Talking Points 17th October

It seems appropriate that today WHYS is coming from the Centre for the Study of Terrorism when a draft armed-forces agreement between the US and Baghdad is being considered that could mean all US troops would be out of Iraq by 2011.

Seven years after the events of 9/11 and the declaration of a “global war on terrorism” by the United States, terrorism is still a huge concern for the international community and ordinary people around the world.

But is the international solution really working? Who is missing out on the dialogue about terrorism? Does the “west” interfere too much? Should tackling terrorism be an Islamic-only solution?

Today World Have Your Say will come from a hotel in West London where The Centre for the Study of Terrorism is holding is annual conference to talk about terrorism. Dr el-Helbawy, a former spokesman of the Muslim Brotherhood and an former advisor to the Mujahedeen Leadership of Afghanistan, has invited us. You can ask our guests for their perspectives on terrorism, the war on terror, extremism and how they want to see it tackled. Post your comments on the ON-AIR page here.


The new head of the British Army says 30,000 more soldiers are needed to beat the Taliban in Afghanistan, but when does responsibility to another country end?

Let us know what you think….

156 Responses to “Talking Points 17th October”

  1. 1 Kelsie in Houston
    October 16, 2008 at 19:05

    Morning/Afternoon/Evening all!

    Cooling off after last night’s US Presidential Debate–what else in the world intrigues you?

    • the E.U. is holding strong on climate goals, despite the growing economic slump–the right choice?

    • OPEC is holding an emergency meeting in response to plummeting oil prices–is this the portent to a new round of higher prices?

    • Despite worldwide action and reassurances, the markets fell yet again…is the worst still yet to come?

  2. 2 Pangolin-California
    October 16, 2008 at 19:21

    It’s my thinking the the conversion from fossil fuels to a renewable energy economy is going to be the only viable path out of the current financial crisis. We have to do something to put people back to work that actually provides long term economic benefit and solar, wind, geothermal and conservation do that.

    The conversion would be labor intensive and at current economic numbers does a little better than breaking even on long term investments. Some things like geothermal heat pumps installed on residences and businesses have financial paybacks in as little as seven years as well as reducing demand pressure on oil and natural gas. If George Bush, John Edwards and Al Gore have something that saves energy and money installed on their houses why not the rest of us?

  3. October 16, 2008 at 19:26

    Hi again gang after such a long period of absence from the blog ! :-)… Did anyone here miss me at all ?! I do hope so ! :-)… With my love… Yours forever, Lubna in Baghdad…

  4. October 16, 2008 at 19:31

    Joe the plumber – isn’t a plumber and doesn’t make $250,000 a year.


  5. 5 Jessica in NYC
    October 16, 2008 at 19:38

    I am excited about tomorrow’s WHYS show from Centre for the Study of Terrorism. The center focus on Islam and has tailored workshops and training on terrorism-related issues for government officials.

    Perhaps we can discuss the different forms of terrorism and their legitimacy for using this ideology to achieve and safe guard their national interest. I recently attended an event in which Trita Parsi (author of Treacherous Alliance: The Secret Dealings of Israel, Iran, and the United States by Trita Parsi) made a very persuasive case that Iran, Isreal and the US have caused instability in the Middle Eastern and disrupted foreign policy initiatives from the US in the region.

  6. October 16, 2008 at 19:41

    Jess –

    Since the 1950’s the US policy has always to disrupt a region – all in the name of US National security.

    Hopefully that will change in the near future and the US to look at building bridges rather than blowing them up.

  7. 8 Kelsie in Houston
    October 16, 2008 at 19:44

    Hi, Lubna–I have missed you…good to see you’re back!

  8. 9 Dan
    October 16, 2008 at 19:48

    @Jessica in NYC
    How predictable that to deflect attention from realistic worldwide Islamic terrorism one has to raise the straw dog of Israel “secret” dealings to destabilize the Middle East.
    The modern day terrorists are the Islamic extremists that believe that the world should live like their 7th century book or they will honor their God by destroying God’s entire creation. Allah Akbar.

  9. 10 Jessica in NYC
    October 16, 2008 at 19:48

    Hi Kelsie,

    RE: OPEC’s emergency meeting as oil prices plummet

    It’s easy for me to prioritize environmental benefits from the arguement of decrease oil dependency. As such, plummeting oil prices would counter climate goals, because cheaper gas mean more people driving. However, in a recession I do feel and sympathize for those of you who must live part of you lives commuting in automobiles. I cannot imagine spending $100-150 a week (as when oil prices peak over the summer) on gas for commuting to work as one friend of mine did in Texas.

  10. 11 Kelsie in Houston
    October 16, 2008 at 19:50

    The real problem we have in Houston is a severe lack of reliable, widespread public transportation–high gas prices wouldn’t even be a major problem, if we had a viable alternative to the family car…

  11. 12 Julie P
    October 16, 2008 at 19:51


    Yes we do have a lot of bridges to build. We still have one to build in Minneapolis.

  12. 13 Dan
    October 16, 2008 at 19:56

    Recently I was in Charlottesville VA. They have a wonderful FREE public transportation system. Is there any WHYS contributor that lives in Charlottesville who can tell us more about the system?

  13. 14 Jessica in NYC
    October 16, 2008 at 20:02


    RE Markets

    No. The worst still yet to come. I spoke to a friend in Georgia last this week who is near retirement. She and her husband’s retirement were in a high risk portfolio and her father who was/is in a trader decided to pull all their assets from the market. They are wholly supported the bailout. However, they did not have confidence in the market pulled their money. I did not support the bailout, but my retirement investment is still there, I am trying not to contribute to the further decline. I have no confidence and those who do don’t trust it…. we have not hit bottom yet.

  14. October 16, 2008 at 20:04

    Hi Jess my darling… Invadors and occupiers are the ones who are destabilising the Middle East, in addition of course to Al Qaeda which the US government helped in creating in the last century inorder to tackle the Russian influence in Afghanistan, until the black magic turned out against the magician… With my love… Yours forever, Lubna in Baghdad…

  15. October 16, 2008 at 20:04

    @ Dan,
    Every religion has fanatics and extremists. Many a time we seem to discuss terrorism only from Islamic negativity and not bearing in mind the discord that America has sowed over the years. Let us do ourselves justice to bear our hate for Islam and discuss the relevant issue at bay.

  16. October 16, 2008 at 20:09

    Thank you a million times Kelsie and Will for your warm welcome… With my love… Yours forever, Lubna in Baghdad…

  17. 18 Tom D Ford
    October 16, 2008 at 20:10

    “Centre for the Study of Terrorism”

    Speaking of Terrorism: I would like to see some discussion of defining Financial Crimes Against Humanity and possible punishments, in a similar way to The 1950 Principles of the Nuremberg Tribunal and Trials.

    I think that “Financial Terrorism” ought to discussed, as it is probably the thing that detrimentally affects the most people in the world.

    I think that some limits ought to be placed on the freedoms of financiers to drive people into desperate poverty. I think that some responsibilities ought to be defined for financiers.

    We have laws against physical sexual rape, how about laws against Financial rape? How about defining “informed consent” for both parties in a financial transaction?

  18. 19 Dan
    October 16, 2008 at 20:12

    @Sheikh Kafumba Dukuly
    Sadly Islam has created its own negativity. Worse, a lack of organized protests against the radicals while there was a coordinated protest against cartoons means that the average Muslim gives all indications of standing with the Islamic terrorists.
    To me that is the relevant issue of the day. No one can see where America has sowed Islamic hatred. I watched Islamic clerics celebrate when the Soviet Union collapsed. they celebrated that they destroyed Marxism and now they state that they want to destroy Capitalism.
    On this blog I have asked unanswerable questions of Muslims in the hope that someone would understand what was being said and people would stand up. I was dismayed that the exact opposite happened.
    Sadly the relevant and overriding issue is Islamic terrorism.

  19. 20 Scott (M)
    October 16, 2008 at 20:20

    Sheikh Kafumba Dukuly,

    Every religion probably does have fanatics and extremists. But, does every religion have the same amount? Isn’t this ratio important? If Muslims have the highest percentage of terrorists in their religion of any religion, isn’t this important? Or should we just ignore it because it is a religion? Should we ignore and not discuss the Catholic priest pedophiles, because every religion has pedophiles? The statistics are the statistics, and we don’t need to coddle them because religion is involved.

  20. 21 Jessica in NYC
    October 16, 2008 at 20:24

    @ Dan

    You over look that these “secret dealings” were not blamed on Israel, but on the equal part the U.S. and Iran played in the instability of the region for the personal gain of these countries interest. The role the U.S. had in helping Bin Laden lead the Taliban into power in Afghanistan against Russia is clear. Now, how can the U.S. combat this terrorisms such as Al Qaeda when we don’t “play” by the same rules?

    I am looking forward to tomorrow’s show; I have so many questions and it should be educational for me.

  21. 22 Tom D Ford
    October 16, 2008 at 20:27

    Will Rhodes October 16, 2008 at 7:31 pm

    “Joe the plumber – isn’t a plumber and doesn’t make $250,000 a year.


    Most places require certain Trades-workers to have licenses because of public safety and health reasons, Electricians and Plumbers are two in specific. Plumbers have to study Codes and practices about how to take away waste water and how to provide uncontaminated drinking (potable) water.

    I suspect that “Joe the Plumber” has committed some crimes and every place that he has worked on needs to be inspected for compliance to the local codes and requirements. Working without a license most likely makes him subject to pretty severe fines and maybe even being banned from the trade.

