12
Sep
08

Blank Page no 24

Welcome to another Blank Page ! Katharina in Belgium and Abdelilah in Morocco are your hosts when we turn the agenda over to you. What would you like to talk about on WHYS next week? Let us know here…Good morning/afternoon/evening everyone,

I’m Kathi, an Austrian living in Belgium, and together with Abdelilah from Morocco I’ll be your host for this weekend’s Blank Page.

There are a few things that I came across during the last couple of days which I thought might contribute to an interesting discussion:

This article is about the decline in child-deaths, but unfortunately children in Africa are still at the biggest risk to die within the first five years of their lives and see the least improvements:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/7610810.stm

This article is about the decline of fresh water fish live stock in North America:

http://www.cbc.ca/technology/story/2008/09/11/fish-endangered.html

And here’s a similar article about the situation in Europe – not a pretty picture, either.

http://www.terradaily.com/reports/One_third_of_Europes_freshwater_fish_face_extinction_IUCN_999.html

So why is it so difficult for us to take care of our rivers and make sure that they remain valuable habitats for the next generation?

This story is about eating like people in the Mediterranean do, and why it’s good for us. I always knew I want to live in a place where the olives grow… L

http://www.cbc.ca/health/story/2008/09/11/diet-med.html?ref=rss&loomia_si=t0:a16:g4:r1:c0

And finally a story that you shouldn’t show your kids just before a big exam:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/7610744.stm

As they say in another BBC program: Over To You…

 


392 Responses to “Blank Page no 24”


  1. 1 Anthony
    September 12, 2008 at 19:02

    HELLO!!! So what does everyone think about Russian bombers in Venezuela, and Russian Warships going there later on??? “Red Dawn” coming true???

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  2. 2 steve
    September 12, 2008 at 19:04

    I would love the opinions of our enviromentalists who tend to be socialists, on the enviromental impact of unnecessary strategic bomber missions by Russia in Tu-95s, which produce lots and lots of greenhouse gasses.

  3. 3 Katharina in Ghent
    September 12, 2008 at 19:08

    @ Steve

    In this day and age, what does socialism have to do with Russia?

  4. 4 steve
    September 12, 2008 at 19:11

    I’m not really exactly sure, but socialist tend to be upset the soviet union is gone, and are happy that the former soviet union is flexing its muscles. But that conflicts with being an environmentalist, wouldn’t it?

    These flights are absolutely uncessary, and releases a lot of greenhouse gasses. the TU-95 has 4 15,000 hp turboprops on it. Those burn LOTS of fuel.

  5. 5 Katharina in Ghent
    September 12, 2008 at 19:14

    Generally speaking, socialism and environmentalism do not go automatically hand in hand, often it’s the unions speaking out against environmental improvments because they fear that jobs could be lost.

  6. September 12, 2008 at 19:14

    In this day and age, what does socialism have to do with Russia?

    It was a cheap shot at the left and environmentalism.

  7. September 12, 2008 at 19:15

    I would love the opinions of our enviromentalists who tend to be socialists, on the enviromental impact of unnecessary strategic bomber missions by Russia in Tu-95s, which produce lots and lots of greenhouse gasses.

    Probably alot less of an impact than the US and it’s unnecessary missions…

  8. 8 Katharina in Ghent
    September 12, 2008 at 19:17

    @ Brett

    I almost didn’t notice, lol

  9. 9 steve
    September 12, 2008 at 19:19

    @ Brett

    The US doesn’t have strategic bomber flights that fly all over the world, and Russia is engaged in armed combat in places in the world.

    So I ask you, what is more important, the glory of russia, or the environment? If you do carbon offsets, why can’t you have russia do them for these absolutely uncessesary flights, that cause nations they fly over to have to intercept them, adding even more greenhouse gasses?

  10. 10 Julie P
    September 12, 2008 at 19:22

    Oil just fell to below $100 a barrel for the first time in five months.

  11. 11 Anthony
    September 12, 2008 at 19:24

    @ steve

    I think it’s more like the glory of Putin. Him and Chavez could stir up a lot of trouble, add some Kim Jong and Ahmadinejad, and thats some pretty crazy stuff 🙂

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  12. 12 Lauren
    September 12, 2008 at 19:24

    @ steve

    The US military conducts recon missions all the time- not to mention the test flights that happen over US soil on a regular basis. You can’t point the finger at Russia without including every other nation with a military and flight capabilities.

  13. 13 Lubna
    September 12, 2008 at 19:26

    Hi my Precious Abdelilah and Kathi my darling… Well, there were some very interesting discussions on the blog this week ralated to the pro-Israel lobby in the US and its relation to the US presidential elections… I’d love from the WHYS programme to discuss that topic on air at some time during the next week Inshallah… I’d love to hear on air at some time during the next week a logical, rational and informed debate about the REAL power and influence of the pro-Israel lobby inside the US… My very warm greetings and salaams to all my good friends here on this blog… With my love… Yours forever, Lubna in Baghdad…

  14. 14 steve
    September 12, 2008 at 19:26

    @ Lauren

    True, but Russia stopped these flights 15 years ago, and is scaring (strategic flights are for scaring other nations) a good enough reason to release all those unecessary grreenhouse gasses when they don’t have to be released at all?

  15. 15 Lauren
    September 12, 2008 at 19:27

    @ julie p

    time to dust off that Suburban and fill ‘er up 😀

  16. September 12, 2008 at 19:28

    So I ask you, what is more important, the glory of russia, or the environment?

    Well, seeing as how Climate Change is going to impact Russia in either [arguably] beneficial, or at least less negative ways than other countries (including the US)… I would say those other countries conducting military exercises who have more at risk need to take a look at what they are doing seeing as how climate change will impact them more, at least initially.

    Russia is just warming things up for itself so it can have more useable land 😉

  17. 17 steve
    September 12, 2008 at 19:29

    @ Lubna

    Are there other groups besides the Jews you have aproblem with having influence in US politics? There are many other interest groups, such as AARP (for retired people), there are labor unions as well. How much influence should certain groups be allowe dto have, and what should be done to them if they have too much power if one can determine they have too much power.

  18. September 12, 2008 at 19:30

    @ Lauren:
    The US military conducts recon missions all the time- not to mention the test flights that happen over US soil on a regular basis. You can’t point the finger at Russia without including every other nation with a military and flight capabilities.

    Yes, but that wouldn’t go along with an anti-russian argument if the US were doing it too, now would it? 😉
    So we need to ignore the US and other countries ventures and focus only on the evil, evil, evil red guy…

  19. 19 Julie P
    September 12, 2008 at 19:31

    @Lauren,

    My friends who own SUVs that for the most of this year have been using them as expensive lawn ornaments are going to be thrilled! 🙂

  20. September 12, 2008 at 19:35

    I’m gonna go fill up the bikes tonight if the prices are down 🙂
    The wagon may need a top off too, I don’t drive it much anymore now that I got my motorcycle license 😀 I’ve been riding around on my CB125S for nearly 2 weeks and havent had to fill the ~ 2 gallon tank yet… gotta love 100mpg 🙂

  21. 21 Lauren
    September 12, 2008 at 19:39

    @ Brett

    What WAS I thinking?????

  22. September 12, 2008 at 19:40

    @ Lauren:

    I forgive you, just don’t let it happen again 😉

  23. 23 Lauren
    September 12, 2008 at 19:41

    Brett

    I thought you were referring to bicyles– aren’t they charging for air now?

  24. September 12, 2008 at 19:43

    Lauren,

    Actually, I was quite upset to see that the gas station in the city which I usually use to top off the tires in my vehicles started charging for air lol. It was the last free air station in the city. Guess I’ll have to get off my lazy butt and actually plug in my air compressor in the garage when I want to air up the tires.
    Or I could be ‘green’ and use a hand pump 😉

    I have my road bike too that I’ll ride around, but for anything over 10 miles its the motorcycle/s.

  25. September 12, 2008 at 19:48

    @ steve, and all about substance abuse leading to grandparents raising children.

    “The gun to the head” analogy is ludicrous and blind eyes hundreds of years of social psychology. The next minute you would defend a soldier for committing an atrocity by saying he was just doing what he was taught. Even it there was no “gun to his head”. That is a hypocrisy.

    I am saying that the alcoholics are also responsible for their choices. But no more responsible for their actions then a person choosing to participate in hazing, obeying an order they know is wrong, or denying they know Jesus Christ on Black Day. (ref. Peter). Some things are just beyond our choice. If the right environment is created, we will make certain choices with profound consistence.

    Putting cheap “double D’s” in the stores of every 7-11 and inner city package store enables the bad choice. Why don’t we legalize every drug known to man and let it be a personal choice? Why not let every food product go through with out testing and regulation and let the people make a personal choice? While I am a huge fan of each is responsible for ones own decision (if you make one of these bad decisions, you must submit to the consequences.), I am not so naive as to believe that other factors are not equally complicit in those choices. It is not a “one or the other” situation as you try to describe it. A policy maker’s job is to look at the statistics where a large number of your population are consistently making that bad personal choice and say, “How can the system be changed to encourage a batter choice.”

  26. 26 Lubna
    September 12, 2008 at 19:49

    Hi my Precious Steve in the US… Well, 1stly, I wasn’t talking about the power and influence of Jews in the US… I was talking about the power and influence of the pro-Israel lobby inside the US and its possible relations with the US presidential elections, American politics, and American media… I do have very strong opinions about this issue, but I, unlike some people, always try to listen carefully to ALL what the “OTHER” has to say, and that’s why I asked from the WHYS team to have on air at some time during next week, a logical, informed, and rational debate about the REAL size of the power and influence of the pro-Israel lobby inside the US… As for the other pressure groups you mentioned, I do not mind at all having on-air debates about their real power and influence inside the US at some time in the near future Inshallah, if the WHYS team and other WHYS listeners and bloggers fancy that… But I ask you, is the real size of the power and influence of those pressure groups you mentioned even comparable to the real size of the power and influence of the pro-Israel lobby inside the US ?! With my love… Yours forever, Lubna in Baghdad…

  27. 27 steve
    September 12, 2008 at 19:54

    @ Lubna

    But how much power should groups have, and who sets the rules of what is too much power?

    AARP is the most powerful lobby group in the US.

  28. 28 steve
    September 12, 2008 at 19:55

    @ Dwight

    Then clearly you have no choice but to think drunk drivers are not responsible for their decision to drink and drive. That’s the only logical conclusion I can come to from what you’ve said.

  29. 29 Katharina in Ghent
    September 12, 2008 at 19:57

    @ Steve

    AARP is the most powerful lobby group in the US.

    That’s because seniors are the most likely to go to the elections. So what’s actually needed is to mobilize the younger people and the workforce.

  30. September 12, 2008 at 20:02

    Personally, I could care less if you drink and drive. What I care about is if you kill people when you drive. I don’t care if the reason was because you were drunk, if you were being selfish, or if you are just generally mentally unequipped to drive. More effort should be placed on making sure the drunk never enters the vehicle to begin with. The current DUI laws are designed to generate revenue and not save lives even though that is the guise they are submitted under. Billions of times a year the decision to drink and drive is made, yet nobody will deny that it increases the danger and that it is wrong. If you truly want to reduce the number of people making that decision, policies would have to be made to reduce the availability of that decision. This is directly related to removing the availability of alcohol to poor and disadvantaged neighborhood.

    The government makes choices like that for us all the time. You can not buy alcohol in Ohio after 1am in the stores. Bars must close at 2 am. You can’t sell to anybody under 21? You can’t market to anybody under 21. Cigarettes are not to be sold or marketed to citizens under 18. I could go on about driving, and marriage, and a million other issues where our government says that we can’t be allowed to make that “personal choice”, because if we do, more of us would make the bad one.

    If you want less grandmothers raising their grandchild in absence of their teen ( or mentally teen) mothers, then policy must be made to reduce the availability of the alcohol in the areas where the bad choice is consistently made. A person whose income is derived from making sure those stores are awash in a cheap alcoholic alternative is not acting in the best interest of reducing the stated problem.

  31. 31 selena in Canada
    September 12, 2008 at 20:17

    @Dwight

    Well said! With governments it is about revenue. There are many problems that could be solved if money were not involved.

  32. 32 Jennifer
    September 12, 2008 at 20:19

    @ Dwight

    Making policies that enable and support the “choice” for people to drink or abuse drugs would have a negative effect like giving a diabetic a candy bar. Not everyone has the same ideal of what is right and wrong and some people just don’t care.

    I have seen children who have parents addicted to meth. They are in environments where it is made, shot up with used needles everywhere, and living in filth. They have no sense of love or sometimes even attachment to their parents because their parents have never bonded with them. They are often neglected, abused, and otherwise left to fend for themselves.

    It is one thing when the parent makes a bad choice and they pay the price but when they put their children in situations that effect their well-being, grandparents can make a very positive difference.

  33. 33 Anthony
    September 12, 2008 at 20:27

    HAHA, Did you hear the white house has now claimed that Hugo Chavez’s inner circle is helping Columbians smuggle drugs? Wow, so they kick out the U.S. ambassador, then we kick out theirs, then they get Russia in to Valenzuela, then we say they’re helping smuggle drugs. I think next Bush will call Chavez a poo-poo head after Chavez starts cracking “Yo Mama” jokes about Barbra Bush!!!

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  34. September 12, 2008 at 20:28

    @ Steve,

    I clearly stated “they are responsible.” But not solely responsible. If there was no such thing as alcohol, would there be drunk drivers? No. If it were completely illegal to have alcohol, would there be less drunk drivers? I would have to say yes. If there were no bars would there be less drunk drivers. Again, I think yes. If beer cost $20 a bottle would there be less drunk drivers? Again I think “yes”. (interested in your answers to these question.) If so, then it proved that the government could make policies that reduce the occurrence of bad choices. Sin taxes work this way. We have seen as seatbelt, speed, and helmet laws have been enabled that took awhile to be accepted, but now are considered the norm, and has reduced the making of bad choices. In fact with the alcohol example they have tried. But people were so driven to make this choice that it was overturned.

    If the government denied stores in poor neighborhoods the ability to sell alcohol don’t you think it would reduce the adverse affects? These stores are notorious for supplying the underage community, and selling to people who are more susceptible to make bad choices. If there was a beer distributor out there that was concerned about the people affected by its products and chose not to market to them, then the result would be less bad choices made.

    Well little one is stirring. I will be able to glance at your responses but won’t get back to it until tonight at the earliest

  35. 35 selena in Canada
    September 12, 2008 at 20:28

    @jennifer

    You are right, of course. But the answer is not to blame the parents. The blame lies squarely at the feet of the society that allows the cycle to continue.

  36. 36 Lubna
    September 12, 2008 at 20:36

    Hi again my Precious Steve in the US… Well, Inshallah those questions of yours will add a very interesting flavour to the on-air debate if the WHYS team decides to give it a go… And I ask you again, is the AARP related to any foreign country ?! The pro-Israel lobby inside the US (whose members are Jews as well as non Jews) has obviously very close ties and relations with Israel… Does the AARP have very close tie and relations with any foreign country ?! With my love… Yours forever, Lubna in Baghdad…

  37. 37 Shirley
    September 12, 2008 at 20:38

    Kathi! Abdelilah! Hello and Salam! Wie geht's? Kayf halak?

    Cannot wait to see what the week-end brings.

  38. 38 Julie P
    September 12, 2008 at 20:41

    @Lubna,

    The AARP stands for American Association for Retired People. To learn more about them here is their website:

    http://www.aarp.org/

  39. 39 Katharina in Ghent
    September 12, 2008 at 20:45

    Hey Shirley,

    Gut! (Good) I’m glad to see that my suggestions for possible discussions are finding so much resonance with the crowds… 😉

  40. 40 Shirley
    September 12, 2008 at 20:50

    4 steve September 12, 2008 at 7:11 pm
    …socialist tend to be upset the soviet union is gone…

    My reading of the history of the formation of the Soviet Union in comparison with the definition of communisim and socialism leads me to think that the Soviet Union was properly communist/socialist for a day and a half before the Bolsheviks took over.

    Rather than grasping at straws, why not just ask nicely for one? Someone is bound to be more than happy to submit one to you.

    17 steve September 12, 2008 at 7:29 pm
    Are there other groups besides the Jews you have aproblem with having influence in US politics?

    Steve, what has crawled up under your skin? I know for a fact that Lubna is perfectly capable of realising the differenc between Jewish people and pro-zionists and knows that one group is not aultomatically equivalent to the other. She has demonstrated as much several times before.

  41. 41 Katharina in Ghent
    September 12, 2008 at 20:54

    @ Shirley

    Don’t you know? We had a Neocon Zionist Threat invasion earlier this week, Steve is still licking his wounds 😉

  42. 42 Jennifer
    September 12, 2008 at 20:58

    @ Selena

    Parents have to be held accountable for their actions. They are not only impacting their lives but the lives of their children. Owning their behavior, problems, and the choices they make is necessary for them to get better. There are many options available for parents who want to receive help but they have to acknowledge they have a problem before they can have success.

    Society does tend to stigmatize people who have substance abuse issues which which I think works against sobriety. It is hard for many to rise above where they have been to be who they can be.

    I have learned that all you have to do is plant the seed of “things can be different” and whether the parent chooses in 2 weeks, 2 years, 10 years (if they live that long) they will remember that and get help when they are ready. It may take multiple attempts but they can become well and start caring for their children again. 🙂

  43. 43 Zainab
    September 12, 2008 at 20:58

    Hello Katharina and Abdelilah and all how are you?

    what do we have for this blank page..
    Well I have a question : how can I put a photo?? can you please helpme?

    Salam alycom Lubna? how are you doing with your exam? and what was your fotor today?

    yours truly
    Zainab from Iraq

  44. 44 Katharina in Ghent
    September 12, 2008 at 21:03

    Hi Zainab,

    I’m having a great time here. If you want to put up a picture you have to login on wordpress.com (create your own account) and then you can import the picture. Let me know is you need more info.

  45. 45 selena in Canada
    September 12, 2008 at 21:03

    @Kathi

    Too bad they launched an invasion. There was no choice but to repel it. 😉

  46. 46 Katharina in Ghent
    September 12, 2008 at 21:07

    @ Selena

    It was really ridiculous! All of a sudden the pages were full with their stuff, shooting from all directions. I love WHYS for getting all different kind of opinions together and having an open discussion, but this was truly surreal. I thought I was in some bad movie!

  47. September 12, 2008 at 21:09

    @ Katharina,
    The issue of fresh water has become worldwide. With increasing population and consumption, water reserves are likely to be affected.
    Morocco is one of the countries regularly affected by droughts. In some regions, even wells from which they draw water have gone dry and farmers can’t produce anything.

    Water is likely to become a rare commodity if actions aren’t taken to reverse climatic change and to make the most of existing water without wasting it.
    Today there are oil exporting countries. Who knows if in the future there will be water exporting countries or even wars between countries sharing rivers.

  48. 48 steve
    September 12, 2008 at 21:12

    @ Lubna

    Not directly. But some internal based special interest groups, like unions, impact foreign policy as well. Ie unions are against free trade, because it moves jobs overseas, so it’s against hte interests of the unions, so unions are against free trade treaties, which impacts international relations.

  49. 49 Shirley
    September 12, 2008 at 21:12

    Kathi,
    Once I have a chance to connect for more than 30 seconds at a time, I will have a look at some of the articles that you posted. How did you come to know German, btw?

    re: 30 Dwight From Cleveland September 12, 2008 at 8:02 pm
    Kudos, Dwight. Blog it. An excellent post.

  50. 50 selena in Canada
    September 12, 2008 at 21:13

    @ Kathi

    They should get the message that that sort of blitz is outdated. The issue may need to be debated but no one is going to take them seriously when they behave in that kind of overbearing manner. It was like being in a bad movie.

  51. September 12, 2008 at 21:15

    @ Zainab ,
    Salam.
    To put your photo you need to register at wordpress by following this link: http://wordpress.com . upload your photo in your profile and it will appear on WHYS blog.

  52. 52 Katharina in Ghent
    September 12, 2008 at 21:15

    @ Abdelilah,

    A little while ago I saw a report on German TV where they claimed that certain regions in the Sahara are now getting more rain than they used to, but clearly you live there and I believe you whan you say that you actually see less rain. I found that report too good to be true…

    Anyway, if it ever comes to exporting water, Belgium should be able to step in. All they need to do is learn how to harvest rain…

  53. 53 Katharina in Ghent
    September 12, 2008 at 21:19

    @ Shirley

    German is the national language in Austria… I’m from Vienna, the city of Mozart and Strauss…

  54. September 12, 2008 at 21:29

    @ Katharina,
    Actually I don’t live in the Sahara although almost half of the surface of Morocco is a desert land. Its fertile land is especially on the Atlantic coast where there are no mountains.
    As you know, Morocco is the closest African country to Europe. They are separated just the Strait of Gibraltar.

    I like your idea of harvesting rain. Belgium can also help by exporting its seeds.
    As you know, even Europe didn’t receive its customary level of snow this year. This must be worrying, especially for the businesses thriving from skiing.

  55. 55 Zainab
    September 12, 2008 at 21:31

    Thank you Katharina and Abdelilah
    yours truly
    Zainab from Iraq

  56. 56 Katharina in Ghent
    September 12, 2008 at 21:32

    @ Abdelilah,

    Yes, the ski-business has been hurting a lot lately, they’re already busy developing new concepts like “wellness” to attract new customers, because skiing until past Easter will soon be a thing of the past.

  57. 57 Katharina in Ghent
    September 12, 2008 at 21:33

    @ everyone

    I’ll go and hit the matrass soon, I’ll talk to you all tomorrow morning!

  58. 58 Bryan
    September 12, 2008 at 21:37

    Selena and Katharina,

    The Zionist Neocon Committee (of two) for a Greater Israel from the Nile to the Euphrates (ZNCGINE) rose up to do battle with the invaders, but were outnumbered and found themselves with their backs to the wall.

    Who would have thought that help would arrive in the form of BBC moderators wielding their delete keys?!

