Blank Page No. 22

Abdelilah in Morocco and Brett in Virginia are your hosts for this weekend’s Blank Page with some help from Nelsoni in Nigeria. Over to you…

360 Responses to “Blank Page No. 22”

  1. August 29, 2008 at 19:15

    It should be an interesting weekend. 🙂

  2. August 29, 2008 at 19:22

    Hello every one, welcome to Blank Page Number 22. Nelson here in Nigeria. As Will rightly said, it’s going to be an interesting weekend. So please feel free to suggest a debate or comment on current ones. Happy Blogging!

  3. August 29, 2008 at 19:30

    With Conflicts all around the world and several other brewing, this article suggests that diplomacy would be a better way to resolve conflicts. Do you agree?

  4. 4 Dan
    August 29, 2008 at 19:30

    Hello Nelsoni
    What is weather in Nigeria?

    Can anyone explain what is going on in Thailand?

  5. August 29, 2008 at 19:35

    Hi everybody. It’s good to be moderating again along with the other ongoing moderators, especially Will, Nelson and Brett.

    It’s good to have another new blank page. As Will has just said it may raise some heated debates. US presidential elections , the situation in Georgia and the apparent worsening relations between Russia and the West are likely to continue front news pages.

    some topics of social interest can be the adoption of children. What are the impacts on the welfare of the adopted child. This follows the news from Nepal which shows that “They say numerous infringements take place, including the abuse and, effectively, the sale of children…..They say only four out of every 100 children adopted remain within Nepal, despite the international ban. ” http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/7588756.stm

  6. August 29, 2008 at 19:35

    @ Dan, we have a nice tropical weather in Nigeria, though it’s the rainy reason here. If you want to find out more about Nigeria you can check here

  7. August 29, 2008 at 19:47

    About the current situation in Thailand, I think that’s people power at work. They think the running of the government is the Voice of Samak Sundaravej but the hands of Thaksin Sinawatra. Just like Russia maybe. The Military did well by staying out of the protests.

  8. 8 Dan
    August 29, 2008 at 19:50

    @Nelsoni…Thanks I better understand now.

  9. August 29, 2008 at 20:03


    Every year in the month of Ramadan, all Muslims fast from first light until sundown, abstaining from food and drink. Those who are sick, elderly, or on a journey, and women who are pregnant or nursing are exempted to break the fast and make up an equal number of days later in the year. If they are physically unable to do this, they must feed a needy person for every day missed.The fasting during Ramadan is regarded principally as a method of self purification. By cutting oneself off from worldly comforts, even for a short time, a fasting person gains true sympathy with those who go hungry as well as growth in one’s spiritual life.

    It’s time for us to keep away from eating and drinking and May be a way from WHYS

  10. August 29, 2008 at 20:04

    @ Nelsoni,
    As you know, there is nothing bad in adopting children victims of disasters or those who have no relatives to take care of them. What is wrong is that when children and babies become a commodity for sale and generating great profits.

    adopted children have the right to know their biological parents. It’s not enough to provide them with the necessary comfort. They have the right to know where and who they are from.

  11. August 29, 2008 at 20:13

    Has anybody ever been picked for VP, then later had to turn it down? The more I look into Palin, the more she looks like a giant target. I get the same feeling as when I started asking the question, “Who is Harriet Miers?”.

  12. 13 Shirley
    August 29, 2008 at 20:14

    Nature of Mental Illness
    Jonathan: 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.

    In a clinical or diagnostic setting, one might be inclined to call it paranoia. My understanding of schizophrenia is that one who suffers it experiences non-existent sounds, sighs, or tangible sensations.

    I don’t know anyone (I think) who suffers from schizophrenia. However, it seems to me that as long as medication can effectively suppress the symptoms, a person should be able to have perfectly normal function on a social and personal level. People suffer bipolar disorder, ADHD, depression, etc. and seem to integrate and function normally, so I cannot imagine why someone whose schizophrenia is medicatable (non-word) would not be able to have a good deal of normalcy in life.

  13. 14 Shirley
    August 29, 2008 at 20:14

    3 meals for $10
    I missed that. Thank you, Bob. Isn’t 3 meals for $10 a good standard for eating out? Rolled oats cost me less than 75 cents per pound; and I eat much less than a pound of dry oats for a breakfast. Milk costs $4 per gallon; and I only need 1.5 to 2 cups for breakfast. I suppose that I could hrow in some canned fruit that might cost less than $1.50 per can. And once again, I could not possibly go through the whole can after throwing down so much oatmeal. Out of a 75 cent loaf of bread, I might use two to four slices to make a sandwich with filling (cheese, tuna) that might cost me 75 cents or less. Sometimes, I lunch on a soup of beans, tomatoes, spinach, and various spices that seems to me insanely cheap to make. And for supper, I might enjoy a casserole or some fish sticks or mac n cheese or some such. I might use an entire can of tuna, a can of 75 cent (less) soup, and half of a small $1 bag of noodles for the casserole, but it would be tomorrow’s supper, as well. Perhaps even tomorrow’s lunch in addition to supper. $3.50 can get me enough fish sticks to last for a week of fish stick suppers. Boxed mac n cheese is 35 cents per box, or I could be slightly more expensive and use elbow macaronis (less than 75 cents a pound) and cheddar cheese ($4 per pound).

    $10 might last me a week or more. Let me know if I misunderstood and the $10 was supposed to feed a family for three days.

  14. 15 Scott (M)
    August 29, 2008 at 20:23

    Is it possible for some people to edit their comments on these pages? Or to edit them in general? On the ‘Palin’ page I am pretty certain a comment that was posted was edited.

  15. 16 Zainab
    August 29, 2008 at 20:24

    Salam Alycom
    Hello Abdelilah, Brett, Nelsoni, Will, Dan, Abdi, Shirley and all .
    @Abdi and all Muslim Ramadhan Mubarak
    Can everyone of you tell me a little bit of his/her civilization, what does civilization mean? And how can we keep on our civilization?

    wishing you a nice and blessing weekend

    yours truly,
    Zainab from Iraq

  16. August 29, 2008 at 20:24

    @ Abdelliah, I agree with you but when profits becomes a motivating factor, such values are thrown out of the window.

  17. 18 Brett
    August 29, 2008 at 20:25

    @ Scott:

    It is possible. Though I didn’t edit the comment in question, from time to time I will edit a regular posters comment if it contains a word or phrase which is unsuitable per WHYS guidelines; Usually I will contact the regular about this and notify them. I am more keen to edit if the post is longer and took time to produce. If it is a short and unacceptable post it will simply be deleted. Hope this helps.

  18. 19 selena in Paris
    August 29, 2008 at 20:25


    Yes it is possible to edit and delete.

    What do you think was edited?

  19. August 29, 2008 at 20:25

    @ Scot (M), whose comments are you referring to? As a Moderator, I could edit portions of a comment that contravenes WHYS guidelines on posting.

  20. 21 Brett
    August 29, 2008 at 20:26

    Happy birthday McCain! lol

  21. 22 Brett
    August 29, 2008 at 20:29

    I’m with Shirley on the good, cheap, yet nutritious food that people somehow seem to overlook when complaining about food costs.

  22. August 29, 2008 at 20:30

    Scott (M)~

    Yes it is possible. Moderators are having some… issues.

  23. 24 Scott (M)
    August 29, 2008 at 20:30

    I thought Steve posted a comment and then it was revised in the same place when I refreshed my page. Perhaps I am hallucinating, but I don’t think so. It would not have been edited over controversy though, it would have been edited for grammar or flow. Sorry, I’m not trying to cause trouble, it just seemed odd.

  24. 25 selena in Paris
    August 29, 2008 at 20:32

    Scott, Steve probably did that himself.

  25. August 29, 2008 at 20:32

    @ Zainab,

    Ramadan Mubarak. I think this month is going to be special as it takes place in the hot period of the year. In Morocco, Iraqi dates are very appreciated. Dates in Morocco, during this month become a staple food to break fasting.

    To cut it short, civilization means “love thy neighbour as thou loveth thyself”
    When people manage to live in peace without infringing anyone’s right, then people can prosper in a civilized manner. Barbarism steps in when values are overlooked for selfish interest.

  26. August 29, 2008 at 20:38

    @ brett/will/mods, i sent an email.

  27. August 29, 2008 at 20:39

    @ portland mike, what issues?

  28. 29 Scott (M)
    August 29, 2008 at 20:41

    @Selena (enviously) in Paris,

    Then perhaps I am trying to cause trouble. Because I think if someone edits a comment for purposes other then a violation of guidelines on WHYS, then they should not have moderator rights (or whatever they are) to do so. If this is the case, then the rights should be revoked.

    I apologize in advance (to Steve) if I was simply mistaken. I wasn’t trying to make this a public thing? But I didn’t know how else to ask.

  29. 30 Zainab
    August 29, 2008 at 20:45

    Salam Alycom
    @ Abdelilah
    I agree with you the great month will be very very special with this hot. Insha Allah the weather will change a little bit at the beginning of Sep.
    Actually I wish I could send you some of the Iraqi dates we have 3 palm trees in our garden.

    Could you tell me more about Morocco civilization, I mean archaeological sites, and what special in them??

    yours truly,
    Zainab from Iraq

  30. 31 selena in Paris
    August 29, 2008 at 20:46


    I hope you didn’t misunderstand me. I meant that Steve probably edited his own posts (because I understood you to say that it was Steve’s post that was edited).

    However, Steve did delete some of Jonathan’s post today. Only Steve knows why. So, you will have to ask him for more information.

  31. 32 Jens
    August 29, 2008 at 20:48


    you use a lot of processed food, which is not very health. maccheese in the box is about as disgusting as one can get. i can cook a dame fine dinner of fresh chicken (89 cents a pound) or fersh talapia (99 cents a pound) using fresh vegetables and whole grains etc. i also by reduced (close to sell by date food), many americans do not realize that beef has to be adge to be really good. plus you can get a boat load of nutritiouse offal for very little money.

  32. 33 selena in Paris
    August 29, 2008 at 20:48


    Did you send the email to all mods? I have not received one from you.

  33. 34 Scott (M)
    August 29, 2008 at 20:54


    Yes, I thought that Steve might have edited his own post. Which is what I have a problem with. Because unless a post is being edited under the umbrella of the act of moderating, it shouldn’t be edited for style or flow by the poster—unless we all can do that—or unless the post is part of the moderation process.

  34. 35 Jens
    August 29, 2008 at 20:55

    sorry, obviously i do not cook dames

  35. 36 Bryan
    August 29, 2008 at 21:02

    Often on BBC blogs you will see the following message under the name of the person who has submitted the comment:

    This comment has been referred to the moderators

    I have often found that the referral process takes a really long time and it could be a day or two before the comment is approved or rejected. Problem is, the comment goes into the time slot it first occupied and by then the debate has usually moved on so that the only people to see the comment, if any, will be those who go back over the thread. It would be good if this process could be speeded up.

  36. August 29, 2008 at 21:06

    Hi gang ! :-)…. Wow, Abdelilah and Brett, this should be a very interesting weekend ! Where’s Dennis ?! He hasn’t shown up till now… I just want to wish all Muslim WHYSers Ramadan Mubarak Wa Kareem (Zainab, Shirley, Abdi, Abdelilah, Sheikh, and Imran)… My dearest brother Abdi in Kenya : Salaam… Thanks a million for your very lovely greeting cards… You’re truely a noble gentleman… My dearest brother Abdelilah in Morocco : Salaam… In our garden there’re two date-palms, one large, and one small… The small one has unfortunately fallen down a while ago, and my heart has been broken ever since ! The large one does produce dates, but not regularly unfortunately…. With my love… Yours forever, Lubna in Baghdad…

  37. 38 Lubna
    August 29, 2008 at 21:31

    Salaam Zainab my love… How are you doing darling ?! Well, with the absence of electricity down here in Iraq, even if the weather gets better (which is something I doubt), fasting will still be an incredibly harsh thing to do this year… Oh dear Allah, please ease things on us a little bit, please ! :-)… A question to all of you guys regarding civilisation : Why does the West always like to focus on the Egyptian civilisation and underestimate or even ignore the Iraqi civilisation, especially in the media and movies ?! If anyone of my Precious Western friends here on the WHYS blog can prove to me that the West does appreciate the ancient Iraqi civilisations, then I’d be really so grateful to him/her… With my love… Yours forever, Lubna in Baghdad…

  38. 39 steve
    August 29, 2008 at 21:34

    Sad story, someone trying to do a report on illegal immigration goes to illegal immigrants for story/research and gets raped.


  39. 40 steve
    August 29, 2008 at 21:37

    Left wing radio talk show host sentenced to jail for distributing child pornography


  40. 41 Shirley
    August 29, 2008 at 21:55

    10 Meals for $3
    Jens, you are absolutely right. I might have some vegetables and some legumes in my diet, but I sorely lack real (not sick) fish and fresh produce. One of my shortcomings is a lack of fresh fish repertoire. Keep in mind that I am effectively a vegetarian because of lack of halal meat in my area; and also the prohibitive cost. Obviously, I can eat dairy/eggs and fish. I do need to work on my budgeting skills as well as my ability to do something with vegetables besides just soups or raw/boiled sides/salads.

    A note that I always do appreciate a fair warning on posts that deal with rape. Headers or titles are much appreciated. Thank you.

  41. 42 Shirley
    August 29, 2008 at 22:16

    assalamu `alaykum wa rahmautllah ya muslimin! (general greeting)
    Ramadan Mubarak! (Ramadan greeting, responded with "Ramadan Karim")
    For Muslims, some places to discuss Ramadan in a threaded way. Registration at site necessary. Ramadan section of Sunni discussion forum. Ramadan section of Shia discussion forum.

    General Ramadan reading for Muslims and non-Muslims alike:
    * A Short Treatise on The Divine Invitation by Muhammad M. Khalfan
    * Fast of the Month of Ramadhan by Yasin Jibouri et al

    The former is referred to as invitation because the topic of Ramadan was treated as a banquet. The text has no evangelical purpose. The second is a portal of links to various sections of a treatment of Ramadan followed by a listing of articles related to Ramadan.

    To my Muslim brothers and sisters, what do you normally enjoy doing during Ramadan? How is Ramadan and `Id al Fitr (festival following completion of Ramadan) celebrated in your region? I enjoy most sitting for as many lectures and speeches as I can and breaking the fast with other Muslims.

  42. August 29, 2008 at 22:19


    @ Art

    When you ask us, “A question to all of you guys regarding civilisation : Why does the West always like to focus on the Egyptian civilisation and underestimate or even ignore the Iraqi civilisation, especially in the media and movies ?!”

    I’m not sure of what you mean? What Egyptian media or movie Art has the West admired recently? What are we missing with regards to Art that Iraqis are producing?

  43. August 29, 2008 at 22:20

    lol, I had to look at Steve’s post to figure out what a left wing radio host looked like. I am not sure I had heard of one before today. The closet I have ever heard was Jerry Springer. He had a show on just before Rush’s for awhile. Then I guess you could call Diane Rehm. I guess in that light you could call Ross and all of WHYS host “left wing”. They are on stations notable criticized as being the extreme liberal.

  44. 45 Shirley
    August 29, 2008 at 22:23

    Holidays & Observances
    For our non-Muslim WHYSayers, Rosh Hashanah, Samhein, Thanksgiving Day, and other holidays are fast approaching. Have you yet begun to feel the excitement of the upcoming holidays? What do you plan to do to observe your special days? How are they comemorated in your region? Are there special greetings that are exchanged or special foods that are cooked?

    Hello Around the World (Eastern Version?)
    By the way, on the Hello Around the World thing, I don’t think that we heard from many (if any at all) Africans on the various greetings in their native languages. If Nelson, Abdi, Abdelillah, and Mohammed Ali can fill us in on how to say hello, my name is ___, how are you, please, thank you, and you’re welcome, it would spice up our week-end even more. Also, I think that the only Asian greetings that were exchanged were the Chinese, Urdu, and (if you count it thus) Arab ones. Do we have anyone here from Japan, Korea, etc.?

  45. 46 Robert Evans
    August 29, 2008 at 22:45

    @ Zainab

    Hey how is Iraq I have a friend who is an Iraqi citizen although at present she is in Egypt

  46. 47 Amy
    August 29, 2008 at 22:47


    I think that because of Saddam Hussien, many in the West are just not aware of the rich history of Iraq and Iraqi civilization. I hope that in the future more information can come out about the history of the entire region, and not the political history, but the history of the people and culture. I honestly think that once you get to know about a culture, you can respect it (even if you don’t agree with some things) and find common ground to move towards peace. I may be an optimist, but I have to have hope for the future for my daughters. Ramadan Mubarak and try to stay cool.

  47. 48 Amy
    August 29, 2008 at 22:48


    Even though I really don’t care for dates, I would definitely try them if they came from your trees. My father loved them so I know he would look down on me and smile for trying. Ramadan Mubarak.

  48. 49 Dennis
    August 29, 2008 at 22:49

    @ Abdelilah & Brett:
    Welcome to the moderators table….

    To all of our friends! Enjoy Ramadan….


  49. 50 Amy
    August 29, 2008 at 22:51


    As a moderator, I sometime will “edit” my own posts but only if I catch a misspelling or something along those lines (say instead of writing “this”, I write “htis”). I don’t try to alter anyones posts unless it is against the WHYS guidelines. I just tend to get irritated with myself for spelling or grammatical errors.

  50. 51 Dennis
    August 29, 2008 at 22:55

    @ Lubna:

    I was out, when you first came on! I was at Wal-Mart Supercentre, Couple of Department Stores and the banks….

    I am sorry for not being around…


  51. 52 Bryan
    August 29, 2008 at 22:55

    Yep, no bias at the BBC:

    BBC ‘soft’ on council, claims star

    28/ 8/2008

    TV and radio presenter Terry Christian was instructed to ‘go gentle’ on guests from Manchester city council by managers at the BBC, he told a tribunal.

    The 45-year-old ‘shock jock’ is taking legal action against the corporation after losing his slot on BBC Radio Manchester.


  52. 53 Julie P
    August 29, 2008 at 22:57


    You’re welcome to edit my grammatical errors. I know I have a propensity for leaving out words, please, if you can, put them in if you can figure out what they are.

  53. 54 Scott (M)
    August 29, 2008 at 23:01

    DATES are great with Chocolate—yum!
    Add some nuts and make a torte!

  54. 55 Scott (M)
    August 29, 2008 at 23:10


    See, if I make a typo—I can’t edit it. It makes me look stupider then I already look! It doesn’t seem equitable if some can do that and some can’t. I could understand if it is a post relating specifically to the tasks of moderating however. Sorry all—I didn’t mean to start a thread-killer with that whole thing.

  55. 56 Amy
    August 29, 2008 at 23:10


    If my dad were still alive, he’d be at your house in a heartbeat if you had a a torte with chocolate, dates and nuts. And, he’d probably eat it all!

  56. 57 Dennis
    August 29, 2008 at 23:14

    @ Bryan:

    Regarding BBC policy about MODERATORS and problems
    with the link, currently i have 2 of my requests, waiting to be read….


  57. 58 Jamily5
    August 29, 2008 at 23:14


    I do know people who suffer from schizophrenia.
    The prob, Shirley, is that they have some abnormal thought processes.
    sometimes it is illusions.
    Sometimes it is audio hallucinations.
    And, some feel persecuted and yes, sometimes paranoid.
    They act upon these voices or hallucinations or thoughts.
    Reality, for them is truly altered and it is hard to convince them that their reality is not … … real.
    The prob is that the meds aren’t all that great.
    when they are on meds, many schizophrenics report a loss of creativity. They say that they are not motivated, either and that the meds make them sleepy, constipated, gain weight and feel like they are in a fog.
    Science has noted that the frontal lobe of the brain is stimulated in schizophrenic people and there are irregular amounts of dopamine in the brain.
    It is just difficult for them to distinguish reality from their illusions.

  58. August 29, 2008 at 23:14

    @ Zainab,

    Thanks for the offer of Iraqi dates.
    Morocco as a lot of archaeological sites dating from the Romans and of course the Arabs. Moroccan civilization is principally Arab and Berber. The cities that represent Moroccan civilization well in terms of historic heritage are Rabat, Fes and Marrakesh.
    I hope this link will be of help:

    @ Lubna,
    Ramadan Mubarak.
    Morocco used to have a lot of palm trees but now they are degrading because of drought and urban expansion. Marrakesh used to be known as the city of palm trees but now in it there just a few of them far and between.

    @ Shirely,
    For greeting and introducing oneself in Arabic is the same all over the Arab world.
    how are you: Kaifa Halouk (كيف حالك)
    please: min fadlik / arjouk (من فضلك)
    thank you: shukran (شكرا )
    you’re welcome: ala arrahbi a si3a ( على الرحب و السعة)

  59. 60 steve
    August 29, 2008 at 23:15

    Question for death penalty supporters, do you think she should get the death penalty?


  60. 61 Amy
    August 29, 2008 at 23:16


    I understand the frustration. Personally, I don’t think anyone here is stupid!! I envy those who have English as a second (or third) language. I understand that typing in that other language can sometimes lead to misspellings and other errors. I wish there was a way for someone to go back and correct something in their own posts without needing moderating rights. If there is something you really want fixed, you can always ask for a moderator to contact you, let us know what you want fixed, we fix it and delete the post asking for a moderator to contact you. I know that is a lot, but that’s the only thing I can think of for now.

  61. 62 Amy
    August 29, 2008 at 23:16


    I recovered your lost post!

  62. 63 Jamily5
    August 29, 2008 at 23:17

    Shirley, How about stuffed peppers, tomatoes or mushrooms?
    Caramelized carrots are good, but high in sugar (brown sugar).

    And, rice is more healthy than mac&cheese.