    Ol’ Joe is in more trouble now than worry about taxes.

  22. 23 Scott (M)
    October 16, 2008 at 20:31


    An excuse or justification for terrorism? How easy.

    And what was the excuse in India, on September 13, 2008, when the Indian Mujahideen (militant Islamist group) killed 30 and injured over 100?

  23. 24 Tom D Ford
    October 16, 2008 at 20:38

    Dan October 16, 2008 at 7:48 pm

    “@Jessica in NYC

    The modern day terrorists are the Islamic extremists that believe that the world should live like their 7th century book or they will honor their God by destroying God’s entire creation. Allah Akbar.”

    Actually, it has turned out that the worst threat to America and indeed the world was not Osama Bin Laden and others like him, no, it was and still is American Conservative Republicans who De-Regulated the financial sector and therefore caused this current sub-prime crisis that is stopping the US and the World Economy.

    Bin Laden caused some three billion US dollars in damage on 9/11 and killed around fifteen hundred people, but American Conservative Republicans have caused over a Trillion US dollars in damage just up to now with untold hundreds of Billions in damage still to come, nearly killed off the entire world economy, and who knows how many people are left homeless and might even commit suicide because their future looks so bleak. American Conservative Republicans have caused the Nation of Iceland to face bankruptcy and driven them to beg Russia for a loan.

    American Conservative Republicans have done far more damage in the world than any “Islamic Extremist” could have dreamed of even in his wildest and most fervent dreams.

    It is time to re-prioritize our concerns to the current world reality.

  24. October 16, 2008 at 20:39

    I will be grateful if you could share with me your global statistics that points out Islam as having the most extremists. Or this assertion is just lies heaped up in prejudice against Islam. Scott, i am happy that you could point out vices in other religions. My point here, do we discuss these vices of other religions with so much inflamed emotions as do by people regarding Islam? I think there is an inveterate hate of Islam by many and so they shield their rancor in disguise of Islamic Terrorism. America has consistently used her Domino and Scapegoat Theories to keep other potential geopolitical players on their heels. America is the champion of Neoimperialism and oppressionism and her policies around the world has culminated into atrocities. Sadly innocent people are the victims.

  25. 26 Dan
    October 16, 2008 at 20:44

    @Jessica in NYC
    When the Shah was in power there was most definitely collusion with the USA who made Iran the power stabilizing the Middle East. No one could trust the mad Mullah’s of Islam.
    Jimmy Carter, in my opinion the father of modern day Islamic terrorism, overthrew the Shah and installed an extremist Islamic Government. Carter may be forever cursed but I think that was what caused instability in the Middle East.
    As the Soviets invaded Afghanistan they were poised to take over the control of the Middle Eastern oil and that would have meant instant nuclear war to prevent the Soviets from having a stranglehold on the energy of the West. We did what we needed to do to beat them but we then turned away leaving a power vacuum inviting in the Taliban.
    It was the righteous response of the United States to invade and destroy the Taliban after 9/11. The truth is that Bush did not complete the job,
    As for the terms invaders and occupiers I will not call you darling or any other sweet phrase but will tell you that the fact is that we are in Iraq as a fact. We went in for valid (at the time) reasons. Now we just want to see Iraqi’s free but Freedom is a precious gift from God but completely unknown in a 7th Century book that promotes subjugation in a society that cannot let go of its feudal roots.
    Anyway…that is how I see it.

  26. 27 Dan
    October 16, 2008 at 20:48

    @Sheikh Kafumba Dukuly
    There is nothing personal here as I do not know you but Islam is what it has made itself. I have said this before and I stand by it.
    No one needs to give statistics of the obvious as they will be denied anyway.
    America is the stabilizing force in the world but we are not perfect…no nation is, but we have done a fairly credible job in our time. Whom else would you like to have done the work…the Sudan?

  27. 28 Dan
    October 16, 2008 at 20:58

    @Tom D Ford
    Tom…buddy…you need to get your facts right.
    It was LIBERALS that started the sub-prime mess. They advocated giving mortgages to those who could not afford them.
    Then when arened about the impending disaster by conservatives Barney Frank & Maxine Waters refuse to listen or take any action.
    It was Liberals that caused this debacle. Conservatives tried to save you.

  28. 29 Scott (M)
    October 16, 2008 at 20:59

    Sheikh Kafumba Dukuly,

    What I said: “If Muslims have the highest percentage of terrorists in their religion of any religion, isn’t this important?”

    Notice the “if.” I never said Muslims have the largest percentage of extremists (or fundamentalists) in the general (non-terrorist) sense. It seems like it would be pretty obvious though, that the Muslim religion does currently have the highest percentage of terrorists of any religion. What that means, or what conclusions we can or should draw from that, I don’t know.

  29. 30 Jessica in NYC
    October 16, 2008 at 21:04

    Hi Lubna, darling, welcome back!
    “Invaders and occupiers are the ones who are destabilizing the Middle East, in addition of course to Al Qaeda.”

    That does not seem like a fair statement. Shouldn’t the emphasis of responsibility be placed on Al Qaeda? Please forgive me if I get this incorrect, but weren’t you on WHYS show (about 1 1/2 years ago) discussion of the US presence in Iraq and whether we should withdraw? A US caller (from the state of Oregon, I believe) who wasn’t sure what the best for Iraqis, asked you what she could do and what she should ask her elected official to do. You said, you did not want to the US to withdraw completely because it would collapse Iraq. Isn’t this a contradiction? Could you elaborate and clarify your opinion on the matter? Personally, I do not think we should be in Iraq, it has turned into a civil war and Iraqis should sort it out. (Again, I hope I remember the details correctly from the WHYS show)

  30. 31 Tom D Ford
    October 16, 2008 at 21:07

    McCain would effectively De-Regulate the health insurance industry and open it up to the same problems that we face in the sub-prime crisis.

    How’s that workin’ out for ya? Want more De-Regulation?

    I think of Conservative De-Regulators like two or three year old children who throw tantrums when told they have to behave and limit their behaviors so that they don’t hurt the other people around them.

    We grownups in society regulate all kinds of behaviors and we need to regulate “Free-Market Conservatives” to stop and limit the damage they can do to our fellow human beings. We ought to insist that they grow up and learn to play by our well crafted and well enforced Regulations, Laws, and Rules.

  31. 32 Scott (M)
    October 16, 2008 at 21:10

    T D FORD + DAN,

    Republicans, Democrats and all of us, played a part in the financial crisis. Which clearly has nothing to do with, and is incomparable to the ills of terrorism.

    Perhaps, one could argue, even using your arguments as a basis, that if it weren’t for the events of 9/11, this financial crisis would also not have happened. So where does this foolish line of thought lead us? Nowhere.

  32. October 16, 2008 at 21:12

    @ Dan,
    Your use of the word Sudan which i don’t think you mean the actually meaning of the word-land of the black. I certainly don’t know where has America stabilized. IRAQ OR AFGHANISTAN? Laughable indeed!!! About knowing me, it doesn’t matter. This is a global forum and i have got the right to debunk any information i find disturbing or flawing. America is just a rabid, belligerent country that has problem with other nations on the verge of economic influence and stability. Everywhere she has gone has further exacerbated the situation.
    @ Scott.
    I don’t know if i infer a contradiction in your post. Be that as it may, lot of people are just bent on criticizing Islam even if their criticism is a baggage of vacuity. Terrorists are believer of their doctrine- Terrorism. Those who used religion as a propagandistic platform for their evils, have no place in religion. Islam does not support terrorism or violence. It is people who choose to. Like crusaders did during the crusades. I guess it was not an agenda to go marauding and bootying Constantinople. Those who chose to that, went against their religious ethics.

  33. 34 Dan
    October 16, 2008 at 21:26

    @Sheikh Kafumba Dukuly
    The wonderful thing about WHYS is anyone can post any information real or not.
    You specifically mention Iraq & Afghanistan as if they are the world. They are NOT.
    But perhaps you would prefer to have kept Afghanistan under the thumb of the Taliban where flying a kite was a crime punishable by death. How about the brutal repression and regime of Saddam Hussein and his sadistic son’s?
    You state that America is a rabid and belligerent country. I wonder how you formulated that view.
    Truthfully I hate that we are in Iraq but if we withdrew instantly those people left would be slaughtered by Muslims that believe in destrying everything God has created.
    Back to America, can you name any country, Islamic or not, that has unselfishly helped out more less fortunate nations? Has your country volunteered peacekeepers to Bosnia or anywhere else?
    You seem angry that underdeveloped and perhaps corrupt nations do not guide world commerce. Perhaps the forward thinking rule of Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe who bankrupted that country and drove inflation to 10 MILLION percent is someone who is not “rabid or belligerent”.
    This is not about you or even a criticism of you but I do have all rights to question your conclusions and what caused you to develop those beliefs.

  34. 35 Scott (M)
    October 16, 2008 at 21:29

    Sheikh Kafumba Dukuly,

    I think people committing violence in the name of religion, will indeed be criticized and the religion along with it. If anything the criticism seems like it has been at a lower level, then it normally would be, because religion is involved. If this was some non-religious group the criticism would probably be even greater.

    Clearly the religion has something to do with it, because they are doing it allegedly for the religion! So to ask us to ignore this is absurd. Religion can’t only get credit for good things. If religion wants any acclaim at all, it needs to accept the bad along with it. Muslims can’t claim the religion helps them lead good lives and is the true faith, and then ignore the bad outcomes or even alleged misinterpretations. Nothing else works like you suggest this should. Did communism? It also has some great principles, but also had some bad interpretations. Should I ignore the bad of Communism and only focus on the good? It is perfectly fair and objective to look at both aspects.

