27
Aug
08

Talking Points for 27 August

Goodmorning, it’s Karnie with you today. Thank you to Will in Canada for looking after the blog overnight.
Russia’s recognised the independence of two breakaway republics inside Georgia. The backing’s being condemned by the US, Britain, France, Germany and other western countries.

Whilst the west reacted critically against Russia’s move, celebration broke out on the streets of the republics – South Ossetia and Abkhazia. Russia’s recognition of the disputed territories is seen as a payback for the West’s recognition of Kosovo’s independence from Russia’s ally, Serbia. You have already been debating this overnight AND here.

Will on the blog last night asked: Is it time to give people their independence so they can live their lives as they see fit?

Robert says: Russia is not there to protect its Ossetian cousins, she’s after an expansion of her own influence and control.

As Tom asked in his post: Should people be able to claim independence for their home regions, or should it be legal to pressure them to stay?

***

We were going to kill him.” The words of 1 of the 3 white supremacists arrested near the Democratic convention in Denver – in a planned move to assassinate Senator Barack Obama. A recent poll revealed that nearly two thirds of the black community in the US believe Mr Obama faces greater security risks than other candidates.

“The question of this election is race. The answer we are looking for is, how much will it matter?” says Professor Shawn Bowler, a political scientist at the University of California at Riverside.

Is this latest attempt to assassinate Obama a reflection of America’s reluctance to vote for him because of the colour of his skin? Does the colour of Barack Obama’s skin make him an obvious assassination target, as Ben Macintyre of the Times newspaper suggests?

***

Zimbabwe’s new parliament got off to a stormy start on Tuesday as the opposition flexed its new-found political muscle by heckling President Robert Mugabe in the most hostile legislature the leader has faced.

The ruling Zanu PF lost the position of Speaker of Parliament at the start of the week, for the first time since 1980. Despite his 28-year grip on power, Mugabe faced an unfamiliar assembly, his Zanu-PF party outnumbered by the opposition for the first time since independence.

Is this a sign that there is fresh hope for the people of Zimbabwe? Is Mugabe about to lose control and power over his country? OR is he still very much in control as Jonathan clayton suggests?

***

And here’s one suggested by Will:
Britain’s involvement in the slave trade is to be studied by all secondary pupils in England from September. Children will study the development of the trade, colonisation and how slavery was linked to the British empire and the industrial revolution. Should slavery be taught as compulsory education for all?


235 Responses to “Talking Points for 27 August”


  1. 1 nelsoni
    August 26, 2008 at 19:41

    Hello every one, Asif Zadiri is said to be mentally unstable. Should all aspiring political office holders a undergo psychiatric tests?

  2. August 26, 2008 at 19:43

    Good evening to everyone.

    I think we should start with Tom’s post.

    Who made the demarcation line, that line that separates one nation from another. Why would people want to be independent from the land that has been their home for, in some cases, hundreds of years.

    Is it time to give people their independence so they can live their lives as they see fit – and, with people they recognise as their kin?

  3. 3 Lubna
    August 26, 2008 at 20:03

    Hi gang ! :-)… In my opinion no one at all has the right to lecture Russia about how awfully wrong she was when she supported the independence of both South Ossetia and Abkhazia from Georgia… Why ?! Remember Kosovo ?! With my love… Yours forever, Lubna in Baghdad…

  4. August 26, 2008 at 20:05

    Why do people insist on forgetting what actually started the whole thing.

  5. 5 gary
    August 26, 2008 at 20:09

    @ nelsoni
    It has been suggested political aspirations are themselves indicative of mental instability. This isn’t my view. Nevertheless; perhaps all candidates should be so tested. In a way, the electorate already does such testing, with itself as the guinea pigs!
    g

  6. 6 Anthony
    August 26, 2008 at 20:15

    I Googled for something completely different, but found your page…and have to say thanks. nice read….

    Hehe, J/K, I just wanted to say that after listening to the news, I’m really worried that McCain really has a chance of winning now!!! Have you seen McCains new tag line “Hillary was Right”, and video of her talking bad about Obama??? I don’t know what I’d do if McCain wins. Maybe move to Canada, hehe, j/k.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  7. 7 Dennis
    August 26, 2008 at 20:17

    I know, it is Tuesday….Hi Will….

    Dennis

  8. 8 Venessa
    August 26, 2008 at 20:18

    anthony ~

    As long as you smear your opponent you avoid actually having to discuss what it is you plan to do if elected. Pathetic!

  9. 9 Robert
    August 26, 2008 at 20:18

    Lubna

    Remember there is an extra factor that separates Kosovo from Ossetia, Kosovo isn’t likely to join the US or the UK, South Ossetia could however join the Russian Federation in the near future. In this light the conflict is Russian expansion To counter Russian stance, what about Chechnya? Why don’t they allow independence of that province?

    As you imply, nobody is above blame, but Russia is not there to protect its Ossetian cousins, she’s after an expansion of her own influence and control.

  10. 10 nelsoni
    August 26, 2008 at 20:25

    @ gary … quality of governance may on it. A leader in that kind of state can take some questionable decisions. Asif zadari still has corruption allegations hanging over him.

  11. 11 Lubna
    August 26, 2008 at 20:25

    Hi Precious Will… I do hope that you’re doing fine… Well, it was Georgia who did start the aggression on South Ossetia if I weren’t mistaken… When Israel burnt Lebanon and one thousand innocent Lebanese civilians were murdered by the IDF because Hezbolla took two Israeli soldiers prisoners, the US and the West stood completely by the side of Israel, and their argument was that “It was Hezbolla who did started the agression”… And now the US and the West keep whining day and night about the “awful Russian agression on Georgia” and the ” serious Russian threats to the sovereignty of Georgia by supporting the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia”… Isn’t the whole thing so ironic Will ?! With my love… Yours forever, Lubna in Baghdad…

  12. 12 Dan
    August 26, 2008 at 20:31

    @ Lubna
    The difference is that Kosovo became independent to finally put an end to ethnic cleansing.
    Now the Russians are committing ethnic cleansing in South Ossetia.
    Russian soldiers have robbed banks, deported Georgians and murdered innocent people. There is no high ideal to what Russia did.
    However, here is the deeper question. What good has Russia done for the world?
    The answer is….. NOTHING.

  13. 13 nelsoni
    August 26, 2008 at 20:31

    @ Will, Georgia started the conflict, agreed. S.Ossetia is still a part of Georgia.

  14. 14 Anthony
    August 26, 2008 at 20:32

    Anyone else watching “Not Ready ’08” where they’re bashing Obama. They are making a lot of sence, and that’s the scary part. I truly wish Clinton was up there. I’m a Hillary Supporter who doesn’t think that Obama is ready.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  15. 15 Scott (M)
    August 26, 2008 at 20:37

    Anthony,

    It isn’t a surprise if McCain wins. Fact remains Mr. Obama barely won the nomination. Two of the states had egregiously unfair primaries. The whole nomination process was tainted and Mr. Obama’s nomination is illegitimate. If Democrats lose it is because they were too eager to win and sacrificed our freedoms and principles for the sake of power and winning at all costs. The recklessness of the Democratic party is almost as bad as Mr. Bush sacrificing our liberties for his alleged war on terror—with illegal wiretaps and illegal incarcerations, because of an alleged greater good.

    Now to add further insult to injury, Mr. Obama chose Mr. Biden as his running mate. Who clearly isn’t change. But rather then associating himself with Mrs. Clinton, because it was the right and responsible thing to do, Mr. Obama got cocky. If Mr. Obama had chosen less of an insider he would have had greater justification in refuting this, but now he has none.

    We spent a show devoted to the superficial topic of sportsmanship and apparently could care less about the implications of ‘political’ sportsmanship. Many are so blindly in love with Mr. Obama and romanticize the person they think he represents, that they don’t spend enough time holding him accountable for his actions.

    It is much harder for liberals to have a cause to rally around because of the inherent nature of being an inclusive group, that doesn’t have a matter-of-fact ‘bible’ to follow—which is great! But they, or we, need to try hard to rally around at least being fair and equitable. If we can’t do this, then we have become as guilty as the monsters we fear!

  16. 16 Julie P
    August 26, 2008 at 20:37

    I was delivered some very bad news today at my job. One of my co-workers was supposed to be getting married ten days from today. We learned today that early this morning her fiance was involved in a fatal traffic accident where both vehicles burst into flames. I have no idea what to say to her when she returns to work. I am stunned beyond belief. How do others handle making sense of something that makes no sense?

  17. 17 nelsoni
    August 26, 2008 at 20:37

    The reason why all these debates will stick around for a long time is because of Double Standards. How the rules apply to you depends on which bloc is behind you. I hope Russia will also recognize the independence aspirations of Checnya.

  18. 18 Anthony
    August 26, 2008 at 20:39

    @ Dan

    “What good has Russia done for the world? The answer is….. NOTHING.”

    Vodka, Communism, and the AK-47. Hehe.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  19. 19 Lubna
    August 26, 2008 at 20:40

    Hi Precious Robert… Well, the people of Kosovo wanted independence from Serbia, and they got an overwhelming support from the US and Europe inorder to turn their aspirations and dreams into a reality on the ground, and that actually happened… Now obviously the people of S. Ossetia and Abkhazia want to break away from Georgia, and Russia’s supporting them… After becoming independent, if they truely want to join Russia, then good for them… But if Russia forced them to join her after becoming independent from Georgia, then I’d be the 1st one that strongly condemns Russia… With my love… Yours forever, Lubna in Baghdad…

  20. 20 Dan
    August 26, 2008 at 20:40

    @ Anthony
    You have a very good point there.

  21. 21 nelsoni
    August 26, 2008 at 20:40

    @ Anthony/Scott M, as an outsider looking in, I am really suprised that an advanced democracy like the US, still has room for below the belt tactics in campaigning. When will they focus on issues? I get sick of all these negative campaign ad’s. It’s an embarrassment.

  22. 22 Anthony
    August 26, 2008 at 20:43

    @ Scott

    VERY well said. My mom got mad the other day when I said that Obama is just a fad, and that he would lose his luster (especially with Americans 10 sec. attention spans) very soon. I honestly believe 100% that he would have won with Hillary on his side. Now, I’m 50/50. It truly upsets me.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

    P.S. He only “won” the Dem nomination because he’s part black. Put him in a 100% white body, and NOTHING!!! Darn-it, now I’m getting mad!!!

  23. 23 selena
    August 26, 2008 at 20:45

    Well said Scott (M)!

  24. 24 Sheikh Kafumba Dukuly
    August 26, 2008 at 20:50

    When a group of people through a referendum choose to govern their own affairs, i think it is prudent to give them that right. As in the case of the former USSR, many of its territory was divided through the quest for independence by small states including georgia. Let georgia look back to history.

  25. 25 Venessa
    August 26, 2008 at 20:50

    Julie ~

    I am so sorry to hear that. I would like to extend my sincerest condolences for her loss. I can’t imagine my life without my best friend.

    Really you can’t make sense of these things just like plane crashes, school shootings & random murder. People go to sleep every night not knowing if they will wake up and every time you step out the door you could not make it home that night. I hope your co-worker has the strength to make it through this hard time. Just offer what you can: support, condolences or help. With support from friends and family she will hopefully be able to recover from her tragic loss.

  26. 26 selena
    August 26, 2008 at 20:50

    @Julie

    Yesterday in my hometown a woman was killed going to a hair appointment, for her son’s wedding.

    There is not much one can say. What I have found, over the years, is that the grieving person appreciates recognition of the grief and somehow that helps.

    Offers of help are very comforting.

  27. 27 Anthony
    August 26, 2008 at 20:52

    @ Julie

    When things like that happen to me, I like to be left alone, but then again men are different than women.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  28. 28 Julie P
    August 26, 2008 at 20:56

    @all,

    Thanks. I am especially feeling sorry for her given that this personally tragedy is playing out all over the local news.

  29. 29 Lubna
    August 26, 2008 at 20:57

    I do totally agree with you Precious Nelsoni on the issue of “double standards”, which actually makes my blood boil everytime I think of how unfair, immoral, and miserable our today world is… And here’s a question for you Precious Dan, people of Kosovo were “ethnically cleansed” when Serbia was a brutal and evil dictatorship, but at the time they declared their independence, Serbia was a modern and civil democracy that totally respects human rights and there’s nothing about her to be afraid or to worry about, so the excuse of the “ethnic cleansing” wasn’t valid anymore at the time of the declaration of independence, right ?! With my love… Yours forever, Lubna in Baghdad…

  30. 30 Sheikh Kafumba Dukuly
    August 26, 2008 at 20:58

    Julie. I am not a fatalist but i believed that nothing happens without a reason. Her fiance’ was not meant to be her husband. Let her take solace in the fact that God knows why. He giveth and He taketh.

  31. 31 Dan
    August 26, 2008 at 21:03

    @ Sheikh Kafumba Dukuly
    Sounds like a pretty vengeful and perverted God that would deny a man his life to prevent a marriage.
    Do you think that maybe…just maybe things happen on their own?

  32. 32 Scott (M)
    August 26, 2008 at 21:04

    Julie P,

    …condolences and sympathies. It is very strange how all still goes on, on this blog and everywhere, when the world for someone else has ended. Sometimes it feels like the world should cry with us.

    When my grandmother died, I had left the hospital for 30 minutes to eat a bagel and she died alone—I have never forgiven myself. There is nothing you can say or do to lessen the loss. The pain and the love never goes away, but with time you just perhaps begin to think about it a little less each day.

