it a state organ in North Korea or a rogue operation like the Murdoch gang, the danger occurs when people DO believe them.

    The contamination that ensues is evident with the dawn of each new day, as this weary planet turns.

  116. 120 Bob in Queensland
    August 1, 2008 at 06:56

    @ Jack Hughes

    Regarding UK politics, so long as both major parties are convinced the BBC is against them, I suspect the broadcaster is doing something right. The last complaint I heard before leaving the UK was that John Humphries insisted on interrupting politicians with questions and wouldn’t let them finish their set-piece speeches.

    As for Iraq and civil war, I’m not sure I see the contradiction here. Prior to “the surge” Iraq WAS in what I would call civil war–or certainly sliding rapidly towards one. Further, as far as I can tell, all the surge is doing is putting a lid on the Sunni/Shia/Kurd rivalries and this is likely to explode as soon as there is any significant troop withdrawal. I hope I’m wrong but I still don’t discount the possibility of a bloody civil war leading to three separate states.

    Edited to add: as far as factual errors in reporting (such as the tank anecdote which I think I remember seeing myself) don’t forget that the reporters were very much at the mercy of what they were being told by the coalition press spokesmen on one side and Saddam’s mouthpiece on the other. Neither were particularly accurate sources.

    Bob

  117. 121 Bob in Queensland
    August 1, 2008 at 07:09

    Hi Jonathan,

    Yes, you’re entirely right that my comment about “finding a different news source” only works in a free society where there IS a choice. It was also meant to be read slightly tongue in cheek alongside my comments about people not really wanting impartiality, instead preferring to find a news source that agrees with their personal prejudices.

    I do agree that it’s a big worry that some people blindly accept ANY news source as being totally accurate. Even the best make mistakes and many are laughable.

    OT aside: someday I’m going to figure out what hours you keep since your online times seem even more eccentric than mine!

  118. 122 Bob in Queensland
    August 1, 2008 at 07:17

    @ Steve b UK

    Your idea is a good one–maybe one that could be linked with Mark Sandell’s trip to Beijing.

    Just to provoke some discussion, lest you think press censorship is only something that exists in places like China, have a look at THIS SITE about the use of “DA Notices” in the UK. I doubt anybody will have much disagreement with the five standing DA notices published there but there are many others NOT made public but issued to senior editors of all the main press/radio/TV organisations.

    In every case, they’re issued (at least in theory) the preserve the security of the UK, but how sure are we that they’re never misused? Not a DA notice, but anyone else old enough to remember the “Spycatcher” fiasco?

    Anyway, good topic.

  119. 123 Roberto
    August 1, 2008 at 07:50

    As splendid as it is to think the government should have done their job and are the ones to blame I still think the individuals are responsible.
    ————————————————————————————————-

    —– A previous post of mine was removed concerning violence, perhaps for not sugarcoating it.

    Violence is the human way, no ifs, ands, or buts about it.

    The US government is not doing it’s job of protecting the borders or representing it’s citizens, and has created ripe conditions for this incident. The so called news story reaps financial rewards for those who create the news. This is the current American reality.

    It’s routine for American latinos to steal from, beat up, and murder the undocumented latino workers and otherwise abuse them within their communities, but again, this a dog bites man story and generally not considered newsworthy unless someone wants to ride his high horse in and do an investigative piece.

    The kids will have to run the judicial gauntlet and serve their sentences if guilty. Had they been OJ, they could go back to what they were doing before the incident after a dog and pony trial. That’s the way justice works.

  120. 124 Jonathan (sunny San Francisco)
    August 1, 2008 at 08:05

    Bob– That wasn’t quite my point. (And by the way your other one was great: that people seek to confirm their own biases which they take to be, of course, objective truth.) What I meant to say was just that (whether or not there are alternatives) “news” is more dangerous when people believe it than when they don’t. I was responding to the “If you don’t believe the news” portion of your premise, not the “go find some better news” part.

