Talking points for 25 August 08

Goodmorning, It’s Karnie with you today…

I must admit it gets harder and harder to go through your comments on a Monday BUT it’s equally inspiring to see so many comments up! I have been very good and looked over them this weekend and have a good idea as to what you’ve been suggesting…

You’ve been talking about the Obama/McCain campaign all weekend. The issue of race (which we have spoken about on whys before) has come to the fore once again. I think we asked: Is America ready for a black President? BUT let’s look at this again..The United states is beset by economic troubles, mired in an unpopular war and looking forward to the exit of an unpopular outgoing Republican president..one would think it was time the Democrats were given a good chance of winning, yet Obama and McCain are virtually tied at the polls. Why isn’t Obama doing better? Is it a question of race? Is the senator falling victim to racist voters and will race influence the American vote? OR is it a question of the Senator losing because he is not being American enough?

Everyone’s still talking about the Olympics and what a huge success the event turned out to be. The Chinese certainly did not disappoint – despite International protests before the games, protests at the very beginning…the world chose to focus on the sport rather than the politics. Did China get it off the hook and did they get away with it?

Staying with the Olympics… what about league tables and poorer countries? It’s obvious that stronger economies do better at the games than weaker ones. Should poorer countries as this article suggests have a separate Olympics? Is there another way for poorer countries to gain medals without huge economic investment?

This story has been suggested by Nelson on the blog and spoken about quite a bit in the whys meetings…
A Church in Nigeria (where homosexuality is considered illegal) has been inviting gays, lesbians to join their congregation. The pastor, Reverend Jide (who’s agreed to come on the programme today) says, “What we are trying to say is that there is no crime in worshipping.” According to him though, there evidently IS..he says they’ve received abuse and death threats and even the police have said they will have to investigate the church and possibly close down the programme. What’s wrong with gay people worshipping in Church? Should your sexuality determine where you worship?


Ever heard of a grandparents charter? Well, it’s being created by a support network here in the UK – called grannynet.co.uk. More and more, elderly people are being called upon to look after their grandchildren, Lorna Edwards, who co-founded the website with her daughter Verity Gill, said they hoped to build up a picture of what grandparents think is acceptable regarding childcare. Grandparents all over the world are in a similar position to Lorna Edwards and friends. Are they being exploited or taken advantage of? Should grandparents be paid to look after their grandchildren?

45 Responses to “Talking points for 25 August 08”

  1. 1 nelsoni
    August 25, 2008 at 12:02

    People are expected to come to church to be reformed but when they try to found a church on principles that run contrary to biblical teachings, then that’s a big problem. The bible clearly states that in Christendom, homosexuality is clearly not allowed. So why try to twist the bible to get around it? It would not just work especially in Africa where Homosexuality runs contrary to core African traditions.

  2. 2 nelsoni
    August 25, 2008 at 12:09

    @ Obama/MaCain, Bob Marley said something ” … Until the color of a man’s skin in no less significant than the color of his eyes … Race will always be a recurring decimal in any thing that has to do with multi racial matters. When are we all going to ascend above race?

  3. 3 nelsoni
    August 25, 2008 at 12:18

    @ Payment for Grandparents, If parents were not paid to look after their own children why should grand parents be paid to look after their own grand children? Granted that it may not always be convenient for the grand parents to do so but a mutually beneficial arrangement can be worked out. That said, it would almost be unthinkable to suggest that in Africa where parents look forward to having grand children and devoting their time to taking care of them. Cultural differences maybe.

  4. 4 steve
    August 25, 2008 at 12:38

    So it’s official, if Obama doesn’t win, it’s about race, and it’s got nothing to do that he’s the most liberal senator, has very little experience (if you want to know how important experience is. George Bush had little experience, and look at the country now)…. And now he has a liar as his VP candidate. So of course, if he doesn’t get elected, it’s because the nation is racist. Again, show me Britain, Australia, Canada, or New Zealand having had a black Prime Minister.

  5. 5 Roberto
    August 25, 2008 at 12:47

    Re race:

    ——– Race is the most obvious symbol of the “other tribe” ie, differing cultural values that may be threatening and not of your blood.

    Again, thread features a leading tabloid style question. Obama wouldn’t be where he is without significant votes across the spectrum obviously.

    Obama didn’t have roots in black America and had to undergo a lot of on the job training in Illinois where his education, bearing, and odd looks didn’t initially endear him to locals.