  35. October 16, 2008 at 21:34

    So it turns out that in “Joe the plumber’s” business he works for he can expect to make less then $200,000 on a good year. lol, and this isn’t shaping up to be a good year. On top of that, before he can take over the business he will need to get a plumbing license.

    story sent to me here.


    They really need to check into these things before they start using them as an example.

  36. 37 Kelsie in Houston
    October 16, 2008 at 21:37

    He’s just a maverick!

    On another point from the debate: John McCain referred to himself as a Federalist when arguing in favour of greater power invested in the states themselves, rather than the central government. This is somewhat incongruous with American history–the Federalist Party, which won out in the protracted debates over the Constitution, was the party of strong centralised government. A spokesperson for Mr McCain’s campaign has also made the same assertion…

    In contemporary usage, “federalist” can–in certain political circles–refer to a “state’s rights” position; it isn’t clear whether or not Mr McCain was referencing this or the historic Federalist Party in his remarks.

  37. 38 Jens
    October 16, 2008 at 21:44

    JTP’s divorce papers show that he makes 40’000 bucks a year. he is one of these clowns who does not get that the GOP is screwing him regularly.

  38. 39 Jessica in NYC
    October 16, 2008 at 21:49

    @ Tom D Ford and Dan
    I rarely enter a debate on the middle east, because my education failed me. Now as I try to grasp the situation and balance it from both sides, I find I have more questions than people to answer them. Living in NYC, I am very fortunate enough to have friends on both sides of the issue to discuss this with them. The only certain opinion I have is that U.S. policy conflicts with international relations when national security is at stake EVEN if this is to the detriment of the American people, diplomacy will always lose.
    @ Dan
    You had me completely agreeing with your points until the end when you defend the US invasion of Iraq. It seems to me that spent nearly a trillion dollars fighting terrorism in the wrong country. The reasons for invading Iraq were always invalid. Had Bush focused that Iraq finding Bin Laden and fighting terrorism in Afghanistan this would be a different discussion. Re: The gift from god [lol the phrasing of word was funny] Again, Al Qaeda and the rest the US don’t play by the same rules, so now what?

  39. 40 Kelsie in Houston
    October 16, 2008 at 21:51

    Allegations of voter tampering and fraud have led to an emergency Supreme Court appeal by the Ohio Secretary of State, Democrat Jennifer Brunner, following claims from Ohio Republicans that Ms Brunner deliberately concealed fraudulent voter registrations in this “swing state”:


  40. 41 Jessica in NYC
    October 16, 2008 at 21:59

    @ Will, Pangolin, and Tom:

    If I get close to crossing the border into conservative-ville, I give you permission to smack me on the head and drag me back.

    @ Tom

    This is why Bush banned journalist from being able to photograph dead soldiers coming home in caskets. He feared we would not riot if we saw how the war on terrorism was going.

  41. October 16, 2008 at 22:01

    Hi again Jess my darling… 1stly let me state clearly here that I do consider the American and British military forces in my country to be illegal occupiers and invadors… But I also say that the US occupation forces must stay in my country until they clean up their own mess and eradicate the monster they have taken part in creating there, after that they should leave as soon as possible… You may say that this is a clear contradiction, but in fact it’s not, because I also say that the current status of the American presence in my Iraq is absolutely intolerable should be radically changed… Their immunity from legal prosecution in case of committing wrongful acts should be abolished… Their military, political, legal, and logistic superiority over Iraqis in my Iraq should be eliminated… They shouldn’t be able to launch any unilateral military operations what so ever without taking the permission from the Iraqi government… I do hope that further clarifies my points… With my love… Yours forever, Lubna in Baghdad…

  42. 43 DENNIS@OCC
    October 16, 2008 at 22:02

    Hi Kelsie!

    Re: Lubna, I miss you very much–my dear friend…

    It is sad, that they both were telling a big lie…

    I wish it much luck and, i hope they gave us all, a lot of “information”….


  43. 44 DENNIS@OCC
    October 16, 2008 at 22:05

    • the E.U. is holding strong on climate goals, despite the growing economic slump–the right choice?

    I think it is a not-a-brilliant idea–in my own opinion! But the CLIMATE goals, need to be work on in good times and in bad times!

    • OPEC is holding an emergency meeting in response to plummeting oil prices–is this the portent to a new round of higher prices?

    i think it is a stepping stone, to higher prices…and in this financial crisis!


  44. 45 Venessa
    October 16, 2008 at 22:07

    Hi Lubna, it’s good to hear from you. I hope your studies are going well.

  45. 46 DENNIS@OCC
    October 16, 2008 at 22:07

    • Despite worldwide action and reassurances, the markets fell yet again…is the worst still yet to come?

    I think the markets are continuing to clean out the “bad” and related verbs out of it…


  46. 47 Venessa
    October 16, 2008 at 22:09

    Poor Joe the Plumber….I would have been embarassed if that was me, knowing that everyone watching the debate would be googling & digging into my private life as soon as it was over.

    A toast to Joe’s 15 minutes courtesy of John McCain.

  47. 48 DENNIS@OCC
    October 16, 2008 at 22:10

    To second, Venessa’s comments:

    I did not tell, How was your studies are coming!

    To Lubna and everyone else:
    My studies here, Are going OK–next week–i lose one of
    my courses and pick up 3 more for the remaining semester!

    I know, also–Electricians are also REQUIRED to be LICENSE in The United States….


  48. 49 Roberto
    October 16, 2008 at 22:11

    RE “” Iran, Isreal and the US have caused instability in the Middle Eastern and disrupted foreign policy initiatives from the US in the region.””

    ————- Duh. I doubt Israel’s done much more than exist as a flash point for Islamic anti-zionist hatred but clearly Iran and the US have proxies in competition with each other.

    Do people really have to go have someone fill up their noggins or do they not have free will and independent observations based on the overwhelming amount of news coverage of this area?

  49. 50 DENNIS@OCC
    October 16, 2008 at 22:15

    This is a story–about God and being sued…and a waste of money!


    What is your opinions! Remember the RULES!.!


  50. 51 DENNIS@OCC
    October 16, 2008 at 22:18

    Remember on the previous TALKING POINTS on 16th October

    About the elections in Azerbaijan–The OSCE criticises Azerbaijan’s poll….Then, why are you doing it so…late in the game!

    This is my opinion: Why, didn’t [you] at the OSCE tell the Azerbaijani’s government that you had some feelings about the elections and how they were being conducted!


  51. 52 Julie P
    October 16, 2008 at 22:20


    If you get anywhere near conservative-ville I’ll have you dragged off to a remote mountain cabin where you will be deprogrammed, like what they do with people who join cults.

  52. 53 Roberto
    October 16, 2008 at 22:21

    RE “”Joe the plumber – isn’t a plumber and doesn’t make $250,000 a year.””

    ———- All I see in the mainstream press is the fella is not a licensed plumber and never claimed to make 100grand a year.

    If he buys the business he says he works at, perhaps he’ll be looking at that amount in the future. Running a plumbing company can be very lucrative.

    He supposedly voted in the rep primary, but the press is so unreliable these days, I imagine it’ll be at least a week or two to get down to the bottom of his story.

    Point being he’s a citizen who happened to ask a relevant question of a candidate which is how the process is supposed to work. It makes no difference if he’s registered to vote, who he plans to vote for if he is, his is one of hundreds of thousands of exchanges this year alone. His exchange went global and the usual suspects to be fighting over his carcass for votes now.

  53. 56 Jessica in NYC
    October 16, 2008 at 22:44

    @ Lubna

    To me, that is a contradiction and I do not agree. You want US money, military support, but not US policy. Hummm. I cannot think of any instance in with you get something for nothing anywhere; Even humanitarian aide has strings.

    @ Julie P

    Pheww. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  54. 57 Jens
    October 16, 2008 at 22:46

    Julie P,

    we have to lobotomize Jess if she ever crosses that border.

  55. 58 viola
    October 16, 2008 at 23:00

    @ Lubna: You seem to want to dance with an entity you would likely call the devil, but you insist on leading. Good luck.

  56. 59 Tom D Ford
    October 16, 2008 at 23:05

    Dan October 16, 2008 at 8:58 pm

    “@Tom D Ford
    Tom…buddy…you need to get your facts right.
    It was LIBERALS that started the sub-prime mess. They advocated giving mortgages to those who could not afford them.”

    I am not your buddy.

    And I don’t know about anywhere else in the world but out here in rural America where I live we have a saying that we use to describe someone who tells a lie; “he is a liar”.

    Now, WHYS doesn’t like us to “hammer on each other” with sayings like that so I’ll just leave you with this:

    You can writhe and squirm and you can dance

    but you’ll never put out that fire in your pants!

  57. 60 Jessica in NYC
    October 16, 2008 at 23:09

    @ Roberto
    “Do people really have to go have someone fill up their noggins or do they not have free will and independent observations based on the overwhelming amount of news coverage of this area?”

    OMG! Sir, with brilliant ideas like yours you should be the U.S. Secretary of Education. School should not use books and we should just all read the news papers and listen to the media. Here I thought books offered more details, facts and analysis that allow people to form a comprehensive understanding of issues. Silly schools, ban them all and save tax-payers some money.

