Talking Points for 26 August

Hi there, it’s Madeleine here today. 

Thanks for all your contributions overnight.  A few of you touched on Michelle Obama’s speech to the Democratic convention where she again tried to prove her husband’s American credentials, to convince voters that he is indeed “American enough” to lead his country. It got us thinking – what defines your nationality?Barack Obama has a Kenyan father and a white mother. He grew up in Indonesia, and in Hawaii, the most exotic of the American states. Despite studying at Harvard and serving as a US Senator, many people in the States seem worried that he’s not “one of them”.

But what makes you belong to your country? Is simply believing in a set of national values enough? What if you don’t believe in certain values? In France a Muslim woman who covers her face has been denied French citizenship, even though she speaks French fluently and has three french children, because a court deemed her wearing of the burqa doesn’t fit in with French beliefs.

In order to gain British nationality after living here for seven years I had to sit a Britishness test. I passed with flying colours, but in the Olympics I cheered on my native Australia over Britain every single time. Does that mean I’m less British? Can I be both Australian and British at the same time?

What role does language play? In Jamaica there’s a debate over the teaching of Jamaican creole in schools. Do the Jamaicans who speak their native creole have a bigger claim to being true Jamaicans?

At the Olympics China proudly displayed its true colours: tremendous pagentry and fantastic organisation, but also suppression of dissent, and the sacrifice of individuals for the glory of the country. For its part in the closing ceremony, Britain offered a London bus, Leona Lewis and David Beckham. But do those symbols make up a nation?

Do you feel fully part of your country? What defines that feeling? Do you have neighbours who think are less a part of your country than you are? Why – what is the difference? What defines your nationality?

199 Responses to “Talking Points for 26 August”

  1. 1 Dennis
    August 25, 2008 at 19:37

    That is good that gas price is finally taking a toll on fatalities..

  2. 2 Dennis
    August 25, 2008 at 19:39

    Question: who is on moderators’ duty on the edition!

    ~Pakistan–could be new president: that would be a good thing for the country! it will not bring back benazir bhutto, but her husband will keep the tradition going, until her son can be given an office in pakistan hierarchy.


  3. 3 nelsoni
    August 25, 2008 at 19:45

    Hi every one, would the world be a better place if every one tells the truth including politicians and people we are supposed to trust? It was alleged the George Bush Lied to invade Iraq. Senator John Edwards lied about his extra marital affair. I am sure you know of a few politicians in your locality who have told lies too. This BBC article examines lying. Why do people lie? and can it ever be justified?

  4. 4 Jessica in NYC
    August 25, 2008 at 19:59

    @ Topic 1- Gas Prices Reduce Traffic Fatalities

    Way to look at the silver-lining. 🙂

    @ Topic 2 – Asif Ali Zardari, once jailed on corruption charges, could be Pakistan’s next president.

    Not surprised.

    @ Topic 3- Armed for class

    F-a-n-t-a-s-t-i-c idea! Let me know if these schools are near me so I can move.

    Remember Columbine High School massacre Virginia Tech massacre? Two examples that exemplified why young, emotionally and hormone driven adolescents should never be allowed to carry guns. I’m not even anti-guns.

  5. 5 Angela in Washington
    August 25, 2008 at 20:06


    I do not believe the world will be any better if everyone told the truth. I have many friends that cant stand people that lie but I was taught that it is not always prudent to tell the truth. There are times when I will lie because as Tom Cruise said in that movie, “you can’t handle the truth.” Everyone can’t handle the truth. An example, one of my friends got married and told her husband she had 7 partners, which was quite a lie. He freaked out because she had more partners than he did. I think he would have died if she would have told the truth. I was always told that no matter what you always lie about stuff like that. However, I would never lie about matters that affect my professional life.

  6. 6 Jens
    August 25, 2008 at 20:09

    musharaff wants to come to NM, this would add an interessting asian flavour to our coorruption issues here.

  7. 7 Jens
    August 25, 2008 at 20:10


    it’s not the students that should be armed ;)………

  8. August 25, 2008 at 20:36

    I received my undergraduate degree from one of the schools where it’s legal for students to carry guns. I think it’s a great subject for tomorrow, One other thing that might spice the debate up is that, at least at my alma mater, the faculty was expressly forbidden to carry firearms on campus. I personally find this to be nonsense, though I’m sure there are any number of Lawyers who follow WHYS that might have a good argument for it.

  9. 9 steve
    August 25, 2008 at 20:38

    Anyone reading this story the way I am? Apparently she couldn’t drop the kid off at daycare, so she instead kept the kid in the car all day, and duh, it died? You just happened to have forgotten the kid was in the car even though you were going to day care? Again, this is why people should be licensed before having kids, so tragedies like this don’t happen.


  10. 10 Jens
    August 25, 2008 at 20:47

    @ Angela,

    I never get that partner thing. does it really mater. it is just stupid jelousy nonsense and to an extend moral superiority. it is OK for guys to notch-up partners but not for girls. in a country driven by so many morals, i always have to laugh thinking that the porn industry is a major industrial force, followed by religiouse industry, which has a good turn over as well.

    sex is to much fun to have the rightwing nutjobs impose their pseudo-morals upon.

  11. 11 Devra Lawrence-Jamaica
    August 25, 2008 at 20:55

    CARRY GUNS TO SCHOOLS!!! That’s just crazy! Tell me PLEASE how this makes an ounce of sense?

    IF that was ever legal in Jamaica, that would be IT for us as a country. We already struggle sooo much with violence in our schools, so there is absolutely no way that this could be part of a solution.


  12. 12 steve
    August 25, 2008 at 20:59

    @ Angela

    I forget the exact rule, but with women and their “number” you typically multiply by 3 I think. And for guys, their number, you divide by 2 or 3. I forget the exact formula. I never understand why people volunteer this information. I’d really rather not know. The numbers can be frighteningly high, it’s best to not know, presuming they are STD free. Though the higher the numbers, the more the baggage that comes along with it.

  13. 13 Jessica in NYC
    August 25, 2008 at 21:03

    @ Jens

    Excellent Point!

  14. 14 Julie P
    August 25, 2008 at 21:07


    It’s petty foolishness concerning the number of people a person has slept with. Some will exaggerate to make themslef look big (trust me I’ve heard that scenario more than once on both sides of the fence) or they try to make themself look like a saint and give an underestimate. I really do not care as long as they are disease free, which hasn’t proven to difficult to find out in some cases. I always start a conversation about giving blood to the Red Cross on more than one occassion. For me, it has flushed out some.

  15. 15 Jens
    August 25, 2008 at 21:11


    why baggage? could it be that some people just enjoy sex…..but do not want the burdon of a relationship, which easily can be turned into baggage. after having had fun for a while they are prepared and probably much more settled and ready for a relationship that is meaningful.

    and quite frankly it can only take ONE partner to catch STD’s. prevention is always better than cure…to use a cliche

  16. 16 Jens
    August 25, 2008 at 21:15

    julie P,

    i cannot give blood…………………………………….. because i lived in the UK during mad cows………..

    in this case the STD, stand for Sausage Transmitted Disease, although i feel pretty good, but for the occasional tremors and forgetfullness, and i thought this is old age…

  17. 17 Julie P
    August 25, 2008 at 21:17


    People do come with baggage, regardless of who they are or how perfect they may think they are. Be it from relationships, or casual sex, it’s baggage, casual sex may have the appearance of no emotions, but it does. People, both men and women, are not devoid of emotions, even when it comes to casual sex. I’ve stood behind the chair as a hairdresser and I have listened to more personal tales of lives than I can tell, both sexes are affected by it.

  18. 18 Brett
    August 25, 2008 at 21:22

    @ Nelsoni:

    I suppose in the case of justifying lying, you need to determine which is more important… The intended end result for those whom you are lying to, or the ability for those who you are lying to to make an informed opinion or decision based on truths.

  19. 19 Brett
    August 25, 2008 at 21:23

    @ Julie:
    Great points! Theres always emotions and baggage, and that includes emotional sex. Many times those emotions surface especially when someone else enters the picture 😉

  20. 20 Julie P
    August 25, 2008 at 21:24


    When I went to give blood I did tell them I went to the UK prior to giving blood. I was given the third degree about it. But, because I my visit was in London and Edinburgh I was allowed to donate. The Red Cross can be prickly about that. However, I’ve learned some interesting stuff about people about giving blood other than squirmishness.

  21. 21 Jens
    August 25, 2008 at 21:27

    Julie P,

    live is an accumulation of baggege. it is a matter of how you deal or not deal with it. you can let it build up or you can say, hell yes this got messed-up, but so what. causual sex has emotions, i agree, but not as many as a bad abusive relationship. 20 plus years ago i had this kind of casual relationship with a girl. we did not date but spend alot of time together and yes had sex. there were emotions ect, but since we never broke-up we are still friends, we had a great time, great sex. in many ways it was the easiest and freshest interpersonal interaction I ever had. no pressures, no demands…….

  22. 22 Jens
    August 25, 2008 at 21:29

    Julie P,

    I lived in the UK for 13 years at the hight of the BSE scandel, while being a student. Guess what kind of meat i was eating at thet time. i was not the price cuts…..

  23. 23 nelsoni
    August 25, 2008 at 21:29

    @ Angela in Washington. Probably the reason why people can’t handle the truth is sometimes, the truth hurts, it’s not always pleasant.

