13
Oct
08

Talking Points 14th October

The world’s share markets are happier today, as government’s all over the world intervene. George Bush is expected to announce another multi billion dollar bank rescue. It’s a partial nationalisation from an administration that championed deregulation and ‘hands off’ government. A surprise to some, but not to everyone.

With one half of the world marching towards nationalisation and the other half going in the opposite direction, does Capitalism work? Alright, no-one’s seriously suggesting it’s on the way out, but it’s been shaken up..

***

After recent events, they are definitely not popular… but is it right to hate bankers?  and should they say sorry ?

***

To increasing numbers of people, Afghanistan, the ‘successful’ front in the War against Terror, is not looking so successful after all. Are modern wars unwinnable? Daniel had some interesting thoughts on it yesterday.. read it here.

***

I’ve mentioned it before, but after the death of Austrian far right leader Jorg Haider at the weekend, and various incidents in Serbia and Bulgaria involving Germans and Italians, this writer worries the far right may be rising in Europe. Is it? And is it dangerous?

***

We often discuss cultural differences on the show- and how much other religion’s customs should be tolerated- whether it be the call to prayer, church bells, food customs or whatever- here’s a story from Newcastle in the north-east of England… Should outdoor cremations be allowed?

***

And what kind of pet should you be able to keep? In Britain we can keep monkeys


134 Responses to “Talking Points 14th October”


  1. 1 Jessica in NYC
    October 13, 2008 at 19:18

    Hi All–

    I saw Religulous, Bill Mahr’s movie where he examines religions. Bill Mahr is happy to mock all religions and their inconstancies.

    As know I live in NYC and we have a little of everything here, including religion. Over dinner with friends last night, all of whom were different religions growing up were discussing what all the fuss is about. We all somewhat hold to the religion we grew up with, but we certainly did attack each other for them; but we sure did laugh a lot at each other. From my apartment there are about 8 different churches/houses of worship of different religions within a 5-7 walk. So, can you laugh at the ridiculous aspects of your own religion?

  2. October 13, 2008 at 19:19

    Religulous, you mean?
    I really want to see that movie lol.
    Well that and I can’t wait to see W.
    Comes out this friday, I think 😉

  3. 3 Jessica in NYC
    October 13, 2008 at 19:24

    Thanks Bret… I’m can’t be bother to spell my opinion correctly… lol

    PS–saw both and recommend them.

  4. 4 Julie P
    October 13, 2008 at 19:33

    In the UK 1.7 million data went missing. Again.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/7667507.stm

  5. 5 Jens
    October 13, 2008 at 19:43

    Jess,

    you sure you mean “warship”…….kind of a funny Freudian

  6. 6 Robert
    October 13, 2008 at 19:45

    Julie

    A couple of hard disks although not excusable is at least understandable.

    Loosing 20,000 cows takes some beating

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/3182720/Defra-admits-losing-20000-cows-in-Britain.html

  7. 7 Count Iblis
    October 13, 2008 at 19:48

    Financial weapons of mass destruction

    The market for credit derivatives is now so large, in many instances the amount of credit derivatives outstanding for an individual name is vastly greater than the bonds outstanding. For instance, company X may have $1 billion of outstanding debt and there may be $10 billion of CDS contracts outstanding. If such a company were to default, and recovery is 40 cents on the dollar, then the loss to investors holding the bonds would be $600 million. However the loss to credit default swap sellers would be $6 billion. When the CDS have been made for purely speculative purposes, in addition to spreading risk, credit derivatives can also amplify those risks.

  8. 8 Jessica in NYC
    October 13, 2008 at 19:52

    @ Julie– Nothing in this world is safe. Maybe we should hire body guards to safe guard information.

    @ Jens
    With me they’re always Freudian slips.

  9. October 13, 2008 at 19:59

    I generally have “Floydian” slips. Freudian slips are inspired by a deep subconscious second meaning. Floydian slips are most often inspired by alcohol and drug use coupled with very little sleep.

    Just so the record is straight.

  10. 10 Julie P
    October 13, 2008 at 20:02

    @Jess,

    Maybe we should go back to pen and paper.

  11. 11 Robert
    October 13, 2008 at 20:04

    What surprises me the most is that the safety people allowed hot tea. Dangerous stuff.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/politics/economy/3188978/School-bans-sugar-in-tea.html

  12. October 13, 2008 at 20:15

    It seems that the McCain campaign just don’t get it. They keep pressing the idea of fighting and being fighters. We have seen a war every 20 years since WWI. In recent years we have seen a war on drugs, war on taxes, war on the middle class, a war on terrorism, a war on extremism, and a war on those who declare war. We have been fighting for freedom, democracy, and the a million related causes that quite frankly don’t need fighters or soldiers. They need free thinkers. They just don’t get that the latest generations are looking at the stupid wars that have been fought for the stupid reasons in the past and thinking, “‘fighting’ has never solved anything.”

    What we need are people to pull out the truth tables, history books, and reference manuals and figure out what will work.

  13. October 13, 2008 at 20:26

    Stock market advice:

    The hot potato is back in place. If you had sold stock last week and were waiting to figure out what to do with it, “BUY! BUY! BUY!”. If last week you didn’t get out and you are were wondering what was going to happen to the money you had saved for retirement? Now is the time!! “SELL! SELLL! SELL!”. Nothing has changed accept people desperation. The system is still broke. The companies that these people are investing in are still going under.

    lol, in full disclosure. Take no advice given on this or any website. It is just the opinion of the poster and in no way expresses the opinions of the BBC or any of it’s lackies.

  14. 14 Jessica in NYC
    October 13, 2008 at 20:30

    @ Robert

    Sheeehhh, what happen to putting bell on cows! LOL
    (also, if you do not see your comments posted, let me know. Postings with links sometimes need to be retrieved from the ether in the wold of spam)
    —–

    @ Dwight in CleveLand

    Fear tactics. People who are afraid enough of anything can be manipulated into believing anything.

  15. 16 Jens
    October 13, 2008 at 21:01

    dow,

    PLUS 950

  16. 17 Kelsie in Houston
    October 13, 2008 at 21:06

    Hi, Jess! Looking forward to the TP for today…

    If anyone is interested, we might pick up a question raised last night: is it still right for the Constitution of the United States to prohibit a non-natural born American citizen from running for President?

    @Jens: things are definitely picking back up:

    Dow +937
    FTSE +324
    DAX +518

  17. 18 Jonathan
    October 13, 2008 at 21:18

    @Dwight

    Good point about the inappropriate, obsessive “war” paradigm. (You left out the “wars” on poverty and cancer, proceeding about as well as the ohters.) I’d add that it misdirects attention and resources and presumes, or demands, unquestioning obedience to government, which is not a healthy thing in a democracy. Last, and least, it squanders credibility, which might be needed in case of a real war, or as we’ve seen in the last few weeks, a real emergency.

  18. 19 Julie P
    October 13, 2008 at 21:20

    Wasn’t it just last week the DOW had it’s biggest drop in its history? This week it had its biggest increase in its history. Somehow I get the feeling the feeling the Dow may be bi-polar.

  19. October 13, 2008 at 21:35

    Constitution: President
    I think that we need to establish a person’s connection with the U.S. by some means other than having been born here. Why not add a certain amount of years of residency to a requirement for citizenship?

  20. 21 Bryan
    October 13, 2008 at 21:36

    Jessica and anyone else,

    I ventured into the left wing, feminist, Democrat -supporting lioness’s den the other day and read an article by Camille Paglio. You ain’t gonna believe this, but she regards Sarah Palin as a feminist. (Feminism is not exclusively left wing.) She also has a bit to say about abortion. Though I don’t agree with everything she says, she’s obviously a fine thinker and she writes incisively. see what you think:

    The gigantic, instantaneous coast-to-coast rage directed at Sarah Palin when she was identified as pro-life was, I submit, a psychological response by loyal liberals who on some level do not want to open themselves to deep questioning about abortion and its human consequences.

    It is nonsensical and counterproductive for Democrats to imagine that pro-life values can be defeated by maliciously destroying their proponents. And it is equally foolish to expect that feminism must for all time be inextricably wed to the pro-choice agenda. There is plenty of room in modern thought for a pro-life feminism — one in fact that would have far more appeal to third-world cultures where motherhood is still honored and where the Western model of the hard-driving, self-absorbed career woman is less admired.