    LOL! Independent media? ROTFLMHO. The media sold us Iraq, didn’t they? You must have missed the newspapers and “overwhelming amount of news coverage of this area”. Naive comments such as yours are why I question EVERYTHING the government does and how it is presented to me by all media… Journalist are also “someone [trying to] fill up their noggins” every time a news article is written to make a mighty buck. Thanks for the laughs, I could almost hear Bush trying to make this arguement.

  58. 61 Jens
    October 16, 2008 at 23:11


    you know maybe we just withdraw and you guys can sort the mess out yourself. it is only the iraqis that can end the fighting by stopping to support the attacks and expose the perpetraters. you have a nice little 70 billion surplus, that should do. good luck. the usa and britain would have left a long time ago if you the people of iraq would be capable of dealing with your internal strive and religiouse hatred.

  59. 62 Jessica in NYC
    October 16, 2008 at 23:31

    @ Jens and Julie

    RE: lobotomizing me

    Good looking out… thanks. [I’m off to an anti- Iraq war rally to welcome Obama and McCain, who are having dinner at a Catholics Charity event a few blocks from me.]

  60. 63 Roberto
    October 16, 2008 at 23:43

    The media sold us Iraq, didn’t they? You must have missed the newspapers and “overwhelming amount of news coverage of this area”. Naive comments such as yours are why I question EVERYTHING the government does and how it is presented to me by all media.

    ——– The media was mixed my dear. They reported everything there was to report.

    Facts are nobody could vouch in a concensus one way or another whether Saddam was still in mass weapons development. Facts are we will never really know because days leading up to the invasion, convoys of tractor trailers were streaming into Syria with no clues as to where they end up or what they carried.

    GDub took a poorly considered gamble and lost. He would have been hailed a genius had he kept the peace since the invasion was like sitting down to a bowl of strawberries and cream it was so easily accomplished, or at least a “Mission Accomplished” banner at a victory celebration.

    You’re right though, being unfiliated with politics or education, I’d be a better selection for sec of education than the usual koolaide soaked party members.

    First thing I’d do is half every administration member function I had the reach for and apply it to a half day every day of teaching under the procedures they force on teachers until such time as they either quit or start coming up with workable solutions they can live with in the classroom.

    Sure couldn’t do any worse than has what has happened in US education in my lifetime……..cheers now……

  61. 64 Dan
    October 16, 2008 at 23:43

    In December the UN Mandate in Iraq ends. I say if the Muslims are so anxious to resume killing each other, blowing up each others Mosques and destroying perhaps the only chance they have to be truly free they should welcome the Americans leaving the moment the clock strikes 12.
    Then after Iraq descends back into the darkness of its poverty and anarchy in the hell it will create for itself I am certain the cries for America to come rescue them will be heard all over the Middle East.
    America gave Iraqis a chance for freedom and self determination but after 7 years they cannot even make the simplest decision how to divide oil revenues.
    What boggles the mind are those that love America’s cash but cannot agree to the simplest of decisions and want America out so that they can go back to killing each other and showing the world the low ideal of how they practice their “religion”.

  62. 65 Anthony
    October 16, 2008 at 23:43

    @ everyone RE: Lubna

    No, I think you all have it wrong. What if someone charges into your home breaking everything, roughing up your family, killing your dog because they were “looking for illegal firearms”, then they don’t find any. What should the intruders do??? They should fix the place back to how it was. That’s all that Lubna wants. It would be unfair for the intruders to fix just a couple doors and windows and then leave.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  63. 66 Amy
    October 16, 2008 at 23:45


    You have been missed. I hope school is going well. Please keep sharing your views and keeping the debate about your country going. You are one of the few voices coming from there and we can’t debate about it without you!!

  64. 67 DENNIS@OCC
    October 16, 2008 at 23:51


    RE: lobotomizing me [Jessica in NYC]

    If you need a place to this programme, I will
    be more than willing to offer all of my
    assistance that is REQUIRED….


  65. 68 Dan
    October 16, 2008 at 23:53

    The example is not applicable. Facts are missing.

  66. 69 DENNIS@OCC
    October 16, 2008 at 23:57


    Here in Syracuse, and the Central New York District we have OK
    public transportation…around the system–we have CENTRO…

    It is option that many people, uses to get around the city of
    Syracuse and around the suburbs…including the Universities
    and colleges…


  67. 70 Kelsie in Houston
    October 16, 2008 at 23:58

    @debate fallout:
    • CNN has a piece on body language analysis:

    Polling data:
    CNN says Obama won– http://edition.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/10/15/debate.poll/index.html

    FOX News’ viewership agrees– bottom of http://elections.foxnews.com/

  68. 71 Anthony
    October 16, 2008 at 23:59

    @ Dan

    Why did we go into Iraq again??? What was the legal reason??? WMD. That’s it. Not Saddam, not terrorists, not muslims killing muslims. ONE legal reason, which was WMD. Did we find any??? Nope.

    So would you tell me which facts that are missing would make something like this OK???

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  69. 72 DENNIS@OCC
    October 17, 2008 at 00:00

    Count Iblis October 16, 2008 at 10:29 pm

    My opinion!

    That is what happens when the media, does not do their job,
    of airing information without first checking if the information
    is accurate or correct…..


  70. October 17, 2008 at 00:09

    OK guys, all what I was trying to say is that the US occupation forces do have a moral responsibility to stay in my country until they clean up THEIR own mess and eradicate the monster THEY took part in creating there… You guys have chosen and decided to come and invade our country, we ordinary Iraqis didn’t invite you to come and occupy us… The US military and political presence in Iraq in its current form is to be put under the “illegal occupation” category, and the role of the US occupation forces in Iraq should be limited to only fixing what THEY THEMSELVES have broken there since 2003 and till now, no more and no less… I am not a big fan of Saddam at all, but today I heard a very interesting piece of informations on the BBC Arabic Service Radio, it was about satistics taken from several Baghdadi courts… Those satistics indicated that the percentage of mixed marriages between Muslim Shiites and Muslim Sunnis in Baghdad before the US led invasion in 2003 used to be 50% of the total marriage rate, now it’s only 5%… But hey, moral responsibility and the US government do not go along very well together, do they ?! With my love… Yours forever, Lubna in Baghdad…

  71. 74 Dan
    October 17, 2008 at 00:13

    First let’s agree that Bush is an idiot.
    Next every intelligence service including the Russians believed that Saddam had WMD’s and was defying a UN resolution and not allowing the inspectors to do their work.
    Saddam had already demonstrated that he would use WMD’s as he used them on the Kurds. (Lubna over looks that)
    The USA went in to disarm Saddam but found NO WMD’s then things got bad from there. Not knowing what to do next Bush decided that regime change was in order and Paul Bremmer purged all Iraqi’s from positions in Gov’t, police and the military.
    It was only a matter of time before the country fell into chaos.
    The reasons going in were legitimate but no one in the US Gov’t has a plan or any contingency plans. Now faced with this a decision that I agree with was made…”The only way out is to go thru” and that is what we are trying to do. In some sense it is succeeding but more time is needed I think.

  72. 75 DENNIS@OCC
    October 17, 2008 at 00:14

    I have to agreed with my dear friend, Lubna….

    [this is a part of Lubna’s statement]

    I was trying to say is that the US occupation forces do have a moral responsibility to stay in my country until they clean up THEIR own mess and eradicate the monster THEY took part in creating there…

    i also agreed with that, because—they need to repair, what they have broken….


  73. 76 Dan
    October 17, 2008 at 00:20

    Maybe I should add that the USA went into Iraq on a UN Mandate. I guess the “ordinary Iraqi’s” didn’t invite us in as they were happy with Saddam’s torture chamber, rape rooms, murders of the Kurds, crumbling infrastructure and theft of the countries treasury.

  74. 77 Jens
    October 17, 2008 at 00:24


    NO i have not chosen to come and occupy iraq. IN FACT they went there against my will, BUT i am still paying for it. quite frankly i could not care less if sadam carried on gasing his own people, because only the people of a given country can raise and fight that evil. that is my point. i rather have my tax money spend on my people than some war that i did not support in the first place.

  75. 78 Tom D Ford
    October 17, 2008 at 00:27

    There is a convention here of referring to posts with an “at” sign “@” and the persons name but since most of us make many posts I ask you all to consider using @ , the name, and the rest of that date and time stamp so that we can can tell which post is being responded to.

    Like this:

    @ Tom D Ford October 16, 2008 at 11:05 pm

    We could use the link location:


    as it has a search able number but it leaves out the name and time and makes it awkward to post.

    I don’t know why each post does not get a unique number that could be clicked on to jump to the referred post so that we could copy and paste that number into our response and give the reader the chance to click and go directly to the referred post. WebX, Web Crossing software had that ability in the old TOTN, Talk Of The Nation, forums.

  76. 79 Kelsie in Houston
    October 17, 2008 at 00:29

    Markets are still volatile, with fears of recession growing with each drop in stocks:

    What do you think? Are we already in a global recession? Your individual nation? How will that affect you personally?

  77. 80 Bryan
    October 17, 2008 at 00:36

    Dan October 16, 2008 at 8:58 pm,

    Not much good trying to talk any sense into Tom D Ford. Through his prejudice he has decided who is guilty for the crash. Reality doesn’t matter.

  78. 81 Brian Larson
    October 17, 2008 at 00:41

    Hi Lubna, Hope all is well.