  24. 24 steve
    August 25, 2008 at 21:30

    @ Jens

    The point is, is that the more baggage one has, the more likely they are to make poor decisions, so they might get involved with the abusive person. Casual relationships can also make for commitmentphobia, which can mean more single parents, more divorces, etc..

  25. August 25, 2008 at 21:31

    Having guns in schools is simply pathetic. How any sane human being can justify it is beyond me.

  26. 26 Julie P
    August 25, 2008 at 21:34


    I’m not saying that we turn into emotional cripples over casual sex some take it better than others, some not, plus life experience, expectations, and other intangibles. Trust me, Jens, I’m not a saint.

  27. August 25, 2008 at 21:35

    @ reduced trafic accidents

    See, reduced traffic casualties are another effect of the Bush administration. Combine that with less pollution from all those people not driving to work, reduced housing prices (because the market is flooded with bankruptcies.), closer families that spend more time together (because they are all unemployed and living in a one bedroom apartment), and everybody is eating healthier (because they can’t afford to eat out anymore.) Way to go GWB.

  28. 28 Jens
    August 25, 2008 at 21:37


    i have seen people with hugh baggage, from a single relationship….and they could not get over it.

    as i said it is all relative. if somebody had multiple partners during college, persuing it has fun and testing out the waters that is fine and probably even good so. you kind of learn what you are looking for in a person. somebody who habbitualy screws around until death, granted has a problem with commitment.

    the day you are born you are starting to accumulate baggage. i tend to occasionaly hold a yard sale, to get rid of mine……meaning, forgive and forget, sometimes it’s easy and sometimes it is impossible. the impossible ones carry on travelling with me, until i can get ridd of them…

  29. 29 nelsoni
    August 25, 2008 at 21:37

    @ Brett, some times people could find them selves in a situation where the only way is not to say the truth.

  30. 30 Brett
    August 25, 2008 at 21:38

    Dwight gets the “Glass Half Full” Award of the night! lol

  31. 31 Brett
    August 25, 2008 at 21:39

    Are we talking politics or life and death?

  32. 32 Jens
    August 25, 2008 at 21:39

    julie p,

    that is not what i meant. i tried to say that it all depends on the person. some can handel somethings better than others and vice versa. looking at all my mess-ups (steve see my language) i am still a pretty even kieled person, with very little baggage.

  33. 33 nelsoni
    August 25, 2008 at 21:40

    @ Guns in school: it’s another columbine waiting to happen. Don’t people ever learn or is that they suffer from selective amnesia? Probably very soon, we could be having Hollywood shoot out in school in the future.

  34. 34 steve
    August 25, 2008 at 21:41

    @ Jens, everyone has baggage, but if someone has more baggage than a 747, it would be wise to run, not walk.

  35. 35 Julie P
    August 25, 2008 at 21:42


    The problem with blogging is can be like trying to tell a joke through e-mail, it can get lost. We’re both saying the same thing, just a different way.

  36. 36 nelsoni
    August 25, 2008 at 21:43

    @ Brett, yeah actually all the instances you mentioned just that in politics, it comes back to haunt the politicians just like it has George Bush, John Edwards, Joe Biden and others around the world.

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

    now did i say to enter into such a relationship??? i think not. but you could mow her lawn in exchange for…..a cup of coffee or so afterwards.

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

    steve: 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.

    Steve, I tend to equate the concepts of genocide and ethnic cleansing. I personally think that both are ocurring in Palestine. When I see a population being killed by the hundreds every year while their land is whittled away from under them, I do indeed think of it as a genocide.

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

    julie p,

    i beg to differ, we are saying the identical thing by using different expressions.


  40. August 25, 2008 at 21:49

    So I was talking to my brother-in -law who told me that the main reason he didn’t like Obama was because he seems to “say whatever it takes to get elected.” So through the magic of HTML I used a CNN template to conduct an experiment. I made it look like a legitimate CNN article that pretended to interview John McCain. Then I sent it to him. Highlights of the article were,

    “Is aware that drilling will not solve energy problems, but I know that I have to agree to it if I want to get elected..”

    “I have my own personal core beliefs which I will remain true to, but to reach voters and identify with their hopes I have to say what they want to hear.”

    And my favorite “… Most good honest hard working Americans do not hunt for their food anymore. … I will work with the congress to get guns out of the hands of American children and destroyed so they can’t hurt people anymore.”

    My bro-in-law is a huge hunter and pro-gun supporter. My brother-in-law’s response?

    “I still think he will be a better president than Obama. I don’t think either one of them is any thing to brag about but its a 2 party system so what are you gonna do.”

    As far as he knows, McCain had spoken opposite on every issue he holds dear and that was the response.

  41. 41 Shirley
    August 25, 2008 at 21:50

    Tom, some transfers from the blank page:

    From Natalie Sara: &34;&39;Welcome&39; is &39;huan ying&39; and not &39;kuan ying&39;!&34;

    And my own question:
    You mentioned that Chinese people generally don’t do the &34;how are you&34; questions unless they areally want an answer. That has me curious, because I had learned that &34;ni hao ma&34; was asking how are you. Can you explain, please? Thank you. Also, in Korean, there is a way of speaking to a man, especially an older one, in which one has to preface nearly everything that one says with a word that begins with d. I don’t remember much else beyond that. Is there something similar in Chinese?

  42. 42 Lubna
    August 25, 2008 at 21:50

    Hi gang ! :-)… Wow, casual sex, Goodness… Having sex is something that we human beings share with all other members of the animal kingdom… The only difference that unfortunately some human beings seem to forget is that in cases of humans the desire to have sex is usually driven by the lower centres of the central nervous system, BUT controlled by the upper centres of the central nervious system i.e. cerebral cortex, ect., while in animals this desire is driven completely by the lower centres of the animal’s nervous system with no control at all… “casual sex” in my opinion is a “low” and “primitive” practice… With my love… Yours forever, Lubna in Baghdad…

  43. 43 steve
    August 25, 2008 at 21:51

    @ Shirley

    So hundreds of deaths per year constitutes genocide? There are thousands of automobile related deaths in the US, far more than Palestinians getting killed. Is that genocide here as well? Again, if the Palestinian population is growing and growing, how is there ethnic cleansing and genocide? If anything, the only talk of ethnic cleansing is removing all jews from the west bank.

  44. 44 Jens
    August 25, 2008 at 21:56


    the iranian president and all the arab nations around israel have since the conception of israel been trying to ethanicly clease that part of the world of all the jews. how about the ethnic cleasing undertaken by the muslims in dafur, we are talking hundred of THOUSANDS of people. get of that persecution horse you are riding. the true ethnic cleasners of modern days are muslims all over the world, since this religions wants world dommination and will only be happy once all unfaithfuls are converted or dead.

  45. 46 Jens
    August 25, 2008 at 21:59

    casual sex is low and primitive, WOW. in that case i am proud to have acted low and primitive on some occasions of my life.

    hell we are all sophisticated apes nothing more and nothing less. we can actually have sex for pleasure and make-up our minds to do so or not.

  46. 47 Jens
    August 25, 2008 at 22:00


    now that is funny….

  47. 48 Amy
    August 25, 2008 at 22:06


    Not quite sure what to say about your brother-in-law. I have people like that in my family as well and I figure that nothing I say is going to change their mind – they will always find some little thing that they don’t like or disagree with and that will be the sole reason they choose not to vote for a specific candidate (not just for President but in any election).

    As for your silver lining for GWB, I agree with Brett. you get the “Glass Half Full” award. I always try to find a silver lining but you my good man, are the king.

  48. 49 Devra Lawrence-Jamaica
    August 25, 2008 at 22:06

    Why do people lie? and can it ever be justified? I don’t know of anyone who likes it when they are told a lie or if one is told ABOUT them. I am still in the process of learning the true art of forgiving AND forgetting what people do me, let alone if a lie is told about me …

    The world would be a better place for sure if we ALL started telling the truth, but not everyone would be able to handle it. I’m a frank person MOST of the times. I don’t see the need to tell a lie and if I even do, my heart starts to beat rapidly, my palms sweat, I SWEAT, and you can just tell by the look in my eyes that I’m lying to you. I can’t even FAKE emotions, like laugh @ a bad joke, act excited over news I either heard before or just find plain boring … not everyone can handle this frankness that I have, not everyone can handle my honesty, even my boyfriend complains that I am TOO HONEST @ times. What’s “TOO HONEST”?

    “A lie is an abomination to the Lord”
    “Thou shalt not lie”
    “A whisperer is a liar & a liar is a thief”


  49. 50 Amy
    August 25, 2008 at 22:08


    I may just have to see if any of the nuns at my daughter’s school want to enter. Most of them have a great sense of humor and may even be game.

  50. 51 Jens
    August 25, 2008 at 22:11


    a lie is breaking your own word and has nothing to do with god.

  51. 52 Venessa
    August 25, 2008 at 22:12

    Dwight ~ thanks for pointing out the positive things that came out of the Bush administration….

  52. 53 Jessica in NYC
    August 25, 2008 at 22:13

    @ Dwight from Cleveland

    LOL— My turn, my turn, but can you substitute the questions for me? Let’s do taxes and women’s right to choose, keep the guns part.