    On the other hand, I support the death penalty for atrocious crimes (such as rape-murder or the murder of children). I have never understood the standard Democratic combo of support for abortion and yet opposition to the death penalty. Surely it is the guilty rather than the innocent who deserve execution?

    If you wanna read it all:

    http://www.salon.com/opinion/paglia/2008/09/10/palin/print.html

  21. 22 Roberto
    October 13, 2008 at 21:45

    RE Oliver Stone:
    —————————————————————————————————

    ——– Trying to think of the most useless folks in the US associated with media politics.

    Ollie Stone, Rush Limbaugh, The Bills: Maher & OReilly, all of Fox News, Al Franken. I’m sure there’s a few more I’d mention except that I tuned out useless media a long time ago.

    Terri Gross is interviewing the cast of Stone’s new “W” movie coming out. Only took a flip of a switch and said abomination terminated.

    I have more than just mere disdain for the current dolt in the whitehouse, but why on earth would anyone support insipid hollywood docu-schlep is beyond any mental degradation I can imagine. Guess it takes all kinds of misfits to screw up the world.

  22. 23 Bryan
    October 13, 2008 at 22:00

    Oops, sorry guys, was that a conversation stopper or were you considering your response?

    I’ll get my coat….Anyone seen my keys anywhere??

  23. 24 Robert
    October 13, 2008 at 22:04

    Nationality requirements for presidency.

    I suppose if a traitor can be stripped of their ability to run for leadership of their country, who have tied the notion of loyalty to that of leadership. Therefore it is somewhat logical for a non national who could be proven to be loyal should be allowed the ability to run for leadership.

    However given the track record of double and triple agents in the cold war, the practicalities of determining who is truly loyal and who is not would be nearly impossible.

    Up until recently I suppose this was a rather hypothetical question, but would Americans like an Austrian president? Not beyond the realms of possibility in 4 or 8 years time is it?

  24. 25 Kelsie in Houston
    October 13, 2008 at 22:13

    @Pink:
    Why not make residency the primary requirement for presidential qualification? A person born on U.S. soil at Bagram AFB but shunted around throughout the Pentagon’s wide network of facilities should be considered roughly on par with the Brazilian who comes to the United States with her parents at the age of 3 and grows up here, don’t you think?

    If we are a multicultural nation, let’s celebrate that by removing one of these barriers to the roles people who weren’t born on American soil (such as me!) can serve in.

  25. 26 Jessica in NYC
    October 13, 2008 at 22:13

    @ Robert

    RE: who is to blame in the UK. Overall not interesting analysis, but very entertaining.

    I would have agreed with the article on Howard Schultz reguarding starbucks if he had used rabbits are the analogy. “Not even the grey squirrel spread and bred this fast.” Squirrels, forget-about-it. I’d like a vanilla skim latte, please.
    —-
    Princes Diana: LOL SHE made the brits more neurotic? I thought it was her death and after 9/11 words like “terrorism” and “war” that caused “crisis’ and ‘disaster’ are devalued from overuse”
    —-
    Greg Dyke the ex-BBC Director General on moving the news from 9 PM to 10 PM. In NYC we watch the news for the most part 10 or 11 PM. Blah, on this one too.

    So “Marks is the man who literally ‘[–] up’ Britain”? LOL Hooray to Stephen Marks for taking the obcenity out of common foul language. I can appreciat a good jest. In the US, I am glad the power had been taken out of a lot of negative words.

  26. 27 selena in Canada
    October 13, 2008 at 22:20

    I have never understood the standard Democratic combo of support for abortion and yet opposition to the death penalty.

    The opposite is just as difficult to understand… the Conservative support for the death penalty and yet opposition to abortion.

    Surely both abortion and the death penalty are equally abhorrent.

    The only saving grace for the liberal view is the woman’s right to choose and the idea that life begins at birth.

    Other than that both positions involve killing.

  27. 28 Robert
    October 13, 2008 at 22:25

    Britain need not be in Iraq any longer says the Iraqi PM.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7666876.stm

    If he his correct and we now have some spare troops what should we do with them?

    Pull the forces home?

    Re-deploy in Iraq to support American forces as required?

    Deploy to Afghanistan to reinforce the mission there? An Afghan surge or perhaps allow American forces in Afghanistan to be re-deployed to Iraq?

  28. 29 Kelsie in Houston
    October 13, 2008 at 22:28

    Hi Robert:
    I guess the real question I’d have in response to your post is this: why would a foreign national–provided they had lived in the United States for a sufficiently lengthy period of time–need to “prove” their loyalty where a natural born citizen wouldn’t? Aren’t natural-born citizens (like Robert Philip Hansen, for example) equally as prone to treason?

    Regarding an Austrian as President–I think I know which one you’re talking about 😉 He isn’t “presidential,” but I would love the chance to consider a foreign-born candidate for President of this vast, diverse country.

    In the United Kingdom, there are only residency requirements to serve as Prime Minister, right?

  29. 30 Robert
    October 13, 2008 at 22:40

    Kelsie

    To be Prime Minister somebody must be a member of the House of Commons (strictly speaking, the Queen could select a member of the house of Lords, but that hasn’t happened for a long time out of tradition).

    To stand for election to the commons you must fit the following criteria

    A candidate to become a Member of Parliament must be a British or Irish or Commonwealth citizen, must be over 18, and must not be a public official or officeholder, (source wikipedia). The royal family are also forbidden to run for office.

    So the PM doesn’t need to be UK born, simply a citizen of the Commonwealth or Ireland.

  30. 31 Bert
    October 13, 2008 at 22:42

    Not that I’m hard over either way on this, but:

    “The only saving grace for the liberal view is the woman’s right to choose and the idea that life begins at birth.”

    doesn’t make a lot of sense to me.

    Capital punishment I find totally unnecessary, but at least society is ridding itself (in principle) of a hopelessly bad apple.

    On the othere hand, abortion is mostly for one person’s convenience. Rationalizing it by inventing a clearly false premise, that it isn’t “human life” until the shoulders are exposed during the birth process, is ludicrous. Biologically unsupportable. A fairy tale created for ulterior motives.

    Let’s just agree that society finds it expedient, at times, to allow people to be killed without retribution.

  31. 32 Tim
    October 13, 2008 at 22:55

    It has piqued my interest that an alleged journalist at the BBC does not know how to communicate properly in English.

  32. 33 selena in Canada
    October 13, 2008 at 22:58

    doesn’t make a lot of sense to me.

    Lots of thing make complete sense to one person and not to another.

    Religious people who support abortion quote the Bible to support their views. Genesis 2:7 says God breathed into Adam’s nostrils the breath of life and he became a living soul. They say that means a human is not a soul until it takes its first breath. To kill before that is not to kill a human being but something with no soul, in their eyes.

    Of course, other people believe live begins at conception and still others believe there is no human life until the fetus can survive outside the womb.

    What people believe makes perfect sense to them.

    So, my stance is believe whatever make sense to you but don’t force your will on me.

  33. 34 Bert
    October 13, 2008 at 23:07

    Far be it from me to use religiosity to prove a point.

    If I had to invent my own definition of when life begins, I’d have to say it’s when brain activity can first be measured in the fetus. This also fits in with the general agreement that a brain dead patient, kept “alive” on life support, may be taken off life support without it constituting murder.

    Certainly, the idea that a fetus just before birth isn’t a separate living being, with thoughts of his or her own, is just too “out there” to be taken seriously. Is someone born prematurely more human than a fetus brought to full term? Really?

  34. 35 Jens
    October 13, 2008 at 23:12

    presidential requirments.

    looking at palin it does not require an awful lot to be considered……….

  35. 36 Jens
    October 13, 2008 at 23:13

    one presidential requirment should be;

    sound understanding of the concept of evolution. if you believe the world is 6000 years old and we humans mingeled with T-rex, you are not qualified…..

  36. 37 Robert
    October 13, 2008 at 23:15

    Bert

    In many countries abortions aren’t allowed just before birth for the very reason you say. They are often banned past a certain time frame (24 weeks in the UK) unless there is clear medical reasons to show that the fetus is not viable. The time for the law was selected after consultation with doctors as to when a fetus is a viable separate entity from the mother.

  37. October 13, 2008 at 23:15

    @ Bert:
    Let’s just agree that society finds it expedient, at times, to allow people to be killed without retribution.