  63. 64 Dennis
    August 29, 2008 at 23:18

    you are always allow to make corrections on my posts!

    Dennis 🙂

  64. 65 Jamily5
    August 29, 2008 at 23:18

    The screening processes are different for different organizations.
    I do believe that it is good:
    Nelson, some of the orphanages are just like those adoptive places that you mentioned.
    But, when people adopt from other countries, I think that they need to make a serious and consistent effort to learn&teach the child about the country that they came from.

  65. 66 Jamily5
    August 29, 2008 at 23:20

    Hi Abdelilah,
    At first, I thought that you and Abdi were the same person.
    I almost wrote a post asking Abdi when he traveled to Morocco.
    So, hi to both Abdi and Abdelilah.

  66. 67 Dennis
    August 29, 2008 at 23:23

    About Steve question:
    Death Penalty: for this person, yes…because her case covered when it
    first happend on CNN Headline News and the Nancy Grace show.

    i think this person, i am sorry for not calling her a lady, since she lost the right–when she put this young child in the microwave….

    Dennis 😦

  67. 68 Jamily5
    August 29, 2008 at 23:24

    Dates are great in cereals (hot) also.
    I enjoy them
    But, I have not seen them on a tree. It would be fun, Zainab to pick them and eat them without knowing that they had to be packed and sent by truck before I ate them.

  68. 69 Jamily5
    August 29, 2008 at 23:25

    Hi Lubna,
    Will you post some links that you think we would enjoy about your Iraqi culture, etc?
    I’d love to learn more!!!

  69. August 29, 2008 at 23:32

    Hi Jamily5,

    Actually we’re different as you’ve realized. Abdelilah is a compound name. It is actually Abd-Al- ilah, which in Arabic means the servant of God. Actually, I don’t know if I am a good servant but at least I try to be a good person!
    In Arabic, there are a hundred name starting with Abd-Al- , followed by one of the names of God, like Abdalhamid: http://www.sufism.org/society/asma/
    For short these names are abbreviated into Abdou. So call me Abdou!

    Anyway, you’re always welcome to Morocco.

  70. 71 Scott (M)
    August 29, 2008 at 23:50

    Amy—et al,

    Thank you for your response and info. I guess it was my impression that posts generally were not edited by anyone except for the headers or leaders. I was aware comments were sometimes not posted due to content that violates the guidelines for alleged personal attacks.

    I don’t have an objection to the idea of editing posts, the objection is to the fact that some people can and some people can’t. I am not frustrated exactly, more surprised that we would find this un-level playing field to be an acceptable component for such an inclusive and democratic program.

    I do value the work that moderators do and I thank you for that. I wasn’t trying to pick on anyone. I won’t say anything more about it.

  71. 72 Jamily5
    August 29, 2008 at 23:54

    Hi Abdu,
    this is quite interesting.
    But, can’t the names get quite long? So, there is Abdal-bari,
    and so forth??
    I checked out that site.
    I am sorry that your name was not listed.
    It should have been.

  72. August 29, 2008 at 23:59

    Scott, switch to firefox and Ububtu. Everything is spellchecked, even when you are typing in the post box. Plus, they are free and it keeps the internet world safe from the dictatorship and tyranny of being a slave to Microsoft.

  73. 74 Jamily5
    August 30, 2008 at 00:00

    To all muslims:
    I know that when I go to different parts of the world and we celebrate the same holiday, sometimes, they have their own customs in celebrations.
    The holiday is basically the same, but also some of the cultural customs are brought into the celebration.
    Do you find this in Ramadan, also?
    What are the differences when you celebrate Ramadan in
    Morocco, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, Nigeria, America, the UK, … …?

  74. 75 imran
    August 30, 2008 at 00:23

    Salam jamily and others,
    Well, one thing that is noticeable in the month of ramadan, is the extensive arrangement of food for the “aftaars.” (the time when we break the fast immediately after the sunset. Shia brothers break it usually ten minutes after the sunset.) So no matter where pakistanis are, they would usually make pakorhas and samosas for the aftaars. People also generally break the fast with dates as is the Sunnah of the prophet Muhammad Peace Be Upon Him.

  75. August 30, 2008 at 00:25

    @ Jamily5
    It’s true Abdelilah doesn’t feature in the list but it exists. Al-ilah is also a synonym of Allah which means God.

    Concerning the way Ramadan is celebrated among Muslims, it differs according to their traditions. The major differences are the foods that are prepared on this occasion.

    Actually Ramadan isn’t a holiday or a celebration. for Muslim it’s a month of piety, during which they should live religiously. But it has become also a commercial occasion as food consumption ironically increases when Muslims should through fasting feel the hunger of the destitute who can’t afford good meals throughout the year- day in, day out.

    It’ s a month in which everything comes to life at night before dawn by organising invitations to family members and friends and by going to public places where concerts and other artistic activities are organised.

    In short, Ramadan is a month of extra spending and extra prayers for spiritual salvation.

  76. 77 Brett
    August 30, 2008 at 00:33

    @ Steve:
    Sad story, someone trying to do a report on illegal immigration goes to illegal immigrants for story/research and gets raped.

    Thats horrible 😦 And sure to fan the flames of anti-immigration sentiment.

  77. 78 Robert Evans
    August 30, 2008 at 00:54

    Happily I can now report that my friend in Thialand is ok. I was relived about this because I like her. Although this situation has caused me to cancel my planned trip to Thailand

  78. 79 Virginia Davis
    August 30, 2008 at 00:55

    Lubna: One of my most desolate realizations was that your culture, one of the oldest in the world, and the heart of civilization, was looted and destroyed and exported after the invasion. And this despite pleadings from all sorts of museums and professional groups, that the artifacts be protected. Arrogance, hubris, the utter stupidity of Bush and Cheney and Rumsfield. I am so sorry. Virginia in Oregon

  79. 80 Virginia Davis
    August 30, 2008 at 00:58

    regarding a VP who was replaced. as I recall there was a senator from Missouri who it was discovered had had shock treatment for depression and when this became known, he withdrew from consideration. Virginia

  80. 81 Jamily5
    August 30, 2008 at 00:59

    I have not had Samosas, Imran.
    But, I have had pakoorahs and like them very much.
    They were mass produced, though and I am sure that homemade are better!
    What I was wanting to know is if culture also plays a part in Ramadan.
    Is there a difference between the way you might fast&pray, etc and the way Abdi from Kenya or Lubna from Iraq fasts & prays???
    Imran, you are in America, now.
    Are there noticeable differences between Ramadan in America and ramadan in Pakistan?
    Do you find that you miss the way Pakistanis observe Ramadan, as opposed to Americans or people who have been influenced by America?

  81. August 30, 2008 at 01:08

    Hi again gang ! :-)… This is going to be my last post before going to bed, so Good Night everybody…

    1-Salaam Shirley darling… In Ramadan I usually enjoy praying and reading the Holy Koran the most… I also like very much studying and sleeping while fasting ! :-)… The juice of dried grapes is my ultimate blessing after breaking my fasting…

    2-Hi Precious Abdelilah in Morocco… In my opinion if you travel around our entire planet ten times, you won’t find any dates which are more delicious than Iraqi dates, and especially those coming from the southern Iraqi city of Basrah… Unfortunately Iraqi palm-trees are in serious danger at the moment, due to successive wars, pollution, and severe lack of specialised care from the Iraqi authorities…

    3-Hi Precious Jamily in the US… Unfortunately I cannot post any web links down here because I access the internet through mobile phone (any help with posting links about ancient Iraqi civilisations down here guys ?!)…

    4-Hi Precious Mike in Portland… Actually I was talking about ancient Iraqi civilisations that were existant thousands of years before the birth of Jesus Christ (May Peace be upon him), not about recent Iraqi arts my good friend…

    5-Hi Amy my love… You’ve got my point honey… Your analysis is to a large extent true… But what about the time period before Saddam came to power ?! Amy, please, always keep being optimistic and hopeful… You and your Precious little family are truely an inspiration to me…

    6-Hi Precious Dennis in the US…. I am really so glad that you have showed up my good friend… With my love… Yours forever, Lubna in Baghdad… PS, Where’re Vanessa, Kathi, Angela, and Jess ?!

  82. August 30, 2008 at 01:09

    @ Jamily5

    As far as I know there are no differences in fasting. It’s from dawn to sunset, regardless the length of the day. fasting can range from 12 hours to 15 hours. Concerning prayer I think there is a difference depending on being Sunni or Shiite. I think those who have the best answer to your question on this blog are Lubna and Zainab in whose country Iraq there are Sunni and Shiite.

  83. 84 Virginia Davis
    August 30, 2008 at 01:12

    regarding schizophrenia: once or twice I have had auditory hallucinations. my sister believes I hear voices because, particularly as an artist, I “open” my consciousness. some people describe that as prayer, some inspiration. Neil Young has a good rap on being “open” to “the or a force.” Talking with someone in a full blown psychosis is like communicating in non sequiters – but if you keep going, there is a “pattern.” I have experienced visual hallucinations. The problem with meds is that once “we” get on them, and things clear up, there are so many damning side effects. That you go off because your thoughts have cleared but you are sleeping a lot, or you eat a lot. etc. And also because many prescribers over medicate, especially when you wind up in a hospital. And the neuroleptics or anti-psychotics make your thought processes weird in another way. I am on a low dose of Haldol – many who “know” are horrified. Yet it is all in “the dark ages” and I refuse to be a guinea pig for the drug companies so I am “religious” in downing that pill at bedtime (because even those side effects don’t affect you as much when you are asleep.)

    The age of death for the mentally ill – from a study by State hospital administrators and for a variety of factors – is 51 years of age. For general population: 76 years of age.

    If anyone wants to ask questions about mental illness from my own point of view or references, please do so.

  84. 85 rick
    August 30, 2008 at 01:19

    @ Abdi re: Ramadan
    does that mean that someone working out in the hot sun all day cannot have a drink of water? I go through at least 2 litres and get quite affected if I don’t drink drink a lot during my shift.

  85. 86 Dennis
    August 30, 2008 at 01:21

    What are Samosas?
    Now, i would like to bring up a story that Darva in Jamaica
    brought up in the previous TP’s about Hurricane Gustav…The media
    here in the United States, are predicting that it could have a trigger on New Orleans, Louisiana and parts of the Gulf Coast, in the United States of America…

    I have family that lives in Mississippi, In the United States and i hope it is
    not going to be like Hurricane Katrina was like in 2005.


  86. 87 Dennis
    August 30, 2008 at 01:24

    @ Lubna:

    I will be always here for you my dear friend!!!!

    I pray for you and your country everynight…..

    Dennis 🙂

  87. 88 Jamily5
    August 30, 2008 at 01:32

    Virginia Davis,
    You are brave and inspirational.
    Many of the people that I know who suffer from this illness don’t just hear voices and see visions. Many have threatening illusions and can’t distinguish real danger from perceived danger. Because they feel that they are in danger, this alters their daily living.
    Yes, I know people who hear voices that tell them that they are important and that they somehow have been chosen for a particular secretive mission. They find patterns and links between things that I would have never thought existed. But, many people who I have worked with also have a specific paranoya, as well.
    I must admit, however, , most of my work has been with those who have been homeless and mentally ill.
    So, my experiences might be skewed because by the time I saw them, they were well into their delusions.
    Thank you for your personal experience on this subject.
    It is always best to get a personal prospective when discussing an issue.
    If we are discussing “Islam,” then, we should talk with muslims.
    If we are discussing Iraq, then, that discussion should not continue without Lubna..
    … or someone else who is from Iraq–Zainab??
    ….. ……

  88. 89 Dennis
    August 30, 2008 at 01:33

    Hi, my dear friends:

    I want to post this message letting everyone know, that on Saturday and most of Sunday, I will not be around here…

    Because I will be returning to Onondaga Community College, in Syracuse, New York on Sunday for check in to Residence Hall for my building is at 8.00AM eastern standard time….

    I will check in, sometime on Sunday…

    I want to have everyone keep an eye for My dear friend, Lubna in Baghdad….that is a Very Special Request!!! that i making.

    My first day of Classes for the Fall Semester are on Tuesday, 2 September 2008!



  89. 90 Dan
    August 30, 2008 at 01:35

    Steve…I see where Bernie Ward was sentenced to 5 years.

  90. August 30, 2008 at 01:35

    @ Rick,

    During Ramadan, not a single drop of water is allowed. Even during football matches, for example, players aren’t allowed to drink.

    However there are cases in which Muslims aren’t obliged to fast.
    * Women don’t fast when they are pregnant, breastfeeding their babies, having just given birth or having menstruation.
    * Sick people undergoing treatment or having a surgical operation.
    * People who are on a long journey

    But this doesn’t mean they’re totally exempt. they should fast the same number of days after Ramadan.

    * For people suffering from chronic diseases like diabetes or ulcer, they aren’t obliged to fast.

    In case a person eats or drink without such conditions, they have to fast 60 days for each day. It they can’t they should feed 60 poor people or they should free a slave. ( This was when there were still slaves in Muslim societies.)

    These are some of the principles of fasting in Ramadan.

  91. 92 Dan
    August 30, 2008 at 01:38

    @Virginia Davis
    One of my people hears voices “in the background” in his head. He chooses to ignore them and is reasonably normal and an excellent worker.
    His problem are when he is alone or has nothing to do. He hates the drugs as he says the make him “stupid’.

  92. 93 Dan
    August 30, 2008 at 01:39

    @Abdelilah Boukili
    OMG Muslims had slaves!!!???? When are you paying reparations?

  93. August 30, 2008 at 01:44

    @ Dan,
    Reparations can be paid by Muslims when the US and Europe do the same. If you see what I mean.

    Anyhow, slavery was a shameful part in the history of mankind. The efforts should be made to eradicate new slavery existing in many countries through the over-exploitation of poor workers for dismal pay.

  94. 95 Dan
    August 30, 2008 at 01:49

    @Abdelilah Boukili
    Even though Muslims making people slaves predates Europe and America so do not wait for us.
    seriously you understood my point entirely. Every people at some point were slaves.

  95. August 30, 2008 at 01:56

    @ Dan

    Does or has capitalism make economic slaves of some peoples? I’m thinking of America’s “illegals?” Or, many of the third world fabricators that supply the Wallmarts of the world? Not that I’m anti-capitalism, but it seems to me that consumer desires by the better-off, has created a huge underpaid workforce in many countries.

  96. 97 Dan
    August 30, 2008 at 02:02

    Let us be very clear. Capitalism FREES people. People who live in Capitalism have sufficient food to eat, a growing economy, new jobs, good & services in abundance and are not slaves to a government that makes decisions for them.
    America has illegal aliens as the economies of their countries have made them poor, illiterate and slaves. They break the law and cross our borders to make money.
    The Third World fabricators as you put it are seeing their standards of living and lives improve by becoming the manufacturing centers for the First World and many of those countries have long since moved out of crushing Third World poverty.
    If only that were true in Muslim countries.
    Don’t lay any guilt on my as it will not stick. Capitalism is the way to climb the economic ladder.

  97. 98 Shirley
    August 30, 2008 at 02:03

    94 Dan August 30, 2008 at 1:39 am
    @Abdelilah Boukili
    OMG Muslims had slaves!!!???? When are you paying reparations?

    Dan, when you begin to go around calling for reparations for peoples such as Afro-descendants, indigenous Americans, etc. your argument might be taken more seriously.

  98. August 30, 2008 at 02:10

    do we know McCains work out and eating habits? And do we care. Why woudl the media think we care about Ms Palin’s http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122002155637283431.html?mod=yhoofront

    AS uit was I didn’t care about what Phelps ate and his workout regiment. At least that had something to do with his job. Now if somebody has a shot of her pudding wresteling that might peak my interest. Maybe McCain got wind of my idea and was trying to pick himself a champion.

  99. 100 Venessa
    August 30, 2008 at 02:27

    Dwight ~

    I think he heard about your campaign and definitely wanted to pick someone prettier than his wife to wrestle with….hehehehe!

  100. 101 Venessa
    August 30, 2008 at 02:27

    Hi Lubna ~

    I’m glad you are well. I’ve been busy this afternoon but will be on the BP this weekend.

  101. 102 Dan
    August 30, 2008 at 02:43

    You need to come to grips with Muslims making slave of innocents. The history books are filled with this. Even today Muslim countries make actual & virtual slaves of women. This you cannot deny.
    Why should any modern day American Black get or deserve reparations? America has given so much opportunity. Are you saying that Blacks are too stupid to achieve and need to be coddled like an infant?
    What about American Indians with similar opportunities and no gambling revenue. Do you want to infantalize them as well.
    Typical liberal claptrap. “Feed the hungry…clothe the poor” are wonderful slogans but help no one.

  102. 103 Jamily5
    August 30, 2008 at 02:48

    and many of those countries have long since moved out of crushing Third World poverty.
    If only that were true in Muslim countries.

    “muslim,” is not synonymous with “Third world.”
    There are many third-world countries with crushing poverty that aren’t muslim.

  103. 104 Dan
    August 30, 2008 at 02:55

    You are correct that Muslim does not necessarily equal Third World. My point was that Muslim countries remain mired in crushing poverty as well….but before the protests arrive many Muslim countries have a decent and improving standard of living and practice a form of Capitalism. I wonder where the world might have progressed to without the radical Islam of the Middle East.

  104. 105 Dennis
    August 30, 2008 at 02:56

    From my post @ August 30, 2008 at 1:33 am

    In my absence!

    Could everyone keep an eye for Lubna and the rest of my dear friends on WHYS….

    [please read my post for the reason…]


  105. 106 Roberto
    August 30, 2008 at 03:23

    Let us be very clear. Capitalism FREES people. People who live in Capitalism have sufficient food to eat, a growing economy, new jobs, good & services in abundance and are not slaves to a government that makes decisions for them.

    ———- Very interesting. Is this New Age Crystal History?

    Long before capitalism, communism and government, there was just tribes of people living in isolation all over the world with plenty to eat usually, enough that they had enough free time to create great artistic artifacts that are a wonder to modern society when discovered by archeologists today..

    Unfortunately some other more aggressive tribes took umbrage at their existance, thrus creating the need for “goverment” alliances of tribes and varying “philosophies” to govern said alliances.

    Modern Chinese have brilliantly combined communism with capitalism perhaps in a new millennium paradigm shift not yet coined in handy phraseology by the historical scribes for us unwashed masses.

  106. 107 Jamily5
    August 30, 2008 at 03:32

    I wonder where the world might
    have progressed to without the radical Islam of the Middle East.

    Looke at Chile and Zimbabwe, just to name two.
    Islam does not effect them at all, but poverty does.
    We can’t blame Islam for this one — not even extreme Islam.
    There is not a correlation between ineffective and tyranical leaders and Islam.
    There are many muslims who would not support such leaders and there are many of these leaders who have nothing to do with Islam.
    The Quran is just their method of justification.
    Just as anti-colonialism is Mugabe’s.

  107. 108 imran
    August 30, 2008 at 03:42

    but anti-colonialism is and never was a good thing for those who have been influenced by it. Colonial powers have generally deprived people of their resources while becoming richer and more powerful all the while.

  108. 109 Bob in Queensland
    August 30, 2008 at 03:45

    Good Morning All!

    I’m still drinking tea and reading in but one thing caught my eye straight away:

    @ Dan

    Let us be very clear. Capitalism FREES people. People who live in Capitalism have sufficient food to eat, a growing economy, new jobs, good & services in abundance and are not slaves to a government that makes decisions for them.

    This is NOT true in a pure capitalist state. Under totally pure capitalism it’s a case of “we take no prisoners and we leave our wounded”. If somebody, even for an honest reason, is rendered unable to work then they are left to starve or rely on the charity of others.

    That said, in most cases capitalism has been modified (many would say diluted) to include a government “safety net” for those who need it. It’s this safety net that provides food and shelter for the old and sick, not capitalism per se. Of course, such a safety net is an anathema to capitalism. Heaven forbid…it’s creeping socialism!

  109. August 30, 2008 at 04:16

    @ Dan

    “They break the law and cross our borders to make money.”

    Latinos break a law that we have not enforced for sixty years. Generations. But since they are scofflaws, they are often vulnerable to abuse from their employers. Their employers abuse them financially to keep prices down.

  110. 111 Dennis
    August 30, 2008 at 04:32

    i was going to mention that we have it correct on what number we are on this time…..

    @ bob in queensland, enjoy your tea….


  111. 112 Roberto
    August 30, 2008 at 04:47

    Re: Latinos break a law that we have not enforced for sixty years.

    ——– Not true at all.

    Until 20-25 yrs ago, border patrol in Texas was vigilant and largely enforced the borders. Of course some to always slip in.

    From the above time forward, border patrol only went through the motions in advance of NAFTA agreements. This only on the southern borders of course, and only in the US. Canada has no such mass illegal immigrations in or out of the country.

  112. 113 jamily5
    August 30, 2008 at 04:58

    You have a point.
    But, my point to Dan is that *religion* is not responsible for Poverty.
    Tyranical leaders will use what ever they can to justify their actions – it just so happens that the one that corrupt leaders are using in the middle East is the Quran. It is a good one to use because if they can get average muslims to believe that they are in the bounds of the quran with these actions, then, these leaders can continue. But, a corrupt man will use his best technique of justification and Middle Eastern leaders and/or Muslim leaders certainly do not have a monopoly on corruptness.
    And, Muslim countries don’t hold the market on poverty, either.

  113. 114 Zainab
    August 30, 2008 at 05:00

    Salam to all,
    Oh, deraest i really wish i could send you some of our dates, i would like you to try it, (really tasty), we (my family and I) eat dates alot, i dare saying that we finish ours and buy some from the market as well. it’s delicious and very useful. Ramadan mubarak to you too.Please say hello to your lovely daughters.
    yours truly,
    Zainab from Iraq

  114. 115 jamily5
    August 30, 2008 at 05:06

    I think that more investigation needs to be done in Nepal about their orphans.

