Talking points for 29th August

Hi everyone, Kate here today – Thank-you to Sheikh for a great moderating debut.

There’s been lots of WHYS blogging as Barack Obama has made his much-anticipated speech at the Democratic National Convention in the US. On WHYS yesterday we asked if a good speech from Obama would actually be a drawback, so were you a fan of the speech? Or do we put too much emphasis on speeches in politics?

Obama did mention that “(Recent US) foreign policy has squandered a legacy that generations of Americans have built.So do you worry about your country’s international reputation?

This is a popular story in the blogsphere today – Globalisation is bringing a clash of eating cultures in traditionally-vegetarian India. So how far should local traditions be respected in the face of globalisation? Or is the reason international chains are so globally-successful is that they are globally-popular?

Also, the man who wrote a book called “100 things to do before you die” has died before completing his list. What would you like to do before you die? Is there too much pressure to list our life achievements or is it a positive idea to encourage people to get the most out of life?

Keep your ideas coming…

256 Responses to “Talking points for 29th August”

  1. 2 Dennis
    August 28, 2008 at 20:07

    Hi Will:

    Another day of Russia! I have my own solution for Russia…I will tell everyone in my next posting!

    Right now, i am in the process of getting spaghetti for dinner ready….


  2. 3 Julie P
    August 28, 2008 at 20:08

    “In this election year – is it really possible for the US or any nation to enact a state of war for domestic political gain?

    …over to you.”

    That’s a pretty serious accusation, but then anything is possible.

  3. 4 Anthony
    August 28, 2008 at 20:09

    @ nelsoni

    You know thats true!!! I mean, the most imporntant thing going on with the U.S. has to do with Russia and Georgia.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  4. 5 Anthony
    August 28, 2008 at 20:12

    I was thinking that the president should be more of a P.R. position. Forget the Commander and Chief, and the power to veto. I think a lot of the powers should be taken away from the position, anyone agree???

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  5. August 28, 2008 at 20:14

    @ Anthony, I would sum up the Russian handling of the Georgia conflict this way : The Voice of Dimitri Medvedev and the hands of Vladimir Putin.

  6. August 28, 2008 at 20:19

    Anthony –

    Many of my American friends don’t like what I say but…

    The United States President is a monarch that is voted for every 4 years.

  7. August 28, 2008 at 20:20


    That’s a pretty serious accusation, but then anything is possible.

    T’was a question 😛

  8. 9 Julie P
    August 28, 2008 at 20:22


    It’s gotten that way. I especially felt that way during the 2000 election starting with the Vermont Republican primary. It seemed like Bush had been anointed and everything after that was just going through the motions of the Constitution.

  9. 10 Anthony
    August 28, 2008 at 20:22

    @ Will

    HAHA. I like that. I wish that branch was more of a parliamentary branch. Just one person is much too dangerous in my eyes.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  10. 11 Dennis
    August 28, 2008 at 20:23

    Hi, Will:

    I have to AGREED with your comments as a citizen from the United States…
    Comment: August 28, 2008 @ 8.19PM

    And my solutions of Russia:
    Imposed sanctions on Russia and if any country
    involves themselves in Russia, during that time, impose
    sanctions on the offending country!


  11. August 28, 2008 at 20:23

    On the flip side, may be Vladimir Putin or one or more of his defence officials forgot to take their meds ~

  12. 13 Julie P
    August 28, 2008 at 20:24


    It’s a response. It’s a serious accusation, with me thinking that anything is possible.

  13. 14 Angela in Washington
    August 28, 2008 at 20:27


    We have different ideas but my hat is off to you for the comments, earlier today!

    The Russians tactics are worse than W’s. Hopefully, this conflict will be resolved smoothly but I doubt it.

  14. August 28, 2008 at 20:28

    Hi Everyone.
    I Guess tonight is my debut and you guys are already in full swing. Thanks to my brother Nelsoni.

  15. 16 Anthony
    August 28, 2008 at 20:35

    @ Angela

    Ditto 🙂

    Also, are you in the Navy??? That would put quite a spin on how you see all of this, since the next President and the conflict with Russia could literally be a life and death decision.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  16. August 28, 2008 at 20:35

    @ Sheikh, welcome to the moderators desk. If you need help at any time, pls feel free to ask. Happy moderating.

  17. 18 steve
    August 28, 2008 at 20:37

    According to CNN, Mccain has picked his VP. We should be finding out who the VP possibly tonight, and definetely tomorrow.

  18. August 28, 2008 at 20:38

    Hey folks,
    i like to add some topics if your indulge:
    • Dirty Campaigning in Elections
    a) How can we engender clean political campaign?
    b) Is it ever possible to run a clean campaign?
    • Russia is Calling on Asian Alliance for Support
    a) Can Asian support for Russia undermines Global Peace?

  19. 20 Angela in Washington
    August 28, 2008 at 20:39


    I work for the Navy.

  20. 21 Angela in Washington
    August 28, 2008 at 20:41

    I hope everyone has a great weekend. I am going home and will be busy. However, I can’t wait to find out who McCain’s VP will be. Do you think it could be Liberman?

  21. 22 Anthony
    August 28, 2008 at 20:41

    Do you find being a “military” employee dramatically effects your views on politics??? Does it effect how you vote???

    Have a great weekend!!!

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  22. August 28, 2008 at 20:41

    Listening to the media refer to the nomination of Barack Obama as a “historic event” and “giving his speech on the anniversary of MLK’s speech,” a couple of old questions come to mind.

    Do you believe that the Jim Crow laws made it harder for a black American to acheive the same level of success as his white counterpart?

    The instant that the last Jim Crow law was struck down in 1965, did every American that had agreed with them, (including cops, judges, lawyers, doctors, teachers, and politicians), say to themselves, “oh well now racism is illegal. I will stop doing it and I will stop teaching my children to be racist?”

    Last for now, How old would that person who was 8 looking to get into elementary school as the last one was removed from the books in ’65?

  23. 24 Dennis
    August 28, 2008 at 20:42

    @ Sheikh:
    Welcome to the moderators table….


  24. August 28, 2008 at 20:42

    @ Every one, Who is really pulling the strings in Russia, Dimitri Medvedev or Vladimir Putin? Because I think the direction this conflict is taking really has the foot prints of some one with a cold war past.

  25. August 28, 2008 at 20:43

    It’s Mitt Romney, Steve.

  26. August 28, 2008 at 20:43

    Ok Nelsoni. I am actually between the scissors i am probably rely on will and others. My dashboard is playing tricks on me.

  27. 28 Jens
    August 28, 2008 at 20:45

    i would not put it past these guys. they need a popular war to win.

  28. 29 Jens
    August 28, 2008 at 20:47


    you mean two morons running for the white house, or was that one mormon

  29. August 28, 2008 at 20:47

    @ Steve, I think Liberman is the former democrat turned independent but who votes for the democrats in the senate right?

  30. 31 Anthony
    August 28, 2008 at 20:48

    @ Will

    Did they announce it was Romney, or are you just assuming? (Same as me, I think he would be the best pick for McCain at this moment). I think a good match for McCain would be Grandpa Simpson!!!

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  31. August 28, 2008 at 20:53

    Can we make political campaigns clean of character assassination and diatribes? Is it possible for politicians to discuss the issues that matters and do away with dirty politics?

  32. August 28, 2008 at 21:00

    @ Sheikh. Excellent point. That’s the problem with Politicians, once they have nothing to offer, they start to exhibit the PHD (Pull him down) syndrome. A Politician who has a well defined manifesto will have no time for dirty campaigns rather he will use his media air time to articulate his policies.

  33. 34 Dan
    August 28, 2008 at 21:01

    Tell Putin to double up on the dosage of his drugs.

  34. 35 Venessa
    August 28, 2008 at 21:04

    Sheikh ~

    I think the answer is no. Politics are all about smearing the other guy….At least that has been my observation in my lifetime.

  35. August 28, 2008 at 21:04

    At times i wonder why should politicians go personal to the point of damaging their colleagues. Take for example the gruesome primaries of the Democratic Party. Candidates at eachother throat. How do you expect to heal the scars of the primaries?

  36. August 28, 2008 at 21:07

    @ Venessa.
    I think this attitude is unbecoming. If you as a candidate has cogent political policies to sell to the electorates, why waste time and resources on personal attack?

  37. 38 Julie P
    August 28, 2008 at 21:10


    If you want to know why negtive campaigning is so prevelant in US politics read this:


  38. 39 Venessa
    August 28, 2008 at 21:11

    Sheikh ~

    I couldn’t agree with you more. I think it also speaks to the character of the person that is endorsing such smear tactics. I don’t care if someone did drugs when they were a teen or in college or had an affair or got a speeding ticket. We all have things that are less than glowing about ouselves. I’m interested in the policies and plans for the future; not some crap that can be dug up so morally superior people can get their panties in wad.

  39. 40 Jens
    August 28, 2008 at 21:16


    i am ever so squeeky clean……freshly shampooed and washed.

    i would make a terrible politician

  40. 41 Venessa
    August 28, 2008 at 21:19

    Jens ~

    We both would because for some reason the population is obsessed with the candidate being religious as well. Religion has no place in politics. I have no problem with people looking out for their interests but at the end of the day it should be about what is best for the MAJORITY.

  41. August 28, 2008 at 21:23

    Another Dimension to the Russia-US Romance: Russia successfully tests intercontinental ballistic missile. And guess what? It can reach Washington DC!!

  42. 43 katemcgough
    August 28, 2008 at 21:24

    Hi everyone, it’s my fault Sheikh’s not been able to moderate so far, I forgot to add him to the list, but thanks to Will and the loyal WHYSers for getting the Talking Points page up and running.

    Sheikh – I’m very sorry for my mistake (it’s not what you want on your debut moderating session!) but you should be all set now. Text me if you’ve got any probs.

    Good luck and hope you enjoy the rest of the conversation.


  43. 44 Venessa
    August 28, 2008 at 21:24

    Sheik ~

    You’re absolutely right it’s unbecoming but it is what has helped win elections for years.

  44. 45 Jens
    August 28, 2008 at 21:27


    i was just about to suggeste we two should run on the ultra liberal ticket of who cares about casual sex as long as you do it right………… shucks i can’t damm atheist foreigner…..

  45. 46 Scott (M)
    August 28, 2008 at 21:30

    Politics will rarely be intelligent. Especially, when the collective cultural intelligence makes it a point to endorse the lack of intelligence. Average people are not highly intelligent—they are average. You need the average and the below average to win. You have to appeal to their stupidity. So how can smart politics work?

    This is not causation—but a parallel: The population of world is a religious majority. Indicating, there isn’t much hope for the world’s collective intelligence, when we have been so wrong up to this point. If most of the world can be swindled on the big questions, how can anyone have hope on the smaller questions? They can’t. There is little hope.

    Democracies can not be expected to work do the quality of humanity.

  46. August 28, 2008 at 21:31

    @ Julie P.
    It is true that we usually followed in the footsteps of our forefathers but again i think it is important to tweak those vices left by them. There should be generational changes.

  47. 48 Julie P
    August 28, 2008 at 21:32


    So what will you name the party? Deep throat? 8)

  48. 49 Julie P
    August 28, 2008 at 21:33


    It’s the most power position on earth and I wonder how the lust for power can be overcome.

  49. 50 Bert
    August 28, 2008 at 21:36

    To wander back to the intended subject …

    I think it’s sort of comical, or ironic, or even beyond the pale, for Medvedev or Putin to be “accusing” the US to have people on the ground in Georgia, creating problems.

    First of all, and most importantly, Georgia is an independent country that would much rather have Western visitors within its borders than Russians, right about now, and that is only Russia’s doing.

    Secondly, there’s nothing written anywhere that says that Americans, other westerners, or even visiting military from the US, cannot be in Georgia. Any more than the US cannot keep Russians out of, say, Cuba.