    Exactly! I’m not a fan of people exterminating their unborn young (or potential young, depending on how you look at it). But I mean come on, at least acknowledge what you are doing. However, despite me not being a fan of it, you won’t see me looking down on others for it or standing clinics engaged in acts of harassment.
    Same goes for the death penalty.

    Don’t sugar-coat it. Man up and admit what your doing if your gonna do it.

  38. 39 Luz Ma from Mexico
    October 13, 2008 at 23:54

    @Abortion & death penalty

    Selena, I agree with you on: So, my stance is believe whatever make sense to you but don’t force your will on me.

    As I have said before in this forum, the decision of having an abortion is not an easy one; I bet many of those women would give anything to either go back in time and prevent the pregnancy, or be able to keep the baby.

    Death penalty is different. If you make a mistake there is not way to reverse the outcome. That is my problem with it.

  39. 40 Dennis@OCC
    October 14, 2008 at 00:21

    Re: UK’S LOST OF DATA STICK
    this is why, you should always keep a back up on old-fashioned pen and paper!

    Re: 900 plus points gain the DOW….
    I am very surprised that the markets in New York went that high, following last week massive lost of points!

    Dennis

  40. 41 Julie P
    October 14, 2008 at 00:38

    What a way to go! 90 year old dies in a fiery crash in her brand new sports car.

    http://www.local10.com/news/17704542/detail.html

    Live fast die…old.

    Sorry, Jonathon no video is provided.

  41. 42 Jennifer
    October 14, 2008 at 00:41

    Re: Sarah Palin and dinosaurs

    http://www.watchfreeepisodes.com/sarah-palin-dinosaurs-fake-quote-sarah-palin-did-not-say-dinosaurs-were-here-4000-years-ago/3005/

    One requirement to be a resident of the U.S.: don’t believe everything you hear through the grapevine. 😀

  42. 43 Jennifer
    October 14, 2008 at 01:08

    Re: Abortion and the Death Penalty

    Some people who are pro-life quote the Bible because Christian people do care what is considered right and wrong; so doing that influences them. On the other hand, there are also people that choose to leave religion out of the entire situation completely because it should not be about Religion. When I mentioned that abortion is the taking of a baby’s life and did have an impact on the baby and the mother, it was from my own feelings not my Religion. What I don’t understand is its about a choice but what choice is it if it is only going to lead to shame, guilt, depression, etc?….The woman will still be a mother; just the mother of a dead baby. I just don’t see it as much of one……

    The death penalty is different from abortion in many ways. I think that when someone steps over the line and commits a crime they should be punished. If they were not, we would have people who committed violent acts much more often because they would know they could get away with them. With all the technology we have now the odds of accidentally putting someone to death is less than it used to be.

  43. October 14, 2008 at 02:00

    33 selena in Canada October 13, 2008 at 10:58 pm
    Religious people who support abortion quote the Bible to support their views. Genesis 2:7 says God breathed into Adam’s nostrils the breath of life and he became a living soul. They say that means a human is not a soul until it takes its first breath.

    The Islamic perspective is slightly different. The strict monotheistic trend in Islam precludes any notion of physical contact between human and divine; our view is that an angel “breathed” the soul into Adam. The various rulings abut abortion from the various Islamic scholars generally concur that it is absolutely forbidden after the soul has entered the body. This is generally accepted to be at about 40 days. “Marriage and Morals in Islam” by Mawlana Sayyid Muhammad Rizvi explains the topic from the Shia Islamic perspective with a some detail. Unless I am terribly mistaken, there is a clause for life and health of mother; but not rape.

  44. October 14, 2008 at 02:08

    Jennifer~

    You say that, “Some people who are pro-life quote the Bible because Christian people do care what is considered right and wrong…”

    Do you believe that only you Christian evangelicals are the only people on the planet that “care what is considered right and wrong?” Would you prefer to live in a world where only the Bible was used to determine right from wrong?

    Jennifer says, “When I mentioned that abortion is the taking of a baby’s life and did have an impact on the baby and the mother, it was from my own feelings not my Religion.”

    Millions of people FEEL differently. Do you think that your feelings are bestest?

    Jennifer, Have you ever wondered what other countries kill off criminals?

    “Executions are known to have been carried out in the following countries in 2007:

    Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Belarus, Botswana, China, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Japan, Kuwait, Libya, North Korea, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, USA, Vietnam, Yemen.”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capital_punishment

    A list of very nice and safe countries?

  45. 47 Bob in Queensland
    October 14, 2008 at 02:12

    Morning, all.

    Re: Yet another data loss in the UK, when is the government there going to institute a blanket ban on civil servants carrying confidential data on removable media and laptops?

    Out of curiosity, does such a ban exist in the USA? Human nature being what it is, I can’t believe that a civil servant there has never lost a briefcase with some disks in it or left a laptop behind on a train. That being the case, there’s either a ban on such devices storing confidential stuff–or the losses in the US are being covered up.

  46. 48 Julie P
    October 14, 2008 at 02:16

    @Bob,

    I have no idea if civil servants are allowed to carry around laptops with sensitive information on it, but I do know that there have been some hacking into bank computers, and, I think, there have been several attempts at the Pentagon.

  47. October 14, 2008 at 02:27

    Pink~

    You suggest that, “The Islamic perspective is slightly different. The strict monotheistic trend in Islam precludes any notion of physical contact between human and divine; our view is that an angel “breathed” the soul into Adam.”

    Interesting. Angels aren’t divine?

  48. October 14, 2008 at 02:44

    Mike

    A few blog posts ago I wrote about our dearest Ms expalin and her ‘view’ on abortion. In her opening sentence she said something to the effect that the US was in a couple of wars and how she loved the sanctity of life and that is why she is against abortion.

    It is OK to stop a woman (after rape and incest, included) from having an abortion but perfectly fine to send those same children off to war to die in a foreign country – do you see the same irony as me?

    The other ironic spat on this is – she wishes the States to have the say in abortions – not a federal matter to her, but, by that same token and logic, should it not be the States who say whether their young men and women go to war to fight and be killed?

    You are either a United Federal Republic of America or you are not – which one is it?

  49. October 14, 2008 at 02:53

    @ Julie:
    Palin gets booed at a hockey game

    But… shes one of them…. You know, Joe Six Pack and Hockey Mom’s….
    (?)

  50. October 14, 2008 at 02:55

    I’ve got one word for ya:

    Maverick

  51. 54 Julie P
    October 14, 2008 at 02:55

    @Brett,

    Oh, the irony.

  52. 55 Jessica in NYC
    October 14, 2008 at 03:02

    @ Julie

    I love watching Palin getting boo-ed in the morning, it’s a great way to start the day. You should have seen the NYC welcome she got. She had tripled the “normal” security. LOL
    —–

    @ Bob

    Yes, they civil servants have are allow to “carry” that information. However, as far as I know you use ports to access it, so technically the info isn’t stored in the hard-drive. Also, it was my understanding that certain information could only be accessed by certain departments etc. A couple of years ago there was a story where a government official lost a laptop on a cab (I think) and it had million’s of people’s information. SO it happens here too.

  53. 56 Jonathan
    October 14, 2008 at 03:03

    Hasn’t that tiresome nonsense by Camile Paglia been flogged for days now? No sale, thanks. Her name isn’t even spelled right. There must be a country someplace that needs people to barge into its politics, innocent of genuine concern or understanding, mistaking it for a jolly spectator sport. It’s not mine though.

  54. 57 Jonathan
    October 14, 2008 at 03:09

    @Will

    Oh, let me explain what I understand of the right wing “concern for life.”

    I extends from the moment of conception to the moment of birth. Then yer on yer own.

  55. 58 Jonathan
    October 14, 2008 at 03:10

    Um, “It” extends.

  56. 60 DENNIS@OCC
    October 14, 2008 at 03:31

    hi,

    *re: palin getting boo…
    it is not proper behaviour to do, but i would do it….

    *re: losing personal data…
    i am not sure what number of incidents, are we
    on…but how many does it take? to get a system in
    effect…

    Dennis

  57. 61 Julie P
    October 14, 2008 at 03:34

    @Kelsie,

    Sign me up! 😉

  58. 63 Bob in Queensland
    October 14, 2008 at 03:52

    @ Kelsie

    LOL!