  33. 33 Roberto
    August 26, 2008 at 21:07

    What good has Russia done for the world?
    The answer is….. NOTHING.
    ——————————————————————————————————–

    ——– Had two Borzois, one after the other.

    Fantastic dogs, quicker than cats, almost as fast as greyhounds, they have more in common with the cheetah than they do a German Shepard or Lab. A real handful to train, much like a cat, they live in their own world.

    Almost wiped out in the Russian revolution but saved nonetheless.

    Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky composed the world reknown 1812 Overture to celebrate Russian’s battling the invading French. The unofficial closing piece in 4th of July fireworks finales all across the US every year as far back as I remember.

    What has anyone here ever done for the world? Easy enough to ride the coattails of remotely related dead ancesters.

  34. 34 Virginia Davis
    August 26, 2008 at 21:12

    “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.” Albert Einstein

    Question: How would any one of you like to get up in the morning, get dressed and then go outside to pick up the morning paper, and have your neighbor, sitting on his porch across the street, yell out at you: “Hey Fatso, how’s it going?”

    This blog is for debate. I understand, because you have made it clear, Steve, over and over again, that you do not like me or anyone who is fat. Your statement yesterday was the clearest you have ever been. Three points and an anecdote.

    I do not like opening the WHYS blog, never knowing when I am going to read: “Hey, Fatso, how’s it going? Read this and then go eat a donut!”

    My response is that I will make up a list of topics which I find fruitless and list them and some observations on what makes for good debate. So stay tuned.

    Virginia in Oregon

  35. 35 Dan
    August 26, 2008 at 21:13

    @ Roberto
    Thank you for further making my case that the Russians have done NOTHING to improve the world.

  36. 36 nelsoni
    August 26, 2008 at 21:14

    @ Lubna, Bob in Queensland said something striking on the other thread on this subject.. He said there should be “consistency” in supporting calls for independence and I completely agree with him. The International community threw it’s weight behind Kovoso now it has developed cold feet over S.Ossetia and Abkhazia. I fully support the right to self determination/independence but it should be done in accordance with International law. The problem is that the international laws are interpreted differently.

  37. 37 gary
    August 26, 2008 at 21:14

    @ Julie P
    No one makes sense of such tragedy When a similar tragedy happened to a colleague of mine, I could only say,”I’m sorry this happen to your loved one. Nothing I can say will help. But; I love you, and when you need to talk about it, I will listen.” We’ve talked about the departed loved one since and I am sure the tragedy still makes no sense. I even wonder if the talking has helped. Hate to be so grim…
    g

  38. 38 Sheikh Kafumba Dukuly
    August 26, 2008 at 21:14

    @ Dan. I am a muslim and i believed in predestination. No event is serendepitous-natural accident. Things happen because they were due to. However, i dont intend to intellectualize on her grief of another person. That being said, we can’t discuss cogently tonight’s topic.

  39. 39 Scott (M)
    August 26, 2008 at 21:16

    Yes, Sheikh Kafumba Dukuly,

    it seems pretty obvious things happen for a reason. Considering everything does indeed, happen for a reason (chance, physics, function, genetics), that makes it all relative—doesn’t it? To attach intelligent design to these reasons, is the equivalent of using stars to draw constellations, and then claiming the drawings occurred prior to the stars!

    These little loops get no one anywhere, unless they enjoy riding in circles.

  40. August 26, 2008 at 21:16

    Dan –

    Thank you for further making my case that the Russians have done NOTHING to improve the world.

    Nothing?

    WWII comes to mind, they were, after all, the first into Berlin.

    They put the first man, woman in space, the first satellite. All good things, no?

  41. 41 selena
    August 26, 2008 at 21:20

    @Virginia

    Not everyone thinks the way Steve does.

    Please don’t be bothered by what people say. I appreciate everything you write and look forward to your posts.

    I am willing to bet that there are others here who feel as I do.

    As for Steve, he is young. But youth is fleeting and as sure as the sun is in the sky, if Steve lives long enough he will experience your pain.

  42. 42 Jens
    August 26, 2008 at 21:20

    sheikh,

    yeah god the benovalent. what a crock and bull.

    her finace die because of a tragic accident. the fact that come out with such a stament is completly heartless. “god knows why…….he was not ment to be her husband”. how much more insulting can you be.

    i just love the compassion of the religiouse crowd and their “it was ment to be gods will” etc.

    julie p.,

    i am sorry to hear this. just shows how unbelievably short and cruel life can be. in my experiance let the person come to you and talk about it, if she wants. all you can do is be open for her to have a person she can talk to. personally i am real carp in such situations, because the standart “my condolences” sounds kind ogf shallow and ever so stenciled. i want to say more but just cannot find the right words for it. i guess one of my limitations of having learned english as my 3rd language.

  43. 43 Nick in USA
    August 26, 2008 at 21:21

    @ Julie

    Unfortunately, there is nothing you can do to make sense of things. Like Anthony, I like some private time to clear my head. After which, I usually come out far more focused on what kind of life I want to live, than I was before the tragedy. Personally, I would just give her some love, but not bring up the tragedy. Nobody wants to feel like they are finally ready to go back to work, and then be reminded of the worst thing that has ever happened to them, when they get there. Keeping busy always helps, in my opinion.

  44. 44 nelsoni
    August 26, 2008 at 21:27

    @ Virginia ~ it is how you see yourself that counts most. What other people see about you are simply irrelevant if it does not conform to the image you have of yourself. As selena rightly said, I also enjoy reading your posts and keep them coming.

  45. 45 Scott (M)
    August 26, 2008 at 21:32

    T: Selena – Thanks!

    T: Anthony – Thanks!

    T: Virgina Davis – I think it is great you stand up to people on this blog. These kinds of discussions, even if they are personal are as important as anything else that can or should be discussed. How we interact personally and why, seems equally as interesting as the ‘bigger issues.’ It amazes me that people are so willing to put up with bloggish loud mouths who write frequent boorish posts. Then because of quantity, not quality, they become part of the establishment. Sometimes for some, perseverance is not a virtue!

  46. 46 Anthony
    August 26, 2008 at 21:34

    @ Nick and Julie

    I had a friend murdered (along with his 3 and 6 year old son) and this lady wouldn’t shut up with her “how horrible”‘s and “I’m soooo sorry” and “This must be so hard for you!!!”. I told her I need time to my self and to please stop talking about it, but I wanted to yell “SHUT UP ALREADY!!! DO YOU THINK I WANT TO BE REMINDED EVERY HOUR!!!”. I was seriously getting mad and upset at her, even though her intentions were to comfort me.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  47. 47 selena
    August 26, 2008 at 21:37

    @Jens

    Whenever I think of God, I think of the number of people God killed, as opposed to Satan.

    God killed multi millions and Satan only Job’s family, as far as I can see. Even then he had God’s permission. God wiped out everyone on earth in the flood!

    I really can’t see Satan as all that bad, whereas God is wreaking havoc all the time.

  48. 48 steve
    August 26, 2008 at 21:37

    @ Virginia

    When did i ever say such a thing, especially to you?

  49. 49 Venessa
    August 26, 2008 at 21:39

    Selena ~

    And I thought I was the only one that thought Satan was nicer than God. God sure kills a lot of people for being supreme in love and forgiveness…..

  50. August 26, 2008 at 21:41

    @ Julie,

    So sorry to hear your shocking bad news.

  51. 51 Lubna
    August 26, 2008 at 21:43

    Hi Julie P my love… Ask me… I can claim that I am the best on this blog when it comes to talking about death… Over 15 of my loved ones had died since the US led invasion of my Iraq in 2003… Actually two of my dearest girlfriends were murdered a very short period before my 21st Birthday… The head of one of them, Sarah, was actually blown up infront of her dad, and pieces of her brain scattered on his face… Ahmed, my colleague and my friend in college and his mum Dr Mahasin were both murdered by “Black Water” employees last year… And two of my dearest relatives, Uncle Riyadh and Uncle Mohammed were both murdered by terrorists on the 1st day of 2008… I am now used to hearing death news Julie P, right now I have reached to the point where nothing at all can make me sad, or miserable, or happy, or joyful, or anything… At the moment I am struggling to feel anything at all… This emotional emptiness is so scary Julie P… Anyway, just tell you friend that I do wish that someday she’d find the right guy who’d love her the most and appreciate her the most, and only then she’d feel that heaven has given her the suitable compensation for her loss, Inshallah… I am really so sorry for her loss… With my love… Yours forever, Lubna in Baghdad…

  52. 52 Anthony
    August 26, 2008 at 21:43

    @ Selena and Venessa

    Thats of course if you believe in the Bible. If not God never killed anyone, and Satan (as an individual entity) doesn’t exist either. 🙂

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  53. 53 steve
    August 26, 2008 at 21:45

    @ Will

    ” Thank you for further making my case that the Russians have done NOTHING to improve the world.

    Nothing?

    WWII comes to mind, they were, after all, the first into Berlin.

    They put the first man, woman in space, the first satellite. All good things, no?”

    The Soviets also signed a nonagression pact with the Nazis, enabling them to attack Poland and France and the low countries. The Soviets decided to also attack Poland as well.

  54. August 26, 2008 at 21:49

    Steve –

    I didn’t say they were perfect.

  55. 55 Jens
    August 26, 2008 at 21:50

    selna and vanessa,

    it’s greed and hatred that has killed millions, well and smoking 😉

    why do we attack other countries/ for resources land, because we hate their god deliussion, because they look different etc, but mainly for their land, because we want it. no satan not ever so merciful god of vengance. just greed and hate will do fine.

  56. 56 Venessa
    August 26, 2008 at 21:54

    Jens ~

    I can’t agree with you more except religion is just thrown in there to motivate some peeps to help you out with your cause, because after all, God wanted it that way. 😉

  57. 57 Jens
    August 26, 2008 at 21:55

    selena,
    not every one. rember that chap noha and family were spared and all the animals. no wonder the church has no problems with incest and beastiality.

    well according to that story book we are all related to noha and his merry band of family. i really can not understand how anybody can believe this nonsens.

  58. 58 Anthony
    August 26, 2008 at 21:57

    @ Russia contributions

    Didn’t they get into space first??? And because of the arms race, wasn’t the U.S. forced to make better technology??? And of course Vodka again.

    Plus, lets not forget the wonderful game, TETRIS!!! Once of the funnest games ever!!! I would always wait for the full straight lines, but they would never come 😦

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  59. 59 Jens
    August 26, 2008 at 21:58

    vanessa,

    yeah and then we have the priests on the battle fields blessing their army instead of call for sanity and peace. but NOOOOOOOOOOOO, god will protect you right until the moment the bullet crashes into your skull. amen, that was it…..uhhhh yeah and god wanted this for you….sure he did, that’s why he must be the biggest weapons manufacture.

  60. 60 Dan
    August 26, 2008 at 21:59

    @Sheikh Kafumba Dukuly
    No argument with Islam. I believe in God but also believe that there are events that happen beyond God’s reason ad that is called nature.

  61. 61 Virginia Davis
    August 26, 2008 at 22:00

    Julie P: the mother of one of my women friends died this spring – after a while I sent her a white rose plant for her garden – white the color of mourning for Japan. She told me just recently it was blooming now.

    Steve: you are a lawyer; I am a poet. We both use the English language to express ourselves.

    Nelsoni: You are right about the mental instability of the Pakistani, at least according to the reporting. However, remember, it is up to the electorate NOT to elect him.

    Re: borders. I have long felt a permanent UN Commission on Borders could nip some of these conflicts in the bud. And I like the comment that “nations” are getting smaller – think, in abstract terms, what a mess the European colonizers made of the continent of Africa with its variety of tribes and geography when they divided the map.

    As for calling the president of Georgia “an idiot” in this blog. I am old fashioned and I am a military brat. You salute the rank, not the man inside the uniform. If you spoke bureaucratic Mandarin in China in the year 1000 you would still be understood in the bureaucracy of 1900.

    Thanks for positive comments of the trials and tribulations of getting the newspaper every morning.

    Virginia in Oregon

    Virginia in Oregon

  62. 62 Dan
    August 26, 2008 at 22:03

    @ Will Rhodes
    You mention meaningless self serving events.
    Russians have done more to impede the progress og civilization than advance it but what can be better proof than Russian soldiers looting banks in Georgia.
    The society is corrupt and than corrupts the values and morals of the average person or conscripted soldier. I cannot imagine they are in Georgia fighting for the Motherland. They certainly were not up to any good in Afghanistan.

  63. 63 Jens
    August 26, 2008 at 22:07

    steve,

    the tragic thing is that while having created great culture in form of music, literature and art, many a country has also created the greatest travesties in the world. you see you need a creative mind to creat something, be it positive or negative.

  64. 64 selena
    August 26, 2008 at 22:12

    @Anthony

    The bible? Well now, the story could be a really good explanation for why humans exist.

    God created them as playthings and to obey. But just to have fun he gave some of them a stronger will than others.

    He set the cat amongst the pigeons and is sitting back watching and having the time of his life.

    But, on the other hand, I have given some thought to the idea that we might be a scientific experiment.

  65. 66 Anthony
    August 26, 2008 at 22:17

    @ selena

    Yes, but are we a scientific experiment that God created. I have my own religion with my own views on everything.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  66. August 26, 2008 at 22:17

    @ DNC and the Supreme Court

    I think the democrats should attack McCain on his anti-abortion position. What would be the outcome if McCain wins and appoints two more conservative Supreme Court judges who oppose abortion?

