Talking Points 5th September

Hello, it’s Karnie with you today.  Thank you to Kelsie in the US for looking after the blog for us. First up, 3 teenage girls in Pakistan defied their families and chose not to marry men of their (the family’s) choice. They were buried alive in “honour killings”. The Pakistani Government has now been forced to order an inquiry 6 weeks after the crimes. Elizabeth on the WHYS team suggested this story earlier this week. Her question: What comes first – faith/traditional beliefs OR human rights? Here’s another story to read through..


This debate has got many of you talking: Should men who pay for sex be jailed? Would you like to talk about this today?


The people of Angola are voting in their first election for sixteen years. The last election re-ignited Angola’s civil war. Angola has the world’s fastest growing economy. Can today’s election provide a model of peace and tolerance for the whole of Africa? Southern African observers say they can, despite concern from Human rights observers…What do you think?


Australia’s first female governor has been sworn in. She breaks a 107-year-long male stranglehold on the vice regal role. Here in the UK the number of women reaching the top of their profession has fallen, according to report. Research by the Equality and Human Rights Commission found that the number of women holding senior posts in areas including politics, the law and the media has fallen. Do women where you are, still face discrimination, when going for top jobs? And can women ever break the “glass ceiling” at work?

202 Responses to “Talking Points 5th September”

  1. 1 Kelsie in Houston
    September 4, 2008 at 19:03

    Hello folks: I’m Kelsie and I’ll be watching over the blog this evening. This is my first time to moderate and I’m very happy to be participating with the BBC.

  2. 2 Anthony
    September 4, 2008 at 19:06

    Weocome to the table Kelsie!!!

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  3. 3 Venessa
    September 4, 2008 at 19:14

    Welcome Kelsie! I look forward to another spirited debate today.

  4. 4 Jessica in NYC
    September 4, 2008 at 19:20

    @ Kelsie in Houston, Welcome.


    Colleen brought up an interesting point that I would like to explore further during today’s show. Why is it that one person’s weakness can be the shining beckon of another?

    McCain cheated on his first wife who was paralyzed in a car accident, then left her for a Cindy. Palin on the other hand is being praised for special needs child. Let’s not forget, Edwards was attacked (rightly so) for cheating on his wife while she had caner. What’s up with all the double standards in family values?

  5. 5 Kelsie in Houston
    September 4, 2008 at 19:23

    @all: thanks for the welcome–looking forward to being here!

    One of today’s breaking stories.

    Considering the United States’ support for Kosovo, does the Vice President have the moral ground to stand upon here vis-á-vis the Russia/Georgia conflict? Also, what effects will Mr Cheney’s visit to the region have on the Washington-Moscow relationship?

  6. 6 Kelsie in Houston
    September 4, 2008 at 19:25

    Very interesting question (or quandary, for the politicians). Are you referring specifically to the double standard between Edwards and McCain?

  7. 7 Jessica in NYC
    September 4, 2008 at 19:35

    @ Kelsie

    Actually, just in general, but specific to politicians. In today’s show we explored the fine line between scrutiny of a politicians’ personal and political lives. Their are double stands in political parties and between men and women. Politicians are allowed to lie and forgiven when they do so long as their party can claim the moral high ground. Such hypocrisies! Why do we put up with it and some turn a blind eye?

  8. 8 steve
    September 4, 2008 at 19:41

    The Dow is down over 300 points right now…..

  9. 9 Kelsie in Houston
    September 4, 2008 at 19:41


    In some ways, I think we’ve become so inured to politicians’ lies and hypocrisy, such things simply get sloughed off. Also, the amount of “scotoma,” if you will, a politician can take advantage of vis-á-vis his/her personal foibles is related in some part to their public popularity and/or stances on certain policies and issues. The Elliot Spitzer case in New York, I think, is a good example: had he not been the hard-charging, anti-corruption leader he was, in all likelihood his failings as a person would have been largely ignored (as his successor’s were, in large measure).

    Mr Edwards’s case is made unique because of his wife’s condition and, again, because of his stridently anti-corruption stance on most issues.

  10. September 4, 2008 at 19:42

    Hi kelsie welcome to moderator’s table. Can we talk about pressing global issues away outside US/US related politics?

  11. 11 Kelsie in Houston
    September 4, 2008 at 19:43


    What do you think about Robert Mugabe’s “ultimatum,” of sorts, to Morgan Tsvangirai? Is there a broader conflict brewing here, or will Mr Tsvangirai back down in the face of Mr Mugabe’s threats?

  12. September 4, 2008 at 19:54

    Kelsie, The Situation in Zimbabwe was always going to have one out come that’s the World is witnessing now.

  13. September 4, 2008 at 19:57

    On another Thread, Kate asked “Should men who pay for sex be jailed …” that could always make for a good debate here …

  14. 14 Vijay
    September 4, 2008 at 20:04

    Sarah Palin went to school in Hawaii,Northen Idaho and the University of Idaho, you can’t move in Idaho for Neo-Nazis,I wander if she ever went to any of these Christian Identity or Aryan Nations events.Although I am person of colour, even I talked to them at a booth they set up and walked past one of their rallies

    How uncivil can you get ,saying that if you put lipstick and a wig on a pig that’s what Sarah Palin looks like.
    The internet was made for you ,you can anonomously snipe away,no one knows your gender,age,race,nationality or class.

  15. 15 Kelsie in Houston
    September 4, 2008 at 20:12

    On that issue, then, what do you think?

    It’s an interesting legal issue, to be sure. In the U.S., we punish people who buy illegal drugs as well as purveyors of those drugs–it seems this could be applied to prostitution….but there again, I’m no legal expert.

  16. 16 Anthony
    September 4, 2008 at 20:12

    Yeah, heres a question, is the statment: “People are defined by their race” a racist statment??? I think it is. Thanks for any input.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  17. 17 Lubna
    September 4, 2008 at 20:13

    Hello Precious Kelsie in Houstin, and a very warm welcome to you from Baghdad… How about this story guys : news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/7593228.stm. With my love… Yours forever, Lubna in Baghdad…

  18. 18 Kelsie in Houston
    September 4, 2008 at 20:15

    Since we probably agree that most, if not all, politicians have exhibited a degree of hypocrisy and/or willingness to lie, how do we go about choosing a viable candidate to support?

  19. 19 Amy
    September 4, 2008 at 20:17

    Kelsie –

    Welcome…. to the jungle that is the moderating table 🙂 Glad to have you here.

  20. 20 Kelsie in Houston
    September 4, 2008 at 20:21

    Talk about “culture shock”…Ms Palmer indicated that she had lived in the country for 2 1/2 years; if such behavior was inappropriate on that particular beach (or on beaches in general), I wonder that she wasn’t already aware of the fact.

    I think it depends on who’s being asked. I certainly don’t agree with the statement because I’m racially S Korean but culturally American.

    Hello and thanks!

  21. September 4, 2008 at 20:22

    @ Anthony … Until the color of Man’s skin is no less significant than the color of his eyes .. – Bob Marley … People shall not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character… – Martin Luther King Jnr.

  22. 22 Amy
    September 4, 2008 at 20:22

    Kelsie and Nelson,

    Regarding the prostitution question, I agree with Kelsie that if we prosecute (at least here in the US) people who buy drugs then maybe the same principle should be applied to people who buy sex. Both activities are illegal. Where is our resident lawyer – Steve – can you shed some light on the subject? Are statues different from state to state? The answer is probably. But maybe you could give us an over view, at least from a US perspective, of how the law treats “Johns”.

  23. 23 Kelsie in Houston
    September 4, 2008 at 20:22

    @other moderators:
    Could someone take over for about 30 minutes? I need to step away from the computer for a short while.

  24. 24 Amy
    September 4, 2008 at 20:25


    I’m here for a little while…. step away 🙂

  25. September 4, 2008 at 20:31

    @ Amy, let me attempt to introduce an economic/legal aspect to it. Paying for sex involves demand and supply. If the Supply is Legal, then the demand may also be. If the supply for sex is deemed to be illegal in a particular area, then of course both sides of the equation should face the relevant penalties prescribed by law. I think the women involved in prostitution ( where it is illegal) should also be prosecuted because if there is no supply, there may be no demand.

  26. 26 Jens
    September 4, 2008 at 20:32


    First all you quote one comment out of an entire series of comments and a dsicussion you were not following. So please keep consider the entire sequnce before you pick selective quotes. plus you may not be familiar with the saying ‘dressing up a pig”, meaning to cover-up a bad situation by dressing it up to look good.

    in light of this i will forgive your ignorance.

    gender: male
    age: 43
    race: white
    nationality: swiss, british, american
    class: upper middle class

    I hope this will make you feel much better about me now.

    Could you please return the my courtesy and let me know exactly the same personal details.

  27. 27 Jens
    September 4, 2008 at 20:41


    i am still waiting for a response to my last contribution.

    you running around and labelling me as a rascist is simply not acceptable nor fair.

    i simply stated that colour defines a persons race. that is all.

  28. 28 Luz Ma from Mexico
    September 4, 2008 at 20:42


    Indeed “cultural shock”. It is harsh punishment for that…

    This piece of news made me wonder. Do you usually ask when traveling to other countries what is legally and culturally allowed?

    For instance, I have seen European women topless in Mexican beaches. Here it is “public indecency” and you can be legally prosecuted (depends on the State). The police does not regularly enfoced the law regarding this issue with foreigners. However, culturally it is regarded as “indecent” or, in the worse of the cases, and “invitation to stare, touch, say something about it, etc.”

  29. 29 Luz Ma from Mexico
    September 4, 2008 at 20:48

    My last question was meant for everybody, not only for Lubna. Please feel free to respond!

  30. 30 Dennis
    September 4, 2008 at 20:49

    Welcome Kelsie!


  31. September 4, 2008 at 20:50

    @ Jens/Anthony : Color defines race/ are people are defined by their races? Semantics?

  32. 32 Dennis
    September 4, 2008 at 20:53

    @ Amy:
    How are you feeling my dear friend…

    @ Lubna:
    i look at the story link…it is nice that the case was delayed for 1 week…


  33. September 4, 2008 at 20:54

    @ Luz Ma, When travelling to areas outside ” the west”, it’s one’s best interest to find out is legal or not. Ten minutes spent on the Internet trying to find out more about your destination will not hurt. Personally, I try to find out as much as can about my destination. Ignorance is an excuse for breaking the law …

  34. 34 Anthony
    September 4, 2008 at 20:55

    @ Jens

    1) When you are defining people, what charateristics do you use to define a person?

    2) You would have not said “white man” when refering to McCain in the same situation.

    3) Wow, you almost got in some fight defending some minority kid and thats fighting racism??? Thanks MLK. Thats like then someone tells a black joke and is like, “it’s ok, one of my friends is half black”.

    4) When steve was saying that people voted for Obama just because he’s black, thats not racist, people voted for him JUST BECAUSE HE’S BLACK, thats a fact.