    Don’t go to Edmonton in January though–it IS as cold as you think!

    (and my uncle was a “concierge” until he retired!)

    On a more serious note, I’ve asked in the blog many a time why the USA has evolved to be so different to most of the world and this suggests the question again. What is it about an arbitrary line along the 49th parallel that causes such a change in outlook.

    (And I’m not saying one is right and one wrong…just pointing out the differences.)

  59. 64 DENNIS@OCC
    October 14, 2008 at 03:52

    Democracy is an active activity that everyone should take an active role…in it…

    For interest of full disclosure: I am going to be a poll-worker in the Upcoming elections 2008….

    So, I am writing this item, with a interested of everyone having a right
    to vote in any election….

    Dennis

  60. 65 Kelsie in Houston
    October 14, 2008 at 04:00

    @Bob:

    I don’t know….I have to admit, I’m disillusioned with my country; I wish we were a more proactive, constructive force in the world. At a time when millions of people–a commanding portion of them young children–are starving to death, I can’t help but look at our consumerist, materialist culture as somehow…abhorrent.

    In the John Adams opera Nixon in China, President Nixon stands with Chairman Mao before the tombs of the Ming dynasty. Caught up in the moment, idealistic and almost innocent, Nixon sings to Mao and those assembled: “Fathers and sons, let us join hands…let us join hands…let us join hands: make peace for once.”

    I don’t know what makes us different now, but I do know what once did so: our commitment to justice. Peace is the presence of justice. I hope that will, eventually, become once again one of the defining aspects of my country.

  61. October 14, 2008 at 04:03

    49 portlandmike October 14, 2008 at 2:27 am
    Interesting. Angels aren’t divine?

    In my post which you quoted, I used the word “divine” as an allegorical reverence to God. Sorry about the confusion.

  62. 67 Amy
    October 14, 2008 at 04:23

    @ losing personal information

    It does happen here and DID happen here in the Portland area although it wasn’t the government – it was a local hospital network. For some reason, an employee was allowed to take home a laptop that had patient information on it. Not medical records but social security numbers, insurance information, etc. Over 365,000 people were affected. I know this because my family’s information was on the laptop that was stolen. The kicker was that it took the hospital network almost a month to admit that the theft had happened. They offered the patients free credit reports and protections but what a pain!

  63. 68 Jonathan
    October 14, 2008 at 04:25

    @Kelsie

    I remember Nixon, and I remember thinking he was the absolute worst President possible. Gosh, was I naive. (In my defense, I was a small child. A small, nerdy child.)

    Nixon’s been looking better and better lately. Even with that whole dead thing.

    I have to think we’ll once again be what we can be, with a constitutional law professor as President and a foreign affairs expert as VP. The other guys, not so much.

  64. 69 Dennis@OCC
    October 14, 2008 at 04:30

    On Tuesday, Canada will be going to the ELECTION polls….What is the WHYS friends thoughts on this story….

    Re: DOES ANYONE KNOWS HOW MANY BANKS HAVE BEEN BAIL-OUT?

    Dennis

  65. 70 Jennifer
    October 14, 2008 at 05:30

    @ Portlandmike

    “Do you believe that only you Christian evangelicals are the only people on the planet that “care what is considered right and wrong?” Would you prefer to live in a world where only the Bible was used to determine right from wrong?”

    No, I don’t believe that only “me and christian evangelicals like me are the only people on the planet who cares about what is right or wrong”. My feelings are not “bestest” and at no time did I say that they were. I spoke from MY perspective and will admit, I am a stickler for doing things the right way.

    I would prefer to live in a world where people had a basic sense of what is right and wrong and upheld at least some sense of decency. I think all of the US as a whole has regressed to the point where we are rude, lazy, arrogant, for lack of a better word trifflin’ people who have no sense of responsibility, commitment, honesty, loyalty etc. Maybe if there was a return to that some of what “my people”-thanks for giving me all the Christians I am sure honored to own them- we wouldn’t have all the social problems we have today.

    With regards to the death penalty, my comments were regarding the US. That is where I live.

    As long as we are speaking, you never responded to my email or my post regarding your private post notification service. If you would like to discuss that through email I would like to do the same. I am very interested in hearing your perspective regarding morals, values, and what is right and upstanding. 🙂

  66. 71 Jens
    October 14, 2008 at 05:35

    Robert,

    in case you have not realized it yet one of the Bill’s is a comedian, and a damm fine one, the other is just a idiot.

  67. 72 Ndirangu/Nairobi.
    October 14, 2008 at 06:41

    @ Dwight in CleveLand

    …”They keep pressing the idea of fighting and being fighters”…

    Yep. politics of fear and rumor mongering. He says he was a POW? I’m like that ‘aint such a honorable thing to tell people, getting caught? Nah.

  68. October 14, 2008 at 07:10

    Jennifer you say that, “I think all of the US as a whole has regressed to the point where we are rude, lazy, arrogant, for lack of a better word trifflin’ people who have no sense of responsibility, commitment, honesty, loyalty etc. Maybe if there was a return to that some of what “my people”-thanks for giving me all the Christians I am sure honored to own them- we wouldn’t have all the social problems we have today.”

    I wonder when in the history of mankind people led more “responsible and honest” lives than we do now?

    “Your people” have had eight terrible years to lead and show the way. Personally I believe they made a mess of a pretty good thing.

  69. 74 Bryan
    October 14, 2008 at 07:15

    selena in Canada October 13, 2008 at 10:20 pm

    “I have never understood the standard Democratic combo of support for abortion and yet opposition to the death penalty.”

    The opposite is just as difficult to understand… the Conservative support for the death penalty and yet opposition to abortion.

    Paglia’s point impressed me because I seem to generally hear the opposite one, as you said, but not hers that often – and certainly not from feminists.

    That was the first bit of writing I’ve read of hers and I was immediately impressed by the quality of her thinking.

    Jonathan October 14, 2008 at 3:03 am,

    That’s typical. If you don’t have a coherent point to make and can’t fault Camille Paglia’s argument, you put your nose in the air and make a few veiled insults rather than acknowledge that she’s onto something. That really is a poor standard of ‘debate’.

    You demonstrate the blind intolerance of so many on the left. If you don’t like what people have to say, scroll. Shutting down debate is what fascists do.

    You could also try spelling Camille correctly yourself before complaining about my spelling.

  70. 76 Nofal Elias
    October 14, 2008 at 08:57

    Today on the bbc website: news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/7667796.stm

    “The commander of US military forces in Iraq has accused Iran of trying to bribe Iraqi legislators into rejecting a security deal with the US. ”

    Why US wants to extend the UN Security Council resolution to stay beyond end of 2008?

    I would have thought US would want to find a quick exit.

    I presume the job is not done yet.

    By the way what is this “job”????

  71. 77 Pangolin-California
    October 14, 2008 at 09:56

    Nofal~ “The Job” of the US military in Iraq is to stand over the valves and meters that control the flow of oil onto tankers and through various pipelines.

    It’s not coincidental that the wave of bank failures follows a summer of massive increases in oil prices. This leads to massive increases in food prices and eventually all other prices of goods and services since very little arrives at market on the back of an ox-cart.

    We will not leave Iraq because there some perceived need of the US or it’s corporate proxies to have physical control over that oil flow. I’ve read speculation that Iraqi oil is being used to prop up Saudi oil exports. Should it be known that Saudi oil production is in irreversible decline financial predictions become very dodgy.

  72. 78 Bob in Queensland
    October 14, 2008 at 10:00

    According to ABC NEWS Obama’s poll lead is into double digits and, blaming the negative campaigning that’s been going on, McCain and Palin are going to soften their tone.

    If all of this is true and the American electorate has rejected the negative, then well done to them!

  73. 79 Jonathan
    October 14, 2008 at 10:09

    @Bryan~
    A few “coherent thoughts” for you:

    Close attention will inform you that we’ve been ignoring repeated attempts to inject Paglia’s “argument” for days now, not because we’re intolerant but because it’s irrelevant. Our principal objection to Palin, which we share with the principled intellectual right, is that she is an idiot. Nothing to do with feminism, or abortion, or particle physics. You are impressed by Paglia because she says what you want to hear, just as you are impressed by Palin. That is no serious “standard” for debate or “quality of thinking” or anything else. By barging into American politics without the benefit of understanding it, and treating it as a fencing match, you exhibit contempt for it and for us. That’s a street that runs two ways. Hostile, malign, bombastic mischief-making contributes precisely nothing to our discussion. I have not engaged you in “debate,” or attempted to, or purported to. Saying “If you don’t like [it], scroll” is just juvenile. Your assertion that I am “of the left” confirms the depth of your self-absorption. I’ve never said a single leftist word here. I spend most of my time here debating with leftists. Really, that’s rich.

  74. 80 Bob in Queensland
    October 14, 2008 at 10:16

    Hmmm…interesting thought: can you be a “leftist libertarian”?

    Discuss!

  75. 81 Jonathan
    October 14, 2008 at 11:14

    @Bob

    Discuss? Oh, if you insist. 🙂 “Leftist libertarian” is a bit slippery because the usual definitions may not apply; the philosophy straddles what’s normally considered “left” and “right.” Libertarians favor freedom from state control (as did Jefferson and the rest of the people who wrote our Constitution). We think the government is there to serve the people, not us to serve it. So where the modern state seeks to restrict our speech, or our love lives, our opposition might be considered “left wing.” Where it seeks to confiscate our legitimate earnings (not gained by force or fraud), our opposition might be considered “right wing.” But to us, there’s no contradiction. Essentially, we think the business of government is to provide the rule of law, and defend us against criminals and invaders, not to impose artibtrary morality or seize our money capriciously.

    A couple of hundred years ago, all this was a radical new idea, whose principal opposition was from the existing powers–aristocracy and theocracy, the “right,” if you like. More recently, it was threatened by communism and socialism–the “left.” These days, I’d say it’s a tossup.

  76. 82 Jonathan
    October 14, 2008 at 11:35

    @Bob

    Yes, the polls look good for Obama and the forces of gentility and propriety… our only worry is the well-known but not well quantified “Bradley effect” that distorts opinion polls where a black person is a candidate for office. Some white voters will tell the poll takers that they intend to vote for the black person, but in the privacy of the voting booth, they can’t bring themselves to go through with it. It’s frustrating because I don’t think there’s a consensus about how much it amounts to, in percentage terms. It varies among states and regions, and pollsters have all kinds of tricky methods to try to pin it down, like asking “Do you know anyone whose choice would be influenced by race?”

    Bottom line is that if the polls are dead-even, the black candidate will lose; he needs to be ahead by a significant margin to be truly ahead at all. Double digits should suffice, but it comes down to a few states that are truly contested, formerly called “swing states,” now called “battleground states” in keeping with our less sporting, more martial zeitgeist of late. 😦

  77. 83 Pangolin-California
    October 14, 2008 at 12:00

    Jonathan~ I believe that you left out the libertarian position that the government also has a role in enforcing the terms of freely entered contracts. A crucial function. Also a bit of a bear lately.

    Nice rant up there b.t.w. I have to agree that you are quite the “free-thinker” and not easily classified on a two-dimensional political map. The bit about Paglia’s commentary is particularly sweet. She caters to the Playboy readers mentality offering validation of courser instincts without solid intellectual foundation.

  78. 84 Jonathan
    October 14, 2008 at 12:02

    Approximately half of wonderful Angel Island, a state park in San Francisco Bay, went up in flames on Sunday night, colorfully and aromatically and tragically. Here’s a url for a very dramatic three-minute video of the fire.

    [**Maybe some nice mod will tart it up into a proper link.**]

    “JONATHAN’S ANGEL ISLAND FIRE LINK AS TARTED UP BY A NICE MOD”

  79. 85 Jonathan
    October 14, 2008 at 12:07

    Until two weeks ago, I was a capitalist.

    Now, I’m a pragmatist.

  80. 86 Pangolin-California
    October 14, 2008 at 12:23

    Angel Island, like the rest of California, has a fire cycle ecology. It’s not tragic when part of it burns; it’s normal. If the good rangers of Angel Island had been lighting controlled burns periodically like they should have it wouldn’t have been such a show.

    Marin County, on the other hand, will be a complete horror show when the inevitable fire roars through the overpopulated, overgrown and overpriced valleys, ravines and canyons. The reluctance of the residents and government agencies of Marin to clear fuel loads will be corrected one way or the other.

    You can fight stupidity but you can’t always correct it.

  81. 87 Roberto
    October 14, 2008 at 12:28

    RE Land of Milk and Honey:
    ———————————————————————————————–

    ——– IE, California, endlessly self-touted as being the largest state economy in the US, the 5 or 6th largest economy in the world.

    Yet they cannot even manage their budget in spite of collecting record taxes. Their environmental practices have proven unsubstainable with some of the most poorly managed development in the history of this country, on par with that of Floriduh.

    Waves of raging wildfires alone looks poised to bankrupt the state, the latest being in the north LA area. One of the victims a transient in a make do shelter in the woods. Could he, a mentally ill citizen unable to cope with modern society and living like a feral cat, did he and his ilk start the fires by accident or purpose? Or perhaps the “arsenists” authorities warn about who follow small fires with their terrible follow ups?

    How many of these developments feature beautiful cedar shake roofs, roughly equivilent to roofing a home in large match books?

    Oh the irony of the touted landmark US Supremes decision a few decades back that released tens of thousands of mentally ill folks to the mean streets of America to become the new homeless. Nary a public dime committed to some humane solution to their lives, but hundreds of millions of destruction and uncounted loss of life in these disasters.

    Something terribly wrong in the land of milk and honey. Wildfires just symptomatic irony spreading globally, unsubstainable political, economic and environmental practices of modern man.

  82. 88 Jonathan
    October 14, 2008 at 12:29

    @Pangolin

    Late night for you too, I see. Yes, quite right about contracts. I had that in mind as part of “rule of law,” but it’s worth a mention on its own.

    Thanks. Two-dimensional I’m not. I’m perfectly happy with my “coarser instincts” — no intellectual foundation needed. Paglia likes to be outrageous and go against the orthodoxy just for its own sake, usually a reliable instinct but she’s off the rails on this one.

  83. 89 Bryan
    October 14, 2008 at 12:31

    Jonathan October 14, 2008 at 10:09 am,

    I note that you are still avoiding the debate. No counter argument to offer, just insult? I seem to to recall that you entered into the debate a short while ago on the premise that abortion is a private issue and not the concern of government. What’s changed? And who gave you the right to decide what should or should not be discussed on this forum? This is not your private club. Jessica said she wanted to discuss the abortion issue further. I guess you missed that.

    And then predictably Pangolin chimes in at 12:00 on the same theme – avoiding debate via insult.

    I’ve encountered more sober and polite discussion in a downtown bar during happy hour. And you call me “juvenile.”

  84. 90 selena in Canada
    October 14, 2008 at 12:35

    @Jennifer

    I spoke from MY perspective and will admit, I am a stickler for doing things the right way.

    Does this mean that your way is the right way, Jennifer?

    How do you figure that?

  85. 91 Pangolin-California
    October 14, 2008 at 12:43

    Jonathan~ Capitalism still works just fine until certain businesses become so large that they keystone the economy. I have no objection to it bringing money to small vc operations rewarding success and abandoning failure. There need to be some limits on schemes so big that they become financial black holes. Google is a good example.

    At what point would you say Google could switch over from being a privately held conveinence to something so essential to the continued function of the world economy that it cannot fail? Replacing Google right now would be survivable but cause some consternation. When does it’s potential absence suck down nearby shipping?

  86. 92 John in Germany
    October 14, 2008 at 12:44

    Managers and Bankers and Speculators, Buyers,sellers, and all of your C’S are supported by Mentors as they make their tricky way through the Global Finance Jungle. They are selected to train by experienced people, that look for the type of energy needed to be cool and uncaring about others, ready to walk over anything that is in the way, completely submissive to their bosses, until they reach the dizzy heights themselves. cold ,calculating, and remotely controlled from the board rooms.

    It is only right that if they fail , that they pay for their mistakes, just as every other manager, shall we say in the producing world. And they should be made to pay from their excessive fortunes, for the mistakes made due to greed.

    Not all are so-there are caring persons, we have listened to then over the last weeks, and have come to respect them, with the same intensity that we hate the others, for scaring us to death, and worrying us because we care.

    Good Old EU they set a good example, followed by many.

    John in Germany

  87. 93 Jonathan
    October 14, 2008 at 12:50

    @Pangolin

    Technically, Angel Island is in Marin Country; maybe this will put the fear of God into them about fire prevention. I’ve heard something about Mill Valley in particular being a catastrophic fire waiting to happen. How sad that would be; it’s so darned beautiful there! It’s surprising to hear they aren’t more attentive about fire risks. I should think pure self-interest, magnified by insurance costs, would motivate people, and gov’t rules and regulations would fill in. San Francisco still hasn’t retrofitted all the brick buildings in Chinatown and the Tenderloin for seismic stability, though, and we still have nice fat natrual gas lines under every street, which has to be the stupidest idea ever, for a city of densely packed wooden houses. I’ll never understand that one.

    Is a “fire cycle ecology” something special, or just the way all wooded places are? I know that there’s a lot of invasive alien vegetation around, especially all that horrible eucalyptus, that burns with particular ferocity.

  88. 94 Bob in Queensland
    October 14, 2008 at 13:00

    @ Bryan

    Well, as Jonathan and Pangolin’s comments weren’t satisfactory, I’ll try to explain why I haven’t bothered discussing Camille Paglia.

    Basically, she’s a clever writer and has some ideas I agree with and some I disagree with. However, the same could be said of many opinions expressed (perhaps minus the “clever writer” bit in most cases!!).

    What Camille Paglia is NOT is some kind of spokesman for me or my beliefs. I feel no need to explain why I can agree with her on certain points but not on others nor do I see any contradiction in not concurring with everything she says.

    A few posts above, there is mention of a a 2 dimensional classification system: left or right, liberal or conservative, capitalist or socialist. The truth is that most people, certainly including Jonathan, Camille Paglia…and myself….have a range of views on a variety of topics and any attempt to pigeon hole an individual is doomed to failure when looked at in detail.

    Because of that, I slightly resent the implication that “we liberals” need in any way to justify Camille Paglia’s views….and that’s why I haven’t bothered entering that particular debate.

    How about as a WHYS topic: “Are conventional designations of political views in any way relevant in a world where Republican governments are investing in banks to undo harm done when a Democratic government de-regulated them?”

  89. 96 Kelsie in Houston
    October 14, 2008 at 14:03

    Additional news bits about the American plan:

    the BBC
    Bloomberg
    Financial Times
    Reuters
    Associated Press
    CEP

  90. 97 Jonathan
    October 14, 2008 at 14:07

    @Bryan~

    Do try and get a grip. I don’t “avoid debate” with you. You cheat. It’s you who slithers away every time. There’s a boatload of points I made to you in the last couple of weeks; you ignored all of them. If you seek debate, start there. You can’t ignore me and then say I avoid debate. You’re coming unhinged.

    Re abortion, I stated my case. You didn’t answer it. You ran away. No “change” there. I’m afraid those “insults” are all in your head, as usual. I didn’t call you juvenile. What you said was juvenile. The thought, not the man, isn’t that the rule? I’m happy you’re getting your kicks in bars now. I encourage much more of that. It’s a more appropriate setting for your tactics and style. You can find people dumber or drunker than yourself, bully them, and win for a change.

    For the fourth time, this community does not exist to serve as your private anthill, that you poke with a stick to get your jollies when angry ants emerge. Not sober. Not polite. Not serious. Not intellectually impressive. Rude. Tacky. Juvenile. (Not you, the tactic.)

    Do they not have women where you are?

  91. 98 Jonathan
    October 14, 2008 at 14:17

    @Pangolin

    I don’t understand your point from 12:41pm. Google is a “financial black hole?” Um, no, it’s been a gold mine from the start, doing insanely great, growing, doing better every quarter, the best place in the US to work, giving everything away for free by the way. I’d love to hear how you find fault with Google! Normal companies charge money for their products and that’s OK because you only buy it if you want it. But free seems a price you can’t object to.

    What are you saying? If it’s “essential,” then why would it “fail?” The more it’s used, the better it does. Why would you replace it, and with what? I’m completely at a loss.

  92. 99 Bryan
    October 14, 2008 at 14:23

    Bob in Queensland October 14, 2008 at 1:00 pm

    Fair enough. I agree about the pigeon-holing, but there ain’t no doubt that when it comes to certain issues people close ranks here in much the same way as they would if they were paid up members of a political party. An example is the Obama-Palin divide.

    Re your last point, there have been complaints about the fact that not only will the BBC reporters on radio and elsewhere not acknowledge that particular truth, they have it in reverse, blaming the Republicans for deregulation and hence the crisis.

    Here’s some comprehensive information on Senator Obama’s trips to Kenya, to rally support for Raila Odinga in his quest for the presidency. Perhaps people on this blog think this is a trifling issue. In fact it is vital. What was a Christian US Senator doing in a foreign country whipping up support for a radical Islam-friendly politician in his quest for power? In the riots that ensued when Odinga lost the election, his supporters burned Christians to death in their churches.

    http://www.washtimes.com/news/2008/oct/12/obamas-kenya-ghosts/

  93. 100 Jonathan
    October 14, 2008 at 14:27

    @Roberto

    That poorly managed development is in southern California; in Northern California we’re all greener-than-thou. The sensibility here is much more like Oregon than SoCal.

    The question of emptying the psych “snake pit” asylums, community care, etc. is happening nationwide. It’s not a unique California thing.

    The state budget is a joke, but so are many others. We just do it on a grander scale, in keeping with our big economy and some big peculiarities, notably schools and prisons, that have gotten themselves “locked-in” budget status, ironclad sacred cows. The initiative process is manipulated by monied interests to get even more than they could buy from the legislature.

  94. 101 DENNIS@OCC
    October 14, 2008 at 14:31

    This is my own opinion:
    I think that the far-right [parties] in Europe are trying to cause trouble in European Countries…

    In this circumstance, it is very dangerous….

  95. 102 DENNIS@OCC
    October 14, 2008 at 14:34

    Re: BANKERS
    I think that they should say SORRY for the public and the rest of the invested public and governments for the behaviour that caused some much trouble!!!!

    Re: ID MEMORY STICK
    How many times, does it take to clear up the correction of losing the data sticks with important information.

    Re: Should outdoor cremations be allowed?
    I would not like that idea, but…it is not because of religious
    problems–it is purely, environmentally reasons.

    Dennis

  96. 103 DENNIS@OCC
    October 14, 2008 at 14:36

    Re: MONKEYS AND TO BE KEEP AS ANIMALS….
    I have all respect for all animals, But i have to agreed with
    the idea of imposing a ban of monkeys as “family” pets….

    Dennis

  97. 104 Jonathan
    October 14, 2008 at 14:48

    @Bryan~

    It’s not even a “trifling issue.” Like everything else you drag up to poke us with, it is NO ISSUE AT ALL in the American politics you presume to carry on about, though you don’t understand. Obama’s birth certificate is no issue. Your weird refusal to believe it when you see it is no issue. Paln’s abortion view is no issue. Paglia’s navel-gazing about Palin’s abortion view is no issue. Obama’s associations are no issue. Africans burning each other to death is no issue.

    I thought Obama had finally won your grudging approval when you sickeningly announced recently that he had “enough white blood.” Now you’ve got him back in the bush, beating war drums, ginning up a mau-mau! What happened?

    I can’t suddenly make you behave, make you give it a rest. I can only appeal to your better nature. Justify my hopes instead of my expections though, how ’bout it?

  98. 105 Bryan
    October 14, 2008 at 14:48

    Jonathan October 14, 2008 at 2:07 pm,

    Yet another rant, replete with insults. The only thing you vary is the degree of sneering in your comments. It’s amazing you actually managed to make a point or two while getting all those digs in. No I don’t “cheat” and I don’t run from debates. Often actual life does intrude. I’ve told you that before, but I guess you didn’t get the message.

    So I don’t suppose you would care to continue the abortion debate since you have now made the accusation that I “slithered away” or “ran away.” Bit hypocritical of you isn’t it? Today you conveniently claim to be above debating the abortion issues Paglia raises, but the other day you were all for it. Which is it?

  99. 106 Bob in Queensland
    October 14, 2008 at 14:49

    @ Bryan

    I’m not sure why the segueway to the Obama-Odinga story, but please do be aware that the Washington Times article you link to is an Op-Ed piece, NOT a news story and contains some questionable and unsubstantiated “facts”.

    I can comment on a few of these without even having to do any research. First, the commentary describes Daniel Arap Moi’s Kenya as a stable democracy. It wasn’t. Arap Moi was a dictator who used brutal tactics to keep control of a single-party state. Odinga was jailed for 8 years because of his opposition to this single party state.

    The piece also states that the results of the December election represented a clear loss for Odinga but independent international observers stated that the result was very doubtful and that there were definite signs of tampering.

    These two things ARE facts, unlike the Washington Times piece. As for the Obama involvement, I have no personal knowledge one way or another, but Snopes, usually a reliable site has debunked many of them HERE. I daresay time will tell on the full detail but I suspect there is already enough of it proven to be wrong for this to be a non-issue and part of a smear campaign.

  100. October 14, 2008 at 14:51

    85 Jonathan October 14, 2008 at 12:07 pm
    Until two weeks ago, I was a capitalist. Now, I’m a pragmatist.

    Please explain. Everything that you have posted to date has indicated that you are a die-hard capitalist.

    93 Jonathan October 14, 2008 at 12:50 pm
    there’s a lot of invasive alien vegetation around, especially all that horrible eucalyptus

    Send some my way. My sinuses are killing me.

  101. 108 Pangolin-California
    October 14, 2008 at 14:52

    Jonathan~ No, Google isn’t a financial “black hole” in any sense of the word. Then again if you had told somebody two years ago that Lehman Bros., Wachovia, Citigroup, and WaMu were all going to be on the edge of bankruptcy they would have called you insane. The same could have been said for PG&E in 2000.

    The only “fault” I can find with Google is that it appears to be a keystone. If, all gods’ forbid, Google should somehow implode, how big would the gravity well created be? Who would get sucked under?

    Excuse my lack of clarity. It was an attempt at a thought experiment.

  102. October 14, 2008 at 14:52

    My aunts mother and father in-law have a racoon…. have had it since it was a baby stranded on the side of the road after the mother got hit…. She took it to a friend who was a vet and they got all of the vacinations done and everything else.
    Oddest pet in the world, it sits around in its huge cage during the day, it comes out, sits at the table… when you give it food, it will eat some and hand the rest down to the dog/cats… It plays with the cats, wrestles with people. Seriously the oddest thing Ive ever seen. The thing is huge, I never wanted to get anywhere near it though hahaha.

  103. 110 Pangolin-California
    October 14, 2008 at 15:05

    Jonathan~ Favor us with a few words of wisdom on the prospects of playing the market when the major indexes are swinging over 5% a day. My take is if you got out stay out. If you’re still in, stay in. Juggling sharp objects at this point seems to be a better gamble than day trading this mess.

  104. 111 DENNIS@OCC
    October 14, 2008 at 15:14

    @ Pangolin-California

    I have to concur with the 100% and i would further that, with the saying…if it is too
    hot—stay out of the kitchen!

    That markets are for people with strong stomaches…

    Dennis

  105. 112 Bryan
    October 14, 2008 at 15:22

    Bob in Queensland October 14, 2008 at 2:49 pm,

    Yes, I did notice some questionable stuff in that piece. I picked up on it when he started talking about “genocide.” What happened was, as he said, reminiscent of Rwanda and it certainly could have progressed into genocide. Thank God (yes, there is a God) that it didn’t. There’s also a comment in the comments section that questions some of his assertions. I’ll have a look at your link and try to get more information and get back to you. But if I were American I’d be really worried about this Obama. There are far too many connections with radical Islam and radical anti-white racists here. And perhaps these revelations have only scratched the surface so far?

    Jonathan October 14, 2008 at 2:48 pm,

    For goodness sake old chap, keep your hat on. You’ll make yourself ill. No, I didn’t say, Obama had “enough white blood” so please stop trying your character assassination tricks. I said he had “white blood.” Yet everyone regards him as black. Why does black trump white in a mixed race person? I think it’s a valid question. I really can’t help it if you insist on misrepresenting that. And if you can’t debate without sneering at people, why bother?

  106. 113 Kelsie in Houston
    October 14, 2008 at 15:30

    The American election isn’t the only game in North America:

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canadavotes/story/2008/10/13/election-polls-open.html

    Thoughts from our resident Canadian(s)?

  107. 114 selena in Canada
    October 14, 2008 at 15:37

    With all due respect to my wonderful friends who keep arguing about Obama’s birth certificate and McCain’s health, that would seem to be the proverbial fiddling whilst the good life is burning.

    Perhaps we could be asking some serious questions about why we are in chaos and how to prevent such a thing from ever happening again:

    Where did all the money go?

    Was there ever any money or was it all worthless paper?

    Where did the bailout money originate?

    Is the bailout money coming from printing more money?

    If so, will this bailout money cause rampant inflation, because printing huge amounts of money will devalue money?

    These are some of the questions that keep popping into my head every day. Can we look more deeply at the financial predicament in which we find ourselves? Many people are elated today because the stock market is going up.

    Is that really a good indicator of what is happening at the ground level?

  108. 115 Bob in Queensland
    October 14, 2008 at 15:39

    @ Bryan

    Re: Washington Times article

    Mark Hyams, the author of the piece, is credited with working for the Sinclair Broadcast Group. I thought I recognised the name, now I remember why.

    They are the group that was taken to the Federal Election Commission in 2004 when the owner ordered all 62 of his television stations to pre-empt prime time programming to run an anti-Kerry film called “Stolen Honor: Wounds That Never Heal”. The programme was about the Presidential candidate’s anti-Vietnam war activism and it was heavily cross-promoted by “Swift Boat Veterans for Truth”. Does the phrase “swift boat politics” mean anything to you?

    I think the bias of Sinclair Broadcast Group and their employees is obvious. Does this automatically mean their “facts” on Obama are wrong? No. But this, along with the obvious factual errors in the Washington Times piece certainly cast doubt on all the allegations. I’d need a lot more than this to believe this is any more than a clumsy attempt to discredit Obama.

  109. 116 Pangolin-California
    October 14, 2008 at 15:48

    You think you’ve got it tough redux. Here in California the seasons are said to be fire, flood, mudslide and earthquake. If we look relaxed it’s because normal life doesn’t get our adrenalin moving with that backdrop to deal with.

    Now we’ve got flaming squirrels to worry about also.

    I’ve telling ya’ we’re just a little jaded out here for a reason.

  110. 117 Jennifer
    October 14, 2008 at 17:17

    @ Portlandmike

    I guess some do not get out much. If so, I don’t think you would disagree that we have more crime, homelessness, poverty, do I need to go on? Putting quotes around what you gleened from my statement is not taking it in full context and it’s a pathetic attempt to make any case of argument against what I said.

    Its not “my people” in office. There are not just Republicans but Democrats making the decisions. Both brought us to where we are now. I think it’s a foolhardy person who only sees what is in front of their face and takes that as 100% concrete truth. Does blaming W accomplish anything? No, but I guess that’s ok if it makes people feel bitter, I mean, better. When Obama takes office he can just sit around saying……look what Bush messed up! because that’s all he knows how to do! Obama is feeding off of people’s fears and annihilating an entire political party and that sad. People will be waiting for him to walk on water and he will sink if he is elected. What it comes down to is that we will sink.

    P.S.
    I am still waiting for you to email me. I am very eager to speak with you. I think we could have a very interesting conversation about morals and values. 🙂

    @ Selena
    If you will read my original post, you will see that my opinion (which I left religion out of completely) someone was taken right back to how “my people” are responsible for every horrible mistake in the world. I NEVER stated that my way was the best way. However, I do tend to think before I do something (and by think I don’t mean refer to my Bible!). You might want to read my original post?

  111. 118 Jens
    October 14, 2008 at 17:21

    jennifer,

    I was mocking her…..but she still believes the world is 6000 years old.

  112. 119 selena in Canada
    October 14, 2008 at 17:45

    I read your post Jennifer and I am still wondering what does being a stickler for doing things the right way mean if you don’t believe your way is the right way?

    Perhaps you could explain further?