  67. 68 Jens
    August 26, 2008 at 22:21

    steve,

    you will like this link. it has sex, weight issues, religion and moral issues and a rather snazzy title….

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/dear_margo/20080821/en_dm/margo_howard20080821;_ylt=AomciNbEZJtxfvDBzXccDxt8FxkF

  68. 69 Jens
    August 26, 2008 at 22:23

    wow,

    as if anybody was going public saying, look my husband is screwing around.

    http://www.cnn.com/2008/LIVING/wayoflife/08/26/elizabeth.edwards.ap/index.html?iref=mpstoryview

  69. 70 Jens
    August 26, 2008 at 22:23

    where are my posts going

  70. 71 Anthony
    August 26, 2008 at 22:24

    @ portlandmike

    I think instead, the DNC should have a re-vote and vote Hillary in instead of that “fad” Obama. Biden, lol. Plus, the DNC members should go down to Nadar and beat him up Mafia style!!!

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  71. 72 Anthony
    August 26, 2008 at 22:26

    @ Jens

    I don’t knwo why but 2 of your posts were in the Spam Filter. I’m not sure why, but I’m thinking it didn’t like your links.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  72. 73 Amy
    August 26, 2008 at 22:30

    Julie,

    My deepest sympathies to your coworker. I went through this in college when a good friend of mine was driving back to campus after the summer break. What she didn’t know was that after the concert we were preforming in, the man she was dating was going to propose. All of us back at school knew this was coming and had a hand in the planning. There was nothing I could say to him but I was there when he just needed his hand held. There really is nothing you can say to her that will take the pain away. Just let her know you love her and are there for her. Then, give her space. When she needs a shoulder to cry on (which she will) be there. Just don’t tell her “Don’t worry, someday you will meet someone new.” She very well may meet someone but she doesn’t even want to think about it right now.

  73. 74 Bryan
    August 26, 2008 at 22:30

    Lubna August 26, 2008 at 8:25 pm

    When Israel burnt Lebanon and one thousand innocent Lebanese civilians were murdered by the IDF because Hezbolla took two Israeli soldiers prisoners…

    Goodness, Lubna, you don’t have to stretch the truth that much. You wont get anything but propaganda from al Manar. You should check the news from other sources.

    Here’s what actually happened: Hezbollah fired Katyushas at Israeli towns along the border as cover for the capture of the two soldiers and killed another eight soldiers. That’s is an act of war. The IDF didn’t “murder” anyone. The IDF hit back at Hezbollah. (This is what you do when you are attacked.) Because Hezbollah would not reveal its death toll, “journalists” decided to lump them all together as Lebanese civilians. The IDF estimated that around 500-600 Hezbollah died. (And who would have known better than them, apart from Hezbollah, who weren’t talking.) That would make 400-500 civilians killed as Hezbolah hid amongst them and fired rockets from amongst them and used them as human shields. Which is, of course, a war crime.

    But why bother about the facts when there is Israel-bashing to do, right?

  74. August 26, 2008 at 22:43

    Compulsory education – About Slavery.

    Right or wrong?

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/education/7582004.stm

    Britain’s involvement in the slave trade is to be studied by all secondary pupils in England from September.

    Children will study the development of the trade, colonisation and how slavery was linked to the British empire and the industrial revolution.

    Pupils will also study characters like Nigerian-born slave Olaudah Equiano, one of the prominent African figures who campaigned for abolition.

    In history, World War I and WWII and the Holocaust are already compulsory.

  75. 76 selena
    August 26, 2008 at 22:53

    @Anthony

    Yeah! God is the researcher!

    @Jens

    The lack of sympathy for Elizabeth Edwards should make God proud.

    The Obamas shunned them too, apparently.

  76. 77 selena
    August 26, 2008 at 22:56

    @ Will

    Good, I think! The future lies buried in the past!

  77. 78 Jens
    August 26, 2008 at 22:59

    Will,

    it should be compulsory. i learned about the slave trad while going to school in switzerland. while having lived in england i was shocked to see how little the british know about their own history and how they see there partially brutal past through pink sunglasses. nobody knew anything about the extend of slave trade the UK was involved in, or the woderfull invention call concentartion camp merrily invented by the brits, or the gentle persuasion used in the colonies or the prison ships of new york.

    ignorance does not make events forgotten. ignorance just leads to ignorrant behaviour and trust me the average english lager lout is top of the plile for that kind of behaviour.

  78. 79 steve
    August 26, 2008 at 23:01

    re: compulsory education

    I have no problem with it so long as every party does it as well, and tells the whole story. Britain also helped end the slave trade. Portugal began the slave trade. Many africans participated in the slave trade. I hope it’s not just white guilt being taught, and a full view of the slave trade.

  79. 80 Jens
    August 26, 2008 at 23:02

    selena,
    yeah in his godly white lab coat and his long beard, he supervises under his microscope the happenings in the petrie-dish call “earth”, while monitoring his control experiemnt called “WTF”.

  80. August 26, 2008 at 23:02

    Hi again gang ! :-)… Well, how about all those great Russian writers, authors, athletes and musicians ?! And BTW Precious Dan, the vast majority of American soldiers I personally have seen were arrogant and impolite people who spit on the ground infront of Iraqi citizens, shoot randomly in the air in all directions not caring at all whether or not their bullets are gonna hit innocent civilians, and swear outloud at civilian cars happening to pass in the same street they’re passing in… So the record of the American occupation in my Iraq isn’t that honourable either, is it ?! For e.g. The Abu Gharib scandel, the Haditha massacre, the Black Water massacre, and Abeer, the 15 years old girl who had been raped and then murdered with her family by two American soldiers… Now here’s a question : Should I as an Iraqi citizen consider American occupation soldiers in my Iraq to be representatives of the American culture and the American society ?! I do hope I shouldn’t ! With my love… Yours forever, Lubna in Baghdad…

  81. 82 graceunderfire
    August 26, 2008 at 23:07

    Regarding: What have the Russians done for the world?
    WhatsamattaU? The Russians have produced world-class scientists, politicians, composers, artists, engineers, inventors, social scientists, authors, and clerics in as direct proportion to their size as has any other nation, or ethnic group. They’re very conservative folks, they do not trust foreigners when it comes to Mother Russia, and they’ve certainly had a recent spot of bother with Georgia. None of these negate their contributions to humanity. Wrongs and rights are simply that. They do not cancel one another, nor does one considered event damn, nor sanctify, an entire people. No nation is unanimous in the good, or in the evil, that it does.
    guf

  82. 83 steve
    August 26, 2008 at 23:07

    @ Lubna

    Any atrocities committed by Americans pales in comparisons to what Iraqis have been doing to each other. Doesn’t make it any less bad, but I think your issue is a bit misguided. There was some female suicide bomber caught not too long ago, was she an American?

    Don’t forget, the American soldiers are what is preventing an all out civil war. I think unless there are drastic changes, the moment US soldiers withdraw from iraq if Obama wins, you’ll look at now as the good old days.

  83. 84 selena
    August 26, 2008 at 23:14

    Have you been to Iraq, Steve?

  84. 85 Jens
    August 26, 2008 at 23:16

    lubna,

    the longer i think about it i come to two conclusions

    a) we should not have invaded and let sadam massacre his loyal underlings at will, because i personally do not give a hoot about the iraqui people. if they can live with a brutal dictator then good for them.

    b) we should leave immediatly and let the different political fractions and muslim sects kill one another at hearts content, because i’d rather see the 2 billion dollars a week spend on the american people, than on iraq.

    i seriously doubt that the americans are firing their weapons randomly in the air. could that be your country men????

    the very vast amount of american soldiers i have seen and know, are highly disciplined individuals, who are ready to give their lives to help protect your country from disintigrating.

    howver, as for the points above, i wish they would come home and are save, rather than trying to help build a worthy civilaztion in place that clearly shows no graditued. it is time iraq starts paying for itself.

    ciao

  85. 86 steve
    August 26, 2008 at 23:16

    @ Selena

    But unless you are suggesting Americans are doing the suicide bombings, I think I have a point.

  86. 87 selena
    August 26, 2008 at 23:22

    @Steve

    Are suicide bombs the only weapons that kill people?

    Is death the only bad outcome in a war?

    When you are talking to a person living in a war zone, can you really have a point?

  87. 88 selena
    August 26, 2008 at 23:24

    Good night everyone! It’s bedtime in Paris!

  88. 89 Jens
    August 26, 2008 at 23:29

    in iraq the vast majority of the population wants nothing but peace and get on with their lives. however, the entire thing is driven by greed and mutual hatred. included in the greed is the west desire for oil, the different “muslim sects” desire for power, fundametal religiouse belives that have driven hatered for centuries etc. the only people how can effectiuvly stop this are the iraqi people, BUT and that is the big BUT, they have not only been suffering from decades of oppression but now for years of “civilwar”. how much strength and and effort can give to liberate the country formreligiouse striff, if your daily survival takes almost all you have……

  89. 90 Count Iblis
    August 26, 2008 at 23:29

    Steve, it is equally true that if Russia were to completely withdraw from South-Ossetia and Abkhazia, the local militias and Georgian forces would fight out a bloody civil war.

  90. 91 Count Iblis
    August 26, 2008 at 23:35

    Let’s compare the winners of the Stalin Prize to the winners of the Bush Prize 🙂

  91. 92 steve
    August 26, 2008 at 23:47

    @ Selena

    “Are suicide bombs the only weapons that kill people?”
    NO, but they are killing the most people in Iraq. It’s suicide bombers, not Americans, that are doing the vast majority of the killing. I hope you can see that.

  92. 93 Roberto
    August 26, 2008 at 23:48

    Re Georgia:
    ———————————————————————————————————

    ——- After the routing by the Russians of US trained Georgian troops, Russians have recognized the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

    Miss Condi is saying the US will excercise veto power to prevent any UN recognition of the two breakoff territories, like the Russians really care.

    The UN is about all the leverage the US has left as the Russians hold a significant amount of US bonds and US military running on fumes. Russians have decided now is the time to back out of a hunky dory relationship with EU and US, probably seeing the coming recession/depression/ and new world order which sees the US withdrawing globally as China and India start to flex muscle.

    Russia is essentially the energy landlord for Europe, esp in Ukraine, Poland, and Germany. They can always reestablish better diplomatic relations, but after being marginalized the past 15 yrs, it’s boomtime in Russia.

    The surprise is how stupid the EU and the US must feel after their megalomaniacal thrust for global dominance falls well short of the mark for now.

    What a shame. So many great things accomplished after the fall of the Berlin Wall, and almost completely wiped out by shortsighted greed, fraud and power mongering.

    Best laid plans of mice and men.

  93. 94 steve
    August 26, 2008 at 23:48

    I swear you people are going to make a Bush supporter out of me. Comparing Bush and Stalin? Stalin killed MILLIONS of people..

  94. 95 Venessa
    August 26, 2008 at 23:49

    The Middle East has never stopped fighting! Last time I looked at it’s history I failed to find any lasting peace. It is a region of the world that insists on holding grudges, pointing fingers and following extremists. War will NEVER stop as long as people continue to live in their silo that the people surrounding them are innocent of any violence and all others are responsible.

    Debating is fruitless…It will be another 1000 years and we’ll be having the same circular arguments.

  95. 96 graceunderfire
    August 26, 2008 at 23:51

    @ Lubna
    I partially agree with Jens. A people generally get the government they deserve. I have no idea how many folks there supported Mr. Saddam Hussein, and quite frankly, I didn’t care. It is for this reason I feel the US shouldn’t have invaded, and shouldn’t stay a minute longer than is necessary to load the transports. That being said, I can conceptualize the reasons for your feelings toward the US. I doubt, however, that US soldiers intended arrogant display by their actions. Their suicide attempt and completion rate suggests that they are, as are all survivors in war, very frightened and under an enormous amount of stress. This is the other reason I wish them home without delay. All wars are stupid, senseless wastes of human life. Every one! Every time! So this one is. So will be the next war this one causes.
    guf

  96. 97 Venessa
    August 26, 2008 at 23:53

    well said graceunderfire.

  97. August 26, 2008 at 23:55

    94 steve August 26, 2008 at 11:48 pm Edit

    I swear you people are going to make a Bush supporter out of me. Comparing Bush and Stalin? Stalin killed MILLIONS of people..

    You mean you’re not, Steve? 😯

  98. August 26, 2008 at 23:56

    Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver has criticised the UK for its alcohol culture and poor cuisine. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/7580723.stm

    It seems the eating habits of people around the world are affected by the modern life patterns. Traditional food is giving way to fast food. Also families, to save time at cooking, are resorting to buying prepared food.

    Shouldn’t traditional food be encouraged for better health as many diseases, like obesity, are caused by the consumption of unhealthy food?

  99. 100 Jonathan
    August 27, 2008 at 00:01

    @Scott– What are you talking about? Obama won. Clinton lost. The primaries in Michigan and Florida were illegitimate, in breach of DNC rules. The rules were clear. They knew the rules. They broke the rules. Both candidates understood and agreed. Obama wasn’t even on the Michigan ballot. The notion that the void primaries should “count” after all was a desperate, cynical ploy by an unprincipled losing candidate. That doesn’t “taint” the nomination or the nominee.

    What “freedoms and principles” are Democrats sacrificing? What acts are “almost as bad” as wiretaps, illegal incarceration, and the rest of the recent abuses?