  59. 59 Jessica in NYC
    September 12, 2008 at 21:52

    @ Kathi and Abdelilah

    Love the topics. Looks forward to reading them tomorrow and discussing them.

    @ Everyone

    Just for fun and a good laugh….
    Top 5 Funniest Magazine Covers: Presidents & Vice Presidents
    http://www.minonline.com/features/8619.html
    (Bret, Selena, Bob) Guess which one if my favorite 😛

    @ Jens

    Sorry was wasn’t around much this week. Ben and Jerry created a flavor for Colbert called Americone Dream. I had been looking for it an finally found it. 😛 it’s the little things in life…

  60. 60 selena in Canada
    September 12, 2008 at 22:06

    @Kathi

    Dick Cheney?

  61. 61 Bryan
    September 12, 2008 at 22:12

    Lubna September 12, 2008 at 7:49 pm,

    Yes, the “Israel Lobby.” You might be interested to know that Walt and Mearsheimer have been exposed as guilty of distorting and falsifying quotes by Israeli leaders in their popular book titled The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy in order to discredit Israel. There are examples of that dishonesty here:

    http://www.camera.org/index.asp?x_context=7&x_issue=21&x_article=1446

    Any undergraduate student who did what they did in presenting an assignment to his or her lecturer would have been failed.

    I happened to listen to an interview of the two professors on the World Service by Owen Bennet Jones. No friend of Israel, he nevertheless expressed a good deal of scepticism about Walt and Mearsheimer’s findings, saying in effect that he couldn’t see what all the fuss was about.

    Still, it’s a good idea to discuss it on WHYS. People might even find it instructive to compare the Israel Lobby to the Arab Lobby in the light of the fact that the US State Department has been a consistent supporter of the Arabs, even prior to the establishment of the state of Israel.

  62. 62 steve
    September 12, 2008 at 22:18

    @ Katharina

    Have you ever been to Mt. Loser in Austria?

    The name in english is hilarious and I’d love to go there to get a t-shirt.

    it’s http://www.loser.at

  63. September 12, 2008 at 22:44

    Hi my Precious Bryan… Oh my Goodness ! Did I ever mention the names of those two American professors in my comments here on this page ?! You’ve got to be joking me right ?! It seems like you’re still feeling very upset about a number of comments made on a previous WHYS blog page in which the names of those two American professors were mentioned, so you just simply decided to extract all of your anger and throw it at poor young Lubna in Baghdad ! ;-( How sad ! You’ve just broken my young innocent heart ! ;-)…
    And Hi my Precious Steve in the US… With all due respect my good friend, but to compare the pro-Israel lobby inside the US to the AARP is just like comparing onion to water-melon…
    Hi and Salaams to my fair ladies Zainab, Shirley, Kathi, Selena, Amy, Julie P, Vanessa, and Jessica… How are all of you girls doing ?! Very well Inshallah ?! I am still battling with studying Zainab my darling… Thanks a million for asking about me my love… With my love… Yours forever, Lubna in Baghdad…

  64. 64 Bryan
    September 12, 2008 at 22:47

    There is a fascinating history here

    http://www.trumanlibrary.org/whistlestop/study_collections/israel/large/index.php?action=chrono

    of the intense conflict between the US president and the State Department in the years between the end of Word War II and the establishment of Israel.

    Let’s debate the Israel Lobby. But a debate on the Arab Lobby at the same time in terms of how it impacts US foreign policy would help put the issue in context. US aid to Egypt, as an example, is about equal to its aid to Israel. This is the same Egypt that turns a blind eye to weapons smuggling from its territory into Gaza to be used to murder Israeli civilians. And the US has this habit of providing Saudi Arabia with the latest fighter aircraft, something Israel obviously finds alarming.

    The Arab lobby is quite impressive when you think about it. The Arabs have transformed their unprovoked attacks on Israel during the wars of 1948 to 2006 and their brutal terrorist slaughter of Israeli civilians into “defence” against “Israeli aggression” – and actually got most of the world to believe their version of events. They have done everything they can to ensure that the Palestinians remain in “refugee camps” as a thorn in Israel’s side and turned the blame onto Israel for the Palestinians’ plight. They have created UNRWA – the UN “refugee” agency devoted to assisting the Palestinians alone and with no time limit on Palestinians being “refugees.” They have practically the entire UN General Assembly voting with them for endless anti-Israel resolutions and they have got much of the Western media jumping through their hoops like trained circus animals.

    And they even have eminent professors from prestigious US universities pumping out Arab propaganda with evident disregard for academic integrity.

  65. 65 jamily5
    September 12, 2008 at 23:09

    Now, this is the way to bring Canada into the mix.
    Khadr terrorism trial postponed indefinitely
    Khadr terrorism trial postponed indefinitely
    PAUL KORING
    With a report from Gloria Galloway in Montreal
    September 12, 2008
    U.S. NAVAL STATION, GUANTANAMO BAY, CUBA

    I can’t post the link, I try copying, but it just gets the words and not the link.
    Sorry

  66. September 12, 2008 at 23:12

    And BTW my Precious Bryan… Thanks so much for letting me knoe about CAMERA.org… Now I do know a very important example of the institutions of the pro-Israel lobby in the US… I am really so grateful for you my good friend… With my love… Yours forever, Lubna in Baghdad…

  67. 67 Bryan
    September 12, 2008 at 23:16

    Lubna September 12, 2008 at 10:44 pm

    No, quite right, you didn’t mention them but the two alleged professors are very relevant to a debate on the Israel Lobby. I thought you would be interested in them because they are saying pretty much the same thing that you are saying.

    I try to argue forcefully but not get upset during these debates.

  68. 68 Venessa
    September 12, 2008 at 23:18

    Hi Lubna,

    I’m much better now. I’ve been very sick all week but spent some time in the doctors yesterday and I’m a new woman! I hope you are well. How are studies going?

  69. 69 steve
    September 12, 2008 at 23:25

    Okay, let’s have fun people: What’s the most politically incorrect movie you’ve ever seen?

    While I want to say Airplane!, I was going through my movie collection, and watched “First Yank in Tokyo” last night. It was made slightly after WW2 ended. That’s gotta be the winner. Don’t wanna ruin it for you, but I doubt you’ll be able to find that movie anywhere.

  70. 70 steve
    September 12, 2008 at 23:28

    Actually scratch that, the movie was made during WW2, and the atomic bombs were dropped during filming, so they had to alter the plot of it to be more contemporary..

  71. 71 Bryan
    September 12, 2008 at 23:28

    jamily5 September 12, 2008 at 11:09 pm,

    It was a simple matter to access your article. I just copied Khadr terrorism trial postponed indefinitely, pasted it into Google and there it was.

    Lubna September 12, 2008 at 11:12 pm,

    So what are you doing, gathering evidence? The fact that people support one side or another in a conflict means nothing in itself. You need to look at the quality of the information they publish.

  72. 72 Bryan
    September 12, 2008 at 23:37

    steve September 12, 2008 at 11:28 pm,

    Well if they’d dropped the bombs on the studio, that would certainly have altered the plot a bit!

  73. 73 selena in Canada
    September 12, 2008 at 23:39

    @Bryan

    But quality, too, is in the eye of the beholder.

  74. 74 Bryan
    September 12, 2008 at 23:49

    Venessa September 12, 2008 at 11:18 pm,

    I usually walk out of these places feeling worse than I did when I walked in.

    That reminds me of black humour. It’s a Jewish joke, so any anti-Semites reading this, stop now. (That’s a joke.)

    The doctor doing his rounds stops at the foot of Abe Cohen’s bed, reads the report on the clipboard, frowns and says, “Abe, I’ve got good news and I’ve got bad news.”

    Abe says, “Give me the good news first.”

    The doctor says, “Good news is, according to the report, you’ve got 24 hours to live.”

    “That’s the good news!?” Abe says. “What’s the bad news?”

    “The bad news,” the doctor says, “is that I forgot to tell you yesterday.”

  75. 75 Anthony
    September 12, 2008 at 23:51

    LOL @ Mt. Loser

    I have a shirt that says “I have been to intercourse” (Pennsylvania)

    @ steve and not p.c. movie

    Some Nazi movie I saw on the internet. It was so incredibly, genuinely racist/anti-Semitic, I literally could not believe people really thought that way.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  76. 76 jamily5
    September 12, 2008 at 23:54

    @Catharina,
    Oh, I love to snowski.
    I enjoy downhill more , but enjoy crosscountry, as well.
    Wait, is that what they call it in austria???
    The problem is that it is so expensive!!! not on my budget! Jamily5

  77. 77 Dennis @ OCC
    September 12, 2008 at 23:58

    @ Kathi and Abdelilah:

    Sorry for not being around when this BLANK PAGE opened up….

    Went to the Grocery Store in Syracuse [@ Fairmount]….

    ***second week of COLLEGE DOWN***

    Dennis @ OCC 🙂

  78. 78 jamily5
    September 12, 2008 at 23:58

    Bloggers???
    When I started listening and blogging here, I saw some regular bloggers that have seemed to disappear from our discussions: some were from the US and UK and some were not.
    Did they get banned or is it just the effects of a busy life????
    If a WHYS blogger does get banned, will we know who and for what?
    Or, is that confidential?

    Vanessa, I hope that you are feeling better. Was it the flu and easily controled with infection or something else?

    And, Thanks Bryan for finding my article.

  79. 79 Dennis @ OCC
    September 12, 2008 at 23:59

    @ everyone:

    I am currently running a fever…..and not feeling that good..

    Dennis @ OCC 😦

  80. 80 Bryan
    September 13, 2008 at 00:00

    selena in Canada September 12, 2008 at 11:39 pm,

    But quality, too, is in the eye of the beholder.

    Dunno about that. Quality can be measured against fixed criteria. There are fake diamonds and real diamonds.

    Much of the work of Walt and Mearsheimer is fake. Camera has exposed it as such. Anyone is free to try and disprove Camera’s proof. Until such time as someone can do that, I’ll accept Camera as the diamond and W&M as the fake.

  81. 81 jamily5
    September 13, 2008 at 00:07

    Here, Nelson,
    I found this:
    The only thing that I saw was that Mugabe just cemented his next five years.
    Should Morgan have signed???
    Highlights of Zimbabwe power sharing
    deal
    SHAKE ON IT: Arthur Mutambara, Robert Mugabe and Morgan Tsvangirai at the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on July 21  
    Posted to the web: 11/09/2008 21:10:28
    # President Robert Mugabe with two deputies from Zanu PF;
    # Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai with two deputies from MDC-M and MDC-T;
    # Mugabe, as head of state and government, to chair cabinet of 31 ministers;
    # Tsvangirai to preside over a council of ministers, supervises ministers, formulates and implements policies, sits in National Security Council (JOC) and
    heads government business in parliament;
    # Zanu PF to have 15 ministers and eight deputy ministers, Tsvangirai’s MDC faction 13 ministers and six deputy ministers and the Arthur Mutambara faction
    three ministers and 1 deputy minister;
    # Provincial governors to be shared among the three parties;
    # If an elected representative (MPs and Senators) dies or is recalled by their party 12 months from the day of signing, none of the other parties to the
    deal will contest the by-election;
    # The “inclusive government” will remain in power for a maximum five years. A review of the power-sharing deal will take place in 18 months, and every year
    thereafter;
    # New constitution after 18 months.
    # Constitutional Amendment No 19 to be passed to facilitate implementation of the agreement.         

  82. 82 Venessa
    September 13, 2008 at 00:09

    Bryan ~

    LOL! Actually I’m doing better because I needed a minor surgery and I was feeling so lousy that my aches feel good. 🙂

    Steve ~

    There was a new movie that came out a few weeks ago that was meant to be offensive to everyone. I can’t remember the name of it though. I haven’t seen it but some people were upset. I would say that would be quite un-PC.

  83. 83 Alec Paterson
    September 13, 2008 at 00:09

    The real power in Washington is the Saudi-Arab Lobby. It has managed to prevent a sensible policy toward Islam. It has managed to prevent any understanding of the intruments of Jihad — the Money Weapon, campaigns of Da’wa, demographic conquest — that now threaten the historic center of the West itself. It has prevented the development of an energy policy based on the goal of diminishing use of oil and other fossil fuels, that ought to have begun more than three decades ago.

    But just ask Walt and Mearsheimer about the Saudi Lobby. They won’t know what you are talking about. Ask them about J. B. Kelly’s article “Of Valuable Oil and Worthless Policies.” They haven’t a clue.

  84. 84 Bryan
    September 13, 2008 at 00:10

    But on second thoughts there is merit in the Quality is in the eye of the beholder thing. Dunno if this is an urban legend or not, but the story goes like this:

    Learned art critics were invited to assess the merit of a painting and spent much time admiring it and enthusing about form and texture or whatever it is that learned art critics enthuse about.

    Problem is, a practical joker had given a chimpanzee a few pots of paint and a brush and got it to fling paint at the canvas….

  85. 85 steve
    September 13, 2008 at 00:10

    Oh boy, Mccain pronounces washington as “warshington”. I might have to vote for Obama.

  86. 86 steve
    September 13, 2008 at 00:12

    @ venessa

    In the movie I stated, an American pilot, who had grown up in Japan, who was fluent in japanese, had plastic surgery to look japanese. His fiance, who he thought was dead, was in the POW camp that he went to to get atomic secrets from a scientist who the Japanese didn’t know the indentity of. Every single stereotype possible, all these views, he saw her, and was nice to her, while the japanese werent’ so she said “it was like he wanted to help me? Oh charlie, I’m going crazy. No jap would ever help anyone” LOL

  87. 87 selena in Canada
    September 13, 2008 at 00:14

    @Bryan

    We are not talking about diamonds. it is easy to have criteria for judging things physical. Judging the actions of humans is quite another matter.

    We are talking about subjective things like the way different people see things. You will accept something according to your world view. Others will see the same thing through a different lens and accept the opposite view.

    Once an event has happened, the only facts are in the eye of the beholders who behold according to their own perception.

    For instance, we know it is a physical fact that the WTC collapsed. The reasons for the collapse will never be fact.

  88. 88 Julie P
    September 13, 2008 at 00:16

    @Dennis,

    I hope you feel better soon. Have you been making any new friends?

  89. 89 selena in Canada
    September 13, 2008 at 00:17

    @Bryan

    True Story

    A well known woman artist mistakenly sent her three year-old daughters painting to an art show. It was heralded as the next great breakthrough in art.

  90. 90 selena in Canada
    September 13, 2008 at 00:21

    @Jamily

    There are a couple of people I miss… Peter and Victor in particular. I have wondered if Peter left because of all the negative remarks about homosexuals.

    On second thought, they may still be posting because I don’t get time to read all the posts.

  91. 91 Venessa
    September 13, 2008 at 00:22

    Steve ~

    LOL! So you’re saying you can’t find that one anywhere?

  92. 92 jamily5
    September 13, 2008 at 00:23

    Hi Dennis,
    maybe you need lots of rest and liquids. Stress can do that so try and eliminate it.

  93. 93 Bryan
    September 13, 2008 at 00:23

    Venessa September 13, 2008 at 12:09 am,

    Yeah, I know these guys. They cure your headache by giving you something to really complain about.

    I think the movie people are talking about is Borat.

    Funniest scene I ever saw in a movie was in Take the money and run with Woody Allen. He goes in to rob a bank and pushes a note under the counter. The teller picks it up and reads it out loud:

    “Give me the money. This is a gub.”

    Then Woody Allen says, “It does not say “gub” it says “gun.”

    So they argue back and forth a bit about whether it’s a “b” or an “n” until they end up in the manager’s office to resolve the dispute. That was funny enough in itself but what really had me rolling on the floor was the idea of this skinny little guy with glasses and a big nose robbing the bank. I was helpless with laughter.

  94. September 13, 2008 at 00:24

    @ Vanessa,
    It’s great that you are now in a good shape. It’s always good to see your comments on the blog.

    @ Dennis,
    I hope you’ll be better soon.
    Have the necessary rest. Try not to be “infected” by the contrasts of thoughts on this blog. It may cause you a severe headache!

    Get to them when you’re completely fine and your temperature is stable. Heated debates are no cure for a fever, as you know.

  95. 95 selena in Canada
    September 13, 2008 at 00:25

    @Vanessa

    Sorry you were not feeling well. Hope you are feeling better now and will be back to normal soon.

  96. 96 steve
    September 13, 2008 at 00:29

    @ Venessa

    Back when I was in college, my dad would get me all these very rare movies that you can’t find anymore. I had it on a tape, and I was busy dubbing them onto DVD, and I stumbled onto it. I hadn’t seen it in about 10 years… Places like netflix won’t carry it.. Maybe if you have a rare movie video store. I haven’t been to a video store in many years now due to netflix… But I’m thinking I have one of the only copies of this movie.. It’s funny because it’s so not PC, and it wasn’t meant to be funny.

  97. 97 Roberto
    September 13, 2008 at 00:32

    RE Bolivian President Morales and Venzuelan President Chavez:
    ———————————————————————————————————–

    ———– Closely allied socialists, Morales kicked the US ambassador out of his country last week, accusing him of terrorism essentially. Chavez has just now kicked the US ambassador out of his country as well as withdrawn his Ambassador from Washington.

    Gave a nice pity rant about GDub also. Quality stuff for future anthropologists researching our primitive cultures.

  98. 98 Bryan
    September 13, 2008 at 00:44

    Alec Paterson September 13, 2008 at 12:09 am

    But just ask Walt and Mearsheimer about the Saudi Lobby. They won’t know what you are talking about.

    Well, precisely. I have some personal experience of the narrow agendas of professors and the more I read about what this or that professor has decided is the gospel truth the more I doubt that old saying, “Higher education broadens the mind.” In very many cases it just causes tunnel vision. A great deal depends on the quality of the mind subjected to education.

    selena in Canada September 13, 2008 at 12:14 am

    We are talking about subjective things like the way different people see things. You will accept something according to your world view. Others will see the same thing through a different lens and accept the opposite view.

    I have no problem with that but people are also aware of objective truths, or they should be. The fact remains that falsification is just that while truth is truth. The Camera people have demonstrated that W&M falsified the quotes. Whatever your world view, you cant escape that fact. If Camera had done wrong and W&M had exposed them, I would accept that and not try to hide it.

  99. 99 Dennis @ OCC
    September 13, 2008 at 00:51

    @ Julie P:

    I hope i will feel better…..and making friends, it is going to take time….on Friday afternoon [eastern]. i was talking to Laurie in Res [idence] office here @ OCC and she advice me to join a club here @ OCC….On Monday, i will be taking a walk into Gordon Student Centre and talking with Student Association….

    Dennis

  100. 100 Dennis @ OCC
    September 13, 2008 at 00:53

    @ Jamily5:

    I know, but being here in Syracuse, not having my family here to help me out…and not having many friends…has caused much of my stress…

    THANKS FOR YOUR CONCERNS! [I am not yelling at anyone]…just saying thanks….

    Dennis

  101. 101 Dennis @ OCC
    September 13, 2008 at 00:55

    Abdelilah:

    I am very grateful for your understanding, my dear friend….I am very happy to have you and the rest of my dear friends on WORLD HAVE YOUR SAY…..

    Dennis @ OCC
    🙂

  102. 102 Roberto
    September 13, 2008 at 00:58

    RE China:
    ————————————————————————————————–

    ——— NPR reports that China has bought out $300 million of US bonds from Costa Rica in exchange for them withdrawing their diplomatic corp from Taiwan.

    As with Russia’s resurgence of strength as the US weakens, China is just warming up before they start flexing.

    The US won’t be guaranteeing a buyout of troubled Limond Brothers like they did with Bear Stearns. Limond Brothers has dropped 95% of share price over a year, but reported China is forming an partnership with Bank of America to buy them out.

    And to think there are actually Americans that exist that fret when foreigners visit the US and endorse certain US candidates.

    Go figure.

  103. 103 jamily5
    September 13, 2008 at 01:00

    Selina,
    I don’t think that I was around to know Victor and Peter.
    But, I’ve not heard from Abdi in Kenya for a while or Jonathan or Rawpoliticsjamaicastyle, or hmmm, there were some others, also. But, my questions about the WHYS show were not answered.
    If someone gets banned for their comments, do we know it?

  104. 104 Venessa
    September 13, 2008 at 01:07

    Thanks for the well wishes all!

  105. 105 Venessa
    September 13, 2008 at 01:10

    Steve ~

    There are some pretty good video stores here in Portland that you can find obscure movies. I still have a few people I talk to in videography too. I’ll write that title down and see if I might be able to find it.

  106. 106 Shirley
    September 13, 2008 at 01:12

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20080912/us_nm/iraq_usa_refugees_dc;_ylt=AtcGjvGjjdM1lHe8_2Ekmy.s0NUE
    The United States has surpassed its goal of admitting 12,000 Iraqi refugees this year and expects more, perhaps tens of thousands, next year, the State Department said on Friday.

    I wonder how this will change the face of Islam in the U.S. Will it begin to more resemble the style of practise in Iraq? Will more congregations be led by Iraqis? Will Iraqi-style conservatism become mainstream?

  107. 107 selena in Canada
    September 13, 2008 at 01:14

    @Jamily

    I don’t think anyone has been banned for comments. Sometimes offensive comments are not posted but the poster is not banned, to my knowledge.

    The people you mentioned are still around from time to time. I guess they are busy.

  108. 108 Dennis @ OCC
    September 13, 2008 at 01:21

    Venessa:
    I Hope you are feeling better…

    Dennis

  109. 109 Anthony
    September 13, 2008 at 01:22

    @ Jamily5

    I know one person got the boot a while back, plus he was a moderator!

    @ steve

    I hate that “Warshington” thing!!! There’s this place I got to with just about EVERY movie you can think of (bootleg). I got Bugsy Malone, Captain Neo (from Disney Land), and other out of print movies on DVD. They’re out there. Comic book conventions are good for those.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  110. 110 Dennis @ OCC
    September 13, 2008 at 01:23

    @ Jamily:

    I think that alot of them, have things to….That is why, i don’t post the first line up anymore because i have classes….