  121. 125 steve b - uk
    August 1, 2008 at 08:06

    hello Bob

    always enjoy your posts

    I like the idea of programme on censorship of news/media coming from Mark in China. Delicious

  122. 126 Bob in Queensland
    August 1, 2008 at 08:28

    @ Jonathan

    So right. I’d much rather see a healthy scepticism of what we hear and see on the news than a blind acceptance that it’s the “truth”.

  123. August 1, 2008 at 09:14

    To the bias debate I’d like to add the thought that most of our politically correct taboos are the result of blindly believing what the media have told us about various socio-political issues, particularly in the frought multicultural sphere.

    Take Radovan Karadzic, for instance, and the whole Serb-Kosovo-Bosnia-Croatia injustice: do we seriously to believe that only the Serbs are to blame here, and that warcrimes were perpetrated only by their military?

    And so on.

  124. 128 Bob in Queensland
    August 1, 2008 at 09:40

    @ donovan roebert

    Your first paragraph makes a very valid point, following along from the discussion Jonathan and I were having about the need for some healthy scepticism when it comes to all news sources. In circumstances where one has a choice of news source it also begs the question as to whether our views are shaped by the news we hear–or if we choose our news source based on our existing views and prejudices.

    However, with regard to your Karadzic example, to a large extent I think that, yes, we should consider the Serbs almost totally culpable. Don’t forget that the charges laid in the ICC are not so much resulting from media reports but the direct reports of UN observers. It’s also worth noting that, at the start of hostilities, the Serbian/Yugoslav army was one of the largest and best equipped in Europe–and the Bosnians they were facing were ill equipped and largely unable to arm themselves due to embargoes.

    I have to admit some personal prejudice here, having made several visits to the region during the conflict and seen first hand some of the Serb atrocities.

  125. 129 Bryan
    August 1, 2008 at 09:45

    nelsoni August 1, 2008 at 2:51 am,

    Tough interviewing is not necessarily a sign of bias. Tim Sebastian of the BBC’s ‘Hardtalk’ used to treat everyone with virtually the same relentlessly confrontational approach, no matter where they stood on the political spectrum. Someone who watched him lay into an Israeli spokesman with gloves off, for example, might easily have concluded that he was biased against Israel until they saw him attack Hamas spokesman Azzam Tamimi, challenging him over his support for suicide bombing, pushing him to say that he would become a suicide bomber himself and then challenging him as to why he was not in that case prepared to act on his beliefs and blow himself up in Palestine.

    It is a great pity that he is no longer doing that programme. However, many videos of his interviews are still available:

    http://newssearch.bbc.co.uk/cgi-bin/search/results.pl?scope=programmesukfs&tab=programmes&section=hardtalk&q=Tim+Sebastian&x=12&y=6

    Here’s the Tamimi interview:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/hardtalk/3985403.stm

  126. 130 Jonathan (sunny San Francisco)
    August 1, 2008 at 09:47

    Bob: My hours? You’re tracking my hours? Ha ha!

    That’s easy. I’m a vampire. A dark dreadful demon, I swoop down at all hours to badger, hound, insult, spread malice and evil. Kindness, purity, and decency are as mere Kleenex for my crushing.

    My nemesis is of course the tiresome twins of the noble Children’s Crusade, self-appointed voice for the speechless, helpers of the helpless, stickers-up for those who don’t stick up for themselves, and defenders of the never-offended.

    You can see how that’s a full-time job and then some.

  127. 131 Jonathan (sunny San Francisco)
    August 1, 2008 at 09:57

    @donovan r.–

    Um, yes, of course I believe that. So does everyone I’ve ever seen, heard, met, and read who was there and/or who knows anything about it. Why would they all be lying, and what do you purport to know that nobody else does, and how do you purport to know it?

  128. 132 Bryan
    August 1, 2008 at 10:03

    Posts lately seem to vanish into a black hole and then appear some time later instead of sitting there with the red “Awaiting Moderation” bar. Is it just me with this case of vanishing commentitis?

    Bob? You’re a technical guy.