    He seems to have been willing to roll up the sleeves and work with folks and has some charisma and charm and it’s been a growing bandwagon ever since.

  6. 6 ShelliMone't Newbolt
    August 25, 2008 at 13:03

    I’m an American who currently resides in Prague. And, I also come from a multi-cultural family and I become offended whenever race is highlighted within the Obama/McCain’s Presidential election. If one is educated and qualified to seek a certain position, why should ethnicity be a factor? Clearly, Obama is capable of becoming president of the United States of America. His profile speaks for it self. So, why should Obama have to constantly prove he is equal to his counterpart McCain? As a person of Color, I don’t feel it’s necessary to convince others, I’m a human being and my hue has absolutely nothing to do with my sagaciousness! In closing, as a medical student, when I dissect a body, no matter what color he or she may be, we’re just the same.


    ShelliMone’t Newbolt

  7. 7 Shaun in Halifax
    August 25, 2008 at 13:50

    @ Did China get away with it?

    There’s a camp that says the Olympics isn’t a political tool. But their argument is defeated by the selection process. As a requisite for being awarded the games, PRC made promises about improving its freedoms, human rights records and freedoms of the press. These are political tools. Yet according to Amnesty Int’l and other human rights groups, the government never followed through on its word and likely used the games as an excuse to crack down more (example: villages being displaced to build facilities/infrastructure).

    So one of the take-away lessons I learned about this most recent olympiad is that it is a bassackward process and that as long as the host country has the required facilities, it can promise anything it wants and never have to deliver. If you are going to be awarded the games based on political promises, the success should ride on more than just building a track and swimming pool.

  8. August 25, 2008 at 13:53

    McCain/ Obama and race,

    Back when Obama was barely known I had a discussion with a friend of mine. In full disclosure he is Hispanic. I told him he “was nuts” and made a bet with him that race wouldn’t play a part in this race. I said, “After the last 8 years the democrats could run a blindfolded, unwashed, circus monkey and win this race by a landslide.” I told him I believe that racism still exists, but I believe America had come a long way in a short time. I am now worried about my bet.

    I have heard people who would never use the “N” word that had never shown any previous signs of being racist. My own father, the man who taught me, “judge each man as you meet them” is one of them. The other day I had to ask him to stop using the word. From never hearing it, to hearing it flow like wine on a thanksgiving table.

    I have met two people that have lost their jobs to globalization and/ or NAFTA. They have lost their house and one of their children lost their house to the cliché’ example of a “sup-prime lending scam.” I heard both of them say they would never vote for a “n!#$r”.

    The race was over, even if you included Florida and Michigan by the time it reached places like W. VA and Puerto Rico, yet they decided overwhelmingly in favor of Billary. I can’t think of a good reason why.

    I have a job that sends me al over, I am from here in he north, until i went there a few years back I had never seen openly racist people until I went to places like Oklahoma, Texas, or Mississippi.

  9. 9 Sheikh Kafumba Dukuly
    August 25, 2008 at 14:07

    @ Shellimone’t. Well said. Obama has to be consistent and do just what he is capable of doing. He can’t rewrite history of the Vietnam War and make himself a veteran. He is Obama, the charismatic instrument for change. Obama and Mccain are two different personalities with separate ideological construct. The commonality is: they are americans running for president. I guess it will be better to do what each one of them knows best.

  10. August 25, 2008 at 17:50

    Would Barack Obama be likely to fulfill his campaign promises of hope and change if he were elected President?

    Judged by his previous achievements the answer would have to be a resounding ‘no’.

    When faced with past failures he has always tried to obscure them, and if or when that was not possible he has blamed others.

    The many “successes” that he has claimed in campaign speeches were often due to the work of others but he always took but never gave credit for them.

    He has steadfastly refused to answer questions relating to his days at Harvard and such omissions are a continually recurring and worrying theme.

    He was appointed ‘President of the Law Review’ which is something that should not be minimalized but whilst holding the post he published none of his own work and once again there is no paper trail and this pattern predates his time at Harvard.

    A search of the ‘HeinOnline’ database of law journals turns up nothing that can be credited to Obama in any law review anywhere or at any time.

    In spite of an apparent eleven-year teaching career in constitutional law at a top law school there is not one single article, published talk, book review, or comment of any kind that bears the name ‘Barack Obama’.