  115. 116 Zainab
    August 30, 2008 at 05:10

    @Robert Evans
    How are you?thank you for asking 🙂
    Well thank God, Iraq is getting better by time, we can go out even at night, I live in Baghdad, and can travel to other governorates. We went to Karbula and Najaf stayed there for two days, my father went to Al anbar to visit some friends, our relatives in Basrah visited us here in Baghdad. .. So as you see again thank God, things are getting better. I really appreciate your asking.
    yours truly
    Zainab from Iraq

  116. 117 Bob in Queensland
    August 30, 2008 at 05:17

    @ Shirley

    3 Meals for $10

    Well, we were pretty arbitrary in this. Our eating habits tend to be one main meal with something like cereal or toast for breakfast and a sandwich for lunch–as we already had the stuff for breakfast and lunch we stuck to the single main meal.

    Also, the goal wasn’t to be just the cheapest we could do–more to see how cheaply we could have good, tasty (and healthy) food. If I wanted REALLY cheap we could certainly trim the budget still more!

    In any case, the soup was good and will provide another meal or two for the three of us…so it turns out to be 5 meals (for 3) for $10….and the Aussie dollar is worth less than you US one so that’s nearer $9 for you!

  117. 118 Zainab
    August 30, 2008 at 05:35

    Ramadhan Karim.You’re absolutely right about the absence of electricity will never help us in our fasting, But insha Allah He [Allah] is always standing by our side. Well I told you before that i’ve tried fasting in the previous two months (Rajab and Shabaan), i can tell you that it was not that bad, just (have your Sohor =eating before dawn, and insha Allah everything will be all right 🙂

    I want to ask the same question (of Lubna) “Why does the West always like to focus on the Egyptian civilization?” as in The Mummy and many other movies?
    Ramadhan Karim, wishing you the best of this month.
    “To my Muslim brothers and sisters, what do you normally enjoy doing during Ramadan?”
    Well the first thing is that we get nearer from Allah, by praying, and listening to lectures, and Adaia (ادعية) . and then we as a family use to sit together at time of Fotor (breaking our fasting at sunset time), a thing we rarely doing cuz of being busy to come together, you know everyone has his/her own time…many other things like for me when I’m fasting I use to talk a little bit less than normal, so I like it.
    But there is the bad thing which is watching TV arabic series, (i don’t know whether you’re watching Arabic channels or not (insha Allah not) cuz in Ramadhan month, these channels used to make a competition which one is showing the largest number of series.
    yours truly
    Zainab from Iraq

  118. 119 Amy
    August 30, 2008 at 05:45

    Good night (or morning/afternoon) everyone. I’m off to bed but I know there are other mods out there to hold down the fort.

  119. 120 Zainab
    August 30, 2008 at 05:56

    About Civilization:

    Iraq is the cradle of civilization, It’s the place where civilization began, it’s the longest surviving continuous tradition of civilization in the world, it’s earlier than Egypt or any other place . And that it is the foundation of all ideas of all civilizations. A great number of archaeological sites are situated on the Euphrates and Tigris rivers (a land called Mesopotamia) and in other areas. Experts estimate that there are about 100,000 sites of cultural and historical importance in Iraq , most of them not yet excavated; about 10,000 are known.
    We have many civilizations such as: The Assyrian civilization , The Sumerian civilization , The Akkadian civilization , The Babylonian civilization.
    Manuscripts were discovered saying that it was in Iraq where man first attempted to write, develop formal education systems and elaborate legislative systems. It was also the dawn of discoveries in areas such as medicine, chemistry, mathematics, astronomy, creativity in arts, literature and the blooming of commerce, craftwork and others. Hammurabi (the Babylonian Famous King) instituted an all-encompassing code of laws that addressed many aspects of the social life in Babylon, aiming at strengthening the rule of law and protecting the weakest.This code is inscribed on his famous stele.
    examples of the archaeological sites in Iraq: Aqar Quf (near Baghdad) , Babylon, Hatra, Ukhaidhir, Ur, Nineveh, Nimrud and many many other places.
    we also have the ziggurat: which was a temple tower of the ancient Iraq (and other places), having the form of a terraced pyrmaid of successively receding stories or levels.
    you also can take a look on:


    yours truly,
    Zainab from Iraq

  120. 121 1430a
    August 30, 2008 at 06:50

    salut all,
    today is a very free day.after a weeks formal writing,today i get to write without any formalities.
    Anyways guys any topics to discuss on?please fill me with some ideas…:)

  121. 122 Bryan
    August 30, 2008 at 07:04

    Dennis August 29, 2008 at 11:14 pm

    @ Bryan:

    Regarding BBC policy about MODERATORS and problems
    with the link, currently i have 2 of my requests, waiting to be read….

    Yes, but have you been waiting for days?!

  122. 123 Bob in Queensland
    August 30, 2008 at 07:45

    Re: Moderation

    FYI, I’ve just checked and there are no posts awaiting approval, either in the standard queue or in spam. If you’re waiting for something, it’s gone missing and needs to be re-sent.

  123. 124 Shirley
    August 30, 2008 at 08:09

    The point is that you don’t agree with reparations as a policy. When you make a big to-do about Muslims owing their former slaves reparations, the contradictions are almost laughable (if the situation itself were not so sad).

    Your views on Islam and on Muslims seem to be set in stone; and they certainly do not seem to be positive or flexible, either. I really do not care at all to discuss my views about what Muslims have done in the past with you, because it would be a waste of my time and certainly not entertaining. You have already assumed that I blindly support whatever atrocities Muslims have comitted in the past. Go pick your fights elsewhere.

  124. 125 selena in Paris
    August 30, 2008 at 08:18

    Good morning everyone!

    Still a lot of discussion on the Palin page.

  125. 126 roebert
    August 30, 2008 at 08:18

    CAPITALISM is an ongoing institutionalized injustice in constant need of redress by one or another form of ‘socialist’ intervention. Where such redress is completely absent, capitalism reflects an unjust mindset permeating an entire society. Every victory for pure capitalism is a defeat for human justice, dignity and interdependence. The supposed total political freedom in a purely capitalist nation is an illusion, since capitalism rests on power, and power is purchased by wealth. The proletariat have no real power or choice at all. So, capitalism = oligarchy, plain and simple.

  126. 127 Bryan
    August 30, 2008 at 08:46

    Re Ramadan, I was wondering what our Muslim brothers and sisters on this blog think about this:

    Town Hall bid to extend Ramadan fast to non-Muslims fuels row:


    A SENIOR councillor has condemned as “divisive” a move by Town Hall leaders to extend Muslim fasting rules on non-Muslim politicians during the holy month of Ramadan.

    Tower Hamlets council’s Lib Dem group leader Stephanie Eaton said she would be ignoring arrangements which favoured one religious group over others.

    (Spot the incorrect preposition ‘on’ which should be ‘to’.)

    Is this Islamic – to seriously infringe other people’s rights? This is the kind of attitude that makes many in the UK and elsewhere wary of Muslims. What’s next? Forced conversions to Islam?

  127. 128 Bryan
    August 30, 2008 at 08:59

    Shirley August 30, 2008 at 8:09 am

    I think you are being a little too defensive. No doubt Dan can speak for himself but my take from his post on August 30, 2008 at 2:43 am is that there is a pot/kettle situation here, and of course he is quite correct. Arab Muslim slavery of blacks was horrendous. Why only concentrate on white slave owners?

    As for him picking his fights elsewhere, he has every right to express his opinion here, whether or not you or anyone else approves of it.

  128. 129 Bob in Queensland
    August 30, 2008 at 09:04

    @ Bryan

    I’ve read that article a couple of times now and it seems to veer back and forth between Islamic rules being imposed and a request that Islamic councillors be shown courtesy.

    The former would, of course, be very wrong. No religion should impose it’s rules upon others. However, if it turns out to be the latter, then I’d say this is more of a tempest in a teacup.

  129. 130 Bob in Queensland
    August 30, 2008 at 09:08

    Semi OT aside about Ramadan:

    At the last place I worked before my retirement, we sublet one floor of our building to an Arabic company. They strictly observed the fasting rules during Ramadan but their company arranged for a large order of takeaway food to be delivered right after sunset.

    It was amazing how many non-Muslims (including myself) would find an excuse to “pop upstairs” and meet with them at sunset–the buffet they set up daily was delicious and they were very generous!

  130. August 30, 2008 at 09:15

    Good Morning From Kenya.
    @ Lubna
    You wrote.
    “My dearest brother Abdi in Kenya : Salaam… Thanks a million for your very lovely greeting cards… You’re truely a noble gentleman…With my love… Yours forever, Lubna in Baghdad…”

    Thanks a million times my sister in Muslim,I really appreciate that.Thanks to allah ..

    @ Rick
    Ramadhan Means keeping away from
    -Eating and Drinking all day long
    -Keeping away from your wife all day long
    -Not smoking

    @ Bryan
    Hapy Ramadhan.i have just noticed your comments a bove hold on there and wait for my comments.

    -Not back bitting someone
    -Not speaking a busive languages
    -Praying 5 daily prayers and asking God for forgiveness

    @ Jamily
    Your wrong jamily I and Abdelilah in morocco are too different Muslim persons.You’r a regular to WHYS and I never thought that you will ever fail to understand WHYS listners.I find it very easy to take a pen and a paper and start writting down the names+countreies of the most top 100 regular Listners of WHYS.Not to mention the names of Former and Present WHYS staff’s in Bush House London..I will never forget Vicky and David Mazower-former WHYS whom I had the golden opportunity to meet them live..Not to Mention meeting Ros Live in two Consecutive years.

    “Mimi naitwa”-means my name is
    ‘Habari yako’-means how are you
    “tafadhali’-means please
    ‘Asante’-Means Thank you
    ‘Karibu’-Means Your wel-come

    Wishing you a happy and prosperous ramadhan too.

  131. August 30, 2008 at 09:25

    @ Bob
    Morning to you My dear Bob
    Muslims are generous to all persons irrespective of his/her background.The Quran teaches us to be free of discriminations ecpecially during Ramadhan.
    I am very much excited by the idea that ‘the Ramadhan topic’is burning across BP No.22.We only need non-muslims WHYS listners to add more fuel…..

  132. 133 Bob in Queensland
    August 30, 2008 at 09:26

    @ Abdi (or maybe Shirley)

    A genuine question for you:

    I notice you wished people a “happy and prosperous Ramadan”. Is this usual?

    My likely erroneous understanding was the Ramadan was a time of fasting and reflection and that it was more appropriate to wish a happy Eid ul Fitr at the end of Ramadan..

  133. 134 selena in Paris
    August 30, 2008 at 09:29

    @ Bob, Bryan

    Strange article.

    What I don’t understand is why anyone would take any notice of a religious person fasting.

    Surely it is up to the religious person to deal with the results of their choices. If one has chosen to fast then one has to have the strength of purpose to be around food, without inconveniencing other people. Otherwise, what is the purpose of fasting if everyone else has to help one keep the fast?

  134. August 30, 2008 at 09:30

    @ BOb

    Very Usual to wish Muslims a happy and properous Ramadhan.I wish you had been a muslim..I will have forwarded Ramadhan Greetings Cards that I am receiving from all over the world espeicailly from my close relatives.they are so lovely and beautiful cards just as beautiful as been a muslims.

  135. 136 Virginia Davis
    August 30, 2008 at 09:47

    Zeinab: Thank you for your history of civilization entry. This is why the invasion was especially sad to me.

    To all celebrating Ramadhan: Happy Holiday!


  136. 137 Virginia Davis
    August 30, 2008 at 10:02

    To whoever censored my earlier post, I’d appreciate an explanation.


  137. August 30, 2008 at 10:13

    Hi again gang ! ;-)…. As for the matter of slaves, nobody has any right to lecture anybody about slavery, because everybody’s hands are dirty in that regard eh ?! I can go on with a very long and interesting discussion about the atrocities and horrific crimes committed by the Westerners against innocent civilians in Arab and Muslim countries during the Crusades and also during the dark colonial past… So please guys, stop this ”digging dirt” style because it is not civilised at all…
    Hi Virginia my love… Yeah honey, what you’ve said about the Iraqi civilisation is completely true, and you actually have brought up a very unfortunate fact, so let’s try to expand it a little further by asking this question : Did you guys know that at some point after the US led invasion of my Iraq, the US occupation forces used to camp in the famous historic site of Babylon ?! Imagine this with me guys, military activities in an ancient historic site… Can anyone of you guys explain to me why ?!
    Hi Precious Jamily in the US… Actually Ramadan in Iraq is quite special… After breaking the fast, Iraqi men usually gather in cafes and even in the branch roads close to their houses and play a very popular game which is called Al Mhebis… More on that later… With my love… Yours forever, Lubna in Baghdad…

  138. 139 Bryan
    August 30, 2008 at 10:19

    Bob in Queensland August 30, 2008 at 9:04 am,

    I read a related article. Apparently the Muslim council head has backtracked and claimed he wasn’t asking non-Muslims to fast on Ramadan.

    selena in Paris August 30, 2008 at 9:29 am

    Agreed. If people are strong enough in their religion they should be able to just practice it without forcing its rules of observance onto others.

  139. 140 roebert
    August 30, 2008 at 10:52

    I don’t see why the entire planet should not be forced to observe the Ramazan fast if we can couple it to a deal to bring down oil prices. For a whole month you save on your grocery bills, and after that you save on fuel. This is something worth lobbying your local political representaive about.

  140. 141 rick
    August 30, 2008 at 10:53

    @ Abdi
    you fast for thirty days and you actually get people to convert TO Islam? Where’s the good bit? What’s in it for me?

  141. 142 selena in Paris
    August 30, 2008 at 11:03

    Is it really fasting if you can eat after the sun goes down?

  142. August 30, 2008 at 11:10

    @Ricky ,selena in paris and Bryan
    on Ramadhan…………

    The long awaited break is here…and i can almost touch it. ^.^(Ramdhan is Starting Tommorrow,-don’t be suprised if you miss me in WHYS Blogs…)

    It’s like seeing the rainbow after the shower; and witnessing the first rays of sunshine after the darkest hour of night.Do you agree Lubna? It’s like breathing freshness for the first time — the heart pumps a little too fast and the senses are overwhelmed by what is exhilaratingly new. It’s like smiling from within, the acceptance comes so readily and the happiness is genuine.Do you a gree Zeinab?

    There’s alot to be done and i know i’m ready. Falling and failing is part and parcel of the process but the time it takes to recover gets shorter, someone tells me. I recognise that i’m still the naive idealist at heart and nothing can take that from me. So i’ll fly with my flights of fancies, dream the big, impossible dreams because i know they are all possible and anticipate what will come again. I will be extraordinary in my ordinary ways and remember the simple joys of life again.
    None of WHYS Team in London is Yet to wish All Muslim WHYS listner best of wishes in their Ramadhan.very disturbing and very unfortunate,I remember last year during the Ramadhan Month Vicky.David,Shona,Richard Bowen,james Harrod etc wishing us a Happy Ramadhan,Unfortunately all of them have gone a way…But I do like them still..

  143. August 30, 2008 at 11:12

    Hi again gang ! ;-)… Now to go on with the description of Al Mhebis game. the players divide themselves into two teams, each team with a leader… One team hides a ring in one of its members’ hands, and the leader of the other team has to find out where the ring actually is… Also Iraqis do enjoy eating very special and delicious kinds of sweets during Ramadan, like Zalabia, Baqlawa, and Zinoud Al Sit… Also during Ramadan in Baghdad, little childern in popular districts usually gather after breaking the fasting and run knocking at the doors of Baghdadi houses, asking Baghdadi families to give them sweets or stuff alike, and at the same time singing a very popular song titled ” Majina Ya Majina”… My beloved district Al Karradah is never the same during Ramadan… Very bright lights make its Ramadan nights sound like day-time… During the good old times Al Karradah and Baghdad in general never sleep during Ramadan nights… Hopefully this year Ramadan will be as close to the good old times as possible, Inshallah… I do hope that will answer your questions my Precious Jamily about the Iraqi traditions regarding the observance of the holy month of Ramadan… With my love… Yours forever, Lubna in Baghdad… PS, Precious Bob in Queensland : Hi… And thanks a million for the lovely story you brought up… What were the nationality of those Arabs ?! Iraqis I hope ?! ;-)…

  144. 145 rick
    August 30, 2008 at 11:18

    earlier in the day I asked Abdi a question about fastinig during Ramadan and part of the the answer came back that it says in the Quran that if you break the fast you must free one of your slaves. As is typical on this blog it only took one mention of the word slave and away it went. The irony of the first reply was missed and it (the fight) was on.

    Slavery is not all ancient history however. Last year a couple of Malasian women escaped their Saudi family, went strait to the police here on the Gold Coast and complained of being kept as slaves. After a brief investigation the Saudis agreed to repaitriate the women back to Malasia. No charges were laid but the Saudis cut ther holliday short and headed home.

  145. 146 rick
    August 30, 2008 at 11:26

    so I gather that it is like a month long holliday for everybody and nobody works except for esential services etc?

  146. 147 Dan
    August 30, 2008 at 11:29

    Good Morning
    Your response is typical of what has is Islam. You know that Islam has done evil in the past, and in the present too, and refuse to talk about it and then blame others. Its always somebody else fault. Playing the victim will never get you anywhere.

  147. 148 rick
    August 30, 2008 at 11:30

    @ Lubna
    so what do the women do?

  148. 149 Dan
    August 30, 2008 at 11:31

    If you want to force fasting of Ramadan onto others how about if we forced Muslims to wear a crucifix or a Star of David and carry the Bible with them at all times? What is the difference?

  149. August 30, 2008 at 11:38

    Hi again gang ! ;-)… Ramadan to me is exactly like a thirty days course of spiritual purification… The Prophet Mohammed has warned us Muslims of a very dangerous type of fasting, which is to prevent yourself from only eating and drinking… The Prophet Mohammed had passed once infront of a house in Al Madina during Ramadan, and he heard a woman shouting outloud at her servant and calling her names, so he called for that woman, and when she came to see him, he put food and water infront of her and asked her to eat and drink, she said surprisingly : O’ messenger of God, I am fasting !!! But he replied : How come that you’re fasting while you shout outloud at your servant and calling her names ?! During Ramadan while fasting, if you lie, or talk badly about someone behind his/her back, or call someone names, then all of those things will disrupt your fasting and make it invalid… And if you can keep yourself spiritually and morally pure for thirty days, then surely you can keep yourself spiritually and morally pure for the whole year right ?! So the point of fasting Ramadan is getting you used to being spiritually and morally pure along the line of your life…. With my love… Yours forever, Lubna in Baghdad…

  150. 151 Roberto
    August 30, 2008 at 11:40

    Re ” “Why does the West always like to focus on the Egyptian civilization?””

    ——— Perhaps it seems that way to you, but I can assure you there is plenty of interest in great civilizations of Mexico/South America and China as well.

    Egypt gets a lot of attention because it part of great Greek and Roman civilizations that the west springs from. It has also been much more accessible in modern times than Iraq and is a favored tourist destination along with Israel.

    As far as Iraq being the cradle of civilization, that is a common misperception by academic types limited in the scope of their specialties. Most assuredly Egypt had it’s own civilization that underwent frequent invasions resulting in adoption of many parts of invading cultures that have roots in the Euphrates/Tigris confluence.

    The Chinese have a culture that develops independently along the same time lines as ancient Iraqi civilizations, and of course the great Americas culture that is not as ancient, but develops independently from nomadic hunter/gathers from the Mongolian area.

    I was ashamed that the US invaded Iraq on the Cheney/Rummy cheap discount planning package and that known artifacts and historical sites were not secured. That will forever be one of many stains upon modern US history.

    Everyone is praying for Iraqis to come together and become a great country and a storied destination again. I can remember a older friend in college who’s father had been stationed by the US Airforce in Iran where he spent his teen years going to school and traveling around. What a beautiful place and people until the mad mullahs got ahold of the country and had their terrible dustup with Saddam.
    The Shah was far from perfect, but did a better job for the people than the current setup which also restricts visiters.

    So much lost in these destructive power struggles that grow ever more dangerous in modern times.

  151. 152 rick
    August 30, 2008 at 11:46

    Where is your sense of humor amigo? I’m pretty sure roebert was just kidding around.

  152. 153 Dan
    August 30, 2008 at 11:50

    Probably not enough coffee this morning :))

  153. 154 rick
    August 30, 2008 at 12:01

    @ Dan
    I often miss ironic or sarcastic responses and only realize after I have given a serious reponse and feel a bit silly.

  154. August 30, 2008 at 12:01

    Hi Precious Rick… Yeah my good friend… Unfortunately our Wahabi brothers in Saudi Arabia are still living in the stony ages… Wahabism and Islam are two completely different religions Rick… Please keep that in your mind… As for what’s typical on this blog, I do totally agree with you… And I have just made it clear that if anyone here wants to go on with the ”dissection” game, then I am more than ready for it, after all, nobody here on this blog can claim that he/she dissects better than I do, I have spent two years of my life in the anatomy lab, and the joy of my life was to dissect cadavers… I trust that you are a knowledge seeker Rick, and that’s why I am really so glad to be debating here with you… Now Rick, please answer my question if you please : Is the purpose of our being here on this blog is to dissect each other’s faiths, believes, and cultures ?! With my love… Yours forever, Lubna in Baghdad… PS, Selena my love, have you received my message to you I wonder ?!