    5) Racism is in the eye of the beholder. I happen to think that you saying “a bra and wig on a black man” shows some reverse racist elements.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  35. 35 Jessica in NYC
    September 4, 2008 at 20:56

    Please let me know if there are other mods around? I don’t see any available on IM.

    Amy is covering for Kelsie, I’m now covering for Amy…who can cover for me? Luz Ma?

  36. 36 Pangolin- California
    September 4, 2008 at 20:56

    Trivia Question: What to Georgia, Afghanistan, Kurdistan, Canada and Alaska all have in common that is relevant to global economic security?

    Answer: Pipelines.

    The discussion could be whether political independence is every really possible when a nation relies upon energy in the form of gas, oil, or electricity that is imported across national borders?

    If Putin can shut off the gas to NATO what use is it? All your tanks, guns and airplanes just let you freeze in the dark? If Canada can hit the valve on Alaska Gas Pipeline is the US really energy independent? Here in California we learned that the people that control electricity have your economy by the short curlies because when they turn it off you quit earning money.

    Is there any national security without energy security?

  37. September 4, 2008 at 20:58

    @ Jess, I am ever present. I will cover for you. 🙂

  38. 38 Luz Ma from Mexico
    September 4, 2008 at 20:59

    @Paying for prostitution

    I am overly sensitive in this matter. I think prostitution -in any form- is degrading of human nature and a practice that I would love to see eradicated… Fat chance! It is the oldest “trade” on earth.

    If prostitution is penalized, the price rises and the industry is “taken” by criminals. If it is allowed, there is more chance to “regulate it”.

  39. 39 Jessica in NYC
    September 4, 2008 at 21:02

    Great, thanks, PortlandMike and Nelson. Kelsie, they have you covered.

  40. 40 Shirley
    September 4, 2008 at 21:06

    Obama’s campaign is too scared to call it “Islamic terrorism,” according to Rudy Giuliani, who claimed that the Obama camp wants to keep it PC.

    Just how afraid do we have to be before our vision gets blurry, our mind gets woozy, we cannot walk straight, and we make all sorts of mindless pencil scratches on the Republican side of the ticket? Is that really the best tactic that they have??

    And “Drill Baby Drill” made me so sick.

    My Republican family was unable to sit through 15 minutes of the Democratic convention without forming some kind of comeback to everything that was said. Usually, people who act like that are not secure in their choices.

    I just want my CSI back. :`(

  41. 41 Roberto
    September 4, 2008 at 21:09

    RE: “”Edwards was attacked (rightly so) for cheating on his wife while she had caner.””

    ———- Attacked?

    It was barely noted in the press. Edwards withdrew to prevent the attacks. He’s a nonentity in the race.

    As far as McCain’s relationship with his ex, she ain’t talking, has always supported his political career and holds him in great affection. It’s fair game in politics, but just ain’t born much fruitful dirt. It’s also 4 decades removed.

    It’s not like committing perjury in congressional testimony, being impeached, and paying out of court civil settlements to get sexual harassment charges dropped.

  42. September 4, 2008 at 21:10

    @ Luz ma, regarding prostitution, it can be viewed from several angles. I have done volunteer work for an NGO that deals with CSW’s, some of them deliberately go in prostitution so for them they don’t consider it to be a degrading practise. For them it’s just another avenue to make money eventhough it’s illegal here.

  43. 43 Jens
    September 4, 2008 at 21:12


    i will write in capitals, not to yell at you but the make my answer visible

    1) When you are defining people, what charateristics do you use to define a person?


    2) You would have not said “white man” when refering to McCain in the same situation.


    3) Wow, you almost got in some fight defending some minority kid and thats fighting racism??? Thanks MLK. Thats like then someone tells a black joke and is like, “it’s ok, one of my friends is half black”.


    4) When steve was saying that people voted for Obama just because he’s black, thats not racist, people voted for him JUST BECAUSE HE’S BLACK, thats a fact.


    5) Racism is in the eye of the beholder. I happen to think that you saying “a bra and wig on a black man” shows some reverse racist elements.


    i hope you finaly get it. my point was to point-out that it is equaly not ok to dress a pig up to make it look like palin, as it is to put a bra and wig on obama. steve comes out with some very controversial arguments and was playing him at his own game.

    anyway, i think you should look at the sum of my comments and what i stand for and as such i truely resent you for calling me a rasist in what ever eye you may behold it.

  44. 44 Kelsie in Houston
    September 4, 2008 at 21:14

    @Jessica, PortlandMike, and Nelsoni:
    I’m back (finally). Fast food isn’t so “fast” anymore. Thanks to all.

  45. 45 Pangolin- California
    September 4, 2008 at 21:16

    @ Terrorism

    Yeah, that terrorism threat is so big in all those red state backwaters that massive federal funds had to be spent buying bomb trucks for one-road towns in the sticks.

    Until we admit the terrorism is a tactic used by people just like us with opposing goals that we can learn and understand we are going to get nowhere. The use of terrorism scares to whip small town america to the polls to vote for the GOP is just laughable for it’s fictional foundation. We might as well have our news anchors anounce flying monkey alerts for all the real threat we face.

  46. 46 Kelsie in Houston
    September 4, 2008 at 21:20

    I realize you’re not shouting at Anthony, but you might try HTML instead of caps…all caps is a bit hard on the eyes 😉

  47. 47 Kelsie in Houston
    September 4, 2008 at 21:22

    Until we admit the terrorism is a tactic used by people just like us with opposing goals that we can learn and understand we are going to get nowhere.
    I think you’re exactly right on that point…accepting this reality doesn’t mean condoning it.

  48. 48 Jens
    September 4, 2008 at 21:25


    how does that work? save as html and the write? sorry for my ignorance.

  49. 49 steve
    September 4, 2008 at 21:25

    That’ sounds a lot like the “yes, I condemn terrorism, but…” Sorry, deliberately targetting civilians means your cause lost legitimacy,a nd I don’t care whatever gripe you have. You don’t need to understandn why insane people do the things they do. Here’s the example I always give, say if I hated Iran, and I hijacked an Iranian airliner and crashed it into a Tehran building. The entire world would condemn me and my acts, and wouldn’t look to the root cause even if I left a note saying I did it because I hated the theocracy. Why the difference? Why wouldn’t say “yes, I condemnd steve’s actions, but if you look to the root cause of why he did it”…

  50. 50 Anthony
    September 4, 2008 at 21:26

    @ Jens

    1) You said race defines people, yet I asked “how do you define people”, and you said not with race. Hmmmm, contradiction???

    2) Well, I doubt you would have, and neither of us can prove any difference.

    3) Abe Lincoln freed the slaves, yet didn’t think they were good enough to be integrated into white society. You could have very well done it to make yourself feel better, and that isn’t “Fighting racism your whole life”.

    4) You can go online and watch video of black people saying they’re voting for Obama because he is black. Thats a fact.

    5) You didn’t say “who happened to be a black man” nor did use use his name, “Obama”. You said “on a black man”

    Well I read your stuff and I still think what I think. If you chose a black guy over a white guy just to show you’re not racist, then thats racist.

    Also, I tell so many racist jokes, and imitate racist stereotypes all the time, and I still think I’m less racist since I do them equally.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  51. 51 Kelsie in Houston
    September 4, 2008 at 21:27

    When you’re typing out a reply, you can make words bold by enclosing the letter “b” in these: “”. Or italic by placing an “i” between the same two symbols. This adds emphasis but keeps your post more readable!

    ::Well, it’s not going to show them. Place the code letters (“B” and “i”) between the two symbols above the “,” and “.” keys (if you’re using a QWERTY keyboard).

  52. 52 Pangolin- California
    September 4, 2008 at 21:29

    @ Jens, Roberto re: Racism

    Growing up around San Francisco I learned to never, ever assume you knew the racial identity of the person you were talking to until they had a chance to speak at length. The black person you see could be Cuban or Brazillian or British. Asian people can identify with any race at all depending on the neighborhood they grew up in or the large number of asians adopted by whites.

    The apparent hispanic can be a native american from the Dakotas or can identify white or be fresh off the boat from Columbia.

    The white people confuse all of the above along with standard white-trash, euro-trash and russo-trash cultures as well as a few southern European Muslims thrown in.

    Skin means nothing compared to culture of origin.

  53. 53 Kelsie in Houston
    September 4, 2008 at 21:29

    @Anthony’s thread:
    A small aside: Abraham Lincoln fought slavery, not racism…Lincoln was a lifelong racist.

  54. 54 Jens
    September 4, 2008 at 21:39


    think what you want to think. unlike your thinking I “b” know, what i stand for, since i have been living around myself pretty much all my life. yes i said ‘black man’ because he is black, as much as i would have said ‘white old man’. it’s a description of the person that’s it, nothing more and nothing less. the only person that could and should be offended by my describtion is sahra palin whom i have described as pig and caribou-barbie, because i feel very sarcastic about here holier-than-holy stance.

    pagolin, i do agree with you. my point is that by looking at me you can say clearly, “this is a white guy”. that was my definition, how race defines somebody, that’s all. by looking at me you cannot say “this is a good guy from switzerland”, or “bad guy from sweden”.

  55. 55 Jens
    September 4, 2008 at 21:41


    thank you very much. i knew about this but have not used it in such a long time. however, i did not know that it was called html.

  56. 56 Jens
    September 4, 2008 at 21:41

    the “b” trick did not work, buhuhuhuh

  57. 57 Kelsie in Houston
    September 4, 2008 at 21:43

    Check your e-mail 🙂

  58. 58 Kelsie in Houston
    September 4, 2008 at 21:45

    Regarding prostitution, do you think making penalties for prostitution (where it is criminal) on both parties would help contain it, or would such penalties simply push it further underground?

  59. 59 Anthony
    September 4, 2008 at 21:46

    @ Jens

    Well Hitler had said he wasn’t racist, that he just believed in Darwinism. I thought he was. Just different POV’s.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  60. 60 Jens
    September 4, 2008 at 21:50

    @ anthony,

    i am getting a little tiered of your argumentation.

    try reading what i have wrote, then try to understand it and then answer.

    i have not once said that race alone defines a person. upbringing, culture, social circumstances, education, experiance etc, that is what ultimatly defines a person. race defines your genetic background and defines your phenotypic look and often that even really poorly. read the above post and you might finnaly understand what i was saying, otherwise i will give up the hope of having a conversation that is making remotly sense.

  61. 61 Jens
    September 4, 2008 at 21:52


    “Well Hitler had said he wasn’t racist, that he just believed in Darwinism. I thought he was. Just different POV’s.”

    that comment is so low it does not even merit an answer.