    If Georgia and other neighboring countries are feeling a sense of alarm, it’s not the US fomenting this out of the blue, Russia. Let’s get real. Think more in terms of the Hungary, Czechoslovakia, and Poland models from the not so distant past. A lot of people remember these events. And they see you behaving the same way.

    This is so weird. Russia looking for sympathy today sounds to me as preposterous as Iranians who were looking for sympathy after they took all those US diplomats hostage, and kept them locked up for 440-odd days, back at the end of the Carter administration. Makes me want to ask, “Do you really not get it?”

    What a shame, too. Things had gotten so much better there, for many years, or so it seemed. Now it’s back to paranoia. Sigh.

  50. 51 Venessa
    August 28, 2008 at 21:42

    Julie ~


  51. 52 Devra Lawrence-Jamaica
    August 28, 2008 at 21:46

    Hi all.

  52. August 28, 2008 at 21:46

    @ Bert.
    I think you will do us a favor if you tweak your comments to a considerable length.
    @ Julie P.
    It is often that do not aspire for power just for wanting power but your aspiration should what can you do with the power. My point then is, What are those policy issues for which one is aspiring for power. what will you do the power to better you people’s life? It is just not about speechifying and attacking your opponents.

  53. 54 rick
    August 28, 2008 at 21:47

    Has Putin been reading my blog? US engineered Georgian crisis. You heard it here first on talking points Aug 27. What say you now Jonathan??

  54. 55 Julie P
    August 28, 2008 at 21:51


    “It is just not about speechifying and attacking your opponents.”

    Agreed. Power is an intense drug that too many succumb to.

  55. August 28, 2008 at 21:57

    Folks our brother Mohammed Ali left for China on he 27th instead of 28th. Please offer him your prayers he begins his journey for a medical profession.

  56. August 28, 2008 at 21:59

    Russia has turned to Asian Allaince to solidify its support. Can Asia support for Russia endanger War peace?
    What is your take?

  57. 58 Ahmad Hammad
    August 28, 2008 at 22:03

    Well, to me, the super powers like the US (being alone nowadays) generally have a national strategy that is seldom deviated/altered with the change of faces in the power corridors.

    What I think after going through Putin’s words is that the US has some long-term interests in that region. Such long-term policies are not affected with the change in the government, because such policies are chalked out by the think tanks upon whom the state trusts.

    Using the Georgian land for the fulfilment of the upcoming interests of the US has been chalked out by the very think tank I’ve talked of.

    To what extent the American presidents/premiers are authorized to alter such policies shouldn’t be a mystery then. 🙂

    In short, I believe in what Putin said…

  58. 59 Anthony
    August 28, 2008 at 22:04

    @ rick

    I don’t remember, but I say you’re as crazy as Putin.

    @ Sheikh

    I though I heard that Asia was asking Russia to cool down a bit??? Where did you hear that Russia was getting support from Asia???

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  59. August 28, 2008 at 22:05

    Hey Folks!!! I gues i am the last man standing. Where are the old WHYS soldiers?
    Lets keep the comments flowing. Julie P,Nelsoni, Venessa,Devra, Scott(M) and others where are you.

  60. 61 Venessa
    August 28, 2008 at 22:05

    I actually had a meeting I needed to pay attention to….I’m back. 😉

  61. 62 Julie P
    August 28, 2008 at 22:08


    I’ve been working and, frankly, I’m exhausted today. All I can think about is getting home, crawling into bed and going to sleep. I hate a week’s worth of bad sleep. I’ll try to hang in there though.

  62. August 28, 2008 at 22:12

    I can quite remember saying that Russia has Asia”s support. I guess in a paraphrase i said Russia is calling on the Asian Alliance for support.

  63. 64 Amy
    August 28, 2008 at 22:12


    How are things in Jamaica? I know that Gustav is heading your way. Please, be safe.

  64. 65 Ahmad Hammad
    August 28, 2008 at 22:16

    Hi chole:
    How’s life? Are you guys back from Africa? When are you (Ros, Chole and the Team WHYS) coming to Pakistan?

  65. 66 rick
    August 28, 2008 at 22:17

    Putin is as crazy as a fox. Don’t like the guy but anybody who supports my view can’t be all bad.

  66. 67 Anthony
    August 28, 2008 at 22:18

    @ Sheikh

    Ohhhh, gotcha. Yeah, they’re asking, but from what I heard is they aren’t backing them up. Smart move by Asia. Imagine, I think WWIII would be Russia, China, and the “Muslim” countries vs. everyone else. Thats a team that could do quite some damage, especially with an oil monopoly like that!!!

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  67. 68 Amy
    August 28, 2008 at 22:18

    Re: Russia,

    Well, Putin might be off his meds, but Karl Rove spent time with the President of Georgia about 3 weeks before everything started and the week of things, one of Cheney’s minions was in Georgia…… Anything is possible.

  68. August 28, 2008 at 22:23

    @ Anthony.
    Russia, China, and the “Muslim” countries vs. everyone else.
    I guess you will need to specify your comment. There are muslim countries that are allies of America that i guess will lead the bandwagon of your everyone else.

  69. 70 rick
    August 28, 2008 at 22:27

    I just heard in the BBC news that China has “reluctantly” given Russia its support on the Georgian issue

  70. 71 Julie P
    August 28, 2008 at 22:27


    that just figures that Rove was over there. Maybe they can drag him off to a gulag. 🙂

  71. 72 Bert
    August 28, 2008 at 22:30

    I won’t argue that the US, or the west in general, are not interested in long term relations with Georgia, Ukraine, etc. Putin is likely correct in this, but it changes nothing.

    The bottom line is that if these countries are trying to cement ties with the West because of Russia’s actions of the past, reinforced by this action in Georgia. Not because of anything else.

    If you beat your wife in the past, and now she’s looking for love elsewhere, she won’t love you more if you beat her more.

  72. 73 Anthony
    August 28, 2008 at 22:30

    @ rick

    Booooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!! That’s not good!!!

    @ Sheikh

    Ok, the “Muslim countries” who hate us and Israel.

    @ WHYSer

    Heres a question. WWIII, who will be the players and how will it start off???

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  73. August 28, 2008 at 22:31

    @ Anthony is no more calling our Asia but asia has joined the Russia crowd.

  74. 75 steve
    August 28, 2008 at 22:35

    Here’s Mccain’s suprise TV commercial for Obama’s nomination night.

  75. August 28, 2008 at 22:37

    @ Anthony.
    Who is your US. The US? You made enemies for yourself. No one hate you. It is America double standard that is slapping her black in the face. I guess you are familiar with the Domino and Scapegoat Theories in Foreign Relations.

  76. August 28, 2008 at 22:38

    Folks like we discussed last night. I came across this on ABC News.
    Airline Removes Life Vests to Save Fuel
    Air Canada’s Jazz airline is removing the vests to save weight and cut costs

  77. 78 Ahmad Hammad
    August 28, 2008 at 22:46

    Interesting argument with an interesting analogy!
    In the perspective of your analogy i.e. a husband beating his wife when upon being beaten previously she is looking for love elsewhere and if the husband beats her again she won’t be happy, I would comment like this:

    The analogy you’ve presented is interesting, but doesn’t qualify for the US I’m afraid.

    Isn’t it a display of the double-standard constantly being carried by the US around the world?

    I mean, for example, take Venzuela. What did the US do with Venzuela? with Hugo Chavez?

    And if the Venzuelians are looking forward to have friendship with Iran or Russia, what’s wrong with the US?

    Why do the US agencies stage coups after coups against the popular leadership of Venz?

    Oil again! 🙂

  78. 79 rick
    August 28, 2008 at 22:49

    @ Sheikh
    who needs life vests if you are not flying over water?
    oh yeah Canada does have a few lakes.
    less fuel = less globel warming, its a good thing!

  79. August 28, 2008 at 22:50

    Obama Acceptance to more than 75,000 persons tonight might not be he making history but rewriting it. Today is the 45th Anniversary of the famous speech” I have a Dream” by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. What prospect does this historic coincidence brings?

  80. 81 steve
    August 28, 2008 at 22:55

    @ Sheikh

    Air Canada Jazz only flies CRJs and DH-8s pretty much, and the seat cushion is a floatation device as well.

  81. August 28, 2008 at 22:58

    @ Rick.That’s an important point struck. I hope we are not saving fuel for the purpose of cutting down cost. This could endanger many lives.

  82. 83 steve
    August 28, 2008 at 23:07

    @ Sheikh

    The seat you sit on is a floatation device. You remove the cushion you sit on, there is a loop under it you stick your arms in, and it will float you.

  83. 84 Paul Coletti
    August 28, 2008 at 23:09

    Hi there WHYSers,


    4 hours to go to Obama’s speech and I’m looking for an undecided US voter . . .

    . . . anyone out there care to volunteer?

    I’m looking to do a short interview with you on the phone of about 3 mins duration about how you’re swaying one way or the other.. ..or not as the case may be

    Feel free to call me on +44 207 557 3713 or just mail me on paul.coletti@bbc.co.uk


  84. 85 Bryan
    August 28, 2008 at 23:09

    Dunno how long the BBC’s home page will stay as it currently is, but Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech currently dominates the page with a link to an article on Obama’s upcoming speech just underneath. And naturally there are photographs of both men and of course a link to Justin Webb’s blog where we will find wall to wall adoration of Obama.


    Could the BBC be trying to tell us something here or trying to get us to feel a certain way about a certain contestant for the US presidency? Does the BBC have a horse in this race? Does it have an agenda?

    Can’t be. The BBC is impartial!

  85. August 28, 2008 at 23:11

    @ Steve.
    How does that work? You care to elaborate for the layman understanding?

  86. 87 rick
    August 28, 2008 at 23:17

    @ Sheikh
    the high cost of fuel has been the most effective tool in reducing co2 emissions to date. the higher the cost of fuel, the less we waste. Years and years of preaching about climate change hasn’t been nearly as effective as $4 a gallon at the pump. Bottom line…
    most people don’t give a damn about anything except their own hip pocket.
    Who will win the election? the cantidate who promices to put the most money back into american’s hip pocket.

  87. August 28, 2008 at 23:17

    @ Bryan.
    Don’t you think that this historic coincidence is worth stating? Obama to deliver a speech on a day that is the 45th Anniversary of Dr.King Speech. Two great black men;two speeches 45 years apart is a historic coincidence.

  88. 89 selena in Paris
    August 28, 2008 at 23:19

    Mohammad Ali:

    Wishing you all the best for your new adventure in China!

    Good luck with your studies!

    We hope to have you back on the blog soon! 🙂

  89. 90 steve
    August 28, 2008 at 23:22

    @ Sheikh


    You just lift up the cushion you sit on, it’s the size of a pillow basically and it floats. there are loops you stick your arms through so you don’t lose hold of it.

  90. 91 rick
    August 28, 2008 at 23:23

    @ Bryan
    this week it’s Obama’s turn to play, next week its your guy’s turn.

  91. 92 selena in Paris
    August 28, 2008 at 23:23


    The timing of the speech is not a coincidence. Those things are carefully planned in politics.


    Obama is the news of the moment, whether one likes it or not.

  92. 93 steve
    August 28, 2008 at 23:23

    Here’s a better picture, Sheikh

  93. 94 Venessa
    August 28, 2008 at 23:24

    sheikh ~

    Of course the floatation device is only good if you actually survive a crash!

  94. August 28, 2008 at 23:32

    @ Selena in Paris.
    I guess the democrats stage managed their convention schedule for Obama to speak on Dr.King’s Speech 45th Anniversary. Good Strategy!!!!

  95. 96 Jonathan
    August 28, 2008 at 23:43


    From two of your adjacent posts, I propose a name for the new political machine: “Powerful Lust Party!”

    Slogan could be “World domination begins at home.”