    Dennis

  111. 111 Dennis @ OCC
    September 13, 2008 at 01:43

    Hi everyone….
    We just got done having a FIRE ALARM because Some EVILDOER…IN my building was cooking STEAK [BEEF] in our BUILDING….

    Any ideas?

    it happen at 8.30pm eastern time on Friday.

    Dennis

  112. September 13, 2008 at 01:46

    Can it be politically incorrect and yet still accurate? If that is the case, Team America probably will have a long run before anybody unseats it as the most non-pc.

  113. 113 Venessa
    September 13, 2008 at 01:59

    Dwight ~

    I totally forgot about that one! That’s definitely on the top of the list.

  114. September 13, 2008 at 02:49

    To everyone. It’s time for me to quit moderation till sometime in the morning. I hope the other moderators online will be in charge.
    Good night everyone.

  115. 115 Dennis @ OCC
    September 13, 2008 at 03:02

    GOOD NIGHT Abdelilah….

    Dennis

  116. 116 Bob in Queensland
    September 13, 2008 at 03:44

    Hello all,

    Still catching up but just to comment on the Russian strategic bomber flights:

    Of course these are bad for the world, though my concerns are more to do with the defence and security aspects of this rather than the greenhouse emissions. I suspect the impact of the Tupolevs is rather less than rush hour in a major American or European city.

    However, I was surprised to see the question linked to “socialists”. The present regime in Russia are more simple thugs than anything to do with communism or socialism and certainly don’t garner much support from the western left, whatever label you wish to stick on them.

    (Though, for the record, I’ve never supported a socialist party in my life.)

  117. 117 Bob in Queensland
    September 13, 2008 at 03:48

    @ Dennis

    Ideas for cooking steak?

    Sure: serve rare with sauteed mushrooms, a baked potato and some salad!

    Seriously, does anyone else think that not provided cooking facilities in university dorms is a fairly short-sighted and archaic system? Certainly when my daughter was at uni (in Bangor in Wales) I was pleased to see that their dorms had one communal cooking/living area per six bedrooms–it worked well as a system, saved my daughter money and prevented the problems poor Dennis is having.

  118. 119 Vijay
    September 13, 2008 at 04:03

    Good news,It’s official we are in the Cold War Part II,according to Sergei Lavrov the Russian foreign minister,who needs peace and prosperity?

  119. September 13, 2008 at 04:15

    Amy~

    I think these may be the key lines in the story about Saudi cable TV:

    “Dozens of satellite television channels broadcast across the Middle East, where they are watched by millions of Arabs every day.

    The judge made the comments on a state radio programme.”

    Like many in many countries, there are nannys wagging their fingers at naughty people. Unfortunately, these judges believe that because they said to kill these decadent TV watchers and the owners of the stations, that heads will roll. I doubt that anything will come from this.

  120. 121 Vijay
    September 13, 2008 at 04:17

    @ Amy
    I think Saudi Arabia will have less viewing choice after the judicial “fatwah”.

  121. 122 Bob in Queensland
    September 13, 2008 at 04:18

    @ Amy

    Yeah, I heard that Arabic TV report on WS radio this morning.

    What I found immensely disturbing was the quote that their might be justification to kill the TV station managers if they don’t fall into line.

    As one who has argued even on these pages that mainstream Islam is mainly a religion of peace, I’m getting a bit tired of a death penalty being threatened as the ultimate solution to every disagreement or perceived slight.

  122. 123 Amy
    September 13, 2008 at 04:33

    Bob,

    That is the thing I think is going to cause the problems, the constant threat of the death penalty. And as the article stated, this wasn’t just some ordinary judge but the highest ranking one. It is going to cause a lot of headaches (no pun intended) in a lot of places.

  123. 124 Amy
    September 13, 2008 at 04:36

    If you’d like a chuckle, check this out:

    http://www.cyriak.co.uk/lhc/lhc-webcams.html

    Our CERN fears are confirmed!!

  124. 125 Dennis @ OCC
    September 13, 2008 at 04:42

    @ Amy:

    i hope u are feeling better.

    Dennis

  125. 126 Vijay
    September 13, 2008 at 05:05

    @Bob
    Re:Campus cooking
    In my experience of american universities, a dormitory had a token kitchen which was used primarily by international students.Americans
    eat out more than any other nationality,I guess,because they are the richest.

  126. 127 Kelsie in Houston
    September 13, 2008 at 05:16

    Hi all–
    The outer rain bands of Hurricane Ike are just about to start passing over us…I grabbed a couple of pictures before it got too dark outside:





  127. September 13, 2008 at 05:17

    Vijay~

    Here in Portland, Oregon I like to joke that breakfast is the only meal that most of the residents eat at home.

  128. 129 Amy
    September 13, 2008 at 05:21

    Kelsie,

    Those photos are amazing. Make sure you are safe!!

  129. 130 Bob in Queensland
    September 13, 2008 at 05:22

    @ Vijay

    I’m sure you’re right, though surely in this day and age campus authorities must be concerned about the health consequences of four years of cheap take-aways.

  130. September 13, 2008 at 05:25

    @ Hurricane photos

    Kelsie in Houston~

    Your photos dont look too scary 🙂

    Ive a few shots of Hurricane Charlie passing the Western tip of Jamaica a few years back.



  131. 132 Kelsie in Houston
    September 13, 2008 at 05:34

    @Amy:
    Thanks! We’re all set here, I think–generator, bathtubs full of water, fully charged Blackberry 😉 The most frightened people in the house are the two dogs!

    @Portlandmike:
    Your camera equipment is clearly vastly superior to my Kodak digicam 😉 Very nice–Ike’s night landfall is hard on us amateur photographers. The BBC did see fit to publish one of mine to its site, though:
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/shared/spl/hi/pop_ups/08/in_pictures_enl_1221278881/html/1.stm

  132. September 13, 2008 at 05:39

    Kelsie in Houston

    How cool of the BBC published your awesome photo!!

  133. 134 Kelsie in Houston
    September 13, 2008 at 05:44

    @Mike:
    Thanks! I was surprised to get the email from them. My ten seconds of fame… 😀

  134. 135 Bob in Queensland
    September 13, 2008 at 06:08

    I’m glad you’re Kelsie in Houston, not Kelsie in Galveston.

  135. 136 Roberto
    September 13, 2008 at 06:30

    RE Sarah Palin:
    ——————————————————————————————————-

    ——– Pretty much official now.

    Presidential candidates are getting much less attention, Biden next to zero attention, and Palin the lion’s share of attention like any good prize fighter.

    She handled Gibson quite well in her final installment and has some excellent footwork and improvisation in the ring. She is doubtless undergoing intensive training to improve her skillset and has boosted McCain into the lead in many polls.

    Yogi tells us it ain’t over until it’s over and new revelations to abound in the campaigns.

    Like I told some Brit friends, we have a real African American and not a fake one running for president, and a past retirement age war hero pronounced dead on his political gurney roaring back to contest him and spoiling for a good scrap.

    It’s a brave new world, and who would’ve thunk it set up like this?

  136. 137 Bryan
    September 13, 2008 at 07:36

    jamily5 September 12, 2008 at 11:58 pm

    And, Thanks Bryan for finding my article.

    No problem. In my experience, typing the words of a headline of an article into Google will always bring that article up.

    They banned a moderator a few months back here and gave some reasons but would not reveal who he was. It was fairly easy to guess though, obviously.

    selena in Canada September 13, 2008 at 12:21 am

    There are a couple of people I miss… Peter and Victor in particular.

    On second thought, they may still be posting because I don’t get time to read all the posts.

    I ain’t seen no Peter or Victor recently. Victor impressed with his depth of knowledge and his even-tempered posts.

  137. 138 Luz Ma from Mexico
    September 13, 2008 at 07:47

    Hi everyone!
    It is over midnight here in my part of the world, but I was craving some quality time (for my brain) at the WHYS blog after being not much around the last couple of weeks.

    @Kathi and Abdelilah, thanks for being our moderators this weekend.

    @Venessa and Dennis… I hope you feel better soon 😉

    @Kelsie… that is a great picture… congrats!

    @Steve about your question: “What’s the most politically incorrect movie you’ve ever seen?”
    “Borat”…. or any movie of the Farrelly brothers…. but my favorite is Mel Brooks´ “Blazing Saddles”

    @Venessa… I think the movie that you talk about is “Tropical Thunder” (Ben Stiller, Robert Downey Jr. and Jack Black).

    A Thank You note…
    Thanks to those of you that yesterday replied to my question about “guilt” in the TP blog. It was great to get your advice and opinions. They helped me a lot to see the issue in other perspective. Now, I am much more relaxed about the whole issue. I will enjoy the weekend and will tell my boss on Monday 😉

  138. 139 Katharina in Ghent
    September 13, 2008 at 07:54

    Good morning everyone,

    I managed to catch up with all your posts; while I try to think of some smart contribution, here’s the latest news on hurricane Ike:

    http://edition.cnn.com/2008/US/weather/09/13/hurricane.ike.texas/index.html

    @ Kelsie
    I hope everything will be fine.

  139. 140 Bob in Queensland
    September 13, 2008 at 08:10

    Good morning Katharina

    One thing I meant to post earlier as the Tit for Tat expulsions of ambassadors between Bolivia/Venezuela and the USA.

    Am I alone in finding the traditional “you expel mine, I’ll expel yours” reaction to diplomatic issues a bit of an anachronism? Both sides know they will resume normal diplomatic relations eventually so acting this way always strikes me as the politics of the elementary school playground, more concerned with saving face than achieving anything.

  140. 141 Luz Ma from Mexico
    September 13, 2008 at 08:13

    @Bob
    It appears Politics are very childlish these days.

  141. 142 Shirley
    September 13, 2008 at 08:18

    The abuse of power investigation against Sarah Palin, Alaska governor and Republican vice presidential candidate, took a potentially ominous turn for her party on Friday when state lawmakers voted to subpoena her husband. The Senate committee acted at the request of investigator Stephen Branchflower, who is gathering evidence on whether Gov. Palin abused her power by firing Walt Monegan, the state’s director of public safety. Critics charge she fired Monegan after he refused to dismiss Mike Wooten, a state trooper who had a messy divorce from the governor’s sister.

  142. 143 Katharina in Ghent
    September 13, 2008 at 08:20

    @ Bob

    The Tit for Tat is silly to say the least. Both sides need each other desperately on economic grounds, Chavez is just trying to score points with his people and the US try to divert attention from the election campaign, possibly with an eye on giving McCain a chance to say something “smart” about it… Meanwhile the real world moves on.

  143. 144 Shirley
    September 13, 2008 at 08:34

    118 Amy September 13, 2008 at 4:03 am
    Saudi judge condemns 'immoral TV': The most senior judge in Saudi Arabia has said it is permissible to kill the owners of satellite TV channels which broadcast immoral programmes.

    Ahh, another one bites the dust. He has now lost out on the Amman Message. I wonder if this statement of his officially takes away his Islam, or if he will simply be unqualified to marry any eligible Muslim ladies and share iftar meals with practising Mulims.

    Some people are so clueless.

  144. 145 Shirley
    September 13, 2008 at 08:36

    Are any of our resident night owls watching news on cable TV? My non-cable “cable” system does not have any real news channels. Did Ike arrive? Is there much flooding? Has anything fallen apart? I know hat the rest of you are bored with repeating imagery of the impending weather invasion, but I haven’t had a single bit of the coverage that you have and cannot imagine boredom yet.

  145. 146 Bob in Queensland
    September 13, 2008 at 09:22

    Hi Shirley,

    Believe it or not we get Fox and CNN down here–Ike has made landfall in the Galveston area and we’re seeing pictures of a fair bit of flooding already. I have to admit that I have the sound turned down (house guests!) but the pictures are fairly dramatic.

  146. 147 Kelsie in Houston
    September 13, 2008 at 09:30

    Hi all–
    A quick update for the interested: Ike has reached the upper suburbs in full force; our power keeps coming on and off. The hurricane-speed wind, however, has yet to arrive.

    @Bob: I think everyone “from Galveston” is, at the moment, “from someplace north and dry”! We’re really getting thrashed here in the suburbs, and the worst is supposed to be yet to come.

  147. 148 rick
    September 13, 2008 at 09:32

    @ Anthony 7:02
    The rest of the world needs to just ignore them. But you can be sure there will be some sabre rattling, it being election time and all.
    @ Steve 7:04
    it should be no suprise that socialists (people with a social consience) also care about the environment.
    Soviet Russia were some of the worst environmental vandals on earth.
    They weren’t socialists.
    Putin and his gang of thieves are not socialists.
    The number military flights are about one zillienth of the amount of comercial flights every day.
    Environmentalists have much bigger fish to fry like SUVs and comercial flights and fossel fuel generators.
    @ Roberto
    Sarah reminds me of the 50s. Her politics are like a blast from the past. I’m sure a lot of people would like to wind back the clock to simpler times.

  148. 149 Katharina in Ghent
    September 13, 2008 at 09:33

    @ Kelsie

    Hold on tight, good luck! Keep us updated, if you can…

  149. 150 Bryan
    September 13, 2008 at 09:36

    Amy September 13, 2008 at 4:03 am

    I think that must be the three hundred and fifty two thousandth senior Islamic figure I’ve seen demonstrating the tolerance of the Religion of Peace. Usually it’s the clerics who issue these sort of statements in the form of fatwas. This “judge” has just appointed himself executioner as well.

    So I guess it’s only a matter of time before they start killing TV executives. Watch out West for the creeping Sharia. There is a Saudi-funded school in London that has been caught a few times with textbooks describing Jews and Christians as the sons of monkeys and pigs. They teach this garbage to the children but, to its eternal shame, the UK Labour government will not shut this school down.

    In Britain a priest was recently attacked and beaten by a Muslim gang,
    and in France and elsewhere in Europe anti-Semitic hatred on the part of Muslims is starting to resemble that of the German people under Hitler. Previous decades had seen an unprecedented rise in anti-Semitism in Germany, much of it even promoted by the church, and by the time Hitler was in control he only had to direct and focus this hatred to accomplish the “final solution” of the Holocaust.

    Imams and other Muslims have been doing precisely the same thing. They have created fertile ground over many decades for the type of barbarism that saw Ilan Halimi tortured to death over a period of three weeks by a Muslim gang. They phoned his family and recited verses from the Koran while their victim screamed in agony in the background. Sebastien Sellam had his throat slit and his face completely disfigured by his Muslim neighbour who then proudly announced, “I have killed my Jew.”

    People on this blog and elsewhere who compareIsrael to the Nazis need to wake up fast.

  150. 151 Shirley
    September 13, 2008 at 09:38

    There was word floating around that Ike could completely submerge Galveston or nearby islands. No such pics yet? No word from Houston proper?

  151. 153 Katharina in Ghent
    September 13, 2008 at 09:45

    @ Shirley

    From what I’ve read on the Austrian news, Galveston is pretty much under water, especially the western part where they don’t have levees. I haven’t seen pics though, maybe on CNN…

  152. 154 Kelsie in Houston
    September 13, 2008 at 09:49

    @ Katharina:
    Thanks! Once the power goes out completely I’ll be left with nothing but the BlackBerry, as long as the cellular network holds.

    @Shirley:
    Power is out throughout the metropolitan area. Houston proper is shut down–local news agencies are reporting as many as 4.5 million people in the city itself are now without electricity; we live right up alongside Interstate 45 in Spring (approx. 80 miles north of the coast)–all around us, the city is dark, and we expect to completely lose electricity soon. The coastal areas have been flooded on a large scale since earlier yesterday evening-for the people still down there, they are in very serious trouble.

    Our main hope now is that the storm will pass quickly over. Looking at radar images, it appears to be almost 1/2 past the coastline itself, but the metro area and the north are in for the long haul. We’re burning candles and heeding Gov. Rick Perry’s advice from three years ago: “Stay calm, stay strong: say a prayer for Texas.”

  153. 155 Bob in Queensland
    September 13, 2008 at 09:50

    @ Shirley

    The thing is that you can’t really “shut down” a nuclear power plant. I suppose you can pull the fuel rods out of the reactor to temporarily stop the reaction but they’re still there and radioactive. Probably better to leave them in the highly protected reactor and generating electricity.

  154. 157 Shirley
    September 13, 2008 at 10:07

    Kelsie, you’re awake! (still?) How are you? You seem to be in suburbia (based on one of the houses in your pics), and I heard that they are beginning to have brownouts and blackouts. I am in the KHOU site now.

  155. 158 Shirley
    September 13, 2008 at 10:15

    After reading posts, thank you to Bob, Kathi, and Kelsie for updates and explanations. I cannot get to sleep yet; I want to know what’s going on.

  156. 159 Kelsie in Houston
    September 13, 2008 at 10:15

    We just lost power; the whole area around us is dark.

  157. 160 Kelsie in Houston
    September 13, 2008 at 10:22

    @Shirley:
    We are REALLY getting hit now. A lady emailed the BBC from closer to the coast and said she was afraid…we’re just beginning to see why. The hurricane-force winds are just now arriving. We’re in the dark, and so is the whole area, as far as I can see.

  158. 161 Shirley
    September 13, 2008 at 10:39

    I hear you, Kelsie. I’ve been following updates that people have been posting; and as of 4 a.m. your time, the eye was at Baytown. You’re in my thoughts. Take care of yourself – if that means that you cannot post, then so be it.

  159. 162 Katharina in Ghent
    September 13, 2008 at 10:50

    @ Ike

    Why is it that these things alwys seem to hit at night?

  160. 163 Bob in Queensland
    September 13, 2008 at 10:54

    Best of luck Kelsie.

    I must say I find it truly amazing that I’m sitting here in Australia communicating with somebody (in the dark) hiding from a hurricane half a world away. It’s not really a debate but I do wonder if WHYS needs another programme on how technology is changing the world.

    Despite the arguments we get into sometimes, I can’t see cold wars (and even the “hot” ones continuing when people talk to each other this way.

  161. 164 Kelsie in Houston
    September 13, 2008 at 10:55

    @Shirley:
    Thanks very much for the information about the eye…with power down, all we’ve got is the internet via a BlackBerry. Winds are shaking the house now: the eye should pass over us in a short while.

  162. 165 Kelsie in Houston
    September 13, 2008 at 11:04

    @Bob:
    It’s a small world after all…we’re glad to have the WHY’S community on the ride with us…with everything down, the area feels very isolated.

    Eye wall almost here. We heard some buildings collapsed before the TV went down…

  163. 166 Shirley
    September 13, 2008 at 11:11

    5 a.m. near Belvieu. I forgot where that is. They say 20 mi east/SE of Houston Intercontinental Airport.

    I’m scared with you.

  164. 167 Shirley
    September 13, 2008 at 11:44

    Bob, I would not be surprised if Kelsie has already met the wall.

  165. 168 roebert
    September 13, 2008 at 12:26

    Kelsie; very best wishes to you and yours.

    Selena; Bryan: the admirable Victor went offline around the time when gratuitous personal insults, mudslinging and heavy bludgeoning of Christianity came into vogue on WHYS; although I can’t say that these were his reasons, I know that he often requested a more polite debate. I always found his comments very insightful in a plain-speaking sort of way.

    I know that America is the topic du jour, and rightly so; but I wonder if WHYS might spare a thought for the judicial dark joke that has just occurred in South Africa in connection with Jacob Zuma, our future president. An interview with some local legal lights would be fascinating, to say the least. Are we on the Zimbabwe road? That is the question…

    Re: Russia in Venezuela: it isn’t a silly tit for tat. It’s an important statement to the US and the world by the Russian Federation, a statement that says unequivocally, ‘We won’t put up with US adventurism in our sphere of influence, and we don’t mind starting up another cold war if that’s what you want. Finally, we just are not afraid of you.’

    Someone in the world had to say it.

  166. 169 Shirley
    September 13, 2008 at 12:44

    It’s late notice, but weather.com has the best updates that I have seen around. KHOU’s discussion forums are decent for anecdotal and occasional weather update information.

  167. 170 Bob in Queensland
    September 13, 2008 at 12:49

    @ Shirley

    Thanks for the link…if that satellite photo on weather.com’s front page is accurate it looks like the eye wall is now well inland of the coast so hopefully Kelsie is through the worst of it.

    Fingers crossed.

  168. 171 Venessa
    September 13, 2008 at 12:56

    Kelsie & Portlandmike ~ thanks for sharing the photos.

    Kelsie ~ I hope you are doing well and I will be continuing to watch for updates from you!

  169. 172 Venessa
    September 13, 2008 at 13:06

    Shirley ~

    I’m not sure if anyone has posted this one yet. There is some footage of the storm.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/7613598.stm

  170. 173 Zainab
    September 13, 2008 at 13:30

    Hello all
    @Lubna Salam alycom I wish you the best, in sha Allah you’ll just pass your exam.

    @WHYS
    An estimation of the World Health Organization says that there is one person committing suicide every 40 second in the world. Thus there are million who die out of suicide every year.. Well isn’t it a very big problem?? And the surprising thing is that most of those who commit suicide are citizens of the developed nations (Europe and USA)… (not poor citizens.. not those who are suffering from life difficulties.. but mostly well-to-do people)
    in the US there were 811,000 suicide attempt during 2004, in the Telegraph there is this article about the suicide among the US soliders “Suicide among US soldiers to hit new record”

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/2689977/Suicide-among-US-soldiers-to-hit-new-record.html

    Isn’t it Human’s life the most sacred thing?? I just want to know how can anyone decide to terminate his own life, and why is that? what are the reasons that draw anyone to act in such away? is there any way to prevent suicide, or at least to help those who think of it..

    yours truly,
    Zainab from Iraq

  171. 174 Kelsie in Houston
    September 13, 2008 at 13:30

    Hello all:
    The eye has passed us by to the east and the winds are beginning to pick up speed again. We still have no power; a tree in my front lawn has been uprooted. I spoke with World Service’s Newshour program a few minutes ago–at least one of their interviewees (from the National Hurricane Center) has said the storm is still a threat, and he’s absolutely right.