  62. 62 Jens
    September 4, 2008 at 21:54

    thank you

  63. 63 Anthony
    September 4, 2008 at 21:54

    @ Jens

    Hehe, OK. I understand what you’re saying, but I STILL think that saying “a black man” instead “a man” has a hint of racism in it.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  64. 64 Kelsie in Houston
    September 4, 2008 at 21:58

    @Anthony and Jens:
    I’m not trying to throw gas on the fire here 😉 but I think you’re both right and wrong (now isn’t that a politician’s answer?). If race is somehow relevant to the question, such as, “Barack Obama is the first black man to receive a major party nomination for President,” then no, I don’t think its usage is racist. However, if some kind of denigration is implied by throwing in the racial reference, of course it is then racist.

  65. 65 Anthony
    September 4, 2008 at 21:58

    @ Jens

    How can you answer a question if I didn’t ask one??? Thats just a true statment. I’m just showing that just because someone thinks something, doesn’t make it true.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  66. September 4, 2008 at 21:59

    @ Kelsie, well … Its not a straight forward thing. It all depends on the society, to a certain extent imposing penalties could reduce it ( maybe) but there is also a good chance that it may drive it underground. It’s totally impossible to cut off demand/supply. So regulating it may be a compromise.

  67. 67 Anthony
    September 4, 2008 at 22:02

    @ Kelsie


    Not Racist:
    “Barack Obama is the first black man to receive a major party nomination for President”

    “Barack Obama is a strong, black man”

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  68. 68 Kelsie in Houston
    September 4, 2008 at 22:03

    Perhaps there are places around the world where regulation of prostitution is, due to societal norms, not preferable in any form?

  69. 69 Jens
    September 4, 2008 at 22:14


    it was a statment in response to setves cross-dressing reference………nevermind. i personally do not think it to be rasist if a hispanic person looks at me and thinks or as i have heard says “tall white dude”, becaus that’s what i am “i am tall and i am white”.

    the same defining obama as a black man is in my eyes not rasist. even though he is actually black and white.

    however, i think we have discussed this to the end of all ends.

    my comment was related to the fact that hitler had no concept of darwinism and was faschist rasist “explicite of your choice”.

    i though the next step of yours was to throw me into the same pot…………..

  70. 70 Roberto
    September 4, 2008 at 22:18

    RE “”Abraham Lincoln fought slavery, not racism…Lincoln was a lifelong racist.””

    ———- Anyone willing to make accusations of racism, opens themselves up to the same charges.

    Why would you otherwise wish to apply dumbed down modern terminology upon older generations who had no such notions? Racism has become so watered down that simply noting that a certain person can or cannot dance makes one a racist according to a certain segments. Or living in a certain neighborhood or town, or belonging to an older generation, ect, ad naseum.

    If Lincoln had been fighting slavery, he would have banned it in the Union before the war began. He didn’t. It wasn’t federally banned in the Union states until after the war and AFTER his death. DC still had slaves.

    Per wiki: Legally, the last 40,000 or so slaves were freed in Kentucky[74] by the final ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution in December 1865. Slaves still held in New Jersey, Delaware, West Virginia, Maryland and Missouri also became legally free on this date.

    What Lincoln was fighting for was the Union of States, the Republic, of which he still saw the south as part of the union and illegally seceding.

  71. 71 Jens
    September 4, 2008 at 22:20


    getting into a fight with neo-faschist thugs at a rate of 3 against 1 does not make one feel better, trust me on that one. it would have been easier for me to walk away, but i could not have lived with myself letting a bunch of 20 year olds beat the crap out of two 12 year old kids, just because they were of a different colour.

  72. 72 steve
    September 4, 2008 at 22:20

    In the US, men get arrested for seeing prostitutes. And they typical shame both the “john” and the prostitute by posting their pictures on the internet even before there is a conviction..

    Here’s an example. Remember, people are innocent until proven guilty, hence why this is wrong.


  73. 73 Kelsie in Houston
    September 4, 2008 at 22:21

    I’m not saying Lincoln was a lifelong fighter of slavery, nor a very enthusiastic one for that matter–however, he did battle slavery, for very pragmatic, realpolitik reasons. The war against slavery was part of Lincoln’s larger strategy to win the Civil War.

    And I think the term “racist” is applicable to Lincoln, even given our “modern” understanding of the word. He did not desire a world in which whites and blacks were equal….that seems racist, to me.

  74. 74 Kelsie in Houston
    September 4, 2008 at 22:26

    I think the sexism charges directed at critics are focused less on the speech’s lack of certain content and more on the content of the speech itself: Mrs Palin stressed very heavily her credentials as a parent, leading critics to level charges at her ability to continue as a mother while serving in high office. This is where many critics are being assailed for sexism, I think.

  75. 75 Shirley
    September 4, 2008 at 22:31

    When will the Republicans admit that what they really want is a theocracy?

    Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin told ministry students at her former church that the United States sent troops to fight in the Iraq war on a “task that is from God.” “Our national leaders are sending them out on a task that is from God,” she said. “That’s what we have to make sure that we’re praying for, that there is a plan and that plan is God’s plan.” In an address last June, the Republican vice presidential candidate also urged ministry students to pray for a plan to build a $30 billion natural gas pipeline in the state, calling it “God’s will.” “God’s will has to be done in unifying people and companies to get that gas line built, so pray for that,” she said. Palin’s Speech vs Reality

  76. September 4, 2008 at 22:33

    @ Kelsie, a good example would be countries in the middle east.

  77. 77 Shirley
    September 4, 2008 at 22:36

    Obama said that he would consider a military strike within Pakistan if there were not other alternative. Looks like Bush beat him to it.

    A deadly American-led raid on a Pakistani village in South Waziristan early Wednesday in which 15 people died, including women and children, embarrassed the government and eroded support for the pro-U.S. presidential front-runner in Pakistan Thursday, just two days before the election. A missile strike was suspected in a blast Thursday that killed at least four people in North Waziristan.

  78. 78 Shirley
    September 4, 2008 at 22:54

    Haiti’s post-Hanna situation really does remind me of Katrina, especially with people on rooftops and delayed aid. The following AP article really paints a bleak picture.

    Half the homes in Gonaives, a low-lying city of 160,000 remain flooded in Hanna’s wake. The official death toll rose to 61 Thursday. And forecasters warned that Hurricane Ike could hit the Western hemisphere’s poorest country next week. Many of the thousands of people who fled to rooftops, balconies and higher ground have gone without food for days, and safe drinking water was in short supply as the fetid carcasses of drowned farm animals bobbed in soupy floodwaters. The Argentine soldiers have plucked residents from rooftops that were the only visible parts of their houses, but had little capacity to deliver food and water. Floodwaters also swamped a hospital near southwestern Les Cayes.

  79. 79 Venessa
    September 4, 2008 at 22:55

    Luz Ma ~

    I ALWAYS research the customs when I travel to a different country. When I was in China I was appalled at the disrespect the people in my tour showed. I many not agree with everything but I have no problem being polite!

  80. 80 Roberto
    September 4, 2008 at 22:59

    RE “”The war against slavery was part of Lincoln’s larger strategy to win the Civil War.””

    ——- There was no Lincoln war against slavery.

    You can make up history and claims pigs used to fly, but you are losing credibility.

    Slavery was one of many issues that led to the secession, but real issue was economics and power. The US had restricted the newly acquired territories from slavery and northern states held a numerical advantage in Congress. Lincoln ran as a middle of the roader, not a reformer, but the power brokers in the south still saw that as a threat to their economics since the pro slavery candidates were not chosen and Lincoln wasn’t even on the ticket in much of the south.

    In short, the writing was on the wall, and they made their choice.

    You could argue that abolitionists were waging war on slavery, but technically, only the much disturbed John Brown was the only significant person to lead an insurrection against slavery.

    I’m gonna suggest folks concentrate on their own history rather than citicize past events which you may know nothing of. You, I, WE will be judged by newer moderns generations from now. What will be your defense?

  81. 81 Kelsie in Houston
    September 4, 2008 at 23:03

    There’s no need to get combative. I am currently completing a Master of Arts in American History, specifically that of the Revolutionary period through the Civil War, studying with a leading Americanist and a leading Civil War historian; I’ve no need to “make up stuff until pigs fly.”

    I am aware that the Civil War took place in a geopolitical climate that was larger than slavery. However, slavery was directly tied into the question of economics for the South and the C.S.A.’s feeling that its entire economic system was under threat from the North.

    I can’t imagine hopping on a plane and heading somewhere without studying beforehand, either…that seems a bit too adventurous for my taste!

  82. 82 steve
    September 4, 2008 at 23:18

    Canada will be having elections, howcome nobody is bringing this up?

  83. 83 Kelsie in Houston
    September 4, 2008 at 23:21

    I’m ashamed to say I don’t know a single thing about Canadian politics…

  84. September 4, 2008 at 23:34

    @ steve

    “That’ sounds a lot like the “yes, I condemn terrorism, but…” Sorry, deliberately targetting civilians means your cause lost legitimacy,a nd I don’t care whatever gripe you have.”

    Can you explain to me how selective a nuclear bomb is? we have a lot of them here in this country, and we have armed the liks of Isreal. We have given saddam chemical weapons. We recently conducted a $20 dweal with Saudi Arabia (15 of 19 9-11 terrorist were raised there.) Are JDAMs only usable agains military targets?

  85. 85 Jens
    September 4, 2008 at 23:37


    because it is ever so small and insignificant, people wise. actually i do like canada, but have to admit that between reading about usa, uk, european, general world and swiss politics i simply have no time to dedicate much to canada, they seem to be relativly stable and socially earthbound, plus they have the quebecians that entertain them.

  86. 86 Kelsie in Houston
    September 4, 2008 at 23:44

    Swiss politics? That sounds interesting–what are those like?

  87. September 4, 2008 at 23:47

    So as I came in to work tonight I get greeted by “sexy” from one of my conservative NRA obsessed co-workers. I knew he wasn’t talking about me. I knew I didn’t want get pulled into a thick headed debate where I hear a lot about of ribbing about being jealous that my “VP doesn’t look good in a bikini.” So I thanked him for the compliment. I got it anyway.

    The next thing he said was to ask if I was interested in a “gun raffle”. I said, “no I try to avoid background checks”. He said, “they don’t do background checks, they just give you the gun.” Now I like guns. I haven’t shot in years, and my eyes are not what they were 10 years ago. But I won my share of contest growing up. But I also like the 3 day waiting period and the background check. The town my friend is from very closely resembles columbine.

    I am strongly opposed to new gun laws. If the ones that already exist were enforced, a huge drop in gun violence would follow.

  88. 88 Kelsie in Houston
    September 4, 2008 at 23:48

    “they don’t do background checks, they just give you the gun.”

    Wow…I thought checks were mandatory everywhere; is that up to each state?

  89. 89 Luz Ma from Mexico
    September 5, 2008 at 00:14

    @Canadian politics
    They are very nice to each other…
    Quebecois bring a little “salt and pepper” to the mix.
    I really miss that kind of “peaceful politics”… here in Mexico is a mess… and I work for a politician… go figure!!