  53. August 25, 2008 at 22:14

    Dear Lubna,

    Are “lower centers of the central nervous system,” a medical term, or a religious notion?

    It seems to me that we have our cultures. We have our older men who have political power, and want to transfer that power into having more sex with the younger women.

    I wonder about these women in burkas… I wonder what is really going on? Are these intense laws about how women are supposed to behave, really covering up sexual abuse?

  54. August 25, 2008 at 22:15

    It seems like there are something like 3.5 million people in Palestine. If 350 people are killed, then .01% of the population is “cleansed” each year. Now there are about 43,000 deaths in the US each year due to traffic accidents. With 303,824,646 people in the US that means that the Israelis are killing people at a slightly higher rate then we have people dying in car accidents?

  55. August 25, 2008 at 22:17

    Jessica, I will make one up and send it to you if you would like, I have confidence that as long as you are not sending it to people still supporting Hillary, the result would be different. But I won’t bet the farm. I continuously underestimate the ignorance of the US voting public.

  56. 57 Jens
    August 25, 2008 at 22:23

    oh well,

    i am off and will have to contemplate if i should follow my my lower central nerveous centrum or my upper cerebral cortex. currently my upper cerebral cortex is very much in agreement with my lower nerveouse center, what a poor uncontroled monkey i am.

    i think the only part the upper cerebral cortex should play a role in sex, is the selection of the position….;)

    don’t overthink it for crying out loud.

    it’s the simple pleasures that make life worth living

  57. 58 Jens
    August 25, 2008 at 22:24


    they also kill one another, do not forget that one in the equation. just think back at the riots between hamas and fatawa………..

  58. 59 Jamily5
    August 25, 2008 at 22:26

    I don’t think that there is a thing as being “too honest.”
    Maybe there is a thing as being “too blunt,”
    or “not very tactful.”
    Many times, when we lie, it is because
    1. we are afraid to tell the truth because of the consequences to either us or someone close to us
    if the guy can’t accept her past, then, he probably shouldn’t be in her future.
    There are ways to tell the truth gently and tactfully.

  59. August 25, 2008 at 22:26

    @ Dwight from Cleveland,

    Better get out that calculator… seems that .0001% die in Palestine while 1.415% Americans meet an untimely death on our roadways.

  60. 61 Shirley
    August 25, 2008 at 22:28

    Dev, how tightly controlled and regulated are guns in Jamaica?

  61. 62 Jamily5
    August 25, 2008 at 22:30

    Infant died in car:
    Now, had this mother been on assistance, the story would have went quite differently.
    A DR. in front of your name does make a diff.
    Still, horrible for the family!

  62. 63 Lubna
    August 25, 2008 at 22:33

    Hi again gang ! :-)… Oh yes, evil Muslims are actually the only apparant cause of all our modern age’s troubles, catastrophes, and atrocities… After all, it’s evil Muslims who occupy and invade other people’s countries by using extreme military force without taking the permission of the international community… Examples ??? Iraq may be ?! :-)… I wonder, how dareful those evil Muslims are when they keep whining all the time about the Russian agression against South Ossetia and the continued Chinese occupation of Tibet while they themselves have invaded and occupied Iraq in a completely individualistic act ! But aren’t those evil Muslims the same people who are always protected in the International Security Counsil against any resolution that condemns, even very softly, their wrongful acts by the veto of the world’s most superior power ?! Shame on those evil Muslims ! With my love… Yours forever, Lubna…

  63. 64 Julie P
    August 25, 2008 at 22:33


    It’s good to low and primitive from time to time, isn’t it? 😉

  64. 65 Devra Lawrence-Jamaica
    August 25, 2008 at 22:34

    Call me old fashioned; but sex should be saved for marriage. That’s what it was ordained for. Tehre should be no such thing as ‘casual sex’.

    The thing about it is that God has definately given us FREE WILL where every aspect of our lives are concerned, including sex, who, where or what we want to do it with. But I have chosen the ‘boring’ path as some of my friends call it. But I don;t really care, I guess in the end, I’ll look back and say I was glad I waited, no matter how HARD it was to hold out!


  65. 66 Jamily5
    August 25, 2008 at 22:35

    What’s the prob?
    As long as we are not lying, why take issue with Devra’s God?

  66. 67 Jens
    August 25, 2008 at 22:35


    isn’t it 0.01415% of americans?
    since 43000 fits roughly 7000 times into 303 million????

  67. 68 Devra Lawrence-Jamaica
    August 25, 2008 at 22:38

    @ Jamily5 – maybe I’m too blunt or lack tact. Well if that’s the case I’ll work on it.

    @ Jens: Lies, sex, ur lifestyle ALL has to do with God!

    @ Shirley: not tightly regulated @ all … as a matter of fact that is one of the BIGGEST problems the government has. Guns keep coming into our island and no one can seem to find out HOW or WHY.

    I have to go now. WOrk done!

    Will continue blogging when I get home.

  68. 69 Jens
    August 25, 2008 at 22:38

    and should the palistinien number not be 0.001% since it fits 10000 time into 3.5 million.

  69. 70 Jens
    August 25, 2008 at 22:40

    julie p,

    absolutly…. some of my worst descisions stem from having over-used my upper cortex 🙂

  70. 71 Jamily5
    August 25, 2008 at 22:40

    Dev, there are some on the blog who don’t believe in a God.
    So, any argument with God in it is a bit of a mute point.

  71. 72 Robert
    August 25, 2008 at 22:42

    Re Relationship Baggage

    The baggage you take once a relationship is over depends more on how trusting the person it more than the number of notches on the bedpost. If you give away trust too easily you do get hurt in the process (although being hurt is not exclusive to those who simply hand out their trust too easily).

    Some people sleep around knowing it’s a one night stand and therefore have no baggage to carry with them (if there was no commitment, no trust can be broken and no issues). Others have had many partners but thought each time this was ‘the one’. When it doesn’t work out the trust/bond is broken and an extra piece of baggage is acquired.

  72. 73 Jens
    August 25, 2008 at 22:44


    because the god brigade tries to ram their moral stance down us athisists troat at any give corner with some quotes from a fictional book, claiming higher moral grounds and trying to enforce their morality upon non-believers.

    all you do when you lie is you are breaking your own word. god has nothing to do with this.

    they can believe what they want, but i am getting an allegric reaction when all and everything happens in gods name of this and that.

    my religiouse freedom lies in the fact that i can believe that god does not exist…..

  73. 74 Julie P
    August 25, 2008 at 22:50

    As if we don’t have enough problems with going to the dentist as it is…


  74. 75 Brett
    August 25, 2008 at 22:53

    @ Julie:
    As if we don’t have enough problems with going to the dentist as it is…

    And I had a hard enough time coming back after having my wisdom teeth removed! lol

  75. 77 Julie P
    August 25, 2008 at 22:54


    I had all four of mine taken out at the same time.

  76. August 25, 2008 at 23:00


    Shucks I just do it in the calculator… and get 1.419419 using your figures. Maybe that e4 means to move the decimal?

    But you are right of course, 43000 is approx 1/7000 of the population is killed off in car crashes every year. so my figure is wrong … now I am confused lol. Maybe it is really .0001419

    One in 10,000 is killed in Palestine.

  77. 79 Robert
    August 25, 2008 at 23:06


    I hope you mean e-4 which would be 0.00014 % or about 1.5 people in 10,000 . If its e4 then it is 14194% a death rate which would wipe out an entire population in about 3 days! That would be genocide in anybodies books.

  78. 80 Bryan
    August 25, 2008 at 23:16

    Shirley August 25, 2008 at 9:46 pm

    There is no ethnic cleansing of Palestinians going on and their land is not being taken. Do you recall that Israel disengaged from Gaza? Now Israel is talking about withdrawing from some ridiculous percentage of the West Bank, like 93 or something. I think Israel should make a stand here. Israel is the first country ever to be required to hand back territory won in a defensive war.

    I responded to you here on the same subject:


    Now if you want to see some ethnic cleansing, or rather cleansing purely on a religious basis, have a look at how the Palestinian Muslims are slowly but surely driving the Christians out of Palestine. Have a look at the attacks on Christian centres in Gaza and the West Bank and the miserable state of the Christians in Bethlehem, where they once thrived. Ask Palestinian Christians whose to blame for this and out of loyalty to their Muslim brothers or more likely fear of them they will blame the “occupation.” But don’t be fooled. It is crystal clear who is to blame and what the agenda is here.

    This would make a fair subject for discussion on air. Why are Palestinian Muslims driving their Christian brothers out of Palestine?

  79. August 25, 2008 at 23:17


    Oh yeah! Now Im catching on. 🙂

  80. 82 Bryan
    August 25, 2008 at 23:18

    Sorry, that should be “who is to blame for this.”

  81. 84 Devra Lawrence-Jamaica
    August 25, 2008 at 23:43

    @ Jamily5: let it remain a mute point. That doesn’t mean that I won’t include ‘Him’ in some of my arguments.


    BTW I’m home now.

  82. 85 Scott (M)
    August 25, 2008 at 23:58


    All lies are wrong in the sense that, well they are wrong or inaccurate! Meaning—the information being contained in the lie is indeed incorrect information on some level. But it is hard to say anymore about a lie by attaching some moral significance to them. You can also communicate incorrect information without realizing it is incorrect. With the outcome being the same as if you had communicated this incorrect information through a lie.

    Certainly, why a lie is being told is very important. Of course lies, in certain circumstances, can save lives and in others take them. Is it the outcome of the lie or the actual lie itself? Perhaps, we lie to ourselves all the time, in our own thoughts.

  83. 86 Venessa
    August 26, 2008 at 00:02

    Julie ~

    I don’t even like public restrooms or ones in doctors offices and everytime I use one I think of stories like this.

  84. 87 Roberto
    August 26, 2008 at 00:08

    Re Students can carry guns legally at a handful of schools:

    ——– Don’t think this is going to be any more than a brief fad.

    For one thing, few are equipped to deal with the illogical hysteria of anti gun nutters. Much easier to battle some odd whacko out to kill you than the vast tin foil brigade.

    2nd, the vetting process to obtain a permit to carry a firearm much more rigorous than passing a driving test for license. That’s why the death rate involving licensed drivers is astronomical compared to that involving licensed concealed weapons.

    Much more likely to be mowed down by the suburban housewife breaking up a fight amongst her kids in her supersized Chevy Suburban than a permitted concealed gun carrier whipping out his firearm and blasting you out.

    Finally, at the end of almost every day, the gun almost always does anything for you, unlike your car, coffee maker, screwdriver, wrench, and computer. Plus, it’s heavy, it’s always rubbing you wrong, it’s setting off alarms, and requires the patience of Job to explain the same old story to wait to be cleared by police when they find out you’re packin’..

  85. 88 Julie P
    August 26, 2008 at 00:08


    I’m not one to get paranoid about stuff like, but it makes me think twice about going to businesses where trust is a requirement and see it get violated.

  86. 89 Venessa
    August 26, 2008 at 00:12

    Julie ~ I wouldn’t say I’m paranoid but I certainly think about it. Honestly if someone wants to check me out peeing they’re going to do it. there are plenty of whackos in the world.

  87. 90 Julie P
    August 26, 2008 at 00:16


    There sure are weirdos in the world, aren’t there?

  88. 91 Venessa
    August 26, 2008 at 00:21

    Casual Sex:

    I see nothing wrong with it. Sex is supposed to be enjoyable but when and where are the choices we have individually. If it is a religious reason that keeps you from doing the deed or a personal moral compass that is perfectly okay. Everyone should just respect the fact that some people are okay with having multiple partners and some aren’t for whatever private reason.

    Angela ~ regarding your friend and her husband’s distaste for her past, he needs to get over it. I’m sure he probably has something salacious lurking in his own history. The reality is he didn’t know her at one point and she was free to do as she pleased just as he was.

  89. August 26, 2008 at 00:35


    Glad to see you learned something new about calculators. yes the “-e” means move the decimal point. Otherwise the figure would have meant 144% of people die. Which sucks if we have more dying then exist in our population. Good thing we have that influx of illegal to cover our population.

    I have made the mistake before. glad to see I am not the only one.

  90. August 26, 2008 at 00:55


    The one time I believe you are supposed to lie is when your mate starts asking you about your earlier loves and sexual affairs. It really ruins everything for some people to know that the person they love now, loved other people.

  91. 94 Venessa
    August 26, 2008 at 01:43

    portlandmike ~

    I can understand that. People still need to be cautious and not ask questions they don’t want to know the answer to.

  92. 95 Emeka Ulor
    August 26, 2008 at 01:56

    The world is turning upside down.High cost of fuel, lies,lies and more lies, pro-gun for minors and maybe nudity law to garnish the whole rot:!!!

    I prefer the lies issue.Our leaders are more engaged in this activity.Some of them are “chain-liars”. Former president of Nigeria told us before he was elected that petrol will be as cheap as water but half way he made it as much as beer. President Ya’ardua said he will call for emergency in the power sector if elected but a few months into his first tenure he shifted it to 2012. Bunch of liars indeed and more.

  93. 96 Amy
    August 26, 2008 at 02:08

    Re Casual Sex:

    For those who don’t believe in it for religious reasons, I am curious to know your views on birth control. I am especially interested in the view of our Muslim friends. Is it allowed and if so, for places like Iraq, is it easy to obtain? I think that the relative easy access to various forms of birth control, at least here in the States, is what has allowed the topic (and taboo) of sex in general to be discussed. With the openness we have here, I believe, leads to an openness to have casual relationships.

  94. 97 Dennis
    August 26, 2008 at 02:31

    Re: Casual sex!

    i have no problems with that!….


  95. 98 Julie P
    August 26, 2008 at 02:35


    I never would have guessed! 😉

  96. 99 Shirley
    August 26, 2008 at 03:04

    Steve: There are thousands of automobile related deaths in the US, far more than Palestinians getting killed.

    The population of Palestine is 4,149,173 [CIA World Fact Book]. The population of the United States is 301,139,947 [CIA World Fact Book]. The population of Israel is 7,282,000. Of these, 5,499,000 are Israeli Jews. [Jewish Virtual Library] Amnesty International’s 2007 country report for Israel and the Occupied Territories states that in 2007, 650 Palestinians and 27 Israelis were killed. If the same percentage of Americans as Israelis were killed, the numer of dead Americans would be 1,114. If the same percentage of Americans as Palestinians were killed, the number of dead Americans would be 4,715. If the ratio of Palestinians killed in 2007 were applied to Israelis, the number of dead Israelis would be 1,140. If that ratio were applied only to Israeli Jews, the number of dead Israeli Jews would be 861. If the ratio of Israelis killed in 2007 were applied to Palestinians, the number of dead Palestinians would be 15.

    Number of words: 156

  97. 100 Shirley
    August 26, 2008 at 03:06

    Steve: If anything, the only talk of ethnic cleansing is removing all jews from the west bank.

    I have been able to find more than ten instances in which Israeli politicians or prominient Israelis made statements that effectively called for the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians. Following are a couple of examples.

    “We have to kill all the Palestinians unless they are resigned to live here as slaves.” [Chairman Heilbrun of the Committee for the Re-election of General Shlomo Lahat, the mayor of Tel Aviv, October 1983 as in Israelis and anti-Palestinian racism]

    “We declare openly that the Arabs have no right to settle on even one centimeter of Eretz Israel…” [Rafael Eitan, Chief of Staff of the IDF, Gad Becker, Yediot Ahronot 13 April 1983, New York Times 14 April 1983 as in Israelis and anti-Palestinian racism]

  98. 101 Roberto
    August 26, 2008 at 03:20

    Re Ted Kennedy:

    They trotted out the old warhorse for a rousing speech in Denver tonight.

    76 yr old alcoholic barely 2 months off of major brain surgery for cancer, he brought the house down.

    Never liked uncle Teddy. A rich kid who abused his privlege with gross moral failings like the current president, yet somehow he redeemed himself as a senator.

    He looked much stronger than reported and very happy, almost a St. Nick jolly personality. His health was compromised when he reportedly left the hospital to cast a needed vote in the senate, and now by traveling to Denver with a compromised immune system.

    Still, many remember Chappaquiddick, an indelible stain, but I was glad to see him up and around again. His appearance marks a changing of the guard perhaps.

    We shall see.

  99. 102 Amy
    August 26, 2008 at 03:46


    I couldn’t agree with you more!! I was impressed with how strong his voice sounded.

  100. August 26, 2008 at 03:53

    Roberto, Amy


    Kennedy was inspiring… he’s tough and got his point across.

    Michelle is on now, and she can TALK great! I cant recall any one ever who spoke about family love better. Really something special!!

  101. 104 Shirley
    August 26, 2008 at 04:07

    Birth Control
    Amy, Shia Islam holds that while we are discouraged from preventing ourselves from having children altogether after marriage, we can use birth control for family planning purposes. Women are even allowed to use birth control without consulting her husband, according to what I have read. I could be wrong, but I doubt it. The IUD and certain other forms of birth control are consdired impermissible.

    I would not be surprised at all if it were impossible to obtain birth control in places like Iraq, given the degree of conservativism in that region of the world. Culture suaully does not match up to religious values.

  102. 105 Amy
    August 26, 2008 at 04:25


    She is very impressive. My 8 year old daughter thought that she should be president 🙂

  103. August 26, 2008 at 04:43

    Hi Ros
    Is Pakistan descending into chaos and mob rule? So much depends on the future of Pakistan. The fate of Afghanistan depends on what happens in Islamabad.
    Everything Nawaz Sharif says makes sense: Presidential powers should be curbed if parliamentary rule is to succeed. Judges ousted by Parviz Musharraf should be reinstated, but is that all there is to it?
    Nawaz Sharif was bailed out of jail with Arab money. He spent eight years in exile in Saudi Arabia. What do they expect of him?
    Is Zardari as bad as he is made out to be? Is he a crook and racketeer? Not all politicians are without blemish these days. Zardari may be the last hope for peace and stability in Pakistan.

  104. 107 Amy
    August 26, 2008 at 05:02


    Would the IUD be impermissible because it is left inside the woman’s body? What about implants placed in the arm? And, are there differences between a man using birth control and a woman using it? I am curious about what you said that a woman can use it without consulting her husband.

    I am sure that it would be different here in the States (and other Western countries) than it would be in say, Saudi Arabia or Indonesia for a woman to get it. I think the same could be said about a very conservative Christian country as well (or an extremely Catholic one). Maybe Luz Ma can shed some insight on the availability in Mexico.