  96. 97 Bryan
    August 28, 2008 at 23:46

    Sheikh Kafumba Dukuly August 28, 2008 at 11:17 pm,

    I’m not sure about the “coincidence.” And Martin Luther King was a great black man, that’s for sure. But what on earth is “great” about Barack Obama? Man still has to prove this alleged greatness. Another problem with building up the image of Obama is that he has plenty of the white race in him. Why do we all regard him as black? Does his blackness trump his whiteness?

    Rick, McCain ain’t my man, but let’s see how the BBC handles him. I have no doubt it will prove my point.

    Selena, watch the BBC closely and you will begin to see how it operates.
    (By the way I responded to you at the end of the last TP thread.)

  97. 98 Jens
    August 28, 2008 at 23:50


    I think we should call it “lusty and powerful domination party” (LPDP).

    “don’t ask what you cna do for me, but what i can do to you”

  98. August 28, 2008 at 23:54

    Obama survived an atrocious in house fight against the Former First Lady and Senator. That is a trait of greatness. I guess the color issue is something i dont want to thrive on.

  99. 100 Julie P
    August 28, 2008 at 23:54


    I’m down with the “Powerful Lust Party”! 🙂

  100. 101 Venessa
    August 28, 2008 at 23:58

    Jens ~

    We got a slogan and a party name…..Now to find some people to give us money!

  101. August 28, 2008 at 23:58

    Stats from ABC NEWS: I guess it is open for discussion.

    Obama’s support is considerably more enthusiastic than McCain’s. Fifty-two percent of his supporters are “very enthusiastic” about his candidacy, vs. just 28 percent of McCain’s. The number of registered voters who have a “strongly favorable” overall opinion of Obama is 12 points higher than it is for McCain (37 percent vs. 25 percent, though they’re similar in overall favorability, 62 percent vs. 59 percent).

    -Obama leads McCain in empathy – understanding the problems of average Americans – by 49-36 percent, and particularly in being seen as the more optimistic candidate, by 64-28 percent. Registered voters think he’d do more than McCain to stand up to lobbyists and special interest groups, by 53-32 percent, and work in a bipartisan way, 49-37 percent – all advantages for Obama to stress, against his weaknesses (described yesterday and previously) in experience, foreign affairs and readiness to serve as commander-in-chief. And McCain’s inched ahead in being seen as more consistent in his positions – a flank for Obama to cover, in an already full list of opportunities and challenges alike.

  102. 103 Jonathan
    August 28, 2008 at 23:59


    It’s the anniversary of the King speech. And, the Democratic candidate for President accepts the nominatioin today. Which of these two events is unworthy of a spot on BBC’s web page, and why?

    It’s looking more and more as if your real complaint is against reality itself, because it fails to comport with your fantasies, and you resent the BBC for disclosing it.

    See also my comment at the tail end of yesterday’s talking points, jam-packed with helpful tips for the aspiring cub reporter or critic.

    By the way, it does no favor at all to Obama’s campaign to tie him so closely with black civil rights, and an icon of that movement. That’s what McCain’s benign-appearing “congratulations… on this historic day” commercial is all about: reminding the rednecks that Obama is black (true), and implying that his candidacy has a racial content, context, or agenda (false but of course scary to the low proles). Whether by accident or design, the BBC page thus is exactly imitating the Republican sneaky subliminal tactics AGAINST Obama, not showing bias in his favor. But please don’t let the facts cloud your point.

  103. August 29, 2008 at 00:01

    Sorry for the long post. Can Obama take all of these in to consideration tonight?

  104. 105 Jonathan
    August 29, 2008 at 00:05

    @Party time–

    Wow, the new party spirit is catching on!

  105. 106 Julie P
    August 29, 2008 at 00:05


    I was on the FOX website reading comments concerning McCain and his imminent vice presidential running mate. McCain’s got a serious credibility issue with the Republican base, as has stated before, during, and after the primaries. They are very divided about his pending choice, too many factions on that to make a cohesive ticket and keep the party unified. I have heard this in my corner of the world and I kept reading on FOX about how core Republicans are disenchanted with McCain and talking about staying home on election day and not voting.

  106. August 29, 2008 at 00:06

    Folks i am heading home to my dormitory and will from time to time check the queue for your comments. To the other regulars please keep an eye on the discussion. I am grateful to all of your guys for helping me out on my debut night. Much appreciated. Lets keep the discussion alive.

  107. 108 Jonathan
    August 29, 2008 at 00:08


    Big grin for the LPDP! Might be a tad blatant for the natiional stage, but I can see it working here in San Francisco big time.

  108. 109 Scott (M)
    August 29, 2008 at 00:10

    IS IT THINKING or a SHOT IN THE DARK? —Does anyone feel like globalization has more clearly exposed the inherent flaws of human life, or at least the human brain? We have more access to more information then ever, and instead of more clarity, I feel I have less. Reading all these posts today and many other days, so many of the ideas seem acceptable (and of course some downright silly). But, I think the more you analyze both sides of an issue, or at least many issues, it almost becomes harder to take a side—all this information seems to make things more difficult.

    For example: on the Obama/Clinton issue it seems as though each side had valid points. The people who cry racism and the people who cry the opposite, they both seem equally plausible. Do we ponder too much, that isn’t worth pondering? Is it useful at all? Is it useful thinking about Palestine and Israel, when both sides have a good case? Is it the mode and manner of thought that is at issue? Or, is it simply that these subjects are indecipherable with the limited capacity of our minds? Is there some inherent value in the action of trying to solve the unsolvable—or is it just the spinning of the wheels, and maybe hoping they might randomly stop?

  109. August 29, 2008 at 00:12

    @ Julie P.
    I guess this will be a glad tidings for Pro-Obamas!! Lol!

  110. 111 Dan
    August 29, 2008 at 00:14

    Dr Martin Luther King was a great man who changed the course of history. Obama is the beneficiary of that course change but is not a Dr. King.
    Obama advocates a “Nanny” Government that will solve all your problems. Obama’s appeal is in people that are frightened to compete in the real world or those angry and jealous of those that have acheived and reaped the rewards. One merely has to look at those in underdeveloped nations that keep demanding more aid who savagely support Obama to know this is true.
    Tonight I think we shall see Obama talk about how no one can succeed without the Government.
    I wonder how many times humans have tried to create paradise and only succeeded in creating evil?

  111. 112 Julie P
    August 29, 2008 at 00:16


    How I see it is that is a component of the election that is not getting the air time or consideration it deserves. The Republican Party is tearing itself apart. It’s not a matter of gloating; it’s looking at the entire puzzle instead of selective choosing bits and pieces. McCain’s got problems and it’s coming from his own party.

  112. 113 Bryan
    August 29, 2008 at 00:18

    Sheikh Kafumba Dukuly August 28, 2008 at 11:54 pm

    Obama survived an atrocious in house fight against the Former First Lady and Senator. That is a trait of greatness.

    I’ll give you potential greatness on that one.

    Jonathan August 28, 2008 at 11:59 pm,

    You make some valid points and I’ve been thinking partly along the same lines but again, I’m not prepared to wade through your pop psychology and insult to weed them out and debate them. So do try just one straight, no crap comment, if you possibly can, and I’ll debate it.

  113. August 29, 2008 at 00:21

    Get to you guys later. Julie P, Please look out for me. i will monitor via my mobile. thanks

  114. 115 Jonathan
    August 29, 2008 at 00:22


    Oh dear. “Why do we all regard him as black?” Um, we don’t all regard him as black. We regard him as a political candidate.

    “He has plenty of the white race in him.” Eew. Pardon me while my skin crawls. Seriously, that sort of thing hasn’t been heard in polite circles, or even the other kind, for a good 90 years.

    “Does his blackness trump his whiteness?” Ugh. With suddenly chilled blood, I will suggest that your question is not only unanswerable, but quite meaningless except to reveal the mentality of the questioner, if it’s not already clear. In this context, it’s entirely useless. Plus, creepy.

  115. 116 Scott (M)
    August 29, 2008 at 00:34

    I question the capacity of the individual to do anything on their own?! Many times a person is a mere symbol of a period—and we collectively attach a greater meaning to individual historical figures then they (perhaps) inherently deserve. We are drawn to creating icons.

    Of course the things icons symbolize are often of importance, but the people themselves, we tend to glorify a bit too much.

  116. August 29, 2008 at 00:35

    @Dan and All,

    I was in the crowd when MLK gave his wonderful speech. I was a freshman at American U there in DC going to summer school. It was quite an experience. In many ways it was the first HUGE happening. The police back then had no idea about crowd control and management, and were not an issue as they are in all of today’s mass gatherings. Huge crowds of people were milling around everywhere on the mall.

    Mr. King’s speech was short and so powerful. I don’t think many of us had any inkling of what we had witnessed, nor any idea that Mr King had just rocked the whole world.

  117. 118 Shirley
    August 29, 2008 at 00:37

    We're assuming that McCain is Bryan’s guy. Such a supposition makes sense, because McCain is the candidate of the major opposing party. However, there are other parties in the race, as well as some independents.

    Obama’s Middle East Policies
    Obama used to have a more liberal stance regarding the Middle East. Over the years, his stance appears to have shifted as he has been climbing the political ladder until his recent speeche(s) to AIPAC. When he becomes President, will he act according to his former more liberal ideologies, or will he act according to his more recent speeches, or something rather in between? What hope is there for peace in the Middle East if Barack is elected?

  118. 119 Dennis
    August 29, 2008 at 00:40

    @ my dear friends that will be in the zone of GUSTAV….

    we all here world have your say bloggers and the employees at the bbc…have you all in our thoughts and prayers!


  119. 120 Jonathan
    August 29, 2008 at 00:45


    You pose an interesting question, although it has nothing to do with globalization. Yes, there’s a lot of information, and a whole lot of opinion. Remember though that opinions are unworthy of attention when uninformed by facts.

    I’ll confess to having a shelf in the upper, dustier reaches of my mental bookcase where I consign apparently impossible disputes and issues. Sometimes to my pleasant surprise, one of these is actually resolved, e.g., Northern Ireland.

    But it’s a very dangerous though seductive trap to just consign everything to the “hopeless” shelf just because there are opinions on both sides. Down that road lies nihilism and apathy that dictators love. It’s essential to first determine the relevant facts of an issue amidst the smokescreen of distracting nonsense. From that point, being scrupulously logical, one can usually determine the truth at the core of an issue.

    With all respect to everyone here, this discussion forum probably shouldn’t be a primary source for forming an opinion on anything. This is where people come to kick around existing considered opinions or just to blow smoke off the tops of our heads.

  120. 121 rick
    August 29, 2008 at 00:48

    perhaps Obama looks at other prosperous nations who have good health care and education systems and safety nets for those who are falling through the cracks and envys them.

  121. 122 Dan
    August 29, 2008 at 00:50

    Like you I heard the speech not knowing, in fact no one knew or understood how profound Dr. King’s words were. The crowds were much more civil than they are today.

  122. 123 Dan
    August 29, 2008 at 00:52

    Any bets on the number of cliche’s Obama will use tonight?

  123. 124 Shirley
    August 29, 2008 at 00:53

    Obama’s Racy Race
    The major reason that I view Barack as a black and an African American is because that is the community with which he came to identify. His oratory style is decidedly African American. The issues that he discusses tend towards the back American ear when not waxing general. And he was a member of a black American church for that many years, in spite of his lax attendance (as was described in a news magasine article about his spirituality).

    I can say with confidence that I have examined Obama’s politics strictly from the perspective of one candidate as compared to other candidates. I wish that there were much less colour-guided voting in this nation. I remember what Dwight said about people whose political ideologies matched those of Barack Obama but who would not vote for him because of his skin colour. It sometimes feels as if I and others like me share this country with people who have foreign cultures and ideologies.