  90. September 5, 2008 at 00:16


    I guess it is not manditory because somebody has already bought the gun, namely “The Eagle’s” club that was holding the raffel. I think these are all guns that have been donated to them. So they are used.

  91. 91 steve
    September 5, 2008 at 00:17

    @ Dwight

    What does nuclear weapons have to do with finding reasons for why terrorists target innocent civilians. I noticed you mentioned Israel, as if you didn’t think they were intelligent enough to develop nuclear weapons on their own. They also invented much of the technology used in your cell phones and your computer.

  92. 92 Kelsie in Houston
    September 5, 2008 at 00:18

    That’s very interesting…and a little frightening.

  93. 93 steve
    September 5, 2008 at 00:31

    Any gun raffle would likely be for a rifle, not a handgun. And I’m sure the dealer would require a background check to transfer the gun over legally. A handgun requires a background check and normally a wait. I had to wait a week for my handgun, though rifles have an instant background check. I saw people get rejected for the instant checks before.

  94. 94 Kelsie in Houston
    September 5, 2008 at 00:31

    Anybody else watching the RNC convention?

  95. 95 Kelsie in Houston
    September 5, 2008 at 00:32

    What does the instant background check examine? Obviously it’s not as thorough…

  96. September 5, 2008 at 00:36

    Kelsie in Houston

    I’m watching the RNC, but the sound is off, and NPR is on.

  97. 97 steve
    September 5, 2008 at 00:37

    @ Kelsie

    It checks the federal FBI database of criminal records. if you have a felony or certain misdemeanors, you cannot purchase a weapon.

  98. 98 steve
    September 5, 2008 at 00:38

    You people are aware the the NFL season begins tonight and the Giants and the Redskins are playing, right? I doubt many people are watching the RNC

  99. 99 Kelsie in Houston
    September 5, 2008 at 00:40

    the sound is off

    There’s a good idea…

  100. 100 Amy
    September 5, 2008 at 00:42


    My husband and I have the TiVo set up for the beginning of football season 🙂

  101. September 5, 2008 at 00:50

    steve~Kelsie in Houston~

    I switched to the game… the sounds still off.

  102. September 5, 2008 at 01:09

    A nuclear bomb when is dropped it is dropped on a city, not a military target. It is known hundreds of thousands and eventually millions will suffer and die from its effects. How is that different from a suicide bomber walking into a market? The intent is to kill civilians in both cases.

  103. 103 steve
    September 5, 2008 at 01:14

    @ Dwight

    That was a world war that the US didn’t start. Would you rather millions have died in an invasion of Japan rather than 100,000 in each bombing? You don’t seem to have a problem with the firebombings of cities such as Tokyo, where in a single night, conventional bombings killed a lot more people. Also look to Hamburg and other german cities. Did more people have to die so that it would be PC?

  104. September 5, 2008 at 01:35

    I included the mention of selling of chemical and biological weapons from the US. For every historian that you claim says that the US bombing save millions of lives, I can find at least on that says cutting off the island and starving the military would have cost more military lives, took more time, but ended the war all the same.

    Here is one. Many things were kept secret. The truth of the matter is that the many malice humans at the top of the US chain of command wanted a reason to test their new toy.

    Your words were, again “deliberately targetting civilians means your cause lost legitimacy, and I don’t care whatever gripe you have”. I do say that the root cause in many Americans mid for that heinous act is that they feel as you do about it saving millions of lives. They believe that if the Japanese had not been stopped they would have kept coming until they ruled the world.

    The root cause for extremist is that they feel that our oil wells and western values are running their culture and society. In a way they are right. It is. That doesn’t justify attacks. But, we should stop and look at the “root cause”.

  105. September 5, 2008 at 01:36

    I forgot. Here is one of those that reject the “a-bomb saved lives” argument.


  106. September 5, 2008 at 01:39

    I wonder if there is a way to put a comment above the comment box here saying,

    “if you do not see your comment shown with a ‘waiting to be moderated’ red bar under it, then it got lost to the spam bucket. Please post a notification with out hyperlinks to the MODs.”

  107. 107 steve
    September 5, 2008 at 01:40

    @ Dwight

    In WW2, everyone targeted cities. Back in Roman times, when the Romans attacked towns, they would kill all the men, and enslaved the women and children. WW2 was an all out war, with no restrictions, because the fate of the world was at risk. you seem to focus on what the US did, but are you aware of what the Japanese did in Asia? Ever heard of the rape of nanking? Do you realize what the Japanese are so hated in Asia, because of how brutal they were. The US was trying to win the war, and they won the war. Any argument you have that the bomb didn’t save lives is absolutely bunk. It’s up there with moon landed hoax conspiracies. An invasion of Japan would have cost MANY more lives than the bombs took. If you ever go to Hiroshima, they even admit that. I’ve been there, have you?

  108. 108 Kelsie in Houston
    September 5, 2008 at 01:41

    I don’t see it in either category: spam or waiting…

  109. 109 Shirley
    September 5, 2008 at 01:45

    The speaker who just preceded a lady and a video about American and 9-11 – I think that he is Lindsay Graham? – used the phrase &$34;shining city on a hill&$34; to describe the United States. I looked up that phrase on Source Watch and found the following:
    The phrase &$34;shining city upon a hill&$34; comes from John Winthrop, an early Pilgrim aboard the Arbella in 1630, who wrote it to describe the America he imagined.

    Reagan said of the phrase, &$34;In my mind it was a tall proud city built on rocks stronger than oceans, wind-swept, God-blessed, and teeming with people of all kinds living in harmony and peace, a city with free ports that hummed with commerce and creativity, and if there had to be city walls, the walls had doors and the doors were open to anyone with the will and the heart to get here.&$34;

    Reagan used the phrase in his &$34;Farewell Address to the Nation&$34; on January 11, 1989.

    See also Matthew 5:14-16 in the New Testament of the Bible. The phrase has also been used by John Adams, Abraham Lincoln, John F. Kennedy, Michael Dukakis, Walter Mondale, and Bill Clinton.

  110. 110 Dennis
    September 5, 2008 at 02:12

    Hi everyone:

    hi Kelsie:

    I watch part of the RNC Convention on the previous TP…With my own RA
    [Resident Assistant] here at OCC >>harvard on the rock…

    it was not my cup of tea…..


  111. 111 Kelsie in Houston
    September 5, 2008 at 02:15

    From the looks on some of the delegates’ faces last night, it wasn’t their cup of tea, either! What’s OCC? Are you a U.K. expat at college over on this side of the big ditch?

  112. 112 Amy
    September 5, 2008 at 02:42


    I am feeling much better. Thanks for asking. I hope your first week of classes are going well.

  113. 113 Kelsie in Houston
    September 5, 2008 at 03:26

    Looking ahead to tomorrow:

    Does anyone have a particular issue or issues for us to look forward to in tomorrow’s discussion?

    I have a shortlist of brief suggestions from this thread…

    * the situation between Russia and the West during American Vice President Cheney’s visit to the area: what implications does U.S. involvement in the region have for the nations of Europe still dependent on their neighbor for power?

    • Robert Mugabe’s ultimatum in Zimbabwe effectively ending power-sharing talks with the MDC.

    * John McCain’s speech at the closing of the Republican National Convention and reaction to it.

    * Prostitution: should culpability extend to the consumer as well as the provider of services?

    What else?

  114. 114 steve
    September 5, 2008 at 03:27

    @ Kelsie

    The likelihood wil be about Mccain’s “vision” whatever that is from his acceptance speech that is happening right now..

  115. 115 Kelsie in Houston
    September 5, 2008 at 03:33

    @ Steve:
    You’re right, I’m sure…

  116. 116 steve
    September 5, 2008 at 03:33

    Wow, those “USA! USA!” people, I can only imagine them wearing cincinatti Bengals pants, and holding big mugs of budweiser.

    God I can’t wait till this election is over.

  117. 117 Kelsie in Houston
    September 5, 2008 at 03:36

    God I can’t wait till this election is over.
    AMEN. The pastiche of patriotism out of the RNC is somewhat nauseating.

  118. 118 Kelsie in Houston
    September 5, 2008 at 04:46

    Gotcha covered 😉

  119. 119 Shirley
    September 5, 2008 at 04:51

    Thank you :=)

  120. 120 Roberto
    September 5, 2008 at 04:59

    McCain has both fed the bulldog and reenergized his party with the selection of Palin.

    Lot of God, Guns, and Country themes as to be expected. Always love to see his reaction to protesters, of which I don’t recall at the DNC. What’s fascinating is that he is at his best in dialogue, and looks very stiff when he has to pose like he did the other night. Probably why he plunged into the crowd fringes to shake hands and exchange greetings at the end.

    I must say his 96 yr old momma is a work of art. Up and down in perfect applause from her seat the whole night, and then marched out on stage to wave. I’ve known 30-40 yr olds who couldn’t have lasted out the night.

    I’d say both parties hit their marks as far as their bases go. Now comes the hard work. Just hope and pray the marriages of the Obamas and Palins hold together. Politics is hard taskmaster and modern marriage in dire straights these days with families that need tending.

  121. 121 Kelsie in Houston
    September 5, 2008 at 05:02

    The protesters were surprising; I understood that access to the venue was rather tightly policed. Mr McCain is a bit staid as a speaker, but I think he and Palin have both reenergized the Republican Party quite effectively with this convention. His speech seemed, rather more than Mrs Palin’s, geared towards moderates and those undecided voters he alluded to early on.

  122. 122 Kelsie in Houston
    September 5, 2008 at 05:11

    @other mods:
    Anyone else out there want to take over for the rest of the evening?

  123. 123 Amy
    September 5, 2008 at 05:16


    I just sent Bob a note to see if he could take over. I’m off to bed soon too. Great job for your first night.

  124. 124 Kelsie in Houston
    September 5, 2008 at 05:18

    Thanks very much! I enjoyed it a whole lot…I’ll stay on until someone appears…

  125. 125 Shirley
    September 5, 2008 at 05:26

    Hell in Haiti
    I found a website called "Our Haitian Adoption: A Journey of Love." I had googled for donate haiti hanna. How utterly distasteful. Ugh. Eww. It has been so difficult to find a charitable organisation aimed at helping Haiti that does not have religious affiliations. I see reference to something called the "Haiti Emergency Relief Fund," but they do not have their own website. Then there is a donate button on the Hait Action Committee‘s website, but I don’t know if that money would go to emergency relief. I assume that it would, of course, but I have not seen anything specific yet.

    Sounds like we are beginning to brace for Hanna, as well.

  126. 126 Jonathan
    September 5, 2008 at 05:35

    “Canada is having elections; how come nobody is bringing this up?”

    It’s a joke and a punch line and a riddle and an answer, all in one sentence!

  127. 127 Shirley
    September 5, 2008 at 05:42

    @ mod, I am wondering if a post of mine got eaten by spam?

  128. 128 Kelsie in Houston
    September 5, 2008 at 05:45

    It did–should be restored now.