  105. 108 Amy
    August 26, 2008 at 05:16


    Does Saudi money really hold a lot of influence throughout your region? Would they really be able to dictate to a politician in another country? It seems like the lobbyists we have here in the States. Interesting, I thought that was a uniquely western (mostly the US) issue.

    I hope all is well for you in Iran. My daughters are very happy to put your name on their maps of the world in Iran! All the best from Oregon.

  106. 109 Amy
    August 26, 2008 at 05:17

    Any mods out there? I am about to head off to bed but would like to make sure someone else is here in case someone else posts!!

  107. August 26, 2008 at 05:58


    I’m about for a while. Sleep well.

  108. 111 Bryan
    August 26, 2008 at 08:48

    Shirley August 26, 2008 at 3:04 am,

    You will be able to find one crackpot in any society if you look hard enough. I am reluctant to visit the kind of websites you seem to like because I worry that they will damage my computer but let’s assume, without checking, that your first example is correct. What does a wild statement made twenty-five years ago by one Israeli in no position of authority have to do with your alleged “ethnic cleansing” of the Palestinians?

    As for your Rafael Eitan example, also from twenty-five years ago, why do you imagine today’s Palestinians have a right to live in Israel? (I assume you aren’t talking about Israeli Arabs, well over a million of whom live quite happily in Israel with full rights.)

    Back in 1948, when nascent Israel was faced with annihilation by a percentage of the Palestinians along with the surounding Arab armies, it’s fair to say that a number of Palestinians were driven out. Many more chose to leave so that their fellow Arabs could “drive the Jews into the sea.” The Jews implored the Palestinians to remain. Many did and they and their descendants now represent the Israeli Arab segment of the population. This is all a matter of record and it can all be verified.

    Even back in those days, as the nascent Jewish state was faced with total destruction and the Jews faced with genocide by foreign and local Arabs, and even though some of the Arabs of Palestine had been trying for over a generation to perform their own ethnic cleansing of the Jews, there was only limited ethnic cleansing of Arabs by Jews. And it was obviously never considered by successive Israeli governments. Today’s Israeli Arabs are proof of this.

    Though you seem to have backed away from your accusation of genocide, or at least tried to dilute it by equating it with ethnic cleansing, wishful thinking on your part will not make either accusation true and it will not turn the Israelis into ogres and the Palestinians into innocents.

  109. August 26, 2008 at 09:05

    Hi Amy
    Reyr August 26, 2008 at 5:16 am comment.
    Saudi Arabia has immense influence in the region both as the center of Islam and also as the source of funds and revenues for Islamic schools, seminaries and fundamentalist foundations.
    Much of the radicalism in the region is attributed to Wahabis, the distinct brand of Islam practiced in Saudi Arabia.
    All said and done, the Arab world is fragile. The harem mentality persists. Much of the money the Saudis spend on Islamic propaganda is in fact intended to silence opposition.
    Saudi Arabia and the other littoral states of the Persian Gulf dictate the policies of Pakistan, Afghanistan and to a lesser extent, north Africa.
    The United States is obliged to toe the line since the Saudis are pumping approximately 6 million/bpd of oil.
    Keep in touch and God speed.

  110. 113 Bryan
    August 26, 2008 at 09:09

    At 11:16 pm yesterday I posed the following question:

    “Why are Palestinian Muslims driving their Christian brothers out of Palestine?”

    I can see that would probably shut down debate rather than encourage it, so let’s frame the question in WHYS style:

    Christian communities in Palestine have dwindled in recent years. Some blame stringent Israeli security measures for discouraging tourism and claim that many Christians in Bethlehem, for example, have left for better economic opportunities abroad.

    But there have also been increasing attacks lately, with a Christian bookseller murdered in Gaza and Christian centers attacked and destroyed. The Hamas leadership has condemned these attacks but the perpetrators have not been found.

    Are Palestinian Christians leaving of their own free will? Or is there a concerted effort by their Muslim brothers to drive them out? Is there basically harmony between both groups as they oppose the occupation or is there a state of tension?

    Is this a valid topic for debate or is it perhaps a little too hot to touch?

  111. 114 selena
    August 26, 2008 at 09:09


    If Michelle is talking about family love, the next thing we will hear is that Obama has had affairs (or Michelle herself).

    It always seems it work out that way…

  112. 115 John in Germany
    August 26, 2008 at 09:26

    Hi Bryan,
    Why to hot?. its the reality of life, we tolerate all religions, even the intolerant ones. Is that not being religious?. Hard to believe that in this modern day and age that murdering still goes on in the name of one god, or the other.

    May be its not the religions, but the people that belong to them.

    Have anice day.

    John in Germany.

  113. 116 rick
    August 26, 2008 at 09:32

    selena 9:09
    so what? why do we demand pollys with perfect sexual histories? we need to grow up and leave sex out of politics.

  114. 117 selena
    August 26, 2008 at 09:37

    @ Dev

    Where do you get the idea that you are supposed to wait until marriage for sex?

    Turn over any page in the bible and someone is having sex.

    And after they have sex, they are forgiven because Jesus died for their sins.

    The bible is the most sex filled book I have ever read.

  115. 118 rick
    August 26, 2008 at 09:42

    @ bryan
    seems no one wants to talk about Israel any more. I see a lament in the JP the other day that Israel is no longer the centre of world attention. Being out done by the Pakistanis and Afghans I guess.

    lets talk about chocolate. I wonder if the Belgans have found a way of keeping the child slavery component out of their brands or are the WHYS conventioners just going to ignore that aspect of it because it tastes good?

  116. 119 selena
    August 26, 2008 at 09:48

    It seems to me that Hillary Clinton, not the Kennedys, should have been given pride of place at the Democratic convention.

    Aren’t the Kennedy’s old news?


  117. 120 selena
    August 26, 2008 at 09:51


    It matters not one whit to me but it does seem to matter to a lot of people in America.

  118. August 26, 2008 at 10:15

    @ Israel

    And Im a supporter of Israel… and I know that the Israelis are all over the place with their beliefs about what is going on with regard to gods. And there are a million Arabs living in Israel. It is a democracy, but it is a religious state. I’m an atheist, and beliefs about invisible beings are troubling to me. I want to be polite but I don’t really want to spend billions of dollars a year to support a government that subscribes to one religion, or one group of people, however they define themselves. Ought there be Christian states, or Baha’i states?

    Am I missing something?

  119. 122 Bryan
    August 26, 2008 at 10:16

    steve August 25, 2008 at 11:26 pm

    Interesting story you linked to from Australia. I like this Andrew Bolt. Unlike the PC journalists who flood the BBC and other media with carefully neutral articles in case they might “offend” Muslims, he doesn’t pull his punches:

    “Australian Arabic Council chairman Roland Jabbour does his little bit for cross-cultural harmony in defending the right of Australian Muslims to watch a Jew-hating TV station run by Hezbollah, an Islamist terrorist group:

    Mr Jabbour responded yesterday by saying that anti-Semitism was wrong and that Judaism should be respected, but that Hezbollah was not anti-Semitic.

    “We need to make a clear distinction between anti-Israel and anti-Semitic, and between a terrorist organisation and a resistance group,” he said.

    He said he would not call Jews the offspring of apes and pigs, but that in the context of “the crimes of the state of Israel” it was reasonable for al-Manar to do so and to portray Israeli rabbis as killing Christian children to use their blood in Passover meals.

    If that’s what Jabbour calls “respecting” Judaism, I’d hate to think what he’d get up to if he were a, you know, bigot.”

    (Selena, if you are around you might like to watch those clips from Steve’s link. You’ll discover who has taken the baton from the Nazis and is running full speed with it. If any more evidence were needed, if you watch the third clip carefully you will see Hezbollah doing the Nazi salute.)

    Will we ever see the BBC exposing the Nazi intentions of Hezbollah and other Jew-haters in the Arab and Muslim world and the indoctrination of very young children in anti-Semitic hatred?

    With a single exception that I have been able to find over the years, we wont:


    He [a speaker at Ahmedinejad’s Holocaust denial conference] summed up his argument succinctly. He claimed there were no gas chambers at all – millions of Jews did not die – therefore there was no holocaust.

    And if there was no Holocaust then there was no justification for the creation of the state of Israel. Therefore Israel was an impostor.

    It had all the simplicity of a mathematical proof – refuting the worst genocide in living memory and absolving one of the most evil and wicked regimes in history of its crimes against humanity.

    So this was the aim of the conference for Iran – to undermine the very argument for the existence of Israel.

  120. 123 Bryan
    August 26, 2008 at 10:20

    rick August 26, 2008 at 9:42 am

    “seems no one wants to talk about Israel any more. I see a lament in the JP the other day that Israel is no longer the centre of world attention.”

    Right, except for the billion or so people who do.

    Links, Rick, links.

    When people stop bashing Israel unfairly, and I see no evidence of that happening, I’ll have no need to respond.

  121. 124 Bryan
    August 26, 2008 at 10:27

    John in Germany August 26, 2008 at 9:26 am,

    It’s only too hot because journalists are paralysed by political correctness. In this case an unwillingness to “offend” Muslims.

    I hope you have a nice day as well.