  124. 125 Jonathan
    August 29, 2008 at 01:04


    So today Obama is a rabble rouser, appealing to angry losers. OK, that’s a sudden and complete change in course from the party line up to now, so very hard on the clutch and the intellectual credulity. The smear up until yesterday, of course, was that he ws an “elitist” — by which was meant of course not an elitist, but a member of an elite, a subtlety lost on the intended audience of the unlettered and unwashed. Harvard, University of Chicago, too academic and smart, too well dressed, too, oh, presumptuous. Arrogant. Wink wink, nudge nudge. Those who protested that Obama has hardly a million to his name, running against someone with a hundred times more money and a distinguished bloodline, missed the point of course.

    Now he’s accused of appealing to, you know, those PEOPLE who haven’t succeeded without government assistance. Wink, nudge again. And I especially admire the very subtle weaving in of those evocative images by way of the otherwise irrelevant mention of “underdeveloped nations,” “demanding aid,” and “savagely” (OOOH!) “supporting Obama.” My rib cage is sore from the nudges. What does it mean, in English, to “savagely support” someone? Well, nothing. But by way of summoning subliminal images, it’s fairly clever. One might even say, a portrait of a “dark” vision.

  125. August 29, 2008 at 01:07

    Jonathan – go to my blog and read the latest post, it is dead interesting. You’ll see who is being savagely supported and by whom. 🙂

  126. 127 Dan
    August 29, 2008 at 01:09

    Other nations with socialized medicine have proven their systems do not work.
    In the UK tens of thousands of surgery’s have been postponed or canceled because of a lack of Dr’s. Becoming a Dr involves assuming crushing debt but Socialized medicine will not allow Dr’s to earn to repay that debt. Meanwhile the Dr’s are worked almost to death.
    The answer to health care in USA is tort reform and then controlling the insurance companies.

  127. August 29, 2008 at 01:09

    Dan –

    123 Dan August 29, 2008 at 12:52 am Edit

    Any bets on the number of cliche’s Obama will use tonight?

    You mean like “I have been a POW so that makes me a must for president – did I say I had been a POW?”

  128. 129 Amy
    August 29, 2008 at 01:10


    I can’t find my old link to your blog. Would you give us all another link since many people praise your writings 🙂 I want to make sure to bookmark it this time.


  129. 130 Julie P
    August 29, 2008 at 01:12


    Thanks, for stepping in! 🙂

  130. August 29, 2008 at 01:12

    Amy –

    You just click my name here at WHYS.

    But the link would be http://www.willrhodesportmanteau.com

  131. 132 Julie P
    August 29, 2008 at 01:12


    Thanks, to you too! 🙂

  132. 133 Dan
    August 29, 2008 at 01:13

    Ah….we fence again.
    You put words in my virtual mouth I never said.
    Obama is an intellectual elitist who believes that people cannot succeed without Government. I’d go so far to say that he believes in equality of outcome.
    He has no administrative experience in fact no real experience in Government or anywhere else.
    The “dark” vision is merely a racist slur not worthy of any response. I am surprised at you for saying that.

  133. 134 Dan
    August 29, 2008 at 01:17

    @Will Rhodes
    We’ll game the Republicans next week.

  134. 135 Jonathan
    August 29, 2008 at 01:17


    To our very great shame, there is nothing at all “foreign” about racism on these shores.

    It is kind of fun though to see someone tip his hand so gracelessly as my dear friend with the suddenly remembered appointment elsewhere, betraying a sensibility foreign at least to our time, if not our place. I’m guessing somewhere near the Cape of Good Hope. You?

    So how is Obama’s speaking style distinctively black?

  135. 136 Shirley
    August 29, 2008 at 01:19

    Is the issue of Ireland really fixed? I thought that there was some sort of conflict, even if it be more political than military in nature?

  136. 137 Jonathan
    August 29, 2008 at 01:29

    Thanks Will, I’ll do that. The crickets around here are deafening. Do I know how to clear a room, or what! They sure get all quiet when dragged, dazed and blinking, out of the closet. Oh well, the discourse gains in quality what it loses in quantity until our friends inevitably feel safe enough to emerge from under the rocks and again grace us with their wit and wisdom.

    The televised spectacle of Democratic self-immolation is unutterably sad. It appears to have been planned by Karl Rove.

    Off I go to your blog then….

  137. 138 Marty Lee
    August 29, 2008 at 01:31

    Is Putin being incredible here in his accusation ?

    But of cos it is easier to believe that Iraq have a potent dose of Chemical Weapons before the USA lead coalition went in and bulldoze it to the grounds.

    Even CIA intelligence can be altered and reports doctored to suit the neocons agenda of waging war for their own profits. Yet, no representative in the US government sees it fit to impeach Bush and Blair for their stark lies and hogwash to conduct a war and murder that is beneath international standards of civilized behavior.

    And the US election is a joke. One billion dollar will be spend by both parties so that “official” propaganda can be packaged to shove the message down the voters throat. And the Sponsors are the big businesses in the US who will get return favors should their bets wins the race. Call it anything you want, but the word that is suitable to describe this kind of partisan politics is nothing short of pure corruption, no better then the communist.

    I can see it now. Millions of Americans soaking up all the media propaganda and thinking to themselves what a great nation the USA is and yes, they have the best model of government in the world because they will turn away from their own ugly warts by shouting at the top of their voice, that they have freedom and that makes it all fine and dandy.

  138. 139 Virginia Davis
    August 29, 2008 at 01:34

    It was morning again. Fed the cats and myself. Got dressed and went out to get the morning paper. The dumb neighbor was there on his throne and he yelled across the street at me: “Morning, Fatso! How’s your pinko friend today? How’s your sicko self?”

    I’d put up a lawn sign for Barack Obama yesterday. And, of course, he sees the Multnomah Medication Enforcement Unit stop at my front door each morning between 10 & 11, and hand me my daily dose to make sure I stay in touch with reality.

    We are back at politicians. Who have no empathy. Who are narcissistic and who are no better than schizophrenics. Let’s nuke them all. Zap! Zap! Ah, far fewer people in the world, including myself, and the air is clear.

    To my friends who I have left behind in this sunny morning’s version of “ethnic cleansing” – I am who I am. Always have been, always will be. As for my dumb neighbor, I didn’t kill his dog, I have no idea how old he is or why he is always there in the morning, yelling at me, or whether he is a punk. Why my living in the neighborhood, in a house across the street, offends him, I have no idea.

    He will be there tomorrow. It will be a new day. A variation on today – another splurt of insults.

    I thank you for your support. Please carry on. “All we are is dust in the wind.”


  139. 140 Jonathan
    August 29, 2008 at 01:35


    Well, there’s always and everywhere political conflict, except where it’s muzzled by dictators, kings, emirs, and the like. That’s a healthy thing, not a problem. I meant of course bombing and shooting and tanks and the rest of the ugly business of terror and war. They appear to be finished with that.

  140. 141 Bert
    August 29, 2008 at 01:37


    The analogy of the beaten wife going to look for love elsewhere was meant to represent the way Georgia, Ukraine, Hungary, Poland, etc., feel about Russia. And why they look to the West instead.

    You mention Venezuela? The US did not send in troops, tanks, and airplanes into Venezuela. And before that, the US did not keep Venezuela isolated behind an iron curtain. So where is the comparison?

    I’ll grant you that when governments in formerly friendly regimes nationalize US companies operating in their borders, that makes a lot of people in the US unhappy. But no one is talking invasion. No one.

    And that’s why the Iraq war is so very unpopular. The US did what we accuse others of doing.

  141. 142 Jonathan
    August 29, 2008 at 01:48


    Oh, no, we don’t fence at all. You duck and hide. Either my entire comment went over your head, or you pretend it did, to the same result: You didn’t respond to ANY of it.

    You did, however, manage to slip in yet another bit of tiresome code: “Equality of outcome.” (Clap hand on forehead: Oh wow, isn’t that what those black people want?)
    Very cute, very subtle. Well, not very. You do not, of course, adduce any evidence, because, as before, your real point is not to allege or demonstrate or prove anything at all, just to cascade a cornucopia of code words.

    You’re no Goebbels, but keep practicing.

    @ Dan and Jonathan. Can we be a little moderate? Your exchanges are getting scaring. Thanks will for being there. My computer has trouble.

  142. 143 Amy
    August 29, 2008 at 01:50

    Al Gore:

    “I believe in recycling but John McCain recycling George Bush’s policies is ridiculous.”

    I love it.

  143. 144 Shirley
    August 29, 2008 at 01:52

    Jonathan, I am worried about speaking too early on Ireland and any apparent end of armed conflict. I am encouraged, though, by the apparent success of a diplomatic resolution of the conflict.

    Whenever Barack speaks, my ears twitch towards MLK Jr and Malcolm X. It’s a vibe thing, I think.

    Virginia, my face is turning red and my ears are blazing. I feel so ashamed that people would act that way. I am so sorry.

    Jonathan, if you see my pet cricket amongst your new fan club, please return it to me.

  144. 145 Virginia Davis
    August 29, 2008 at 01:57

    Little bits of news:

    The Dalai Lama is in the hospital in Mumbai. “Not serious.”

    McKinnon, the Scot, who broke into/hacked his way into US military computer data bases, will be extradited to US. And no doubt spend a long time in a US prison, after a “fair trial,” of course.

    His parliament heckles him – Mugabe. Development of resistance?

    The Security Council (United Nations) gets raucous about Russia and Georgia.

    Going to go watch the DNC.

    Virginia in Oregon

  145. 146 Dan
    August 29, 2008 at 02:08

    I don’t respond to irrelevant responses but I will say that either your racism is showing or you are treating Blacks like children.
    Keep your thesaurus by your computer as I enjoy the bloviation from you.

  146. 147 Tom
    August 29, 2008 at 02:29

    @ Russia / Georgia conflict,

    The following article, written by an ethnic Russian professor, provides a detailed insight into the historical root of this conflict, and the reason Russia is reacting the way it does.

    Punishing Russia could prove costly

  147. 148 Bob in Queensland
    August 29, 2008 at 02:39

    G’day All!

    I hope the crickets aren’t too deafening, Jonathan!

    I’m still reading in but one thread of conversation caught my eye and worried me greatly:

    Any discussion about “how black is Obama” sounds just too much like the legal distinctions they used to make in apartheid South Africa to make comfortable reading.

  148. 149 Julie P
    August 29, 2008 at 02:44


    Are you watching the live feed of the Democratic Convention online?

  149. August 29, 2008 at 02:46

    Bob –

    I deliberately skip those points – I would get into a flaming war with some people – and this isn’t the place to do it.

    It shouldn’t matter one jot what colour of skin a person has. It does, as has been proven with the veiled racism we see everywhere.

    It truly disgusts me.

  150. 151 Dennis
    August 29, 2008 at 02:52

    @ Bob

    i have to agreed with will and not start war on the TP….


  151. 152 Dennis
    August 29, 2008 at 02:55

    @ getting dazed and confused and clearing out a room:
    go to my facebook page, right now, i am playing message reader….with my future friends at onondaga community college



  152. 153 Tom
    August 29, 2008 at 02:56

    The ongoing talks on Obama’s “blackness” reveal an unhealthy level of racial self-consciousness or self-imposed segregation within the american society.

    This is not to say that other countries are not having similar problems.

  153. 154 Bob in Queensland
    August 29, 2008 at 02:56

    @ Julie P

    I have to put my credentials as a news junky on the line here and admit I’m not watching the DNC live just now–my all-singing all dancing notebook is sitting in a box to go back to Toshiba for a service and the rather older IBM I’m on works well but tends to protest if I try to do too much at once.

    TV isn’t an option because our 3 year old afterthought is watching his favourite educational programme.

    How’s it looking? The description on the radio made their stadium stage sound a bit overblown and possibly the wrong image.

  154. 155 Julie P
    August 29, 2008 at 02:59


    The stage is quite over blown and quite the party scene in a packed football stadium. They had Stevie Wonder there along with Michael McDonald and a reprise performance of Joe Biden, plus a speech from Al Gore. Barack Obama is supposed to give his speech. Tune in if you can.