    It’s not a coronation; it’s an election. Sen. Clinton lost it. Her scorched-earth campaign against Obama was not “right and responsible” but wrong and contemptible. She repeatedly said McCain would be preferable to Obama, since a Republican victory would permit her to run again in four years. To imagine that Sen. Obama could possibly trust her after that, let alone owe her a spot on his ticket, is to join her in deepest delusion. It was she who sacrificed all principle, if she had any to begin with.

    The notion that Sen Clinton isn’t an “insider” requires no comment. Someone is indeed cocky, arrogant, deluded, unprincipled, and unsportsmanlike: Hillary Clinton. In sporting terms, Sen. Obama played by the rules, won the game, and has been entirely gracious. Sen. Clinton cheated at every turn, fought to change the rules, tried to blow up the stadium, and still lost. Grace continues to elude her in defeat. Her disgusting husband now grumbles that “arguably nobody is ever fit to be president.” A real class act, both of them.

  100. 101 steve
    August 27, 2008 at 00:02

    @ Will

    Are you joking? My favorite website in 2000 was http://www.toostupidtobepresident.com

    but when you compare him to Stalin.. oh boy..

  101. August 27, 2008 at 00:10

    Your thoughts and drawing are not your own.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/7583328.stm

    Mattel, the world’s biggest toymaker, won the case in July after claiming that the name and design of Bratz dolls were based on drawings by Carter Bryant made while he was under a contract that entitled Mattel to his designs.

    MGA had argued that although Mr Bryant worked for Mattel between 1995 and April 1998 and then again from January 1999 to September 2000, the idea had come to him in the gap between his two stints.

  102. August 27, 2008 at 00:14

    Steve –

    Bush is a war criminal is he not? Doesn’t the buck stop with him? No, quite true he didn’t have millions put to death, but under international law his role in many things are a bit iffy.

    But this then leads us to the question: Will the USA ever sign back up to the ICC?

    You (as a country) could be on the verge of voting in a man who professes war at every given opportunity. How will that make you a Bush fan?

  103. 104 Jonathan
    August 27, 2008 at 00:15

    @Will–

    I don’t see the controversy or even the question.

    Prmary school is of course compulsory, and of course attempts to provide an overview of history. If history includes slavery, that’s part of history and therefore of course part of the curriculum.

    Am I missing something?

  104. 105 Jonathan
    August 27, 2008 at 00:19

    @Will again–

    I’m just dense today! The Mattel/Bratz thing sounds like any ordinary intellectual property dispute, and the contract sounds like any ordinary contract. It’s completely normal that the employer has the rights to the things its employees develop or invent. Have i been too close to Silicon Valley for too long?

  105. 106 Scott (M)
    August 27, 2008 at 00:22

    T: Johnathan,

    1. I never said Mrs. Clinton was not an insider. I implied Mr. Biden was an insider as is Mrs. Clinton. Therefore, choosing Mr. Biden over Mrs. Clinton was not about change.

    2. I value the rights of people to vote in a Democracy and have their vote count rather then the rules of political parties. This is what a Democracy is about! We fight wars for this right. The solution was not fair and if this was occurring in the general election on the Republican side, I hardly think your response would be the same. So I certainly call into question your objectivity on this issue.

    3. The logic people are using to ignore the above information, for the sake of winning an election by appearing as a cohesive party, are the freedoms and principles we are sacrificing. Which is equivalent to the logic Mr. Bush uses to justify his actions. Although, I agree the outcomes of the actions are perhaps not commensurate.

    4. The rest of your cliched and boring attack on Mrs. Clinton… um, okay.

  106. August 27, 2008 at 00:29

    Grace,

    A little thought exercise. Let us say that you had 3 groups. Each of them not particularly friendly to each other. However, each of them nearly equally as strong as the other. Each had equivalent numbers, arms, technology, and resources. One could not get into a conflict the other with out risking their own weakness and being taken by the uninvolved “tribe”. Over the course of the history this is just the situation that developed. Other then the occasional “border conflict” the tribes existed side by side.

    Let us say that another tribe, foreign to the area much more advanced and resourced discovered that there were valuable natural resources such as, oh let us say oil, in the ground throughout the region that these three tribes occupied. The alien tribe want wells, infrastructure, and logistics to move the resource from the ground to the area of its tribes home.

    Let us say you were head of the foreign tribe. What would you do to ensure that these investments are secure and free from any civil conflicts that might disrupt the flow of that resource to your home land?

  107. 108 Dan
    August 27, 2008 at 00:29

    @ graceunderfire
    ” All wars are stupid, senseless wastes of human life. Every one! Every time!”

    This is a statementthat I cannot believe and cannot leave alone.
    Throughout history there has been a struggle for freedom. However evil rulers felt power by dominating others.
    In WWII Hitler nearly exterminated a race of people until the Allies intervened. Was that a stupid war?
    In WWI America entered the war that the Germans had fought to a stalemate and was bleeding Europe dry. Another Stupid war?
    If Russia has won the Cold war we would not be talking right now. Another stupid war?
    There have been and forever will be wars as there is always evil that raises its ugly head and must be fought.
    Presently it is radical Islam that want to turn you into a barnyard animal. Is this another stupid war?
    To me there is no such thing as a stupid war but people who cannot see reality and deal with it before it becomes a war.

  108. August 27, 2008 at 00:55

    Dan,

    Even WWI and WWII were “stupid”. One man, for instance Hitler, did not kill millions of people. Millions of people killed millions of people. If the millions doing the killing had stopped and though, “Man war is stupid.” Then the other millions wouldn’t have died. Unfortunately a man with a mouth armed with fear and charisma can talk mass volumes of mindless, unthinking followers into killing others.

    If your goal is to stop millions of people from dying in violent conflicts, then getting them to believe not to act upon their fears, and to question their leaders who stray from their stated reasons is key.

  109. August 27, 2008 at 00:58

    Dwight –

    I applaud you, sir!

  110. 111 Jonathan
    August 27, 2008 at 01:02

    @Bob, @Lubna, @Nelson–

    I’m sorry, but it’s just impossibly naive to imagine that the unpleasantness prevailing between Russia and Georgia has anything to do with a genuine bid for independence by parts of Georgia. Russia is not a supporter of independence; it was the last of the world’s empires to dissolve. It does not now seek to liberate, but to engulf and devour, those two bits of Georgia, which happen to contain an oil pipeline over which Russia would like to resume control.

    Comparisons with Kosovo are specious. Serbians were energetically slaughering Kosovars along with Bosnians to exterminate people they found distasteful, prinicipally Muslims. Georgians were not.

    It’s just a bit simplistic to assert that consistency demands support for either all “wars of independence” or none. Every case is different in its particulars of history and grievance, etc., and some are not genuine bids for independence at all. Assessing the merits of different cases isn’t inconsistent; it’s intelligent.

  111. 112 Amy
    August 27, 2008 at 01:08

    Dwight,

    Pudding for you. Well said!

    P.S. I think the pudding thing is going to be our little inside joke 🙂

  112. 113 Dan
    August 27, 2008 at 01:12

    @ Dwight from cleveland
    Hitler killed 6 million Jews and hundreds of thousands of others as well. In the law, the person ordering the murders is as guilty as those that actually accomplished the murders. Hitler is, has been and forever shall be guilty.
    It was not millions of people killing millions of people. It was a dedicated core cadre.
    Perhaps in that little section of Anaheim CA (Fantasyland) is where people can rise up and question brutal leaders. In the real world people who questioned were murdered. Saddam Hussein, Robert Mugabe, Idi Amin, Mao Tse Tung, Stalin, Mussolini, Tojo are just a few but there are a legion.
    Gandhi advocated that the Jews not resist Hitler, which is what I assume you are advocating. Had they listened all Jews would have died.
    It is not charisma that pushes people to war, it is a leader with a perversion who cares noting for how many of his own people will die. Throughout the millenia we have called that evil.
    It is not irrational to fight for freedom, to fight for a righteous ideal or to fight to free your brother.

  113. August 27, 2008 at 01:20

    Thanks Will

    I would like to add that it doesn’t mean that from time to time the enlightened people don’t have to pick up a tool and cast down an advancing ignorance. (If ignorance wants to bludgeon ignorance, there really isn’t a side for me to take.) However, that should not be our first line of defense.

    We do have readers from Germany. I know all the psychological abstract reasons why Hitler found supporters in the German Population. (Basically if times are bad and a leader stands up and say, “We have to kill them before they kill us.” You can get the masses go to war. ) But I would love if anybody has a personal story of their elders who gave a reason why they went to war on the Axis side during WWII.

    The key to stopping another conflict of global nature is to understand what drove millions of people to comply with such idiocy.

  114. August 27, 2008 at 01:31

    thanks Amy,

    I am glad to see at least one person still knows what I am referring to when I say that. lol

    With that in mind I think all global conflicts should be solved by pudding wrestling instead. I mean you could send representatives. the idea of Bush and Putin…

  115. 116 Jonathan
    August 27, 2008 at 01:33

    @Dwight–

    I applaud you too, sir! With the footnote that “questioning leaders” is only an effective course in a democracy. In a dictatorship, questioning leaders leads to the imprisonment or execution of the questioner, rather than to earnest self-reflection by the regime by which it might realize the ultimate futility of war.

  116. August 27, 2008 at 01:42

    Jonathan –

    A democracy wouldn’t become a dictatorship if it wasn’t for the people falling for the obvious lies spouted by those who say they will protect them.

    My belief is; if a leader does something I agree with, I will still question why. He/she must take the country with them and only for the right reasons. If that leader doesn’t fear the people – then there is something very wrong with our systems of election and government.

  117. 118 Dan
    August 27, 2008 at 01:53

    @ Will Rhodes
    I guess that Venezuela is an exception? Chavez co-opted the Democratic institutions and has made himself defacto dictator.

  118. 119 Tom
    August 27, 2008 at 01:54

    @ Conduct of US troops in Iraq,

    Since Lubna is actually in Baghdad, correct me if I’m wrong, I’d think she is best qualified to comment on the conduct of US troops and other daily occurrences in Iraq. She is giving us a perspective of the reality of war we wouldn’t normally hear on mainstream news or see in popular war dramas.

  119. 120 Jonathan
    August 27, 2008 at 02:06

    @Scott–

    By calling my comment a “cliched and boring attack” rather than attempting to challenge any of the facts I cited or the conclusions I derived therefrom, you concede the debate and conclude our discussion.

    It’s been fun.

  120. 121 Dennis
    August 27, 2008 at 02:10

    Hi Everyone!

    Sorry for not being around on this TP! I am currently in the process of packing for my return to Community College on Sunday!
    ******************************************************

    @ Lubna:

    I have to say that i am very sorry for all of the deaths of your relatives! Please accept my condolences and sympathy, my lovely and dear friend in Baghdad….
    ******************************************************************

    Dennis 🙂

  121. 122 Jonathan
    August 27, 2008 at 02:15

    @Will–

    Your approach is entirely reasonable and healthy for a citizen of a democracy. Again, though, in a dictatorship, it would buy you a ticket to the gulag, and possibly a premature departure from this earth.

    Also, dictatorships need not, and usually do not, spring from demicracies.

  122. 123 Julie P
    August 27, 2008 at 02:21

    @Jonathon,

    What’s a democracy? 🙂

  123. August 27, 2008 at 02:26

    Dwight from Cleveland,

    I agree with you about citizen protest, but with an all volunteer army and a huge mercenary force like Blackwater, add that to our military bases around the world, our Navy, the Pentagon and CIA, and all the contracts and business that they generate, I just don’t think we the people have much control over these war lords. If we had a draft, or if everyone had to serve, then the people would have power to say “No!”

  124. 125 Dennis
    August 27, 2008 at 02:52

    Hi Will:

    Just saw your updated blog….Nice!

    Have anyone heard from our regular blogger ZK in Singpore?

    Dennis

  125. 126 Jonathan
    August 27, 2008 at 03:13

    @Dwight–

    I can tell you why most German soldiers went off to fight the second world war. They were drafted.

    Then there’s the quite different question of support for a dictator by a frightened, propagandized populace that overlooks or excuses his violations of civil liberties, constitutional government, domestic and international law, and habit of starting wars, For that, we don’t have to go across and ocean or back 70 years in time.

  126. 127 Jonathan
    August 27, 2008 at 03:25

    @Julie~

    Demicracy (noun): A political system of government by the people, through a body of elected representatives who are half-wits.

  127. 128 Bob in Queensland
    August 27, 2008 at 03:32

    G’day all!

    A late start for me today…some real life business that needed doing intervened in my online time.

    Anyway, I’m still reading in but wonder if anybody else heard the documentary about Al Qaeda that aired on the World Service at midnight GMT. If not, you can listen again at AL QAEDA’S INTERNAL DEBATE.

    It was a fascinating half hour of radio and I suggest there is probably a very good WHYS debate there if enough people have a listen!

    Back to reading in though…I remember when a night talking points used to have 30ish posts when I got online, not 127!

  128. 129 Jonathan
    August 27, 2008 at 03:43

    @Bob–

    G’day mate. Thanks for the link; I’ll have a listen. Gotta be better than Hillary Clinton.

    127 poxts with 14 hours to go: Yeah, there goes the neighborhood, huh. Like they say, “Nobody goes there anymore; it’s too crowded.”

  129. 130 Roberto
    August 27, 2008 at 03:43

    If we had a draft, or if everyone had to serve, then the people would have power to say “No!”
    ———————————————————————————————————–

    ————— Gotta a big NEWSFLASH for ya:

    We had a very contentious draft.