  122. 125 rick
    August 26, 2008 at 10:48

    @ portlandmike
    why do you support Israel?
    surly if Israel had never been concieved an born 60 years ago the world would be much better off today.
    – no PLO, no Hamas, no Hezbolah no continual middle- east crissis. no suicide bombers etc etc

  123. 126 rick
    August 26, 2008 at 10:51

    @ selena
    Hillary lost. there is no place for losers in US politics. she should just go away now.

  124. August 26, 2008 at 10:51

    Schools are becoming more dangerous a place to send one’s child to given the proliferation of guns there.

  125. 128 Bryan
    August 26, 2008 at 11:01

    portlandmike August 26, 2008 at 10:15 am

    There is a lot of conflict in Israel between the secular and religious establishments. The government is largely secular but there are laws based on religion, such as the prohibition of buses on the Sabbath. But many shops are open and laws like these are continually being challenged. Yes, it is a democracy with complete freedom of religion for all religions. I would like our Muslim friends here to point us towards one majority Muslim country where this freedom applies.

  126. 129 rick
    August 26, 2008 at 11:16

    so what am I supposed to link?
    I read the JP quite regularly and see your posts regularly and remain completely unconvinced by what I read. I am less ignorant on the subject than I was, but you seem to have a blind spot about the subject and that is the injustice of the establishment of Israel. Its not about race or religion, its about justice. Every day you walk the streets of Jerusalim amongst people that hate your guts with a passion because of injustice. Its only a matter of time till the next bulldozer or whatever. that will never change until that issue is addressed by your government.

    doesn’t anyone want to talk about chocolate tonight?

  127. 130 steve
    August 26, 2008 at 11:32

    @ Rick

    What injustices has Israel perpetrated upon say Saudi Arabia, where the Saudis hate israelis with a passion? How much of the hatred is from being taught to hate jews since the day they were born rather than from what Israel has done to them?

  128. 131 rick
    August 26, 2008 at 11:41

    Gee I don’t know Steve so let’s just shift the subject back again to addressing injustice in Israel.

  129. 132 steve
    August 26, 2008 at 11:49

    @ Rick

    That’s avoiding the real problem then.

  130. 133 selena
    August 26, 2008 at 11:50

    @ portlandmike

    Well said!

    Israel is a religious state, just like Iran. We are simply not encouraged to view Israel in the same way.

    As for democracy, there are three classes of citizens… the Arabs with fewer rights, the ordinary Jews with normal rights and the highly religious Jews with special rights.

    The highly religious can be exempted from military service, leaving the ordinary Jews to protect them.

    It seems the Arabs are not encouraged to join the IDF.

  131. 134 selena
    August 26, 2008 at 11:54

    @ Rick

    Re: Hillary

    I thought Obama was all for change. He could had demonstrated change by embracing the loser.

    You are quite right… there never has been and never will be a place for losers.

    That is one of the things wrong with the world and why change is not an option.

  132. August 26, 2008 at 11:55

    @ Israel

    Bryan, sure it is a secular state… but, it is a Jewish state. A country especially for Jewish people.

    rick, I guess it is a generational thing for me. They were heroes when I was a child, Moshe Dyan, Ben Gurion. I read Exodus when it came out. Israel was a hope for many that a terrible injustice could somehow be made right.

    But now years later I have a nagging uneasy feeling about special places and people. Everyone is special. Being a person, having a life and words running through your mind, is probably the rarest thing that occurs in the universe. Yet, so many of us die because of stories we tell each other about invisible beings. And most everyone has their own special invisible being that likes our kind better than everyone else’s special invisible being.

    The holiest place is where you are, and your family. It is the same for us all.

    I’m looking for a way out of giving special treatment to faith based problems. The world is getting too small, and the young are easily corrupted. If a state wants their core “cultural” beliefs to survive the generations now, then you must live like the North Koreans or those LDS cults that build walls and toss out 75% of the young men when they reach fifteen.

  133. 136 Roberto
    August 26, 2008 at 12:01

    let’s just shift the subject back again to addressing injustice in Israel.

    ——– Yesssss, let’s completely ignore the injustice, corruption, and self-genocide of the Palestinians themselves.

    Let’s just empty all the prisons of the world as well, hold hands, and sing kumbaya together in misty rosy tinted highlights.

  134. 137 Brett
    August 26, 2008 at 12:21

    It got us thinking – what defines your nationality?

    Self-Serving and Ignorance, there are of course defining factors which are positive, but those were the first two to pop into my head.

  135. 138 rick
    August 26, 2008 at 12:27

    @ Steve
    shall I take a guess? Antisemitism??
    well thats not an issue for me if that is what your suggesting. could not care less but I know its a card often played when the going gets tough.

    the Germans have walked a long tough road to come to terms with what happened durring the war. the Japaneze too, and South Africa after aparthide and recently even the Australian PM said sorry to the stolen generation. Israel has not aknowleged the wrongs it has done in the past. Maybe there are lots of liberal minded Israelies who can see the other point of view but they aren’t evident. That acknowlegement is the first step to peace, if that is what you want

  136. 139 selena
    August 26, 2008 at 12:30


    The Palestinians are an oppressed people with no collective means to drag themselves out of the prison, in which they are smothering.

    Israel, on the other hand, is a major country with nuclear weapons, supported by other major countries with nuclear weapons.

    Talking about Palestinian injustice is a waste of time. It is like concentrating on observing an ant while the lion is getting ready to pounce.

  137. 140 Katharina in Ghent
    August 26, 2008 at 12:31

    Re. Nationality

    This is a very sore topic for me, actually. I’m Austrian, but haven’t lived there for more than 8 years now. When I lived in Canada (with my Canadian husband and then child), I started feeling as if Canada was my second home country. I even could have had Canadian citizenship but I didn’t because I would have had to give up my Austrian citizenship, and at that time I wasn’t ready to do so (yet), because Austria doesn’t allow dual citizenship unless you’re born with it or you’re Arnold Schwarzenegger…

    Now we live in Belgium, but even after four years I don’t have any “homely” sentiments towards this country, probably the deal was always that we wouldn’t stay here forever. (How much longer though is a very different question. ) My son on the other hand feels totally Belgian, he doesn’t remember Canada and Austria is just the place where we go for vacation and to see his grandparents.

    I didn’t follow the events during the Olympics too much, but mainly I cheered for Austria, and then Canada. Not Belgium.

  138. 141 selena
    August 26, 2008 at 12:35


    No one really wants peace! People just want to win and the winner takes all.

    Peace is like change… a good sounding word with no potential for practical application.

  139. 142 rick
    August 26, 2008 at 12:39

    before Israel, we didn’t have all these problems to discuss. Its creation has also created Hamas, Hezbolah, Kassams etc. Palestinians could be corrupt and self genocidal and nobody gave a toss.

  140. 143 Angela in Washington
    August 26, 2008 at 12:40


    I have to agree with Brett. I feel that being self centered and ignorance are a huge part of being an American.

  141. 144 steve
    August 26, 2008 at 12:43

    @ Rick

    Blaming Israel for the actions of the arabs, ie terrorism, rockets, etc is like blaming women for getting raped because they are attractive, or wore a skirt or something like that. People are responsible for their own actions. That people react with insane, religiously fanatical actions becuase of israel reflects on them, not israel. It would be like saying if there were a rape epidemic going on, perhaps one man behind it, but the more and more he saw women going out, dress sexily, the more he wanted to rape. Do you blame him or the women?

  142. 145 steve
    August 26, 2008 at 12:45

    @ Brett and Angela

    Something tells me you have not met remotely close to all 300,000,000 Americans, yet you’re willing to make a generalization of all Americans because of something you heard some elitists say? Oh no, only 15% of americans have passports, so they must all be uncultured, drive SUVs and think Mcdonalds is “fancy” food. please.

  143. 146 steve
    August 26, 2008 at 12:47

    @ Rick

    are you suggesting that only Israel has done wrong, and the arabs are all innocent little angels and that only Israel has ever done anything bad. If not, why are you so focused on Israel then? Remember, if the arabs would lay down their weapons, there would be peace, if Israel lays down its weapons, the Israelis would be dead.. But perhaps that’s what the left wants.

  144. 147 Bob in Queensland
    August 26, 2008 at 12:48

    @ Roberto

    No, let’s not ignore “the injustice, corruption, and self-genocide of the Palestinians themselves.” However, just because the Palestinians are guilty of many atrocities and much terrorism, doesn’t mean the Israelis are just innocent bystanders. They are also guilty of many wrongs and much provocation.

    Ignoring the wrongs of EITHER side is, itself, another wrong.

    Why don’t we talk much about Israel and Palestine anymore? I don’t think it’s a lack of concern; more a lack of anything new to say. Until at least one of the sides–and their highly polarised supporters even here on the blog–is willing to have a sea-change in attitude, all we can do is revisit old ground over and over.

  145. 148 rick
    August 26, 2008 at 12:49

    Ahhh someone from Belgium! Now we can talk about chocolate!
    Are you aware of the child slave labour in chocolate coming out of west africa? Are their brands of chocolate available that guarentee no slave components in their products?

  146. 149 Roberto
    August 26, 2008 at 12:52

    Re Georgia:

    ——– AP reports a US Coast Guard cutter sailing to Georgia port city of Poti with humanitarian aid.

    Poti currently under Russian control. A US warship already delivered aid to Batumi, and is hovering nearby in the Black sea as the US cutter tries to dock in Poti for disembarkment of supplies. Arrival expected tomorrow.