    I did not think invading Iraq was necessary and did not support the war. But now, I agree with you. In the words of Colin Powell to Bush, “You break it, you own it”. This phrase means that if you go into a store and look at an item and break it you must purchase it. Not that the U.S. owns Iraq, but it is in very large part responsible for the carnage. So, it must stabilize the situation and get blank out of Dodge. I hope Obama withdraws our troops intelligently, As of that matter, OVER TIME the US should get its military and its support for military proxies out of the Muslim World. We simply don’t know what we are doing. We are not competent.

    Interesting note: Russia invades Georgia and economy collapses. US invades Iraq and Afghanistan and its economy collapses. HMMMMMN … correlation anyone??? “War and violence in a global world is truly stupid, win, loose or draw.

    With the election of Obama a foregone conclusion (disclosure I voted McCain), the US is beginning a great social revolution. Change … she is a coming. It will be very interesting and have far reaching global implications. I think it will be disruptive but positive overall. Anything is better than the unrealistic, dogmatic jokers we have in office now.

  79. 82 Kelsie in Houston
    October 17, 2008 at 00:52

    Asia is looking to its own people in an effort to develop new markets for its products as Western demand falls amid fears of recession and worse…

  80. 83 Dan
    October 17, 2008 at 00:55

    @Brian Larson October 17, 2008 at 12:41 am
    I am not so sure we can get out of “the Muslim world”.
    First what is the “Muslim World”? Certainly not what they define it as.
    Next, given the infection within Islam it will only mean that the “Cream of the Crap” radicals will soon take over each Arab nation. Ordinary Muslims who would not stand up when it was easy certainly will not stand up when it is pure chaos. God forbid one Muslim criticizes another when they are killing each other.
    Rather I think we are in the Middle East until they become civilized or we find alternate forms of energy and they can drink their oil or use it to burn down each others Mosques rather than blow them up now. Less collateral damage with fire.:))

  81. 84 Kelsie in Houston
    October 17, 2008 at 01:06

    The U.K. bank bailout may not be viable after disagreements over the E.U.’s decision to deny dividends from banks under the British plan:

  82. 85 Brian Larson
    October 17, 2008 at 01:15

    @Kelsie, Yes, we are in a global recession the likes we have not had since the oil embargo of 1973 and 1974, possibly worse. At that time, globally world economies took a real hit due to increases and shortages of a natural resource, again oil. This was followed by massive injections of money to stimulate demand and avoid economic malaise. The result of money stimulation was the hyperinflation of the late 1970s. To fight this hyperinflation there were monstrous interest rates from 1978 to 1982. I worked for Farm Credit at the time and had to handle foreclosures. Literally made me ill. In my humble opinion, this economic crisis will dominate our lives for the next decade or so. But we will survive and eventually thrive. The upshot, get the securest job you can, pay down debt, and reduce expenditures.

    Right now, the US and EU and UK are injecting money into the their economies in a desperate effort to stave off depression and increase credit liquidity. The problem is globally intertwined investment “vehicles” that no one can price or determine the effects of. This is causing all lenders and investors to hoard cash. Institutions are facing rapid redemptions of panicked investors and depositors. Stock shorters can easily induce panic and crush a bank’s stock price profiting from the stock price decline. In the US, this happened to Lehman and was going to happen to Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley and many of our largest banks until the government agreed to backstop these institutions.

    The hedge funds are currently facing massive end of year “income tax capital loss” redemptions and are the next shoe to drop. The public doesn’t know this yet but the massive stock declines are center on companies with large hedge fund positions. Hedge funds typically have 6 to 10 invested for every 1 of equity. Another words, 83 to 90 percent of their investment moneys are borrowed. You have to give 90 days notice to get your money out of a hedge fund.

    Globally, we are all going to be poorer.

  83. 86 Kelsie in Houston
    October 17, 2008 at 01:31

    Thanks for giving an explanation in “plain English”–you’re clearly versed in economic lingo; a major weakness of mine, I admit.

    Do you think, in the United States anyway, the temporary fall in oil prices might mitigate the situation for ordinary families (the “Joe Plumbers,” if you will)?

  84. 87 Brian Larson
    October 17, 2008 at 01:33

    @Dan I have been on vacation in the Muslim World. Have you? They are nice decent people and that religion helps keep their societies cohesive. My joke to Christian zealots coming back was:
    “I went to Syria a found alot of people living lives according to the teachings of Jesus …. the funny thing is … they were Muslims.”
    Let’s look at our own house first.

  85. 88 steve
    October 17, 2008 at 01:36

    @ Brian

    Syria is a rather secular nation. IT is a vast majority muslim nation, but has a secular government. Go on vacation in Saudi Arabia and you’d be singing a different tune. One of my best friends is French and goes to Syria on vacation because her dad is syrian, and she doesn’t cover up or anything like that, and she’s very attractive. You picked the wrong nation. Also, you’re very safe in nations like that that are totalitarian. One of the costs of totalitarianism is general safety. Hence why you’re safer walking down the streets of Riyadh than you are in Detroit.

  86. 89 Julie P
    October 17, 2008 at 01:45


    I grew up in the 70’s. I remember them a way that only a child and teenager can remember them. I can remember waiting in long gas lines with my mother and going to the grocery store with her only to hear complain that the price of a gallon of milk had gone up. To her it was an even bigger crime given that we lived in the dairy state.

    I don’t know how the falling price of oil is going to impact this current economic environment, but I am going to have agree with Brian on his post, which includes that we are in for a rough ride for several years to come.

  87. 90 Brian Larson
    October 17, 2008 at 01:50

    @Kelsie, having seen their tax returns plumbers make good money.
    Oil prices, no too late. Demand decline will be dramatic, retail this xmas will be the first wacko.

    But again, I want to emphasize, we have been through this before. It is a great agent for change and improvement. Social equity will be in the forefront. Many in this country have been in recession for years already. We sacrafice to help others overseas but not our own. Something needs to change. folks overseas only see rich Americans so they think we are all rich.

    Have a budget. Grocery shop on Tuesdays when the ad expire getting rain checks for bargains so you can buy at reduced prices during the week. Teach the kids to be frugal and do without. My mantra was the “Secret to being free is to know the difference between what you want and what you need.” End unnecessary monthly charges and subscriptions. Don’t eat out or go to the movies. Dye and cut your own hair. We do all these things.

    If bankrupt, wait for the Democrats to get in charge and clean up the bankruptcy laws. file bankruptcy BEFORE you have a job, while you are busted.

    If homeless, join a 24 hour health club so you can wash up and travel visiting other health culbs in the system, I used 24 Hour Fitness. Watch out for cops and relocate regularly having a number of secure sleeping places in town and move regularly. Fortunately, I don’t do this anymore.

    Be happy, its not a sin to be poor.

  88. 91 Kelsie in Houston
    October 17, 2008 at 01:51

    That is the kind of anecdote and data I’d like to see laid out, to the best of someone like the London School of Economic’s ability: how is this credit crisis affecting (or preparing to affect) families on a daily basis? I definitely agree with you, Brian, and virtually the entire business world–it’s a major problem. I would just like to see some estimates or educated guesses on how that problem will translate into a daily issue for ordinary folk.

    The flip side: is there anything ordinary people can do to contribute to a solution?

  89. 92 Kelsie in Houston
    October 17, 2008 at 01:52

    And it appears Brian has answered that last question!

    Social equity will be in the forefront. Many in this country have been in recession for years already.

    Really insightful–this hasn’t gotten much attention, what with the legions of the nouveau poor.

  90. 93 Dan
    October 17, 2008 at 02:03

    @Brian Larson October 17, 2008 at 1:33 am
    Yes I have been in several Arab Islamic countries and you are correct in that there are decent people living there. I take no issue with that.
    I found their treatment of women appalling and barnyard animals were treated better. That however is their culture and the women of Islam must be first to rise up and protest. I would not want to overtly put my cultural norms upon them.
    I have also listened to the Clerics spew their illiterate hate from their pulpits. No matter how nice an ordinary Muslim is and I repeat there are a great deal of decent Muslims, you cannot sit in filth year after year without starting to stink.
    I was particularly taken with what the Palestinians have done to themselves.
    For 60 years they have been fed nonsense of driving the Jews out and their plight worsens. I wouldn’t let a pig live in Gaza.
    In one simple act, the Palestinians could have a contiguous country, nation, culture, life and future for their children but they are held in a stranglehold by the Radical Islamists.
    One last thing. America may have poor leaders from time to time but we are a decent country with fair people. I do not believe that we have ever not made an accommodation with a country when asked. 9/11/01 was the filth of radical Islam being deposited upon the pristine shores of America. It is a war against America to destroy us and bring us down so that darkness could again cover the world. Without going into detail, I felt it personally. Now at every chance I speak out.
    BTW, I believe that most educated Iranians still admire America and have no problems whatsoever with Israel. It is the sickness of Islam that does. That is why solving the Iranian nuclear issue is very tricky. It cannot devolve to bombing Iran.

  91. 94 Kelsie in Houston
    October 17, 2008 at 02:34

    The United States is considering a draft of an agreement with the Iraqi government regarding the future of the U.S. military presence in Iraq after the U.N. mandate ends later this year. Preliminary details may indicate the withdrawal of U.S. combat forces from cities and towns by mid-2009. The agreement comes amid negotiations over the immunity of American troops and contractors from Iraqi prosecution:


  92. 95 Julie P
    October 17, 2008 at 02:48

    Ok, this nearly made me puke. A man named his new daughter Sarah McCain Palin behind his wife’s back.