    “Can or should we be asked to follow a person that leaves no footprints?”.

  11. 11 Dennis
    August 25, 2008 at 17:58

    @ Karnie:

    i know it is hard! but you will soon enjoy it! and want to be more involved
    with our lives…..


  12. 12 steve
    August 25, 2008 at 18:03


    This story doesn’t shock me in the slightest. I’m sure if they did research into those who use drugs, it would be much higher.

  13. 13 Shirley
    August 25, 2008 at 18:13

    Bryan, you’ve already got Darfur and Rwanda. You and I disagree about Palestine, but it is on my list. So are the Armenians and the Kurds. Add former Yugoslavia (Bosnia?), as well. Something happened in Cambodia, but I do not know if it happened between ethnicities and with racial undertones or not. And just to add depth to my list, there are the indigenous peoples of the Americas. There were also some serious pogroms against Jewish people in Poland and Russia that were not necessarily linked to the Nazi movement of ~WWII Germany. By the way, wasn’t the number of Jewish people killed during the Holocaust at or over six million? (as opposed to almost six million)

  14. 14 Shirley
    August 25, 2008 at 18:14

    WHYS Congress
    Katharina: I didn’t want to mention Belgian beer because it’s too heavy to bring larger amounts and out of sensitivity to our Muslim friends on the blog.

    Kathi, thank you for thinking of us. I don’t know if any of us Shia Muslims will be able to make it. Technically, we are ok as long as there is no alcohol drinking at the table at which we are sitting. However, the conservative (and popular) trend among Shia Muslims is absolute exclusion from any place or event in which drinking alcohol takes place. I have forgot the ruling in Sunni Islam. Actually, I usually know the rulings of the Hanafi school of thought in Sunni Islam. While there are some Indo-Pak Muslims on board who probably follow it, the fact that Abdi is African probably makes him more familiar with the Maliki school of thought of Sunni Islam. If I happen to see anything on this issue, I will pop it to the board so that it would be Googleable.

  15. 15 steve
    August 25, 2008 at 18:28

    @ Shirley

    Are you trying to suggest there’s a genocide against the Palestinians going on? I’m curious how that could happen given how fast their population is growing.

  16. 16 Jens
    August 25, 2008 at 18:34


    so what? people have sex for much more stupid and less moral reasons. life is a steady exchange of favours, be it sex or be it money that let’s you buy stuff. that is the beauty of evolution, certain behavioural traits a learned, others are hard wired. just think about cavemen. i am pretty sure it was not the metrosexual caveman that got off the most. it was the guy with the biggest hunting and protection skills….

  17. 17 steve
    August 25, 2008 at 18:37

    @ Jens

    I have no problem with it, so long as people correctly label what it is. It is prostitution. So long as the people engaged get correctly labelled, I have no problem that it occurs. But I’m sick of people denying what they do, or trying to come off as innocent angels.

  18. 18 Jens
    August 25, 2008 at 18:44


    why prostitution???? did the cavemen scenario sound like prostitution? people will always use their personal strength to gain an advantage and why should good sex or a great body not count as a personal strenth. it’s like dating, some thing big boobs are important others the intelect. let’s be honest the initial phase of any relationship is mainly getting what you want in exchane of your qualities. love etc evolves from there and is often build on lust ets. nothing wrong with that, me thinks.

    i don’t think anyone is trying to come off as innocent angels, they all know exactly what they are doing and admit to it. how do you think certain dynamics work in marriges. i do this for you in return for that. that is the way we are wired, we are not alturistic, we do things in return of favors or help.

  19. 19 steve
    August 25, 2008 at 18:48

    @ Jens

    Having sex in exchange for something makes you a prostitute. Let’s not hide the truth here. I’m sorry if someone’s wittle feelings gets hurt, but people shouldn’t do things that they might be ashamed of. If you have sex in exchange for something it makes you a prostitute.

  20. 20 Jens
    August 25, 2008 at 19:01


    did the people quoted sound ashamed?

    geeze dude you really have to get away from your black and white thinking, there are many shades of gray. that girl sounded like she had a great time and even here description of having had sex in the jungle did not sound like the experiance of a street hooker……

    you know it’s one thing prostitued yourselkf for money, because you have to, be it an addiction or simple income. it’s another thing to go to brazil life in the jungle and have sex. att least i think so. she did not sound like she was very adverse to it and both had a great time.