    Meanwhile, supposedly 10 Nato controlled ships reported steaming towards the Black Sea. Anyone care to guess the alert status of the relevant militaries and nuclear armaments?

    My take is that the US will not be allowed to dock unless Russians can board to the ship and monitor the unloading. This will be untenable to the US, so, in a high stakes tit for tat game played at the diplomatic level, the power brokers of the world adjust their grips in their deadly grapple.

    I certainly feel sorry for the next US president. One hell of a global and domestic mess he’ll be stepping into and it’s frightening to think the same voters who created the mess will be at the polls in November.

  147. 150 steve
    August 26, 2008 at 12:52

    Wow, I guess all rules about political correctness get thrown out the window when you are mounting a criminal defense.


  148. 151 Brett
    August 26, 2008 at 12:57

    @ Steve:

    I make my generalizations from living in America, speaking daily with American’s, and having a past of working in industries where I deal directly with a large number of people from a large number of areas and income levels. It has nothing to do with being rich, poor people are just as ignorant and self centered as the rich. It’s just usually more evident in those who flaunt it.
    I’ve lived in the rich DC suburbs, the run down rural areas of MD, and the ghettos of Richmond lol. “OH but a 200 mile range doesn’t adequately represent all of America”; True, thats why I have traveled to quite a number of places in this great nation. And what is it I always see? Self-Centered and Ignorant Americans.

  149. 152 rick
    August 26, 2008 at 13:03

    Im not talking about what happend last week or last month, but how Israel came to be. That violent birth started the whole problem and therin lies the root of injustice.
    I do not defend terrorism but if the Arabs layed down their weapons they would get peace on Irael’s terms, not justice.

  150. 153 Bob in Queensland
    August 26, 2008 at 13:05

    I daresay Brett’s generalisations were in no way dispelled by 8 years of an American president who can’t pronounce “nuclear”. Slightly over 50% of voters supported him (in theory) after all.

  151. 154 steve
    August 26, 2008 at 13:06

    @ Rick

    Again, you’re blaming Israel for the actions of the arabs. that “violent birth” was the result of the arabs attacking Israel. It’s Israel’s fault the arabs rejected the partition and attacked? There would have been a Palestine formed in 1948 but for the actions of the arabs, yet it’s so much easier just to blame Israel, isn’t it? Again, The arabs took away Palestine, and it will be the Israelis that give it back. Isn’t that ironic? WHat’s “justice” to you, a one state solution? Can’t bear the thought of an Israel existing, so it needs to be destroyed? Not gonna happen, dream on. Time to accept Israel, it’s not going anywhere, no matter how much you whine, cry and stomp your feet, it’s not going anywhere.

  152. 155 Roberto
    August 26, 2008 at 13:07

    Re “”before Israel, we didn’t have all these problems to discuss.””

    ——— No, we just had tens of thousands of years of bloody wars and bloody empires at every point on the globe and 60 yrs of the same afterwards..

    It’s easy to complain after the fact from the comforts of your abode. Note that you do not complain of Israel’s neighbors, all created within a few years of each other, all sharing the exact same histories as Israel with one notable exception.

    Very telling indeedy.

  153. 156 steve
    August 26, 2008 at 13:07

    @ Bob

    ” daresay Brett’s generalisations were in no way dispelled by 8 years of an American president who can’t pronounce “nuclear”. Slightly over 50% of voters supported him (in theory) after all.”

    Wow, so one person pronounces nuclear in a way you don’t approve of, so all Americans must be ignorant, and they MUST have voted for him due to how he pronounces nuclear.

    I suppose all Australians must be idiots since they can’t pronounce “r”s in their words, like Cairns. Oh wait, I’m making a silly generalization.

  154. 157 steve
    August 26, 2008 at 13:08

    @ Brett

    When you’ve met all 300 million, then you can make that generalization. Not before.

  155. 158 Brett
    August 26, 2008 at 13:15

    @ Steve:
    I’ve made it, and stand by it. As I said, there are plenty of other defining attributes, but for me and all of the experience I have had in my nearly 26 years in America; Ignorance and Self-Service are rife in America.

  156. 159 rick
    August 26, 2008 at 13:16

    @ Steve
    how did you know I was stomping my feet?
    your right, nothing is ever going to change

  157. 160 rick
    August 26, 2008 at 13:17

    @ Brett
    you a Canadian??

  158. 161 steve
    August 26, 2008 at 13:20

    @ Brett

    So you’re going to make all of your view of your own country based off a tiny sampling of the people, and ignore all of the positive traits? Okay, if you want to choose to live life so negatively, that’s you’re right, but it must be a crappy way to live.

  159. 162 selena
    August 26, 2008 at 13:22


    Have you had a change of heart? No more generalizing from you then???


  160. 163 Brett
    August 26, 2008 at 13:24

    I’m not ignoring positive traits, I just didn’t list them, I noted they were there.
    The ability to facilitate Innovation is a positive attribute of Americans, the ability to provide a large consumer market is a positive (depending on how you look at it) attribute of Americans. Theres plenty more!

  161. 164 Brett
    August 26, 2008 at 13:26

    @ Rick:
    Nope, I’m Ammurican, born n’ raised.

  162. 165 steve
    August 26, 2008 at 13:29

    @ Brett

    Yet you chose to focus on the negative. I’ve always noticed, that people on the left are far less happy than people on the center, or even on the right, because they just focus on the negative unless someone forces them to look at positive things.

  163. 166 selena
    August 26, 2008 at 13:31

    Dear, dear Steve!

    I’ve always noticed, that people on the left are far less happy than people on the center, or even on the right,

    And I thought that you had stopped generalizing 😉

  164. 167 rick
    August 26, 2008 at 13:32

    @Steve 1:29
    if that aint the pot calling the kettle black…

  165. 168 Katharina in Ghent
    August 26, 2008 at 13:34

    @ Rick – Chocolate and child labor

    Sorry, I wasn’t aware that child labor is used in the production process, I always thought that children are only used to make clothes or carpets. My ignorance. There is excellent Belgian chocolate available in Oxfam stores (at least here in Belgium), and I assume that this one has been produced with “honest labor”, but I honestly couldn’t say.

  166. 169 Brett
    August 26, 2008 at 13:34

    *picks up my glass of water, takes a sip and smiles with a sigh of content, then inspects the glass*

    “Hhhhmm…. half full”

  167. 170 Brett
    August 26, 2008 at 13:37

    @ Angela:
    I believe I live in the greatest country in the world. Additionally, I am more concerned about events that affect the U.S. more than events that affect other nations. The media bias, in the States, makes it easy to be ignorant. Unless you go out and search for news about events in other countries, you will be ignorant.

    Couldn’t have said it better myself.

  168. 171 gary
    August 26, 2008 at 13:57

    Political boundaries are ephemeral, Middle Eastern ones doubly so. The discussion concerning Israel and her Islamic neighbors is without purpose or likely benefit. All participants in the controversy and conflict are members of Abrahamic religions. They clearly hate one another. Their enmities have festered for several millennia. Their political and religious realities are defined by the concepts of noble death, and of martyrdom. What outcome should occur as likely to the ordinary rational person?

  169. 172 steve
    August 26, 2008 at 14:21

    Gee, in wonder if the fat acceptance people will go nuts over this


  170. 173 Angela in Washington
    August 26, 2008 at 14:37


    What do you have against fat people?

  171. 174 steve
    August 26, 2008 at 14:44

    Angela, well for one, they raise healthcare costs, they spill over to my seat on public transport and on flights, and it’s not attractive. That’s about it.

  172. 175 omoding
    August 26, 2008 at 14:45

    for me being born in uganda is enough to justify my being ugandan. If anyone thinks that i am less ugandan because i do not uphold some of the ugandan values, then that’s their problem.

  173. 176 Brett
    August 26, 2008 at 14:48


    Good. Good good good. We had a debate recently about this issue. I’m pleased to see the US taking more steps against its horrendous record of obesity and unhealthy lifestyles. Not only taking steps to combat it, but to also level the playing field and lessen the impact on healthcare that unhealthy lifestylers have on those of us who take care of ourselves and yet still have to pay an outrageous sum of money for healthcare which we rarely use.

  174. 177 steve
    August 26, 2008 at 14:50

    @ Brett

    But the typica argumen tis, it’s discriminatory, I should be able to do whatever I want, it’s a disease, not the gallon of ice cream I ate before bedtime. That sort of thing. I work with some fat people, and I sometimes overhear them saying they barely eat, but observing their actions tells a different story. On my birthday, HR devilered a cake, and it was half eaten before I even arrived at work. Some of the fat people took seconds before others even had firsts.

  175. 178 Bob in Queensland
    August 26, 2008 at 14:54

    Re: Nationalities

    It’s ironic that America, a nation of immigrants, is concerned with a candidate being “American enough”.

    Speaking personally, this is a difficult one for me to understand. I’m currently on my third country of residence (fourth if you count an 8 month stint in Cyprus) and while I’ve enjoyed and appreciated every place I’ve lived, I just don’t have the deep routed sense of identity (or is it jingoism?) that so many others seem to.

    Considering great wrongs so often committed in the name of nationalism, maybe I’m the lucky one.

  176. 179 steve
    August 26, 2008 at 14:56

    @ Bob, actually it’s Obama who is concerned about being American enough.