    The sun is rising, though, so at least we are out of the dark. Speed has also increased, pushing the storm on out. Widespread flooding in the city proper. We still have no power.

    Everyone on this end is grateful for the well wishes, and we’ll try to keep the blog updated–it does appear to be about 1/3 to 1/2 over for us up here.

  172. 175 selena in Canada
    September 13, 2008 at 13:54

    Good Morning Everyone!

    Glad you came through the storm alright, Kelsie. Your pictures are amazing.

    Take care.

  173. 176 selena in Canada
    September 13, 2008 at 14:04

    @Zainab

    Isn’t it Human’s life the most sacred thing?? I just want to know how can anyone decide to terminate his own life, and why is that? what are the reasons that draw anyone to act in such away? is there any way to prevent suicide, or at least to help those who think of it..

    That is a very good question. I don’t understand depression but there appears to be nothing one can do about suicidal thoughts. Whilst I can see that I should be thankful for my blessings, people with depression do not see any blessings and it is no good to tell them that their lives are better than the lives of people in war zones, for example. They can’t seem to assimilate good thoughts.

    The depressed people I have known live miserable lives and they probably feel they would be better off dead. Perhaps I would feel the same way in their shoes.

    Why do we think human life is the most sacred thing?

  174. 177 Katharina in Ghent
    September 13, 2008 at 14:11

    @ Zainab

    While I don’t think I ever suffered from depression, I remember that when I was about 21, the thought occured to me that if I wanted to, I could jump out of the window right now and it all would be over… and that thought was actually quite liberating, it stuck with me for quite a while and I’m not sure what could have happened had I run into troubles at the time. I think that chronic depression is still a bit of a taboo in the Western world, where you’re supposed to be in good mood all the time and happy and what not. When I watch pictures from the Middle East, one thing that strikes me often is how expressive people there seem to be with their emotions. Maybe, if you cry it all out, you don’t need to take your life in silence?

  175. 178 steve
    September 13, 2008 at 14:29

    @ Zainab

    Human life isn’t too valued anywhere. In the west, at least in teh US we have abortion (Sarah Palin was criticized for not aborting her child) and the death penalty. In other places, people are killed because of being a member of a different tribe or religion. One constant in the world is the lack of sacredness on any life, not just human life.

  176. September 13, 2008 at 14:42

    Hey Gangs!!!
    @Abdeillah and Kat,
    Thanks for holding up the heat. Thanks also to all of you for your prayers for my mom. She is up and doing great. I am browsing through you comments to catch up.
    The 21st of this month, The UN Mission in Liberia will celebrate Peace and Human rights. There are currently solicit views on the interweave between peace and human right.

  177. 180 Julie P
    September 13, 2008 at 14:53

    @Sheikh,

    I never read what is wrong with your mother. What is her ailment?

  178. 181 roebert
    September 13, 2008 at 15:04

    The question of suicide is an ancient one, and some classical societies held that suicide, under certain conditions, was a noble act. Later, especially under the Christian Church in the West, it was condemned as immoral, or as usurping God’s right to dispose of life and death. Nowadays the consensus is probably that the act of suicide is the result of an episode of insanity. So there have been, and still are, all these differing views. If the thought of life is more frightening or unbearable than the thought of death, I suppose suicide is justified, but only after prolongued counselling has failed to bring relief. Nowadays we count suicides, and provide statistics that seem to show that the world has become a more miserable place than ever before. I don’t think that’s an accurate picture. Suicide has always been practised as one or another last resort. Still, it is tragic.

  179. 182 Zainab
    September 13, 2008 at 15:08

    @ Selena
    “I don’t understand depression but there appears to be nothing one can do about suicidal thoughts.”
    You gave “depression” as a reason for suicide. Well i believe that we all are exposed to enter in a depression mood, but to reach comitting suicide… this is horrible. I don’t know but can we consider depression as state of mood.. like happiness, sadness..etc. .means it is a timely state. we can get over it by time, aren’t we?? Then what do those depressed people know about DEATH to choose it instead of life?

    Well it seems we’d better try to solve the reasons of depression first, aren’t we?

    “Why do we think human life is the most sacred thing?”
    OH! God if it is not human life then what is the most sacred thing? if one lost his life .. what comes then?

    yours truly
    Zainab from Iraq

  180. September 13, 2008 at 15:08

    @Julie P.
    Have u heard about the Steven-Johnson Syndrome? She had Sulfur allergism. She complained of minor bronchi infection and septrin was administered to her and she went into shock. Julie P, the detail is long but thanks to all of you she is recovering.

  181. 184 Katharina in Ghent
    September 13, 2008 at 15:15

    @ Zainab

    if one lost his life .. what comes then? I don’t know, I’m not religious. Why don’t you tell us?

  182. 185 Zainab
    September 13, 2008 at 15:17

    @ Katharina
    Thank God you’re here with us now, you didn’t jumb out of the window 🙂
    “Maybe, if you cry it all out, you don’t need to take your life in silence?”
    Well can we consider this is the first way of preventing people from ending their lives.. just cry it out.. and say what is that troubling you?!!
    yours truly,
    Zainab from Iraq

  183. 186 Katharina in Ghent
    September 13, 2008 at 15:23

    @ Zainab

    A lot of people with depression suffer in silence, often denying that they have problems. That’s why it’s so important for the people around them to keep talking to them and make them express their feelings, they often try to isolate themselves because they think that nobody understands them.

  184. 187 Dennis @ OCC
    September 13, 2008 at 15:27

    Hi everyone!!!!

    We should hope Kelsie is safe and sound in Houston…I have been watching the Houston, in the U.S. State of Texas. Has some major problems on its hands.

    Dennis

  185. 188 Dennis @ OCC
    September 13, 2008 at 15:30

    @ Zainab:
    Depression is a disease that most people, keep to themselves because of the stigma and …in some due to the Budgets in Some states here in the United States, mental health programmes are EXTREMELY short of money…..

    @ Lubna:
    How have you been recently…Thanks for the ADD on FACEBOOK…[You and i are forever, my lovely, Lubna]…

    Dennis

  186. 189 Julie P
    September 13, 2008 at 15:38

    @Sheikh,

    From what I read on Steven-Johnson Syndrome it is extremely rare. Glad that she is doing better.

  187. 190 Zainab
    September 13, 2008 at 15:56

    @ Steve
    If human life is not valued for the human himself , how it could be valued anywhere? If one is ready to give up his life for nothing just because he’s depressed, what does he think? why does he think people should value his life… if he himself does not. I think that there must be ways of teaching people (from childhood) how life is important, one cannot lose his (or other’s) life for no reason. Suicide/ killing is an immoral act.. it destroy the family, and more it destroy the society.

    Suicide, or KILLING in general (I mean killing oneself, or others) is a taboo in all religions. cuz life is not something we have had any hand in having it. So we can’t end it as simply as that..

    Again..if it is not human life then what is the most valuable thing?..If one has lost his life .. what comes next?

    yours truly,
    Zainab from Iraq

  188. 191 steve
    September 13, 2008 at 16:06

    @ Zainab

    killing in self defense or killing someone who is about to kill someone else isn’t immoral.

  189. 192 Zainab
    September 13, 2008 at 16:07

    @Katharina
    “if one lost his life .. what comes then? I don’t know, I’m not religious. Why don’t you tell us?
    Can we discuss this after FOTOR (= breaking our fast) I’m afraid i have to go now it’s only 20 minutes for Fotor, i’ll go to read some chapters from Qura’n then pray for God for helping me in my fasting.. then I’ll pounce upon the food 🙂

    @ Dennis
    Depression is a disease.. then there is a cure for it, ha?
    Why does it ever lead anyone to commit suicide?

    yours truly
    Zainab from Iraq

  190. 193 Katharina in Ghent
    September 13, 2008 at 16:21

    @ Zainab

    Bon appetit! I’m looking forward to discussing life after death.

  191. 194 Shirley
    September 13, 2008 at 16:22

    Zaynab,
    Whether it is from genetics or external factors such as stress, depression is the result of an imbalance of the chemicals in a person’s body. Usually, hormones such as seratonin and dopamine are affected. These are responsible for the feelings of happiness and hope that people normally feel, even when their situations are difficult. When those hormones cannot reach the brain in sufficient amounts for whatever reason, a person falls into a long time of feeling anxious, sad, confused, sleepless or too sleepful, hopeless, longing for death or self-harm, and/or unable to focus. A person whose body is experiencing a hormonal or biochemical imbalance and is feeling those sentiments over a long time could fight those feelings all that he wants, but he could not push thm away. It is very important that people with depressive mental illnesses talk to a doctor so that they can get the kind of medical or therapeutic help that they need.

    I do feel that the lifestyle of the West does contribute to a higher incidence of depressive illnesses. People are more isolated from each other. They are busier. They replace human interaction with electronic entertainment. They are under more pressure to complete difficult goals in short amounts of time with little help from other people. These stresses can affect the levels o certain hormone in the body and eventually bring on depressive episodes or lead to a depressive illness.

    (Technically, my brain should not be functioning this well: I spent all night hurricane watching.)

  192. 195 Bryan
    September 13, 2008 at 16:25

    Roebert, yes, you could be right about Victor.

    Dunno if I’m correct about this but I assume that the ANC was dominated by the Xhosa (Mandela’s tribe) until Jabob Zuma (a Zulu) muscled in. Be interested in your take on the extent of tribal allegiance influencing politics in the ANC – or is it perhaps not such a major factor? Will the Xhosa try to wrest control back? What is Zuma’s relationship, if any, to chief Mangosuthu Buthelezi?

    Be good if the BBC could do an in depth evaluation of the situation but I think you can forget about it drawing any parallels with Zimbabwe, even as the horrific violence in SA continues unabated and the lights literally go out.

    Reminds me of the old joke: If you can see light at the end of the tunnel you’re facing the wrong way.

  193. 196 Amy
    September 13, 2008 at 16:45

    Bryan,

    I meant to post earlier to let you know your joke is one of my favorites!

    I agree with you (I know, I’m shocked too!!) that a look into tribal allegiances would go a long way to educating those of us who are not overly familiar with South African politics. I remember earlier in the elections in Kenya, violence broke out along tribal lines. To the same extent it happened in Iraq with the break down along religious lines. I think it would be great to get into a discussion of why this happens and can it be changed.

  194. 197 steve
    September 13, 2008 at 16:45

    @ Zainab

    Depression causes people to have irrational thoughts, so some of them kill themselves or try to kill themselves.

  195. 198 Shirley
    September 13, 2008 at 16:46

    The photo on http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/7613598.stm does not load for me or reveal an image placeholder. Can someone determine the URL for it? Even a partial URL will help; I should be able to figure out the rest.

  196. 199 Amy
    September 13, 2008 at 16:47

    Steve,

    Regarding decidedly un-PC movies, I was thinking and thinking and Luz Ma beat me to Blazing Saddles. I still think that is one of the funniest movies and it could NEVER be made today.

  197. 200 Tom D Ford
    September 13, 2008 at 16:49

    “strategic bomber missions by Russia in Tu-95s”

    The US military is the largest consumer of petroleum in the US and so is probably also the largest Oil consumer in the world. (Paraphrased from Dave Montgomery, McClatchy Newspapers, 2007, July 15)

    Now consider, most wars are fought for Oil, so the US Military is like a dog chasing it’s own tail, fighting for oil so that it can fight for more oil to use in fighting for more oil.

    Russia burns a piddlin’ small amount in comparison with their Tu-95s.

  198. 201 selena in Canada
    September 13, 2008 at 16:49

    To MODS:

    If there is anyone who has not received an invitation from me, please email me so that I can send one.

  199. 202 steve
    September 13, 2008 at 17:04

    So I’m going to this church today for a wedding. On it’s website, it has links that are biased in favor of one candidate over the other. Church’s aren’t supposed to have political views and maintain their tax exempt status… I think this is an abuse, even though they don’t directly tell people who they should vote for.

    http://www.christlutheranofgermantown.org/News.html

  200. 203 steve
    September 13, 2008 at 17:06

    @ Tom. I would think if you lumped the airline industry together as one they would by far be the largest consumer of oil.

  201. 204 Amy
    September 13, 2008 at 17:08

    Zainab,

    I have been dealing with depression for over 13 years…. my husband has it. It comes and goes and has ever since he was in a serious bike accident in his teens. There is some research that shows after a brain injury, depression is a common side effect. That may explain the high suicide rate (or attempt rate) among returning US service members who suffered head trauma.

    My husband is currently on medication and just recently resumed therapy to help. It does get better for him for a while and then it returns. The medication usually helps on it’s own but sometimes needs to be changed (either the dose or the medication all together.) As someone looking in from the outside, it can be hard to understand what is going on and did I cause it in any way. I know that I didn’t but it can feel that way. My husband and I have a great relationship and we talk a lot and we have great health insurance. The insurance covers just about everything but many people are not that fortunate.

  202. 205 Tom D Ford
    September 13, 2008 at 17:14

    @ Amy

    “Our CERN fears are confirmed!!”

    That’s funny, good one.

  203. 206 Shirley
    September 13, 2008 at 17:19

    Licence to Parent Candidate:
    "I’m drained. I’m beat up," said Steven Rushing, a commercial fishmerman who tried to ride out the storm with his wife and several family members, including his pregnant 17-year-old daughter, in their one-story brick home on Galveston Island.

    Practically criminal, I say.

  204. 207 Shirley
    September 13, 2008 at 17:22

    link for Licence to Parent Candidate (sorry)

    He got his family into the boat, it grounded, and the police had to rescue them. Ignorant Jerk. I hate it when people like that put children – and unborn babies – at risk.

  205. 208 Katharina in Ghent
    September 13, 2008 at 17:22

    @ Amy

    Is it possible that your husbands system gets used to the medication and that’s why it loses its impact? I know that this can happen with other medications.

  206. 209 Bryan
    September 13, 2008 at 17:30

    Amy September 13, 2008 at 4:45 pm

    Bryan,

    I meant to post earlier to let you know your joke is one of my favorites!

    You mean the tunnel one or the hospital one?

    Yes, it would be good to discuss the extent to which tribalism affects South African politics. The PC brigade, though, would be horrified with this line of inquiry. They would regard it as close to racism to even suggest such a thing. And journalists who are cocooned in PC do their audience and readership an enormous disservice since they tiptoe delicately around these sensitive issues, even when they are central to an understanding of a particular conflict, or whatever. The BBC are guilty of this, but perhaps it can surprise us and shelve PC re South Africa.

    Now I have to go and if anyone says anything unpleasant about me in my absence….

  207. 210 roebert
    September 13, 2008 at 17:32

    Amy, Bryan et al. : Tribalism is not a big factor in determining ANC political trends and tussles, and Zuma is not related to the Zulu royal family, of which Buthelezi is a member. In fact, Zuma is probably unpopular with a large portion of the Zulu people, who traditionally supported the king and his Zulu party, Inkatha. Among the Zulus support for the ANC is often seen as something of a betrayal of a hidden Zulu cause: some sort of autonomy.

    Zuma has become popular because he is a populist willing to make rash promises to the politically and economically inept masses; promises to the effect that all good things will be GIVEN to you if you vote for me. Where they’ll be taken from in order to enable this generosity is…well…anybody’s guess.

    My feeling about the withdrawal of corruption charges against him is that the mob has overwhelmed the judiciary, which really does signify the beginning of the end. My question would be: why would a prospective president want to have charges against him dropped when he could clear his name before the electorate (and the whole world) by proving his innocence in court. Surely that would be first prize. So, in my book, unless he takes steps to clear himself through the judicial process, he remains guilty.

    I’m exceeding my fair portion of page-space now, so will call it quits at that.

  208. 211 selena in Canada
    September 13, 2008 at 17:38

    @Amy

    I have been dealing with depression, too. It seems like for a lifetime. Two members of my family have it and there is no getting away from it, it seems.

    As I said in an earlier post, I just don’t understand it. The elderly person I am looking after presently has suffered from depression all his life. Or, perhaps it started after the Second World War. He went through a lot at that time.

    He has just gone through major surgery and is physically fine but mentally the depression is again in full bloom.

    I have no idea what to do. He is on medication but I am unable to ascertain whether he really takes it or not.

    It is so sad!

  209. 212 Tom D Ford
    September 13, 2008 at 17:45

    @Bob in Queensland

    “Despite the arguments we get into sometimes, I can’t see cold wars (and even the “hot” ones continuing when people talk to each other this way.”

    I keep wondering about those Russians and the American up on the International Space Station during these times of the Russia and the US proxy wars in Georgia and South Ossetia, I understand they’ve trained together for years and are friends but I’d sure like to know their thoughts and what they talk about.

  210. 213 Amy
    September 13, 2008 at 18:03

    Bryan,

    The joke about the doctor is one of my favorites. Sorry I didn’t clarify 🙂

    I have a degree in journalism and we were taught that you need to ask the difficult questions, even if they make you (and your interviewee) uncomfortable. It is how you report the information that can make it seem racist or whatever. I think that in the “PC” age, journalists have lost the ability to ask the questions and report them in an open way to show both sides of the story. I’d love to hear from people who will (or have) fight along tribal lines and see what their stories are. Why do they do it? Is it as simple as “defending” the tribe or are there differences in belief systems?

  211. 214 Amy
    September 13, 2008 at 18:07

    Kathi,

    The few times my husband has switched medications if has been due to him building up a tolerance to what he was using. Only once did the new meds make things worse. SInce he just resumed therapy, he wants to see how that helps before he starts playing around with his body chemistry. He had stopped the therapy over 3 years ago but stayed on the medication and it did the job. We’ll see how the next few months go.

  212. 215 Tom D Ford
    September 13, 2008 at 18:13

    @ Zainab

    On suicide.

    I wonder if suicide is made easier because people are taught that there is an afterlife.

    I wonder if there would be fewer suicides if people were taught that this is it, that you only get one chance to live your life and you’re better off to live it out to the end and experience all of the highs and lows of the journey.

  213. 216 roebert
    September 13, 2008 at 19:11

    Only fair to tell it right: The judge has ruled that the Zuma corruption charge has been politically influenced by the presidency, and that the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has been influenced (and pressured) by Mbeki’s office. Owing to NPA partiality, the case has been withdrawn. The inference is that the largest part of the scandal falls on the presidency. The judge has not pronounced on Zuma’s innocence or guilt with regard to the corruption charges, and fresh charges may be brought against him.

    But; how can we buy this? My reading: the judge has managed to wriggle himself out of a very tricky and unenviable position, helped along by a real case against the NPA. Will fresh charges be brought against Zuma. I think not. Will Zuma choose to exonerate himself in court? No. Is he guilty? Yes.

    If I’m proven wrong, no one will be more delighted than I to have egg oozing down my face.

  214. 217 Zainab
    September 13, 2008 at 19:18

    Hello all,
    @Steve
    “killing in self defense or killing someone who is about to kill someone else isn’t immoral.”
    Oh, no..of course not, I mean killing oneself, and killing innocent people… etc. that’s an immoral thing.

    @ Amy
    “That may explain the high suicide rate (or attempt rate) among returning US service members who suffered head trauma”
    Well i just wonder why those soliders are committing suicide? why are they depressed? If they are believing in their mission, if they’re believing that they’re just protecting their own land.. .isn’t a good thing?

    @ Tom D Ford
    Well I believe if people know what’s there afterlife… i’m sure they wouldn’t ever never think of suicide.

    yours truly
    Zainab from Iraq

  215. 218 roebert
    September 13, 2008 at 19:21

    Tom: I don’t think that belief or not in an afterlife has much bearing on suicide. It may actually be easier for materialists to commit suicide because they’re not faced with the Hamlet question: what dreams may come?… aye, there’s the rub, and so on.

    Suicide = an episode of dementia. If there were another way to see it, suicide would be regarded as part of the normal continuum of sanity.

    The really interesting (and appalling) questions in this regard have to do with suicide bombings etc. How are these to be seen? I’ve tried to answer this question every which way, but I still come back to aggravated dementia: the confusion of insanity with heroism.

  216. 219 Shirley
    September 13, 2008 at 19:34

    Tom
    In the religion of Islam, religious beliefs may actually serve as a further deterrent. Our beliefs are that if one commits suicide (itself a sin), one goes to the Hellfire for eternity to suffer repeatedly the samr things that he did to himself in committing suicide.

  217. 220 Shirley
    September 13, 2008 at 20:01

    Ike is a Tropical Storm.

    Pics are starting to go up on the local Houston CBS website – specifically, their discussion forums

    The Weather section of their blogs has two very active threads: "Hurricane Ike" and "Will the Eye Wall Pass Over Katy?" Pics have been going up in both of them. Descriptions of the storm and its damage began to trickle in on page 415 or 416 of the "Hurricane Ike" thread, though 417 begins to real posting. Pics began coming in on page 418. I thought that I saw some pre-storm pics go up on an earlier page, but I cannot find which one.

    The National Hurricane Center will not issue another advisory until 4 p.m. CDT – naturally, I would expect instant word of watches and warnings. The 1 p.m. CDT advisory is here.

  218. September 13, 2008 at 20:36

    @ suicide

    Shirley~

    I understand that many in Islam say that suicide is un-Islamic, but don’t some Immams teach that suicide is a good thing?

    I may be wrong, but I don’t believe that there would be so many suicide bombers if the bombers didn’t think that their god would love them especially. If the bombers believed they were going to hell, or just oblivion, I don’t think they would do it.

  219. 222 selena in Canada
    September 13, 2008 at 21:23

    Why do religions teach people not to commit suicide?

    I have been thinking about that all afternoon.

    Well life is “nasty, brutish and short”… and we spend all our time working to make others rich.

    Perhaps there are a good number of people who would not think life worth living and jump over the cliff, if something like the concept of a God and a better afterlife did not stop them.

    Then what would society do? The rich might have to do something for themselves, for a change.

    It never ceases to amaze me how people can spend their whole lives working their fingers to the bone for very little or no reward.

    If you have to do it to please God, that’s another story.