  21. 21 Jessica in NYC
    August 25, 2008 at 19:27

    @ dwight from cleveland

    I have lived in the south and racisum is very open and accepted it can be very terrifying. (A side note: Did you here of what happen in Jasper, Texas? The black man who was strapped to the back of a pick up truck and dragged through the city. I left Texas shortly after this.)

    People who think race isn’t playing a role in this election are wrong. Of course, race is not only the only deciding factor, for some it’s not even a factor, but for many people it is the only factor. It’s hard to place racism in context with racist remarks, especially when it’s your own family can be shocking. Some of my dinners ended in heated family debates and others conversations have extended into 10 years discussions about the issues.

    It should also be noted that most often we are speaking of racism, it’s referring to white people, but it should also include all the other ethic minorities. I have heard plenty of racist remarks from my own ethnic group. Ignorance knows no color barriers.

  22. 22 selena
    August 25, 2008 at 20:39

    @ Steve

    Who defines prostitution? Where did you get your idea that prostitution is bad?

    Why do you think it is bad?

  23. 23 steve
    August 25, 2008 at 20:46

    @ Selena

    When did I say it was bad? All I said is that you should call something by it’s name. If you don’t know who/what defines prostitution, then do you think any other word can be defined?

    Prostitution is exchanging sex for something of value.

    Let’s call things what they are, people.

    Main Entry: pros·ti·tu·tion
    Pronunciation: \ˌpräs-tə-ˈtü-shən, -ˈtyü-\
    Function: noun
    Date: 1553
    1 : the act or practice of engaging in promiscuous sexual relations especially for money

  24. 24 steve
    August 25, 2008 at 20:54


    Cant’ publish posts like that, watch your language. the defintion I gave said “especially for money” that means it’s not limited to money. Prostitution is sex in exchange for something of value, be it trips to brazil, getting your car repaired, drugs, or money.

  25. 25 Dennis
    August 25, 2008 at 20:55

    @ Selena,

    i think that prostitution is not bad! i think that some of them will make a lot of money!


  26. 26 selena
    August 25, 2008 at 20:57

    Go back further than 1553 Steve… It has always been around. Someone, somewhere at sometime decided to label women prostitutes and defined prostitution as something evil.

    Giving a dictionary definition does not address the question: who decided that prostitution is a sin?

    If you don’t think it is bad, why do you call attention to it?

    If I want to take money for sex, why should that have a special name? Why should you even notice what I am doing?

  27. 27 Dennis
    August 25, 2008 at 20:59

    About WHYS Congress!

    i forgot to mentioned that new york state food!!!



  28. 28 Jens
    August 25, 2008 at 21:03


    what language?????????? funny, one descibes a sexual act in coloquial terms and webmeister steve jumps on the moral high ground. i did not insult anybody or anything. i decribed oral sex in a commonly used way and in no means offensive or deregotary form.

    i disagree and you censor, wow that is an easy way of winning an argument.

    all i said in refernce to the definition you gave, which clearly stated IN EXCHANGE OF MONEY, is that YOU arbitrairly add “something of value”. that is NOT the definition, period

  29. 29 Jens
    August 25, 2008 at 21:05


    plus who defines what is “of value”…..

  30. 30 steve
    August 25, 2008 at 21:08

    @ Jens

    “1 : the act or practice of engaging in promiscuous sexual relations especially for money

    ESPECIALLY FOR MONEY. That does not mean ONLY FOR MONEY. Please read closely.

    Here’s a KS definition:

    Performing for hire, or offering or agreeing to perform for hire where there is an exchange of value, any of the following acts: Sexual intercourse; sodomy, or; manual or other bodily contact stimulation of the genitals of any person with the intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desires of the offender or another.(Kansas Statutes ’95)

    Sorry Jens, but the things decsribed in the article are acts of prostitution.

  31. 31 steve
    August 25, 2008 at 21:11

    @ Selena

    “Giving a dictionary definition does not address the question: who decided that prostitution is a sin?

    If you don’t think it is bad, why do you call attention to it?

    If I want to take money for sex, why should that have a special name? Why should you even notice what I am doing?”

    We aren’t discussing sin, we are discussing how common prostitution is. I call attention to lots of things, do I think they are bad because I called attention to it? Why should I care what you are doing? So if You want to kill people, I should be fine with it? If you want to drink and drive, I should mind my own business?