    Bob, if you applied for security clearances in the countries you lived in, then you’d be singing a different tune.

  177. 180 Angela in Washington
    August 26, 2008 at 14:57


    I would be upset if other people ate my cake before I was able to get the first piece. I think that is just digusting. Granted, I am very picky with cakes and if I were to eat any it would just be a little bit. My mother has several obese friends. I feel bad for some people but not for all. One of my mother’s friends has gatric bypass surgery and she lost a lot of weight, about 200 lbs. However, she realized that she could stretch out her stomach again and she gained even more weight. She currently weighs more than 400 and one time she visted and couldn’t get up in time, so she went on our sofa. I feel sorry for her but some of the stuff she put on herself. She tries to blame other people and she get mad at my mother because my mother is thin and doesn’t want to take advice from a small person.

  178. 181 Angela in Washington
    August 26, 2008 at 15:00


    Like Brett stated, he is concerned because the media is making it an issue. When you watch the news and you have four people arguing about whether he is American enough, he needs to be concerned because the media is trying to make us concerned.

  179. 182 steve
    August 26, 2008 at 15:00

    Angela, I have no pity for people who have no self control. That person you described has no self control. You know, there are times I would love to call in sick, and head out to bars, and get wasted. But that’s irresponsbile. Boy I would like to try some new ice cream flavor, but I prefer being in shape. Yet these people who eat unontrollably, who REFUSE to exercise (I’m walking home 4 miles today after work AND will be going to the gym as well tonight), blame everyone but themselves for them being fat. “It’s a disease!” “This is what a “real” woman looks like”.. Can’t wait to be in Europe in Novemeber to be around thin people again.

  180. 183 Brett
    August 26, 2008 at 15:01

    On my birthday, HR devilered a cake, and it was half eaten before I even arrived at work. Some of the fat people took seconds before others even had firsts.

    In Office Space, Milton didn’t get a piece of cake, he was overweight. I felt bad for him 😦

    Well, its discriminatory for me to pay an averaged health care cost and share the burden of those who utilize the system more because they don’t take care of themselves.
    Why should I be punished and pay more because I live a healthier lifestyle? Tragedy Of The Commons… My how applicable that is in so many respects!

  181. 184 Sheikh Kafumba Dukuly
    August 26, 2008 at 15:02

    @ Nationality.
    Like i said previously, nationality need not be measured just on a place where one is born;It is where all the opportunities that make life befitting is seen. A person should be a nationale to a country if that country can give him a space to live in harmony with his aspiration and goals. Birth place is not just the only major issue to look at.

  182. 185 steve
    August 26, 2008 at 15:02

    @ Angela

    The media constantly brings up Mccain’s age, but what does he do about it? He tells jokes about his age. that’s what a more secure person does.

  183. 186 Julie P
    August 26, 2008 at 15:03

    Obama’s patriotism has come under attack on many occassions, starting urban legend e-mails that get circulated on the internet and have become “truth”. It includes Obama’s revamped airplane that had the logo version of the American flag of American airlines. His new plane still has the American flag on it, just not a big one. McCain on the other had has not been taken to task one iota about his plane that does not have the American flag on it.

  184. 187 Bob in Queensland
    August 26, 2008 at 15:08

    @ Steve

    Bob, if you applied for security clearances in the countries you lived in, then you’d be singing a different tune.

    Er, why? Not trying to be funny but I really don’t understand your point.

    (And, for the record, while in the UK I had sufficient security clearance to get into Downing Street, the Parliament buildings, etc and, while in Canada, I got enough clearance to be allowed onto military bases and up in Candian Forces planes.

    Now that I’m retired, the last thing I want is security clearance here in Australia. Sounds too much like work!)

  185. 188 Angela in Washington
    August 26, 2008 at 15:08


    I personally like being around hefty people. I am not distracted by any attractive men here, unless I go to Georgetown. It is so much easier to focus on important things when you are not surrounded by attractive men. Charleston was much harder for me to focus because there were so many attractive guys there but there were way too many attractive girls. It was odd if you saw an ugly person.

  186. 189 steve
    August 26, 2008 at 15:14

    @ Angela

    DC isn’t called “hollywood for ugly people” for no reason. Sure, you may not like being distracted by attractive people, but when you’re on aflight from Dulles to Milan and someone is spilling over on to you, cutting off the blood flow in your leg, you learn to have a problem with it. Had I been older, I could have gotten a blood clot from that experience. This is the post 9/11 world, where you aren’t allowed to walk around planes or stand. So I had to have about 80 lbs of someone’s weight on me. Nothing I could do, because if I tried to adjust myself, people in the aisle would bump into me…

  187. 190 Bob in Queensland
    August 26, 2008 at 15:21

    @ Steve

    If you’re not allowed to stand up and walk around on a trans-Atlantic flight I suggest you change airlines. I have no problem stretching my legs every hour or two on any of the carriers I use to get to/from Australia.

  188. August 26, 2008 at 15:25

    @ Casual sex,

    The problem with casual sex is not the act, but what it represents. The reason every religion tries to dissuade it is because it is the ultimate act of humanity. That which separates us from the animal kingdom is our ability to make decisions outside of our instincts is the mental equivalent to the physical ability to grasp tools. Since the biggest problems facing the world today are caused by humans unable to understand the full impact of their actions and act with restraint outside of their own personal interest, encouraging casual sex is counter productive.

    So societies and sub-cultures where hunger, poverty, disease, and overcrowding exist, people seem to have the inability to stop having children. This is true in the face of certain extinction. While a small percentage of us humans have the ability to have casual sex. That means they take physical and mental precautions to deal with the act and its results. Most people put about as much thought into is a fish does swimming up a stream. I think we can agree the “casual sex” occurs hundreds of millions of times a year. Imagine how many lives are affected if only 1% of them resulted in a negative outcome. Meaning they result in a pregnancy, a disease, hurt feelings, abortion, a child, or even a conservative ends up being born!!?

    So while it is not inherently a negative on the system as an act, Casual sex encourages non-functional conditions. Now I am willing to put on a black tie and a top hat before I jump into the pudding pit.

  189. 192 steve
    August 26, 2008 at 15:28

    @ Bob

    Of course you can get up, but to to go to the bathroom. They don’t want people hanging out outside of their seats, or especially congregating. Plus, if there’s turbulence, you have to return to your seat. There’s a good portion of the flight where you have to be sitting down, and that’s when you have someone spilling over onto your seat, and it was cutting off the blood flow in my right leg.

  190. 193 Roberto
    August 26, 2008 at 16:56

    It’s ironic that America, a nation of immigrants, is concerned with a candidate being “American enough”.

    ——— The media pundits have framed the question.

    They do a bunch of polling, ask leading questions of a small sample of people they claim represent the voting public, and then make up their talking points for the marketing departments that control their product.

    The campaigns play up Obama/McCain American values as that’s the way modern America markets it’s other products.

    Used to be people were interested in policy, but the world is too complicated now, and too many policies to frame. Obama is sticking with the one, out of Iraq in 16 months. McCain’s is open ended, ie when the job is done.

    The “keep it simple, stupid” philosophy as they train the public attention span down to 10 sec sound bites..

  191. 194 Michel Norman
    August 26, 2008 at 17:20

    Interesting how a subject of what is nationality turns into a bash israel session. But at least after 2000 years of exile we are a nation once again.

    Addressing the issue of Arabs joining the army – some do – most don’t claiming they cannot be expected to fight their brothers. Which is strange considering that british jews fought german jews in WW1, american japanese fought in the pacific in WW2. The arab leaders in Israel campaign against even doing national civilian service and the real problem is that they do not know if they are Israelis or Palestinians and since many of their leaders act like fifth columnists it is not surprising that many people look upon them just the same.

  192. 195 selena
    August 26, 2008 at 17:31

    @Michel Norman

    Why shouldn’t Israel be bashed? Other countries are bashed regularly… for example, Venezuela and Mexico earlier on this blog. No one rushed to their defense.

    Get over it! Israel is no better than any other country.

  193. 196 Paco Maribona
    August 26, 2008 at 18:21

    I’m a USA Citizen who was born in Cuba. I believe Nationalism can become too insular and dangerous, as in WWII.. The Olympics let people enjoy and cheer for their country of origin which is fine. But when we say America it’s much more broad than USA or even western heimsphere. It’s all about the values and commitment to human rights & compassion, and it’s global. That’s the kind of nationalism that will let us live, love, and help each other as we must in our small planet.

  194. August 26, 2008 at 18:28

    Nationality is defined as blood and ethnicity. Citizenship is defined as the country one is born in. Being a citizen of the USA means a love of freedom and accepting people for what they are.

    For those who say Barack Obama is not American Enough, these are the same people who make up lies by saying “Libertarians” and “Greens” are not American enough.

    These people are also not “American” because their ancestors stole land from the Native Americans, Latins, and brought Slaves from Africa. Also as a Libertarian, I consider Republicans and Democrats as Un-American for their promotion of war and hate.

  195. 198 Nikki
    August 26, 2008 at 19:00

    My husband is ethnically chinese but he was born and raised in the states. He is an american because that is where he wants to be. Home is where the heart is.

    The beauty of being an american is that you don’t have to believe or profess to believe in anything you don’t want to. And that includes god, democracy, and freedom.

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