  155. 156 Jonathan
    August 29, 2008 at 03:07


    Oh, now I remember you! You’re the one who posted a couple of weekks ago trying to spread some lie about Obama favoring restitution for slavery. Now you’re back to spread submliminal poison. Put it back where it came from. We don’t need oafish hatred here. Pack up your toxic talking points, crawl back under your rock, and don’t bother saying goodbye.

  156. 157 Dennis
    August 29, 2008 at 03:09

    No problem Sheikh…..

    Dennis @ Everyone. The essence of this WHYS Blog is to exchange ideas aimed at arriving at suggestions for global discussions. JONATHAN AND DAN lets discuss in the name amity.

  157. 158 Bob in Queensland
    August 29, 2008 at 03:30

    Right, I’ve wrestled the TV away from Sesame Street and Poko just in time to see Obama make a strong link between McCain and the “failed politics” of the Bush administration.

    Politically, I think this is a good strategy but, of course, I’m not an American voter. Anyone want to guess how this is “playing in Peoria”?

  158. 159 Dan
    August 29, 2008 at 03:35

    There is no animosity with us. We “jerk each others chain” …at least I do. Believe me there is no hate from me.

  159. 160 Jonathan
    August 29, 2008 at 03:42


    Hey folks, this is supposed to be a vigorous, robust exchange of ideas and opinions. Your default action should be to post what we say unless it’s got a swear word, a commercial ad, or a Nigerian lottery announcement. .

    The role of a “moderator” does not mean keeping the conversation “moderate” by casually shredding any comments you think are not “moderate.” You’ve seen fit to publish comments in the last couple of days by obvious schizophrenics who think we have radios implanted at birth. You should be able to swallow hard and publish a comment that calls a racist a racist. You’re not supposed to play favorites. You’re not supposed to recoil from any harsh word. We’re adults.

  160. 161 steve
    August 29, 2008 at 03:50

    Obama is such a fool. He singled out the Ak-47 in his speech. why? because it looks the way it does? Is the different than any other semi auto rifle out there? It just looks bad, therefore must be banned?

  161. 162 Julie P
    August 29, 2008 at 03:52


    To answer your question. That speech was long overdue and very much needed. It is an excellent speech. Yes, McCain deserves to be linked with Bush. McCain is not a candidate of substance.

  162. 163 Amy
    August 29, 2008 at 03:53


    My brother actually lives near Peoria, so I emailed him to see what he thinks. If he gets back to me, I’ll let you know. I guess I should say when, not if, he gets back to me. Sometimes it takes him a while to respond.

  163. 164 Dennis
    August 29, 2008 at 03:53

    Thanks, Dan…..

    Good Night, Friends…

    On the Next Blank Page…I have to deliver some news to all.


  164. 165 Jonathan
    August 29, 2008 at 04:01

    @Bob, with a heavy heart (and the hope of escaping a heavy-handed moderator), I think I can tell you how its playing in Peoria. (Very good Americanism, by the way.)

    I’d rather say how it’s playing in San Francisco, or the other urban centers, among the better-educated, higher-income people who already liked Obama. But making us happy isn’t the job of the DNC. They need to reassure the good people of Peoria and Scrudbum and the benighted hills and hollers who just can’t get comfortable with the notion of a black president.

    They need to undermine the clever drumbeat of subliminal propaganda created by experts and echoed here by a few who slink below the radar of the duller moderators.

    I think they have failed. I can’t imagine that the all-Motown soundtrack helped a heck of a lot. I don’t think the grim, gloomy picture of America they habitually paint is appealing. It sure wasn’t when the hapless Al Gore chose it as his theme during the richest time we’ve ever had. Americans want optimism. Middle America is being asked to swallow a big lump already by eleccting the first black president; the last thing they want to hear from him or his surrogates is “change.” The change is obvious. The stroking and petting is what they should have done and didn’t.

  165. 166 Amy
    August 29, 2008 at 04:09


    I think he singled out the AK-47 because for those who are not very familiar (or familiar at all) with guns at least know about that gun. I really don’t think you need one for “self protection”, but that is just my opinion. He could have named a different gun but the vast majority of Americans wouldn’t have known what he was talking about.

  166. 167 Scott (M)
    August 29, 2008 at 04:17


    It does have something to do with globalization in the context of my post—because globalization allows access to more views, cultures and politics from around the world. I certainly never said I was proposing it as a cause—I did after all say “more clearly exposed.” But, this is beside the point—or maybe this is the point about these debates.

    I think you are putting too much stock in your ability, and ours, to shed enough of the subjectivity in our heads, to ever provide a truly accurate and objective assessment—particularly on the subject of politics.

    When comments are well written—sometimes the power of good writing and wit can give the appearance of more weight then they might deserve—unless all the players have the same writing and comprehension skills. In writing that has impeccable style and flair it can often be difficult to analyze the substance.

    There are so many variables in approaching an argument. For instance your comment to Bryan seems out of context, as if you heard much more then what was actually said. I’m not debating the merits of either comment, or trying to criticize you—but when I read it I did not think Bryan meant what you implied in your response. I interrupted the words in a different manner. If interpretation and style can cause confusion—it seems like it would be rather difficult to decipher complex arguments that perhaps cannot be answered with our capacity. Many of these arguments we claim are based on logic don’t seem to be at all. They are opinions layered on opinions. They are shots in the dark with shaky hands.

  167. 168 Jonathan
    August 29, 2008 at 04:18


    So, what did you think of the rest of the speech? Jonathan, there is not arm twisting. While true that at time the debate needs to intense, we have to select appropriate diction.- Sheikh Dukuly

  168. 169 Virginia Davis
    August 29, 2008 at 04:26

    Shirley: regarding Ireland. Some ten years ago, through political process, the Catholics and the Protestants arrived at the Good Friday Agreement.

    About the same time, there was an international commission to watch over the disarming of the IRA and the various Protestants who fought against the “republicans.” Those are the “loyalists.” It was and still is very complicated – it’s been going on for 800 + years. Ireland was England’s first “colony.”

    One of the problems now is the Protestants are demanding that the IRA Council be dissolved. The IRA, gave up its arms, under the supervision of the International Commission.

    All meet occasionally in a legislative assembly. Sinn Fein and Gerry Adams are the political side, and many more.

    Community policing is a big issue. The Irish Republic and the British get back into it and say “We are going to take over, if you all can’t get it together.”

    The British Army pulled out, I think, all together. So there is violence but very much reduced. I think one can say “the troubles” are over with.

    That’s kind of a quick once over. But one important point is that leaders from both sides now consult with leaders in Iraq on how Iraq can face their similar (and yet different) problems.

    Jonathan: Be careful how you throw “schizophrenic” around. It is my basic
    diagnosis. I am one of the most sane people I know. Just say “crazy” when you want to be insulting! Don’t get into language which you probably know nothing about from “experience.” I’ve probably lived with schizophrenics for more than two years time, adding up my confinements. They are a bit different but really
    just people with some very interesting “stories.”

    Virginia in Oregon

  169. 170 Scott (M)
    August 29, 2008 at 04:34

    The delivery of the speech and Obama’s level of excitement seemed a bit flat, unless this was just my TV. Perhaps too much pressure, perhaps too many high expectations, perhaps nerves, or perhaps I’m not objective. I expected a little more poetry. A little more romance. Perhaps, I will have to read the hard-copy.

  170. 171 Amy
    August 29, 2008 at 04:38


    We must have been watching two different speeches.

  171. 172 rick
    August 29, 2008 at 04:38

    great link for those Fox News watchers who think Russia invaded Georgia – end of story.

    great speech. now your job for the next two months is to keep news about Georgia off the front page and domestic policy on. good luck!

    (he does read these blogs doesn’t he)

  172. 173 Jonathan
    August 29, 2008 at 04:42

    From the lead-in or whatever it’s called at the top of this page, yes, of course “it’s possible for any nation” to stage a war for political purposes. As von Clausewitz said, that’s what war is, politics. Is it especially plausible that, given the history of hostility there, and the recent tension and combat, the little war would have been inspired by the US? No. Plus, is it an automatic advantage to the Republicans to have another crisis on the Bush watch? No.

    Anyway, now that “Lili”Putin has made it official, should WHYS be echoing Russian propoganda–absurd propoganda at that? No yet again.

  173. 174 Bob in Queensland
    August 29, 2008 at 05:06

    @ Steve

    For the record, the AK-47 is actually capable of fully automatic rapid fire. I suspect Obama just used the Kalashnikov as a metaphor for all the assault rifle-type weapons which have no valid use in society for hunting, self defense or whatever. They are a military weapon designed solely for killing people in the simplest manner with the least training.

    Now, a question for you: Your posts on Obama seem to go beyond political opinion and into obsession. Is there any specific reason for this?

  174. 175 Bob in Queensland
    August 29, 2008 at 05:10

    @ Jonathan et al

    I didn’t see the entire Obama speech (I tuned in just as he was linking McCain to Bush) but have to say I was impressed with what I saw. Jonathan, I hear what you say about the “depressing” view of America but I wonder if, this time, it might catch the mood. Unlike previously, this time the economy IS in a spot of bother and people are worried about credit, jobs, mortgages and the price of gas. Going on to talk about the valiant American working man who kept going because people “needed those brakes” seemed to give a good counterpoint.

    What’s interesting is how many different speeches WHYS posters seem to have seen.

  175. 176 Laura in Minneapolis
    August 29, 2008 at 06:05

    A quick two cents before bed:

    Tonight reaffirmed that Obama is the candidate that I for one will give my vote, and trust. Although, that vote will be an absentee one because i’m off to a country that, coincidentally enough, was mentioned tonight on this very blog: Northern Ireland. Queens University of Belfast, to be more specific.

    @ Virginia: I’ve done my fair share research on the Troubles (i’ll admit mostly to ease my parents’ concerns), and you’ve summed it up nicely.

    @ Jonathan: I agree with a lot of your arguments and you’re obviously very smart. Don’t ruin it with a quick temper and a lack of understanding for what has to go through a moderator’s mind when they do see harsh words tossed around. I don’t think it’s recoiling- perhaps it’s an attempt at respect for everyone?

    As a side note, the republican convention will soon be in my twin cities. It’ll be an interesting week, i’m sure. Parking will be a nightmare! Although, i’m sure Denver has gone through all those little nightmares already. It’s worth it.

    Laura (soon to be back) in Minneapolis

  176. 177 Bob in Queensland
    August 29, 2008 at 06:19

    OT request…

    I’m on my old laptop for the next few days while the webcam (I rarely use) is fixed on my newish computer. On the regular PC I had a Firefox plugin that let me right click and get some automatic html formatting for quotes, links, etc etc. when preparing a blog post.

    I don’t have that plugin on this PC and it’s driving me nuts–trouble is, my aging brain can’t remember the plugin name. I thought it was “htmlextra” but searches on that and variations don’t find me anything.

    Anyone remember what I’m talking about and have a link?


  177. 179 selena in Paris
    August 29, 2008 at 08:36


    You are undoubtedly smart and I like the way you write when you doesn’t disparage individuals or groups.

    But (yes, now there’s a but) there may be people on this list who have been diagnosed as schizophrenic. Why would you run the risk of alienating them? For that matter, why would you use the word to describe something negative? Can you imagine how it feels to have that diagnosis in the first place and how crushing it must be to have a smart person throw out the word in such a casual, negative manner?

    And now to the logic in which you put your faith:

    Your talk about logic and facts and the reasonable conclusions which arise from such logic fails to take into account that facts are merely the opinions of a given majority.

    Your facts may not be my facts.

    Scott wrote a very good post that speaks to this “fact”. So, I won’t belabor the point. You are smart enough to figure it out!

  178. 180 Jonathan
    August 29, 2008 at 08:46


    You do me an injustice. I am ALWAYS careful with words, and I did not insult you or anyone, or intend to. Granted that I can’t make a clinical diagnosis from a few paragraphs, but this person is quite convinced about the radio transponders implanted at birth, and it just goes on from there. If you find the messages I refer to, I think you will agree. My point, of course, was not against that participant, but rather that the moderation standards that allow incoherent blather should allow reasoned debate, even if its edges are sharp.