    Results: American voters have voted for 16 consecutive years of presidential draft dodgers and 3 treasury busting wars over respected war vets.

    Dems, reps, they have both spoken.

    Now we have Russia rubbing US faces in it, and China has not yet begun to flex. At this point, I doubt anyone can envision the US doing more than flapping some lip service if China decides to take over Taiwan.

    The die has been cast, and for at least a time. US is going to have to play 2nd fiddle until it can recover it’s economy, it’s people, and it’s integrity. Not a given with recent 16 yrs of decay dragging anchor, but it appears either Obama or McCain will bring more integrity to the office than the poor fare that preceeded them.

    Gonna be tough to turn around the ship of state headin’ into the rocks, but there’s hope now.

  130. 131 Scott Millar
    August 27, 2008 at 03:47

    T: Jonathan,

    I suppose you need to read your post again—because anyone with a smiggen of intelligence and honesty can note the lack of facts in your post. So do you have some? Most of your post was a character attack on Mrs. Clinton. Are you not willing to admit this? Do you dispute this? Do you have something to dispute that people in a democracy should have the right for their vote to count irrespective of party screw-ups?

    In fact, the sentence in my post (of many other sentences) that you chose to focus on, was the one that didn’t refute your argument with logic.

    Thanks for the dishonesty. It hasn’t been fun. What is funny—how often people criticize others for actions they are more guilty of.

  131. 132 Devra Lawrence-Jamaica
    August 27, 2008 at 03:54

    Hi all!

    Just joining as well.

    Sorry to hear bout that tragedy Julie. Just be there for your co-worker whenever she needs someone to talk to.

    Dev

  132. 133 graceunderfire
    August 27, 2008 at 03:55

    @Dan
    War isn’t stupid because of its justification, or lack thereof, it is stupid because it doesn’t work. Relatives of those killed in battle don’t lament the error of their loved one’s cause, they just stay angry and plot revenge. Every war begets a new one, complete with parades and inspiring speeches, martial music., and a bunch of dead people, most of whom are civilians. Contrary to popular belief, It wasn’t Hitler that killed millions of Jews, it was a whole lot of pissed-off Germans. What exactly was the source of their irritation? A previous war perhaps? But I digress. Mind this: God gave us only two gifts that merit the name; intellect and free will. If the former isn’t used; the latter is worthless. In this debate, I’m not the one to whom the majority will listen. They are swayed by martial rhetoric. But; folks of like mind to yours have had ten, or twenty millennia to get it right, the fact that they have not so done suggests errors in their method. The commandment says: “Thou shalt not kill.” I’ve noticed here a distinct absence of included subclauses, exceptions, and delimiting statements. Maybe it would be a good idea to give it try?
    guf

  133. 134 Jessica in NYC
    August 27, 2008 at 03:56

    @ Will, Hi. I’ll focus on your topic in soon.

    @ Anthony, want another 4 (*gasp* maybe 8 ) years of Bush part 2? I love Hillary, too, but as the lady in the pant suit said, “NO way, NO how, NO McCain!”

  134. 135 Bob in Queensland
    August 27, 2008 at 04:09

    @ Will regarding the Mattel/Bratz thing

    I agree with Jonathan–it’s a pretty basic copyright/contract dispute.

    It’s a very common contractual clause for anyone in a “creative” profession that ideas you develop while in employment belong to the company. Heck, I’ve even had to sign contracts specifying that video I shoot or sound I record is the copyright of the company I’m working for, not me.

    This case may be slightly complicated by the stint where the designer didn’t work for Mattel but, that being the case, there are steps he can and should have taken to register the date of his idea.

    Non-controversy in my book.

  135. 136 Virginia Davis
    August 27, 2008 at 04:15

    I like to make up acronyms. For the longest time, 15 or 20 years, I cultivated the idea of a civilian construction corps. Am just checking in to say you all saw it first: ABC.
    American Building Corps.

    Like the Peace Corps. Only learning and doing the basic infrastructure work that the Obama campaign is pushing. (Billions, folks, billions!) Enlist, part of your pay goes into a savings account, everybody has to be straight and sober on the job – it’s not nice to endanger your fellow workers. Four year, six year terms. Get your GED if you don’t already have it. Managed by REAL construction gents and ladies – not the ones pouring slipshod concrete and using three rivets instead of the four required. Be all ready to go abroad and build those (American designed) houses and complexes for the rest of the world. Hey, hey. Work is play which has got me through some long 8 hour days.

    “If you don’t have a dream, you’ve got to have a dream, else how you going to make a dream come true” as sung in The King & I – not by Deborah Kerr but a real secret silver throated lady recently revealed on PBS.

    Is there sunshine there in Australia, Bob…..?

    And I’m going to go watch “the Democrats retake America….” After ABC to
    Baroque and the other classy three.

  136. 137 Virginia Davis
    August 27, 2008 at 04:19

    Sorry, Will, for the double click…..Virginia

  137. 138 Bob in Queensland
    August 27, 2008 at 04:20

    @ Steve

    Don’t forget, the American soldiers are what is preventing an all out civil war. I think unless there are drastic changes, the moment US soldiers withdraw from iraq if Obama wins, you’ll look at now as the good old days.

    Your argument conveniently forgets it was the US-led invasion that created the power vacuum in the first place. I have to be careful with the argument because the last thing I want to do is seem to be supporting Saddam Hussein–Saddam was a vicious tyrant. However, under his regime, Iran was a relatively stable secular country. The regime was thoroughly evil but none of the reasons given for the initial invasion have stood up to inspection–don’t forget, the justifications were WMD and the “war on terrorism”. There were no weapons of mass destruction and no terrorists. Talk of the need for “regime change” only appeared after the big WMD oops was revealed.

  138. 139 Anthony
    August 27, 2008 at 04:25

    @ Jessica

    Yeah, I but I feel like someone is asking me “would you like your left leg, or right leg chopped off, and you have to chose one.”. But I’d rather chose Obama, even though I don’t want him to be pres. I just hope that the party is so divided (plus, once again, the spotlight pig of a man Nadar) that McCain comes out on top. I think I should be president, and I’d make Ros my vice.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  139. 140 Anthony
    August 27, 2008 at 04:30

    @ Bratz

    I HATE BRATZ!!! Are these the role models for the little girls in America??? Little hooker looking dolls, in hoochie shirts and skirts, more make-up than Tammy Fay, and then they wonder why little Susie is pregnant at 14. Maybe you buying that short shirt with “SEXY” in glitter, or the tight pants with “JUICY” on the butt!!!

    Once again, I HATE BRATZ!!! I hope they go out of business (which they wont 😦 )!!!

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  140. 141 Bob in Queensland
    August 27, 2008 at 04:36

    @ Anthony

    Copyright issues aside, I have to agree with you about the signals sent out by Bratz. I hate (and I don’t use that word lightly) the tendancy for young girls to dress in the manner you describe–a friend of mine once described them as “prostitots” and that’s all too apt.

    What are the parents thinking?

  141. 142 Jonathan
    August 27, 2008 at 04:40

    @Scott–

    Well, I could have focused on other parts of your post, but I didn’t want to humiliate you further than you already had all by yourself. It’s all about the new, kinder, gentler me. You didn’t refute a single point with logic or anything else. You still haven’t. You just called me names and made still more ridiculous assertions. So, not much to talk about.

    Just for fun, though, just what do you understand a PARTY PRIMARY ELECTION to be, and exactly how do you imagine it might be somehow isolated from “party screw-ups?” It’s got nothing at all to do with your rights as a citizen in a democracy. Nothing. You have zero right to vote in a primary. There didn’t even used to be primaries. You’re possibly thinking of the Presidential election. That’s the one in November, where you (shudder) vote for president. But, hey, don’t believe me, I’m dishonest and partial and lacking any sense. Ask someone who knows, if you know anyone. Better yet, look it up and learn something.

  142. 143 Anthony
    August 27, 2008 at 04:44

    I don’t want to offend anyone here, but it seems like if people are given a choice between Hillary and Obama, in general, “smarter” people vote Hillary, and “not as smart” people vote Obama. Does anyone else see this??? Just curious.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  143. August 27, 2008 at 04:48

    Hi Will Rhodes
    The issue in breakaway regions of Georgia and independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia stem from the arrogance and clumsiness of President Mikhail Saakashvili. He played into the hands of Russia.
    Moscow is still sensitive to the boshed-up disintegration of the former Soviet, but here we have a young lad provoking Russia into a conflict.
    The issue of secession is valid today, but the timing is even more important. Russian President Medvedev is quite within his rights to support independence lobbies in Georgia. Obviously this is the beginning of another chapter in East, West relations. Incidentally, the notion of setting up US missile platforms all around Russia doesn’t seem all that sensible now. I also dismiss the idea that this incident wouldn’t have occurred if Georgia was part of NATO.
    It is only fair that NATO, US and Europe should clearly define their boundaries and priorities because the world is uncomfortable with an unruly European Union and war mongering America.

  144. 145 Bob in Queensland
    August 27, 2008 at 04:50

    @ Anthony

    Re: Clinton/Obama

    Amongst my (admittedly small) sample of American acquaintances, your hypothesis doesn’t hold. In my experience Obama appeals to intelligent and articulate people, mainly young, educated to degree level or beyond. However, the other thing they have in common is a frustration with and distrust of the existing political establishment.

  145. 146 Jonathan
    August 27, 2008 at 04:53

    @Anthony–

    I think if little Susie is pregnant at 14, it’s because her parents didn’t evern instruct her about how not to get pregnant, and wouldn’t let her school teach her either. Unless I’m badly misinformed about the mechanisms, her toys are blameless in the matter.

  146. 147 Anthony
    August 27, 2008 at 04:55

    Hmmmm. Where is queensland??? I guess I was just assuming since I live in L.A., and talk to more “Ghetto” and poor people. I also converse with average 18-26 (the kind that finish high school and thats it) years olds who think Obama is “cool” because he’s black, and have no idea about what he stands for.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  147. August 27, 2008 at 04:56

    Roberto,

    Yes we did. I was right in the middle of it. It was a contentious draft because it was a poorly conceived war, the war in Viet Nam. What was the mission? It is similar to the war in Iraq. How will we know we have won?

    We need to use our military with a much clearer motive. It seems to many that the U.S. is just exercising power. And now our mission is to “not lose.”

    There is a war going on, but you would never know it in the U.S.. The Olympics, the conventions, subprime meltdown, gas shortages, but we still go shopping. We don’t see the dead. Even our dead soldiers are brought home without national grieving. Why? I think it is because our soldiers have “chosen” to go to war. We have turned our national security over to the civilians. If those soldiers were our children that were drafted, I don’t think we would have been killing ten Iraqis a day, and one American a day, or pouring 2 billion dollars a month into Iraq.

    And back to the mission… had America chased Osama into Pakistan, not many would have objected. Our mission would have been clear. Osama would probably be dead now along with many of the Taliban cult leaders.

  148. 149 Jonathan
    August 27, 2008 at 05:10

    @Anthony–

    You don’t offend; you amuse. In all the polls during the primary season, Obama’s base was better educated, younger, higher income. Hillary’s folks were the downmarket, downscale, older, lower income, less educated. And as it now appears, less rational and more racist.

  149. 150 Bob in Queensland
    August 27, 2008 at 05:11

    @ Anthony

    Where in Queensland? About 100km due west of Brisbane (just at the top of the range) in a university city of about 100,000 population…Toowoomba.

    I should say that when I refer to American acquaintances, I’m not talking about people down here in Aus…they’re people in the States I know for various reasons, mainly to do with my former work.

  150. 151 Anthony
    August 27, 2008 at 05:15

    @ Jonathan

    OK, I found a site. You’re right, but it wasn’t that big of a difference when looking at the numbers. It looks like the main thing that made a difference is that ALL blacks voted for Obama. And I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again. Obama won since he’s part black.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  151. 152 Bob in Queensland
    August 27, 2008 at 05:24

    @ Anthony/riddler

    Well, a Google on +Obama +demographic comes up with thousands of hits, of which THIS is the first.

  152. 153 Jonathan
    August 27, 2008 at 05:29

    @”riddler562″ (?!)–

    Gosh, Anthony, absolutely all of the polls I ever heard of. Nobody ever challenged it. Media polls, public policy polls, internal campaign polls on both sides. I don’t have a particular link at hand, but It should be a simple matter to use the google, maybe using a string like democratic primary voter demographics. Give it a shot. I’ll try to get around to it but I can’t promise. Or maybe try the NYTimes to narrow the field.

    I pretty much don’t expect to get a feel for the pulse of the nation from talking to my circle of freinds, lovers, and acquaintances, because they aren’t typical of this vast country. I leave it to the pros. ‘)

  153. 154 Jonathan
    August 27, 2008 at 05:34

    @Anthony —

    You can say it often as you like, but it’s so obvious that you don’t even have to say it once. Of COURSE being black has worked so very much to Obama’s advantage. You don’t exactly have to be a presidential historian to know the playing field is tilted WAY in favor of black presidential candidates, cuz there’s been, um, NONE from a major party, ever.

    Before you ask, no, I don’t have a handy link for you on that either. Do yer own homework. ‘)

  154. 155 Scott Millar
    August 27, 2008 at 05:35

    Jonathan,

    I love to be humiliated Jonathan, go for it!