  155. 156 Jonathan
    August 30, 2008 at 12:03


    Dan’s statement about capitalism was exactly correct. You don’t refute it by inventing a fictional place you call a “pure capitalist state,” describing its horrors, blaming them on a fictional system you call “totally pure capitalism,” and saying that “in most places” capitalism does not meet that description. I suggest that there are NO such places, and your whole scenario is just a distraction from the facts. In actual countries in the real world, we find that indeed “people… in capitalism have sufficient food to eat , a growing economy, new jobs, goods and services in abundance…” (Hence my answer to Lubna a day or two ago, announcing an easy one-step plan to end global hunger, for which I was thanked by the usual crickets.)

    The “social safety net” that you describe is not “anathema to capitalism.” It’s a social and political feature of every capitalist country I know of. Capitalism is the productive mechanism that funds it. You concentrate entirely on distribution rather than production, but they’re not opposites. They’re two parts of a whole.

  156. 157 selena in Paris
    August 30, 2008 at 12:03

    Wishing all those celebrating Ramadan a truly enlightening spiritual journey!

  157. 158 Bob in Queensland
    August 30, 2008 at 12:13

    @ Jonathan

    Re: Capitalism

    I’m going to disagree with you on this one. My definition of capitalism is the academic, theoretical one, granted, but ANY tampering with free-market imperatives is a dilution of true capitalism.

    Now, I agree with you that there is no place in the world that has pure, undiluted capitalism but it is wrong to say that it is capitalism that “frees people and keeps them from starving”. Capitalism provides the money for this, sure, but it is the diversions from capitalism that feed the sick and needy.

    Why am I splitting hairs on this one? Well, there are a good many free marketeers who post on this blog who advocate a reduction of these diversions. These posters are generally referring to the USA which is the country (well, the developed country) with the least developed social mechanisms to look after the disadvantaged. In my opinion, these views need countering.

    Do I believe in socialism or (shudder) communism? Absolutely not. Actually, number me amongst the capitalists on the blog…but the modern, diluted version of capitalism with safety nets and protections from the worst excesses. Personally I think the European right has the balance about where it should be and the US could use a nudge an inch or two to the left…but that’s haggling over details.

  158. 159 rick
    August 30, 2008 at 12:22

    My purpose is not to disect, but to understand. I found your responce to the question about Ramadan was to imediatly say what the men do. I found it strange that the women seamed to be excluded. Also my question to Abdi was meant to be humerous, not derisive.
    Sometimes these sublties get lost in print, as I have just said to Dan.
    Please understand that you have my respect and apoligise if I have offended you.
    I wish you a happy Ramadan (having no Idea what that realy means)
    goodnight LOL

  159. 160 Dennis
    August 30, 2008 at 12:49

    @ Bryan

    Bryan August 30, 2008 at 7:04 am
    [Dennis August 29, 2008 at 11:14 pm]

    Regarding BBC policy about MODERATORS and problems
    with the link, currently i have 2 of my requests, waiting to be read….

    Yes, but have you been waiting for days?!

    *To answer your question, yes, i have several days to have
    a moderator to check it was not proper…


  160. 161 roebert
    August 30, 2008 at 12:51

    Capitalism unredressed by socialist intervention is the economic system most suited to totalitarian regimes, but this fact has remained undiscovered until the People’s Rep. of China saw the logic. The compatability is all in the ruthlessness of the system. This is not to say that the alternative is some form of socially engineered total redress, such as Marxism. Capitalism is not an engineered system: it’s the system that arises most naturally from human nature. Therefore it needs moral redress, best exemplified in those aspects of European socialism that haven’t gone over the top. Just balance, is all I’m saying.

    Dan: yeah, i was only kidding about Ramadhan, or was I?

  161. 162 Dan
    August 30, 2008 at 13:06

    “Wahabism and Islam are two completely different religions….”

    That is pure nonsense.
    Whabism is a perverted sect of Islam and as long as you promote the fantasy that it is a different religion it will grow stronger and ultimately destroy you.
    Face up to the reality of what Middle Eastern Islam has inflicted on the world.

  162. 163 Dan
    August 30, 2008 at 13:09

    Pure capitalism cannot exist as it is inherently self destructive but I believe that a Capitalist system creates wealth and uplifts a society. In my opinion it is the only way for Third World countries to get out from crushing poverty.

  163. 164 Dan
    August 30, 2008 at 13:12

    Yes I agree that Capitalism needs some moderation. In our next election we will determine just how much.

  164. 165 Jonathan
    August 30, 2008 at 13:17


    I hope you won’t think me unpleasant if I insist that your caricatured description of capitalism is in fact not the academic theoretical definition of capitalism, or anyway not the only one. It sounds insteaad like anarcho-capitalism–an anarchist vision which is not the logical, necessary extension of capitalism. Capitalism is an economic system that produces goods and wealth by private ownership and free markets. Trade barriers are a “diversion” from free markets and capitalism, as are subsidies, tricky tax loopholes, corporate “welfare,” and other market distortions. But the distribution of wealth is a social and political matter, albeit one with economic consequences, and mechanisms that provide for sick and needy are not inherently diversions from capitalism. They are diversions from the True Path of fanatics.

    Why am *I* splitting hairs? Because I seek to protect the good name of capitalism from being hijacked by frothy fundamentalists. The notion that real capitalism requires adoption of their absolutist and impossible vision is (gulp) like the notion that real Islam requires adoption of the principles of Osama bin Laden, or that real Christianity requires the fervor of the Spanish Inquisition. That is to say, it’s a dangerously mistaken definition of a word and a concept. As such, it must be pointed out as erroneous.

  165. 166 Jonathan
    August 30, 2008 at 13:31


    Why would you say that capitalism is best suited to totalitarian regimes? It’s seldom found there. Mostly the degree of free markets corresponds to other freedoms in a society. Dictators almost always favor strong central control of the economy, for obvious reasons; that of course is the opposite of capitalism. Democracies, by contrast, almost all have capitalist economies. The late unlamented system of socialism, recall, always required a huge and intrusive police state to enforce its unnatural requirements.

    China is inevitably headed for seismic strains to grow between its capitalist economy and its central authoritarian political state. They are inherently incompatible. Not natural allies as you say.

  166. 167 roebert
    August 30, 2008 at 13:55

    Jonathan; my point is that capitalism creates a systemic enslavement (between the carrot of wealth and the stick of destitution) which keeps the populace so bound to the imperatives of survival that the larger socio-political scenario is hardly considered by the proletariat(=wage-slaves). Capitalism cannot continue ad infinitum unless it adopts the dynamic of consumerism. This then becomes the cycle of proletarian entrapment, leaving corrupt or despotic regimes to get on with their own agenda while the people slave away (usually quite happily).

    Today, capitalism-consumerism presents us with a planetary threat that we all know about, yet we are too enslaved to break out of the system in order to save our world and its inhabitants. How much more, then, can capitalism keep one’s nose to the grindstone while governments fiddle?

    It’s interesting to study the rise of capitalism at the inception of the industrial revolution and to read the admonishments of the social critics of the time (Karl Marx excluded), and see how these still speak to us today.

    The problem in a forum such as this is that no one who has been well and truly burnt by capitalism can afford to partake. It’s those in the skids (through no fault of their own) that can most eloquently testify to the terrors of capitalism, and understand its ruthless, despotic essence.

    Glad to be speaking to you again.

  167. 168 Bryan
    August 30, 2008 at 14:21

    The scrupulously balanced, impartial and fair BBC did a real hatchet job on Sarah Palin and the Democrats last night on Newsnight. They introduced the subject with the briefest mention that she was governor of Alaska and then had Peter Marshall on, who took great pains to inform us that, “Two years ago she was the mayor of a suburb of Anchorage, population eight thousand….” giving, of course, the exact population figure and practically raising an eyebrow at the camera while omitting any mention of the fact that she was Governor of Alaska. Then on to the usual non-critical coverage of Barack Obama speaking for close to two minutes (the entire coverage was eight and a half minutes) with empty words about Bush’s faults and McCain’s potential faults, and bolstering his speech with praise like, “Obama offered immediate tangible solution for economic woes.”

    I was beginning to wonder whether I’d got it wrong and the subject under discussion was Obama, but no, Newsnight eventually condescended to wrench their gaze away from their hero and turn their withering scorn onto McCain and his choice for VP, introducing them with these words: “The Republican nomination was supposed to give them an early lift off but they are standing around the launch pad scratching their heads. They are hoping Palin will serve as bait for disaffected Democratic women voters. The ploy is blatant.” [Gee, don’t hold back, BBC, tell us how you really feel about Republicans.] Then Sarah Palin was graciously given voice by Newsnight for a full 20 seconds, just time enough to prove the “blatant ploy” with her praise of Geraldine Feraro and Hilary Clinton. Peter Marshall naturally mentioned that she was under investigation and then the programme moved on to Scott Reid, a Republican strategist, who was allowed to give one and a half minutes worth of his opinion.

    Anyone who wants to check this out can click on the Newsnight: Real/Windows version at the top right:


    This was a typical BBC exercise in cuddling up to the Democrats while scorning the Republicans. As usual, it was an absolute disgrace.

  168. 169 Bryan
    August 30, 2008 at 14:23

    Help, mods. A lengthy post of mine (but not too long, I hope) just went the way of all comments, complete with link.

  169. 170 jamily5
    August 30, 2008 at 14:26

    Dear Lubna,
    Thank you for your response to my questions. That does sound like a great game and a wonderful time to gather together in fellowship. I have tasted baqlawa (but not from Iraq) and Zalaybi sounds like “jalaibi,” which I have tasted in a restaurant. These two sound quite delicious.
    @Bob, you see, the muslim arabs didn’t expect you to fast, but was more than willing to share their buffet. Sounds like a great food experience. Your favorite food???
    When I first got on the blog, I noticed that some people would blog under two different names.
    That is why I thought that you and Abdelilah were the same people.
    Please excuse my mistake.

  170. 171 Bob in Queensland
    August 30, 2008 at 14:31

    Found it in spam, Bryan…guess the software didn’t like your linky

  171. 172 Bryan
    August 30, 2008 at 14:35

    Thanks Bob. I appreciate it. Perhaps you’ll get around to watching that Newsnight clip.

    (Perhaps you’ll also wonder if we were watching the same programme.)

  172. 173 Bob in Queensland
    August 30, 2008 at 14:45

    @ Jamily

    I’m not sure if it’s a favourite food but I must admit I’ve very partial to Mediterranean and middle eastern food. It’s delicious!

    You make a good point. We talk a lot about terrorism and war, but one thing rarely mentioned is how generous people in/from the middle east tend to be. Certainly the people I’ve met in person are very different from the portrayed image we tend to see.

  173. 174 Jonathan
    August 30, 2008 at 15:32


    Not even a nod about my 1:17 reply about capitalism? [frowny face]

  174. 175 Dennis
    August 30, 2008 at 15:33

    Hi everyone:

    Warning the price of OIL and GAS could go up, Because of the Hurricane Gustav, visiting the Gulf Coast of the United States of America

    On Friday, was the 3rd anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, that had horrible consequences on the New Orleans and most of the Gulf Coast, and it had problems in Mississippi!

    Gustav, is going to bring trouble to The Caribbean and parts of the United States of



  175. 176 Bob in Queensland
    August 30, 2008 at 15:46

    @ Jonathan

    Sorry about the lack of a nod! Real life (cooking dinner and dealing with a shoe-chewing dog) plus some MSN chat intervened!

    Funny how we can pretty much agree but debate the issue because we approach it from opposite ends of the spectrum!

    Can we agree that capitalism is a spirit best served as the base of a cocktail rather than as a straight shot? Certainly I think it makes a better base than Socialism, Communism or any other ism you care to mention–but it needs some mixers to make it completely palatable.

    Complete agreement from me on your mention of fundamentalists though–most things turn bad when taken to excess.

    And I never think of you as unpleasant…just a skilled debater!

  176. 177 Jonathan
    August 30, 2008 at 15:54


    Hey, thanks for the link. I keep hearing about newsnight but I didn’t know it was on the web, duh. Brave new world, but same old hard-wiring of my brain I guess.

    Before I go watch it, quick question:

    You said they announced she was governor of Alaska, and then they “scrupulously avoided saying she was governor of Alaska.” How many people should announce that she was governor of Alaska, how many times, to make it fair?

    You complained that they “naturally mentioned she was under investigation.” Did you mean that they shouldn’t have mentioned it?

    And is “practically raising an eyebrow” anything like, um, not raising an eyebrow?

  177. August 30, 2008 at 16:11

    Hi Precious Dan… All Muslims believe that the sayings of the Prophet Mohammed are as holy as the holy Quran, except Wahabis… They believe that the role of the Prophet Mohammed has completely ended after his death and that we must not take his sayings too seriously, so to them only the Holy Koran matters…. Wahabis consider other Muslims who do not agree with their deviant doctrine to be infidels… They love to believe (and may be you do as well) that they are only the true Muslims, while their religious doctrine, compiled by Mohammed Bin Abdul-Wahab in the end of the 19th century is nothing but true Islamic… But hey Dan, you and I must admit that Wahabis are actually crowns over the heads… After all they are so rich aren’t they ?! And also the US government does support them overwhelmingly, and your good president, Mr Bush, is alwsys ready to seek for their satisfaction… Didn’t he travel to Saudi Arabia, the homeland and the centre of the influence of Wahabism, and dance the sword dance with their king Abdullah ?! So who am I to argue with the leader of the free world about them ???! With my love… Yours forever, Lubna in Baghdad….

  178. August 30, 2008 at 16:14

    In reference to the comments on the “Ring Tone” post.

    I would like to go on record as saying there is really only one “swear word”, biblically speaking. That swear word is “Jesus Christ” and it depends on the context of its use. It is really the only place where the bible governs speech.

    Scientifically speaking, words are just vibrations of the vocal chords in as a mode of communication. They hold different intensities. But as to their “offensibility”, it is as subjective as art or pictures of Mohammed.

  179. 180 Virginia Davis
    August 30, 2008 at 16:19

    It is morning in Portland, Oregon.

    Thank you, Jamily5, for your entry on schizophrenia. My “organizing delusion” – until a couple of years ago – came from my high school class predicting I’d be the first woman president of the United States. I’d be close to reality – or very far away – and as I said it was an “organizing delusion” – in other words I could distract my thoughts from real, on going pain by thinking about national/international issues.
    Or, if I got a note from Social Security on Saturday that my income would be cut 10%, I extrapolated my “situation” – no one to talk to because the system shuts down at 5 pm on Friday, and that this was happening to x # of people as well all over the United States. (I have a wonderful poem based on the suicide of an elderly woman who committed suicide because in Michigan, because Senator Carl Levin mentioned her who got tired of waiting for an administrative judge to decide whether or not she could have enough money to live on. It was published in Madness Network News in the 80’s.) And, when I did wind up in the hospital, it was usually around presidential election time, or election time. Because of my birthday on Nov 1 and my daughter’s birthday some two weeks later. Because “reality” gets so distorted then and truth flies out the window.
    And it all comes down to 24 hours on the Tuesday in November. Thank God that Oregon has vote by mail.
    And that out of the x# of people who got that letter from Social Security, a couple would give up the rat race and check out permanently. I am a very empathetic person; American Indians say “walk a mile in my shoes.”
    A more realistic “organizing delusion” as the conflict in Northern Ireland. For some 20 years, I was (and still am) a staunch Irish Republican. This came about when I lived in Ireland; and when a couple of years later, got beat up badly by a man I’d let live with me here in Portland.
    And an “organizing delusion” which did affect my behavior was when, I believe,
    someone in the Federal Government tweaked my phone. After a couple of months I was so off course, I wound up on a psych ward for three weeks – where they wouldn’t let me have dental floss and I wound up loosing a tooth that had deep pockets when I went in. So I don’t use my phone much any more. I know it is tapped. I know if I wanted to I could get my file from the FBI under Freedom of Information Act. But I don’t care and can’t afford to anyway.
    One of my aunts, toward the end of her life, believed she had bugs (liver spots)
    under her skin and in her home. When I came back from that visit, my San Francisco shrink, said not to worry, seniors had organizing delusions, as control slipped away.
    So this is long, Jamily. As we have seen on the blog there are a number of us who have “organizing delusions” – against women, against some religion or another, against economic systems.

    Jonathan: you are quite right about China negotiating between a close to totalitarian political system and emergent capitalism. I read in the CS Monitor that one of the hopes is a developing judicial system. Cf Pakistant.

    Virginia in Oregon

  180. 181 Jonathan
    August 30, 2008 at 16:26


    Good to have you speaking to me again. You talk so fancy though! And in that very retro crypto-Marxist turgid wording that sort of obscures itself like a squid emitting ink.

    Making my way through the tangle of antique rhetoric “Proletariat?” “Wage slaves?” (An oxymoron; if you earn a wage, you aren’t a slave.) How ’bout if I restate the first paragraph in ordinary English and you tell me if I got it right. You said:

    “…capitalism creates a systemic enslavement (between the carrot of wealth and the stick of destitution) which keeps the populace so bound to the imperatives of survival that the larger socio-political scenario is hardly considered by the proletariat(=wage-slaves). Capitalism cannot continue ad infinitum unless it adopts the dynamic of consumerism. This then becomes the cycle of proletarian entrapment, leaving corrupt or despotic regimes to get on with their own agenda while the people slave away (usually quite happily).”

    As far as I can tell, that means:

    “People want to make money and don’t want to be poor. If they work hard, they may take less interest in politics. People like to buy things. They are usually quite happy. Governments do what governments do.”

    Am I close?

  181. 182 roebert
    August 30, 2008 at 16:53

    Jonathan: …’like a squid emitting ink…’, and you talk about picturesque speech? But I think you’re right about my comments tending to be more on the intuitive side; lacking the crisp logic of your repartee. I think you get my drift though. Here’s an attempt to re-state your re-statement of my turgid crypto-Marxist bunkum, and clarify (what is actually already clear to you):

    ‘People have to make more and more money in order to avoid poverty which will quickly lead to complete destitution. Because they’re kept working harder and harder, and spending more and more, and working even harder to spend even more, they have no time to make the fundamental socio-political shifts that would set them free from this cycle. People need to buy much more than ever before in history, and the buying habit keeps them in a state of ignorant bliss, unless they go broke, in which case there is only terror and misery. Governments do whatever they want.’

    A good example of a powerless electorate has been the captive US public in the last eight years. This is not a jab at Americans, but at the system that has them at its mercy.

    Proletariat literally means ‘wage-slave’ = enslaved to the principle of having to earn a wage from the hands of a bossman capitalist. No oxymoron.

  182. August 30, 2008 at 16:54

    Hi Precious Rick… I am really so sorry for not answering your question about what women usually do during Ramadan according to Iraqi traditions… Ideally in perfect security conditions, when after breaking the fasting men go out to mosques and cafes and children go out to play, women usually gather in the house of one of them and read from the holy Quran, pray, discuss different life businesses ranging from very serious to recipes for what they are gonna cook for the next day… Also during those meetings, women usually discuss ways of how to help out poor families in the neighbourhood without harming their dignity… The house where the meeting is held usually changes serially… The visits of relatives are totally unavoidable ;-), and to me breaking your fasting becomes more joyful as relatives or neighbours visit your house and share you your food and drink… You haven’t offended me at all Precious Rick, and I am really so glad to be talking to you here on the WHYS blog… Bless you always…
    Not at all my Precious Jamily… It is always a pleasure to speak to an amazing and inspiring woman like you here on this blog…
    Hi Precious Dennis… I read your message… Thanks a million to you my good friend…

  183. 184 Dan
    August 30, 2008 at 17:02

    We can disagree on many things but I agree what you say about the words of The Prophet and the Holy Quran. Still the Whabi’s are a sect of Islam as Mormons are a sect of Christianity thus they are Muslims and have hijacked Islam. I know the history of bin Abdul-Wahab and the roots of Whabbiism
    Though not a Muslim I understand the religion reasonably well, have read a good portion of the Quran (in English) and before 9/11 spoke at a Mosque in Southern California about comparative religions. Taking a chance I started out with a very cute joke about Judaism and Islam that had everyone laughing and broke the ice. I dare not do that again today.
    My main point was an will continue to be that until moderate Muslims stand up and retake their religion, Islam will continue to be hated and persecuted until there comes a point of a cataclysmic bloodbath. A Muslim does not have to stand tall but must stand up.
    As for Bush and American foreign policy let me also be emphatic that there is NO perfect country with perfect motives. We dance with the devil to accomplish what is in our national interest and the interest of the Free World. I have no guilt about that and never will. If the house of Saud were overthrown chaos on a worldwide scale would ensue and while you find Bush’s dancing with King Abdullah reprehensible it is what he must to to preserve stability and slowly manipulate Saudi Arabia to move to the modern world. This process will take generations.
    So if you put away the sarcasm and look objectively you will see that what I believe is true.
    Now for a last point I’d like your opinion on. If as Muslims want, they achieve the destruction of Israel and the Jews what do you think you will end up with?

  184. 185 Dennis
    August 30, 2008 at 17:15

    Hi Everyone,

    This is my last post until Sunday sometime…

    When my holidays are over. And i will be returning to OCC
    in Syracuse, New York




  185. 186 Dennis
    August 30, 2008 at 17:17

    Love all of you very much! I will be back on Sunday….Keep this BLANK PAGE going STRONG for me….


  186. 187 Shirley
    August 30, 2008 at 17:18

    Air Canada’s regional carrier Jazz is removing life vests from all its planes to save weight and fuel.

    Are we setting the stage for blame the victim in New Orleans?

    After activists stand and deliver in an act of civil disobedience, Egypt opens Gaza. Little and late comes to mind.