  129. 129 Bob in Queensland
    September 5, 2008 at 05:46

    Hi Amy and Kelsie,

    I’ve been lurking in the shadows but can take over and help as you wish! Sleep well when you go!

  130. 130 Kelsie in Houston
    September 5, 2008 at 05:48

    Thanks very much! G’night (or afternoon, in your case)!

  131. 131 Bob in Queensland
    September 5, 2008 at 05:51

    Re: Canadian Elections

    Anybody else think that the fact that the world doesn’t have to worry about elections in Canada is one of the GOOD things about that country and being Canadian?

    The prolonged and incessant hype and second-guessing surrounding the American election is mildly annoying; the fact that the outcome will eventually affect the entire world (who can’t vote) is more than mildly worrying.

  132. 132 Jonathan
    September 5, 2008 at 05:56

    @Terrorists like us-

    Terrorists are NOT “people just like me but with different goals,” thanks very much! So I’m not going to admit it, cuz it isn’t true. Speak for yourself. Terrorists are also not “one man’s freedom fighters.” There’s a moral bright line, and it’s clear, and sharp, and this moral-equivalent attempt to obscure it is obscene.

    @Prostitution customers vs. prostitutes-

    I’m amazed that so many Americans can be unaware that prostitution is illegal for both prostitute and customer. Whether for your own protection or your general body of knowledge, please know that it’s (stupidly) illegal and both parties are “criminals”

    I’m appalled that any American would think it a logical proposition to say, “If drugs are illegal for both sellers and buyers, then so should prostitution.” Neither should be illegal. “Victimless crimes” should not be crimes. The laws that prohibit them are bad laws. They do far more harm than the “evil” they purport to fight, and by the way they do not reduce the “evil” either.

  133. 133 Shirley
    September 5, 2008 at 06:03

    Canadian Politics
    There are some activists who are concerned about Canada’s government following the direction of GW in terms of civil liberties. Just the other day, I posted an article about one of Canada’s politicians switching affiliation to the Green Party. He could now be the highest-ranking Green internationally. Or I could be wrong.

    Hell in Haiti
    The death toll in Haiti has been raised to 137. The UN couldn’t even get food to Gonaives. The roads are destroyed.

  134. 134 Jonathan
    September 5, 2008 at 07:35

    @Oy, Canada–

    Bob, all kidding aside, yes, you’re quite right that indeed it speaks well for Canada that the world is not biting its collective nails in suspense to see who will end up running the country, because Canada tends not to go about the world spreading mischief. In that respect, it resembles America as the founders intended it to be.

    I’ll go further and say that as a general principle, the “voter involvement” that seems to be the holy gril for so many people is a red herring. Not only is it not necessarily healthy for politics and government to be vital to people’s lives, I’d say it’s a bad thing. Legend has it (I haven’t looked it up) that the elections in Germany in the 1930s had very high participation, because it was literally a matter of life and death. I’m much more comfortable with a society where people can go about their lives in some assurance that things will more or less chug along no matter who becomes president.

  135. 135 Bryan
    September 5, 2008 at 07:59

    Dwight from Cleveland September 4, 2008 at 11:34 pm

    Can you explain to me how selective a nuclear bomb is? we have a lot of them here in this country, and we have armed the liks of Isreal.

    “The likes of Israel?” Iraq and Saudi Arabia are unlike Israel as chalk and cheese. There are no countries like Israel, in the Middle East at least. How can you compare a democracy to brutal dictatorships? I guess it’s your anti-Israel bias coming through there.

    Kelsie in Houston September 5, 2008 at 3:36 am

    The pastiche of patriotism out of the RNC is somewhat nauseating.

    Only somewhat? It always amazes me how people can live in America, take advantage of everything that great country has to offer, and then sneer at the very factor that will keep America safe from its enemies. Given the pack of bloodthirsty jackals baying at America’s heels to bring her down, without patriotism, America is finished.

    Pangolin- California September 4, 2008 at 9:16 pm

    Until we admit the terrorism is a tactic used by people just like us…

    Speak for yourself. I’m in rare agreement with Jonathan here at 5:56 am.

  136. 136 Bob in Queensland
    September 5, 2008 at 08:18

    Re: “Are terrorists like us?”

    Let the bells ring out and the banners fly: Jonathan, Bryan and I seem to be agreeing on something. Whatever the motivation, resorting to terrorism in an attempt to force your views onto other people is never acceptable and should always be condemned.

    The one slight chink I might put in this agreement is my belief that, even when condemning terrorists, it is useful to try and understand their motivations. However, I say this out of pragmatism rather than acceptance of their actions. I don’t believe that it is possible to effectively fight terrorism with military or police action. As is often said, the military have to win 100% of the time to prevent a terrorist outrage; the terrorists only have to succeed once. It is far more effective to understand the causes they espouse and, where possible, act to correct any perceived injustices they may use as their raison d’etre. Behind every terrorist tends to be thousands of non-terrorists who support the root cause, either openly or just by silence. Take away the root causes and they will lose their power base.

  137. 137 Bryan
    September 5, 2008 at 08:50

    Bob, I tend to agree, but there is one problem with your diagnosis. You can’t remove the ‘root cause’ of terrorism when it stems from the ‘religious’ fanaticism of the terrorists themselves.

    Actually, that’s not quite accurate. In the case of Islamic terrorism you can remove the root cause by total submission to the ‘religious’ dictates of the terrorists. Follow their medieval ideology to the letter, and they’ll have no reason to blow you up.

  138. September 5, 2008 at 09:05

    @ root causes of terrorism

    I’m of the opinion that the majority of terrorists are impoverished cult members. They have accepted the al Queda leaders as their religious masters, as if they were gurus leading them to enlightenment. But just like any cult, when the leaders are brought down, and the cult members scatter, they will dissolve into history.

    I believe we must kill off the leaders of this sick Al Queda cult. We must get Osama Ben Laden.

  139. 139 Bob in Queensland
    September 5, 2008 at 09:15

    @ Bryan and Portlandmike

    Al Quaeda are considered “radical nut cases” even by the majority of Muslims. The main reason the garner the support they do is that it’s easy to hoodwink the poor and the hungry. Do something about conditions in Gaza, the West Bank…and even for the poor in Saudi Arabia where Al Queda started….and there will be a lot less support for the terrorist who are viewed (foolishly) as offering hope.

    Yes, we can argue about whether the problems are caused by Hamas, or the Israelis or the Americans (and probably it’s all three) but this doesn’t change my main point. People with food in their stomachs, homes over their head and money in their wallet are WAY less likely to clutch at straws like terrorism.

  140. 140 Carol
    September 5, 2008 at 09:57

    Hello WHYS folks, I’d very much like you to bring THIS into the conversation. Quite BEYOND SEXISM, there should be the following practicality regarding SARAH PALIN to think about:

    Sarah Palin is not just a mother of five as it happens at present, but her youngest child shows that child-bearing or the possibility of it is still very much part of her life. Apart from any family-planning aspects, which she obviously opposes (pro-life = pro-procreation in her case) in a world where population size and the environment are an interrelated issue, there is also nothing to indicate she would not become a mother of a sixth or seventh child during a term as vice-president (!!!), a time during which SHE should be at the beck’n call of the president, not the other way round.

    The indicators of that this might happen should be enough to rule her out for the position. To wait and see should not be an option for THIS job.

    Best wishes,

  141. 141 Jonathan
    September 5, 2008 at 10:26


    If we’re talking about Al Quaeda, they have zero real interest in conditions in Gaza or the West Bank–both largely now under indigenous, non-Israeli control, if I recall correctly–or in Israel. Their real concern, and their bone of contention with America, was the American presence in Saudi Arabia.

    Interestingly, for all the primitive boob-baiting and chest thumping by the US administration, in fact the US met the demand to withdraw from Saudi Arabia.

    Count that root cause as resolved.

    I’ll suggest a slight amendment, though a telling one about our world views, to your formulation: For “poor and hungry,” I’d say “hopeless,” and for “food…homes… and money,” I’d say “hope.” It’s less a question of present deprivation than of a poverty of spirit and an absence of any hope for a better future that makes for the nihilism of a terrorist or a suicide bomber.

  142. 142 Bryan
    September 5, 2008 at 10:35

    Bob and Portland Mike, your hypothesis has been disproven time and time again. For just two quick examples, have a look at the London bombers and the Heathrow would-be bombers. We are talking about relatively-educated people from relatively well-off families here. I believe one of them was a doctor.

    Terrorists don’t need the poor and disenchanted to people their forces. They come up with all kinds of diabolical stunts like using mentally retarded women as suicide bombers. As long as it moves and you can strap a bomb to it they’ll use it. In Gaza they even used a donkey once. I believe the donkey was blown up without affecting the IDF.

    Yes the “full belly” argument has merit, but not when you are dealing with people whose grievances are not rational but are driven by ideological, racial and ‘religious’ hatred.

  143. 143 Zainab
    September 5, 2008 at 11:02

    Hello all,

    First of all, I believe that HUMAN RIGHTS are just written words. there is NO country admits or applies these rights.

    – What comes first faith/ traditional beliefs OR human rights???

    Well this is a very good question, concerning the topic you’ve presented “of the 3 Pakistani girls”: it seems that neither faith nor human rights can stand in front of the strong “bad” TRADITIONS. IN some countries people are ready to start wars in the name of TRADITION. Traditions even if they are bad are considered taboos, a red line that no one can cross.
    Pakistan is a muslim country, and of course you’ll all think that burying girls alive cuz they refuse to marry men of the family choice, is one of the Islamic traditions. BUT let me tell you that this is wrong. this ( and many other bad traditions) are rejected by Islam.
    Everyone has his right to choose whoever he/she wants to marry, no one (even the father) has the right to force his son/daughter to marry anyone.

    yours truly
    Zainab from Iraq

  144. 144 Roberto
    September 5, 2008 at 11:48

    RE “”We must get Osama Ben Laden.””

    ——— Binnyboy has become the doddering old uncle of Al Queda.

    He ain’t what he was, and quite possible he ain’t even of this world any more. Precarious health, squirred away like a rat relying on the good graces of tribal chiefs who could sell him out at any moment.

    Al Queda has a dozen offshoots all over the world, disparate groups with disparate financing. I thought it was shown eons ago that the typical Islamic global terrorist had a good education from well established families. Palestinian suicide bombers tend to be the disenfranchised, but the people running the many competing Palestinian terrorist groups come from the more privleged Palestinian families.

    Islamic terrorism will be with us for hundreds, perhaps thousands of years. It’s like trying to wipe out neonazis, impossible. Some people will always be attracted to ideological, religious, and political extremes.

    Extremely poor western, particularly US foreign policy decisions have acted as the catalyst for the formation of these deadly extremes.

  145. 145 maria (Dallas)
    September 5, 2008 at 12:00

    A disappointing speech primarily because 1/2 of it was “war stories” (certainly compelling but enough is enough) and the rest offered no creative ideas or concrete solutions At All.

    Coming after the democratic convention McCain could have trumped Obama, and one would think fairly easily with a decent speech writer, but he didn’t even come close. Such a missed opportunity to connect with us –I still don’t know who he was talking to.

  146. 146 Zainab
    September 5, 2008 at 12:20

    Hello again,
    Abu Ghraib prison is turning to be a museum.
    Iraq said on Wednesday it plans to rebuild the the notorious Abu Ghraib prison, complete with a museum to portray crimes committed by the regime of executed dictator Saddam Hussein. and other photographs show US soldiers posing proudly with battered corpses and nude injured prisoners.


    yours truly,
    Zainab from Iraq

  147. 147 Ramah in Nairobi, Kenya
    September 5, 2008 at 12:25

    @ Kelsie

    Here in Kenya; — men who pay for sex are liable to be jailed, along with the commercial sex worker with whom the act was committed,

    That’s according to a by-law that was passed sometime last year. In practise however; — the debt ridden Nairobi City Council really does not enforce this law. Amid challenges in providing healthcare, ensuring the city’s waste is properly managed, paying its massive workforce [and its in arrears there by the way]; — the City fathers really have to put the enforcement of that law on the back burner.

    Aside from that; — there’s a rather interesting double standard in the moral code, depending on gender. Back to the main issue; — anecdotal evidence indicates that a man who’s slept with many women [to put it bluntly], is a stud among his mates, but his female equivalent is regarded as ‘loose.’

  148. September 5, 2008 at 13:15

    Hi Zainab
    I sympathize with you entirely. There is no such thing as HUMAN RIGHTS in the East, as you say. Women are bullied and treated like dirt in the home and work place.
    Women must earn their rights. It is nothing to do with faith or religion. Keep them down, is the accepted norm. This is the harem mentality which is handed down from one generation to the next. Men are esteemed according to the degree that they enforce this practice. Even sodomy is looked upon as something to be proud of, prowess if you like.
    Women simply don’t know what to do, and those who feel that there is something beyond standing over the stove all day or washing nappies simply cannot escape their fate without outside help. The duty of men as the bread winners rarely stretches beyond paying housekeeping money.
    There is so much to be done, including talking about the issue, bringing as many women as possible from all walks of life together. The Western woman has made sacrifices to get where she is, and women in Southeast Asia, the Middle East or Africa must unite and do something about archaic laws and savage practices. Governments must help women achieve their goals.
    Look at French women who own businesses. Look at the Scandinavian woman who is looked up to! Why not our girls and women!
    The Eastern woman is sometimes responsible for the setbacks in her life. She is submissive and resigned so long as she has a husband and a home, but that’s not enough.
    The international media is just beginning to expose the downright plight and misery of the Eastern woman. What I am hearing from the pulpit is a load of trash. Give any prelate a couple of bucks and he will rule in your favour. God knows how many women are murdered every day in Iran and the issue is covered up or brushed under the carpet!

  149. September 5, 2008 at 13:20

    Salaam my darling Zainab, and Bravo to you my love… This story from Pakistan has nothing to do at all with Islamic faith… It represents how “stony-age” traditions, the ones which Islam has come specifically to erase and abolish, are unfortunately still controlling firmly many of Muslim (not Islamic) societies… Forced marriages are completely unacceptable in Islam… Islam considers it as an extreme must that if a guy comes to ask for the hand of a girl, then the girl’s family must ask the girl whether or not she’s satisfied with this marriage, and if the girl replies by no, then there should be no marriage at all… The Prophet Mohammed says in this regard : Marriage has two essential bases, replying by yes, and mutual acceptance…
    It’s so funny that those 3 Pakistani girls were punished by being buried alive… How Islamic if you guys know that one of the most popular “stony-age” traditions which Islam had come inorder to erase and abolish for good is “Burying girls alive”…
    The Holy Quran says in this regard : “On Judgement Day, Allah asks the female that was buried alive : By which fault were you murdered like this ?”…
    With my love… Yours forever, Lubna in Baghdad…

  150. September 5, 2008 at 13:38


    “Our grief has turned to anger and anger to resolution. Whether we bring our enemies to justice or bring justice to our enemies, justice will be done,”. That was the promise. One he is heralded for somehow by his supporters even though he hasn’t kept it.

    I agree that the US policies have done more to strengthen this “al Qaeda” then hurt it. It has created a “unity post” for the extremist groups that never had organization. Smarter presidents would have taken care of bin Laden discretely and that would have been that. The problem is that years later people would have been saying, “but he never did anything about 9/11.” For all of their ignorance he would have been right. Then again, had the act of discretion taken place when he was warned about them, maybe there would be no 9/11. Then Bush would have had to try to get elected on his economic and energy policies.

  151. September 5, 2008 at 13:46


    If you clump the people from that commit atrocities on “high profile” targets here in the modern world, you will find they are from more educated backgrounds. How many of the college kids here in the US get pulled into those crazy Christian sects each year?

    If you separate into two groups the high profile acts of terrorism form the suicide bombers in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as the rest of the middle East, then you see that the poor, uneducated and/ or mentally and physically disabled demographic fits. Then you have to understand what defines, “educated” in these underdeveloped societies.

  152. September 5, 2008 at 14:06


    Wow, They were mentioned in the context of a point about bombs being indiscriminate. really nothing to do with the conflict. I included other states that would be considered enemies of Israel. The only word you saw was “Israel”. Your unquestioning support/ pro-Israel bias is showing. I can see you colors.

    For the record I am “Human Race biased”. I really have no use for people and policies that change the harmony of the existing environment by use of weapons and military support and then complain and spend my tax dollars to solve the problems it created.

  153. September 5, 2008 at 14:19


    The belief that the A-bomb was needed to defeat the Japanese after the fall of Germany and the loss of u-boat support is “bunk”. IT is up there with “Iraq has nuclear weapons” and “threatening and not talking with the N. Koreans will force them to disarm.”

    So you are saying that there is a time and a circumstance where killing civilians is acceptable. I am supposing that you were not condoning what the Germans, Japanese, Roman, and whoever were doing. You are condoning what the US did. Which was target civilians. That is what you said robs one of credibility. So yes I am addressing the “civilian killers” that you are lending credibility to.

    Killing civilians in Iraq has brought about support and fear of the insurgents. Their stated goal there is to “end the ocupation”. There were no sucide attacks before the occupation.

  154. 154 Count Iblis
    September 5, 2008 at 14:24

    Terrorists are just the same people as anyone else. Everyone, even the mother of all pacifists, would be for using violence to defend their interests when pushed too far.

    Terrorism typically happens when a state, using superior military force, is implementing policies that some fraction of the population do not want and are willing to fight and die for.

    Israel/Palestine is a good examle. The Palestinians are fighting back using all sorts of means, including terrorism. We would do exactly the same, including using terrorism, if we were subjected to the same treatment as the Palestinians.

    Until someone points me to research that conclusively shows that the brain physiology of Palestinians is significantly different than the brain physiology of Western people, there are no scientific grounds to even postulate that we wouldn’t behave in the same way under the same circumstances.

  155. 155 steve
    September 5, 2008 at 14:29

    @ Count Iblis

    Are you saying that Americans would use suicide bombings in restaurants and religious events and on busses if we were occupied by someone else?

  156. 156 steve
    September 5, 2008 at 14:32

    @ Dwight.

    You are so wrong I don’t know where to begin. The bomb ended WW2 almost immediately. Are you saying the Japanese were going to surrender just at the threat of an US invasion? You know about Okinawa right? Japanese civilians would throw themselves off cliffs rather than be captured by the Americans. Please, you don’t like anything the US does, even if it meant costing less lives than an all out invasion. The bombing persuaded the Emperor to want to surrender, the Japanese people respected the emperor, and were a fight to the end, die in the process type of people (ever heard of kamikazes?) and they would listen to him. Hence why the US allowed him to remain emperor after the surrender, so it wasn’t a totally unconditional surrender.

    Guess how many Germans died in the Battle of Berlin, which ended the european front? Are you saying the Soviets shouldn’t have attacked Berlin because civilians were there, or perhaps you only criticize what America does?

  157. 157 Auspicious Ndamuwa
    September 5, 2008 at 14:38

    I believe that today’s election in Angola will offer Africa the reason to smile after nasty experiences in Kenya and Zimbabwe. It has to be on record here that democracy started in Africa where our fore fathers used to meet under the tree to solve burning issues that affect daily life. Democracy is mainly viewed as a western ideology because the west took the idea from Africa and modified it. Go Angola go, prove to the world that the 16 year old conflict that you went through will never happen again.

  158. 158 Bryan
    September 5, 2008 at 14:48

    Dwight From Cleveland September 5, 2008 at 2:06 pm,

    This site is full of amateur psychologists. Spare me the “insights.” I saw very well what you were saying. Bombs are not “indiscriminate.” The way people use them can be without discrimination. I don’t object to the mere mention of Israel being armed, but out of your bias you lump Israel into the category of nations like Saudi Arabia and Iraq, whose leaders really don’t see the difference between soldiers and civilians, and actively seek out civilians to murder.

    I don’t have unquestioned support for Israel. The country has plenty faults. But it is portrayed as the ogre of the world, a portrayal it really doesn’t deserve.

    Words matter. When you say the States armed “the likes of Israel” you should understand that people see this as a negative attitude on your part. From other comments you have made, that statement only reinforces the impression I have gained of your hostility towards Israel.

    Since you are concerned about “human rights” you should understand that Israelis have the right to defend themselves against the barbarians who surround them and are intent on spilling Jewish blood.

  159. 159 Zainab
    September 5, 2008 at 15:01

    Hello all,
    @Akbar Javadi
    Salam alycom
    “There is no such thing as HUMAN RIGHTS in the East, as you say. ”

    Well, I’m saying that there is no such thing as HUMAN RIGHTS not only in the east but in the entire world, and not only for women but for men as well…
    concerning women: I don’t feel that the western woman is in a better position than the eastern. All in the same position. If one is treated according to “harem mentality” the other is treated as if a model. Both are looked at as second rate human. and this is what society has created to her.

    @Lubna, wa alycom salam dearest, thank you for your words…

    yours truly,

  160. September 5, 2008 at 15:13

    @ Steve

    I know one better. I know and have met people from Okinawa. They said it was untrue. The propaganda and many had never heard of the call until well after the war. More “mis-information”. I heard that one with my own ears. We are talking about a government that had every Japanese American the own in a camp, questions every comedian and musician that vocalized opposition and threw them in jail. A culture that still believe the black man cant sit on the same bus seat, eat at the same restaurant, or drink from the same fountain. Yet you are willing to believe the “Japanese’s are all crazy and they were going to kill themselves.” So let them.

  161. 161 steve
    September 5, 2008 at 15:19

    @ Dwight


    Well, you found a good place to bash the US. You seem to really enjoy doing that, given how perfect every other nation is.

  162. 162 Bryan
    September 5, 2008 at 15:22

    Count Iblis September 5, 2008 at 2:24 pm,

    Before Hamas and other Palestinian terror groups gave in to their overpowering lust to spill the blood of Israeli women, children and the elderly during the Second Intifada, there was relative peace and relatively free movement of Palestinians into and out of Israel to work in jobs such as construction. The aim of Arab terror is not to gain more land here and there, but to drive the Jews out of the land between the Mediterranean and the Jordan River. And this has been their aim for close to a century. Until you understand that basic fact, you will have no understanding of the conflict.

  163. 163 Tsoltim N. Shakabpa
    September 5, 2008 at 15:43

    By Tsoltim N. Shakabpa

    It’s time for China to stop the genocide
    To end all torture and imprisonment
    It’s time for China to renounce her human rights violations
    To choose freedom to hear and learn
    It’s time for China to respect free speech
    To recognize freedom of religion
    It’s time for China to accommodate different cultures
    To abandon communism
    It’s time for China to cease causing terrorism in Darfur
    To lay off encouraging the brutal dictatorship in Burma
    It’s time for China to join the ranks of free and responsible nations
    To halt selling nuclear intelligence to the axis of evil
    It’s time for China to realize democracy
    To quit Tibet and establish friendly relations
    It’s time for China to acknowledge her faults
    To repent rather than be sorry

    If China does not do
    What time tells her to do
    And discard her life of crime
    And erase all her filthy grime
    Time will tell a tale
    That will make China pale
    Time will tell a sad story
    That will make China sorry
    There will be no time out
    Nor any other route out
    For time waits for no man
    Bitter sorrow bring it can
    To all of China’s innocent people
    And make them feeble and cripple
    And China’s great wall
    Will crumble and fall

    Copyright: Tsoltim N. Shakabpa – 2008

    * Footnote: The poet’s nickname is “T.N.”, which he says stands for his initials as well as “Tibetan National”.

  164. 164 Shirley
    September 5, 2008 at 15:50

    Jonathan: Gaza or the West Bank–both largely now under indigenous, non-Israeli control, if I recall correctly

    I would say that control rests with the Palestinians in word only. Take a look at a post of mine from TP 28 August in which I assert that the Israelis are still very much in control of the Gaza Strip. Considering the number of invasions, raids, and detentions that they conduct in the West Bank, it stands to reason that Israel remains in control of it, too, and is thus obligated under international law in terms of the responsibilities of an occupying power (vid 4th Geneva Convention).

  165. 165 steve
    September 5, 2008 at 15:51

    @ Shirley

    And Israel is also responsible for preventing terrorist attacks against Israelis.

  166. September 5, 2008 at 16:01

    Hi Zeinab
    My candid opinion is that Shi’ite prelates are rascals and braggarts and the cause of oppression of women in Iran and Iraq. Worse still, they have landed Iran in a mess for the last thirty years, chasing the H Bomb one moment, advocating immolation and stoning the next.
    There will be no peace in Iran or Iraq – or emancipation of women – as long as prelates are about. The popularity of these shaggy faced, paunchy creatures is on the decline.
    Saddam was hanged for executing some 150 innocent souls, our prelates have the blood of hundreds of thousands of youngsters who were slaughtered in the Eight Year War with Iraq on their hands.
    They preach self-flagellation, deprivation and solitude but indulge in every vile crime and excess in private. They gorge themselves when they can and advocate opium addiction as a way to deep meditation.
    I trust that you are not duped by any of this nonsense because it will take you and your family back to the dark ages and they will never forgive you for it.

  167. 167 Shirley
    September 5, 2008 at 16:02

    146 Zainab September 5, 2008 at 12:20 pm
    Zainab, I also heard that Abu Ghraib will be opened as a museum, but the AP article that I saw said that the museum will not commemorate the American abuses there. The notorious Abu Ghraib prison is getting a facelift: work to reopen the facility and construct a museum documenting Saddam Hussein’s crimes — but not the abuses committed there by U.S. guards.

  168. 168 Nofal Elias
    September 5, 2008 at 16:04


    I believe that the boming in Baghdad city is caused and sponsered by the Americans, and here is my logic:
    1. There are thousands of check points all round Baghdad, yet the bombers still manage to get through on a daily basis, none were caught.
    2. Iraqi police not allowed to go near any bombing incident unless the America army to be there first to start between qoutes “investgation”.
    3. Why there is no inestagtion to establish the make of the bomb and the car used … etc … all what we hear is Al-Qaeda is behind the boming, yeh right.
    4. Why no camera Civillian cameras installed to capture the bombers.
    5. How comes the Green Zone is well protected and never heard of any bombing in there except the rocket misiles fired from outside the green zone.
    6. Never heard of any incidents under Sadam’s regiem, why?

    I don’t turust politicians, specially the current USA Adminsrtation, they always have hidden agendas.

  169. 169 Shirley
    September 5, 2008 at 16:12

    Regarding the stories above about Muslims carrying their cultural traditions beyond the permitted extent of Islamic law:

    I briefly read the story on the three teenagers who were buried alive and learned that two older women were also buried alive with them because they tried to protect the girls. The bottom line here is that the men who committed this atrocity defieed not only every bound of civil law and humanitarian ideal, but also the religion that they claim to follow. Every reference to the burying alive of females that is present in the qur’an denigrates the practise, and Prophet Muhammad forbade it in very clear terms. The problem that we have here in the case of these three girls and the two women is the involvement of politicians and a government cover-up. It seems to me that the government of Pakistan is complicit in this nastiness at the highest levels. It feels like a repeat of the gang rape of that young lady who had memorised the Qur’an all over again. Does Pakistan even care about its people?

  170. 170 Shirley
    September 5, 2008 at 16:19

    Btw, why did you link to the Times (isn’t that paper just a tad conservative?) for the story of the man who forced two teenage boys to whip themselves with blades when the BBC covered the story in six articles? Check it out: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

    Once again, of course, a man completely ignores the Islamic prohibition of causing injury to anyone, especially children, in his emotional zeal to carry out a cultural practise related to a religious commemoration. (Of course, the former case of honour killings is entirely prohibited by Islam and is a cultural practise that is not allowed at all in Islam.)

  171. 171 steve
    September 5, 2008 at 16:20

    @ Shirley

    Hussein had many people murdered there. The Americans took naked pictures of people. I hope you can see there is a huge difference in what happened.

  172. 172 steve
    September 5, 2008 at 16:20

    @ Nofal

    Let me guess, you think 9/11 was an inside job, right?

  173. 173 robert1987
    September 5, 2008 at 16:40

    @ Nofal Elias

    Why on earth would America sponsor the bombings in Baughdad city when they are paying for the reconstruction of the city which they destroyed parts of since they declared war on Iraq 2003. This is because I cant see the Americans paying for the restruction work to be done and then sponsor the bombings in the same area.

  174. 174 Shirley
    September 5, 2008 at 16:40

    Steve, can you explain what you mean (below) with some examples? Btw, I am not saying that Iraq should not commemorate the atrocities of Saddam. I am saying that they shoudl also record and point to American atrocities. Like master, like puppet.

    164 steve September 5, 2008 at 3:51 pm
    @ Shirley
    And Israel is also responsible for preventing terrorist attacks against Israelis.

  175. 175 steve
    September 5, 2008 at 16:46

    @ Shirley

    What the Americans did cannot be even mentioned in the same breath as what Saddam did. You need to take off your anti US bias, and realize that pointing at naked men is NOTHING. ABSOLUTELY NOTHING compared to murdering people and hanging them from meat hooks. He would have killed 50-100 people at a time in certain rooms of Abu Ghraib. There is NO comparison to what the Us did, unless you think being naked is even remotely comparable to murder. Boo hoo, they got embarrassed, But they’re alive, and not DEAD like Saddam’s victims. THERE IS NO, ABSOLUTELY NO, COMPARISON.

  176. 176 robert1987
    September 5, 2008 at 16:54

    Steve has a point by saying what he has just said

  177. 177 Shirley
    September 5, 2008 at 17:22

    Steve, Americans also tortured people to death in Iraq. Nearly everyone knows that what Saddam did was extremely violent and repressive. However, I think that it displays a tunnel vision of sorts to focus on him to the extent that we forget what we have done. Just because a person acknowledges the wrongs that America did does not mean that one is anti-American. You really went off the deep end in your post. Your tone was insulting. I expected better of you as a moderator. I am also concerned about the amount of censoring that I have seen while you were on moderating duty – I saw one post disappear and another edited under your watch in one week. That is more than the normal amount of censorship that takes place here at WHYS. Honestly, I am concerned. Maybe you need to take a break.

  178. 178 Jens
    September 5, 2008 at 17:37


    how was this yesterday about personal attacks and ridicule?

    i agree you cannot compare sadamms actions to the ones of the us, by any means. i am getting a little tired that the world expects the us to fight a clean and pc war, while the opponets decapitate people, have nail bombs and merly torture their captives. war is brutal, but we want to sanitize it. there is no way that we can sanitize a war and if we would fight with all the might we have many war would have been over quickly and would have won. we fight with one hand behind our back, while the enemy engages in brutal attacks of savegery

  179. 179 steve
    September 5, 2008 at 17:46

    @ shirley

    i’m not the only person moderating. I was emphasizing points, that Saddam and the US are uncomparable whe it comes to Abu Ghraib. That you don’t agree with me doesn’t justify you accusing me of abusing moderation power here. I edited a post because it was insulting another poster, and not attacking their argument.

  180. 180 steve
    September 5, 2008 at 17:49

    @ shirley, everyone on here is allowed to have an opinion, including you and me. You are suggesting that I shouldn’t be allowed to have opinions. I was strongly disagreeing with you. Many of the posters seem to focus on bashing the US, and ignoring everything else. That upsets me, so I write passionately against them. I don’t think you should be silenced because I don’t agree with you.

    Again, I’m not the only person who edits or erases comments. Are you suggesting only I do that? I assure you, I’m not the only one that does that. So please don’t suggest I’m engaged in censorship here. I edit out personal attacks, not people’s opinions of the topics.

  181. 181 Jens
    September 5, 2008 at 18:00


    still waiting for you personal info.

  182. 182 Shirley
    September 5, 2008 at 18:37

    Steve, you did more than just express a difference of personal opinion with me. You used an insulting tone in order to convey that difference of opinion. One can express differences of opinions without posting in caps and using words such as Boo hoo, they got embarrassed. That’s why I suggested that you perhaps take a break: I don’t expect that kind of behaviour from you or any mod here at WHYS; and it seems that some kind of stress is bothering you to the point that you lost your temper that easily.

  183. 183 steve
    September 5, 2008 at 18:41

    @ Shirley

    I think you don’t approve of my opinions. I used caps to emphasize my argument. Jens does it all of the time. I said “boo hoo” in regard to the prisoners who had pictures taken of them naked. That’s not exactly like being killed en masse like saddam did. you’re chosing to interpret what I write as some kind of attack on you, when it’s not. There have been far far nastier comments that you haven’t seen, because the moderators erased them. Passionate argument is encourage so long as people don’t personally attack each other, but rather debate with each other.