    Now you propose that you have no ‘technical’ right to vote in a primary. Even if correct, this doesn’t dispute my premise. I think in good faith and for practical purposes, we all can accept the notion that every legally eligible member of this democracy should have a ‘right’, even if not constitutionally, to vote in the primary? Or do you say no to this? So perhaps we can ban certain races from primaries and this would be acceptable? Your twisting common sense to fit your argument.

    The 24th amendment say this:

    Section 1. The right of citizens of the United States to vote in any primary or other election for President or Vice President, for electors for President or Vice President, or for Senator or Representative in Congress, shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any State by reason of failure to pay any poll tax or other tax.

    Perhaps I am misinterpreting the implications of this? Either way it doesn’t effect my argument above. And if you are being technical, I thought there is no explicit right to vote in the constitution at all for any election when you’ve claimed there is?

    I will say, I’ve thought for a while that you along with Selena, were perhaps the most intelligent posters on WHYS, but I think you have proven nothing in this dispute.

  155. 156 Scott (M)
    August 27, 2008 at 06:10

    Jonathan,

    Because, until now, there has never been a black presidential candidate from a major party—is in no way enough evidence to support the idea that Barack Obama could not have gained popularity because of his race. Sometimes the exceptional can indeed be cause for popularity. There is no factual evidence to support either view. It is all speculation. And you can certainly not disprove the possibility.

    I think it would be okay to suggest that Andrea Bocelli’s blindness has propelled his popular career. It would also be okay to suggest that Hillary Clinton was propelled by her sex.

  156. August 27, 2008 at 06:47

    G’night folks, good discussion as always.

  157. 158 Virginia Davis
    August 27, 2008 at 07:33

    Great segment on PBS tonight how Barack Obama has motivated young African-Americans of both sexes to realize they need to “dream big.” And so they are hitting the books.

    Interesting comment, too, on the time in years – 88 from women gaining the vote and from 1965 for the Civil Rights Act – for there to be a serious candidate from each group.

    Hillary gave a good speech – some nice alliterations. And a quote from Harriet Tubman which she delivered with great zeal.

    Virginia in Oregon

  158. 159 Jonathan
    August 27, 2008 at 08:24

    @Virginia~

    What show was that on PBS?

    It will take a whole lot more from Hillary Clinton than alliteration and Harriet Tubman quotes (yeesh-Hillary can’t be accused of exactly having a subtle touch!) to repair the damage she has done during a downright disgusting primary campaign, and a remarkably sullen, ungracious loss. She repeatedly urged people to vote for the Republican rather tahn Obama. She used every dirty trick in the book. Bill is even worse. If she think she will be welcome to take arnother run in four years, by the party she threw bombs at for a year, she’s so deeply deluded that this alone would have made her a dangerous president. I think her best bet would be to switch parties.

  159. 160 Jonathan
    August 27, 2008 at 08:26

    @Scott–

    Of course I can’t speak for Selena, but for my part, I am devastated beyond the power of words to describe.

  160. 161 Bryan
    August 27, 2008 at 08:31

    Bob in Queensland August 27, 2008 at 4:20 am

    “There were no weapons of mass destruction and no terrorists.”

    I ain’t so sure about either assertion. The Kurds would certainly disagree. What happened to those WMDs used to gas them? Could be they ended up in Syria but we’ll probably never know.

    There was at least one terrorist in Iraq. Hussein himself, who gave wagon loads of cash to the families of Palestinian suicide bombers who murdered Israeli civilians. And I guess he had to have at least a little clique of terrorists around him to facilitate the transfer of funds.

    I recall that we had a debate here about the likelihood of Saddam’s links with al Qaeda and that it was inconclusive.

  161. 162 Bob in Queensland
    August 27, 2008 at 09:11

    @ Bryan

    Your doubts are noted but the fact is that, despite years of searching, the coalitions forces that invaded Iraq have failed to find any genuine supporting evidence for WMDs or a link with Al Qaeda.

    Regarding weapons, there is no doubt that IN THE PAST Iraq had chemical weapons and was working on a delivery mechanism (both missiles and a “big gun”). However, between the two Iraq wars, they were subject to constant monitoring and observations by UN inspectors and, despite their lack of cooperation, it would have been surprising if they’d been able to keep going with any secret programmes.

    As for Al Qaeda, Saddam’s regime stood for everything that the Caliphate terrorists hate. Iraq was a westerised, secular state, quite at odds with the stated goals of Al Qaeda. I know the “enemy of my enemy” theory but I think that they’re just too different to be allies–and the lack of evidence of any link supports this.

  162. 163 Virginia Davis
    August 27, 2008 at 09:20

    Jonathan: Jim Lehr and crew were on PBS (OPB Channel 10 here in Portland) for a couple of hours. It might have been DNC on CNN that covered that segment.
    I am a bit dotty when it comes to details – contents yes. Charlie Rose and crew had a great discussion for an hour and “What is Bill Clinton’s problem anyway?” How much of an issue is race? Hillary delivered and what % of her is still in bitter mode. And part of “their” problem was an air of entitlement till after the Iowa primary. Several complimented her on a much better speaking voice. One of her minions in her New York campaign office very early on – late fall or winter of 07 – was very rude to me which sort of helped me switch to supporting Obama $ wise for a while. Until the persistent email requests for funds, and increasingly more, turned me off. I am on a fixed income.

    Virginia in Oregon

  163. 164 Bryan
    August 27, 2008 at 09:58

    Bob in Queensland August 27, 2008 at 9:11 am,

    My take on your last point is that common hatred of Jews, or at least of Israel, makes very strange bedfellows indeed. Secular Syria and fanatical Islamist Iran is a pertinent example, especially when you consider that the Persians and the Arabs are not generally the best of friends.

  164. 165 Bob in Queensland
    August 27, 2008 at 10:04

    @ Bryan

    I have to say that I think that I think Saddam was mainly concerned with his personal power. Any “common hatred of Jews” he may have exhibited was probably more “playing to the balcony” rather than because of any real idealogical views.

  165. 166 Bryan
    August 27, 2008 at 10:30

    Bob in Queensland August 27, 2008 at 10:04 am

    Yes, power at all costs would have been his primary concern. I’m just not convinced that having suffered an Israeli attack on his nuclear facilities he would not have been exploring the option to hit back at Israel via terror of a different dimension than simply funding Palestinian terrorists. Let’s not forget that he also pummelled Israel with Skud missiles during the 1st Gulf War.

    But I guess we’ll have to agree to disagree on this one.

  166. 167 rash
    August 27, 2008 at 11:07

    @ dan

    i totally agree with Sheikh Kafumba Dukuly, things happen for a reason (good or bad) that would, at some point of your life make you think things over.maybe, just maybe, it was a chance for julie’s friend to start over new to find a happy ending.

    @ julie

    really sorry for your friend, but let her know that what matters is how she faces the truth and moves on and that her true friends and family would be there to help her through

    while america votes, i don’t think either Obama or McCain would take the presidntial tital this time or anytime soon..something still gives me the feeling the final deck of cards still haven’t been dealt. things dont appear as transparent as they seem, you know

  167. 168 Roberto
    August 27, 2008 at 11:17

    It was a contentious draft because it was a poorly conceived war, the war in Viet Nam. What was the mission? It is similar to the war in Iraq. How will we know we have won?
    ——————————————————————————————————-

    ——— Sorry, Vietnam is no more like Iraq than than the Germans invading Russia. All turned out to be quagmires, but the politics, physical conditions, and people involved couldn’t be more disparate.

    Vietnam was a line in the sand against expanding Communist influence after WW2. South Vietnam was a nascent democracy and seen as a proxy state for the US to hold the line.

    Voters are generally an unsophisticated bunch who vote their immediate needs and not equipped to judge the merits and tactics of war. Johnson stampeded them his way with his infamous add of the little girl picking flowers in a countdown to a nuclear explosion, the implication that hotheaded Goldwater would lead the US into a nuclear exchange and Johnson would keep them safe..

    Pols tend to do whatever they can get away with once in power in America because the public is largely disconnected from politics. Bringing back a draft won’t change that.

  168. 169 selena
    August 27, 2008 at 11:18

    @Rash

    things happen for a reason (good or bad) that would, at some point of your life make you think things over.

    Can you please help me understand how you arrive at this conclusion?

    It may make Julie’s friend and her family think things over but what about her poor boyfriend and his family? Did they have to suffer so that Julie’s friend could think things over?

    That would make Julie’s friend more special than her boyfriend, wouldn’t it?

    Why would that be?

  169. 170 rash
    August 27, 2008 at 11:20

    Ameriacan invasion in to Afghanistan, then Iraq, now potentially Iran……..it’s all a scam.the current government of America wanted to find oil resources which it can exploit freely.it was planned from the very begining, even september 11. it was another show to get the support from the American community.
    sometimes i keep wondering how far will America go to get it’s dreams to reality – even if it means getting the whole world in to war?
    they know that nuclear wepons are in North Korea, but they still want to get in to Iran to “protect the world from terrorism”, and that, i believe is hypocrisy at it’s best.

  170. 171 rash
    August 27, 2008 at 11:37

    @ selena

    in a way, it does.but its the way julie’s friend handles the situation that really makes her special, cx you see, there were about to tie the knot.if julie’s friend really loved him and his family accepts that fact, the bond between the 2 families would grow, wouldn’t it? i mean wont the poor girl still cherish his memories…and if she does that together with the family of the guy, there would be no regrets, no anger, hatered, blaming etc that sometimes a person might feel in such a situation.

    we both know life is not fair, and i think what makes an individual a great person for someone else, is how the individual deals with the imperfections life brings.and that individual could be julie’s friend, who would hopefully shine through all this, to start anew with the suppor from not one, but 2 families.it’s sharing and caring that brings happy endings even to the most blue situations

  171. 172 rick
    August 27, 2008 at 11:39

    something has been bugging me about the developing situation in Georgia over the past couple of weeks.
    the move by Saakawhatever attacking South Ossetia was profoundly stupid. Too stupid. Nobody in his position could be that stupid.
    I am starting to suspect that he was put up to it by Bush and his lot to create a crissis and take the focus off his domestic and other problems and onto a new global arena, at least untill the election is over. The cold war and evil empire are suddenly back and just in time.

    But then maybe I’m being a little bit too cynical.

  172. 173 rick
    August 27, 2008 at 12:01

    @rash
    my 19 yo neice was killed in a car crash nine years ago. Her father struggles with depression to get through every day and her mother is now a raging alcoholic because the loss of her only child. The driver of the car also died.

    perhaps you could be so kind as to explain how her death has been good for anyone involved.

  173. 174 rash
    August 27, 2008 at 12:06

    @ dan

    “@Sheikh Kafumba Dukuly
    No argument with Islam. I believe in God but also believe that there are events that happen beyond God’s reason ad that is called nature.”

    NATURE IS THE CREATION OF GOD

    ask you scientists to prove that nature is NOT a creation of god.i guarantee you, i can and will prove every one single response from you to that question(insha allah)
    what do you say sheikh?(btw are you really a sheikh?)

    im off for the day Dan, so mail all you responses to that question to me: livinthru@gmail.com

  174. 175 Roberto
    August 27, 2008 at 12:34

    Nobody in his position could be that stupid.
    —————————————————————————————————

    —— Stupid kings, pharohs, emperors, stupid voters electing stupid presidents, all this stupidity a signficant part of the history of the world.

    Love the way the Brits pronounce stupid. So much more descriptive of the condition.

  175. 176 selena
    August 27, 2008 at 12:54

    @Rash

    Am I to understand then that some of us mean absolutely nothing to God?

    God wanted Julie’s friend to develop understanding, so He killed her boyfriend to see if she will take the bait (follow orders) and deal with the tragedy the way He wants?

    Well, that would certainly explain why people think it ia alright for some people to die to save others.

    It would explain why last night, on the blog, there was an outpouring of sympathy for Julie’s friend but not so much for Lubna who poured out her heart about the loss of her family and friends.

    Tell me more; I am really trying to get my head around this.

  176. 177 selena
    August 27, 2008 at 12:57

    @Rick

    It was clearly orchestrated by the Bush Brigade, as I see it.

    But I, for one, will be glad if Russia continues to flex its muscles. I was never a fan of balance of power but I have changed my mind.

    Everyone should have nuclear weapons!

  177. 178 selena
    August 27, 2008 at 13:00

    @Rick

    Loss of a child relegates the family to a lifelong prison. My brother died suddenly when he was 18 years old.

    My heart goes out to you brother and his wife.

  178. 179 Jonathan
    August 27, 2008 at 13:07

    @Rick–

    So what exactly would be the advantage or the motive for Bush to “create a crisis” in Georgia to distract people from “domestic and other” problems until the election?

    Bush won’t be running in the election.

    If he were, how would another crisis help him?

    Since he isn’t, who would another crisis help, and how?

    And if he’s not “stupid,” how did the president of Georgia allow himself to be persuaded into self-immolation?

    Not too cynical, but not too rational either. I’m thinking it’s invisible martians, distracting attention from Mars cuz of all the Mars exploration.

  179. 180 selena
    August 27, 2008 at 13:25

    @Jonathan

    As I see it, another crisis would guarantee that the Republicans stay in power.

    Perhaps they could have stomached Hillary but Obama is an unknown.

    They are requires to pull out all the stops now!

    Bush is not doing anything, except bow down to the Republican machine.