  129. August 1, 2008 at 10:05

    Bob in Q; I don’t doubt the Serb atrocities ( I was in Europe at the time of the war, where there was strong media coverage) any less than I doubt the atrocities on the Kosovar Liberation Army side, which were played down at the time.

    I have some Serb friends. On my first encounter with one of these, he introduced himself as so-and-so, a Serb. To which I immediately responded, ‘Ah, so you’re one of THOSE people!’ You can imagine what followed. Let’s say we had a strong debate, and I learned a lot about truth behind truth behind truth.

    I am not suggesting that Karadzic is an innocent. I am suggesting that the Hague is a selectively functional (read:dysfunctional) UN farce.

    But, most importantly, I’m saying that the media are (dis)colouring our views of the Serb people as whole. I know all about this, as a White South African, still viewed slightly askance as something reprehensible in this moral universe.

    I grew up with apartheid, fought in the military in the defense of White South Africa, and have walked a long road to try to see things differently. So, in a sense, I am a sort of ‘Serb’ , too.

    I know there is another point of view in all these things; a point of view that, no matter how valid it may be, is simple crushed in the media.

  130. 134 Jonathan (sunny San Francisco)
    August 1, 2008 at 10:10

    @Bob–

    Your first-hand knowledge is “prejudice?” May I assume your tongue remains ensconsed in cheek?

  131. 135 Jonathan (sunny San Francisco)
    August 1, 2008 at 10:24

    Hey all, I just read, in a crawl at the bottom of CNN, that “The president of Argentina has repeated her call for decriminalization of drug use.” Wow! That’s pretty huge. First time I’ve seen the president of a major country do that. I’d never even heard about the first time she said it. Media failure, or I just don’t get out much? (Clue: I didn’t know the president of Argentina was a woman, either.)

    I think this is topic material.

  132. 136 Bob in Queensland
    August 1, 2008 at 10:25

    @ Bryan

    Re: missing/late posts

    I’ve noticed that the automatic “spamtrap” (an automatic feature of the WordPress site) seems to have become aggressively HAL-like lately and more and more valid WHYSER posts seem to mingle with the Viagra and online betting ads. When I’m moderating I try to remember to check the spam filter as often as possible–but sometimes this can be an hour or two’s delay. I can’t speak for the other moderators but assume the work in a similar manner.

    Other than that I don’t know (I may be a tech guy but my specialty is sound) but can tell you that, as far as I know, other than spam there aren’t any black holes to hide comments in.

  133. 137 Robert
    August 1, 2008 at 10:29

    Re the Serbs and media coverage.

    All sides during such conflicts commit crimes that should call for international condemnation but the privilege of victory is getting to write the history.

    Atrocities of the losers are highlighted as war crimes and your own atrocities described as needed sacrifices.

    How often is Churchill’s sacrificing the civilians in Coventry to protect a military advantage ever mentioned. It’s not that the event is hidden, just conveniently repackaged and re-termed.

  134. 138 Jonathan (sunny San Francisco)
    August 1, 2008 at 10:38

    @Bob

    “Aggressively HAL-like?” That’s such a hoot! So what appears to be a technical glitch might be an aesthetic judgment by an over-refined artifical intelligence. Yikes. The thing is smarter than we are and has better taste. The very idea. Better pull its plug.

  135. August 1, 2008 at 10:44

    Jonathan; you do put the ‘rab’ back in rabid. Thank you for so admirably proving my point about media brainwashing, if that’s the right word in this case.

  136. 140 Jonathan (sunny San Francisco)
    August 1, 2008 at 10:49

    @ donovan–

    It’s not a slur on “the Serb people as a whole” to acknowledge that Serbs committed by far the lion’s share of the atrocities in the recent unpleasantness. It’s just historical accuracy. It doesn’t mean every Serb is a bloody-handed butcher. But this was done by their leader, in their name, and a lot of them supported it then and support it now, and the rest of them know it perfectly well. I think you protest too much. How successful, by the way, have your efforts been to “see things differently” in dear old South Africa?