  220. 223 Julie P
    September 13, 2008 at 21:27

    I’d like to see a show of hands on how many like naps.

  221. 224 Dennis @ OCC
    September 13, 2008 at 21:31

    @ Zainab:

    i am going to answer your question:
    resources for mental health services and treatment here in the new york
    state are limited….

    Dennis

  222. 225 Katharina in Ghent
    September 13, 2008 at 21:35

    @ Julie:

    Two hands up here! I would love to get naps much more often than I have the chance to, to me they’re Gods special little present. 😉

  223. 226 rick
    September 13, 2008 at 21:36

    Morning all (6am in oz) CNN just did a storry on Ike and then went to a take from the “party leaders” Obama and Palin. She has now been officialy anointed by CNN.
    Mcwho?

  224. 227 Julie P
    September 13, 2008 at 21:39

    @Katharina,

    I love naps! They’re my special treat! 🙂

  225. 228 Katharina in Ghent
    September 13, 2008 at 21:40

    @ suicide

    I think death scares the crap out of most of us, and that’s why we don’t commit suicide, even if we struggle in life and seem to be getting nowhere. Also, life is a very personal, opiniated thing, just because I think somebody elses life doesn’t seem worth living doesn’t mean that the other person sees it the same way, usually they don’t. Family, friends, hobbies, pets, goals, even next season’s soccer games may be a reason to “hang on and ride it out”, at least for most of us.

  226. 229 Amy
    September 13, 2008 at 21:40

    I LOVE naps!!! I just wish I could take more of them.

  227. 230 Katharina in Ghent
    September 13, 2008 at 21:42

    @ naps

    Especially when I’m at work, after lunch I fall into a hole and it takes me forever to recover. I’m a bit sensitive to coffee, so that usually gets me going again quite well.

  228. 231 Shirley
    September 13, 2008 at 22:14

    221 portlandmike September 13, 2008 at 8:36 pm
    I understand that many in Islam say that suicide is un-Islamic, but don’t some Immams teach that suicide is a good thing?

    Yes, in the sense of carrying out attacks against a perceived enemy. It would not surprise me at all if the loophole-type thinking that is employed tries to legitimise such missions by reasoning that a person would try to escape harm. Like any other religion, we also have our rogue preachers, as well as militant leaders who double as religious leaders.

  229. 232 Tom D Ford
    September 13, 2008 at 22:26

    Yes to naps.

    It seems like after I spend some amount of time putting data into my brain, my body, my senses, need to reset, so I take a nap and while I’m asleep my brain processes all that data and comes to some conclusions or further questions about the data. Then I wake up refreshed and get back to it. About twenty minutes usually does the trick.

    @ Katharina in Ghent

    Sounds like possible carbohydrate overload problems with that after lunch crashing. One way I address that is by eating less but more often, which seems to level things out through my day.

    But then I used to drink an awful lot of coffee in the mornings, eat lunch and crash, feeling really sluggish for a couple of hours, like a caffeine high and carbo-low cycle.

  230. 233 Katharina in Ghent
    September 13, 2008 at 22:29

    @ Shirley

    From what I gathered, they don’t see their acts as commiting suicide but as being martyrs, dying as soldiers in war. Therefore they’ll go straight to paradise and sit next to God. In addition, their families are highly esteemed for their sacrifice. It’s hard to combat that. Some of the terrorists of 9/11, as well as in London and Madrid came from wealthy families and had – for us Westerners – no obvious reason why they wanted to give up their lives.

  231. 234 Shirley
    September 13, 2008 at 22:29

    222 selena in Canada September 13, 2008 at 9:23 pm
    Why do religions teach people not to commit suicide?

    In the case of Islam, a vice-grip dedication to the sustenance of life.

    223 Julie P September 13, 2008 at 9:27 pm
    I’d like to see a show of hands on how many like naps.

    Ahh you shan’t see mine eh. I hate naps. I have hated them since I was around six years old. When I am terribly sleep-deprived and cannot function, I throw myself reluctantly into a bed and crash. But that horrid, heavy, sick feeling in my stomach when I wake up is enough to remind me that I nap out of necessity, not pleasure.

  232. 235 Roberto
    September 13, 2008 at 22:37

    RE “” Like any other religion, we also have our rogue preachers, as well as militant leaders who double as religious leaders.””
    ————————————————————————————————————

    ———- I noticed that no professed Muslims wished to address the perception of Islam as established by the noted prophet and acclaimed military leader Mohammed.

    This in prominent contrast to Buddha, Abraham, and Jesus.

  233. 236 anonymous
    September 13, 2008 at 22:40

    The following is from Kelsie in Houston.

    If you would please share this with the blog–cellular service is out and I can’t reach the internet–

    We ventured out into the city and took several pictures that we’ll upload when possible. Several gas stations sustained major damage, and many roads are either flooded or blocked by debris. Power is out to everything, including traffic signals, throughout our suburb. A brick storage facility nearby appears to have been struck by a small tornado, and a house down the street from us has been totally destroyed after a very large oak tree fell across its length.

    Cellular service has become unreliable; a feeder band has started dropping rain again, but we are confident that the worst is over.

  234. 237 Tom D Ford
    September 13, 2008 at 22:41

    @ Selena in Canada

    “It never ceases to amaze me how people can spend their whole lives working their fingers to the bone for very little or no reward.”

    “We’ll get pie in the sky, by and by” is an old satirical saying about that. Most religions promise that if you have to suffer in this life you’ll get your rewards in the afterlife. But isn’t it kinda funny how the rich get their rewards in this life as a result of the lower classes suffering in this life?

    And there’s the Karma version of it, where the lower classes suffer in this life but that is their own fault because of something they did in some previous life, and of course the rich get the benefit of Karma working against the lower classes.

    So those are some of the reasons that rich people promote religion, they benefit from it and use it to exploit and abuse the working classes.

  235. 238 Katharina in Ghent
    September 13, 2008 at 22:43

    @ Kelsie

    I’m glad to hear that you’re doing well. Rest assured that the WHYS community is with you in thoughts (and prayers).

    Thanks, anonymous! 😉

  236. 239 Shirley
    September 13, 2008 at 22:45

    The National Hurricane Center has discontinued the tropical storm warning for Texas and Luisiana. The same bulletin does make reference to the possibility of tornadoes, storm surge flooding, more rainfall, etc.

    Hopefully everyone is safe – and able to send pics.

  237. September 13, 2008 at 22:49

    Shirley~

    So how do the rogue preachers get respect from the normal ones? One would think that normal parents and communities would fear these militants like I do when the Moonies or Scientologists try to proslytize my children.

  238. 241 Tom D Ford
    September 13, 2008 at 22:54

    @ portlandmike

    “I understand that many in Islam say that suicide is un-Islamic, but don’t some Immams teach that suicide is a good thing?”

    There’s a way that the western world, mostly Christian, sort of backs into that; they praise soldiers for their “sacrifice”. That is, they acknowledge that the soldier sacrificed himself, an implied suicide. Conservative Christian Evangelicals give great praise to those soldiers who “sacrifice” themselves. So both extremist versions of the Abraham religion are very similar in that respect, Christian Fundamentalists and Islamic Fundamentalists.

    Frankly, I liked General Pattons idea better, he didn’t want US soldiers to die for their country, he wanted the enemy soldiers to die for the enemy country.

  239. 242 Jennifer
    September 13, 2008 at 22:57

    @ Steve

    Re: Church website

    I don’t think the message on the news page is abuse or an endorsement; it doesn’t say Vote McCain/Palin or loose a digit! It refers to Palin as Governor not even as “VP Candidate”. It discusses the media issue and praises her for standing by her convictions no matter what. The chart at the bottom has information about both McCain and Obama. The links on the links page are good links too.

    Think about Oprah not allowing Sarah Palin to be on her show-that is much more bias than a small church website offering moral support to her.

    I wonder if there is a video of Madonna’s performance where she placed a photo of John McCain in a slideshow with photos of Hitler, global warming, etc. and one of Obama with photos of John Lennon, Gandhi, and Al Gore.

  240. 243 Dennis @ OCC
    September 13, 2008 at 22:57

    @ Kelsie:

    We are praying for you. and your family.

    Dennis

  241. 244 Dennis @ OCC
    September 13, 2008 at 22:58

    power-naps are what every college kid, believe ins.

    Dennis

  242. 245 Katharina in Ghent
    September 13, 2008 at 23:08

    @ everyone

    It’s past midnight here, so I will go and take a good, long power nap. Thank you to everyone who contributed today, and I’m looking forward to day 2/3 of the Blank Page.

    Good night!

    PS. I humbly ask the other mods to guard the blog until Abdelilah or I are back…

  243. 246 Shirley
    September 13, 2008 at 23:16

    Religious Extremism

    233 Katharina in Ghent September 13, 2008 at 10:29 pm
    From what I gathered, they don’t see their acts as commiting suicide but as being martyrs, dying as soldiers in war.

    Honestly, I should have been tying my posts on this to some sort of header at the top. Religious Extremism, perhaps? I know that it started with talk of depression and suicide, but this is a migratory tangent, yes? I’m putting the lable up there, anyway; unless someone else has a better one to slap up there.

    Kathi, you’ve worded it much more eloquently than I did. What you said was what I was aiming at when I said something about rogue preachers and people trying to preserve their lives even in the process of carrying out militant resistance or other stuff that I simply don’t like to talk about.

  244. 247 Tom D Ford
    September 13, 2008 at 23:23

    Years ago, Oprah had racists on her program and she realized that she was giving them an opportunity to spew and preach their evil on her dime, on time she paid for, she realized that she didn’t have to do that and stopped doing it.

    I can certainly see why Oprah wouldn’t want to use her own money and show to give time to someone like Palin to promote her evil views, beliefs and lies.

  245. 248 Shaun in Halifax
    September 13, 2008 at 23:28

    Just read an amazing article in the Economist saying that cancer might be caused by stem cells gone bad. The problem is (of course) we may never know because stem cell research uses dead babies.

  246. 249 Shirley
    September 13, 2008 at 23:35

    235 Roberto September 13, 2008 at 10:37 pm
    I noticed that no professed Muslims wished to address the perception of Islam as established by the noted prophet and acclaimed military leader Mohammed.

    For the most part, I ignore postings that make the equation. I pick and choose what I post on based on what kind of topic or discussion interests me at the time. Islam considers itself to be a practical religion; and it considers warfare to be one of those things that people do and which must be regulated by religious rules.

    240 portlandmike September 13, 2008 at 10:49 pm
    So how do the rogue preachers get respect from the normal ones?

    In the case of the majority, they don’t. See pages like Muhajabah’s site, which links off to several websites that, when all totalled, reflect the opinions of thousands of individuls (individully or as part of a group) against terrorism. Add to it the hundreds of signatures of individuals, some representing groups, at The Amman Message The problem isn’t the speaking out or writing against, but the lack of publicity that such speaking out and writing against gets.

    One would think that normal parents and communities would fear these militants like I do when the Moonies or Scientologists try to proslytize my children.

    Don’t doubt for an instant that they do. Parents might come in all colours, from all backgrounds, speak different languages, worship in different ways, wear different clothing, eat different food, etc. But when it comes to the love of a parent for the child, the language is universal; and so is the feeling. There are some who, when their grown children choose to take on violent resistance or whatever, swallow their tears and sublimate their grief into pride for their homegrown martyr. The grief is still there. It’s just buried. I have heard stories of parents yelling at their childrn for so much as taking to the streets to throw rocks at invading tanks. When a mentally ill youth was caught at a checkpoint near Nablus one year with an explosive vest, the family reacted in disgust that anyone would recruit their child. The concepts of vulnerability and gullibleness were referred to.

  247. 250 Jessica in NYC
    September 13, 2008 at 23:59

    @ Kelsie

    I was thinking about you, glad you’re ok. Those pictures are scary, it looks like the image preachers describe of god descending onto earth to children during Sunday school. ha, ha. PS- All my people made it through ok, too.

    @ PortlandMike,

    I’m not sure I’d be motivated to capture the moment when certain amount of terror is coming my way. It reminds me of the people in horror movies who “hear” a funny noise and do out to investigate then get their heads cut off.

  248. September 14, 2008 at 00:49

    Jessica in NYC,

    I was standing on the west tip of Jamaica with a tripod and telephoto lens, when the leading edge of Charlie passed 20 miles away. No terror involved or risk taking.

  249. 252 Jennifer
    September 14, 2008 at 00:56

    @Shaun in Halifax

    Aren’t they able to use adult stem cells and umbilical cord blood for research?

  250. 253 Julie P
    September 14, 2008 at 00:57

    @portlandmike,

    I lived through Hurricane Opal passing through Atlanta in 1995. The day before the hurricane came the sky was absolutely beautiful. I had never seen the like before and have not seen it that way since. Other than the noise, I remember that the most. It was tremendous. Was the sky that way for you too?

  251. 254 Dennis @ OCC
    September 14, 2008 at 01:07

    Another fire drill on Saturday evening here on the Castle on the ROCKS….

    We have had 4 fire drills since i have been here.

    Dennis

  252. 255 Jennifer
    September 14, 2008 at 01:09

    @ Tom

    Not having Sarah Palin on her show shows that Oprah has little confidence in Obama. If she was secure in the knowledge that he is the best candidate, why not play fair and have everyone on? It allows her viewers to experience all of the candidates not just the one that she favors. Will she be having Biden on her show? Has Obama been on her show and how many times if so?

  253. 256 Virginia Davis
    September 14, 2008 at 01:36

    @Suicide

    Oregon voters approved, twice, Death with Dignity. Assisted Suicide. The feds challenged it and it went all the way to the Supreme Court. We still have assisted suicide. It is an extended process and requires 6 or less months of life in the opinion of physicians. I believe the State of Washington is now putting it to their voters. We also have medical marijuana.

    Re Oprah: Obama has not been on her show since he declared himself a candidate. She has had, will have NO candidates.

    Virginia in Oregon

  254. 257 Luz Ma from Mexico
    September 14, 2008 at 01:44

    @Naps
    I just wake up from a “siesta”… very well rested indeed. I don´t have time for naps during weekdays 😦

    By the way… I have a long weekend, since on Tuesday is the Aniversary of the Mexican Independence. I´ll work on Monday a couple of hours in the morning and then I´ll be free again until Wednesday 🙂

    @Kelsie
    I am glad you are safe.

    @Dennis
    I don´t know what happened with my facebook… you “dissapeared” from my friends list and I cannot add you again… ????

  255. 258 anonymous
    September 14, 2008 at 01:54

    from Kelsie

    Ike has fully exited our area. Traffic has begun to pick up throughout the suburb. Earlier, we passed by a large convoy of emergency vehicles and supply trucks with the insignia of the Department of Homeland Security, so we are hopeful that people are getting the aid needed. Secretary Michael Chertoff is supposed to arrive today for a tour of the region.

    All businesses in our area remain closed, and we are not sure when fuel stations will be replenished. Power is still down–we have a small generator, but have almost expended 2/3ds of our fuel. While out, we saw many trees leaning into power lines, so we expect the return of electricity to still be some time off.

    My ISP is fully down, leaving me with my BlackBerry’s TINY keyboard and no way to upload images…hopefully this will be resolved soon.

    We are grateful and very appreciative of the WHYS community’s interest and goodwill, and will continue to update everyone as circumstances permit. Texas has taken quite a beating (the whole state is now a federal disaster area) but we’re still hanging on. Thanks again for your thoughts and prayers–we appreciate them so much.

    Kelsie

  256. 259 Dennis @ OCC
    September 14, 2008 at 01:56

    @ Luz Ma:
    I just sent you a email about the problem….

    Dennis

  257. 260 Bob in Queensland
    September 14, 2008 at 02:02

    Hi All!

    Good morning from a sunny and warm Aus–I’m up and about which makes it a strange time to discuss naps. However, an afternoon nap is a great luxury that I get all too infrequently with my family committments. However, there’s something deliciously naughty about a stolen half hour when the rest of the world is rushing about.

    My wife, on the other hand, is a great expert at a “power nap” She can fall asleep almost instantly and even ten or fifteen minutes can leave her refreshed and ready to go again.

  258. 261 Jonathan
    September 14, 2008 at 02:03

    @Tom D Ford

    You asked, “But isn’t it kinda funny how the rich get their rewards in this life as a result of the lower classes suffering in this life?”

    To me, it’s funny how many people think that the rich are rich because the poor are poor. It’s not true. How would it help rich people to have poor people? Why do you think that?

  259. 262 Julie P
    September 14, 2008 at 02:11

    @Bob,

    There are morning naps, afternoon naps, and evening naps, just ask my two cats!

  260. 263 steve
    September 14, 2008 at 02:14

    Shortest EVER wedding ceremony tonight. It was only 20 minutes from beginning to end! That’s the way it should be done!

  261. 264 Bob in Queensland
    September 14, 2008 at 02:19

    @ steve

    My wedding in the UK was in a “registry office” and the actual ceremony wasn’t much more than ten minutes. Even with stopping for photos and handshakes at the end, we were out of the room (and on the way to the pub where we had a reception) in about 20 minutes.

  262. September 14, 2008 at 02:23

    @ Suicide

    I have thought about this concept from the religious perspective before. On one hand, if not wholly condemned by your religion outright, then suicide could be the most profound leap of faith. If you believe paradise lays just on the other side of this dimension, then why not run to it? Hell, blow yourself up and take a few reluctant friends with you. The party awaits.

    On the other hand, if suicide is categorically and obviously condemned by your religion, then asking for forgiveness afterwards is out of the question. Looking at Christianity as a system and knowing that suicide is condemned, the reason is simple. If we are put here for a test, suicide is kind of like giving up before you answer all of the question. God is trying to figure out if you are worth and capable of existing in eternal peace in heaven, and you can’t make it through a few measly years here on Earth with out giving up? Making it through all of the trials and tribulations is part of proving your allegiance and subordination to him.

    However, as an atheist, suicide makes no sense. I thought about it long and hard, a few times staring down the business end of a 45 when I was younger. But since I don’t believe anything awaits me on “the other side”, what is the point in giving up. Life is crazy and you just never know when something profound will happen. You may even change the world for the better and they will remember you forever. But, like they say about the lottery, you got to be in the game to even have a chance at winning it.

  263. September 14, 2008 at 02:24

    lol, I don’t know about the wedding, but let me tell you about the shortest honeymoon…

  264. 267 Jonathan
    September 14, 2008 at 02:27

    Thumbs up for naps, cats, and simple weddings!

  265. 268 selena in Canada
    September 14, 2008 at 02:43

    @Jonathan

    There would be no rich people without poor people working their fingers to the bone to make them rich.

  266. 269 Dennis @ OCC
    September 14, 2008 at 03:19

    @ Luz Ma:

    I was on FACEBOOK…and you have disappear from any one else that you are associated with….

    Dennis

  267. 270 Dennis @ OCC
    September 14, 2008 at 03:20

    @ Bob in Queensland:

    Re: MARRIAGE

    That is a fast marriage….

    Dennis @ OCC

  268. 271 Shirley
    September 14, 2008 at 03:29

    261 Jonathan September 14, 2008 at 2:03 am
    How would it help rich people to have poor people? Why do you think that?

    If the existence of a poor class of people does not benefit rich people, why does the poor class continue to exist? I mean, in your opinion, why does there continue to be a poor class?

  269. September 14, 2008 at 03:33

    Selena,

    I had the “backs of poor people” discussion with a friend the other day. He gave the hypothesis of a guy starting with a hotdog stand and ending with a local chain making a million dollars a year bring home salary. He couldn’t grasp that he didn’t do it “by himself”. To run that kind of a business to that level of success takes people. Always my main point in the argument is that the system doesn’t work when one person claims right to all of the wealth.

    Earlier he had been complaining about welfare. Then he tries this example where the employee has to work so hard that their kids suffer an education gap, and end up on welfare. As a person looking over the whole system it is obvious that if you do not compensate for a shortage in one spot, then you must in another spot.

    I tried to relate the situation to the International Boxing Federation and the boxer to the government and the privateer. The boxer’s job is to fight hard, and get away with everything he can. The IBF’s job is to set the rules and make sure fights are fair. If fights got too lopsided and corrupt people would stop watching, and boxers would stop participating. It is true that the guy in the hotdog stand turned restaurant mogul has every right to earn as much as he can by any way allowed by the rules. It is the policy makers job to see to it that the system continues to work and is fair. Our system depends on the middle class making a decent living, spending it on commerce, and education the next generation to do the same. With out them, the system stalls and fails.

  270. 273 Luz Ma from Mexico
    September 14, 2008 at 04:04

    @Dennis
    I´ll look into that… strange…

    @Weddings and honeymoons

    My wedding lasted 2 days (no my choice, by the way…) and my honeymoon 1 month (that was MY choice…lol)

    It is night here, so I am going to bed… quite early for a Saturday, but I am very tired… I hope to sleep at least 8 hours 😉

  271. 274 Vijay
    September 14, 2008 at 04:14

    @”comrade”selena
    It ain’t necessarily so.Economic interaction is not a zero sum equation,someones wealth does not created another persons poverty,you gotta be careful of the politics of envy and jealousy.
    Since we are in the cold war part II, I hope the relevant authorities take notice of your suspect views and appropriate action is taken,maybe you should be forced to learn French and exiled to Quebec.

    About the bomb attacks in New Delhi.
    1. More than half the police are on VIP or VVip or Z class security duty,in other words they are baby sitting the politicians and their relatives and friends.
    2.The police collect protection money from prostitution,drugs and any other business they see fit.
    3.At security and traffic checkpoints the Police stop people and ask for personal ID, insurance ,registration and pollution emissions certifcates,if people don’t have any or all the documents, usually they will ask for a bribe ,even if you have all the documents they may still ask for money.

    If most of the Delhi Police are collecting money and providing security only for a few politicians ,how can the rest of the population expect any protection,this scenario isn’t only relevant to Delhi,it is the situation all over India.

  272. 275 Luz Ma from Mexico
    September 14, 2008 at 04:17

    @Why does continue to exist poor people?