  180. 181 Jonathan
    August 27, 2008 at 13:51

    @Selena~

    But none of that makes any sense at all. For one thing, why would voters be encouraged, never mind “guaranteed,” to elect a Republican candidate by the emergence of yet another crisis under the one we’ve got now? For another, there is no reason whatever to imagine that Obama is more likely to take power than Hillary was. It’s more obvious by the day that Hillary’s treasured Bubba demographic of ignorant racists is nowhere near “ready” to elect him. He’s dead even with McCain in the polls, which means he’s something like 20 points behind after adjustment for the lying racists–a well-known, long-understood phenomenon in polls. Hillary didn’t help much by declaring that McCain was a better choice than Obama.

    Bit let’s pretend any of that made any sense; the question remains of how Bush could have persuaded Georgia to start a war with Russia, a manifestly foolhardy enterprise.

    By the way, did you notice you and I were named “most intelligent commentators” by someone or other, way up on the page? Poor me; I didn’t find out until he withdrew that honor, so I guess it’s all yours now. Congratulations!

  181. 182 Jonathan
    August 27, 2008 at 14:00

    @selena~

    “Clearly orchestrated by the Bush brigade?” Clear in some tangible way, by some tangible evidence, some actual reasoning, or just a casual fantasy?

    “Glad Russia is flexing its muscles?” You figure Russia is pretty much morally equivalent to the US, then, and a healthy counterweight? Do you know any eastern European history at all? I don’t men 16th century, just 20th?

    “Everyone should have nuclear weapons?” I’m sorry, I thought you were serious. Never mind then.

  182. 183 Jonathan
    August 27, 2008 at 14:02

    @WHYS-
    I’ve heard of “burying the lead,” but this is a stretch, WHYS guys! The event that made the news in Georgia was not that Russia “recognized the independence” of anyone, and it’s not “the backing” that’s being condemned. What happened was that Russia INVADFD Georgia with a whole lot of tanks, and destroyed a bunch of buildings, and killed and kidnapped people, and arranged for paramilitary thugs to follow in their wake, burning and looting. That is the event, and that is what was condemned.

    So, having misstated the fact, WHYS frames the wrong issue: “independence.” Not of the newly independent Georgia, now again occupied by its reccent colonial masters, but of two little enclaves within Georgia that Russia used as a transparent fig leaf for invasion. Surely the actual event might suggest a question more like, “Should Europe and the world be concerned that the Russian bear is again on the march?

  183. 184 steve
    August 27, 2008 at 14:08

    http://www.cnn.com/2008/CRIME/08/27/obese.prosecution.ap/index.html

    This is actually a very strong defense, I can’t imagine a bedridden person being able to do the acts, though even falling on the child could possibly be negligent homicide, if a reasonable person of that weight would have made sure not to even take a risk of walking near a toddler given the risk of what could happen if you fall.

  184. 185 Sheikh Kafumba Dukuly
    August 27, 2008 at 14:10

    REF:
    rash
    August 27, 2008 at 12:06 pm
    @ dan

    “@Sheikh Kafumba Dukuly
    No argument with Islam. I believe in God but also believe that there are events that happen beyond God’s reason ad that is called nature.”

    NATURE IS THE CREATION OF GOD

    ask you scientists to prove that nature is NOT a creation of god.i guarantee you, i can and will prove every one single response from you to that question(insha allah)
    what do you say sheikh?(btw are you really a sheikh?)

    im off for the day Dan, so mail all you responses to that question to me: livinthru@gmail.com

    If you agreed that God created nature, why wouldn’t you agree also that He sees over everything and nothing in this world his left unattended to?

  185. 186 Jonathan
    August 27, 2008 at 14:12

    @WHYS
    The question of whether Obama can win despite being black is worth discussing, especially since WHYS made such a hash of it before (I recall a topic something like, “Is Obama’s skin color a great help to him?”).

    Three yokels blabbing about wanting to kill Obama is not worth discussing, and we do not elect presidents on the basis of how likely anybody thinks it might be that some idiot might kill them.

  186. 187 steve
    August 27, 2008 at 14:15

    Here’s a story that got swept under the carpet and sanitized.

    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/07/31/BA02122UTG.DTL&tsp=1

    I recall him saying that he did it because America was killing muslims, and referred to himself as a terrorist. Sure, he’s crazy, but so are all religious fundamentalists.

  187. 188 selena
    August 27, 2008 at 14:15

    @Jonathan

    Yes Scott’s comment was duly noted! I can accept what he said about you but, as for me, it is harder to digest.

    I thank Scott very much though. I store away the rare compliments like treasures. 🙂

    Back to Bush! perhaps I am cynical but, having been around politics for most of my life, I have observed the lengths to which parties will go to get elected. It is really all about power and keeping it by any and all means.

    As for persuading Georgia, money and power can persuade anyone to do anything. Governments are being persuaded to do things against reason on a regular basis. That’s the easiest thing to imagine.

    The Russian Bear IS on the move and that is why people will be thinking twice, in this election, by the time November rolls around.

    And the reality is it’s a trumped up game, when all is said and done.

  188. 189 Sheikh Kafumba Dukuly
    August 27, 2008 at 14:18

    @Senate Clinton’s Speech.

    I am honored to be here tonight. A proud mother. A proud Democrat. A proud American. And a proud supporter of Barack Obama.

    My friends, it is time to take back the country we love.

    Whether you voted for me, or voted for Barack, the time is now to unite as a single party with a single purpose. We are on the same team, and none of us can sit on the sidelines.

    This is a fight for the future. And it’s a fight we must win.

    This excerpt from Senate Clinton’s speech clearly demonstrates the magnanimity of the power players in the Democratic Party. She has accentuated that this is a struggle for the future. If her supporters believe in that fight then it will be achieved when they vote Obama.
    It is my ardent hope therefore that Americans will rally around Obama for the greater good of America.

  189. 190 steve
    August 27, 2008 at 14:21

    @ Sheikh

    You believe what a politician says? LOL. If Americans rally around obama, it will be for the greater good for Obama, not America. Just like with any other politician, it’s about them. THey just lie and say they are doing it for their nation. They do it for themselves.

  190. 191 Bob in Queensland
    August 27, 2008 at 14:26

    I’ve heard the Crisis=Good News for the Republicans theory before and, given the RIGHT crisis, I suspect it could even work.

    However, I daresay a standoff with Russia is a long way from the “right crisis”. About the only outcome possible from this one is a return to a cold war standoff and I don’t see that as an appealing vote winner. Well, the other option, should Bush decide to take “decisive action” is Armageddon…but I doubt that’s a vote winner either.

    My personal suspicion is that the miscalculation is on the part of the Georgian government. I think they talked themselves into the view that, if they provoked military action by Russia, NATO would have to rush to their rescue. I’m rather glad they were wrong.

  191. 192 Jonathan
    August 27, 2008 at 14:30

    @Sheikh KD–

    Yeah, it’s my hope too that Americans will rally around Obama. But you know who doesn’t really share that hope? Hillary Clinton, that’s who. She said we’d be better to elect McCain, and that’s the speech I believe, and that’s the one in McCains TV spots right now. She expected a coronation instead of a primary battle, and when she ran out of dirty tricks and it was obvious she had lost, she kept throwing bombs into the Democratic effort. She would rather see McCain win and be able to run herself four years from now. Not so magnanimous.

  192. 193 steve
    August 27, 2008 at 14:32

    @ Jonathan

    Seeing these politicians change their tunes, and tell so many lies, makes me wonder why anyone even cares about politics, unless they are like the politicians they vote for. That scares me. I wouldn’t vote in this election if they paid me $1,000. I’m not making any effort for these mentally ill sociopaths.

  193. 195 selena
    August 27, 2008 at 14:37

    @Jonathan

    You really don’t think that Hillary would do anything other than what she is doing, do you?

    Steve is right! Politics is for the greater good of Hillary, Obama, McCain, Bush and so on and so forth.

    Aw, come on Steve… You would vote for $1000. wouldn’t you? 😉

  194. 196 Jonathan
    August 27, 2008 at 14:37

    Hi Bob, thanks for showing up. It’s a heavy burden to carry the staff of reason all by myself.

    Check my logic before I start to doubt my own sanity: Even if it WERE the “right crisis,” even if it did favor some US political interest, that would be a heck of a long way from establishing, or even giving any cause to suspect, causality, wouldn’t it?

    Some people either don’t think anything ever happens anywhere in the world for any other reason than American politics and bogeymen, or they just don’t think, period.

  195. 197 steve
    August 27, 2008 at 14:38

    @ Selena

    Wow, we agree on something!

    If they paid me maybe $5000 I probably would vote. I guess that’s enough to compensate me for inflating these idiots’ egos. It’s an absolute shame that the people that would be our best leaders don’t want to be in politics. instead, we get these mentally ill people. And it hurts us all.

  196. 198 Jonathan
    August 27, 2008 at 14:46

    @Steve–

    >> “I wouldn’t vote in this election…I’m not making any effort…”

    I think that’s a very wise decision, Steve, and the best news I’ve heard all week.

    Seems like everyone just assumes they should vote, even if they don’t like or know or care about the candidates or specifics, I wish they would stay home and watch a DVD or something. We don’t have a problem of too few people voting; we have a problem of too many people voting who shouldn’t be, or for the wrong reasons, or in ignorance, or because they like taller guys or fluffy hair or whatever. More voters does not mean a healthier democracy.

  197. 199 Jonathan
    August 27, 2008 at 14:51

    @selena~

    Well, what Hillary is doing just doesn’t make sense even from a cynical perspective. I can’t think she would be welcome to run in four years if she is blamed for bringing down the party this time. All I can think is that she would change parties, but republicans hate her even more than democrats. And Bill is somewhere below unspeakable.

    What they should both do is vanish in a puff of smoke. Preferably about a year ago.

  198. 200 selena
    August 27, 2008 at 14:55

    @Jonathan

    Hi Bob, thanks for showing up. It’s a heavy burden to carry the staff of reason all by myself.

    Just because your paranoid doesn’t mean that there aren’t boogymen out to get you… 🙂

  199. 201 KWS (Trinidad and Tobago)
    August 27, 2008 at 14:56

    There are 2 dogs in a yard. A small terrier called Georgia and a Sheppard call Nato. The little terrier loves to bark at the dog in the next yard who happened to be a Doberman. The terrier was always brave because there was a fence and the bigger Sheppard to protect it. One day the terrier found a hole in the fence and charged at the Doberman falsely believing the Sheppard was near by. The Doberman grabbed the little terrier by the throat and shook the dog vigorously. It threw the terrier back through the hole telling the little terrier that if he see the dog anywhere near the hole again, he would not be so lucky. The terrier runs limping to the Sheppard who charges at the hole saying that this side of the hole is theirs and the Doberman had better not put his nose through it.

  200. 202 KWS (Trinidad and Tobago)
    August 27, 2008 at 14:56

    As a neutral, it is clear that western policies have come back to bit them. For years the west has practiced double standards ignoring all countries who have pointed that out. From the fall of communism, the break up of Yugoslavia, the war in Iraq, Independence of East Timor to Kosovo, the West has push do new democratic governments by exploiting ethnic and cultural separatism. To add to this the Western governments and philosophies have basically hijacked the UN Security Council making it very biased. In essence all Russia had done is apply the same western methods against the west , who are now crying foul. If the west wants to grant independence to regions base on ethnic and cultural lines under the guise of humanitarian need, the ethic Russian should be allowed to do the same. Clear and simple from a neutral’s point of view. All the other talk of empire, cold war, etc is propaganda rubbish to distract people. The truth, the west has practiced a “do what I say but not what I do” policy.

  201. 203 Jonathan
    August 27, 2008 at 14:58

    @Lubna~

    Hate to break it to ya, but if Iraq were ever occupied by Russians, it would almost certainly NOT be by all those wonderful poets and writers and composers you imagine. It would be by Russian soldiers, and I can tell you (but don’t believe me; please ask anyone whose country was occupied by Russia) that they are a great deal even less pleasant than Americans.

    That said, I hope you may be free of occupiers of any sort as soon as possible, and I’m voting accordingly.

  202. 204 Jonathan
    August 27, 2008 at 15:01

    @Selena~

    Oh, I KNOW they’re out to get me! That’s why I carry this heavy staff, to beat them off. Fight them off. .)

  203. 205 Bob in Queensland
    August 27, 2008 at 15:05

    Re: Voting

    Quite seriously, if I found nobody I could vote for I’d spoil my ballot rather than just staying home. Ballot spoiling is a protest; staying home can be taken as not caring.

    For $1000, I’d go a long way to spoil that ballot.

  204. 206 selena in Paris
    August 27, 2008 at 15:06

    Isolate Russia? Why and to what possible end?

    Russia is only doing what the West has been doing, under the guise of freedom and democracy.

  205. 207 Bob in Queensland
    August 27, 2008 at 15:06

    @ Jonathan

    I agree with your line of reasoning. However, be warned that many would take that as a sign of insanity rather than a guarantee of logic.

  206. 208 Jonathan
    August 27, 2008 at 15:08

    @KWS–

    Clear and simple, maybe; right, nope.

    The West has not “granted independence” to anyone for about 40 years, since the breakup of the last empire (except the Soviet Union).
    For the ***th time: Russia is not “granting independence” to anyone. They are INVADING their neighbor, as they habitually do.

    Someday I may come to understand the pathological drive to imagine moral equvalence where there is none, but I don’t want to bet the farm on it. It really is strange.

  207. 209 Jonathan
    August 27, 2008 at 15:11

    @Bob–

    You mean, a sign of it in you, that you agree with me?

    Or the other way around?