    It seems people are afraid of being called a word. It’s just a description. If you don’t want to be called the word, then don’t perform the acts. You have a choice. But if you do do the acts, then one shouldn’t deny what they are.

    That’s all I’m saying. If I had a problem, like I drank too much, and if someone called me an alcholic, I shouldn’t go ballistic for them to accurately describe me, despite how much I might dislike that word.

  32. 32 Jessica in NYC
    August 25, 2008 at 21:17

    I have an excellent joke, that I think some of you would enjoy that I heard during the Bill Clinton soap in the 90s… but, alas, some of the words may be taken out of context and not be acceptable in a PC environment.

    Happy Blogging… I’m off to the dreadful gym on my day off from work.

  33. 33 Jens
    August 25, 2008 at 21:20


    that might be in Kansas, but they also believe in intelligent design………..

    tell me what is wrong between let’s say partners in a relationship, if one gets a bl…., eeeehhhh sorry, oral sex, in return for vacuuming the house or cooking dinner or mow the lawn. is that prostitution and should it be punished by law? i am sick of the moral apostals telling me when, how and for how long i can have sex……….in return for a freshly mowed lawn 😉

  34. 34 steve
    August 25, 2008 at 21:26

    Sorry Jens, you’re wrong. It’s for anything of value. You don’t need to Insult Kansans because you don’t like the law.


    In your hypothetical, are they married? You can’t have prostitution between a married couple. But yes, if a woman performs a sex act in exhange for something of value (ie you mowed the lawn, built her something, fixed her car) so long as there was an understanding that your conferring value to her in exchange for sex, then yes, it’s prostitution, you’re both committing a crime.

  35. 35 Jens
    August 25, 2008 at 21:44

    i can insult kansas if i want to, that is what is called freedom of speech, since they insult science and me by teaching intelligent design at school.

    so as a married man it is ok to get oral sex for mowing the lawn, lucky me…..BUT let’s say if an unmarried couple living together have the same arrangment, then it is prostitution?????

  36. 36 steve
    August 25, 2008 at 21:45

    @ Jens

    If there were an agreement, sex for mowing the lawn, then yes, if not married, it is prostitution. If you just happened to have sex every time after you mow the lawn, then it’s murkier waters.

  37. 37 selena
    August 25, 2008 at 21:46


    Equating prostitution with drinking and driving or killing someone is just too funny (or tragic) to discuss.

  38. 38 steve
    August 25, 2008 at 21:46

    Jens, there’s a reason that sex isn’t valid consideration for a contract, because it would be prostitution for one party to exchange sex in exchange for goods or services.

  39. 39 steve
    August 25, 2008 at 21:47

    @ Selena

    It’s called an example, selena.

  40. 40 Jens
    August 25, 2008 at 21:49

    how firm would this agreement have to be. like nodding your head is enough???

  41. 41 Jens
    August 25, 2008 at 21:51

    steve, what about before mowing the lawn….since the amout of energy left depends on the size of the lawn and the way you mow it.

  42. 42 selena
    August 25, 2008 at 21:52


    It is not a good example! 🙂

  43. 43 steve
    August 25, 2008 at 21:53

    @ Jens

    Well, someone would have to state the arrangement, ie “if you mow the lawn, I will have sex with you” and you nodding your head is agreeing to it.

  44. 44 Jens
    August 25, 2008 at 22:04

    now we can extend it and discuss which lawn? funny we setteled on mowing the lawn and not cooking dinner. this should tell us something……..

    great argueing with you, nevertheless

  45. 45 Bryan
    August 25, 2008 at 22:39

    Shirley August 25, 2008 at 6:13 pm

    The exact Jewish death toll during the Holocaust will never be known. But there is general agreement that it was under 6 million:


    (Scroll about a third of the way down to get the figures.)

    Yes, I recall you wrote something about the genocide in Darfur a few days ago, but you are wrong about Palestine, as Steve points out at 6:28 pm. The Palestinians would certainly be the first people ever whose population was increasing while suffering genocide.

    You should take a closer look at the deeply insulting implications of your accusation against the Israelis. Don’t forget that there are still hundreds of thousands of Holocaust survivors, many of them living in Israel. Yes, Israelis unfortunately and inadvertently kill Palestinian civilians when trying to pinpoint the terrorists. This is genocide?

    It is difficult to argue with someone who calls this genocide because the comparison is so off the charts that there is nothing to get a handle on for purposes of debate.

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