    I see a divorce coming on.

  93. 96 Jennifer
    October 17, 2008 at 03:05

    Re: Baby naming behind wife’s back

    As much as I like Sarah Palin I would not be pleased by that!

    It is a nice gesture though I think it would be nice if both parents agreed…… 🙂

  94. 97 Dan
    October 17, 2008 at 03:11

    @Julie P October 17, 2008 at 2:48 am
    I guess the husband is on the “self-service” line for the rest of his life. Geez…thankfully there wasn’t a murder.

  95. 98 Kelsie in Houston
    October 17, 2008 at 03:30

    @the candidates:
    Kudos to both of them for Mr Obama’s performance at the Alfred E. Smith Charity Dinner and Mr McCain’s graciousness as a member of the audience–proof they can get along…or put the politics aside, anyway…if anyone caught the Smith Charity “roast,” it’s real bipartisan fun.

  96. October 17, 2008 at 03:35


    I was amazed at how gracious McCain actually was – no matter how self-serving, it was a nice piece.

  97. October 17, 2008 at 03:38


    Can you imagine how that child will have to go through life? I’ll bet she grows some because with a name like that being called moron 1 and 2 at the same time…well, she can change it once she gets old enough.

  98. 101 Kelsie in Houston
    October 17, 2008 at 03:38

    It was really refreshing, especially after last night; Mr Obama’s “speech” was sidesplitting, and I think it was perhaps just what the electorate needed after the fireworks at the debate.

  99. October 17, 2008 at 03:39


    I agree, especially saying that he was Superman! LOLOL

  100. 103 Kelsie in Houston
    October 17, 2008 at 03:40

    And also:
    “‘Barack’ is Swahili for ‘that one.'”

  101. 104 Bob in Queensland
    October 17, 2008 at 03:41

    Morning All!

    @ Roberto

    All I see in the mainstream press is the fella is not a licensed plumber and never claimed to make 100grand a year.

    Rather helpfully, BBC radio played the entire exchange between Joe and Obama this morning. Joe doesn’t actually claim to be a licensed plumber but DOES say he’s planning to buy the company he works for and that said company “makes about $280,000 a year”. From the way he says it, I strongly suspect that he’s confusing turnover and profit (I assume American business tax is on profit not turnover).

    It does seem to have been proven that the company in question doesn’t make anything like $280,000 per year and that Joe has no firm plans to buy the company. Indeed, since the company is Joe and his boss, I’m not clear what Joe would be buying other than a van, some tools and a heap of “goodwill amortisation”.

    I suspect poor Joe was just a real life equivalent of a “troll” and never expected things to snowball like this.

  102. 105 Jonathan
    October 17, 2008 at 03:42

    @Yukkin’ it up at the dinner, there

    Kills me to say it, but from the snips I saw, McCain was way funnier than Obama. And you know I’m an Obamaniac. Anyone agree? (I won’t tell.)

  103. October 17, 2008 at 03:42

    HAHAH Yep!

    “I punched a paparazzi and spilled my latte! pmsl!

  104. October 17, 2008 at 03:43


    His real name is Sam. LOL

  105. 108 Jonathan
    October 17, 2008 at 03:44

    Wait–Bob, you mean they have trolls in “real life?” Yuck.

    There goes the neighborhood.

  106. October 17, 2008 at 03:44


    McCain was funny, I will admit that much.

  107. 110 Kelsie in Houston
    October 17, 2008 at 03:46

    I thought Mr McCain was appropriately gracious; he didn’t do anything crafted to be funny…? I didn’t think, but maybe I missed something.

  108. 111 Kelsie in Houston
    October 17, 2008 at 03:50

    Mr Obama: “Recently, one of Mr McCain’s advisors said that, if we keep talking about the economy, John’s going to lose. So tonight, I’d like to talk about the economy!”

  109. 112 Jonathan
    October 17, 2008 at 04:21


    The effect of a falling economy on a family: Daddy loses his job. Big collapse or mild recession, it comes down to your job. Employment effects lag months behind economic events. Best thing to do is be prudent: Sock away some savings, don’t have a lot of debt, smile at your boss, be nice to your relatives, keep your resume buffed to a fine sheen.

    If we dodged the bullet on the Big Crunch, expect a year or two of garden variety recession. Unemployment up to maybe 7%, interest rates and/or inflation higher than we’d like.

    Thie last 15 or 20 years have been a Golden Age. It’s rare for everything to be that good for that long at the same time: Historic low unemployment rate, low interest, low inflation, insanely cheap oil, rising stock prices, rising home values… Sadly, that isn’t the usual condition.

  110. 113 Bob in Queensland
    October 17, 2008 at 04:41

    Tipped off by chat in here I’ve found a LINK TO VIDEO OF OBAMA AT THE ROAST.

    I’m watching it now…hilarious!

  111. October 17, 2008 at 05:07

    It had me LOLing for real, Bob. 🙂

    Now – if politicians could be like that in real life.

  112. 116 Jonathan
    October 17, 2008 at 05:23

    I’m thinkin’ Sen. Obama knows that the singular of paparazzi is paparazzo, but he doesn’t want to seem “elite.”

    Somebody said he not only speaks in complete sentences, but whole paragraphs. What a treat. I just hope we can stand the shock after eight years of Daffy Duck. I know I’m “ready.”

  113. 117 Bob in Queensland
    October 17, 2008 at 05:31

    Surely that should be “Daffy W. Duck”?

    Seriously, what is it about politics that makes those running for office (and I’ll include the UK in this) think they can’t be humorous at the same time as they campaign?

  114. October 17, 2008 at 05:35


    Maggie was taking the p*&$ for quite a number of years.

  115. 120 Jonathan
    October 17, 2008 at 05:44

    Bob, seriously I don’t know why they aren’t humorous. But they’re often funny.

    I guess I was hoping for the Kennedy wit, and BO just isn’t quite there. Settin’ my expectations too high there, didn’t learn the recent lesson from the Empress of Empty to lower ’em, you betcha.

    (If McCain and Palin win, I’m heading off the GG bridge before they get that net under it. The pain only lasts for an instant.)

  116. 122 Jonathan
    October 17, 2008 at 06:05

    @Bob (picked up from yesterday, or is it tomorrow down there)
    Just as in the USA, it’s not uncommon for British politicians to leak fairly extreme versions of policies…
    I don’t know if they’re that clever in the USA, Bob. Or else I’m not clever enough to notice. Interesting concept. I think this administration has been freakishly successful in keeping lids on information, I expect because they all drink the same Kool-Aid.

    Fortunately, the terrorist scare tactics haven’t worked nearly as well in the UK as the seem to have in the USA.
    Happy to hear it. I had sort of the opposite impression, that UK was halfway to BigBrother already what with the cameras everywhere and the various artifacts from the time of the IRA Troubles presumably remaining in place (because these things never get looser, only tighter). But my knowledge of the details runs the gamut between sketchy and nonexistent.

  117. October 17, 2008 at 06:13

    Jon – move to Canada – everyone from the US is moving to Canada if McCain wins.

  118. 124 Bob in Queensland
    October 17, 2008 at 06:14

    The climate is better in Australia–and if McCain decides to invade he’s likely to get bored and forget what he’s doing somewhere around Hawaii and not get this far.

  119. October 17, 2008 at 06:20

    It`s only cold here for 9 months, Bob – the rest of the time it`s very, very hot!

  120. 126 Bob in Queensland
    October 17, 2008 at 06:31

    @ Jonathan

    From what I understand the tactic is slightly different in the USA, with “maverick” politicians often introducing fairly ludicrous legislation (that hasn’t a hope of passing) as part of the softening-up tactics. Certainly, the number of emails I get demanding I write to my Congressman (hmmmmm…?) to protest the bill to ban walking backwards in public or whatever indicates this is the case.

    A for the UK, you’re right about cameras but most of these are put up by local councils (or even businesses), more in an attempt to fight street crime than for terrorist protection. Also, as I discovered some years back when somebody broke into my car, many are un-monitored and unrecorded!

    What I was thinking about in terms of public response to anti-terrorism legislation was the government’s lack of success with legislation to do things like extend the period suspects can be held without charge–or to make wiretap evidence admissible in court. Some bits have slipped through but, for the most part, Brits have a dis-respect for and mistrust of authority that would impress you.

    As I like to tell Americans–if any British politician tried to make jaywalking illegal in the UK they’d be laughed at!

  121. 127 Jonathan
    October 17, 2008 at 08:15


    Woe betide the maverick who dares defy the Silly Walks lobby, eh?

    @Bob vs.Will

    I’ll entertain the bicontinental bidding war over my most unworthy self. I’m all kinds of flattered.

  122. October 17, 2008 at 08:58

    73 selena in Canada October 16, 2008 at 4:33 pm
    I really don’t think that Britain would look the other way if girls were killed, Sharia law or not!

    It is B) – not.

    The fatwa of Ayatullah Sistani, for example, on the issue: “It is not permissible for [the husband] to kill [a Muslim woman], even if he sees her in the act of committing adultery.” (Code of Practice for Muslims in the West, chapter on Marriage, Question & Answer Section, #426)

    There is a difference between Middle Eastern/Asian culture and the religious practises of Islam, or Christianity, or Hindiusm, or Buddhism, or any of the other religons that are practised in Muslim-dominated regions of the world.

  123. October 17, 2008 at 09:03

    145 Roberto TP October 15, 2008 at 10:00 am
    Birth Criteria for the Presidency
    Indeedy, the whole concept of nationality and citizenship is discriminatory. Why am I not allowed to vote in China, Austrailia, or Timbuktu?

    You are overreaching. You do not live in Tibuktu. I have been saying that a citizenship accompanied by an established residency should be enough to be eligible for President. Heck, if a person from an Iraqi or Pakistani family can be born here and then trotted right back home to be raised completely immersed in the culture of his family, then return when he is 40 and yet be eligible for the office of President of the United States after fulfilling other qualifications, then I see absolutely no reason why someone who has been born abroad yet raised in the US all of is life should not be allowed to become President.

  124. 130 Bob in Queensland
    October 17, 2008 at 09:17

    @ Shirley

    Very good point on citizenship. Residency and citizenship should be more important than an accident of birth.

    As for Roberto’s point, if he chooses to become an Australian citizen he CAN vote here…and run for parliament for that matter.

    I’m not sure what the situation would in in Timbuktu though, since that’s only a city in Mali, not a country itself.

  125. 131 Jonathan
    October 17, 2008 at 10:13

    Pink and Bob,

    Why don’t we try and find out why the born-on-American-soil requirement was written in the first place? There might be a record of the debate as there is for other Constitutional stuff, so we can see what they were thinking.

  126. 132 Bob in Queensland
    October 17, 2008 at 10:53

    Re: Citizenship Requirements

    After a bit of Googling, I found this quote:

    John Jay in a letter to George Washington on July 25, 1787 wrote the following concerning natural-born citizenship being a requirement for the office of the President and Commander in Chief.

    “Permit me to hint, whether it would be wise and seasonable to provide a strong check to the admission of Foreigners into the administration of our national Government; and to declare expressly that the Commander in Chief of the American army shall not be given to nor devolve on, any but a natural born Citizen.” There was no debate, and this qualification for the office of the Presidency was introduced by the drafting Committee of Eleven, and then adopted without discussion by the Constitutional Convention.

    So….unless there’s more to it than this, it would appear that it’s a case of “seemed like a good idea at the time”.

  127. 133 Dan
    October 17, 2008 at 11:44

    America is a great assimilation machine. The Framers of the Constitution understood that merely moving here from another country simply brought old and worn out ideas of that country along with anyone that wanted to become President.
    It takes someone born in America, brought up in our culture, customs and language to become President as they would understand America and have new ideas.
    If for instance someone from an Arab Muslim country wanted to be President would they want to institute Sharia law because they felt comfortable living in a medieval fashion?
    Perhaps public executions would become the norm as the Constitution was shredded and laws no longer apply.
    It is less than where one is raised than the culture one grows up in that shapes a person to be President.

  128. 134 Bob in Queensland
    October 17, 2008 at 12:08

    @ Dan

    It’s really pretty academic to me but….who would be a better president:

    -A person born in the USA but brought up in a household where the parents spoke only Arabic, believed in Sharia law, and home-schooled their child to believe in the overthrow of the American constituition.


    -A person who was born in Syria but adoped by American parents at the age of six months and brought up as a “typical citizen”, speaking English, going to public schools during the week and church on Sunday and then taking a Harvard degree in constitutional law.

    Under the present rules, person 1 qualifies to be president while person 2 doesn’t. It just goes to show how arbitrary the rules are.

    As for your specific queries, I guess it comes down to how much one trusts the democratic system. If the majority of Americans voted in a Arab-Muslim, Sharia supporting president, then he musters sufficient support to put through the necessary amendments to the constitution to adopt Sharia in place of the existing laws, then so be it. However, I think it pretty unlikely the American voter would let this happen and don’t really see this risk as enough reason for the “natural born American” rule.

  129. 135 Dan
    October 17, 2008 at 12:15

    @Bob in Queensland October 17, 2008 at 12:08 pm
    The rules are not arbitrary they are well laid out.
    It takes a next generation to burn out the “old country”.
    Look at some of the past comments where naturalized American citizens still look for Fatwahs. They are still tied to a black eyed mad mullah to guide their lives. That mad mullah would also be unelected but have the power of the Presidency.
    I also remind you that America is not a Democratic system, we are a Republic.
    We eschew the failed ways of other countries. As the world turns the Natural Born American Rule become even more important.

  130. 136 Roberto
    October 17, 2008 at 12:23

    I think it pretty unlikely the American voter would let this happen and don’t really see this risk as enough reason for the “natural born American” rule.

    ——— How many native American citizens can dance in the bed of a Ford F-150 supercab verses how many naturalized American citizens?

    Compelling questions with the backdrop of war, global warming, spiking fuel/food costs, global financial meltdowns in the nuclear age.

    Why are there any rules? People just break the rules, so is there really any risk to lift every rule? In the case of the US presidential minimal qualifications set by the US constitution, why the age restriction and citizenship restrictions, or any restrictions?

    Isn’t it just as unlikely that the storied American voter wouldn’t vote in the latest global boy band for president, or a popular chihuahua into office of president or congressman?

    How many chihuahuas can do the tango in the back of that F-150?

  131. 137 Zainab from Iraq
    October 17, 2008 at 12:25

    Hello all friends how are you?
    hi Lubna darling, you did it.. you just passed your exam. Congratulation 🙂
    Well Lubna let me disagree with you in your point that “the multinational occupying forces must stay in our country until they clean up their own mess and eradicate the monster they have taken part in creating there.”

    Oh, please do you really believe that they will stay to “clean up” and to “eradicate” al Qaida (or what so ever!!) oh please come on.. why did they do that, if they will clean it up?!!! believe me they will never eradicate anything.. they will only make thing worst, we’ve tried them for about 6 years now.. So let them just leave and we will clean up all things.
    yours truly,
    Zainab from Iraq

  132. 138 Louis Ndimele
    October 17, 2008 at 12:29

    I recall that Nelson Mandela was labelled a Terrorist by the West in the 60s, I also recall that Al quaeda before 9/11 called America a Terrorist, Infidel and invading nation. President Bush calls them Evil, Terrorists that don’t deserve to live. The scenarios above shouts TERROR! Why? Because man is becoming intolerant, due to his selfish ambition.

    Yes, the Muslims should have a say in the discuss on terrorism. And yes, they should equally listen to the other side.

  133. October 17, 2008 at 12:31

    Leave While you Can!
    TEHRAN – It is banal and childish to repeat this over and over again: “Leave while there is still time.” It is not a matter of Islam, terrorism or security but pure fact: Unless the issue of prelates in Iraq and Iran is solved and a return to civil rule is possible; unless there is a settlement of the Kurdish issue between Turkey and Iraq; until there is a settlement between Sunnis and Shias and until there is a settlement between the Arabs of the Persian Gulf littoral states themselves, no one can ensure a security deal with anyone, let alone US.
    Why make it difficult? Why insist on the impossible? The world wants a sovereign Iraq, Europe wants a sovereign Iraq, the Iraqis want a free and independent Iraq just like the Arabs in Kuwait, Saudi, Syria or Egypt, but here we have Washington which wants to reduce Iraq to surrogate status.
    We are seeing a repetition of the Tehran, Beirut scenario. What happens when the situation on the ground becomes volatile? We are faced with the mass exodus of Americans! When is anyone in Washington going to understand that staying in Iraq will only make matters worse.

  134. 140 Roberto
    October 17, 2008 at 12:41

    RE “” I suspect poor Joe was just a real life equivalent of a “troll” and never expected things to snowball like this.””

    ——- How could Joe be a troll when he’s outside throwing the football in his front yard when the Obama media blitz shows up and takes over his immediate neighborhood.

    So he may be naive in a business sense and politically ill informed and unsophisticated? No different than many who post here. Is there a single person who can hold up their hand here and claim to be all knowing and bias free?

    Point being that he may or may not vote, but has the right in the obvious photoshoot campaigning format to ask a question. His went global compared to the hundreds of thousands of previous questions in the 2008 campaign that stayed provincial. And?

    So the highbrow political sophists want to dissect his life now, fight over him and what votes he represents? And now he’s a troll? Small wonder corporate pirates find the high financial seas they sail on so profitable. Let’s dispatch a destroyer up Ohio rivers to Joe the Plumber’s place to contain him and his ilk.


  135. 141 Brett
    October 17, 2008 at 12:48

    So I woke up this morning to NPR, poor ole Joe the Plumber, or six pack or whatever they want to call him to make him seem like an ‘average ‘Joe”, is delinquent on his taxes, well then of course he wants tax breaks, he’s not even responsible enough to pay the ones he owes now 😉

  136. October 17, 2008 at 12:57

    Hi Dan
    October 16, 2008 at 8:44 pm
    Your facts and figures are correct, but we are in a different age. Thirty years after the Islamic Revolution, and the fall of Communism, Iran is at the crossroads of confrontation with the West and internal conflict between tradition, new generation and tyranny of prelates.
    Things could become tough given the drop in oil prices. Can Iran escape the consequences of world recession? The majority want change in Iran. In many ways, the public is way ahead of the government in tackling new challenges.
    The military in Iran is the only machine which is capable of ensuring a peaceful transition from the rule of ranting, raving prelates to a moderate regime of law and order.
    The good king simply wouldn’t resort to force. They called him a thief, but he bequeathed everything to the nation. We are neither Arabs or Jews. We are a republic and we should proceed on those lines.
    Silly boy Jimmy, the arch puritan, in many ways the embodiment of prelates, but look what that brought us!
    Anything could happen in Afghanistan. Ten thousand tons of opium produced every year, and we are their foremost consumers. Truck loads of Afghan economic refugees come over every day to join their aunts and uncles – rather like the Mexicans in LA and Frisco. What to do with them?
    Middle East oil, yes, but you could go about it in an easier way?
    Nuclear, you can have it. Bushehr Atomic Plant, Parchin, Natanz, uranium enrichment sites, take them out, but that’s not the issue. Look to Europe, interesting developments!

