Talking Points for 24 November

Is Africa addicted to aid? Why haven’t all those millions of dollars lifted the continent out of poverty?

Sorious Samura is an award winning journalist from Sierra Leone, he’ll be in the studio today taking your questions. Read Chloe’s blog and post your questions here.


Some other ideas that might interest you…

Hilary Clinton as secretary of state? Dream team or nightmare?
She made a point of her superior experience in foreign matters during the primaries, although at times her memory failed her. As the Obama’s ambassador abroad (potentially), is she someone your country could do business with?


In UK, Down’s births rise despite tests. More Down’s syndrome babies are being born than before pre-natal screening became widespread, figures show. More babies are being born with Down’s syndrome, but since tests began, they are doing so knowingly.

Does this show that fears of designer babies are exaggerated? Are we underestimating our own humanity when faced with such choices?

Last week, a woman was given a pioneering trachea transplant that was partly built with her own stem cells, meaning her body was unlikely to reject the organ. Doctors say this proves the good that stem cell research can do. And with fierce opponent Bush on his way out, the stem cell debate continues in the US…  Are you afraid of genetic research?

20 Responses to “Talking Points for 24 November”

  1. 1 Roberto
    November 24, 2008 at 11:58

    RE “” fears of designer babies “”

    ———- Humanity is already being redesigned thanks to the intersection of large scale abortion, especially gender specific abortion, industrial/chemical global contamination of peoples, and the shoe horning of large masses of population into large cities.

    Of course war has always been the main instrument in redesigning people with the marauders and victors forcibly spreading their seed in the local area of conflict.

  2. 2 John in Salem
    November 24, 2008 at 14:51

    re: African aid.
    How much of that $600 billion comes directly back to the West in the form of payments for drugs, machinery and weapons?

    re: Hillary
    Who did you think he would appoint – Sarah Palin?

    re: Designer babies
    I care more about the successful efforts to regenerate organs IN the body than somebody loading the dice for a baby. We’re talking practical immortality here.


  3. 3 Jennifer
    November 24, 2008 at 15:08

    Re: Downs syndrome births

    It is great that people are deciding to keep their children even when screenings show that they have downs syndrome.

    Re: Designer babies

    I don’t think we can be too careful in considering the pros and cons of designer babies. It would be one thing if these advancements were used to reduce the risk of genetic disorders but for cosmetic reasons they are not necessary and should not be allowed.

  4. 4 gary
    November 24, 2008 at 15:16

    In Great Britain, has the growing incidence of Downs syndrome been plotted against the average age of mothers giving birth? Most mature women become pregnant because they want to do so. I think caring, older mothers will have given thought to their age and the greater risk of this genetic malady, and will have decided to stay the course and to love their child, no matter the outcome.
    Others may see this differently; but I believe abortion at any stage to be wrong. It strengthens my love of humanity to know some will avoid taking so small a life even knowing the future costs.

  5. 5 lydia nayo
    November 24, 2008 at 15:38

    While I know less than I should about the aid to Africa situation, the alarm bell the topic rang relates to the aid to bail out failing banks in the US and other developed nations. Without long term goals, without specific accountability, without some sense of the bigger picture than ‘dam the dike of disaster right here and now,’ isn’t aid destined to fail?

    I also wonder how much of the developed world’s aid amounts to giving people fish rather than teaching people to fish, as it were.

    I’m prompted by the question to find out more about how aid to Africa has been manifesting beyond that dollar figure, which is formidable enough, and for that kind of prompt, I thank WHYS.

  6. 6 gary
    November 24, 2008 at 17:33

    Aid money has certainly alleviated poverty in Africa. Some people have become very wealthy indeed!
    Seriously WHYS guys, I know of no effective way to cause the African peoples to consider their national and continental identities superior to their regional, tribal or cultural ones. Their division allows foreign and self- exploitation, which in turn results in their miseries. They will not prosper unless and until they prosper as a united continent.

  7. 7 archibald in oregon
    November 24, 2008 at 19:21

    @ Jennifer

    “It is great that people are deciding to keep their children even when screenings show that they have downs syndrome.

    Why is this great. One more person who is handicapped in an already difficult world. Just because you are morally opposed to abortion, does not mean that you should subject a new life to the hardships of being born with downs. It is selfish idealism. The population is already overburdening everything on earth, so do we really need more people who have special needs if it can be prevented through testing and termination. Hard times, hard choices, to preserve the living.

  8. 8 selena in Canada
    November 24, 2008 at 21:19


    Why is this great. One more person who is handicapped in an already difficult world.

    Thank you for pointing out this glaring fact.

    The thing is not every family that has a handicapped child has the resources of Sarah Palin.

    Having been exposed to such families over the years, I can assure anyone that not many families find it easy to cope. Many times families break up with either the father or the mother absconding. Many of those who try to stick it out exit in other ways through illness, depression, or brain candy of one sort or another.

    Wish this kind of life on yourself, by all means. But please don’t wish it on others.

  9. 9 Jennifer
    November 24, 2008 at 21:44

    @ Archibald

    You are suggesting that we simply kill children who do not fit into the mold of “perfect child”? And, if times are ever hard just put your kids on a bus to nowhere so you don’t have to deal with them or anything life might bring. Because, life is always perfect and without conflict? That sounds a little like selfish idealism to me….

    My political beliefs did not influence my statement. The fact that I have an awesome brother who I would not trade for anything in the world did.

    Your post smacks of the ignorance that was my family was subjected to when my brother was growing up and even at times today is still subjected to because people only see a “problem” not a person. And, all I will say is shame on you and everyone who thinks like you do.

    It’s interesting that anyone would bring Sarah Palin into this discussion about Down’s syndrome or any other for that matter. It’s too bad that we were too busy perpetuating lies about her to really listen to her ideas about issues such as this.

  10. 10 Jens
    November 24, 2008 at 22:00

    November 24, 2008 at 3:08 pm
    Re: Downs syndrome births

    It is great that people are deciding to keep their children even when screenings show that they have downs syndrome.

    sure it’s great. i mean you and your fundamental religiouse believers apparently revel in the misery of others, just so that live can be presevered and then you lot go out start wars and support death row…….

  11. 11 Jennifer
    November 24, 2008 at 22:27

    @ Jens

    I never once mentioned religion. Take it elsewhere.

  12. 12 archibald in oregon
    November 24, 2008 at 23:00


    I meant you and your brother no disrespect. It is however extremely ignorant to assume that everyone needs to have a special needs child, even if they cannot afford it and or the time it takes to manage a child with special needs. It is easy to assume that a child is a person from the moment of conception and thereby abortion is murder. I beg to differ and so does science.What I find most disturbing about people who believe otherwise is that they cry “MURDER!”, but support putting violent criminals and terrorists to death and support sending their children to war so that they can murder “enemys” of democracy. I see this as the problem, not that people are born with Downs. If you think it would be fine raise a whole generation of mentally handicapped people just so you could say that you did the right thing in the eyes of god or whatever rationale diverts your connection to reality, then I hope you enjoy your fantasy. I can assure you that there are many who are currently suffering because of it.
    It infuriates me to no end, the people that feel they gain some validity to their lackluster lives by giving it over to a pregnancy that the world does not need. If you want to help a child go adopt a village of orphans, left destitute by war (with this country) and famine from overpopulation and chaos. Don’t play the moral card of ” you should be ashamed”. I am ashamed that you and people like you, in the 21st century and not the middle ages, truly think that they are right.

  13. 13 archibald in oregon
    November 24, 2008 at 23:25

    “And, if times are ever hard just put your kids on a bus to nowhere so you don’t have to deal with them or anything life might bring. Because, life is always perfect and without conflict? That sounds a little like selfish idealism to me….”

    Is there a magical mystery bus to nowhere for kids no one wants? That sounds like the same bandwagon currently taking on passengers to the “bridge to nowhere”. You sound like a woman who has children and wishes she had made better choices, but, because you did not, you now tout the “chin up” mentality and get upset when people remind you.

  14. 14 Jennifer
    November 25, 2008 at 00:00

    @ Archibald

    I did not say that everyone “needed” a child with downs syndrome. I said that it was great that people were being parents to the children they created.

    I was disgusted at your post and I felt ashamed for you or anyone that would have such a view; I wasn’t playing any card. I am still disgusted by it. As a matter of fact, the fact that you refuse to see the ignorance of your statement disgusts me even more.

    As for saying I am a woman who has children and wishes she had made better choices~obviously, you are sticking your foot in it.

    Have a nice evening.

  15. 15 archibald in oregon
    November 25, 2008 at 01:35

    you too…

  16. 16 Jack Hughes
    November 25, 2008 at 08:02

    …not every family that has a handicapped child has the resources of Sarah Palin

    The main resources needed are love and compassion.

    These can be found in rich and poor, left and right, religious and non-religious people.

  17. 17 John in Germany
    November 25, 2008 at 10:05

    How much aid money has disappeared into the pockets of the corrupt?. Does anyone know? According the law of averages, everyone in Africa should be healthy well fed, and happy-if every aid Dollar, Euro, and so on had been used for what it was intended for.
    The elders were not allowed into Zimbabwe, Mugabe has shown his contempt for his own people.

    At last South Africa is waking up to its responsibilities, and the rest of the African Nations?. What about you?.

    John in Germany

  18. November 25, 2008 at 22:28

    Aid for Africa?
    Why, after all these years, are so many countries in Africa still dependent upon Western aid? Has such aid truly helped the situation or encouraged them to let others do for them what they won’t do for themselves?

  19. November 26, 2008 at 11:48

    Roberto re. Nov 24th 11.58am post,

    Simple points well made!

    By the way, I made a point of thanking you re. your comment on my post re. “Do you want an end to US Domination” sent by you on Nov 24th at 9.33pm. As I said I am always thankful for any response.
    We all have something to say, otherwise none of us would be entering comment of any type here. So when someone credits someone and wishes to offer nothing further from their side, it is most gratifying, because we’re all champing at the bit and straining at the leash to offer our prose in some way. So if a subject and topic can be summed up to another’s complete satisfaction, then the effort has been well made, and there is a purpose to all our writings here. Look forward to reading your other posts on the blog. Thank you.

    I wish America a positive and fruitful future which becomes a country to be looked upon with respect and admiration as it has been in past times,


  20. November 27, 2008 at 22:04

    Aid to Africa. We are wasting our time and money,untill we can control the aid personaly,there is far too much corruption amongst the people in power, at most levels.pilfering anything they can get their hands on.I remember when I was in Pakistan, their polititions were saying in their parliament , that American Dollar aid for to help with birth control, to help cut out poverty was uncle Sams way of controling their numbers and they shouldnt accept it.{ was it?}

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