  113. October 14, 2008 at 17:55

    I know there is something out there. I am a vehement critic of blind Faith, but I see it over and over again. So many of us think we are what we are, and take it for granted that we deserve what we get.
    I didn’t deserve what i got, for better or worse! Every day is a fight and a challenge. My only wish is that something may survive me. I look at my son and lass, and I am so happy, but they are not, that’s the rub. Where is the unknown factor?
    Genetic engineering and DNA have given the illusion that we can have green or blue eyes, and supposedly rugged, well-built torso! So what, that was thedream of the Greeks, but where has that got them?
    What i am trying to say is that green or blue eyes are the outward symbol of a personality. We say high-brow meaning exclusive or snobbish. A Square chin denotes resolve and concentration. This is only the tip of things. Go to the virtues as described by Aristotle. What are we, yellow, red or black?
    The notion of metamorphisis is another mystery. Are we affected?
    We talk of philosophy as the refining feature and vital for kings and rulers, but there is a divide between philosophy and politics.
    I have often thought of the Scandinavian misogynist school. They are some of the most polite and considerate people I have ever met, but what do they believe and why?
    We talk of wisdom but as the scriptures say, where is wisdom to be found?

  114. 121 Jens
    October 14, 2008 at 18:09

    @ Bryan,

    as far as i remember BLOOD IS RED and the ethnic background does not matter.

    Until we all understand this concept racisme will be alive and kicking.

  115. October 14, 2008 at 18:12

    lol, are you guys still arguing with Jennifer about the merits of the worlds luckiest beauty pageant queen?

    “what we have here is failure to communicate. There are some people you just can’t reach. That’s the way he wants it. what he wants, he gets. I don’t like it any better then you do.”

    This has been a test year. The republicans tried the most outrageous ploys, candidates, and tactics in order to see what worked. They knew they were never going to win this elections, so they have used it to see just how ridicules they could get and still have votes. At this point, those who are still on board have decided to believe the captain that the ship isn’t sinking no matter how deep the water is around their dinner table.

  116. 123 Jennifer
    October 14, 2008 at 18:36

    @ Selena

    Where did I say that my way was the right way? My way is right for me. Hope that explains my statement.

  117. 124 Jonathan
    October 14, 2008 at 18:50

    @Pangolin

    Oh, well, excuse ME for jumping down your throat. You know how I get. Nothing wrong wiith a thought experiment; I just think it’s important to start from clearly defined terms and shared premises.

    I think financial institutions are really in a class by themselves, and not the best examples of capitalism, ironically. Ordinary industrial/postindustrial companies, like Google, that make stuff and sell it, we don’t have to worry about. The forces that built it will maintain it. As long as it’s the best, it will be the biggest. The only thing that can damage it is if it falls behind the times and loses the leadership position, in which case it won’t matter so much.

    Remember when Microsoft seemed omnipotent, and Eliot Spitzer and a bunch of other horrible people brought antitrust suits against it, and Bill Gates said, Listen folks, we’re only a near-monopoly until the next bright kid comes up with something better? He was right. Same with Google.

  118. 125 Pangolin-California
    October 14, 2008 at 18:57

    Akbar~ With all due respect a belief is “faith” because it is blind. If it can be verified by independant and repeatable investigation then it is science. Lacking compassion it is mere prejudice or bigotry.

    A compassionate faith is a beautiful thing even if I do not share it. A proud, angry or fearful faith is a pollution.

  119. 126 Jonathan
    October 14, 2008 at 19:27

    @Pangolin

    I reread your “too big to fail” post. What I meant in my answer of 20 minutes ago was to convey the good news that the concept of being “too big to fail” only applies to banks/financial institutions (although we may hear claims to the contrary from the likes of General Motors very soon).

    It’s good news to both of us, because I think neither of us is comfortable with the notion of government rescuing any private company.

  120. 127 Jonathan
    October 14, 2008 at 19:54

    @Pangolin

    Sorry, I haven no “wisdom” — you flatter me — but I’d say your instinct is right.

  121. 128 Jennifer
    October 14, 2008 at 20:06

    @ Dwight

    “lol, are you guys still arguing with Jennifer about the merits of the worlds luckiest beauty pageant queen? ”

    Yes, yes, they are. Assuming that a woman is not capable of being a “beauty queen” and also being intelligent shows just how little respect there is for women. The most shameful thing is seeing women with that exact same perception. I think that’s the green eyed monster coming out.

    This election has been unique and it’s definitely not over. There are going to be people that vote for Obama because he gives a good speech without realizing that that is all they will be getting. Focus has been taken off of important issues and placed on paltry stupid things that do not even matter. Like someone being a “beauty queen”, someone being “old”, someone being a “monkey”, or someone asking a man in a wheelchair to stand up.

    There will be people who will research (on their own-without just taking what they hear from the media-which feeds on HYPE to get ratings) issues and vote accordingly on the ISSUES that matter most to them. They will look at experience and not feed into the hype of all of this. Issues, experience, issues, issues, and did I mention issues and experience are important?

    As for changing my opinion, it was already changed after Hillary conceded. I did support and vote for Hillary Clinton. I did look into Obama’s policies and experience and I found him lacking. That’s my opinion. If people don’t agree I don’t particularly care.

  122. 129 Bryan
    October 15, 2008 at 07:21

    Jennifer, I remember watching part of a speech by Clinton during the primaries. She came up with one of those slogans, something like, “Were going on, we’re going strong and we’re going all the way,” to rapturous applause. Strange how things work out in life. But maybe she’ll come back at some stage. She’d probably make quite a tough president. Iran would have to watch out. If Obama gets in he will be having cosy chats with those murderous Mullahs.

    Bob in Queensland October 14, 2008 at 3:39 pm

    Yes, I followed the Swift Boats saga to an extent in ’04 but got a little lost in the bewildering array of claims and counter claims – like Kerry trying to pass himself off as a war hero and others claiming it was highly exaggerated and others coming back and saying they were lying. I still don’t know what the truth was or whether it was definitely established. I didn’t know about the Electoral Commission.

    As you say, Hyams’ bias does not automatically mean he’s got his facts wrong about Obama. Sure people will try to overstate their case out of bias but there is a tremendous amount of evidence that, when you put it all together, appears to show that Obama has been groomed for years for this contest by some really vile and seriously committed anti-American and anti-white subversives.

    Jens October 14, 2008 at 6:09 pm,

    There will always be racism. But let’s not assume, as so many people do, that only white people can be racist.

  123. 130 John in Germany
    October 15, 2008 at 13:47

    What a one sided mutual appreciation society.
    I have just read this page top to bottom, and noted, the ignored postings. mine included. If a posting has been accepted it can be seen to be ok. An acceptance does not guarentee a hearing, but the ignorance shown by ignoring some very good points is beyond beleive (i do not include mine as having good points). Because i started enjoying WHYS so as to learn. People like Vitor K, Long, but informative, now? Just take a look.

    John in Germany

  124. 131 Jennifer
    October 15, 2008 at 16:08

    @ Bryan

    It is strange! I can’t believe that she is supporting Obama after he did not even consider her for VP. That would have been amazing and I would have voted for him just to vote for her. I think he would have showed sound judgment by choosing her. It would be great for 2 minorities, African Americans and women to be represented at such a high level of our government. I believe the reason Obama did not choose her is because he was too caught up in being the first African American presidential candidate and didn’t want anything to steal any of his limelight. However, SP did the next day when McCain announced she was his VP pick! 😉 😀 😉 Hillary would have been tough on Iran. I don’t even want to think about what Obama will do if he wins this election. I always feel that I’m trying to catch a slippery fish when listening to him speak….always trying to say what will get a vote not necessarily what he would really do.

  125. 132 Bryan
    October 15, 2008 at 21:36

    Jennifer, yes Obama is a crowd pleaser. That’s not what I look for in a leader. A leader had to lead, not always be worried what the right thing is to say to different audiences. He is well-coached but very artificial The man is a fraud, but that is not the worst of it. He has very dangerous people with very dangerous agendas grooming him and backing him for the presidency.

  126. 133 Jennifer
    October 15, 2008 at 21:57

    @ Bryan

    I think it is very interesting that we have seen so many celebrities voicing their opinions about candidates. I have a hard time finding them credible or intelligent enough to sway my opinion. However, I wonder how many people think oh, I’ll just vote like my favorite celebrity! It seems to me that Oprah is trying to buy him this Presidency.

    As for Obama; people don’t seem to want to listen to what is not said as well as what he does say. I think he may have brainwashed people! haha

    Watch this video for a laugh! 😀


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