  187. 188 Dan
    August 30, 2008 at 17:29

    “After activists stand and deliver in an act of civil disobedience, Egypt opens Gaza. Little and late comes to mind”
    Did I miss something? Why should “activists” make Egypt open its borders? Doesn’t Egypt have a right to be a sovereign country with secure borders and if you tell me that it is because of the humanitarian crisis in Gaza how did Egypt or any other country cause that?
    Gaza has an airport where humanitarian flights from Muslim countries in the region?
    Maybe…perhaps maybe the people that too over Gaza at gunpoint are to blame and need to be removed?

  188. 189 Shirley
    August 30, 2008 at 17:44

    McCain's Policies
    I would hav sworn that I had posted some questions about whether conservative WHYSayers consider John McCain to be conservative enough and whether they consider him to be the right kind of conservative. Does McCain’s choice of VP balance his ticket?

    My understanding is that Reagan, Bush, and Bush have rather followed the William F Buckley Jr style of conservatism. Does John McCain follow some pre-established style of conservativism? It does not seem to be the Buckley Jr style. (I never knew that Buckley Jr held a political office.)

  189. 190 Venessa
    August 30, 2008 at 18:00

    Shirley ~

    What happened in New Orleans a few years ago was tragic and the lack or response by our government was reprehensible at the very least. However, I don’t see this article as blaming a victim. It’s no shock that they will be hit again in hurricane season.

    What do you expect when you live in a region below sea level that actually wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for man made intervention? When you make a decision to live in an expanse that is ruined or threatened by natural disasters regularly then that is a chance you take regardless of economic status. Perhaps people living there and surviving what happened in the wake of Katrina should have made plans knowing that this isn’t the last time New Orleans would see disaster. There is help being provided, although limited; the truth is there are thousands of people in trouble. Sometimes you can’t get help without helping yourself as well. To expect assistance is detrimental to those when they find it doesn’t show up. Distressing as this may be it is reality.

  190. August 30, 2008 at 18:27

    Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has signed an agreement to pay Libya $5bn as part of a deal to resolve colonial-era disputes. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7589557.stm

    Libya was occupied by Italy in 1911before becoming a colony in the 1930s. It became an independent country in 1951.

    Should this be set as precedent for other formerly colonised countries to ask for compensations?

    Do former colonial powers still have an obligation towards their former colonies or does their independence mean they should solve their current problems by themselves?

  191. August 30, 2008 at 18:32

    Hi again Precious Dan… I read your last comment carefully… And I must say that I am really so happy to see that your accent has changed and that you now seem to be willing to have a civilised and logical debate, something which I warmly welcome from you… Bless you for that my good friend… Now let’s go through the points you made shall we ?!
    Mormons do not consider Catholics for e.g. to be infidels… Mormons do not consider themselves to be the only true Christians… Wahabis do consider other Muslims who do not agree with their deviant doctrine to be infidels… Wahabis always love to consider themselves to be the only true Muslims… The Holy Quran states very clearly that EVERY word which had come out the mouth of the Prophet Mohammed is a holy inspiration from Allah… Wahabis believe that the role of the Prophet Mohammed had ended after his death, and that we Muslims shouldn’t take his statements too seriously, and that we should rely on the Holy Quran alone, while the Holy Quran itself states pretty clearly that we Muslims should take the Prophet Mohammed as an example in everything we do in our day to-day lives… So what does that tell you about the integrity and the crediblity of the Wahabi faith as an Islamic sect ?! More in my next post… With my love… Yours forever, Lubna in Baghdad…

  192. 193 Shirley
    August 30, 2008 at 18:45

    Abdelilah Boukili: As far as I know there are no differences in fasting. It’s from dawn to sunset, regardless the length of the day. fasting can range from 12 hours to 15 hours. Concerning prayer I think there is a difference depending on being Sunni or Shiite. I think those who have the best answer to your question on this blog are Lubna and Zainab in whose country Iraq there are Sunni and Shiite.

    Assalamu `alaykum, brother. I prefer the spelling “Shia” or “Shii.” The addition of “-ite” has an unfavourable sound to my ears and sounds like the academic objectification that we endure in so many textbooks.

    There do exist differences between Shia and Sunni Islam in terms of fasting. Most of thsoe differences lie in what is considered as breaking one’s fast. A Sunni list of the invalidators of the fast can be found in Mukhtasar al Quduri (Hanafi); and a Shia list can be found in Ayatullah Sistani’s Risala . There is also the difference between us in time at which we break the fast. This is because of the difference in the timings of our prayers. We let the redness dissipate from the sky before we pray the maghrib (sunset) prayer.

    The differences in our prayers involve things like where we place our hands and what supplications we make throughout our prayers. The issue of timing also results in Shia Muslims being able to pray some of our prayer back-to-back, whereas Sunni Muslims have distinct time slots for each of the five prayers.

    Number of words: 256

  193. August 30, 2008 at 18:50

    Just a little reminder: Posts are getting a bit too long again. This doesn’t mean Shirley has to start adding word-count.

    Please keep them to the size of the reply box if you can.


  194. 195 Dennis
    August 30, 2008 at 19:00

    About Katrina, 3 years ago: i had family that lives in Mississippi, and they were affected in a way…my aunt who had surgery and had a bag to empty her bodily fluids…and she had to come to the New York State area to have it closed and taken off….

    I am off to school on Sunday, so i am leaving the family now. and i will be back….


  195. 196 Dan
    August 30, 2008 at 19:01

    I do not want to get into a debate about The Prophet. His words are an inspiration but so are the words of Jesus, the deeds of Abraham and Moses and the leadership of Joshua just to name a very few.
    Is it not that were expected to live up to what God expects of us? The words of The Prophet, the actions of Abraham, Moses and Jesus show us the way. I saw the Holy Quran as the “textbook of how to live a life”.
    But I must ask the question “Do you think it was only Wahabiists that protested the cartoons worldwide? Here in the United States Muslims tried to ban Free Speech at a gathering until they were told they were in a PUBLIC building and could not. Decency prohibits me from repeating what the Muslim protestors next said and did.
    As for Mormons yes I think they they think they are chosen above all Christians because their faith believes in “Works” above “Faith” as do the Jews.
    This is now starting to get interesting.

  196. August 30, 2008 at 19:02

    @ Shirley ,
    Wa Alaykum Assalam, sister,

    Thanks for the clarifications about the differences between the Shia and the Sunni regarding their practices during Ramadan. Actually, Morocco is a Sunni country. very little is known about the Shia here.

  197. 198 Roberto
    August 30, 2008 at 19:22

    Re: “” Wahabis consider other Muslims who do not agree with their deviant doctrine to be infidels… They love to believe (and may be you do as well) that they are only the true Muslims””

    ——– Are you saying that the Saudis allow mostly infidels into the annual hajj pilgrimages to Mecca?

    Interesting since they won’t allow people of the book anywhere near.

    Well, I hope everyone has a peaceful Ramadan.

  198. 199 Roberto
    August 30, 2008 at 19:41

    RE: “”What do you expect when you live in a region below sea level that actually wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for man made intervention? “”

    ——– Not entirely true. The older areas weren’t affected much by the flooding since they were built on higher ground.

    The French moved there capitol from Mobile Mississippi to New Orleans for better Hurricane buffering. Man made interference, primarily from the Army Corp of Engineers built levees and floodwalls that allowed settlement of marshes and likely contributed to the large loss of wetlands which buffered NO and sapped the strength out of incoming hurricanes.

    Folks are generally not allowed to settle in marshes anymore, but too late for the Big O. The feds spent tens of millions of dollars holding a coordinated hurricane relief mockup with state and local entities the year before, but apparently all parties sat on their thumbs and fell into a Rip van Winkle nap when the disaster hit.

  199. August 30, 2008 at 19:56

    Hi again Precious Dan… As for the behaviour of Mr Bush when he visited Saudi Arabia, imagine me as your neighbour… You do hate me so much, and you think that all of my actions are totally immoral and wrongful, but at the same time you do fear my evil and my harm, so you make a visit to my house inorder to avoid my evil and my harm, but you do not behave with me in a super-friendly way, you do not dance with me eh ?! The general behavior of Mr Bush during his visit to Saudi Arabia was without any argument super-friendly…Why ?! Also, you said a very interesting phrase in your post, which is ”Wahabis have hijacked the moderate Islam”… And that’s absolutely true my good friend… ”They” do have a vast amount of money, a giant media propoganda machine, and also ”They” enjoy the silence of the US and the West about their wrongful and shamelessly immoral acts, why ?! Because ”They” simply control the vast oil revenues that both the US and the West desparately need… I as a practicing Muslim always try my best to expose and scandelise them on every possible occasion here on this blog… And if you kindly take a look at the contributions of Shirley, Zainab, Abdi, Abdelilah, Imran, Sheikh, and all Muslim WHYSers, you’d find that all of them do reject strongly any kind of violence against innocent civilians anywhere around the world… I do hope that our presence here on the WHYS blog as practicing Muslims does make a difference, even very little…As for your last point about Israel, I couldn’t catch it properly I am afraid… Could you please clarify your point to me a little bit more ?! With my love… Yours forever, Lubna in Baghdad…

  200. 201 Julie P
    August 30, 2008 at 20:01

    Boy can I tell this is a major holiday weekend; there are lots of people not on here who normally are, plus I just ran errands for a couple of hours and the number of comments hardly moved. I think everyone was at Costco with me, or at the pool. In any case, I hope you all are having a good weekend and it is good to see some thought out contributions here.

  201. 202 Amy
    August 30, 2008 at 20:04

    Hi everyone. Catching up on reading. Might not be around much this weekend. After not feeling great the past few days, I finally went to the doctor this morning. Diagnosis….. possible gall stones. I will have a CT scan on Tuesday and then we will know more. Keep your fingers crossed that I won’t need to have my gall bladder removed. It would such an bother… no internet at the hospital 🙂 I’m going to go rest now will but I’ll check in later (and mods, I’ll help keep an eye for posts)

  202. August 30, 2008 at 20:16

    Hi Amy,
    I hope everything will go well after your diagnosis.
    Thanks for keeping an eye on the blog. I will be away for a while. Then I will come back in one hour or two.

  203. August 30, 2008 at 20:39

    Hi Precious Roberto… I love your point… Well, there’s a very famous fatwa by a senior Wahabi cleric in Saudi Arabia which says that the one who slaughters seven Muslim Shiites in Iraq should be named Amir and his entrance to paradise is guaranteed… Also most senior Wahabi clerics in Saudi Arabia have declared very clearly before that all the symbols of infidelity in Iraq (referring to the Holy Islamic Shia Shrines in Iraq) should be destroyed… Remember the horrific atrocity of Samarra ?! But still, all of those Wahabi clerics do continue to get the appreciation and the protection of the corrupt and evil regime in Saudi Arabia… Thanks a million for your xtraordinarily kind Ramadan wishes…
    Hi again Precious Dan… This is going to be very quick as my favourite TV show is gonna start any minute… I am really so sorry if I have offended your faith by any means… Honestly that did not cross my mind at all… I know that you’ll believe me. won’t you… I do respect your faith loads, and all faiths in general… Also peaceful protests are a guaranteed right to any human being anywhere around the world and by any means possible… It’s only violence that must be strongly condemned and rejected by all of us, Muslims and non-Muslims… Hi Precious Will Rhodes… I am really so sorry if I am the one at which your post is directed ! With my love… Yours forever, Lubna in Baghdad…

  204. 205 Dan
    August 30, 2008 at 20:43

    Wha you just did is why Muslims have such a poor image in America.
    We were talking about Islam with a side note giving a well explained reason for the close ties with Saudi Arabia.
    You ignored completely what I said about Islam and could only comment about the actions of others. This seems to be a common denominator with Muslims today and I wonder f it comes down from the Mosques.
    Let’s try something different and answer for the failures of Islam as we were discussing.
    If you want to get back on track you might also answer Roberto’s question “If the Whabi’s are not Muslims why are they allowed to participate in the Hajj?”
    Or you can do what Shirley does when faced with the problems f Islam, bury your head in the sand and ignore the ost.
    C’mon Lubna we were headed in a good direction.

  205. 206 Dan
    August 30, 2008 at 21:39

    If by your silence you are saying that you cannot account for Islam then I wonder what you will stand up for?
    One cannot live their life solely exposing the foibles of others. “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone” seems to be unknown in Islam.
    I am truly disappointed.
    To me this is the weakness of Islam and will ultimately result in its demise as increasingly it is seen as a cult of violence wherein Muslims rejoice in the murder others, each other and ultimately God himself.

  206. 207 Shirley
    August 30, 2008 at 21:59

    Religious Extremism
    Lubna: Wahabism and Islam are two completely different religions.

    It can feel like that with the anathematising that Salafists do of Sunni and Shia Muslims. However, neither Shia nor Sunni Muslims are allowed to declare the Salafists infidels as a sect. Ayatullah Sistani signed on to the Amman Message, part of which affirms that even the Salafists are Muslims and that we cannot do takfir (anathematising) on them.

    There is indeed a problem with certain wealth families from the Arabian peninsula holding people as slaves or just like slaves. Don’t be surprised if it happens among Shia Muslims from the Hijaz, as well as the Salafists and Sunni Muslims. You are right: that is living in the Stone Age.
    words: 122

  207. 208 jamily5
    August 30, 2008 at 22:02

    You willy thoughts and prayers this week.
    I hope th don’t stress out too much over it.
    Also, I hope that you have lots of family support: physical and emotional.

  208. 209 Shirley
    August 30, 2008 at 22:04

    Jonathan, Bob, and others, I am wondering to what extent you consider capitalism in the U.S. to be true to form. What is your definition of capitalism? Does it match definitions given by others? What do you consider to be integral aspects of capitalism?

  209. August 30, 2008 at 22:13

    I would like to wish Muslims a happy and prosperous Ramadan.

    America’s TVs are obsessed now with hurricane Gustav. Not so worried about Cuba that is having a cat 4 hurricane cross it right now. A million people were taking to Gulf Coast highways Saturday, boarding up homes and businesses and fleeing.

  210. 211 Jonathan
    August 30, 2008 at 22:22

    @roebert–You give me too much credit: Your meaning really wasn’t clear to me.. Now that your proposition is tangible, we can discuss it. First, it’s not properly an indictment of capitalism. People in any economic system, or none at all, must support themselves. Mere subsistence requires much less work in a wealthy economy than in a poor one. We only “need to work harder and harder” (more usefully, to work smarter) if we want to improve our material circumstances, which most of us do. It’s not a “trap” but an opportunity that most people in the world would love to have. With regard to political awareness and empowerment, surely the more prosperous we become, the more involved and influential we are, or can be. Stated crudely, “rich people run things,” a proposition I’d expect you to agree with. But you’re making the opposite case. What “fundamental sociopolitical shifts” do you propose to “free us from this cycle” which, again, is envied, not pitied, by 90% of the planet’s people, and what alternative lifestyle do you see as a result?

    I’m pushing the limits of length; part 2 follows.

  211. August 30, 2008 at 22:23


    From what I am hearing right now there will be a mandatory evacuation.

    History about to repeat itself?

  212. 213 Jonathan
    August 30, 2008 at 22:32

    @roebert – conclusion

    You speak of those mentally trapped in the pattern of earning wages. (I still say “wage slave” is oxymoronic and unlovely.) But that’s not capitalistic! The defining characteristic of capitalism is entrepeneurship, small business, being your own boss. You would work for wages in a socialist economy (if you can still find one). As they used to say in Russia: “We pretend to work, and they pretend to pay us.” It’s capitalism that provides an alternative to that.

    “Proletariat” and “working class” are 19th century European terms meant to distinguish laborers from landed gentry and aristocrats, not useful in 21st century America, where the rich work and the idle poor vastly outnumber the tiny handful of idle rich.

    Finally, the US electorate has been terrorized, first by a dozen Saudi madmen and then by a cynical, aberrant administration for eight years. We’re not powerless, just propagandized. It’s certainly not a consequence of capitalism.

  213. 214 rick
    August 30, 2008 at 22:34

    @ Bryan 2:21pm
    I actualy watched that segment on Newsnight and thought Bryan is going to love this! For once I agree.
    However, given that Mcain’s timing of the anouncement was obviously designed to knock Obama off the front page on a day that should have been his, I forgive them.
    Mcain to postpone his party’s party because of the danger of Gustav? or because he won’t be able to compete against Gustav’s coverage. Bloody natural disasters!
    the answer to your question is yes, totaly baffeled

  214. 215 Jonathan
    August 30, 2008 at 22:43


    Oh dear, sorry to hear about your gallstones. They’re painful but not truly dangerous–cold comfort though that may be. Take it easy, our thoughts are with you.

  215. 216 Bert
    August 30, 2008 at 23:00

    “Living in the stone age,” mentioned by Shirley and Lubna, probably means different things to different cultures and even to different individuals. To this individual, people who invent a nice tale to explain what their science cannot (yet?) explain, and then stick to that story with the tenacity of fanaticism, are a great definition of “living in the stone age.”

    For those who need a religious belief to hang onto, I’d propose that whatever ultimate truth there is out there, you can be 100 percent certain that no religion on earth has it figured out exactly right. So one “truth” that is almost certainly true would be that everyone has it wrong.

    With that in mind, my thinking is that creating traditions that foster good behavior among the peoples of the earth is perfectly okay. Even fasting. All the major religions have their days of fast, and they all give exactly the same reasons why it’s good.

    What is unquestionably bad is when we use our religious inventions as a tool to create hate, suspicion, distrust, and destruction. Which is completely counter to the reason the relgions were invented in the first place.

    Lubna, I’ll guarantee you that Bush does not play nice with the Saudis for any religious reason.

  216. August 30, 2008 at 23:06


    Mayor Nagen was just on TV telling all tourists “to leave our city.”

    The Republicans will probably postpone their convention. They don’t want to compete with TV coverage of Gustav while they are all whooping it up in St Paul.

    The thing about New Orleans is that it is built on a thinning pile of sand in the Mississippi delta. Katrina was the blow that brought New Orleans to it’s knees, BUT it was the flood caused by tidal surges that was the disaster.

  217. 218 Brett
    August 30, 2008 at 23:09

    Postponement would sure make for an interesting situation. Times a’ wastin!

  218. August 30, 2008 at 23:17


    CNN has now devoted a corner window, that is always on the TV screen, to a loop of the projected path of Gustav. To me it is a tribute to the growing power of “SKY IS FALLING” approach to controlling the U.S. electorate.

    Now McCain is on the tube praying for New Orleans.

  219. 220 Jonathan
    August 30, 2008 at 23:31


    You think the WEATHER is part of a conspiracy to “control the US electorate,” or you think that reporting on a category 4 hurricane is? Not reporting it would be irresponsible.

    Or if you’re joking, sorry and a chuckle.

  220. 221 Julie P
    August 30, 2008 at 23:41


    Feel better soon. Having gall stones has got to suck. 😦

  221. 222 rick
    August 30, 2008 at 23:58

    @ Lubna
    you asked if the purpose of this blog is to disect our beliefs etc. After thinking about overnight my answer is that it is to have an open exchange of thoughts on whatever subjects we care to discuss. If someoene offers their beleifs up for discussion by mentioning them, then they should be prepared to defend their position even if hard questions are asked. This requires that we ask hard questions of ourself about our beliefs in order to answer. When I ask what do the women do?, not only do I want to actualy know, I want you to analize that hey the boys are all out having fun playing games and here I am doing the dishes with the inlaws. Am I happy with that? Its how us nonbelievers chip away at the stone age.
    By the way, us nonbelievers have a big advantage because we have nothing to defend.I know you feel sorry for me, but don’t, I’ll convert on my deathbead just in case.

  222. 223 Virginia Davis
    August 31, 2008 at 00:32

    Amy: I am sending +++ thoughts your way regarding the “dis ease.” Went to Fong Chong earlier and came home with a serving of duck and sticky rice for tomorrow.
    Thinking of you is now part of being there.

    Trust for “best outcome” for you this coming week. As we were beginning to say when I still worked for the Health Division.


  223. August 31, 2008 at 00:51


    Of course the weather isn’t controlled. However, I do believe that we live with a great deal of unnecessary fear that the media fans shamelessly.

    Over the years weather reporting has become especially hysterical to my ears.

  224. 225 Amy
    August 31, 2008 at 01:03

    Thank you everyone for your well wishes. I am hoping for the best and know that it everything will be alright, even if I have to have surgery. I’ll keep everyone posted once I have more information. They have me on some antibiotics (Cipro in fact, so if we have an anthrax attack, I’m golden!) an hopefully that will be enough and the stones will pass. The CT on Tuesday should tell the full story. Again, thank you everyone for your good thoughts. It gives me great comfort.

  225. 226 rick
    August 31, 2008 at 01:59

    I cannot think of any religions that arn’t patriarchial and the only cultures that I know of are modern secular societies.
    What I wonder is how modern, well educated, intelligent women can accept their rolls in such a culture and still sprook their faith?
    I see the hijab as a sigh of submition and they wear it with pride. God said through Mohamed that women have an inferior brain! Do you accept that?

  226. August 31, 2008 at 02:19


    I hope you return to full health quickly.

  227. 228 rick
    August 31, 2008 at 02:20

    in breaking news… the Dali Lama and followers are fasting for 12 hours.
    come on guys you can do better than that! The Muslems are fasting for 12 hours for thirty days! Even Ghandi did much better. Where is your olympic spirit?

  228. August 31, 2008 at 02:38


    I too wonder how educated women can accept the hijab.

    Here is a breaking story about this nonsense. http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3589703,00.html

    But as an atheist many religious customs and obligations are confounding. Proselytizing religions are especially troubling to me. I can’t get past the idea that these are grown ups who believe in invisible beings.

  229. 230 rick
    August 31, 2008 at 03:02

    @ portlandmike
    oh I know, one of my older brothers is a J.W.
    I have come to believe that eventualy religion will not be able to stand up under the onslot of the information age. The truth of the hard facts of science will eventualy prevail over myth and superstition.