  137. 143 Bob in Queensland
    October 17, 2008 at 13:29

    @ Dan

    The rules are not arbitrary they are well laid out.
    It takes a next generation to burn out the “old country”.

    I couldn’t disagree more. The rule on place of birth is purely arbitrary and offers you no protections whatsoever.

    Even amongst the regulars on the WHYS board, I can think of two people.

    One is a “natural born American” who has converted to Islam and, under the constitution, would be totally eligible to run for president even though, in your eyes, Islam is an evil threat.

    The other is a person who was born in another country but adopted by an American family at a young age. He’s as American as “apple pie”, to coin a cliche, but will never be eligible to run for president.

    Arbitrary, 200+ years old and ridiculous.

    As for America not being a democracy because it’s a republic, what on earth are you talking about? Since when are the two mutually exclusive?

  138. 144 Bob in Queensland
    October 17, 2008 at 13:37

    @ Roberto

    How could Joe be a troll when he’s outside throwing the football in his front yard when the Obama media blitz shows up and takes over his immediate neighborhood.

    Do you actually believe that the spontaneous, unplanned “meet the people” photo ops are actually spontaneous and unplanned? I can assure you they’re planned down to the minute and secret service people were scouring the neighbourhood well in advance of the Obama visit. Not a criticism of Obama by the way–the McCain photo ops are just as planned.

    As for Joe being a troll, I still contend he had his little conversation just to be contentious. That’s why he was economical with the facts–it made for a better story. Alas, he never expected McCain to make him a star and place what he said under a media microscope…and the Republicans should have checked more carefully too.

    There’s nothing wrong with stretching the truth for a good debate…but getting caught is always bad news.

  139. 145 Alec Paterson
    October 17, 2008 at 13:51


    The fatwa of Ayatullah Sistani only applies to Shia Muslims.

    What is your take on the following from http://www.sistani.org

    84. The following ten things are essentially najis: 1. Urine 2. Faeces 3. Semen 4. Dead body 5. Blood 6. Dog 7. Pig 8. Kafir 9. Alcoholic liquors 10. The sweat of an animal who persistently eats najasat [i.e., unclean things].
    108. The entire body of a Kafir, including his hair and nails, and all liquid substances of his body, are najis.
    109. If the parents, paternal grandmother and paternal grandfather of a minor child are all kafir, that child is najis, except when he is intelligent enough, and professes Islam. When, even one person from his parents or grandparents is a Muslim, the child is Pak
    110. A person about whom it is not known whether he is a Muslim or not, and if no signs exist to establish him as a Muslim, he will be considered Pak. But he will not have the privileges of a Muslim, like, he cannot marry a Muslim woman, nor can he be buried in a Muslim cemetery.”

    Correct me if I am wrong, but hasn’t al-Sistani refused to personally meet with any of the Kafir who liberated his country because they are najis?

  140. 146 Dan
    October 17, 2008 at 13:53

    @Bob in Queensland October 17, 2008 at 1:29 pm
    The rules are NOT arbitrary and yes they are well laid out.
    The popular misconception is that we are voting for a President. WE ARE NOT.
    We are voting for electors that will select a President in the Electoral College. They can, and in the past have, gone against the popular vote which is meaningless.
    If a natural born politician is a Muslim I do not believe that in this environment (post 9/11) they could ever get nominated much less elected President. Before there is an uproar I believe Obama when he says he is a Christian..
    Now let’s address another issue. I never said that Islam is an evil threat. I have steadfastly maintained that radical Islam is the threat and that rank & file Muslims seems to side with the radicals as they will not stand up for their own belief system.
    Are we clear?

  141. 147 DENNIS@OCC
    October 17, 2008 at 14:33

    Should tackling terrorism be an Islamic-only solution?

    i think that it should not be only an islamic-only solution…it should be an everyone solutions….


  142. October 17, 2008 at 14:41

    Hi Alec Paterson
    October 17, 2008 at 1:51 pm
    Re fatwa of Ayatullah Sistani, much of what he says is accepted norm in Shia Islam and do not pertain to Sistani.
    The issue of cleanliness in the moral sense, tarnished, blemished or tainted also are applicable in the context of the Torah. Ablution is one remedy. The instance of the leper in the Old Testament is a good instance, but the polemics of the issue are primarily focused on moral precepts.
    If you are blemished, you remain so until you are cleansed – this is also an accepted obligation in the Torah.
    Alcohol although prescribed by Jews is not sanctioned in Islamic Sharai Law. Even in Judaism, we have instances where a person deliberately abstains.
    The issue of offsprings is very sensitive. It is also difficult at times to determine the real parents – also applicable in Judaism.
    The burial ritual for Muslims and the traditional ablution and wrapping in white cloth is obviously sensible, but not everyone may get a Muslim burial. This has become a contentious issue in Iran where burial plots are very expensive.
    Marrying within your own creed certainly applies to Muslims, but also applies to Jews.
    Sooner or later these issues must be discussed at inter-faith confabs, but it is tricky. Incidentally, it is all so very easy to take these issues at their face value but the reverberations of seemingly simple matters of what you eat and how you go about your daily life can have great significance in terms of moral, conscientious and theological context. The fundamental divide of Western values and Islam or Judaism is enshrined in this code.

  143. 149 DENNIS@OCC
    October 17, 2008 at 14:41

    but when does responsibility to another country end?
    it should be when the other country has repair the damage of the country!!!!


  144. October 17, 2008 at 15:21

    Hi Alec Paterson
    October 17, 2008 at 1:51 pm
    I have just seen the page.
    Every Shia Islamic scholar will present a thesis prior to being accepted as an authority of the faith. Sistani has emerged as a moderate, surprising for an ayatollah who leads the way and traditionally, takes precedence over his counterparts in Iran. If he is given enough support, he could overrule and oppose many of the excesses and unruly behaviour of Tehran prelates.
    The present danger is that personality cult and image worship is so widespread within the faith that it could trigger a bloody feud with Sunnis, which we don’t want.
    All sides must be sensible in Iran, Iraq, US and EU when negotiating a long-term pact.

  145. October 17, 2008 at 16:01

    Hi Kate
    Alec Paterson has underlined a crucial factor. If Washington, Baghdad sign a Secuirty Pact, what kind of judgement can be handed down if a member of either side takes a petition to court? On the one hand you have Sharia Laws and Statuary Laws on the other side. Which ruling prevails? Isn’t this asking for trouble? Wouldn’t it be better to let the next US Administration decide!

  146. October 17, 2008 at 16:52

    The question is framed in a way that points to an answer. Of course Muslims should do what they can to end “Islamic terrorism.” In the same way, the West should stop its own terrorism, which has been going on for a long time.

    We might ask if car bombing is worse than aerial bombing. A man in Nevada can push a button and, via a drone aircraft, bomb people halfway around the world.

    And have people forgotten those British soldiers who were arrested in Basra. They were wearing Arab clothing in a car full of explosives. Then the Brits sent a tank to knock down the walls of the local jail, to get the soldiers out before they could talk.

    We might ask if “Islamic terrorism” is always what the media tell us.

  147. 153 steve
    October 17, 2008 at 16:55

    @ Per

    Are you trying to compare a suicide bomber, killing over religious beliefs, with a soldier, who you know isn’t deliberately targetting civilians, whereas the terrorist targets civilians?

    Do you have any legitimate proof of your British soldier Basra claim that isn’t from a far leftist source?

  148. 154 Jennifer
    October 17, 2008 at 17:05

    Re: Roast Videos

    Obama: Why don’t I find him funny? At least he did admit that he’s anything but humble. And he made fun of Joe Biden. 😀

    McCain: Giving Joe the Plumber his all due respect was nice! What could be better than bringing up all those zingers. It was great when he brought up Hillary and Bill Clinton too but the best part was… he even has a pet name for me…George Bush 😀 My side hurts now! haha

  149. 155 selena in Canada
    October 17, 2008 at 17:05

    Are you trying to compare a suicide bomber, killing over religious beliefs, with a soldier, who you know isn’t deliberately targetting civilians, whereas the terrorist targets civilians?

    I hope he is because there is no difference. Nothing will change, ever, until we stop talking about killing by degrees!

  150. 156 viola
    October 17, 2008 at 17:28

    Words from my American brother who died in 2004

    Re: Invasion of Iraq by American armed forces

    “Whether we are selfish or noble is a matter of some concern to a good citizen. Is what we did in Iraq simply another means of eventual profit, or was it done for reasons of security? Was it altruism? Or an aggressive expression of Machiavellian politics? I am certain only of not knowing, and find myself in the ridiculous position of hoping that, as a nation, we are behaving in a way proper to our position in the world. Of course, there’s no way to guarantee that we will, but so long as we remember that power is best used as a means of assuring mutual survival, not to bully others into submission, we are well on the way to deserving what we have.” Oct. 17, 2003

    Last night, I heard Nancy Pelosi say, on Charlie Rose, that the cost of the war in Iraq, which American taxpayers have borne and are bearing is the cause of the current financial crisis. True? I don’t know, but it seems likely.

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