    It’s up to the Serbs to decide whether to accept the truth and come clean with the world, as did Germany, or to remain in denial, as does, say, Japan, with respect to a previous misunderstanding some decades ago. It’s a typical ploy of those who hold the latter mindset to blame media, UN, NATO, KLA (in Bosnia??), and everyone else under the sun except themselves, their leaders, their neighbors, their own hatred.

  137. 141 Jonathan (sunny San Francisco)
    August 1, 2008 at 11:05

    “Another point of view?” “Conveniently repackaged?” What is that meant to mean? Moral relativism that dare not speak its name. There is such a thing as truth, reality, right and wrong, inconvenient though it may be to some.

    Donovan and Robert, if you actually want to say that the Bosnians were as bad as the Serbs, and the British as guilty as the Nazis, and black South Africans as guilty as white, then just say it, and we’ll all have a good laugh. Or, say it, produce some hitherto unknown evidence demonstrating it, and we’ll all learn something. Be done with this slithering squid ink of dark mysterioso rumbling and insinuation and dithering and mumbo-jumbo.

  138. 142 Bob in Queensland
    August 1, 2008 at 11:08

    @ Donovan Roebert

    While I agree with the old saying that “history is written by the victor” and that, in any war, neither side is totally innocent, some actions are far worse than others. I don’t believe there is any moral ambiguity in chosing to consider things like the Srebrenica massacre in a different light to other “casualties of war”.

  139. 143 Jonathan (sunny San Francisco)
    August 1, 2008 at 11:13

    @donovan–

    I’m rabid–meaning, you can’t rebut what I say, but can’t stand to hear it? So sorry. Ad hominem attack is the last refuge of a scoundrel, but worse yet, it’s plain boring. I’d love to hear an honest case if there is one, and I’d welcome intelligent dialoge if I have a partner. If insulting me is the best you can do, well, you’re not much good at that either.

    Without the “rab,” rabid would just be “id.” Hmm.

  140. 144 Jonathan (sunny San Francisco)
    August 1, 2008 at 11:25

    (after scrolling back) donovan– wait, you meant my 9:57 post was “rabid?” Gosh, that one was unexceptionable. Warm milk for bedtime. All I did was invite you to share your knowledge, to enlighten the rest of us. How was that rabid? If you’re squirming because your bluff is called, I’m sorry, but that’s not my fault. It is perhaps ilustrative, but not about me.

  141. 145 Jonathan (sunny San Francisco)
    August 1, 2008 at 11:39

    @Robert–

    Coventry? Really? Um, Churchill didn’t bomb Coventry. You can say with a straight face that Coventry = Sarajevo, with Churchill = Karadracula? Oh, but you didn’t really say it, did you? Just sort of insinuated it.

    Now if you said Dresden, you’d score a point on the standard Nazi-apologist moral equivalometer as normally calibrated. You’d still have a ways to go, of course. But Coventry? War crime? Not so much.

  142. 146 Jonathan (sunny San Francisco)
    August 1, 2008 at 11:47

    Oooh, do I feel hot breath of a lurking vigilante down my neck? Does Someone need Defending? Or still in the evidence-agthering stage? Making me sleeeepy…. Time for this vampire to go to ra-bed. Hahaha!

  143. August 1, 2008 at 12:13

    Bob, Jonathan;

    Again, I don’t want to propound some sort of revisionist view of the atrocities that occurred in the Serb wars. I don’t profess to know something that others don’t. But I do remember aspects that others have chosen to forget. The Serb minorities outside of Serbia proper had been subjected to abuse for decades, especially in Bosnia and Kosovo, and this included random murder of Serbs. The Kosovo scenario, especially, was not a one-sided affair. Even during the war in Kosovo NATO had a hard time suppressing the atrocities committed by the KLA, as well as their general thuggery. Right now, the illegal granting of independence to Kosovo is an international outrage against Serb sovereignty, especially in the light of obvious Serbian determination to enact reforms. This is EU skullduggery at its worst.

    The ‘other’ point of view with regard to ‘dear old’ South Africa in particular, is that we are now in a position where we shortly expect to see elected a president who has committed an act of rape and several acts of gross corruption of justice, and who goes about wielding a machine gun. This point of view assumes that, while there were severe human rights abuses occurring during the apartheid era, there was also the very real underlying anxiety that South Africa would be completely destroyed by Black rule, as is the case everywhere else in Africa. This fear is perhaps now slowly being realized. Thousands of white South Africans, at any rate, have been murdered since 1994, and there have been dispossession and other acts of discriminatory disempowerment.

    As for the ad hominem attacks, mine, at least, do not disguise themselves as part of a legitimate debate, and I am not the first to comment on this with regard to our friend in sunny California.

    But, with regard again to Serbia, my chief gripe would be that, actually, that issue is a drop in the ocean compared to the in se war crime committed by countries who go to war in defiance of international law, and without valid justifications, as is the case with the invasion and occupation of Iraq. In this case, however, we hear nothing from the Hague, nor in the case of Zhang Qingli, the Chinese governor of Tibet, etc.

    Jonathan: How far have I come in reconciling myself to the post-apartheid era? I try to live with the daily fear of violent crime and the daily news of political corruption and ineptitude as best I can. My way of coping is to see all people as individuals, rather than to stereotype in everyday life. I have an adopted black son, and I am active in poverty alleviation projects and have been manager of the local Reconstruction as Development program, which aims to economically empower local Blacks. And so forth.

  144. 148 Bob in Queensland
    August 1, 2008 at 12:28

    Just a note to all….

    Normally, by the time, the WHYS team are in the office and moderating so I went off and had my dinner (prawns just to complete the Aussie stereotype).

    Anyway, I came back to find a long queue of messages awaiting moderation which I’ve just dealt with–and I’ll keep going for a few hours yet if needed!

    …but this time the delay was me, not HAL!

  145. 149 Bryan
    August 1, 2008 at 13:17

    Bob in Queensland August 1, 2008 at 10:25 am

    Thanks for that, Bob.

  146. August 1, 2008 at 13:20

    Obama rejects ludacris’ lyrics

    http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5jAXKlgV-FnV6KqYC0e-0-Rr-guPAD928R0R05

    Well of course he has to, wouldn’t want to see the right whining and complaining that he needs to repudiate such comments, as if he had anything to do with them in the first place.
    I mean Wright has faded somewhat into the background… This is all people need to get fired up again and somehow link Obama as being not only a Terrorist or the Anti-Christ (as I have heard many rightwing religious nuts say), but now a Gangsta-Rapper too.

    Ludacris is much much much more toned down than most rappers. Give the man credit, theres so many songs out there denouncing politics and political leaders, why focus on this one?

    If you can’t take these lyrics, please, if you ever hear Anti-Flag, earmuff it and run away before you start crying.

    And now which is worse though? A rapper making a song about what he supports and who he doesn’t support (A political – ‘beef’ song if you will)? Or one rapping about money, drugs, and womenizing (a problem everyone seems to whine about)? I guess people will be critical of rap / hip-hop no matter what.

  147. August 1, 2008 at 13:23

    http://www.cnn.com/2008/CRIME/07/31/shenadoah.beating/index.html

    Enjoy prison boys! It’s gonna be a long one.

    Have fun spewing those racist remarks while your in there too, I’m sure it’ll fly real well in there!

  148. 152 Bob in Queensland
    August 1, 2008 at 13:58

    As long as were posting links about nasty crimes, this one:

    http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,21985,24111566-662,00.html

    has (for obvious reasons) been getting huge air time here in Australia.

    It’s not going to do the Greek tourism industry a lot of good.

  149. 153 Shirley
    August 1, 2008 at 14:10

    GM posts $15.5 billion 2nd-quarter loss. Seems to me that the last time that GM posted losses, its CEO Rick Wagoner got a raise: GM, which recently announced the closing of four North American plants at a cost of 8,000 jobs and has seen its stock value plunge to record lows, almost doubled Chairman and CEO Rick Wagoner’s compensation package, from $5.5 million last year to $10.2 million this year. (1 Jul 2008) It doesn’t look like these people care about the average person. They’ve been slashing jobs of late at the same time that they give their corporate bosses massive salary or benefit increases.

    By the way, there is some rumour milling about Pakistan’s security forces and the Afghani Indian embassy bombing. Rumours started to fly about those guys after Bhutto’s assassination, too.

    And this is highly disturbing to m, especially the fact that I did not see or hear anything about it on TV/radio news: UN vote OKs Darfur peacekeeping, but US abstains. I thought that we declared the humanitarian crisis there to be a genocide? Or do we just make nice words and then sit on them?

  150. 154 steve
    August 1, 2008 at 14:13

    @ Shirley

    The only people with any standing to complain about compensation of CEOs of publically traded corporations are the sharefholders of the corporations.

  151. 155 Shirley
    August 1, 2008 at 14:14

    My bad re Darfur genocide: language of UNSC res called for slowdown of ICC prosecution of Bashir. Oops. Why would thath kind of language have been included? What do people see as its benefits? Why not go after the guy aggressively?

  152. 156 Roberto
    August 1, 2008 at 14:31

    The Serb minorities outside of Serbia proper had been subjected to abuse for decades, especially in Bosnia and Kosovo, and this included random murder of Serbs.
    ——————————————————————————

    —- You have to understand that Serbs are slavs from the same ethnic basket as Russians.

    The west had to brainwash itself to stand against the Soviets and their proxy state, the Chinese communists, in the unholy cold war. When slavs die or suffer, it’s seen as OK because they are part of the dreaded “other.”

    Serb leaders did themselves no favors with their choice of brutal tactics, but the irony is that it was the massive undocumented migration by Albanians into Kosovo upon the death of Tito that sparked the Kosovo disaster, a point not lost on this Texas boy as undocumented Mexicanos are swamping my zip code.

    This can be seen in global boxing where the championship Slav boxers that dominate the heavier divisions are seen as inferior fighters to America’s storied past and widely disparged in most profane terms.

  153. 157 steve
    August 1, 2008 at 14:47

    Update on the 2 year on the toilet story:

    http://news.uk.msn.com/odd-news/Article.aspx?cp-documentid=9079046

    Boyfriend gets 6 months probation for his girlfriend’s decision to live on the toilet for 2 years. Remember, she’s not a relative, they weren’t married, and he’s in legal trouble for her decision.

  154. 158 Roberto
    August 1, 2008 at 14:57

    U.S. biodefense researcher Bruce E. Ivins apparently has committed suicide on the eve of supposed charges in connection with the anthrax-tainted letters attack in the aftermath of 9/11.

    Former biodefense researcher Steven Hatfield had just won a 6 mil $ettlement against the government for slandering his name in conjunction with those attacks.

    Trying to remember the name of that British nuclear investigator that mysteriously committed “suicide” on the eve of the Iraq war.

    Mr. Ivins seems to have used Tylenol #3 for his poison, a perfectly legal drug promoted by the pharmacuetical establishment whereas the Brit was supposedly done in by “self inflicted” gunshot, also in the wake of an investigation as I recall.

    Just another day in civilization..

  155. 159 Robert
    August 1, 2008 at 15:05

    Jonathan

    First, obviously, Coventry would not be in the same category as ethnic cleansing or indiscriminate bombing of civilians, I was using it as an example of how something could be interpreted as a war crime is redefined as a sacrifice by the winning side. There are obviously some more horrific examples of Churchill’s military decisions in the past (especially his treatment towards Iraqis and Kurds).

    The reason that it may be interpreted in such a way is Churchill knew in advance that Coventry would be bombed. He had ample time to evacuate the city of civilians and limit the causalities. But to call the evacuation would have signalled to the Germany that we had cracked Enigma. Churchill therefore used civilians to cover an ongoing military operation. Intentionally placing civilians in harms way for military purposes is a war crime, but history doesn’t record it as such.

  156. 160 Shirley
    August 1, 2008 at 15:14

    The Spam Filter
    Jonathan: Better pull its plug.
    I don’t want to read adverts for Viagra and online gambling; and I don’t want to wade through them to find WHYSayers’ posts. Hopefully our mods will mind the spam box more.

    Economy & Labour
    Steve, I think that those who are employed by said CEOs have the right to complain. The CEOs of nearly every major auto corporation have received pay hikes while they have been forcing their employees to take massive pay cuts slamming them into the level of just barely surviving. If their decisions are making the rest of us suffer, then they should take some pinches, too. I don’t see reason for them to be loosening their belts when the rest of us are tightening ours.

  157. 161 Bryan
    August 1, 2008 at 15:16

    donovan roebert August 1, 2008 at 12:13 pm,

    I agree, both with your take on Serbia and South Africa. Re Serbia, much of the media has followed the fashionable approach of concentrating exclusively on Serb atrocities. We can’t have the concept of Muslims as victims being watered down by any inconvenient facts proving the Serbs were also victims of atrocities – for which no Muslim has been jailed, and one was acquitted on appeal.

    Re South Africa, I’m pessimistic about the outcome. Once Africa frees itself from white rule, it almost inevitably deteriorates.

    ‘Outlook’ had a piece yesterday on expats and repats views on South Africa.

    The bit I found really ironic was when the repat said he feels perfectly safe once he’s come in past the guard at the gate of his fortified residential complex and is looking out at the world from his (open) third floor windows. Well, at least you can open a window if you are high enough up and there is a high wall topped with electric wiring around the entire complex. That perfectly describes the life of the economically better off South African, of whatever colour. Problem is, the minute you activate your remote-controlled gate, either coming in or going out, you are vulnerable. Crime in South Africa has reached horrific proportions:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/outlook/

    Click on “Listen Thu”. It starts at 15m50s in.

  158. 162 steve
    August 1, 2008 at 15:35

    More on illegal immigrations. Wow, this story should be a motivational one. Some illegal immigrant owns THREE homes, though looks like if he’s got no renters he’s not going to make his mortgage payment, adding to the foreclosure crisis.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/07/30/AR2008073000121.html?hpid=sec-business

    I wouldn’t even dare consider buying in this area and I’m sure I make more money than he does.

  159. 163 Bob in Queensland
    August 1, 2008 at 15:37

    I woke up this morning to the Outlook programme and found it very interesting….I’ll second Bryan’s recommendation.

    What struck me (and I think I can say this without spoiling the programme) is the way two people went through similar experiences and came to such different conclusions.

    …worth a listen.

  160. 164 Bob in Queensland
    August 1, 2008 at 15:47

    @ Bryan

    Now having agreed with you about the Outlook programme, I’m going to take you to task for introducing the word “Muslim” into a discussion about the former Yugoslavia.

    I’m sorry, but your prejudices are showing. The Bosnians (Muslim or not) WERE the victims in this case and your statement that the one Muslim accused of war crimes was acquitted just goes to prove this…except I assume you consider this a miscarriage of justice.

    Between 1992 and 1995 I spent just over a year there in 2 and 3 month chunks. I saw what was going on, including Srebrenica. Unlike the Israel/Palestine conflict where I condemn both sides, on this one I blame the Serbs–and Milosovic, Mladic and Karadzic in particular.

    This is not to do with religion. It’s to do with man’s gross inhumanity to man. If you condemn the treatment of Jews at Auschwitz, you must also condemn the treatment of Bosnians at Srebrenica.

  161. 165 steve
    August 1, 2008 at 16:56

    http://www.thisisjersey.com/2008/07/28/club-tells-fat-women-to-go-home/

    Funny, men have been discriminated against at clubs for decades, but now when it finally happens to women, it makes the news.