    I’m well aware that mental illness is not a laughing matter, and I would not toss those words about carelessly or loosely. I regret having caused you offense, and I wish you the very best in your life, Virginia.

  179. 181 Bob in Queensland
    August 29, 2008 at 09:14

    @ Portland Mike

    That’s the one! Thanks a lot!

  180. 182 Jonathan
    August 29, 2008 at 09:22


    Regarding schizophrenia, I refer you to my reply to Virgnia. I didn’t use the word in a “casual negative manner,” but in a specific clinical manner, and not as an insult. I have all kinds of empathy and love and compassion for the troubled of all kinds. I can, in fact, “imagine” how crushing the diagnosis is, and I have no wish to add to anyone’s burden. I am ruthless toward those who deserve it, but I am not a bully, a sneak, or a swine

    Regarding facts, I’m sorry, but facts are sbsolutely NOT “the opinions of a given majority.” That way lies nothing good. I haven’t really got the time or space to teach epistemology just now, but please don’t take my word on this crucial matter, without which we might as well just be barking like dogs. Truly, it’s the cornerstone of civilization. It’s what allowed the transition from the dark ages to the Enlightenment and beyond. There is no more important concept than the difference between fact and everything else, be it opinion, suspicion, belief, faith, superstition, supposition, tradition, anything.

    You have every right not to care about any of this, of course. I recall you recently said words mean whatever we want them to mean, and feeling the same urge to correct the record, because of course if that were so, words would be useless. I resisted the urge, not wanting to scold or come off as an old poop. I now won’t let pride stand in my way. This seems to be the night for people to tell me I’m smart, and then accuse me of ghastly things. I respectfully differ on all counts.

  181. 183 selena in Paris
    August 29, 2008 at 09:32


    First I will 🙂 at you, then I will ask what qualifications you possess that enables you to make a snap diagnosis on the basis of a few words on a computer screen?

    Are there any “facts” involved in your assessment?

    P.S. Whatever leads you to believe that we are out of the Dark Ages?

  182. August 29, 2008 at 09:48

    Back to the Crimea
    It all happened before. Georgia is a sequel to the Crimean War of 1854 – 1856 , but the outcome is very different. The protagonists are the same. France is there and so is Britain. Turkey must be somewhere in the background. The message is not lost on Moscow: “Stand back or else.” How could Russia have stumbled into making such a gross mistake!
    British Foreign Secretary David Miliband is standing on solid ground. Ukraine needs protection and will get it from NATO and Europe. Why, because Russia has lost air supremacy and will do so on the ground, if it hasn’t already.
    Europe is showing its teeth. The absence of America is significant.
    Washington wasn’t ready to act on Georgia but Europe is, and challenges Russia to prove it. Just as well because the world has been looking to alternatives to war in Iraq, war in Afghanistan and probably war in Iran if President George W. Bush remained in power.

  183. 185 Virginia Davis
    August 29, 2008 at 10:03

    Jonathan: I knew whose writing you were referring to. I really do not like anyone’s thoughts – however outlandish they may seem to you or even to 9 out of 10 people who live in what I sometimes call “consensus reality” – to be dismissed. Not until you have been in or near that particular world and have if not understanding, at least a rapport.

    Today on the NPR program “Talk of the Nation” Neal Connan and his guest, a Patrick Tracy, who has written a family history about the “schizophrenics” in his family annoyed the heck out of me and I wrote an email to express that annoyance. The two of them kept on saying “the word” with a particular relish in intonation. Mr. Tracy’s grandmother, in post partum depression after her sixth child (and she was 24 as I recall) dressed in her best clothes and went into town and found a dentist to pull all her teeth so as to rid herself of her voices. And then lived out her life in a mental hospital.

    When I was confined at Agrnews State Hospital, I took Hosanna for an outing, a stout little old Armenian lady whose beard had to be shaved to go off the ward. We sat on a bench in the sunshine for a long time and finally she looked at me and said: “I hate you like poison.” She had lived her whole life on a hospital ward. I was changing linens on the beds of Hosanna and her roommates and she was standing at the window and I asked what she was doing and she replied: “I am looking for my people.”

    As Bobby Sands said, more or less, everyone has a part to play, has something to say.

    In clinical terms, I am a “high functioning schizophrenic.” Ray for me!

    Virginia in Oregon

  184. 186 Roberto
    August 29, 2008 at 10:18

    Re Debate and Style:

    ——- People tend to debate or argue along two lines, logically based vs emotively based.

    Needless to say these tend to fall along gender lines and lead to some very muddled and lumped up results. Marketers know how to appeal to each and that is the way the presidential elections will be conducted.

    Politics is one of the most if not the most complex interactions humans have and is not easy to quantify and place in context. I would add that these are probably two of the most socially complex candidates ever, having a vast array of experiences that is well beyond the average American that have defined their lives.

    I still remember all the dustups we used to have on the playground back during the 4th grade in my first presidential experience. I won all the dustups, but my guy lost the election. Very telling experience.

  185. 187 Bob in Queensland
    August 29, 2008 at 10:33

    Re: The Obama Speech

    JUSTIN WEBB’S CONVENTION BLOG about Obama’s speech.

    (Sits back and waits for the bias complaints even though it seems fairly balanced and analytical to me!)

  186. 188 selena in Paris
    August 29, 2008 at 10:45

    @ Bob

    Will the complaints be biased if they don’t agree with your analysis?


  187. 189 rick
    August 29, 2008 at 10:47

    @ Jonathan 4:42AM
    two things happen when there is an international crisis during an election. It takes local politics off the front page which gives the incumbent the advantage and it also gives the hawks an advantage as they are seen as better at handling international crises than doves. Georgia happening two weeks before the democratic convention has split the media coverage right down the middle and it should have been all Obama’s. I predict a big flair up in tensions a week to ten days before November 4 as a sequel.

    By the way, Putin should shut up an not tell everybody, he is just piling up points for Mcbush.

    Once again you heard it here first!!
    If I could give you a happy face with a wink I would but I don’t know how.

    Life wasn’t meant to be taken so seriously

  188. August 29, 2008 at 10:54


    “Russia and the sorted mess.”

    Since I listen to BBC’s Short Wave Broadcast, BBC World Service and read email from BBC.

    Let me get this right. Great Britain you want me to see colonial ideals. The War in Georgia as a civil war and Russia for limiting the bloodshed and allowing the independence of two small countries. Saying Russia had negotiations with those two small new countries.

    Russia are they all. The reason the divisions of Russia is so that a infrastructure can be brought about unencumbered by oppression.

    I also see Russia and the US pander to each others needs. Shoring up the propaganda mind controlling dialogs of freedom, democracy and elections in disguising a dictatorship of mind controlling techniques.

    I feel much or BBC’s news writing about Russia shows the endeavor of Great Britain to hide their over pricing of petroleum. This is done to instill malice in their citizens over the Russian empire had over petroleum products dwarfing Great Britain’s supplies.

    $13.00 a gallon of gas has gotten the green eyes of greed of the United States Government active stealing from the US Citizen who exist on a lower pay scale because of the interconnectivity to do business and cover long distances in a short time. High gasoline prices has consumed the civilian destroying the civilian economy. A Depression and not a recession exist for the prices have excelled above the salary of the US Citizen by as much as $400 a month and a lower quality exist for ones lifestyle. Those existing once in the lower segments of the middle class now exist in poverty.

    The rights of the US Citizen are dwindling because of the Military are stretching its powers by creating the reasoning in it’s people for war. The constant bombardment by the mass media controls the current mindset of thoughts and events had by ones citizens. This constant bombardment of the mass media limits the cognitive ability being allowed their citizen.

  189. August 29, 2008 at 10:55

    Thanks for standing tall in the overnight debate. You have my compliments eventhough you complained overnight that the Moderator was muscling your comments. Anyway, Bravo!!!

  190. August 29, 2008 at 11:05

    Lee Roy Sanders, Jr.
    August 29, 2008 at 10:54 am Edit

    Lee Roy, people often get lost reading long comments. At time the points your striking can be very salient but the length of the post discourages the person to go through the whole stuff. Kindly reduce the length of your comments.

  191. 193 Bryan
    August 29, 2008 at 11:10

    Bob in Queensland August 29, 2008 at 2:39 am

    Any discussion about “how black is Obama” sounds just too much like the legal distinctions they used to make in apartheid South Africa to make comfortable reading.

    Let’s not get oversensitive here Bob. There is no need for a shock/horror reaction to my comment on August 28, 2008 at 11:46 pm. It would probably be fair to say that race is the single most important factor in this election to very many Americans. How many? Impossible to say of course, but it’s undeniable that there is a powerful movement among whites to elect a ‘black’ president to prove their non-racism and probably an even more powerful one among blacks to elect a man they have adopted as their own. The white/black aspect re Obama is important for the above reasons, if you think about it.

    It could be argued that Michelle Obama helped to cement the racial overtones in these elections with the comment that she had never been proud to be American until Obama was nominated as a presidential candidate. This is someone with one helluva chip on her shoulder and I don’t know how good she’d be as First Lady.

  192. 194 rick
    August 29, 2008 at 11:11

    @ Lee Roy
    gee $13 a gallon!! where do you live? Its only $6 here in Australia.

  193. 195 umoh. amos
    August 29, 2008 at 11:11

    The voices, pictures and speeches that came out of Invesco Field on Thursday are so intimating. Am afraid, America should brace up and be ready. Change seems INEVEITABLE. Take my word to the Bank. Will send more comments later.

  194. 196 Bob in Queensland
    August 29, 2008 at 11:14

    @ Sheikh

    Good first night moderating, mate…an interesting debate!

    You have my compliments eventhough you complained overnight that the Moderator was muscling your comments.

    However: Despite rumours to the contrary, I’m not Jonathan in disguise!

  195. 197 Bob in Queensland
    August 29, 2008 at 11:19

    Update on our “3 meals for $10” project.:

    I made my vegetable beef soup tonight. It’s rather delicious if I do say so myself but we now have a huge pot of a very chunky soup. Forget 3 meals–the soup alone will do at least two more meals, either now or after freezing. The good news is: “second day soup” is ever better than the first day!

  196. 198 Jonathan
    August 29, 2008 at 11:26

    @Democratic convention

    I should clarify my sentiment about the Democratic convention, and about Barack Obama, and the Clintons.

    I think Barack Obama is a dazzling, brilliant gem sent straight from heaven to an undeserving earth, by way of my native Hyde Park neighborhood in Chicago. He is what I imagine Kennedy to have been to another generation. His clear, insightful, compassionate, well-reasoned speech would be amazing in its own right. Compared to the oafish oinking of the incumbent, it is all the more sublime.

    The Clintons have been reckless and swinish in the primary battle, and will assuredly bear a good deal of the blame if Obama loses the general election. Sen. Clinton’s assertion that McCain would be preferable to Obama is in a McCain commercial, where it belongs.

    I haven’t yet seen either of the clinton’s speeches or Obama’s speech at the convention. I understand all three were excellent. But most of the talk at the convention was moaning about Ameriica, how terrible life is, how we need to do something. The fact is that most Americans, as alwaays, are doing very well indeeed, and are scared of electing someone radical. In terms of employment, for example, the worst time in the US is better than the best time in France.

  197. 199 Bob in Queensland
    August 29, 2008 at 11:33

    @ Bryan

    it’s undeniable that there is a powerful movement among whites to elect a ‘black’ president to prove their non-racism

    Are you really sure about this? I don’t doubt this motivation may exist in some voters (probably the ones Steve disparagingly calls the “PC brigade”). However, I also have no doubt there will be a certain percentage of voters who will be thinking “over my dead body” even if they don’t enunciate that sentiment.