  184. 184 Jens
    September 5, 2008 at 18:53


    i don’t do it all the time. i did yesterday, since I was not aware of HTML. overall considering that i do not use caps through-out, i will be a below-average caps-user. 😉

  185. 185 Nofal Elias
    September 5, 2008 at 19:17


    Why US would help the second largest oil reserve Country ?
    Rwanda doesn’t have oil so nobody cares.
    All Iraqi Oil revenue is controlled by the US. Why on earth a computer consultant who was kiddnaped needs 4 bodyguards, how much all this cost of reconstructing. Reconstruction of Iraq is not happening, still the Iraqi people allowed only 2 hours of electricity every day and no clean water after 5 years, maybe a fraction of the money spent is going on real construction the rest is dissaperaing in the thin air.
    Why? Because US wants to stay in Iraq for ever, if there are no problems then the Iraqi people would ask the Americans to leave.
    Ask yourself why US built the biggest embassy in the world and empolying 5000 Americans, what do they do?

    I saw Michael Moore film, and yes there are loads of evidence that supports 9/11 conspiracy theory.
    The best one is the controlled demoltion of the twin twoers, just look at the video.
    Also, a Pilot told me that a maneuvre can only be made by a very experienced piliot and said no way it was done by some body who took few lessons to fly a two seater plane. Maybe an auto pilot.

  186. 186 steve
    September 5, 2008 at 19:21

    @ Nofal

    Just so you know, the Boeing 767 is a 2 seater as well. If you’re referring to only 2 seats in the entire airplane, only the smallest, smallest general aviation planes have only two seats in them, and flight courses use larger airplanes, and the 9/11 pilots took twin engine classes. I’m working on a pilot license myself, and it’s very possible for someone to plot courses and fly and navigate an airliner, though landing is different, but that wasn’t really an issue for them. Also, the only “controlled” demolition arguments by conspiracy people generally was for WTC 7, not the twin towers. There are many studies, from actually credible resources that show that it’s very possible for a 767 to bring down those buildings.

  187. 187 Nofal Elias
    September 5, 2008 at 19:34

    @ Steve,

    I am not sure what sort of flying maneuvre was referring to but I was told it can only be done by experienced pilot.
    I have been driving for over 30 years but I can not or attempt to do Driffting, it needs special training. if you are getting my drift 🙂

  188. 188 steve
    September 5, 2008 at 19:36


    Manouevering a plane doesn’t involve much experience if you understand the basics of how an airplane flies. It’s much easier than taking off or landing. You have rudder controls to worry about and steering the plane. Also autopilot on airliners did most of the work until they needed to make turns towards the end. It doesn’t take an expert to crash a plane into a very large building.

    Do you remember the kid that crashed a single engine plane into a Florida high rise? If he could do it, so could someone who had taken classes.

  189. 189 Bryan
    September 5, 2008 at 19:50

    Steve, I read at the time that the terrorists ignored all instruction on landings and insisted on learning only how to handle the aircraft in the air.

  190. 190 Jens
    September 5, 2008 at 20:09


    soory my friend the conspiracy theories have all been disporved. how do you think the goverment would be able to keep something like this from the people. thinks about it. they could not even manufacture credible evidence for wmd. there is something to be said for having a an incompetent goverment. seriously stop spreading such lies. you may not like the goverment, but trust me no us goverment would be getting away with something like that, and i do absolutly 100 plus % believe that gwb and his goverment had absolutly nothing to do with this.

  191. 191 Tom D Ford
    September 5, 2008 at 20:12

    @149 Lubna September 5, 2008 at 1:20 pm

    “,,, The Holy Quran says in this regard : “On Judgement Day, Allah asks the female that was buried alive : By which fault were you murdered like this ?”…
    With my love… Yours forever, Lubna in Baghdad…”

    Thanks for explaining that, Lubna.

    Although I am anti-Religion, I am always looking for reasons to respect people of religion and you have earned and justified my respect. Thank you again.

  192. 192 Bryan
    September 5, 2008 at 20:13

    Shirley September 5, 2008 at 5:22 pm,

    If you’re prepared to take some constructive criticism, here it is: you fall too easily into the habit of making [] comparisons to try to justify a point of view. Being stripped and sexually humiliated or threatened with a dog is vastly different to being slowly tortured to death.

    I agree that the Americans should be left out of any representation in the museum. They don’t belong in the same display as Saddam Hussein. It’s way too incongruous.

    Saddam Hussein was a Satanic monster who had free rein to indulge his darkest fantasies and translate them into practice on his unfortunate enemies. In total contrast, American soldiers operate under a system of disciplinary controls typical of the best of the democracies. Those soldiers guilty of abuses at Abu Graib were tried and imprisoned, weren’t they? The vast majority of Hussein’s victims still cry out for justice from the grave since he was only tried and executed for a small fraction of his crimes. And what about those who assisted him in his monstrous deeds? As far as I know they were never brought before a court and there must have been thousands of them.

    Emotion and off the charts comparisons do nothing to further your argument.

  193. 193 Tom D Ford
    September 5, 2008 at 20:18


    What I just wrote about Lubna applies to you too. Thanks.

  194. 194 Tom D Ford
    September 5, 2008 at 21:01

    @ Akbar Javadi

    Please pardon my ignorance as I can’t tell your gender through your name, are you a man or a woman?

  195. 195 Jonathan
    September 5, 2008 at 21:09


    Correct, the terrorist pilots as flight students had no particular interest in taking off or landing.

    This was duly reported by an FBI field agent, in an FBI field office, to FBI headquarters, who ignored it. We now know why: FBi and Justice as a whole was busily purging its competent staff, both political and professional career people, who were suspected of having “liberal” leanings, replacing them with ideologically pure zombies, chosen for loyalty rather than competence. This was of course entirely illegal and, as it turned out, placed the county in great peril.

    I don’t know if you saw, as I did, the chilling spectacle of the airhead Monica Goodling, manager of the purge, telling a Congressional committee that she had “sworn an oath to presdient Bush.” She needed to be gently reminded that in fact her oath had been to the United States Constitution. She may be forgiven for her mistake, since her version is the one that prevailed among the “loyal bushies” who ignored daily warnings from intelligence and counterterrorism experts in favor of chest-pounding and flag-waving and “patriotism” to a country they don’t understand at all.

    And you continue to insist that Al Gore would have been more dangerous to the US than Bush, though all the evidence points exactly to the opposite conclusion. How are your global warming studies coming, speaking of mythology?

  196. 196 Jonathan
    September 5, 2008 at 22:35


    Sorry, I forgot that urgent root canal appointment. Always great fun.

  197. 197 Tom D Ford
    September 6, 2008 at 00:21

    @ Jonathan

    If there was a conspiracy, the Occams Razor version would look something like this:

    Since the anti-terrorist head, Clarke, kept warning about incoming attacks, all the Bush/Cheney/PNAC folks had to do was ignore the warnings and allow one attack to occur in order to place the public in a state of fear and willing to give up rights and powers to a permanent state of War-Time President.

    A War-Time President has special powers that a normal peacetime president does not have.

    And Clarke testified that they chose to ignore his warnings.

    That’s all the planning and conspiring that they had to do, just decide to allow one attack to happen by ignoring the warnings.

    If that’s what they actually did I’d like to believe that the scope of the attacks was far bigger than they thought would happen and surprised even them.

    I hope that was not what they did by conspiracy but just what they allowed to happen by their sheer bumbling incompetence.

    Given their extreme secrecy I don’t know if we’ll ever know the free and open truth about it.

  198. 198 Jonathan
    September 6, 2008 at 01:25

    @Tom D Ford

    Bingo, bravo, yes, exactly, you got it. exactly right, that is, you think very much like me.

    “Occams Razor,” no less! I don’t remember seeing you in these parts before, but you’re a breath of fresh air. Stick around and let’s talk on the blankpage.

    To shave it even finer, it hardly matters whether they actually expected an attack or not when they deliberately ignored the wrarnings. Either way, the result was the same: they were able to vastly increase the power of the executive branch, implement a thorough plan that must have been ready, and ride foughshod over a cowed Congress and press and populace and judiciary to do things Nixon never imagined in his wettest of dreams.

    It just continues to amaze that with the sorry record of ignoring all the warnings, and then responding so ham-hadedly, the Bush gang still somehow has credibility with anyone at all as protectors against terroristm. They have only wrecked the machinery of government and made millions of new enemies, hardly a promising future.

    So what do you get by applicaation of the Razor to the Iraq war?

  199. 199 Nofal Elias
    September 6, 2008 at 09:23


    I am not spreading ANY LIES.
    These are facts well documented in Michael Moore films and in many books. I have an open mind that I read and analyse not accepting what ever the goverment tells me blind folded.
    I hounestly laughed when I heard Mr Blair saying that Iraq has WMD that can be deployed within 45 minutes and capable of reaching Europe. Plain lies, mainly to justify the illegal war on an independent country.

    Have you seen the documentary “War on Democracy”, don’t tell me the metrial in this film was manufactured to under estimate the US goverment. Well if you haven’t, I recommend you to watch it first and then comment.

    As you said the truth will come out one day.

  200. 200 Nofal Elias
    September 6, 2008 at 09:49


    Hi again, the only time the world knew that WMD evidence were manufactured by US goverment when they invaded the country and found no WMD by that time WMD was irrelavent.
    GWB changed his story and said it was about regiem change – what?
    Isn’t that what Russia wants to do in Georgia and NATO objected that.

  201. 201 Bryan
    September 6, 2008 at 10:16

    Jonathan September 5, 2008 at 9:09 pm

    And you continue to insist that Al Gore would have been more dangerous to the US than Bush, though all the evidence points exactly to the opposite conclusion.

    No, I don’t continue to insist on anything. I haven’t mentioned Gore for some time. In fact, I conceded the point. I’m not American and I’m prepared to acknowledge that people who live in the US are likely to have a better take than I do on the politics there. When are you going to actually start reading what people write rather than what you wish they’d written to further your argument?

    How are your global warming studies coming, speaking of mythology?

    You mean you now agree that MMGW is a myth? I thought you were all for it.

  202. 202 Tom D Ford
    September 6, 2008 at 16:55

    @ Jonathan

    “So what do you get by application of the Razor to the Iraq war?”

    Just one of the latest of some 150 years of wars for control of Oil. Same with Georgia and the Ukraine areas. Blood Oil.

    The PNAC, The Project For The New American Century, used to have a website where you could read about their plans and strategies but it has been shut down for some reason.

    Around 1992 Richard Perle wrote an essay saying that they needed a big attack on the US in order to take the extraordinary powers and do what they wanted to do. 911 was the attack they needed and they put their years of planning into action. Those people are still in power and they are still putting their plans into action.

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