  162. 166 Bryan
    August 1, 2008 at 17:48

    “If you condemn the treatment of Jews at Auschwitz, you must also condemn the treatment of Bosnians at Srebrenica.” well, naturally I condemn it, Bob. I did say it was an “atrocity.” Who would not condemn the systematic slaughter there, which really does seem to have been an attempt at genocide. But again, where is the media interest in atrocities from the Muslim side? Why are they being ignored?

    Re South Africa, it also struck me as interesting that the two reached different conclusions. But the lady who has decided never to go back had some disturbing things to say about precautions she takes against becoming a crime victim in Hackney, like sitting close to the driver on a bus at night and carrying her laptop in a case that doesn’t look like a laptop case. It angers me that in so many places in the world people can’t live normal lives because of intimidation by criminal scum.

  163. 167 Bob in Queensland
    August 2, 2008 at 05:29

    @ Bryan

    Re: Bosnia

    On this one, I can offer one answer. On this particular story I was part of “the media” (in a technical rather than journalistic capacity) and I can honestly we say we didn’t report on the atrocities from the Bosnia side because, in my time there, we didn’t see any. Obviously I wasn’t there the whole time and didn’t get everywhere, but I’m confident in saying that there was nothing done by the Bosnians on anything like the scale of the Serbian “ethnic cleansing”.

    You will note I refer to them as Bosnians, not Muslims. This is because, although Bosnia is predominately a Muslim country, everyone was very westernised and you would be hard pressed to tell a Bosnian Muslim from a Bosnian Serb by their language, demeanour or clothing. Remember how westernised Sarajevo was when they staged the winter Olympics? Bosnia is not a land of “mad Mullahs” and suicide bombers.

  164. 168 Bryan
    August 2, 2008 at 10:32

    Bob in Queensland August 2, 2008 at 5:29 am

    Very often the media sees what it wants to see and it goes where it wants to go, and the BBC is especially guilty of this – which is quite extraordinary for a public broadcaster mandated to present impartial news.

    Take the Israeli-Hezbollah War as an example. The BBC had such a wonderfully romantic, Lawrentian image of itself during that war: tough, intrepid journalists bringing the world the truth about the Israeli-Arab conflict at great danger to themselves. Why visit northern Israel under the Katyusha barrage when you can sit in Beirut grimly pounding out anti-Israel invective on your laptop while the brutal Israelis do their best to bomb you and your Arab friends to pieces? (Funnily enough, the Arab League felt secure enough to visit Beirut during the war. Evidently they knew that the Israeli attacks were concentrated on Hezbollah strongholds in the south of the city. No doubt he BBC also knew this, but was intent on giving the impression that the attacks were random.)

    BBC journos were inspired to produce the most awful purple prose I’ve ever seen from what purports to be a serious news organisation, with Jim Muir telling us that, “Israeli warships were lurking on the horizon, sending missiles lurching towards Beirut” and Nick Thorpe proclaiming that, “While Kassams are pinpricks on the ankles of the Israeli giant, Katyushas drive him mad.” When a BBC journalist finally condescended to visit the stricken Israeli border town of Kiryat Shmona, at the end of the war, it was to tell us on the World Service that he could see “four or five damaged houses.” I couldn’t believe I was hearing that. In fact, by that time a thousand houses in the town had been damaged or destroyed by the constant Katyusha bombardment. (The BBC did make one or two poor attempts at balance, with one writer eventually bringing us the truth about Kiryat Shmona in an article on the BBC News website. I guess people must have complained. But the World Service never apologized for the propaganda.)

    Yes, Beirut was where it was at. Orla Guerin even arrived from South Africa, no doubt compelled to add her weight to the anti-Israel slant, and soon proving her intentions by claiming that a Lebanese village had been totally destroyed when it hadn’t. I was curious to know how that worked. Did Guerin simply tell her superiors that she was off to cover a conflict dear to her heart, even if that meant neglecting her duties in Johannesburg, or did they feel it necessary to send her? As if they didn’t have enough Middle East reporters homing in on the story.

    The BBC took its collective gloves off during that war and laid into Israel, while respectfully reporting only what Hezbollah allowed it to report – or distort, rather – making its bias as clear as daylight.


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