    I could give you a full hypothesis about this, but in short words… poor people still exist because of social and economic inequality. If you are poor, and are not given the opportunities to overcome inequality, your condition will pass from genertion to generation.

    And I mean really poor people… people that cannot know if they are going to eat the next day.

    In my country, the source of all the inequality is corruption. You cannot imagine the amount of money that the government spend in superflous stuff when there are people that are literally starving.

    My country has around 20 million people that live in extreme poverty. In contrast, ten Mexicans appear in the Forbes list. That is what I call inequality…

    I can go on and on with this issue, but it is late for me, so it will be tomorrow… Good night/morning/afternoon all!

  273. 276 Bob in Queensland
    September 14, 2008 at 04:35

    Okay. Here’s a story that WHYS bloggers may identify with. A BLOGGER IN MALAYSIA has been arrested under their “Internal Security Act ” because of the content of his blog.

    It’s easy to think this could only happen in Malaysia, but is it too farfetched to think that, with the way personal rights have been eroded in the name of the “War Against Terrorism”, similar COULD happen in the USA or UK if a desperate government got worried enough?

  274. 277 viola
    September 14, 2008 at 04:58

    Russian bombers in Venezuela: Chavez needs to read some history. He’s letting the fox into the henhouse. Wonder what will happen when he asks them to leave.

    At least in the running for most politically incorrect movie: Gone With the Wind. Stereotyped white and black southerners. Remember “Mammy”? Also, “It’s a Wonderful Life” which stereotyped unmarried women as lonely old maids. It also presented a stereotype of the lonely old maid librarian. Definitely not PC.

    “Warshington.” What the hey? Haven’t you ever heard of accents? I frequently hear Brits on BBC pronouncing words with an “R” sound. Sorry I can’t think of an example right now.

    By the way, despising someone’s accent, especially if it is southern or “country” is a despicable thing to do. Very much not PC.

    My message to suicidal people: “Hang on. If you let it, this, too, shall pass.” Think about the message you would be sending to your family, especially your children if you have any.”

    Oprah and Sarah Palin: She has chosen to support Obama for president. She has no obligation to have Palin on her show.

    The debate on how much influence Israel has on U.S. foreign policy: So what? Their country, their decisions on who they choose to support. Just like Oprah. Too bad if you don’t like it.

  275. 278 viola
    September 14, 2008 at 05:12

    Election fever in Canada: a flyer from Jay Hill, MP

    Criminals serving jail time are repaying a debt to society. That’s why our courts put them behind bars. Yet right now, prisoners are receiving perks they did not pay for and benefits they do not deserve….The conservative government will do what’s right, and make jails a place for punishment, not recreation.

    What is it about “getting tough on crime” that is so appealing to so many people that a political party uses it every single time there’s an election? I’ve noticed it is an issue all over the world, not just Canada.

    And is withholding recreation from inmates actually getting tough on Crime?

  276. 279 Bob in Queensland
    September 14, 2008 at 05:33

    @ viola

    I think the real question is: “why do voters continue to listen to politicians who promise to get tough on crime when it never works?”.

    I’m always a bit sceptical when I hear what a cushy number prison is. This never seems to jibe with any of the documentaries I’ve seen about prison life. Yes, there are different grades of prison but I’ve never seen one I’d describe as a good life.

    As for withholding recreation, hasn’t it been shown that such a move just leads to more fighting, unrest and even riots in prison? You have to keep ’em busy somehow.

  277. 280 Vijay
    September 14, 2008 at 07:10

    @Viola
    re: Russian Bombers
    I think they will have the same maintainence mechanics as the Aeroflot Nord 737.

  278. 281 Tom D Ford
    September 14, 2008 at 07:27

    Oprah has promoted and supported womens causes and issues for many years and I have seen no reason the she would give her and other womens enemy a platform to to spew out anti-womens rants.

    Palin is no friend of women.

    The women I know and trust have started telling me that they don’t trust Palin, so I think that American women are doing their own research and thinking and coming to the conclusion that Palin is not for them.

  279. 282 Roberto
    September 14, 2008 at 07:29

    RE “”Criminals serving jail time are repaying a debt to society.””
    ——————————————————————————————————

    ————— Very few criminals ever repay their debt to society.

    It costs approx 30-40 grand in the states on average to imprison them.

    Most people in the states make at or below that figure. At those wages they have to work extremely hard, often enduring debilitating work conditions, and go home to a less than desirable neighborhood where they have to manage their bills and budget just to scrap by.

    Scrap by usually with no health care which is provided to said criminal.

    Add in all the court and police costs just to apprehend and retain said criminal, not to mention what ever damage they may have caused to individuals and society, it takes a rare criminal with guts and conviction to ever get himself on the black side of the ledger.

  280. 283 Bob in Queensland
    September 14, 2008 at 07:39

    @ Vijay

    Given their record, I wonder if the bombers get rather better maintenance than Aeroflot passenger jets.

  281. 284 Katharina in Ghent
    September 14, 2008 at 07:46

    @ prisons

    According to a documentary I’ve seen a while ago, there are now quite a number of prisons in the US where the inmates have to spend 23-24 hours in their cells in isolation, that can’t be healthy for anyone. I’d rather see them doing some productive work (and I do not mean working in Call Centers for 30 cents an hour and getting your credit card information) or training, and I believe a lot of the inmates also could use some therapy. The way it is now, offenders are most likely to commit a crime again the moment they come out of jail, never to get back on an honest path.

  282. 285 Tom D Ford
    September 14, 2008 at 08:04

    @ Jonathan

    Your pretend naivete is just so adorable, …

    but your posting history shows you to be exceptionally sophisticated in propaganda, oh you’re just so cute!

  283. 286 Roberto
    September 14, 2008 at 08:27

    RE “” Islam considers itself to be a practical religion; and it considers warfare to be one of those things that people do and which must be regulated by religious rules.””
    ——————————————————————————————————–

    ———- That’s well and good. The west has it’s Geneva rules, and prior to that a “gentleman’s” agreement on how war was to be conducted.

    Well and good as far as it goes. There are no rules for warfare in Buddhism or Christianity. One could make a case about the veracity of war based on the Torah, but again, I wish to tackle the perception of Islam by “the others.”

    This perception goes so far as to affect the presidential election when Obama is percieved to be a Muslim by some, ie a threat.

    The implication that Islam was founded by the sword. Looking at the timeline, Mohammed 1) has visions, 2) is declared a prophet by a few, 3) comes in conflict with the status quo rock worshippers and forced to flee, 4) forms a militia of followers, thus becoming a military leader, 5) defeats his enemies, 6) takes control of the shrine(kaaba), 7) thus creating a new religion for the people to adhere to, 8 ) as Islam expands rapidly in just a few decades when Islamic warriors sweep the middle east into North Africa and Europe.

    We can trot out various “Christian” or “Buddhists” leaders that waged war, and we can find various times when certain sects of Christianity forces conversions or wage Holy War, but they were not the founders of their religion waging war and forcing conversions

    It just seems to me the average Muslim tends to gloss over the history of the religion and is often put continuously on the defensive by attacks of those who see a threat. Thus we have a dialogue as chronicled by NPR recently where a voter expresses concern over whether Obama became a Muslim while in Indonesia.

    Add in that many, perhaps most Muslims don’t consider other Muslims to be true Muslims as expressed many times regarding the Saudis, and to a lesser extent the NOI, not to mention the Sunni/Shiite conflict..

  284. 287 roebert
    September 14, 2008 at 08:27

    Now here’s a mischievous notion, for socio-historians with a Jungian bent: Remember SAMSON, who brought down the temple on the Philistines and himself? Now…might this same Samson not be viewed as the archetype of the…suicide bomber? It fits, somehow, doesn’t it..? (as I run for cover)

    Seriously, Bob, your mention of the Malaysian blogger comes close on some spine-chilling thoughts I’ve been having about my South African posts. What if my (or anybody’s) national security blokes were checking out this very blog; just sniffing the breeze, you know? For this reason I am going to change my identity (no, seriously). I give moderators notice that this is not for schizoid reasons or to create a new, perhaps more likeable, persona. It’ll still be the same old warts and all.

  285. 288 Roberto
    September 14, 2008 at 08:30

    —–Interesting.

    Have no idea how that smiley got into my post. I’ve noticed unwanted window’s insertions in the past. Very troubling to think a “worm” can alter meaning so innocuously.

  286. 289 Katharina in Ghent
    September 14, 2008 at 08:39

    @ Roberto:

    Somehow WordPress really likes smileys. The moment you have and 8, dot or something else in front of ), the program makes a smiley. I’ve learned to put a space between the last sign and ) to avoid unnecessary and inappropriate smileys…

  287. 290 Jack Hughes
    September 14, 2008 at 08:49

    @bias at the BBC

    Smoking gub found

    This is covered in the left-wing Independent newspaper:

    “Hindu and Sikh leaders have accused the BBC of pandering to Britain’s Muslim community …

    … since 2001, the BBC made 41 faith programmes on Islam, compared with just five on Hinduism and one on Sikhism.

    Critics say the disproportionate amount of programming is part of an apparent bias within the BBC towards Islam since 11 September 2001, which has placed an often uncomfortable media spotlight on Britain’s Muslims. ”

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/media/sikhs-and-hindus-accuse-bbc-of-promuslim-bias-922482.html

  288. 291 Noor
    September 14, 2008 at 10:06

    HHHHHHHHi There
    I’m Noor From Iraq`
    WHY WHY WHY you decry the religious & sepent most of ur lime just`write Or say something may’ll regert (either about religious or politicals )this is the freedom (all the American call for ) & We have to confess that all know nothing for both of these sctor & we should stop tallking as genious
    REMEMBER DON”T BE LIKE (((( LITTLE KNOWLEDGE MEANS SOMETHINGS ))))………….
    BEST Regard For ALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL
    NOOR

  289. 292 John Smith
    September 14, 2008 at 10:10

    Re: BBC Muslim bias: hasn’t the spotlight of the whole world been on Islam for some years now; and with good reason? A lot of media effort has gone into showing us the good side of Islam, and to distinguishing between fundamentalism and the moderate side of that religion. It gets tedious, but I would not call it bias.

  290. 293 Bryan
    September 14, 2008 at 11:25

    Roebert and Amy – fascinating responses. Ain’t got no time now, but will respond in time.

  291. 294 Zainab
    September 14, 2008 at 11:38

    @ Katharina
    “I’m looking forward to discussing life after death.”
    First of all i’m so sorry for being too late to answer you.. (but to be true to you I’ve taken time to read some sources about this issue)
    Death is when the soul leaves the body, and receives reward or punishment according to one’s actions during life. Death is something for all souls. Man doesn’t immediately after death pass direct to the stage of resurrection (to Heaven or Hell). No, after his death man passes through two worlds. first there is the period in grave, an interval between death and the Day of Judgement (Resurrection day) , this world will come to an end like the present world, it is called the barzakh or purgatory. The other world is the post-resurrection world which shall never come to an end.
    If one was a believer and a good person who has good deeds…etc throughout his life, barzakh will be easy for him, and he will be happy as if living in a greensward of Heaven. But if he was not it will be very very hard for him, as if living in one of Hell’s holes . The reward or punishment of Barzakh is different from that of Paradise or Hell. The reward or punishment of Barzakh is for the Soul only. It is for this reason that we do not see anyone being rewarded or punished in the grave. It has been compared to happy dreams or nightmares. According to the reports from the Imams, in the Barzakh man is interrogated about his faith and belief only. Other questions are left to the Day of Resurrection. And The meritorious deeds performed by his relatives with the intention that their reward should go to the dead person, make the dead person happy and are to his advantage. If alms and charities whether in the form of endowments or otherwise, are given with the intention that their reward should go to one’s departed father, mother, friend, teacher or anyone else, these charities may be regarded as a gift to the deceased person concerned. They make him blissful. The same is the case with the invocation, asking for Allah’s forgiveness, circumambulation of the Ka’bah and the pilgrimage to Makkah and other Holy place if performed on behalf of a dead person. It is possible for the children who have displeased their parents during their lifetime to do something to please them after their death. The other way round is also possible.
    You can also see these links:

    http://www.imamreza.net/eng/imamreza.php?id=3339
    http://www.al-shia.com/html/eng/books/beliefs/barzakh/barzakh.htm
    http://shianetwrk.blogspot.com/2008/07/barzakh.html

  292. 295 Katharina in Ghent
    September 14, 2008 at 11:39

    Hi everyone,

    I came across this article from the New York Times, accusing Palin of playing dirty tricks when elected and giving out positions to her friends.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/14/us/politics/14palin.html?pagewanted=2&_r=1&hp

    So how much longer until the Democrats start doing something to win this election?

  293. 296 Katharina in Ghent
    September 14, 2008 at 11:52

    Good afternoon, Zainab.

    I read your comment with interest, but, with your forgiveness, I didn’t read up on the links. My grandfather (a not so devout catholic) always used to say: “Nobody ever came back to tell us that it’s not true, so the Church must be right.” 😉

    The whole issue starts with your believes – personally, I think that once we die, it’s simply over, and we go into the great Void. (If that exists. ) I don’t know whether you ever had access to books of Terry Pratchet, he’s a pretty funny Fanatasy-writer. In one of his books he describes the afterlife in this way that whatever you believe will happen to you, will indeed happen to you. So if you think you were a bad person and will go to hell, there you go; if you think you did well and will go to heaven, there you go. Resurrection, dust, whatever you think is what will happen to you.

    In the end of the day, nobody knows what will happen to his soul once he dies, and the more certain somebody is about the afterlife, the more I would question him. IMHO, our fear of death has been abused for millenia by all the different religions, right from the first neanderthals who put a knife or a necklace into the grave.

    The one thing that we can do and that should give a meaning to our life is being a good person and do things right while we live hear on Earth. One person can make a difference, and I’d rather be that person than not.

  294. 297 Zainab
    September 14, 2008 at 12:58

    Hello all, how are you today?

    @Robert
    Seb 13, 2008 at 7:21 pm
    “…suicide bombings etc. How are these to be seen?”

    Oh! it seems that you really bother yourself trying to find an answer?.. Well then let me tell you something that the answer is as simple as that : Suicide bombings are Haram (= prohibit)

    @ Katharina
    Good day , how are you?
    “Nobody ever came back to tell us…”
    Well i’ve relied upon Qur’an and its explanation in bringing you some information about the life after death and Barzakh…In Al Qur’an there are lots of stories about that life and also there are lots of stories about people who died and came back again to life… isn’t even Jesus (PBUH) was able to revive the deads.

    @WHYS
    OK WHYSers, let me back to the first issue: SUICIDE.
    It is agreed that depression is the first reason for committing suicide. BUT nobody says why are the US soliders feeling depressed? Why do they commit suicide, cuz again i watched it in a TV series “BONES”, those soliders are committing suicide within the battlefield.

    yours truly
    Zainab from Iraq

  295. 298 roebert
    September 14, 2008 at 13:12

    Nope; can’t do the undercover nom-de-keyboard thing…it feels sort of immoral, and creepy. Guess I’ll have to save myself the other way: by remaining politically correct…but that’s immoral and creepy, too…oy, what a confusing world!

    Zainab: to say that suicide bombing is haram (prohibited by Islam) is not really the answer I’m looking for. What Islam prohibits is one thing, what people actually do is quite another. My question is: how is one to understand the mind and motive, and the mental state in the situation, of the person who is actually carrying out a suicide bombing, no matter whether it is haram or not. It’s not a question that has only to do with Islam either. Japanese pilots carried out kamikaze attacks in the 2nd War, and this is the same kind of thing, except that I don’t think they ever performed kamikaze on civilians.

    Killing yourself in order to kill others: how is one to understand that mindset?

  296. September 14, 2008 at 13:18

    @ bob and jailed blogger.

    It has already happened here in the states. Have you heard of Josh Wolf? A link to the story is here. http://joshwolf.net/freejosh/ . Many main outlets did stories also.

  297. September 14, 2008 at 13:21

    @ Jack and BBC’s coverage of Islam.

    The BBC also hasn’t done as many stories on scurvy or the black plague as they have aids and cancer. They have not done nearly as many stories on volcanic eruptions as they have on hurricanes and earthquakes. They haven’t covered the gold winners of the special Olympics as fully as they have the winners of the regular Olympics. They are a news organization and are obliged to cover the topics, in the news. If Hindus and Sikhs want their country invaded, people persecuted, and traditions destroyed they too could be in the news. Just let the west know you have oil.

    It is easy to determine a biased if you start with that premise and gather facts to support it. Bias is not found in the type of issue or story. News is driven by the day. Bias is found in content and delivery of a story. Bias rides in those grey areas between accurate and fraudulent. True biased is hard to call out because it is effectively true. As an example. Many conservatives stations make sure they say “Barrack Hussein Obama”. That is true, it is his full name. But can you tell me (without looking it up) the middle name of any of the other candidates? 99% of Americans can not tell you the middle name of the presidents who did stress them, let alone the one running for president now.

    So asking oneself, “what would be the point in stressing Barrack’s middle name?” I know it is obvious but I’ll spell it out anyway. First “Hussein” was the name of the marketed “evil dictator we had to destroy”. Secondly, since 9/11 a phobia of Muslims has emerged in the US that can’t be denied. Last there was a major sub-media marketing campaign that set out to convince the weak minded and unquestioning that Barrack was a Muslim. To re-enforce that prejudice, a biased network makes sure that they highlight his Muslim sounding name to all of those who either think he is, or “don’t want to take a chance.” Being biased lays just out of reach of explination. you can’t apply numbers to it. You can’t fact check it. It is the shading that colors the story.

  298. 301 selena in Canada
    September 14, 2008 at 13:21

    @Zainab

    There is an evangelical preacher in Canada who claims to have raised 13 people from the dead. People are flocking to his church because they believe him.

    There are not many “rational” people who believe that he can raise people from the dead. Yet, why wouldn’t we believe him, if we believe people have been raised from the dead by others in the past? In Jesus’ day, for example, only a small number believed in his power.

    The past was no different from the present. There are always some people who believe.

    It seems safe to say that no one has the slightest idea of what happens after death, just as no one has the slightest idea of why we happen to be here.

    The only thing we know with any certainty is some of us believe what we are told by our parents and the religious figures in our cultures.

    The most disturbing thing about this is if we believe, we believe our own faith to be the only correct one and are willing to defend it to the death.

  299. 302 Virginia Davis
    September 14, 2008 at 13:24

    Katharina in Ghent: Thank you for the NY Times references – I read more than just the first one. To say the least, I am more than disappointed with her and with McCain’s decision to bring her on board. And buried someplace in there is a remark to a woman friend: I don’t just want to be governor, I want to be president.

    Zainab from Iraq:

    How would you feel if you were part of an occupying force, if your friends were being killed, if you were killing Iraqis, if you did not believe any longer in your “cause” and etc. etc. and you came home and couldn’t even talk to anyone about how upset you were and kept having flashbacks…….

    War is hell! How do you recover from hell?

    Virginia in Oregon

  300. 303 Katharina in Ghent
    September 14, 2008 at 13:29

    @ other mods:

    I would like to spend some quality time with my family, so if you can help out over the next two hours or so, that would be nice.

  301. 304 selena in Canada
    September 14, 2008 at 13:31

    @Kathi

    I will be around to cover for you.

  302. 305 selena in Canada
    September 14, 2008 at 13:51

    @Noor

    Please ignore my request for you to post to this page. I see you have already done that.

    Welcome! 🙂

  303. September 14, 2008 at 13:57

    Robert, There have been many studies on the “why use suicide as a war tactic.” There is two distinct spits first off. If you combine them, you can argue endlessly over why it happens. When troubleshooting a system these “double faults” can be infuriating.

    The suicide bomber that attacks the high profile targets are often educated and dedicated to their “faith”. The suicide bomber that emerges from an insurgency has been dominated by people with physical and mental disabilities.

    Another point touched upon that the western ideology driven culture can not grasp it that we pride ourselves on separation of church and state. As was pointed out. The Bible doesn’t include instruction of when to go to war, collect taxes, and conduct ones day to day life. There is no equivalent to “Sharia law” in Christianity. In the eyes of these extremist there are no such things as civilians. You are either practicing “god’s way”, or you are the cancer that is destroying his world.

  304. 307 Vijay
    September 14, 2008 at 14:46

    @Dwight “Hussein”from Cleveland Ohio
    The domestic BBC is funded differently to the BBCWS and has different obligations.There is a television “tax” which funds the domestic BBC ,the other minority religious groups want at least programming which is proportionate to their numbers,NO TAXATION without REPRESENTATION if you will.If one group receives more coverage than another group it is a form of bias,even taking into account 9/11.

    There is a BBCWS programme called Over To You ,where people can voice their opinions about the quality of programming.

    @Zainab
    Suicide is the biggest killer of young people India ,it is because of exam pressure and relationships (or sexuality)combined witha lack of information and in my opinion a culture of suicide.

  305. 308 roebert
    September 14, 2008 at 14:48

    Dwight: your argument appears to say, in essence, that suicide killing can only ever be the result of one or another kind of religious indoctrination; that is,the kind that embraces acts of insanity as part of its total vision. The thing is, though, to get into the mind of the young person about to blow up himself/herself and the whole surrounding group of fellow human beings. How does the suicide killer view itself,and how does it view those about to be killed by it’s own death? And how can these views be credibly taught by any religion that professes to be doing some sort of good thing in the world? Surely the essence of the whole matter must be found in the having inculcated a huge amount of simple hatred into the suicide-killer? Or is it despair? or what?

  306. 309 Vijay
    September 14, 2008 at 14:52

    @Vijay
    When I mentioned bribing the Delhi police it is usually only a dollar or two maybe even 50 Cents(50 rupees,100 Rupees or 20 Rupees)
    Life is cheap in India, so cheap.

  307. 310 Katharina in Ghent
    September 14, 2008 at 15:47

    Hi, I’m back.

    Did any of you see the movie “Pleasantville”? I’m asking because this village where I live in now has a funfair today and everything there reminded me very much of this movie… People know each other, everything is clean and proper and the children behave. Kinda surreal. When you’re used to big city life where nobody knows his neighbour, then you feel a little bit like you’re on a different planet. 😉

  308. 312 Zainab
    September 14, 2008 at 16:13

    Salam all
    @ Roebert
    “What Islam prohibits is one thing, what people actually do is quite another.”

    Thank you so much for your understanding, Islam is really and totally different from what many people are doing.
    And actually me too , I want to know the motive and mind of those who kill themselves and otherselves? why do they do that?

    @ Virginia Davis
    “War is hell! How do you recover from hell?”
    O my God ! I don’t need anyone to tell me how war is, of course it is HELL.. look i’m living in WAR since my birth day (there was the Iraqi-Iranian war, then the first Gulf War, then… till now we are living in war. Well we’ve lost our friends, relatives …etc. but these are all out of our hands. We can do nothing about it.

    “How would you feel if you were part of an occupying force, if your friends were being killed, if you were killing Iraqis, if you did not believe any longer in your “cause” and etc. etc. and you came home and couldn’t even talk to anyone about how upset you were and kept having flashbacks…”

    Isn’t it within their hands? Why did those young men/women accept to do this? why don’t they tell their government that they are no longer believing in the “CAUSE”… Anyway.. there are many ways to recover from that, i think first by regretting.. not killing oneself!!

    @ Vijay
    Committing suicide cuz of exam pressure.. this is unbelievable!! i think this will give an excuse for other … those who are under depression and …etc. 🙂
    Why is there no teaching courses for people telling them that your life is worthy.

    yours truly,
    Zainab from Iraq

  309. 313 selena in Canada
    September 14, 2008 at 16:24

    @Vijay

    I watched a BBC television program yesterday which was about the numbers of girl children aborted or killed in India. The conclusion was that very soon (if not already) there will be a serious imbalance between the males and females.

    Apparently, even though India is a democracy, the people still cling to the old ways that males are valued and females are not.

    Can you tell us more about this culture that puts so much pressure on people?

  310. September 14, 2008 at 16:27

    @ Zainab,
    It’s sad that the fate of Iraq is that it should be ongoing hardship because of the events you have mentioned and which are still plaguing your country.

    Ironically, in such a situation, life becomes dearer as living for another day is itself a victory over death. On this blog we learnt about the pains Lubna suffered as a result of the death of many of her friends and teachers. And I think you are no exception as you have seen your countrymen killed in outrageous numbers.

    Perhaps, those who live in such a situation consider suicide as a defeat and life is a battle to cheat it and not to leavde it as the ultimate option.

    May you and all the iraqis regain a peaceful life and all the current troubles become a history.

  311. 315 Katharina in Ghent
    September 14, 2008 at 16:31

    @ Zainab

    We had this discussion a while ago, as to why young people signed up to the Army. For many, it was a way to get education, for others, it was an opportunity to get away from their poor neighbourhoods where they would have ended up in drugs and crime. Only very few signed up because they believed they had to defend their country and “freedom”, especially before the second Iraq war. I’m not an expert on army regulations, but I’m sure that once you’ve signed up it’s very difficult to get out of it, especially when your country is in war.

    So these young men and women, often still teenagers, are shipped off to a country where they don’t speak the language, the traditions and customs are completely different and everyone hates you, may even want to kill you. This situation alone is enough to give you post-traumatic stress disorder. Then, when you come home from your ten months (or how long it is), you’re confronted with all the others who haven’t been there, don’t understand what you’ve been going through and think that you shouldn’t go there in the first place. Like you had a choice…

    There are many men and women, even politicians, who say that this war should be abandoned, but what is the alternative? The damage has been done, the milk is spilled and the cow shot, and the new calf is not old enough yet to give milk. If the American troops left Iraq from one day to the other, I’m sure that mayhem would break loose.

  312. 316 Robert Evans
    September 14, 2008 at 16:46

    Hi All sorry its taken this long for my to post but I am now in Spain. I think that as we have frankly trashed both Afganistan and also now Iraq that the coalation should give up. We need to do the honourable thing and that is to remain within the borders of these two countries and put them back together. This is because if we withdrew the citizens of these two countries will hate each member of the coalation and they will start to agree with the bad guys also known as the terrorists.

  313. 317 selena in Canada
    September 14, 2008 at 17:04

    Hey Robert…

    Are you on holiday?

  314. 318 selena in Canada
    September 14, 2008 at 17:07

    @Kathi

    Well said! Your post sums it up beautifully, for me.

  315. 319 Tom D Ford
    September 14, 2008 at 17:17

    @ Zainab

    On Soldiers suicide.

    Killing another human being mentally damages the killer.

    I read in the book “Masters of Death:The SS-Einsatzgruppen and the Invention of the Holocaust” by Richard Rhodes, that the German Nazis who did the actual killing of Jews kept having “nervous breakdowns”, they were mentally damaged by what they did. I don’t know if any of them committed suicide, the book does not say, but at that time in history “nervous breakdown” meant a very serious mental illness.

    All religions that I know of have some version of “Thou Shalt Not Kill” and a child raised in that belief has to be mentally brainwashed to get them to violate that Commandment, apparently some soldiers are not able to live with themselves after violating that Commandment.

  316. 320 Tom D Ford
    September 14, 2008 at 17:24

    On suicide and religion.

    Apparently Judaism has at least one example of celebrating suicide, their story of Masada, where a group of Jewish people were surrounded by Romans and to avoid being captured they threw all of the women, children, and themselves off some cliffs to their deaths. Group suicide.

    I think they still celebrate that as one of their holidays.

  317. 321 roebert
    September 14, 2008 at 17:33

    Zainab, my sympathies are with you and with all people who suffer under various forms of human brutality. Anyone who looks deeply enough into the matter will realize that there is no need of war, and no need of power. But people will not learn that lesson, even if it means losing the very planet they live on. I’ve spent many years as an activist in the Tibetan cause, and the brutality that goes on in Tibet has endured for 60 years without respite, yet no one is prepared even to forego the superficial thrill of the olympics to make a stand on Tibet. We have lost the ability (or never had it in the first place) to empathize. Even in a land such as India, where there is this marvellous history of profound spirituality, and where the people, on the whole, are so kind and generous, there are forms of brutality. It drives one up the wall, and turns one into a belligerent cynic. It isn’t America, it isn’t Saddam, it isn’t Al Qaeda, it isn’t Russia…it’s just human brutality all over the world. How to end it? I have no idea.

  318. 322 roebert
    September 14, 2008 at 17:47

    Re: Masada: read about in the Jewish-Roman historian, Josephus. The zealots on Masada were resistance fighters with a deeply held religious convictions, who could not allow themselves, their wives, and their children to fall into Gentile hands. The view seems to be that the Romans under Vespasian would have spared the women and children, and there is some evidence to show that many women hid themselves and their children in an attempt to escape the mass-suicide-cum-killing process. I take a dim view of what happened there, but I suppose it’s all about one’s own perspective, and the horror of that occasion is safely tucked away behind two thousand years of time.

  319. 323 viola
    September 14, 2008 at 18:18

    @Vijay

    We are currently sweating out the Aeroflot crash in Russia. My stepson and his Dad don’t communicate very well and I was gone when he flew off to Siberia to hunt sheep without leaving an itinerary, where exactly he was going and when he would be back.

    It’s highly unlikely he was on that plane but you just can’t help worrying.

  320. 324 Tom D Ford
    September 14, 2008 at 18:20

    @ roebert

    “… it’s just human brutality all over the world. How to end it? I have no idea.”

    I try to remind myself of the other side of it, of the people who work so hard to achieve and maintain peace in the world and help people get along with one another. The people who negotiate treaties, the statesmen/women who stand up and say “No, I will not do wrong to my fellow human beings”.

    The question for me is how to help the peaceful warriors to be the most effective they can be.

    I think that there are far more people in this world who think and believe like Katharina in Ghent who just recently wrote on this forum:

    “The one thing that we can do and that should give a meaning to our life is being a good person and do things right while we live hear on Earth. One person can make a difference, and I’d rather be that person than not.”

    The Katharina’s of this world don’t make the news, and I believe that is because the vast majority of people are just like her, she is in the normal range of human behavior, it’s the un-normal people who make the news and that is as it should be.

    You don’t hear of some person doing a kindness for another person in some town in the world, that just doesn’t hit the headlines.

  321. 325 Venessa
    September 14, 2008 at 18:20

    Viola ~

    I agree, the British add r’s to the end of words. My last boss was the worst. How about Idea(r) for an example…

  322. 326 viola
    September 14, 2008 at 18:24

    I saw the show about India’s abortion of female fetuses and fear of the consequences. China is also facing that problem of a disproportionate ratio of men to women.

    What are some of the problems they anticipate? Abduction of girls. More violent crime. More wars to dispose of the excess males.

  323. 327 Dennis@OCC
    September 14, 2008 at 18:29

    I am sending out my condolences and sympathy to the parties affected by the Plane Crash in Russia’s Ural Mountains..

    Dennis

  324. 328 Tom D Ford
    September 14, 2008 at 18:32

    @ Roebert

    “… the horror of that occasion is safely tucked away behind two thousand years of time.”

    That particular instance yes, but every few years some religious group does something similar, like Jonestown a few decades ago, the David Koresh group, etc.

    We have a bunch here in the US that wants to be “Raptured”, a very weird mass death wish cult. Christian Fundamentalists wishing for worldwide suicide, they’re in a big hurry to get to their afterlife. Religious Whackos, but they have sufficient numbers to be dangerous to the rest of us.

  325. 329 viola
    September 14, 2008 at 18:35

    Re: suicide bombers’ motivations

    Suicide bombers are a delivery system of weapons in a war. While the war is on, it really doesn’t matter why they do it. After they are thwarted and the war is over, we can worry about why they do it.

    Judaism says “Choose life, that you and your descendants may live.”

    Christianity says that the death of Christ on the cross has forever removed the necessity for human sacrifice to please God. Even goats don’t need to be sacrificed any more. That concept went out with God’s relenting in the demand for the sacrifice of Abraham’s son. (Hope I got all that right.)

    Whether or not you believe in the “sky deity,” as Steve calls God, they are still good concepts.

  326. 330 Shirley
    September 14, 2008 at 18:38

    Prison Life
    279 Bob in Queensland September 14, 2008 at 5:33 am
    hasn’t it been shown that such a move just leads to more fighting, unrest and even riots in prison?

    Bob, I agree with you. Prison is a punishment in the sense that someone has done wrong and needs some sort of punishment to reinforce the message that he should not do the wrong again. Prison could be thought of as an adult “time out” a lá Supernanny. At the same time, the goal of society is the prevention of the recurrence of the same wrongdoing. One would hope that a person would exit the prison and not commit again the same act that got him in prison in the first place. Towards that end, it seems appropriate that various measures be adopted in the prisons to establish order in the lives of the prisoners, to keep them fruitfully occupied, and to rehabilitate them so that they would not repeat their offences – whether that rehabilitation be medical, therapeutic, or the establishment of order in one’s own life. Lock a person in a box for six months with nothing to do, and his mind will become very busy with ideas on how to exact vengence on the ones who tormented him with this imposed idleness. Such treatment breeds more and worse criminals, rather than reforming them into productive civilians.

  327. 331 Shirley
    September 14, 2008 at 18:39

    Religious Extremism
    286 Roberto September 14, 2008 at 8:27 am
    8 ) as Islam expands rapidly in just a few decades when Islamic warriors sweep the middle east into North Africa and Europe.

    At this point, it becomes useful to determine who ordered/carried out the military expeditions by which the Islamic empire was expanded.

  328. 332 Shirley
    September 14, 2008 at 18:41

    Religious Extremism
    286 Roberto September 14, 2008 at 8:27 am
    Add in that many, perhaps most Muslims don’t consider other Muslims to be true Muslims as expressed many times regarding the Saudis, and to a lesser extent the NOI, not to mention the Sunni/Shiite conflict.

    The existence of sects in Islam is a fact of life with which we Muslims must live. We are not going to wake up tomorrow and all of us call ourselves “just Muslims” under a unified system of theology, jurisprudence, methodology, ethics, interpretation of history, etc. The Amman Message serves as a standard by which Muslims should treat each other in terms of sectarian differences. Most Sunni and Shia scholars have signed on to it. There do exist, however, boundaries beyond which one cannot traverse in terms of belief while still claiming Islam as his religion. One cannot, for example, declare a television set to be a deity, or claim that God exists in humn form upon this earth, or that there is another deity in addition to God. To do so negates one’s Islam. Those who claim to be Muslims and who have such or similar beliefs are treated in Islamic law as non-Muslims and are the subject of fatwas to the effect that no Muslim male or female can marry among them, among other rulings. Another limit concerns Prophethood. A Muslim falls out of slam if he claims that Muhammad was not a Prophet, or that there was some other Prophet who came after him. Those who claim Islam yet adhere to such or similar beliefs are treated in Islamic law as non-Muslims. Even with all of this, no Muslim can pick up a gun and shoot someone who claims another deity or another Prophet. There are limits as to how we deal with people of other sects and religions. In fact, as long as another has done nothing to harm us, we are to deal equitably with them and present ourselves favourably towards them (the Thumper rule: “If you can’t say nothin’ nice, don’t say nothin’ at all”). So blowing up the shrine in Samarra and other similar acts of aggression based on sect have no merit in Islamic law. Yes, these things happen. We certainly are not perfect – such is the life of a human. What we do in violation of Islamic law is believed to have consequences in the afterlife; and of course we are to deal with the consequences of civilian law when our actions violate it.

  329. 333 viola
    September 14, 2008 at 18:49

    Re: the Zionist Conspiracy and the control of the United States of America by Israel and the Jews

    Years ago, I had a guest in my home who was a very nice guy. During the course of conversation, he started talking about flying saucers and the aliens who piloted them, going on and on. My husband and I looked at each other and I just couldn’t help myself (didn’t try very hard, either). I said, “You know,I think he really believes that cr-p.”

    Same goes for the Zionist Conspiracy and the control of the United States by Israel and the Jews. I’m starting to think people actually believe the Jews control the banking industry and all financial matters all over the entire world and that they control United States presidents and tell them what to do.

    I get this delicious image of a line of American presidents waiting their turn to jump through a flaming hoop held by a hook-nosed Jew with his concentration camp tatoo on his arm while the rest of the world is tsk-tsking, rubbing one index finger on another and chanting “shame, shame.”

  330. 334 Luz Ma from Mexico
    September 14, 2008 at 18:49

    @Afterlife
    Since I was around 10 years old I started to question how anyone could know what happens after death. I am Catholic, so the answer was that you rather go to Heaven, the Purgatory (not anymore) or Hell. Now, I believe that Hell or Heaven exist in life, you can make your life a Heaven or a Hell by the way you treat others and yourself. So, I enjoy my life, enjoy my family and I try to achieve happiness by making other people happy. I try not to think of what will happen the day I encounter death. In my opinion, it is a question that do not have an answer.

  331. September 14, 2008 at 18:49

    @ mods, I will be away for about an hour. Will you keep an eye on the blog in case Katharina is also busy? Thanks in advance.

  332. 336 Venessa
    September 14, 2008 at 18:54

    Hi All,

    Just catching up.

    Cheers to short wedding ceremonies & catnaps! I try to steal naps with my cats when I can. My wedding was short. We were done in less than 10 minutes. I think cutting out a bunch of prayers certainly helps!

  333. 337 viola
    September 14, 2008 at 19:05

    @Venessa

    Thank you. My mind just blanked out when trying to think of examples.

    But I’m curious as to how people feel about feeling superior to someone because their accents are different from their own. My people came from Oklahoma to California in the forties to escape the depression and the dust bowl of that era and found themselves called, derogatorily, “Okies” and made fun of for their accent. I was the first of my father’s eight children to be born in a hospital. The previous ones were delivered by midwives at home. And that happened only because one day when my father was standing in a line seeking employment, an official came up to him and said, “That wife of yours is about ready to have a child, isn’t she?” And when my father confirmed this, the man said, “You know, in California it is law that all babies must be born in a hospital.” And he told him where to go when Mama’s time came.

    Fortunately for me, my people have great senses of humor and are forever cracking jokes about being Okies or being hillbillies.

    And now, in Canada, I see the same kind of attitude toward “Newfies” who suffer from a stereotyped image here.

  334. 338 Venessa
    September 14, 2008 at 19:09

    re: Suicide

    I think I’ve seen some pretty nasty things in my own lifetime but I know there are much worse things that other people have to live with on a daily basis. Personally I contemplated whether or not I cared if I lived when I was 16. There was one night in particular that it became clear to me that I didn’t care. I was at some party, late for curfew by a few hours and decided to drink and drive. On my way home I hit a guard rail that if it would have given out I would have plunged into a large ravine and into a river. It was like slow motion as I went into the rail I actually hoped I went over. Fortunately I changed my mind within a few months of that incident. Things turned around; I was kicked out of my abusive home, was able to manage my insomnia and started therapy. Since then I’ve never thought my life was bad enough to check out early. My belief is we have the one life and when we’re gone we cease to exist. There are too many places I want to go and too many things to learn to give up now. Although life is unfair it is worth living. I’m with Katharina; I have learned to enjoy my life and try to be a good person. Hopefully I will look back at my life and feel satisfied that I lived it the best I could through the good and the bad.

    As far as people committing suicide I say let them. I can think of some pretty horrendous things that people live through and can see a feeling of hopelessness. Also I am completely for death with dignity that we have in Oregon. If you have ever seen someone deteriorate into nothingness, in pain all the time and the only thing keeping them alive are machines I think you can understand why they would want to die. It’s about quality of life, not quantity.

  335. 339 Venessa
    September 14, 2008 at 19:17

    Viola ~

    I think there are always going to be stereotypes for one reason or another. It’s how you react that makes a difference. The fact that your family can make fun of it says a lot about the quality of character.

    A couple weeks ago I was out with my friends in Seattle, one black girl, one Asian girl and a guy from India. I could not believe the stereotypes they talked about within their own cultures. My Asian friend wanted to leave the bar we were in because there were too many Asians. Our Indian friend admitted that he doesn’t like to be around people from India and would never go back if his family didn’t live there. My black friend made an observation about a bunch of black guys standing around outside one of the bars and commented they were just going to cause trouble…and they did. We were only a block away when the shooting happened. I guess they were okay hanging out with the pasty white trash girl. 😉

  336. 340 Katharina in Ghent
    September 14, 2008 at 19:20

    @ Tom

    LOL! Now it’s official: I’m normal! (How do you make a cross-eyed smiley face with the tongue sticking out? )

    I try to not hurt people deliberately, and when I manage to make them feel better about themselves, then I call that an achievement. I don’t set big goals… 😉

    @ Viola

    I can imagine how you must feel at the moment about your stepson and his dad. I checked the news and they mentioned that apart from Russians, there were nine Ukrainians, five Azerbejanis, one Swiss, one German, one Turkish, one Latvian, one French, one Italian and one American on Board – only one, and no Canadians, so I hope that you can breath now a little bit easier.

  337. September 14, 2008 at 19:58

    selena in Canada~

    “There is an evangelical preacher in Canada who claims to have raised 13 people from the dead. People are flocking to his church because they believe him.

    In Jesus’ day, for example, only a small number believed in his power.
    The past was no different from the present. There are always some people who believe.”

    The “evangelical preacher” that selena has mentioned is named Todd Bentley. I won’t include any links because they are violent and insane.

    The “past” was different selena. Back then everyone believed in magic.

  338. 342 Vijay
    September 14, 2008 at 19:58

    @Zainab
    Life is cheap ,someone commits suicide, so what, another person will come along to take their place .people use suicide as revenge
    eg. A student was teased by a teacher decides to commit suicde, a nephew rips off his uncle in a business deal the uncle commits suicide and writes a not blaming the nephew for pushing him to it,lovers from different caste can not marry,commit suicide,fail your exams kill yourself.
    @ selena
    I guess people see women as a burden ,an expense so they abort a female foetus if they can afford it,dowry is still given at weddings even if it is not asked for because it is the custom, a girls family is expected to” help” her financially and any subsequent children as well ,the groom even calls his wifes brother SALA(in Arabic doesn’t that mean slave?).
    @viola
    After the Georgia situation and the start of the new Cold War sympathy for Russia and Russians will be hard to come by.

  339. 343 roebert
    September 14, 2008 at 20:32

    Tom: Spot on. We should minimize the harm we do and maximize the good. Masada; Koresh: there are two types of religion: valid and invalid. Too many people get taken in by the invalid type.

    Good night.

  340. 344 Venessa
    September 14, 2008 at 20:32

    re: Prisons

    I just had a tour of the only women’s prison facility in Oregon. There is also a male campus on the property. It was very interesting and I’m still not quite sure how I feel about it.

    We walked among the population and talked with a panel of female inmates that had their children taken away and were serving time for some serious offenses. We also went into some of the cells and dormitory style living quarters. They did have a call center and even had a group of women that trained dogs for people with special needs. There were a bunch of other programs for them to get an education, join mental health programs, go to church, earn a trade license and help run a head start program for their children. In addition they did all the cooking, cleaning and other chores for the facility. Two of the women we talked to had adolescents who were already part of the juvenile system. The women on the panel were all working on degrees and in programs for business licenses and cosmetology. After speaking with them all of us were floored and wanted to root for them to turn it around. Unfortunately when we talked to the people giving the tour they said you hope they are successful but the return rate is very high so you only hope. Some of the stats regarding the children of these inmates were also very appalling.

  341. 345 Katharina in Ghent
    September 14, 2008 at 21:40

    Well, everyone, this was it for me.

    Thank you all for your contributions and the good discussions, I’ll catch up with you tomorrow morning.

    Good night!

  342. 346 Dennis@OCC
    September 14, 2008 at 22:11

    Good weekend Kathi in Ghent and Abdelilah in Morocco….

    @ Everyone:
    Lehman Brothers goes into Solvency [protection] following no bidders…

    Dennis

  343. September 14, 2008 at 22:19

    @Robert,

    Suicide attacks as we have defined them are purely “ideological” with “religion” being a subset of that description. Whether it be a suicide bomber, the “Heaven’s Gate” clan, Kamikazzee’s, the Columbine kids, or the “Brand Dravidians”. All of the resulting suicides are the result of people buying into an ideology so wholly that they would bet their life on it.

    I recently had conversations with a few people that are researching the question of motivation of Islamic suicide attackers. Basically the common benchmarks are young people from extremely religious families or found their own way into that extremist environment on their own at a young age. Once there ,they are taught that western values of materialistic items and what they see as unrestrained morals are an abomination to God’s creation. Two parts of the formula at that point are in place. Now if you have “groomers” looking for the signs of, from our western perspective, weak minded followers. Followers that have been turned out by their families, are mental equivalent to your “Hollywood bully” or even more mentally disadvantaged. Followers of the doctrine that have fallen into deep despair because of either some mental or even physical ailment. Imagine you go to your spiritual leader after loosing a limb or finding out you have a deadly disease. The advice he gives you will probably be taken as profound. In the end they are people that can be convinced that with out question the doctrine is true and they have been called upon to serve.

    Many are convinced that the people they are killing, even though they may be of the same faith, they are not true to it. Others are convinced that they are helping to take people to Allah. The people they kill should be happy because “Allah has called them too.”

    The one guy made me laugh by explaining it to me by saying, “Imagine the Amish were hostile.” (I was friends of a band called “The Hostile Amish” growing up, so maybe that is why it struck my funny bone. ) If they not only chose to shun technology, but felt that god commanded everybody else should also.

  344. 348 selena in Canada
    September 14, 2008 at 22:23

    @portlandmike,

    Are you telling me that we don’t believe in magic today? 😉

  345. 349 Dennis@OCC
    September 14, 2008 at 22:51

    @ MAGIC::::

    Sometimes here i believe in the black formula….

    Dennis

  346. September 15, 2008 at 01:01

    @ everyone,
    It’s time for me to leave moderation for today. It’s about midnight in Morocco.
    It was a pleasure to moderate with Katharina.
    Thanks to everyone for their contributions.
    I hope moderation will continue with other ongoing moderators.
    Have a good morning/afternoon/evening everyone!
    Bye for now.

  347. 351 viola
    September 15, 2008 at 01:57

    @Katharina in Ghent

    Thanks. That’s what I’ve heard, also.

  348. 352 Bryan
    September 15, 2008 at 08:00

    roebert September 13, 2008 at 5:32 pm

    Thanks for that clarification.

    My feeling about the withdrawal of corruption charges against him is that the mob has overwhelmed the judiciary…

    It really does look like that. But is this something new? Remember way back when Winnie Mandela was given a slap on the wrist (a fine she refused to pay) for kidnapping and assaulting a political rival, fourteen year old Stompie Sepei? (According to the testimony of Stompei’s killer, she ordered his murder). To me that was a fine example of the judiciary bowing to the ANC mob of the time by treating the wife of the future president so leniently. Winnie Mandela should have been jailed for life for the murder and for the reign of terror she and her gang instituted in the townships on behalf of the ANC.

    Interesting that in 2007 she was denied a visa to enter Canada, on the face of it because of her criminal record.

  349. 353 Bob in Queensland
    September 15, 2008 at 08:10

    @ Bryan

    Stompie Moeketsi, real name James Seipei.

  350. 354 Bryan
    September 15, 2008 at 08:21

    Yes, thanks for that correction. He was called “Stompie” since that is South Africanese for a used (shortened) cigarette butt and he was short.

  351. 355 Jessica in NYC
    September 15, 2008 at 08:46

    @ Kathi,

    RE: Fish

    There was a local report warning NYers from consuming too many fish from NYC surrounding river, because of high levels of mercury.

    The Canadian and Mexican reports of endangered fish is not surprising. We have poluttied the Earth for many many years, and countries like the US refused to accept that is was a problem. Now we are seeing all the consequesnces. The discovery channel did a show on the extinction of fish. One of it’s focus was the wild salmon and now it was not migrating (not sure if that’s the right term) back through areas of Canada and the problems it was causing for other wild life that depended on it.

  352. 356 Bryan
    September 15, 2008 at 08:47

    Amy September 13, 2008 at 6:03 pm

    I think that in the “PC” age, journalists have lost the ability to ask the questions and report them in an open way to show both sides of the story.

    Strangely enough, in February last year, when the BBC departed from its PC norm and produced a programme critical of South Africa, it came under furious attack from the ANC. I transcribed the following observations from the World Service at the time:

    The television report by John Simpson – one of the BBC’s most senior journalists – opened with a helicopter ride over the city of Johannesburg. It said some of the gleaming skyscrapers, in what was described as a vibrant city, had been abandoned because of the high rate of crime. On some days, the report said, the murder rate rivalled the death toll in Iraq.

    The ANC denounced the report on its official website, which concluded that, “Those who hold us in contempt, regardless of what they profess concerning their liberal and progressive credentials, will continue to represent us as violent criminals or anything else that helps to feed the deeply-embedded stereotypes that Africans are less than human or at least racially inferior.”

    A statement issued by the BBC rejects the accusations, saying the BBC had reported on crime from around the world, including the recent spate of murders in London and promising to continue to cover South African news accurately and in depth.

    It’s amazing that the ANC took this report on crime as an attack on blacks themselves, even though Simpson was careful to make the politically correct observation that crime affects all races in South Africa. Also amazing that it so profoundly misunderstood the BBC’s motivation here. Perhaps it is forgetting that the BBC stood solidly with the anti-Apartheid movement in the early days. Evidently all it takes is a bit of constructive criticism for the ANC to turn its back on its friends.

  353. 357 Bryan
    September 15, 2008 at 08:51

    Oops, missing the italics tag in the beginning before “I think that in the “PC” age..”

  354. 358 Jessica in NYC
    September 15, 2008 at 08:53

    @ Kathi,

    RE: Fish

    As I multi-task I am watching a show on the National Geographic Channel about shark attacks in a popular beach in Brazil. They are exploring the possibility that the cause is polluting ships that dump waste into the ocean and since sharks can smell things as far as a mile away. They are escaping and coming closer to the beach area. hummmm, interesting isn’t it?

  355. 359 Jessica in NYC
    September 15, 2008 at 09:09

    @ Kathi,

    RE: Fish

    The conclusion was that the reason for the shark attacks was the pollution from animal slater houses that dumped organs and blood info rivers that were near the ocean along with over development from coastal cities that dump pollution into the ocean. Apparently in the late 1970s in Africa (missed which country) had several of similar cases.

    Everything we do seems to have an effect in our ecosystem and that effect our health more than our scientist have data to fully prove…. yet.

  356. 360 Katharina in Ghent
    September 15, 2008 at 09:28

    @ Jess:

    Everything we do seems to have an effect in our ecosystem and that effect our health more than our scientist have data to fully prove…. yet.

    Of course everything we do has an effect on the ecosystem, and it is high time that we start recognizing this! I think only the fully ignorant call for full scientific prove before they might consider changing their life style, even just a little bit. If you pave a road over virgin land today, this means that for one thing, no more plants can grow there anymore (duh! ), but it also means that animals may have problems reaching their feeding grounds, change of the ecosystem along the road because it heats up more than dirt and stores the heat longer, not to mention pollution from the vehicels (gas and oil, not to mention waste thrown out of the window).

    Dumping blood and organs is really the most stupid way to attract sharks, but what will happen? They will go after the sharks and imbalance the ecosystem even more, instead of going after the slaughter houses.

    I’m depressed now. 😉

  357. 361 Roberto
    September 15, 2008 at 09:48

    RE US mortgage fraud:
    ————————————————————————————————————

    ——– Indeed, the sky does keep on falling.

    Lehman Brothers is filing for bankruptcy. Merril Lynch is being bought out by Bank of America, and insurance giant AIG is reportedly gone hat in hand to the Federal Reserve for a mere $40 billion loan.

    Bank of America was rumored to be partnered with the Chinese goverment in a proposed buyout of Lehman’s last week, so it’s entirely possible that BA is operating as a front for the Chinese.

    Republican, Democrat, it makes absolutely no difference who the figurehead is. The conmen have already gutted the market of every value, so now the garage sales of worthless junk begins.

  358. 362 Jonathan
    September 15, 2008 at 09:52

    @Tom D Ford

    Not “propaganda,” Tom. Never propaganda from me. Rhetoric. A perfectly fine and honorable thing. I wasn’t being “cute” (well, not deliberaely–some things I just can’t help) or pretending to be naive.

    I am genuinely curious why someone in a capitalist, wealthy, advanced, inudstrial/postindustrial society which is hugely majority middle-class (I’m assuming you’re American or Western European, Canadian, or other such society) would believe that rich people are rich because poor people are poor.

    It isn’t true. It might seem inuitively to be true, but even a little bit of knowledge about economics reveals that it isn’t true. It might be true to one or another extent in societies where the usual way to get rich is by stealing. But in a capitalist society, the usual way to get rich is to provide something that people want, and sell it at a price that people can afford. They only buy it if they want it, and they only buy it from you if you make it better, or sell it cheaper, or both, than your competitors do. It doesn’t help you if people are too poor to afford your stuff.

  359. 363 Bob in Queensland
    September 15, 2008 at 09:53

    When my wife sailed into Cape Town harbour many years ago she noticed a large number of hammer head sharks just outside the harbour entrance. She asked about them and was told they gathered there because ships would empty their waste out before going into the harbour.

  360. 364 Bob in Queensland
    September 15, 2008 at 09:54

    So….for today’s programme….will the Zimbabwe agreement be signed in time for us to know the details?

  361. 365 Bob in Queensland
    September 15, 2008 at 10:01

    @ Roberto

    Isn’t the real story the lax regulation of the American banking system and the even more lax enforcement of the existing rules under the Bush administration? Huge banks were making financial decisions that were downright stupid and now the whole world is paying the price for their mismanagement–and for the regulators who let them play fast and loose with everyone’s money.

  362. 366 selena in Canada
    September 15, 2008 at 10:19

    @Jonathan

    But in a capitalist society, the usual way to get rich is to provide something that people want, and sell it at a price that people can afford.

    I can’t believe you are serious. The only way people get rich is to keep poor people working at slave wages.

    What rich person do you know who got rich by the sweat of his own brow? Name me one person! Just one!

  363. 367 Jonathan
    September 15, 2008 at 10:23

    @Shaun

    The “dead babies” required for embryonic stem cell research are approximately the size of the period at the end of this sentence.

    They are a few cells that are literally headed for the drain, being the consequence of in vitro fertilization proceduresthat have successfully implanted an embryo into a woman and made her a proud mother when she couldn’t have had a child by other means. Having created life, or rather aided in the process, the lab doesn’t need the bunch of extra microscopic little dots. The mother does not want octuplets. It’s routine to dispose of the spares. They are not exactly “babies.”

    The choice is to dispose of them or to use them to advance the cause of life by finding new ways of fighting disease.

  364. 368 selena in Canada
    September 15, 2008 at 10:25

    @Bryan

    Strangely enough, in February last year, when the BBC departed from its PC norm and produced a programme critical of South Africa, it came under furious attack from the ANC.

    Yes, strange isn’t it? The same thing happens every time Israel is perceived to be attacked.

    Isn’t it time freedom of speech was given half a chance?

  365. 369 Jonathan
    September 15, 2008 at 10:34

    @selena~

    Oh, of course I can be serious.

    I could name more than one “rich person [I] know who got rich from the sweat of his own brow,” but the names wouldn’t mean anything to you. That is, however, the way most rich people in rich societies get rich.

    As we’ve discussed on these pages before, slaves by definition don’t receive wages, hence no “slave wages.” People work at different jobs and earn different wages. Most people earn some amount in between what they think they should earn and what their employers think they’re worth.

    People who start businesses are guaranteed no minimum wage or anything else, except harrassment by various departments of government and vigorous competition. Most businesses fail early on. Those that succeed earn a profit, and employ people. That’s how wealth is created.

    What mechanism did you imagine?

  366. 370 Jonathan
    September 15, 2008 at 10:38

    @Bob–

    Whaddaya mean, “Will the Zimbabwe agreement be signed in time for us to know the details?”

    Are we going away?

  367. 371 Bryan
    September 15, 2008 at 10:39

    What rich person do you know who got rich by the sweat of his own brow? Name me one person! Just one!

    Selena, that’s a very easy challenge. I have no doubt there are millions of people like that, but I know of one who built up a successful printing company from one machine, working like a dog at all hours of the day and night. To this day, though he is the boss and quite elderly, he is at work at 6 in the morning and he is prepared to roll up his sleeves and muck in with the workers on occasion. No job is beneath him. I’m sure he is rich by now, but he still watches every cent and hates waste. He employs well over a hundred people. While many of them on the lower rungs of the company are no doubt struggling, none of them are poor.

    What is to stop any of them going down the path he took? In a capitalist society, absolutely nothing.

  368. 372 selena in Canada
    September 15, 2008 at 10:41

    @Jonathan

    If you can’t name a person, because it wouldn’t mean anything to me explain how the person got rich without the help of people who got paid slave wages… actually less than slave wages. Slaves got paid food, clothing and housing. Many of the people working for the rich today can’t afford food, clothing and housing on what they are paid.

  369. 373 selena in Canada
    September 15, 2008 at 10:46

    @Bryan

    The question is: could the person have become rich, exclusively by the sweat of his own brow, without the help of the people who work for him?

  370. 374 Bob in Queensland
    September 15, 2008 at 10:46

    @ Jonathan

    Whaddaya mean, “Will the Zimbabwe agreement be signed in time for us to know the details?”

    Are we going away?

    I’m still sitting here in my tin foil hat watching for black holes!

    Seriously, I think the Zimbabwe agreement would be a very valid topic for on air…but only if the details are know far enough in advance of the air time.

  371. 375 selena in Canada
    September 15, 2008 at 10:57

    @Bob

    I haven’t been keeping up with the news because of my present circumstances but isn’t Mugabe to retain control of the army?

    Can that be a good thing?

    I don’t wear a tin foil hat but have decided instead to go with the flow. There might be light at the end of the errr… black hole. 😉

  372. 376 Jonathan
    September 15, 2008 at 11:08

    @Bryan

    If you and I keep agreeing, I’m going to start worrying. 🙂

    @selena~

    I’ve already explained to you how people get rich, and why the term “slave wages” doesn’t make sense.

    Perhaps you could explain how these sub-slave people (by the way, can you name any of them for me?) who “can’t afford food, clothing, and housing” manage to live without food, clothing, and housing, and where all this happens, since Western countries have minimum wage laws. (The question of whether these laws are necessary or useful is a different one; they probably increase unemployment, but I don’t want to bite off more than can be comfortably chewed all at once.)

  373. 377 Bob in Queensland
    September 15, 2008 at 11:09

    According to the rumours, Mugabe gets the army and Tsvangarai gets the police but I’m not sure how certain that is.

    If true, it’s not a good thing.

  374. 378 Jonathan
    September 15, 2008 at 11:14

    @Bob

    I recently heard Neil DeGrasse Tyson (voted People magazine’s “sexiest astrophysicist”) describe in detail how a person would die in a black hole. He made it sound almost fun.

  375. 379 Bryan
    September 15, 2008 at 11:22

    selena in Canada September 15, 2008 at 10:46 am

    @Bryan

    The question is: could the person have become rich, exclusively by the sweat of his own brow, without the help of the people who work for him?

    Let’s put it this way: he would have become a helluvah lot richer than those who sit on their proverbial butt waiting for others to provide wealth.

    I should add that it’s in the nature of this world that the weaker help the stronger. Ain’t nothing to be done about that one.

  376. 380 selena in Canada
    September 15, 2008 at 11:30

    @Jonathan

    Well, if you are hung up on wages meaning money then we can coin another term. I will give it some thought.

    Whew Jonathan! Have you ever tried living and raising a family on the minimum wage?

    You asked, “Where does this happen?”

    The answer: Look around you! The fast food outlets… child care… banks… hospitals… anywhere where the service is looking after people you will find the lowest of wages.

    Now if you think the minimum wage is sufficient, and even that the minimum wage causes unemployment, we will go nowhere fast with this conversation. 🙂

    But I grant you that is the rhetoric spouted by the rich.

  377. 381 Jonathan
    September 15, 2008 at 11:34

    @selena~

    If you can’t think of an actual person in this sub-slave serf class you invented, let me help: Bob Cratchet, from Charles Dickens?

  378. 382 selena in Canada
    September 15, 2008 at 11:37

    @Bryan

    Are you saying that the people working for this person are sitting on their proverbial butts?

    The nature of this world is a free for all where the winner takes all. But does it have to be that way?

    If you believe the world can’t change, why do we bother to talk about change? Why don’t we just accept the murder and mayhem and lack of compassion and wring our hands in glee when someone like Mugabe wins?

  379. 383 Jonathan
    September 15, 2008 at 11:51

    @selena~

    I’m not “hung up on wages meaning money.” That’s what I thought the word meant. I know you’ve said that meanings of words don’t much concern you, but you can see how it makes a conversation “go nowhere fast” if they mean nothing at all, or if you redefine them on the fly to mean whatever you wish, without warning. If you want “another term” to mean whatever you mean, I hope your thought is productive. A discussion about rich people, poor people, and wages is one which is about money, or so I imagined.

    Most people earning minimum wage are not “supporting a family.” They are mostly inexperienced people–teenagers, new immigrants just entering the workforce, learning the language, etc. They are mostly in those positions for a short time, not their whole lives. And yes, I did notice that you changed the terms from “earning less than a slave” to “not enough to support a family.” Did you? How big a family did you have in mind? One child? How about six? If the minimum wage were raised to be enough to support a family of eight, be assured that many minimum wage workers would have to be terminated, and the prices of goods and services would increase past the point of affordability for many consumers, and would be a serious hardship to those who could manage to buy them. There’s no free lunch.

  380. 384 Jonathan
    September 15, 2008 at 11:58

    @selena~

    Mugabe? Why don’t we clap (rather than “wring”) our hands in glee about Mugabe? Um, because he’s a brutal tyrant, a murderer, and a barbarian who has brought a rich country to ruin.

    That’s why I don’t like him, anyway.

    Since he has destroyed so much wealth, the better question would be, why don’t YOU like him? He has, after all, certainly been an agent of “change,” and brought the rich to ruin. Why aren’t you leading the cheers?

  381. 385 selena in Canada
    September 15, 2008 at 13:22

    @Jonathan

    Do you think the rich are suffering as much as the poor in Zimbabwe?

    Wages means compensation given to a person for services according to ardictionary.com

    Compensation is something given in return for something else according to the freedictionary.com

    That can be money or it can be what the slaves were given,as I see it. Hence, we can, using the dictionary, arrive at the common term slave wages.

    Words can be whatever you want them to mean, Jonathan. That is why I am never hung up on words.

    Perhaps that is wrong of me, in some people’s eyes. But I am not hung up on that either. 🙂 Sorry about that!

    I beg to differ that there are not many people on minimum wage supporting a family. There are many, many people trying to support a family on the minimum wage, just as there are many people working more than one job to keep up a standard of living for their children. They have no life other than work!

  382. 386 Tom D Ford
    September 15, 2008 at 17:05

    @ Katharina in Ghent

    “I try to not hurt people deliberately, and when I manage to make them feel better about themselves, then I call that an achievement. I don’t set big goals… ;)”

    I disagree, I think those are the biggest goals of all; it is The Golden Rule”, in Judaism as “Do not do unto others what you would not have done to yourself”, in Christianity as “Do unto others as you would have done to yourself”, Islam will have some version of it and I’m sure all other religions do too.

    The version I like best is “Love your neighbor as you love yourself”, because that feeling of “love” (Greek Agape) happens inside the person who “loves”. It requires that you treat yourself well so that you able to treat others well.

  383. 387 roebert
    September 15, 2008 at 17:33

    Selena: Nom de Dieu! Comme il a la gentillesse de la canaille, lui!

  384. 388 Jack Hughes
    September 15, 2008 at 22:04

    @Tom D Ford

    Islam will have some version of it and I’m sure all other religions do too.

    You are making a big mistake if you think that other people from around the world are “just like us but wearing funny hats”.

  385. 389 Bryan
    September 15, 2008 at 22:17

    selena in Canada September 15, 2008 at 10:25 am

    Strangely enough, in February last year, when the BBC departed from its PC norm and produced a programme critical of South Africa, it came under furious attack from the ANC.

    Yes, strange isn’t it? The same thing happens every time Israel is perceived to be attacked.

    You have this seriously back to front and upside down. It is the attack on Israel that is furious, rather than the defence of Israel. Since it’s establishment, Israel has come under attack from all sides and by all means – invasion, terrorism, propaganda, boycott. There has to be some defence against all of this.

    The New South Africa, on the other hand, has had nothing but support, encouragement, investment and the best possible press. And one accurate report pointing out very real problems results in fury from the ANC.

    You should try not to compare apples and pears.

    Isn’t it time freedom of speech was given half a chance?

    Who is denying Israel bashers freedom of speech? I’ve seen really vile propaganda on this site and elsewhere, designed to make Israel appear illegitimate. These attacks warrant a response and I try to respond with facts rather than rants.

  386. 390 Bryan
    September 15, 2008 at 22:20

    Jonathan September 15, 2008 at 11:08 am

    If you and I keep agreeing, I’m going to start worrying.

    Don’t worry, be happy.

  387. 391 Tom D Ford
    September 16, 2008 at 00:01

    @ Jack Hughes

    “You are making a big mistake if you think that other people from around the world are “just like us but wearing funny hats”.”

    Whew! Glad I don’t make that mistake.

  388. 392 Noor
    September 16, 2008 at 09:24

    hi there
    this is noor again
    i’d like first introduce myself more clearlly i’m the one who like to be one of ur fiends if there is anyone care about that or care alreday about fiendsship ( NO MORE NO LESS ) …………..
    NOOR FROM IRAQ ……………………………


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