  230. 231 Bob in Queensland
    August 31, 2008 at 03:08

    G’day all!

    Reading in and drinking tea as usual, but one thing to comment on already:

    Re: Hurricanes

    The media are in a no-win situation regarding warnings. If they downplay danger and a disaster strikes they cop a lot of blame; if they issue warnings then a storm turns a different direction, they’re accused of spreading panic. There was a classic case in the UK in the 1980s of a well known weatherman (Michael Fish) assuring viewers that no hurricane was going to strike the UK. He was right. It wasn’t a hurricane per se, just winds extreme enough to do billions of pounds of damage. Recordings of Fish’s assurances are still played to this day.

    As for Gustav, I awoke this morning to the BBC story about this storm and was struck by a contrast. Cuba had a pro-active civil defence strategy an provided transport and accomodation for people in affected areas. The New Orleans mayor, on the other hand, was telling people to use cars, trains and buses to make their own way out of town to go “somewhere”. He went on to say that New Orleans is better prepared this time–the have more armed police patrolling. Huh? That’s the way to get ready for a hurricane? Perhaps our board libertarians can tell us how effective less government is in preparations for a natural disaster.

  231. 232 Virginia Davis
    August 31, 2008 at 03:39

    @Rick: re a religion which is based on the masculine/feminine aspects of Deity is Christian Science “Father Mother God” is Mary Baker Eddy’s interpretation of
    “Our Father…” in the Lord’s Prayer. The church teachings and structures are based on equality. Just wanted to let you know there are exceptions to most “rules.”


  232. 233 Roberto
    August 31, 2008 at 05:38

    Re: invisible beings.

    ——— Are you talking of quarks, vacuums, or perhaps dark matter?

    Perhaps invisible string?

    Or perhaps that invisible being within yourself, the one that cannot prove you are human other than your generic form?

    Maybe just blowing up some hot air. Invisible, yes, but perceptible to olfactory and auditory senses, but only in the invisible consciousness or unconciousness, depending on the density.

    Perhaps fictional characters? Or perhaps noted figures such as Alexander the Great, quite invisible these days?

  233. August 31, 2008 at 07:48

    Re: invisible beings


    Perhaps I should have said invisible omnipotent, omnipresent, beings?

  234. 235 roebert
    August 31, 2008 at 08:05

    Jonathan: late reply, time zones. I go along uneasily with most of your points but would still stick with my main point, that capitalism needs some degree of socialist redress. As I said earlier and as have, I think, confirmed: capitalism = oligarchy, which means, effectively, that only the wealthy have any real political clout. So, capitalism actually renders a limited franchise. This is exactly the sort of set up that a regime like that of the PRC can use for continuing to tyrannize the population. Whoever controls the capital, controls the strategy.

    I run a medium size enterprise myself, and am of course a capitalist, fully operating within the system. Still, I find many of its dictates and dynamics offensive to human dignity and restrictive of human expression, especially political expression. We do need to find workable alternatives that are not based on outmoded and failed socialist models, and this must be a creative and imaginative endeavour. It starts with tackling consumerism, separating needs from greeds, and putting checks in place that ensure that destitiution doesn’t occur. We need to think about these things, I believe, and plot some new way forward. Fuzzy enough for you?

  235. 236 Bob in Queensland
    August 31, 2008 at 08:32

    @ Roebert and Jonathan

    I tend to think we’ve all basically agreed on the main points, namely that capitalism has to be tempered with extra, liberal traits to be fair to the majority of the population. The only real difference I see is that Jonathan sees this tempering as a natural part of capitalism whereas you and I see it as an add-on that has to be deliberately imposed and jealously guarded.

  236. 237 roebert
    August 31, 2008 at 09:13

    Bob, yes, that probably sums it up. ‘Jealously guarded’ is the keynote for me. But it goes deeper, into the areas of (too) long partaking of a system that leaves one less than human, somehow. It’s an unconscious discontent, a feeling of being used by an ongoing imperative that has stolen so much of what could have been. That’s why it’s so hard to express logically. There must be a better way for humans to live in real communion. But, of course, what is it, eh? It certainly ain’t communism.

  237. 238 Jonathan
    August 31, 2008 at 09:41


    Hey there Bob! Another exciting Saturday night for me in the big bad city here. Actually Roebert and I are having an interesting exchange, and as far as I know, a mutually pleasant and friendly and good-spirited one, despite my best efforts [sly grin]. So I don’t think you need to smooth things over, if that’s your intent, or stomp out the fires I normally start. Or possibly I’m reading too much into your comment. I’ve had a high-drama day and it’s got me on edge.

    Before I sign on as agreeing, I need to pin you down. Yesterday’s talk of a social safety net for the few who can’t manage has morphed mightily into today’s “majority of the population!” Who is it that you’re talking about, and what do they need, that only government can give them? Or should I say, “us,” as the majority.

    I can’t help noticing that you only talk about distribution and consumption, not production and investment, which is often a red flag to me. Most folks I encounter with that turn of mind tend to favor measures that at least cripple, if not quite kill, the golden goose.

  238. 239 Jonathan
    August 31, 2008 at 09:52


    Hi, just tuning in again. Off the top of my head from your last comment, in its quest for a better way for humans to live in real communion, is that this sounds like a very grand goal for a mere economic system. Might it be that capitalism be accepted for what it is, a spectacular source of wealth and freedom, and that more spiritual projects like living in communion should be pursued by entirely separate means?

    It’s just an economic structure, not a religion, after all.

  239. 240 Bob in Queensland
    August 31, 2008 at 10:14

    @ Jonathan

    I’m glad you’re having an exciting Saturday night because my Sunday evening is pretty boring so far!

    Nah, no flame stamping. I just though that we all seemed to be agreeing on this one despite coming at it from different points of the compass.

    I must admit that I usually tune out when I see the word proletariat so be proud of me for perservering!

  240. 241 Jonathan
    August 31, 2008 at 10:24


    Yes, one doesn’t encounter “proletariat” much in the last 30 years or so. I’m proud of my “translation.” Before we sing “kumbaya,” fill me in on this rubbery population of welfare cases–a helpless handful as yesterday, or today’s “majority of the population?” Who are they and what do they need from government?

  241. 242 Bob in Queensland
    August 31, 2008 at 10:26

    @ Jonathan

    AND…another thing. (Well, actually I hit “submit” too soon by mistake but I’ve always fancied starting like that…)

    We may well come slightly unstuck on the agreement here because I think there are things outside the strict definition of “safety net” that are better handled by government rather than left to market forces. For example, I don’t see much argument in favour of privately owned roads. Everyone, rich or poor, uses them and, if left to those with a profit motive there’d be great competition for major freeways but most residential streets would probably be dirt tracks.

    More controversially, having experienced both systems, I’m a firm believer that health care is too important to be left to the profit motive. Private insurance was fine when I was young and healthy and didn’t make claims but would be impossible for me to get now that I’m old with gimpy knees and a heart condition.

    And so on….

    As for distribution, consumption, production and investment, I don’t differentiate and I’m not sure what I said to suggest this!

  242. August 31, 2008 at 11:02

    @A quest for a better way,

    I often find that at this point in human history, the environment you find, is often the best for that area at that time. Changing it abruptly will only result in degradation and extinction of the culture of that environment. Change must occur slowly over time and most often with out force.

    What I love is to hear my conservative leaning friends make statements like, “the government has no right to ‘my’ money.” I have never gotten one to say we should do away with taxes all together though. It is a hard and obvious trap to fall for. I once sat down and figured out that unless you are making over at least $200,000 p/y you are receive more money back in taxes then you are putting in. Think about if you had to pay a toll every few miles on every road you travel. Imagine if you had to trust the market to sell you food, drugs, and products that were safe for your consumption. Imagine if you had to pay the fire department when they showed up at your house. Imagine if the airways were just a free for all. I could go on endlessly. The point is this. Most of us are getting a leg up by taxes. Since by definition, taxes are a collection of wealth by the government to be used for the “common good”, it is inherently socialistic. It seems that not even the most free and capitalistic democracy in the world can exist on those principles alone.

    The “better way” is always going to be alchemy of ideologies. Any one of the most popular ones would work on their own with the exception of on factor. Human nature spoils the pot every time.

  243. August 31, 2008 at 11:05

    @ Capitalism

    As far as a “spectacular source of wealth and freedom”, you have about an equal chance under a monarchy. The circumstances in which you are blessed with that “wealth and freedom” are different. But not by much. When our forefathers in the US thought of “freedom”. They never imagined a world where a car payment, a house payment, health insurance, car insurance, life insurance, cable bills, communication expenses, and energy bills would be part of the “minimum standard of living”. To them Freedom was your own plot of land in which you were free to grow crops, raise livestock, worship your god, and raise your family as you saw fit to do so. Industrialization was the grand ruse that substituted true freedom for a nicely packaged and marketed version of it.

  244. 245 Jonathan
    August 31, 2008 at 11:10


    Well, gosh, capitalism doesn’t require that streets be privatized; again I think you’re mistaking some “wahabi” extremist doctrine to be mainstream capitalism.

    That said, you make a fundamental mistake that streets nicely exemplify: confusing funding with construction and operation. That is, you say roads must be publicly funded, so they must be publicly operated. But we could fund them as now by taxes, then have private firms contract for building and maintaining them. No reason to automatically think roads must only be built and maintained by a government Department of Roads. Competition would would make roads better and cheaper as it does for everything else.

    In my native Chicago, garbage pickup is a city service. The garbage trucks are a sight, each festooned with six or more civil servants. Here in San Francisco, it’s a privatel service. Each truck bears a crew of two. I don’t know the relative costs, but it’s not hard to guess.

  245. 246 Jonathan
    August 31, 2008 at 11:29


    It’s perfectly understandable that as a heavy consumer of health care, you prefer it to be “free.” But of course it isn’t free; its cost is just hidden in taxes. I don’t know if Australia has a private system, publicly funded, or a socialized system as in UK. Neither is automatically better or cheaper than privately funded private practice as in US. The US system of employer-funded insurance is by the way an artifact of markket distortion: wage controls in WW II created fringe benefits. Unintended consequences.

    But this is all tangential to what capitalism is and isn’t, about which I should return to roebert after I accept your challenge from your hurricane comment….

  246. 247 Dan
    August 31, 2008 at 11:46

    “you asked if the purpose of this blog is to disect our beliefs etc. After thinking about overnight my answer is that it is to have an open exchange of thoughts on whatever subjects we care to discuss. If someoene offers their beleifs up for discussion by mentioning them, then they should be prepared to defend their position even if hard questions are asked”

    Thank you Rick…you said it with more eloquence and diplomacy than I could have.

  247. 248 Jonathan
    August 31, 2008 at 11:50


    I’m not quite sure of your point concerning industrialization and freedom and capitalism and democracy and monarchy. You cover a lot of ground there. Monarchy and democracy are political systems, capitalism an economic one. Freedom means the same thing in 1776 as in 2008; in neither time did it provide a plot of land. In both times, it guarantees your right to religious and family life, free speech, etc.

    I’m not sure what you’re saying about modern conveniences and their costs and benefits, related to freedom, or replacing it. If you think you would prefer life without a car, a house, cable TV, telephones, and heating, of course you’re free to live without them. Presumably you prefer to live with them, although you don’t enjoy paying for them. On this we agree.

    Capitalism is more properly the source of both the amazing machinery and the wealth that makes them nearly universal in our wealthy country. Freedom tends to coexist with capitalism; they’re both at the opposite pole from state control.

  248. 249 Jonathan
    August 31, 2008 at 12:05

    @Dwight again

    I just saw your message about taxes and your notion that somehow we get back more than we pay in. I recall that you also once figured out that a house was a bad investment, but only because you assumed its price would be the same in 30 years as today, which of course it will not be.

    You’re making a similarly huge mistake to think that government somehow costs nothing and in fact generates money. It’s not possible and it’s not true. Everything government does costs money, and usually much more money than the same products or services cost from private sources. You could go on endlessly, but every example you provide is flawed.

    More seriously, your point about human nature is a good one, in that, for instance, socialism would work fine if only it weren’t spoiled by the presence of humans. Since we are human, capitalism is the best economic system, because it works with, not against, human nature.

  249. 250 Bob in Queensland
    August 31, 2008 at 12:11

    @ Jonathan

    Nope, I realise that health care isn’t free. Ignoring for a moment my change of countries, I paid for health care via taxes all my life (at a cost rather less than private insurance would cost you or your employer in the USA). At the beginning of my life, I was a net contributor; now I get a good deal and our kids and their friends are subsidising us. It works–and at no point do I assume it’s free.

    However, I go back to how we started. None of this government funded stuff is truly part of capitalism. If you had PURE capitalism the government would fund nothing–you’d have private armies, the Acme road company doing your street and certainly no health care other than what you can pay for by yourself.

    I’m happy to stipulate that pure capitalism doesn’t exist any more than pure socialism–but any time you have something funded out of taxes by a government, that is a socialist add-on to actual capitalism. Nothing wrong with that–a bit of what you like is good for you!

  250. 251 Dan
    August 31, 2008 at 12:37

    Pure Capitalism ultimately collapses as the greed factor becomes all consuming. Government must intervene to regulate/moderate the excesses and new wrinkles that Capital based economics produces.
    Healthcare is a great example right now but if you give it free to all are we opening up the system to abuse and where is the profit motive for Doctors, Nurses, Hospitls etc…etc?
    Here in the States I believe that improved healthcare starts ith Tort reform.

  251. 252 Zainab
    August 31, 2008 at 12:52

    Salam to all,
    @ Shirley,

    you’re absolutely right about what you’ve said about the Arabic series, actually I don’t watch them all, But insha Allah I will try my best to stop watching them.
    Well there is a very good channel (al-anwar), that broadcasts good lectures and useful shows, but I can’t watch it along the day, cuz my father prefers news shows and some of my family members prefer Arabic series.

    @Virginia Davis

    “Zeinab: Thank you for your history of civilization entry. This is why the invasion was especially sad to me. ”
    First of all, How are you Virginia, thank you for your kind wishes about Ramadhan.
    Any suggestions to preserve our civilization, and to make it known for everybody around the world????


    NO one tell me anything about his/her civilization!!!Why??
    Is it true that there are pyramids in Mexico like that in Egypt?

    Yours truly,
    Zainab from Iraq

  252. August 31, 2008 at 12:55


    I outright reject your argument that privatizing roads would promote commutation and result in a better product. When considering this argument, one needs to ask only one question. “which is most necessary of this function, safety or efficiency?” Nothing that requires safety over profit can function properly in the private sector. Could you imagine if our national intelligence was privatized? How about our FDA, FAA, or ATF? Here in the north our roads are crappy enough as ODOT licenses private contractors to do the construction and repairs.

    Our roads need replaced every two years. Are there materials and designs that are far superior and could not only improve safety, but also durability, and gas mileage? You bet cha. However, these investments are very expensive and often outside the yearly budget of the DOT. The private contractors have an interest in making sure that in 2 or 3 years they have a job. That requires selling cheaper and less durable solutions.

    In my area they have tried a number of times to privatize prisons. The incidents of prison riots, escapes, and guard corruption and abuse has quadrupled. One escape lead to the rape and death of a local mother.

    We have seen an increase in airlines using foreign non-certified mechanics. It has resulted in a large volume of grounded planes in the past few years. I often here, “they make mountains out of molehills.” When talking bout safety officials. Tell that to the people on US Air’s Flight 1250. Government agencies are allowed to look at safety statistics and say, “Yeah, I know we have a 0% fatality rate, but how can we make the system better?” For profit companies look at the same statistics and think, “we are obviously doing a good job, what can we do to save money. We are allowed a 2% or a 1 billion dollar failure expense.” That is minute. One plane. Meaningless, unless you are on the plane.

    Garbage, as long as the proper disposal is regulated, not much of a public safety hazard. Although we have seen, and I think still see, what happens when a private company like the Mafia runs the garbage infrastructure.

  253. 254 Bob in Queensland
    August 31, 2008 at 13:02

    Actually, in the UK (and I believe here in Australia as well) much of the construction and maintenance of roads is contracted by the various levels of government to private companies.

    However, that discussion is off on a tangent. In a PURE capitalist economy the government wouldn’t fund anything.

    Yes, I know. There’s not such thing as a pure capitalist economy but, if there was…

  254. 255 Jessica in NYC
    August 31, 2008 at 13:13

    Hi Abdelilah, Brett in Virginia, Nelson and WHYSers,

    Anyone know how Cuba did with Gustave? The Hurricane is now stronger than Katrina and is suppose to hit parts of Mexico, then US (Louisiana and Texas).

  255. August 31, 2008 at 13:18

    Hi gang ! ;-)…. And hello Precious Dan… Actually I am the one who is deeply disappointed because apparantly you did not get my point do you ?! I am practicing Muslim Shia, and I do believe strongly that violence against innocent civilians anywhere around the world is totally unacceptable… It’s not because I say it, but I can give you evidences from the Holy Quran and the sayings of the Prophet Mohammed if you want… Also I do believe strongly that men and women are totally equal in the eyes of Allah and in the eyes of the Prophet Mohammed, and also it’s not because I say it, but I can also give you evidences from the Holy Quran and the sayings of the Prophet Mohammed if you want… And I can go on with rest of what I do believe strongly in… Now I can put those evidences for you on this blog if you want, but the very important question is : Will you take what I will say seriously, or for granted ?! Now, in the second series of my posts, I am going to give you those evidences, and after that we’ll talk… And if you want, you can ask for my email eddress from the moderators… My only intention is to make you understand Dan… And BTW, I have replied to Precious Roberto’s point in a previous post… With my love… Yours forever, Lubna…

  256. 257 Julie P
    August 31, 2008 at 13:22


    Here’s some images of Cuba after Gustav struck.


  257. 258 Jessica in NYC
    August 31, 2008 at 13:33

    @ Julie

    Thanks, I am worried about Gustav it’s going hit Parts of Mexico and the US. I am glad the Bush administration has finally woken-up and are doing something instead of Bush and McCain having cake like they did three years ago when Katrina hit.

  258. 259 Julie P
    August 31, 2008 at 13:39


    This is very bad. I am hoping that if Gustav does hit part of Mexico it hits the part where it is lightly populated and is still in much of its natural state. Hopefully Luz Ma will come along and fill in the blanks on the region of Mexico that I am speaking of. I mention it only because I recall a hurricane within the last couple of years made landfall there without incident.

    After the debacle of Katrina Bush and McCain should have woken up. Katrina was and still is a disgrace.

  259. August 31, 2008 at 13:39


    There are “Pure capitalist economies”. Right there in Australia there might even be some of the indigenous tribes that have there own culture. In Africa and Deep South America there are tribes that live and die on their own merits. You can buy justice and people with your wealth. Moving through certain regions requires payment to the “company” that claims ownership.

    Remember that capitalism/ free enterprise describes the method in which wealth is distributed, not the governmental structure.

  260. August 31, 2008 at 13:55

    Hi again Precious Dan… Before I start giving you the evidences you’re asking for, you must realise that in the Holy Quran there are texts which are termed by Allah in the Holy Quran ”Um Al Kitab”, and there’re also other texts which are also termed by Allah also in the Holy Quran ”Mutashabihat”… Now what’s the difference between the two categories ?! The difference is that the texts of the ”Um Al Kitab” category are general texts which apply to all places and times while the texts of the ”Mutashabihat” category are texts which had come down from heaven on specific occasions and apply only to those specific occasions i.e. lack the characteristic of the general application… The Prophet Mohammed, by his sayings, had helped us Muslims distinguishing between the 1st category and the 2nd category…. Hopefully you now understand very well the importance of the sayings of the Prophet Mohammed in our lives as practicing Muslims… More in my next post Inshallah… With my love… Yours forever, Lubna in Baghdad…

  261. 262 Dan
    August 31, 2008 at 14:05

    Hello Lubna Glad to see that you are back.
    I am paraphrasing but in the Quran it is said that he who takes the life of an innocent takes the life of the world. A Muslim’s obligation is more than to deplore the taking of an innocent life, Muslim or not, but to stand up against it.
    The world is pushing back on Muslims all over the world as absent action and activism from moderates, Islam is seen as a cult of violence. It is rapidly losing its description as a religion.
    Yes, I would like an answer to the question Roberto put forth. If Whabiists are not Muslims why are they allowed on the Hajj?
    Then I have a religious question and I am being serious. Islam means submission to the will of God but who knows the will of God? Certainly it is not a Mullah that advocates violence from the Mosque in Friday prayers. But my deeper question is God happier when someone is forced to submit or when one comes willingly to God?
    Do not take this as demeaning your religion, it is not but it is a legitimate question.
    Glad to have you back. What is the weather in Baghdad?

  262. 263 Jessica in NYC
    August 31, 2008 at 14:06

    @ Julie

    Remember when crazy GOPS religious leaders blamed Katrina on dems as punishment for supporting a women’s right to choose?

    I’m praying for all these people, may the leeves not fail this time. I just saw a report that after close to $25 million the levees are still leaking. What good is all this technology if we can’t invest in protecting people from drowning.

  263. 264 Jonathan
    August 31, 2008 at 14:09


    No, you didn’t prove or confirm that “capitalism = oligarchy.” I don’t recall your saying it, it’s not true, and it doesn’t mean what you think it does. It’s pretty funny to see you cite China as an example of this, since it’s been an oligarchy for about 60 years, most of them under communism and socialism, only the last few years under capitalism. The freedom that accompanies capitalism and the increased wealth it brings will predictably threaten and probably destroy the totalitarian government in China. Capitalism and democracy are more usually found together than either one with another. Singapore and China are exceptions. I feel like I said this yesterday too.