    (I can’t seem to make smilies today, darn it!)

  208. 210 Bob in Queensland
    August 27, 2008 at 15:21

    @ Jonathan

    Very much the other way around. I’ve had a bad day. The highlight was when I scalded my arm on the kettle boiling for morning tea and it went downhill from there.

    By the way, I read your post about the mean Russian soldiers and think I can shed some light on that. I once brought home a bottle of the “vodka” supplied to Russian soldiers in Afghanistan. It was enough like liquid barbed wire to make anyone mean! (Mind you, had they used it as rocket fuel instead of a beverage they would have been first on the moon!)

  209. 211 Jonathan
    August 27, 2008 at 15:21

    @Selena~
    “Russia is doig what the west has been doing, under the guise of freedom and democracy.”

    That means that Russia is acting under the guise of freedom and democracy. Absurd as that is, I suspect you meant to say that the west is acting under the guise, and russia is just doing it.

    You could say that by removing that comma.

    You’d still be maddeningly wrong though. Despite the best efforts of an aberrant administration for eight years to debase te words, freedom and democracy are real concepts with very real meaning. Have you been to any of the countries newly liberated from the former Soviet yoke? Invading a tiny, peaceful neighbor is not what the west does for freedom and democracy.

    Blanket cynicism without information or logical, critical thinking is not sophisticated, its just sad.

  210. 212 Jonathan
    August 27, 2008 at 15:24

    Bob, you’re always so much fun, even with a scalded arm. Put ice on it, is the last advice I remember; forget butter or beefsteak or whatever, just get it cold and keep it cold. Good luck!

  211. 213 Nick in USA
    August 27, 2008 at 15:27

    @ Abdelilah Boukili

    Great topic! Please bring it up again on today’s talking points. We really need to get back in touch with our food. We need to celebrate the art of cooking, once again. Sometimes I wonder if kids nowadays actually know what a plain apple tastes like or do they only associate fruits with their artificial flavoring counterparts. We’ve lost this very important part of our culture, and it show in our waistlines. I only eat the good stuff, that way I don’t overeat. I also think we need to throw out our 3 square meals per day ideals, but I’ll discuss that further later.

  212. 214 KWS (Trinidad and Tobago)
    August 27, 2008 at 15:29

    Jonathan,

    Thank you for proving my point about double standards. If Russia is Wrong then NATO’ recognition of Kosova is also wrong. Has there been any any attempt to say “opps double standards. Lets see how we can come together and come up with one standard policy.” No, everyone is thumping the chest just saying Russia is wrong. No one wants to admit making a mistake.

    And to correct you NATO and a number of EU countries have recognise Kosovo as independent. Here are the similarities.

    Kosovo want independence so do South Ossetia and Abkhazia.
    Serbia moves into Kosovo to retain boarder integrity.
    Georgia does the same.
    NATO goes in and pushes Serbian troops back.
    Russia goes in and pushes Georgian troops back.
    NATO recognises Kosova independence and protection.
    Russia recognises South Ossetia and Abkhazia independence and protection.

  213. 215 Bob in Queensland
    August 27, 2008 at 15:32

    @ Jonathan et al, re: Russia and Georgia

    I’m genuinely undecided on this one. On the one hand, I’m in full agreement with Jonathan that Russia didn’t invade Georgia out of sheer altruism and a respect for human rights. They’re there because there’s something in it for Ivan.

    However, on the other hand, I think Georgia did provoke things by sending troops (none too gently) into South Ossetia. There’s little doubt in my mind that the Ossetians did indeed want the Russian intervention. After all, the majority of them have accepted the offer to get Russian passports–that’s fairly telling.

    Going farther back, I refer you to my post a couple of weeks back about “lines on maps”. Yet again, an arbitrary split of countries has led to violence.

    However, as for the Russians and Georgians, oh what a tangled web they weave. My brain hurts.

  214. 216 steve
    August 27, 2008 at 15:33

    Has anyone heard the comments of Hillary supporters? I’ve never heard such entitlement mentalities in my entire life. They sound like spoiled, 5 year old girls who think they are princesses.

  215. 217 Scott (M)
    August 27, 2008 at 15:37

    @ Jonathan,

    Still waiting for the titillating reason-filled-response to my last two comments, that is going to humiliate me. Or do I not get a real chance at shame.

    Thanks for ‘alerting’ Selena to my complement, in which I was sincere. Particularly relating to her views on the god question.

  216. 218 Bob in Queensland
    August 27, 2008 at 15:38

    @ Abdelilah

    Good day, my old friend!

    I too think attitudes to food would make an excellent topic. I personally love cooking and despair of the fast food, processed food world we now live in.

    How many times have we seen people post that the eat rubbish food because their either can’t afford “real food” or don’t have time to prepare it? Yet I can feed the family for days with delicious soups made from a couple of dollars worth of vegetables–or have a quick mean prepared from scratch in less time than it takes to microwave a frozen meal.

    Yeah, let’s debate this one in tomorrow’s talking points!

  217. August 27, 2008 at 15:40

    Hi Karnie
    Michelle Obama has grass root appeal, but Hillary Clinton can deliver votes, which is what Barack Obama lacks. Was it a good idea to ditch Hillary as vice president? The Clinton husband and wife team are an immense asset to Obama, but Hillary Clinton seemed to be holding back in Denver. Obama simply hasn’t go the message. He is not flexible and he won’t get very far trying to hold up the image of the independent, all-powerful presidential contender.

  218. 220 steve
    August 27, 2008 at 15:41

    Russia is the kind of country, that if Europe did become energy independent, Russia would point their nuclear missiles at Europe to blackmail them again. And only with a payout will Russia take the missiles off line. Russia is ran by thugs.

  219. 221 selena in Paris
    August 27, 2008 at 15:45

    @ Jonathan

    You got the meaning then even with the misplaced comma! Good!

    Explain to me what is logical about thinking that what the US does under the guise of freedom and democracy is somehow more acceptable than Russia’s performing the same action under another guise.

    You are trying to tell me something, Jonathan, and I am not remotely close to getting it.

    I realize that I may not be bright but please try again.

  220. 222 steve
    August 27, 2008 at 16:14

    Further proof of what filthy, disgusting, and especially worthless, politicians are.

    http://edition.cnn.com/2008/LIVING/wayoflife/08/26/elizabeth.edwards.ap/index.html

    Democrats have actually been attacking Elizabeth Edwards, a terminally ill woman, for the way she handled her husband’s affair. Politicians really need to be rounded up.

  221. 223 Daisy
    August 27, 2008 at 16:30

    @ Jonathan

    Are you serious that Georgia is “a tiny, peaceful neighbor” or I just got you wrong?

  222. 224 Roberto
    August 27, 2008 at 16:54

    Re “”Serbia moves into Kosovo to retain boarder integrity.””
    ——————————————————————————————————-

    ** Not true at all.

    Serbia went into Kosovo with the intent of ethnically cleansing it of all Albanians, 75% who moved in illegally after the death of Tito. It was a clumsy, hamhanded typical Serbian move that Albanians quickly got wind of and fled enmasse to the borders where Nato and aid groups had shelters waiting, well over 100,000 fleeing at the start of winter in the mountains..

    The genocide was thus averted, but Nato under the direction of Slickster Willie spent a month carpet bombing Serbia with laser guided munitions, forcing the Serbs to withdraw from Kosovo.

    Nato then allowed Russian troops into to Kosovo to protect the Serb enclaves, and Nato and UN came in and set up camp for several tense years as Albanians repatrioted.

    There was nothing on the scale of Kosovo in this Russian or Georgia actions. This is just a slap into the West’s face in a readjustment of the power brokers. Ruskies came in, broke some china, flattened a few cars and homes, scattering select local Georgians, and withdrew mostly. Not a real ethnic cleansing, just made an example of Georgia to let everyone know what could happen.

  223. 225 Virginia Davis
    August 27, 2008 at 17:46

    And so anyway, I get dressed. And then I go out to get the paper. And the dumb neighbor from across the street yells out: “Morning, Fatso. How’s your sicko self this morning?”

    I don’t know what to say. I go inside and feed the cats and then read the paper.

    I see the topics for the day are politicians and the mentally ill. Anyone in either group should be nuked. Zap! Zap! The air is clear and there are far fewer people in the world.

    I decide to have the remainder of the beef and broccoli/chicken fried rice from last night’s dinner at Chin Yen. Soon, since my blood sugar is 71

    Moryn
    (a Welsh word which means “sea wave”)

  224. 226 Anthony
    August 27, 2008 at 17:50

    @ Virgina

    Slashing that persons tires (and not getting caught) would make ME feel better 🙂 But I’m vendictive like that.

    I know what to do. Go on craigslist, put “free washer and dryer, old but still in great shape” and that persons phone number (I suggest doing it from a library, so you don’t get caught). HAHAHAHA!!! MAn, I’m a jerk sometimes!!!

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  225. 227 Jens
    August 27, 2008 at 17:53

    virginia,

    what is that guys problem? take a paper bag, fill it dogs poo, put a fire cracker into it, ignite the cracker and ring his door bell…..

  226. August 27, 2008 at 18:43

    @ Nick and Bob,
    Good day to you both good friends.
    I believe homemade food is the best. I rarely eat fast-food. In Morocco there are still families who bake their bread as bread sold at the bakeries doesn’t “match” traditional homemade dishes. Children should be introduced to cooking to develop the habit of preparing food instead of being taken to fast-food restaurants.
    It’s only a matter of will to shake off the habit of taking junk food.

    Another point is that bio-food should be available to everyone as it is now within the means of those who enough money to buy it.

  227. 229 Venessa
    August 27, 2008 at 19:17

    Virginia ~

    How close to Portland do you live? I’d be happy to go knock on your neighbors door….Like Anthony & Jens I can be a real B!

    What is the neighbor’s beef with you anyway?

  228. 230 Anthony
    August 27, 2008 at 19:20

    @ Virgina

    Did you run over his dog or something??? How old is he??? Is he some punk???

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  229. 231 selena in Paris
    August 27, 2008 at 19:32

    @Virginia

    Surely your neighbor is no oil painting! I would just pick something about him that is not acceptable to the beautiful generation and spit it right back at him.

    One of my friends has a brother-in-law that is always saying that she had gained weight every time he sees her.

    I told her to get a line in first by saying, ” I can’t believe how much you have aged since I last saw you.” Believe me you will only have to say something like that a few times and he will ignore you.

    Don’t let those people get to you. I pity people like that very much.

  230. 232 rick
    August 28, 2008 at 00:03

    @ selena
    thanks for the simpathy, it was a long time ago but I was just having a go at rash and his god works in mysterious ways crap.
    @ jonathan
    It was just a muse. I was bored and just stirring the pot. however, it is not beyond belief that the republicans will do WHATEVER IT TAKES to retain power.
    @bob
    if you have taken Australian citizenship you have to vote or you will be fined. its a good system in my view.
    @steve
    if you don’t vote you forgo the right to complain about the result.

  231. 233 rash
    August 28, 2008 at 12:03

    “selena August 27, 2008 at 12:54 pm

    @Rash

    Am I to understand then that some of us mean absolutely nothing to God?

    God wanted Julie’s friend to develop understanding, so He killed her boyfriend to see if she will take the bait (follow orders) and deal with the tragedy the way He wants?

    Well, that would certainly explain why people think it ia alright for some people to die to save others.

    It would explain why last night, on the blog, there was an outpouring of sympathy for Julie’s friend but not so much for Lubna who poured out her heart about the loss of her family and friends.

    Tell me more; I am really trying to get my head around this.

    rick August 27, 2008 at 12:01 pm

    @rash
    my 19 yo neice was killed in a car crash nine years ago. Her father struggles with depression to get through every day and her mother is now a raging alcoholic because the loss of her only child. The driver of the car also died.

    perhaps you could be so kind as to explain how her death has been good for anyone involved.”

    @ selena

    God is not that stupid you know…how many seconds of a day do you spend thinking about God?or at least how you came to this point of life with all the hardships etc?you are right selena, i missed out on Lubna’s entry. im sorry for too, but why don’t you ask Lubna, if going through all that had prepared her in anyway to help her in life?

    @ rick.

    Lubna’s lost so many friends of her, she didn’t go alcoholic or under severe depression( i don’t think so).it’s how you accept the truth and face it to make life better.it also depends on if you believe god giveth and taketh away, for which we have to be greatful.

    @ Lubna,

    having said everything, i am really sorry i didn’t giv prominence to you. not only you, but every single of Iraq who had lost thier loved ones. i pray that they all are given the strength to accept it and for all the maiyyiths to be awardeed paradise.

    @ sheikh

    thank you

  232. 234 selena in Paris
    August 28, 2008 at 12:28

    @Rash

    I fail to see what my thinking, or lack of thinking, about God has to do with my question.

    Could you please give me a more clear explanation of why God will kill some people so that others can become more enlightened?

  233. 235 Nofal Elias
    August 29, 2008 at 08:47

    @ Lubna

    My heart goes out to you and all Iraqies who suffered by Bush & Blair illegal inavtion of an independent country, I personally believe both Bush & Blair should be charged and stand trial “Crime against hummanity” and other offences.
    I believe boming of the civilians in Baghdad city are organized and supported by the Americans to justify them staying in Iraq for ever. That is why the built the biggest Embassy in the world with 5000 employees, WHY?

    A question raised – What good has Russia done for the world?
    The answer is….. NOTHING.

    What damage has USA done to the world ?
    The Answer is ….. ALLOT


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