    Hopefully though the majority will be judging a man on his policies and not thinking about race. However, not having been to the USA since the campaign started, I can’t judge this one for myself.

  198. 200 Bryan
    August 29, 2008 at 11:34

    portlandmike August 29, 2008 at 12:35 am

    Mr. King’s speech was short and so powerful. I don’t think many of us had any inkling of what we had witnessed, nor any idea that Mr King had just rocked the whole world.

    100% correct. Greatness becomes apparent with the passage of time. And there is no doubt that Martin Luther King was a great man and an inspiring leader who helped change the face of America and indeed had a great impact on the world. And I don’t think he had a racist bone in his body.

    I just don’t get the comparison with Barack Obama, who rubs shoulders with black racists and enemies of America, is uncomfortable around American troops and the flag and whose wife appears to be a racist (yes, blacks can be racist, gasp) or at least anti-white America in a more general sense.

    But now that it’s fully dawned on me that the linking of Obama and King was a deliberate political ploy, it’s possible that it may backfire as a transparent attempt to steer people away from the recollection of Obama’s very strange bedfellows.

  199. 201 selena in Paris
    August 29, 2008 at 11:36

    @ Jonathan

    I think Barack Obama is a dazzling, brilliant gem sent straight from heaven to an undeserving earth



    He is what I imagine Kennedy to have been to another generation.

    Double wow!!

    Yes Virginia (with apologies to our Virginia), there is a Santa Clause!

  200. 202 Virginia Davis
    August 29, 2008 at 11:38

    Roberto: oh my gosh. Logic and emotion. Sounds like a good ole fashioned mudsling between the sexes. Let me inform you, I can argue logic with the best of them. And don’t let the other ladies know of your analysis.

    Ever read “On Thermonuclear War” by Herman Kahn? In speaking he only tells stories as he is reacting to being “so misunderstood.” (He’s dead now. This from a private conversation with him during the Vietnam War; he founded The Hudson Institute in NY State.)

    Jonathan: I need to say I appreciate your good thoughts to me. Thank you. Believe me it does all make sense, just not to everyone. Or to God, if you are so inclined.

    Virginia in Oregon

  201. 203 Bob in Queensland
    August 29, 2008 at 11:41

    @ Bryan

    Far be it from me to throw cold water on a conspiracy/bias theory, but….

    The dates for the DNC (and therefore the acceptance speech by whoever gained the nomination) were set several years before Obama even threw his hat into the ring.

    Perhaps a fortuitous coincidence for him, perhaps bad news if it backfires…but a coincidence nonetheless.

  202. 204 Jonathan
    August 29, 2008 at 11:44


    Again, I don’t wish to dismiss anyone’s comments, and my plea was only that my own be similarly not dismissed.

    The irony is that the comment of mine that I had thought to have been swallowed up by moderators appeared after all. So my whole message about overmoderating wasn’t necessary, although I was inappropriately scolded over and over by someone who thinks everything must be moderate. One of the two people I was accused of offending actually said he wasn’t offended, and the other can manage by one or another means.

  203. August 29, 2008 at 11:44

    @ BOB.
    You have my apologies. i sure think that my comment was meant for the classical debatant-Jonathan. However, thanks for the compliments.

  204. 206 selena in Paris
    August 29, 2008 at 11:48


    Reminds me of American Democratic vice-presidential candidate Senator Lloyd Bentsen who said to to Republican vice-presidential candidate Senator Dan Quayle during the 1988 vice-presidential debate, “Senator, you’re no Jack Kennedy!”

    I am waiting for someone to, say to Obama, “Senator, you’re no Martin Luther King.”

    Yes, I know, I am bad! 😉

  205. 207 Jonathan
    August 29, 2008 at 11:48

    Bob, you know I love ya, but your updates about your menus always make me so darn hungry!!

  206. August 29, 2008 at 11:49

    @ BOB.
    I struck that point last night and Selena for Paris said it was stage-managed. No matter how difficult it is to accept, this historic coincidence fits well for Obama. Dr. King’s Speech outlined several segregational issues and it appears that Obama’s Nomination breaks the yoke and further accentuate the vision of Dr. King.

  207. 209 Virginia Davis
    August 29, 2008 at 11:49

    Selena: It is a Marx Bros line, and one which was beautifully caligraphed and placed on a balcony in the Reed College Commons when I had been riding once again on a white horse into the sunset:

    Yes, Virginia, there is a sanity clause.

    Thanks for “our Virginia” – feel all warm and fuzzy now; have injected insulin and
    the cheap turkey microwave pie is done. Going to watch two episodes of JAG – great show which I never watched the first time around. And then sleep til mid-afternoon.

    Bob: Your soup! Congrats. I am a good cook but never had anyone to cook for/with.
    It was that decision to walk home alone, I guess.

    Virginia in Oregon

  208. 210 Jonathan
    August 29, 2008 at 11:52


    I thought “oafish oinking” was pretty good too.

  209. 211 selena in Paris
    August 29, 2008 at 12:03

    Hey Guys,

    Everything in politics is stage managed. If the time of the convention was coincidence, then that’s all that was.

    How many people do you think it takes to carefully craft a speech that, once crafted, belongs solely to the candidate?

    If you think it isn’t stage managed, then you must never have been around the back rooms. Too bad! But, then again, maybe not! It does tend to make one cynical.

    Perhaps it is better to keep our dreams of a knight in shining armor who will appear out of the sunset and whisk us away on a white charger.

  210. 212 Bryan
    August 29, 2008 at 12:08

    No fair, guys. Allowing a highly-personal attack from Jonathan to stand while deleting my short and mild response is just not cricket. I believe once something like that has been posted on the site I should have the right to reply to it and I’m posting the comment again in case it was deleted in error:

    Jonathan August 29, 2008 at 12:22 am
    proved the point I made on August 29, 2008 at 12:18 am, though I had hoped that he wouldn’t.

    Evidently he can’t restrain himself, preferring character assassination to debate. Well, so be it.

  211. 213 Jonathan
    August 29, 2008 at 12:09


    Point well taken in present company. I should have said that MOST of us are past the dark ages.


    Can’tyou just admit you got caught flat-footed with that repellent talk of race-mixing, white blood/bad blood flesh-crawling business? No, of course not. Can’t you just admit you were out of your depth yesterday in criticizing news coverage of an event that hasn’t happened yet? Nope. My message at the end of August 28 TP remains an unanswered indictment.

    You said “Greatness becomes apparent in the passage of time.” In other words, you can accept heroes after they’ve been dead for 40 years. That’s very enlightened of you. I only wish that would instruct your current perspective, and that you would stop your energetic efforts to smear the heroes of today with vitriolic toxic attacks.

  212. 214 Jonathan
    August 29, 2008 at 12:15


    How many “back room” people would it take to make up a speech that George W. Bush could deliver intelligibly?

    It’s not a riddle; that WAS that punch line. We all know about speechwriters, but they can only go so far.

  213. 215 selena in Paris
    August 29, 2008 at 12:21


    Quite aside from the fact that heroes have always been in short supply and only the test of the passage of time will ever be able to sort the sheep from the goats, Bryan should be able to say how he feels without being censored and accused of not being enlightened or out of his depth. Shouldn’t he?

    You said to Virginia that you wanted to be treated fairly. Surely that same fairness should apply to Bryan.


    I am a moderator and didn’t see anything from you that didn’t get through. If your response to Jonathan was deleted, then I can’t imagine why and by whom. You should resend your post.

  214. 216 selena in Paris
    August 29, 2008 at 12:26


    I am a good speaker but I wouldn’t be a good leader.

    That is because I would lock up all the people who are in the Dark Ages… and those people wouldn’t be your usual suspects.


  215. 217 Bryan
    August 29, 2008 at 12:50

    selena in Paris August 29, 2008 at 12:21 pm

    Well, thanks for that. The comment that was deleted was the one I just reposted in italics at 12:08 pm . Thanks to whoever accepted that one. I guess if there are a few moderators around, one can delete a comment before the others notice it.

    Not an easy job, this moderating, and consistency is difficult to achieve. That’s evident.

  216. 218 Jonathan
    August 29, 2008 at 13:17


    Heroes have always been in short supply, yes. But no, it does not require the passage of time to recognize them, unless of course one’s perspective is so distorted, as by unlovely and unscientific notions of “white blood” and “black blood,” that it takes 40 years after their death to recognize them. Many people recognized Martin Luther King as a hero when he was alive. Many others hated him. We may guess at the motives of those who claim to admire him now, 40 years in the ground. It’s interesting that you should echo Bryan’s views and even his language on this peculiar point.

    Bryan should absolutely not be censored. That would be unfair.

    Bryan should absolutely not be immunie to question or criticism, which is perfectly fair. In fact, that’s what we do here. Why would you equate criticism with censorship, and declare both to be “unfair?” When he carries on about white blood and black blood and how “we all see Obama as a black man,” he can be and will be challenged, and I was not the only one to do so.

    When he’s out of his depth, as yesterday in his attempt at media criticism, it is not “unfair” to point that out. He makes outrageous statements and allegations in full knowledge that they are controversial, and the ensuing controversy is neither surprising nor “unfair.”

    Only by the most casual approach to logic can legitimae discussion be equiated with censorship, and both be condemned as “unfair.” But words just mean any old thing, and facts mean nothing whatever, so who cares?

  217. 219 Bob in Queensland
    August 29, 2008 at 13:20

    At this time of day I think most moderation is done by the BBC–I know I stop doing anything as soon as I know somebody is in. I can’t speak for the others but I suspect they do the same.

    Anyway, OT aside about the “backroom speech writers”: a regular poster in another forum I visit is a young woman who frequently brags that her father is a speech writer for George W. Bush. I’m proud of myself that so far (several years) I’ve resisted the temptation to post the obvious…

  218. 220 steve
    August 29, 2008 at 13:22

    @ Bob

    Don’t underestimate liberal guilt.

  219. 221 steve
    August 29, 2008 at 13:24

    It’s kind of sad to even compare MLK to Obama. What MLK did was for all people, though primarily for minorities, to get their equal rights. What Obama does, he does for himself. MLK noble, Obama is self serving narcissism.

  220. 222 Bob in Queensland
    August 29, 2008 at 13:27

    Proposition: ALL politicians are, by definition, “self serving narcissists”.


  221. 223 steve
    August 29, 2008 at 13:30

    I would agree Bob. MLK wasn’t a politician, that’s why it’s insulting to even mention Obama and MLK in the same sentence. Remember, a narcissist is a borderline sociopath, that means they lack a conscience and will say and do anything to get what they want, regardless of the impact on other people. Hence, they lie and lie a lot.

  222. 224 Jonathan
    August 29, 2008 at 13:34


    Exactly 24 hours ago, on the talking points for 28th August, selena conveniently showed up to support Bryan, with the mysterious remark, “For once, I totally agree with you.” Bryan as usual conspicuously expressed his “thanks” with a great noisy flourish.

    We were treated to an encore just minutes ago, with identical language and the usual mutal admiration. I don’t recall a disagreement between you two, come to think of it.

    I think it’s great that with so much rancor and argument around, such a close and great freindship can flourish.

  223. 225 steve
    August 29, 2008 at 13:35

    I wonder if Mccain will pick Sarah Palin, that would be a cool pick.

  224. 226 selena in Paris
    August 29, 2008 at 13:35


    Perhaps I missed something but has Bryan ever objected to being criticized?

    He simply said his posts were not published, as I understand it.

    If all posts are published, you and Bryan can duke it out as you see fit, in my opinion.

    If you read my comments, you must know that I hardly ever agree with Bryan.

    Yet, if democracy means anything, I must defend the rights of those with whom I disagree.

    Perhaps Bryan does not think his remarks are controversial any more than you or I believe our remarks are controversial.

    When I make remarks about Barack Obama, I believe every word I say. I am most decidedly not being controversial. I really am scared about an eloquent speaker who can carry intelligent people on his coattails.

    In your opinion, should I be prevented from stating that view?

    Personal logic is not as clearcut as it would appear, my dear, dear friend.

  225. 227 Jonathan
    August 29, 2008 at 13:39


    I think we had that discussion about politicians being narcissists a week or so ago, with Steve leading the way in a properly cynical assessment. The consensus was, I think, that they are. I’m always skeptical of people not motivated by money. Not that money is noble, but at least one knows where one stands. Darker motives like power are more suspect.

  226. 228 selena in Paris
    August 29, 2008 at 13:41


    I think you have just shocked Bryan! You have obviously never read my posts. ROTFLMHO!

  227. August 29, 2008 at 13:45

    Sheikh Kafumba Dukuly

    Oh, your read what I wrote. What I write will not read what you want it to read. It just isn’t written that way. I assume the authority of my word and a living understanding is the author of it’s length.

  228. 230 Bob in Queensland
    August 29, 2008 at 13:47

    @ Jonathan

    I must have missed that previous discussion about political narcissism–real life has been intervening a bit over the last week or two!

    However, I agree that power is a “darker motive”. I quite agree with the proposition (I think from Douglas Adams in Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy) that anyone who aspires to political office should immediately be disqualified from running.

  229. 231 Jonathan
    August 29, 2008 at 14:05


    Douglas Adams ROCKS! Almost every day I have occasion to recall one or another bit of his unique wisdom.

  230. 232 Jonathan
    August 29, 2008 at 14:10


    That’s funny; I haven’t seen any shock from Bryan. Not in the last few minutes I mean. He’s well used to it though. Apologies if I haven’t kept careful enough track of your opinions, which at least on racial topics have recently been harmonious with his.

  231. 233 Jonathan
    August 29, 2008 at 14:12

    It was a very brief discussion because I don’t think anyone contested the point. It was not controversial.

  232. 234 Jonathan
    August 29, 2008 at 14:13


    Like when William F. Buckley ran for mayor of New York, and promised that if elected, his first act would be to demand a recount?

  233. 235 steve
    August 29, 2008 at 14:22


    I erased it, and your next one. This forum is for discussing the news and issues, not personal bickering. I will even erase this post after a few minutes, becuase it’s not about the news.

  234. 236 Dennis
    August 29, 2008 at 14:30

    Congrats to your Debut on WHYS! Sheikh…..


  235. 237 selena in Paris
    August 29, 2008 at 14:41


    I am truly intrigued! In your view, how do my racial views equate with Bryan’s.

    I must say I have no idea of Bryan’s racial views.

    This is not counter play. I really would like you to answer how you see my racial views.

    Thank you.

  236. 238 Roberto
    August 29, 2008 at 14:49

    I’ve resisted the temptation to post the obvious…

    ——- Lipstick for a pig, eh?

    I got a kick out of McCain leaking his choice for veep, Wilford Brimley.

    I think if everyone just ate more oatmeal, all our problems would disappear. Be a nice simple policy the unwashed voter could understand.

  237. 239 Jonathan
    August 29, 2008 at 15:18


    I’d love to answer, but everything I say gets wiped away.

  238. 240 steve
    August 29, 2008 at 15:23

    Jonathan. ENOUGH. You keep on personally attacking people, then wonder why your posts don’t get approved. This is for discussing the news, not insulting other posters, especially the moderators. STOP.

  239. 241 Bryan
    August 29, 2008 at 15:27

    Scott (M) August 29, 2008 at 4:17 am

    That’s the most perceptive comment I’ve seen on this blog. It’s so easy to misread people, especially those you only have a fleeting acquaintance with.

    selena in Paris August 29, 2008 at 1:41 pm,

    Well, exactly. We have been arguing, often quite adamantly, for months now on this site. But I think we have managed to keep it civil. To draw a parallel, I love soccer but I will stop watching a game, even between top teams, if it is interrupted by excessive fouls with the players making “who, me” gestures when the whistle blows. I lose interest – and I turn away from debate on the internet with people who insist on playing the man and not the ball.

    Bob in Queensland August 29, 2008 at 11:41 am

    @ Bryan

    Far be it from me to throw cold water on a conspiracy/bias theory, but….
    The dates for the DNC (and therefore the acceptance speech by whoever gained the nomination) were set several years before Obama even threw his hat into the ring.

    That’s an interesting bit of information. Though it might put the Democrats in a different light it doesn’t challenge my observation of BBC bias made on August 28, 2008 at 11:09 pm. The BBC homepage reminded me of the BBC News international homepage just after it became clear that Boris would be the new mayor of London: a huge photograph of Robert Mugabe and Morgan whatshisname dominated the page, the apparent justification for this being the fact that there had been some new development re the wrangling over the ‘election’ in Zimbabwe. The link with a photograph of Boris underneath was given the same weight as news that Sudan’s minister of defence had died in an air crash. Now if anyone imagines that Livingstone would not have been plastered all over that homepage had he won, with Mugabe and crew relegated to distant second place, he/she doesn’t know the BBC.

    But let’s see how the BBC handles the Republican Convention. Could be that it will try to even-handed, but I doubt it. Its reputation precedes it.

  240. 242 selena in Paris
    August 29, 2008 at 15:31


    Shouldn’t we let Jonathan say what he wants to say? It is the only way we will ever be able to understand each other.


    Do you mind if Jonathan has his say?

  241. 243 steve
    August 29, 2008 at 15:33

    @ Selena

    We don’t allow personal attacks on here. The BBC staff does not want that, so we don’t approve it when we see it. If they can keep it civil, without insulting other posters and moderators, then it’s okay so long as it at least relates to issues that pertain to WHYS. This shouldn’t be about personal catfights posters might have with each other. This is for discussing the news.

  242. 244 selena in Paris
    August 29, 2008 at 15:43


    I am a moderator, too. At times, there is a lot more going on here than the “personal attacks” posted by Jonathan.

    How are we supposed to change our behaviors if we don’t even now they exist?

    If everyone has to conform to your, or my, view, we will never understand anything.

    If you really, truly believe Jonathan is making personal attacks that are outside the limit, wouldn’t it be better to help him to see your point of view, rather than take a dictatorial approach?

    Jonathan has been here a long time! In my opinion, he is family.

  243. 246 Jonathan
    August 29, 2008 at 15:54


    My post answering your 1:35 questions was deleted. My answer to your 2:41 question was deleted. Neither contained an attack, an insult, or a catfight. I shall try again some other time, when the normal rules and standards again prevail. Alternatively, you are welcome to contact me by email if you wish.

  244. 247 Bryan
    August 29, 2008 at 15:56

    selena in Paris August 29, 2008 at 3:31 pm


    Do you mind if Jonathan has his say?

    Of course I don’t mind. At 12:18 am I said he makes some valid points and I’m prepared to debate him if he sticks to the debate. But I’m just not prepared to wade though personal insult and abuse to get to the point he’s making.
    that’s not what I’m here for.

    I also don’t assume that everyone has the right to post whatever they want on this or any other forum. That’s up to the site administrators and moderators to determine. I wouldn’t walk into someone’s house and start flinging insults at the guests without expecting to be thrown out on my ear. There should be no reason why the same should not apply on the internet.

    I try to make it a rule that I wont say something on the internet that I wouldn’t say to someone’s face. But if I’m provoked enough I’m in danger of breaking that rule so I prefer to skip debate with those whose agenda is to needle people.

  245. 248 Bob in Queensland
    August 29, 2008 at 15:59

    I don’t want to bog this down with a moderators discussion, but a few points:

    First, as stated before, if any of this happened during BBC operating hours, it is best to leave moderation to them.

    Second, the instructions I’ve had from Mark and Ros are to error on the side of letting things go and only delete/refuse to approve absolutely clear cut cases.

    Third, I’ve found it pretty rare that I can’t approve a whole post. A few times I’ve deleted one or two insulting words but left the rest of a post intact. When I do this, I email the party involved with an explanation rather than just taking summary action.

    Fourth, (and this is just me, not any guideline) I consider the person or people involved when making my judgement. Some are more amenable to “rough and tumble” than others.

    Fifth, wherever possible I will discuss borderline decisions (by email) with any other mods who happen to be around.

  246. 249 selena in Paris
    August 29, 2008 at 16:13


    Thanks for your input.

    As for me, I have learned from experience that the things I say are not always taken the way I mean them.

    When that happens, I wish to know that I have offended someone, so that I can learn.

  247. 250 Bryan
    August 29, 2008 at 16:36

    Will Rhodes August 29, 2008 at 2:46 am

    Bob –

    I deliberately skip those points – I would get into a flaming war with some people – and this isn’t the place to do it.

    It shouldn’t matter one jot what colour of skin a person has. It does, as has been proven with the veiled racism we see everywhere.

    It truly disgusts me.

    Well, I’m sorry if it disgust you, Will, but of course the colour of one’s skin matters. It matters in everyday things like sport. Jews don’t make great basketball players because they are generally too short for the game. Blacks, on the other hand, do. And heavyweight boxing in America and elsewhere is generally dominated by blacks. Go back sixty years and have a look at the colour of the skin of most jazz musicians in America. There certainly are differences between the races. Anyone who doesn’t see that is walking around with blinkers on. Why is it “veiled racism” to point this out? And why is there an automatic assumption of negativity on the part of the person pointing it out?

    People do tend to stick to their own kind. Not everyone is keen on this great pie-in-the-sky ideal where all our differences, positive or negative, will be washed away and we will all be turned into an undifferentiated grey mush.

  248. 251 Bryan
    August 29, 2008 at 16:46

    Bob in Queensland August 29, 2008 at 3:59 pm

    Third, I’ve found it pretty rare that I can’t approve a whole post. A few times I’ve deleted one or two insulting words but left the rest of a post intact. When I do this, I email the party involved with an explanation rather than just taking summary action.

    I’ve had a few snippets sipped out of my comments here and elsewhere on the BBC forums and comments rejected. I can honestly say that in all the years that I have been commenting on these forums I have only ever had the courtesy of one e-mail response – and that was what looked like an automated reply after a comment had been rejected.

  249. 252 Virginia Davis
    August 29, 2008 at 17:15

    Well now, we have “the word” on what is acceptable to moderator Steve. No personal attacks. It’s the WHYS way! Remember that all of you (us). Of course, we are invited to have another discussion? on the narcissism of politicians and the FACT that that makes the borderline sociopaths and all they do is lie, lie, lie.

    Bye for now.

    Virginia in Oregon

    PS When I ran for Mayor of Portland in May of 2000 I received more than 1% of the vote and it totaled, including mine: 1,315. For the under $300 plan. Many of the votes were based on a “very articulate” voters pamphlet statement. Go figure.

  250. August 29, 2008 at 18:48

    Russians making “Peace Mission” in Georgia , and international society dont moove even finger…
    They are like mankey with knife…

  251. 254 Daisy
    August 29, 2008 at 18:48

    I pretty much doubt, dear Virginia, that “no personal attacks” is the WHYS way. If this were so… Bloggers are prohibited from insulting each other but looks like moderators allowed. I personally was attacked by above mentioned Steve lately just for my opinion he didn’t like and stil haven’t got a sigle word of apology for this rude act. What is it: double standard? Or there’s censorship on this blog already?

  252. August 30, 2008 at 00:04

    Scott (M)~

    Your excellent post on August 29, 2008 at 4:17 reminds me again how enlightened the U.S. Constitution was to enshrine free political speech. Your calm position reads like the Federalist Papers explaining why this freedom is so important.

  253. 256 Shakhoor Rehman
    August 30, 2008 at 11:30

    do you worry about your country’s international reputation? No I worry about my region’s reputation.
    So how far should local traditions be respected in the face of globalisation? As far as the people directly affected want.
    What would you like to do before you die? Is there too much pressure to list our life achievements or is it a positive idea to encourage people to get the most out of life? I am more interested in The Kingdom Of Heaven.

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