    Fuzzy enough to make me crazy! What dictates and dynamics of capitalism are offensive to human dignity and restrict expression? What does your company make, and how would it survive without consumers? What are needs vs. greeds?

  264. 265 Jonathan
    August 31, 2008 at 14:12


    Capitalism and free enterprise is not about how wealth is distributed but about how wealth is PRODUCED.

  265. 266 Julie P
    August 31, 2008 at 14:12


    I remember that too. I also remember the same thing about the first time the Mississippi too. Strange group of people.

    I hope all of the people are in safe places.

    Ditto on the levees.

  266. 267 Jessica in NYC
    August 31, 2008 at 14:15

    @ Julie

    I’m so glad most people have evacuated from nearby towns where the hurricane is suppose to hit in Mexico and Lousiana. Although, I have not seen much coverage of Texas. Why oh why do some people not listen to mandatory evacuations? I remember, three years ago I had to do a fair amount of relentless screaming to connivence many people I know in the south to leave.

  267. 268 Julie P
    August 31, 2008 at 14:17


    I missed a word, so here’s the amended version of comment:

    I remember that too. I also remember the same thing about the first time the Mississippi [River flooded] too. Strange group of people.

    I hope all of the people are in safe places.

    Ditto on the levees.

  268. 269 Jessica in NYC
    August 31, 2008 at 14:29

    So Bush is not speaking at the RNC convention tomorrow after all. Glad he’s taking Gustav seriously and not sitting on his butt like he did during Karina, where it not for his incompetence it would have minimized the death toll that reached close to two thousand deaths.

  269. 270 steve
    August 31, 2008 at 14:31

    Check out the hilarity of dating in DC

    You can’t have a more classic case of narcissistic personality disorder and how they are attracted to DC like flies to you know what.

  270. 271 Bob in Queensland
    August 31, 2008 at 14:37

    From Wikipedia (but it sounds like what I remember from my economics class a bit over 35 years ago):

    Capitalism is the economic system in which the means of production are owned by private persons, and operated for profit and where investments, distribution, income, production and pricing of goods and services are predominantly determined through the operation of a free market.

  271. 272 Jessica in NYC
    August 31, 2008 at 14:41

    @ Julie

    Why are there not emergency shelters in New Orleans? It’s a rhetorical question. The mayor and governor have issued mandatory evacuations and buses are shipping people out to unknown destinations. Can you imagine, not knowing where you’re going or for how long? Glad people with pets are being let on the buses, remember last time people would not leave with out their pets? Oh dear god, people who would not leave during Karina, because they would not leave their pets behind had be on the edge of my seat talking to the TV. (!!!)

  272. August 31, 2008 at 14:46

    Hi again Precious Dan… As for violence… Allah in the Holy Quran says regarding hoe to treat those who are not Muslims : ”Allah doesn’t prevent you from treating those who didn’t fight you inorder to give up your religion and who didn’t force you out of your homes by force with fairness and justice and to be good to them… Allah loves those who are fair and just to others”… Also Allah in the Holy Quran says : ”You fight for the sake of Allah those who fight you and do not start the aggression”… Also Allah in the Holy Quran says regarding the issue of convrsion to Islam or forcing the orders of Islam on people who do not want to succumb to them : ”There’s no compulsion in religion”, and also Allah says in the Holy Quran talking to the Prophet Mohammed : ”Invite other people to the pathway of Allah by wisdom and good preaching and argue with them in the best polite way possible”… Also when the Prophet Mohammed took 70 non-believer prisoners in the battle of Badr, his 1st large scale battle with them, he ordered his followers that every non believer prisoner who teaches ten Muslim kids how to read and write should be set free… There are too many other examples both from the Holy Quran and from the sayings and life of the Prophet Mohammed regarding ”Islam and violence”… I am translating the holy texts myself and that’s why I am really so sorry if my language isn’t that strong… Also I access the internet through mobile phone and that’s why writing for me isn’t an easy task at all… More later… With my love… Yours forever, Lubna in Baghdad…

  273. 274 roebert
    August 31, 2008 at 14:49

    Bob, I’m using ‘proletariat’ becuse it occurs a lot in a book on the history of the industrial revolution and accompanying socio-political changes which I’m battling through right now. As you rightly imply, it is an archaic word. I suppose the substitute term would be a ‘developing class or society.’ But still as destitute and violated by the system as the old-fashioned proletariat, of course.

    Jonathan, at this stage I’ll just crumble and go along with you. I have extra orders to fulfill which means that I’m working today, and there really isn’t time to finesse my argument up to your standards. Except to say: yes, my vision of a healthy society does have a ‘religious’ undertone, by which I mean a sort of post-religious religiousness that has to do with human truth. Gotta go. Yep, the system’s got me by the…..no time to think; see what I mean?

    Did want to add this: the Roman ‘Proletarius’ was the lowest class of Roman citizen, which provided offspring (i.e. human fodder) for the Roman system. Something like the sweatshop worker of today.

    And, just out of a sense of obligation to something truly beautiful, I must say what a treat is to listen to Kiri Te Kanawa as I slave away. What a joy!

  274. 275 Bob in Queensland
    August 31, 2008 at 14:56

    Now there’s a question for you Roebert. As you own a company but have to work on a Sunday, does that make you a proletarian wage slave or are you a vicious capitalist exploiting…er…yourself?

  275. August 31, 2008 at 14:58


    So socialism and Communism “Produce wealth”? What do you do once it is “porduced”?

    That is kind of like saying, “computers don’t spread infromation, they produce it.” Better yet, it is kind of like saying that “The Middle East is the largest producer of oil.” Turns out decaying carbon, the Sun and, tons of dirt are the largest producer of wealth. The Saudsis just determin who gets theirs.


    2: to give birth or rise to : yield

    4: to make available for public exhibition or dissemination: as a: to provide funding for b: to oversee the making of
    5 a: to cause to have existence or to happen : bring about b: to give being, form, or shape to : make; especially : manufacture

    What capitalism does is decide who gets distributed the “products” by way of attained wealth.

    In the end “wealth” kind of is produced by the ground.

  276. 277 Dan
    August 31, 2008 at 15:00

    Loved what you wrote. I need to prepare my house in case Hurricane Hanna comes this way. I will be gone for a while. Will try to “look in”.
    But my question remains if Islam means submission what are you submitting to? The will of God? Who knows that?
    The Quran is a book of how to live life and conduct yourself with others.

  277. 278 Julie P
    August 31, 2008 at 15:04


    I remember that too about the pets. I also remember one guy who did evacuate and left his dog behind a crate that he placed on the highest shelf of his laundry room. I get sick when I think about that. Under no circumstance would I ever leave a pet behind, they go with me, but then I have enough people to go to who would let me and my pets stay with them. It’s about time that pets are recognized in situations like this.

  278. 279 Jessica in NYC
    August 31, 2008 at 15:09

    @ Cindy McCain interview

    LOL– she is being interviewed about policy and regarding Palin. They couldn’t get a GOP official to do it? Now she’s answering questions about national security and her experience with Georgia? Oh yeah, GOP real smart move, she’s a good way to trot your security experience. She described the conflict as “bad people” and how the US is the “best” at fixing the conflict.

    RE their 7 homes: She is proud of what her father has “given” them.

  279. August 31, 2008 at 15:13

    Hi again Precious Dan… Yeah my good friend, the holy Quranic text you mentioned is absolutely true, and its other half states that the one who brings life back to another human being, as if he brought life back to all human beings… It was that holy Quranic text that inspired me to go into the medical school in the 1st place… Now, as for Precious Roberto’s question, the Prophet Mohammed had put the general rule for us Muslims 1400 years ago, when he stated that if anyone witnesses that there’s no other God but god, and that Mohammed is the messenger of God, then we Muslims do not have any right at all to prevent that person from practicing Islamic rituals, including Al Hajj of course… The Prophet had explained to his followers that Allah did not send him as his messenger inorder to incise people’s chests and see whether their hearts are truely pure or not… It’s only Allah who really knoes what’s there inside human beings’ hearts and minds, and that’s why it’s only Allah who punishes and judges human beings, not human beings themselves… I do strongly believe that Wahabis are not true Muslims at all… But I also have no right at all to prevent them from attending Al Hajj rituals or practicing any other Islamic ritual, because they do witness that there’s no other God but God, and that Mohammed is his messenger…More later… With my love… Yours forever, Lubna in Baghdad…

  280. 281 Jessica in NYC
    August 31, 2008 at 15:23

    @ Julie

    I totally get that pets are like family to some people, I just wish that people wouldn’t risk their lives or put their pets lives above theirs. I saw this one family with a kid and would not evacuate during Katrina, because they could take their dog.

  281. 282 Jonathan
    August 31, 2008 at 15:23


    You challenged libertarians to help you understand preparations for natural disasters, and purported to compare Cuba’s efficient measures to New Orleans’ inadequate ones. Happy to oblige.

    Contrary to your assertion, New Orleans residents have in fact been provided with both transportation and shelter. Most have driven out of town to stay with friends or relatives rather than taking buses to public shelters, (not all good things must come from government), but there is ample preparation. Most Cubans are too poor to own cars, their nation having been transformed in one generation from the richest country in the Caribbean to the second-poorest. Hopefully Castro will assume room temperature before Cuba assumes Haiti’s status at the very bottom of the heap.

    How effective is government in preparation for, and recovery from, natural disasters? One word: FEMA. How effective were private businesses, charities, and individuals last time around? One heck of a lot better. Many stores simply opened and gave away their goods for free. Wal-Mart trucked in more goods to give away. Physicians came from all over the country to volunteer; their biggest hurdle was FEMA itself, which prohibited access and required completion of a 40-page form by each doctor.

  282. 283 Julie P
    August 31, 2008 at 15:29


    Palin sure is a peach, isn’t she? LOL

  283. 284 Dan
    August 31, 2008 at 15:32

    Wow…it is hot humid and very windy outside my home. I needed a break.
    The Hebrew Torah and Holy Quran are alike in this regard. The Torah states that to save one life is to save the world entire.
    Of course there is no God but God of that there is no doubt but as I am not a Muslim I would never participate in Hajj as I would see that as blasphemous.
    Similarly I look upon one who claims to be of any religion who comes to God not believing and practicing what that religion teaches to be similarly blasphemous.
    Thus I wonder about the Whabiists.
    OK…I have cooled off and am going back outside to secure my trees and make sure all loose items are tied down.

  284. 285 Bob in Queensland
    August 31, 2008 at 15:38

    @ Jonathan

    My assertion about disaster preparations was based solely on the news report (including a soundbite with the New Orleans mayor) I heard this morning–if they got it wrong or I heard it wrong, I apologise.

    However, about FEMA and the rest of the problems last time, I’d repeat what I said in another thread….Katrina is an example of why you need better government, not necessarlity less government. While companies and NGOs make valuable contributions to disaster relief I believe the lead should be taken (and coordination provided by) EFFECTIVE government agencies. And, if theyre not effective, then replace the government and the agency.

  285. 286 Jonathan
    August 31, 2008 at 15:42


    Re Palin being a peach, um, would it be just horribly sexist and piggy to say that her voice is about as pleasant as fingernails scraping on a blackboard? I’d say the same thing if she were a man, honest….

  286. 287 Jonathan
    August 31, 2008 at 15:45


    Agreed vigorously on all counts of course, especially the part about replacing the government! And, hey, I think we all know how biased the BBC is, don’t we?

  287. 288 Jonathan
    August 31, 2008 at 15:59


    Actually FEMA had been one of the best agencies in the whole federal goverrnment under President Clinton. The Bush administration gutted it and most of its senior specialist staff were driven out as it was subsumed into the notorious Dept. of Homeland Security (that oddly Fascist-sounding name) and its budget slashed.

    I’ll say once again that we libertarians are not all frothing zealots determined to close every last government office. We run the gamut from wacky to reasonable like me.

    I don’t expect ever to understand how a president who first left us vulnerable to terrorist attack and then reacted so very badly in every possible way after it happened could build a reputation as the Great Protector. FEMA is one of the most important agencies in responding to terrorist attacks, as well as natural disasters.

  288. August 31, 2008 at 16:09

    Hi again Precious Dan… Islam means literally surrendering or submitting to the fact that Allah (God) is ONE i.e. surrevdering or submitting to the fact that there’s only one supreme power that controls and orchestrates our universe… To believe that there’s only ONE God is the most important theme in Islam… As for submission to the will of God, then that’s a completely different story… Submission to the will of God is an important Islamic theme also… We Practicing Muslims do believe strongly that (And I am so sure that you Dan also believe in the same thing as a practicing Christian) Allah knows billions and billions of times better than we do, and that’s why I as a practicing Muslim do trust Allah blindly, and I always ask Him in my prayers that He’d be the one who controls my life and plans for my future… In my prayers I tell Him that I do accept willingly his control on my life and my future… I want Him willingly to decide for me what’s best for me, because He does know what’s best for me billions and billions of times better than I do… And that’s why I do call myself a willing submitter to the will of Allah, not necessarily because I do know what Allah’s will exactly is, but because I do know for sure that Allah does know what’s best for me millions of times better than I do… Dan, I do pray that you and all of our Precious WHYSers down there in the Stateswill escape totally the danger of the hurricane Gostav Inshallah… And Hi Amy darling… Oh my Goodness sweetie, I am really so sorry to hear about of gall bladder problems… Lots and lots of ”get well” wishes to you from me my love… I’ll pray for you specially tonight… With my love… Yours forever, Lubna in Baghdad…

  289. 290 Bob in Queensland
    August 31, 2008 at 16:11

    @ Jonathan

    One of the Aussie networks recently ran a documentary (a couple of years old) about Katrina and they made the same point about the Department of Homeland Security–not my favourite Agency.

    At the risk of offending many, I have a lot of time for Clinton–he had personal foibles but I believe that, as a manager, he was a pretty good president.

    He’s also the only POTUS I’ve ever actually met (well, been in the same room as at least!).

    Anyhow, fun debating but I’m off to bed and a book. See you tomorrow.

  290. 291 Jonathan
    August 31, 2008 at 16:32


    Oh, yeah, Clinton ROCKED! We’ve never had it better. And it looks better every day in retrospect too. Best. President. Ever. Well, since Jefferson.

  291. 292 Jessica in NYC
    August 31, 2008 at 16:35

    @ Julie
    LOL– I am watching analysis of McCain’s selection of his VP. Palin was runner-up Ms. Alaska. Even GOP are criticizing her, then claiming she has “tons of” foreign policy experience. I’s so glad McCain choose her, all their hypocrisy is being played back. Palin in an interview earlier this year questions the VP position has having a lack of responsibilities.

    @ Zainab & Lubna and the other Muslim WHYSers,
    May you have a peaceful Ramadan.

    @ Nelsoni
    RE diplomacy
    The problem in the US is that our two major political parties do not agree on what it means to be diplomatic. Furthermore, US politicians do seem to feel entitled to be referees for planet Earth especially when our special interest are at stake.

    @ Abdelilah Boukili
    RE: Adoption
    Here in the US there have been many reports over the last couple of years over the issue of not screening potential parents enough. There were a few stories of adoptive parents who did it for the money. The problem in these cases did not seem to be the laws, but of the over-worked case workers who did not enforce them or failed miserably at doing their job.

  292. 293 Julie P
    August 31, 2008 at 16:37


    I am very glad they choose her too for the same reason.

  293. 294 Jessica in NYC
    August 31, 2008 at 16:40

    @ Steve
    RE: Rape of a student journalist

    Wow, you interject your prejudiced into any story. Instead of advocating for striker laws that punish rapist you flame anti-immigrant sentaments in the US by labeling the rapist as an immigrant, which he is not! Shameless, but not surprising from a person who thinks all Mexicans and Guatemalans he see at construction sites in the US are illegal. The article clearly states the rapist is the smuggler makes no reference to him being illegal. Most smugglers and human traffickers are nationals of the country they commit these illegal acts of trafficking people across borders. As a side note, most countries offer war refugees asylum into the counties they seek entrance into when their lives are at risk. SEE War War II refugees for very well documented examples.

    RE: Dating in DC
    Ouch! Nothing worst than being interviewed and then having a picture taken during a bad date. This makes me think it’s a set up, WHY would a reasonably intelligent people (she was an economist and he’s in PR, LOL) allow themselves to be photographed?

  294. 295 Virginia Davis
    August 31, 2008 at 16:41

    @Zainab from Iraq:

    Thank you for your note. What can be done now? I don’t know; I have seen one or two public broadcast shows about the looting and the need to protect sites and artifacts.

    In school, in the 50’s, we learned about “the cradle of civilization.” Also from my aunt, a college art teacher.

    Other civilizations: Davis is a Welsh name. Celtic civilization is fascinating, especially myths/literature. I must admit I don’t know very much, though.

    I chose another name when I was young: “moryn” is a Welsh word for “sea wave.” From a Welsh dictionary in Widner Library, the undergrad library at Harvard where I usually hung out in the poetry section after working all day at NASA at MIT.

    The Rubiyat by Omar Kayham (sp?) is important to me, as well as Persian painting. And I grew up with Oriental rugs. Many Americans like Rumi, but I’ve never had one of this collections.

    As for food, when we had pot lucks at the Oregon Health Division, I always brought Oreo cookies. Smile. Do you know of the 50’s TV shows: Ozzie and Harriet and the Donna Reed Show.

    Virginia in Oregon

  295. 296 Jonathan
    August 31, 2008 at 16:45


    By all means have yourself a good laugh, and when you get your breath back, look in that dictionary or encyclopedia where you found “produce” and find “capitalism.” You will find that it is an economic system by which, as I said, wealth is produced. Not distributed. Produced. Government can distribute wealth, and of course destroy it, but it can’t produce it.

    You earlier produced a list of inventions that make us wealthier than our ancestors, even though you described them as bills to complain about rather than inventions to celebrate. Surely you see that we are wealthier now thann when we were squatting in caves, scratching the earth with sticks, building pyramids, etc. Surely you know you’re in the richest country on earth. This wealth was produced. That’s why we have it. It didn’t invent and manufacture itself.

  296. 297 Jessica in NYC
    August 31, 2008 at 16:46

    @ WHYSers in the US

    Have a nice days off tomorrow for those of you who are off. I’m off to enjoy myself for the next two days, so I’ll be MIA (Missing in action) on WHYS. Be back Tuesday and will pray that those in the path of Gustav will be safe.

    @ Amy
    Good luck at the doctor with your test results.

  297. 298 Virginia Davis
    August 31, 2008 at 16:53

    Luz Ma: Please let us know what is happening with you all – BBC has stories on nation wide protests against killings and kidnappings. Is your boss involved?
    Stay safe. Virginia

  298. 299 Brett
    August 31, 2008 at 16:55

    @ Julie: I remember that too about the pets. I also remember one guy who did evacuate and left his dog behind a crate that he placed on the highest shelf of his laundry room. I get sick when I think about that. Under no circumstance would I ever leave a pet behind, they go with me, but then I have enough people to go to who would let me and my pets stay with them. It’s about time that pets are recognized in situations like this.

    I’m with you on that one, Ill carry my rot mix, pit mix and chihuahua out of the house all at the same time if i had to lol. No pet left behind!

  299. 300 Dan
    August 31, 2008 at 17:00

    I am on another “break”.
    There is no doubt that there is One God…the ONE. However, we are created in God’s image but do not belive that God controls our every movement as we would a pet but that we have Free Will. This allows us to discern between good and evil, both created by God, and make our free will choice. Thus there is no one on this planet that tell me how to act. It is clear what God expects of me but it is like God hit the cue ball on a pool table and watches the random acts of the various balls and watches the outcome. Make no mistake we are not inanimate pool balls but God set events in motion and is watching the infinite variety of outcomes and how and who comes to Him.
    Although there are numerous laws of what to eat, when and how much to pray I strongly believe that each day we talk to God and tell Him of our day, unburden our troubles and speak DIRECTLY to him is much more important to God than organized prayer.
    You must tell me more about The Prophet. I know infinity more about Moses, his life and his one and only special relationship with God than I do of the Prophet.
    Lubna, I now go back outside to help my neighbor. Her husband is in your country and we make sure that we (all the neighbors) help her out.

  300. 301 Jonathan
    August 31, 2008 at 17:05


    G’bye… Whatever you do to enjoy yourself, do lots of it…

  301. 302 Amy
    August 31, 2008 at 17:26


    As with all of the people in Gustav’s path, I’ll keep positive thoughts for those of you in Hanna’s way. Be safe.

  302. 303 selena in Paris
    August 31, 2008 at 17:27


    Sorry you are having problems with your health.

    I am thinking of you and wishing you all the best for next week.

    Keep us informed.

  303. 304 Dennis
    August 31, 2008 at 17:33

    Hi everyone,

    Hi Abdelilah & Brett…..

    Everyone I made it to Syracuse, New York @ 9.30AM eastern standard time on Sunday!

    Hi Amy:
    I hope you feel better soon…

    Hi Lubna:
    i made to occ in syracuse, new york…i am safe and sound…

    Syracuse, New York

  304. August 31, 2008 at 17:38

    @ Johnathan

    The dictionary is call Merriam-Webster and can be found online. And yes I am getting a good laugh from you.

    Main Entry: cap·i·tal·ism
    Function: noun
    : an economic system characterized by private or corporate ownership of capital goods, by investments that are determined by private decision, and by prices, production, and the distribution of goods that are determined mainly by competition in a free market

    1: a valuable return : gain
    2: the excess of returns over expenditure in a transaction or series of transactions; especially : the excess of the selling price of goods over their cost

    Main Entry: wealth
    4 a: all property that has a money value or an exchangeable value b: all material objects that have economic utility; especially : the stock of useful goods having economic value in existence at any one time

    Capitalism and free enterprise is not about how wealth is distributed but about how wealth is PRODUCED.

    Turns out it is both. Got to dig a little deeper then perceived “common sense” to understand this economic stuff.

  305. August 31, 2008 at 17:42


    Still laughing. The Original draft of the declaration of independence was preambled with

    An early draft of the Declaration read, “life, liberty and the pursuit of land.” Owning and controlling personal property was considered by the founders as a natural right for a person-not to be surrendered to socialists, non-governmental organizations…”

  306. 307 Roberto
    August 31, 2008 at 17:44

    RE: “”However, about FEMA …….Katrina is an example of why you need better government, not necessarlity less government.””

    ——— A fair assessment, bu there is little consensus on “better” government.

    Fema created to streamline federal disaster relief. It has never been properly funded by Congress which is probably a good thing since like all operations that move up the bureaucracy order, it became political and self-serving.

    Fema had little control over development in risky zones, the nuclear reactor in Cali built over a major fault line as a major example. Also all the beach homes and coastal development that previously had been limited.

    Older generations much more effecient in the face of disasters as most all had backgrounds in the land or working with their hands in natural conditions, whereas many modern city dwellers lack the foundations of reality of the physical world.

    With the Great San Fran earthquake, a weak US government provided more able aid than today, as did local, state agencies, and people themselves.

    Unrealistic moderns continue to blame GDub, but he had assists from corrupt state and local politicians, plus limitations of the most vulnerable class of people affected. Let’s not forget the reckless incompetence of Texas Guv Perry when he stampeded much of Houston into the largest traffic jam into history with his mass evacuation order in advance of Rita. Had Rita struck that area, more would have been killed than happened in the jamup that stranded soft city types on the road for days in a harsh tropical climate they normally don’t experience for more than a few minutes at a time.

  307. 308 Julie P
    August 31, 2008 at 17:48


    Yeah, I like my pets, both cats and dogs. Wherever I go they go.

  308. August 31, 2008 at 18:13

    @ All

    what is the big deal about cosmetic surgery

    The Changing Face of Michael Jackson

    Happy Viewing 🙂

  309. August 31, 2008 at 18:29

    I assume a house is a bad investment because I believe the money will be worth less in 30 years then it is today. So far I have not been let down. In 1978 the average wage nationally was 10,500. Average cost of a house in Cleveland area. $33,000. Cut to 2008. Average national wage $38,650. (slightly higher then here in the auto-belt.). Cleveland area, $110,000. My parents first home came up for sale recently and fit those numbers perfectly. They bought it in cash. That doesn’t include paying interest on the loan. Cost of living has actually out raised our wages in 30 years. Adjusted, we are doing worse then our parents did. That means to buy that house, we have to put in at least just as many hours slaving at our jobs, if not more. Now it having more money worth less “production” hours in your pocket mean you are richer, the I concede. For me, I rate everything by how many hours I have to put in at work.

    I never said the government “generated money” As a mater of fact my point is that the here in your friendly government facility bringing up the cost of is considered “taboo” and out of line. What I am saying, is that if you wanted the same quality as most government agencies supply, you would not be able to afford it from the private sector. “Public safety” is the first, last, only consideration required by a government agency. Unless one reaches that wage level, they are getting more then they are paying for.

    If capitalism worked with human nature, we wouldn’t need to regulate monopolies, oligopolies, and contracts. Left to our own devices we would end up a monarchy. “Bow down to the man with the wealth.”

  310. 311 roebert
    August 31, 2008 at 18:37

    Jonathan, you’re right about ‘oligarchy’ (rule by the few), which I’d somehow misremembered as meaning ‘rule by the wealthy’ (the correct word still eludes me while I grope for it).

    I think I’ll avoid trying to counter-theorize with you, since I’m really not up to it. But my own approach as a capitalist entrepreneur is to try to live austerely, distinguishing between what I can buy just because I have the money, and what I need to live a comfortable life. That’s the need vs. greed bit in a nutshell. I try to respect the needs of others and the environment and, if possible, put them before my own. That’s the ‘religious’ bit. I pay my employees generously (they shouldn’t have to ask for a raise). That’s the best I can do as regards exploitation. We try to produce the highest quality product that we can, so as not to waste raw materials. And so on. This probably sounds pretty ordinary to you over there in the States. In Africa, though, exploitation takes place in the worst ways you can imagine.

    I stand by my argument that ruthless (emphasis) capitalism is suited to despotic regimes, and I have given my reasons for that point of view above.

    I don’t seriously believe that my comments are as muddle-headed and apparently intrinsically stupid as your responses indicate. It’s whether you choose to see the sense or not that matters. I think they make sense.

  311. August 31, 2008 at 18:43

    In this culture, living without transportation, a house, communication, and supplemented energy is impossible. Let us say hike 30 miles down into Amish country. About as independent as you can get. Since I don’t belong to their “church” I am not going to be given their exemption. First of all I needed money to get there for food if nothing else. Even if somebody gave me an acre to build my house of sticks and grow my own stuff. The city still will want their property tax money. The only way I am going to make money is to go to work, or sell my crops and livestock. That means I am going to have to somehow provide for more then myself. If I don’t pay those taxes they take my land away. At that point I have no choice but to buy into the system and accept its slavery. That is if the most animate person tries to buck the system.

    Somebody who is born and raised with basic luxuries, not having doesn’t even occur as a “choice”. That is how freedom differs from 1776 to 2008. The ability to survive your whole life with out ever touching a piece of currency was possible. Now, it is not.

  312. 313 Katharina in Ghent
    August 31, 2008 at 18:52

    Hi everyone,

    Sorry I wasn’t around this weekend, but my son starts his first day of school tomorrow (yeah!) and I was pretty busy here getting things organized.

    @ Amy: I really hope that you’re suffering “only” of gallstones (or, if possible, something more benign). Good luck on Tuesday, my thoughts will be with you!

  313. 314 Katharina in Ghent
    August 31, 2008 at 18:55

    I don’t know if someone already pointed this out, but my feeling is that this hurricane Gustav can determine who’ll be the next president. If the storm is similarly severe as Katrina three years ago and the authorities screw up again, then I’m sure that Obama will win the elections. Similarly, if FEMA & Co do everything right this time, people may consider GWB doing the right thing and vote for McCain…

  314. 315 Jonathan
    August 31, 2008 at 19:38


    You say interesting things that I’d like to reply to, Dwight. I’ve got to go to work now (on my tan) — check in tonight and I should have something of a reply for you.

  315. 316 Julie P
    August 31, 2008 at 19:44


    You can get a tan in San Francisco?! Interesting.

  316. 317 roebert
    August 31, 2008 at 19:45

    Erratum: Capitalism = plutocracy ( = oligarchy anyway).

  317. 318 steve
    August 31, 2008 at 19:46

    @ Jessica

    “Ouch! Nothing worst than being interviewed and then having a picture taken during a bad date. This makes me think it’s a set up, WHY would a reasonably intelligent people (she was an economist and he’s in PR, LOL) allow themselves to be photographed?”

    Because narcissists love attention. She admitted she went on the date to get her “15 minutes of fame”. If the Washington Post provided a camera crew, even more mentally ill people would sign up. My advice to the Wapo, is to film the dates, and then let psychiatrists watch the video tapes, and then do a huge study on personality disorders, as DC is the mecca of personality disorders

  318. 319 selena in Paris
    August 31, 2008 at 19:53


    Nothing about why “he” went on the date then?

    Please try to be more understanding of how your generalizations affect people.

    The “so-called” mentally ill have feelings and they bleed too.

  319. 320 Dennis
    August 31, 2008 at 19:57

    Gustav, will decide who is the next President…if he comes in the way…he is predicting at this time…

    Syracuse, New York

  320. 321 Dennis
    August 31, 2008 at 20:01

    @ Ramadan:
    When it is….On September 2, 2008…

    Syracuse, New York

  321. 322 Dennis
    August 31, 2008 at 20:01

    Could anyone answer the question….


  322. 323 steve
    August 31, 2008 at 20:29

    @ Selena

    He wasn’t the one who went on the date to get his 15 minutes of fame. He apparently went on a date to meet someone. Actually, sociopaths lack a conscience so I don’t feel bad for them since they are incapable of feeling anything themselves.

  323. August 31, 2008 at 21:01

    @ Steve~

    “My advice to the Wapo, is to film the dates, and then let psychiatrists watch the video tapes, and then do a huge study on personality disorders, as DC is the mecca of personality disorders.”

    Perhaps you are correct. But if DC is the Mecca for personality disorders, then “K” Street is the main street through town.

  324. 325 Jonathan
    August 31, 2008 at 21:21


    I hope we can keep the door open at least. I don’t think your comments are muddle-headed or intrinsically stupid. A little thicker jargon than I can manage, but when you cleaned it up I could see better. Sorry if I came across that way. I’m working on the arrogance. When you (apparently) liked the “squid ink” I took it as license to go nuts.

    I forgot the Africa factor; most or all governments there are oligarchies, so I can see how you could think what you do. I wonder if it’s possible that capitalism might not be the reason for that sad circumstance though. That correlation doesn’t happen everywhere, and when it’s given a chance, capitalism is a revolutionary force, decentralizing power and changing things.

  325. 326 Jonathan
    August 31, 2008 at 21:23


    They lack empathy too, Thee goes most of the political class though.

  326. 327 Jonathan
    August 31, 2008 at 21:40


    Oh, fer sure, September and October are dazzling: brilliant, sunny, warm, clear, splendid, sweeeet.

  327. 328 Julie P
    August 31, 2008 at 22:02


    I’ve been in SF in May and I thought the weather was fantastic. I was just kidding, dude! 8)

  328. 329 Venessa
    August 31, 2008 at 22:42

    Jonathan ~

    I’ve spent time in July there that had devine weather…although September was very pleasing the last time I was there.

  329. 330 Shirley
    August 31, 2008 at 22:56

    @ mods
    Are Brett and Abdelilah ok out there? I have not heard a peep from them.

  330. 331 Dennis
    August 31, 2008 at 22:58

    Hi Everyone!
    We all show pray for the safety and the lives of those affected by Hurricane Gustav in the Gulf Coast of the United States…..


  331. 332 Pangolin
    August 31, 2008 at 23:34

    Yes, you can get a tan in San Francisco. The preferred method is for a middle aged gay man to sun oneself in Dolores Park on a sunny fall afternoon; in a speedo. The ick factor is quite extreme.

    Actually light-skinned San Francisco natives eventually learn that you can get a sunburn on a foggy day if you are out long enough.

  332. 333 jamily5
    September 1, 2008 at 00:31

    I will be praying for you Dan and all that are experiencing Mother Nature’s termoil.

    How are you feeling , Amy?

  333. 334 jamily5
    September 1, 2008 at 00:31

    about adoption:
    Yes, but there are those who internationally adopt. After the adoption, there aren’t social workers in the picture. I know a woman who was one of twenty-eight children adopted by missionaries. most of the children have horrific stories about their adoptive parents. And, I know many adoptive parents who don’t try an learn anything about the culture that their children came from.
    This just widens a gap between their children and themselves.

  334. 335 jamily5
    September 1, 2008 at 00:34

    about pets and storms,
    My dog would probably be leading me out,so no possible chance of leaving him behind.
    Although, If I am not careful, he might just leave me behind.(smiil

  335. 336 jamily5
    September 1, 2008 at 00:35

    I was there in Sept/Oct and found the weather great!!!! Hot in the daytime, but cool at evening/night.
    By the first of October, though, it began to rain more.
    But, I only stayed until the 8th, so it could have been a fluke.

  336. 337 jamily5
    September 1, 2008 at 00:43

    I don’t know if Dan is a Christian, or not.
    But, even in the bible, it tells us to “submit yourselves to God.”
    So, in both religions, we are to “willingly submit.”
    We are to submit wwillingly with our heart.
    And, yes, it is because we believe that God knows what is best for us, even moreso than our own selves.
    It is the humble belief that God knows more than we do and that God has our best interest at heart, and therefore, we submit to his will.

    I hear the arguments on this one:
    Why shouldn’t we trust in ourselves to know what is best for each one of us?
    Who truly knows God’s will?
    … …
    But, my point is that if Dan is A Christian,
    he shouldn’t have a problem with “submit.”

  337. 338 Julie P
    September 1, 2008 at 00:47

    In case you missed this. Nigeria man divorces 82 of 86 of his wives.


  338. 339 Jonathan
    September 1, 2008 at 00:50

    Well, there’s the occasional straight man, still on the near side of middle age, on his deck or in Alta Plaza park (aka Au Pair park). There are parts of town where windburn is a more realistic concern than sunburn, though.

  339. September 1, 2008 at 01:10

    @ Julie P
    The Man, in question, Mr Abubakar had challenged Islamic scholars, saying there was no punishment stated in the Koran for having more than four wives.

    In fact in Islam a man can have just four wives. But there is no limit to the number of concubine he can have. Such women are called Harem: http://www.answers.com/topic/harem . But today very few Muslims marry more than one woman at once, let alone seeking to have a Harem.

    Here is the story ( http://sweetness-light.com/archive/muslim-father-of-78-wants-to-father-22-more ) of a father ( from the United Arab Emirates) who already has 78 children and is aiming to have 100 (yes one hundred children)! Daad Mohammed Murad Abdul Rahman, 60, has already had 15 brides although he has to divorce them as he goes along to remain within the legal limit of four wives at a time.
    He will to have at least three more marriages to hit the century.

  340. 341 Julie P
    September 1, 2008 at 01:13

    @ Abdelilah ,

    I know they can have only 4 wives, but I just find this man a tad peculiar, like I do with some Mormons living in the desert with their small towns of wives and children.

  341. 342 Jonathan
    September 1, 2008 at 01:17

    September and October are our summer–the warmest months. Unusual to see rain before November. By February, after weeks of rain, if I haven’t managed a couple of weeks in Maui or someplace sunny, you’ll find me scratching the paint off the walls. And global warming would just make it cooler here.

  342. 343 jamily5
    September 1, 2008 at 01:32

    Hi Zainab and Lubna,
    I am afraid that by now, you won’t look at the BP because it is 8:31, here and much later there.
    Just in case you do:
    Would you like to visually describe the following:

    One of these famous
    Islamic monuments is the 55 meters high spiraling minaret of the great mosque in Samarra (see picture), built in 850 AD. ,

  343. 344 jamily5
    September 1, 2008 at 01:41

    Iraq and civilization:
    I think that Lubna’s point is that if civilation is characterized by the written word or a written set of laws, then, Iraq, according to these sources, should take the credit of being the father of civilization.
    (if you will allow me to use that term).”

    King Goudea (2120-2111 B.C.)
    King Urnmo is considered as the most ancient legislator in the world history, as his constitution drafted in the Sumerian language is the oldest
    written legislation. Tablets were also disclosed, describing all kinds of knowledge, and a law legislating in matters of price-fixing of essential foodstuff and
    raw materials such as barley, oil, salt, copper, carriage and boat rental, farm workers wages, as well as other rules concerning slave trade, marriage,
    divorce, lending, debts, adoption, purchase, sale and others.

    The sixth Babylonian king:
    Hammurabi is known for a set of laws called Hammurabi’s code, which one of the first written law codes in history.
    This code was written on a stele, which was a large stone monument and was placed for public display, so everyone could see it, although only a few at
    that time was literate. This monument is now at the Louvre Museum in Paris. In the upper part of the stela, Hammurabi is shown in front of the stone of
    the sun God, Shamash. The laws numbered from 1 to 182, although numbers 13, 66-99 are missing.
    This Hammurabi code is often pointed out as the first example of a legal concept. The structure of the code was very specific, stating each offense with
    a specified punishment. Some even say that the sayings, “An eye for an eye” or “An arm for an arm” were created based on this code.

  344. September 1, 2008 at 01:54

    @ Julie P,
    I personally find such cases of marriage very funny. These men seem to marry without love or passion, just for social status and women are used as tools for this end.

    Imagine every man seeks to have such a number of children as these men, I think the world population will increase at least by one billion every year.

    Like you, i find this case very peculiar.

  345. 346 Dennis
    September 1, 2008 at 02:55

    Thanks for the weekend Moderators…


  346. 347 Bob in Queensland
    September 1, 2008 at 02:57

    G’day all!

    Still reading in and drinking pint mugs of tea but one comment to make is that, in my experience of SF, what Jonathan is claiming as a tan may, in fact, be rust.

  347. 348 Jonathan
    September 1, 2008 at 02:58

    @Julie~ and A.B.–

    Is that THE Nigerian man, lately fabled in story and song hereabouts? Thus ends a legend.

  348. 349 Jonathan
    September 1, 2008 at 03:02

    Just coffee stains Bob, and dark Anguillan rum. Hopie not to start rusting for another few years.

  349. 350 Tom
    September 1, 2008 at 03:38

    To Bob and other southern hemispherians,

    Happy first day of spring. The cherry blossoms are starting to happen in our neighbourhood.

  350. 351 Amy
    September 1, 2008 at 04:28

    To all of the folks in the Southern hemisphere,

    Happy Spring!! Enjoy. It was an unusually cool August day here in Oregon (mid 60s and rain) bit still made for a beautiful wedding day for my friend. With the rain comes rainbows…..

    For those in the path of Gustav and Hanna, please be safe.

  351. 352 Julie P
    September 1, 2008 at 04:49


    Just remember that September showers bring October flowers!

  352. 353 Shirley
    September 1, 2008 at 05:23

    343 jamily5 September 1, 2008 at 1:32 am
    One of these famous Islamic monuments is the 55 meters high spiraling minaret of the great mosque in Samarra (see picture), built in 850 AD.

    Jamily dear, it is gone. The Salafists blew it up. My hear still aches.

  353. 354 Bob in Queensland
    September 1, 2008 at 05:35

    @ Amy

    Your August sounds a bit like mine…except mine is MEANT to be winter!

    @ Julie

    Actually my city’s annual “flower festival” is in the third week of September so they better bloom a bit sooner!

    @ Tom

    Thanks for the greetings. We also have some blossoms out but, for me, spring really starts when the jacarandas bloom. The main road from my house into the CBD is lined with them and it’s a spectacular sight!

  354. September 1, 2008 at 07:44

    @ Shirley

    “Jamily dear,[the minaret of the great mosque in Samarra] is gone. The Salafists blew it up. My hear still aches.”

    In fact, it hasn’t all gone. Only its top section was blown up by the insurgents.

    I hope now you are relieved.

  355. 356 rick
    September 1, 2008 at 09:41

    @ capitalism
    missing out of the discussion is a need for the right of workers to bargan collectivly and also for basic minimum wages that gaurentee a reasonable standard of living. There are not many employers who do what roebert does.
    oops, my blue collar is showing

  356. 357 Vijay Srao in Chattarnagar India
    September 1, 2008 at 10:08

    Who took part in the pilot for the WHYS TV show?What was it like?

  357. 358 Roberto
    September 1, 2008 at 10:10

    Gustav is intersecting with the Republican convention.

    Landfall expected sometime midday. It’s impossible to know how quickly the storm passes through, but New Orleans looks to be recieving a backhander instead of a direct blow.

    McCain has said he may give his acceptance speech from the affected areas, which may mean New Orleans which looks to be the quickest to be cleared of the storm. Obama’s campaign reportedly set up a “war room” as Gustav seems to have become a political football for the campaigns to fight for possession of.

    Bush and Cheney have scrapped their speeches at the convention which has been apparently cut back to take care of legally mandated business only.

    Very interesting developments in a historical campaign for the ages.

  358. 359 Zainab
    September 1, 2008 at 10:15

    Hello all
    Salam alycom, and Ramadhan Karim
    “Would you like to visually describe the following: One of these famous Islamic monuments is the 55 meters high spiraling minaret of the great mosque in Samarra (see picture), built in 850 AD.”
    Well do you mean The minarets of the shrine of Imam Al askari (a.s)??
    If yes, well I visited the holy shrine of imam Al-askari (a.s) once or twice in my life (of course not now, but during Saddam’s time). It was soooo great, beautiful,and amazing . The golden dome of the shrine was the biggest in the world. And the golden minarets were so high, they reach the dome, but as you know now there is no dome nor minarets. As the shrine was damaged in a bomb attack on February 22, 2006. and then followed the damaging of its minarets.Al askari shrine built almost 100 years ago, over the tombs of Imam Ali al hadi and his son Imam Hassan al askari (a.s), the tenth and eleventh of the 12 Imams.The shrine was first developed in 944-45 (333 A.H.) by Hamdanid ruler Nasir al-Dawla (929-967), and by the succeeding Buyid dynasty. The town of Samarra subsequently gained importance as a center of pilgrimage.

    you can see the shrine before the attack on:
    al_Askari Shrine

    the shrine was as all the other Imams’ shrines (like the shrine of Imam Ali (a.s) in Al najaf, and like of Imam Hussain (a.s) in Karbula, i mean they all built with special design.
    visit this site to know about history of the shrine of Imam Ali al hadi and his son Imam Hassan al askari (a.s)

    Samal alycom, and Ramadhan Karim
    Well cheer up cuz they are rebuliding the shrine, and the work is going well, insha Allah you will be able to visit the Shrine soon .

    yours truly,
    Zainab in Iraq

  359. 360 Dan
    September 1, 2008 at 11:25

    @ Rick
    It is not your Blue Collar but your Nanny State Socialism that is showing. Who determines what a reasonable standard of living is? Maybe Obama will have a Secretary of Fairness?
    And how about that guarantee? Will the workers guarantee an ever increasing productivity so that a company can remain competitive or do you think that a worker is worth $18/hr to bang on hubcaps?
    Of course I am playing with you as Capitalism must have some moderation or it cannot exist anywhere outside of a textbook.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: