Talking Points: 3 February


It’s a bit of a slow start for us here in the World Have Your Say office. “Extreme weather conditions” have left us struggling in the snow whilst a totally different kind of “extreme weather” – a heat wave – has been causing bushfires in Australia. Should we just get used to it ? Or  should we start planning for more of the same ?

American Protectionism

The “Buy American” clause in the US economic recovery package has not impressed the EU and Canada. They are warning that the clause could promote protectionism. But what’s wrong with protecting your country? Why should America look out for the rest of the world?

China is just as nervous as the number of their Western clients begins to decline. Should we feel sorry for China and other emerging economies whose prosperity depends on the wealth of the West?


Strikes against foreign workers are continuing in Britain. Are foreigners an easy target for a country’s problems?

Happy Children

Selfish adults are to blame for unhappy children according to a report released in the UK yesterday. Single parent families are singled out for emotionally damaging children. Are you a working or single parent? Do you feel that your children get the attention they need?

A government advisor has also warned that having more than two children is creating an “irresponsible burden” on the environment. Should there be a limit to the number of children you can have?

13 Responses to “Talking Points: 3 February”

  1. 1 Ian from Arizona
    February 3, 2009 at 12:43

    Ros & WHYS Staff:

    Hope you are all well and keeping warm. You are all welcome back to Phoenix; 82 degrees today. : ) We would love to have your back.

    What does “Buy American” mean?

    An automobile example: Chevrolet, an American car company, builds 60% or more of their cars overseas. Toyota, a Japanese car company, builds entire cars in Kentucky.

    If Congress does pass a “Buy American” clause in the Bailout, unfortunately, its mostly a symbolic gesture. In businesses effort to do what they feel is best for their shareholders, America has given away its manufacturing capabilities to the rest of the World.

    I believe the average American isn’t even aware of what is actually “Made in the USA”.

  2. 2 gary
    February 3, 2009 at 13:19

    A country with wise leaders prepares itself for physical or political isolation. The Earth can be a big, scary, unpredictable place. While global trade is both necessary and important, local provision of food, necessary goods, and vital services is essential to survival. Wise individuals test their own preparedness and assess the preparedness of their country. While the simple questions, “Who does this?” and “How is this done?” seem different, in practical terms they are inextricably linked. The average person seldom thinks of the myriad skills that keep them alive. Skilled surgeons inspire awe, yet competent farmers, mechanics, cooks, motormen, and yes; journalists, “save” the lives of millions every day (For human survival, telling the truth is the most important skill of all.). So, while keeping jobs “at home” is economically important, it isn’t actually the most important bit; keeping the knowledge of “how it is done” is.

  3. February 3, 2009 at 13:43

    If the “Buy American” clause in our nation’s economic recovery package hasn’t impressed Canadian and European officials, why would you link that thought to a BBC News video story about Iran launching its own “homegrown” satellite? Or am I missing something?

  4. February 3, 2009 at 15:11

    Obama’s dream for the USA is great.He started it too soon. It takes a Patriotic and honest leader to seek the welfare of a prosperous nation like America. Had it been some selfish leaders, they would have just enriched themselves and focus on their home country (Kenya), since America is already developed. Obama keep it up. But my only advice to you is, don’t mind what critics may say. They are only trying to be jealous.

  5. 5 John inGermany
    February 3, 2009 at 16:10

    Everyone wants a bit of the cake, the trouble is they all want the chocolate.
    A lot have eaten it behind our backs, but we have the indigestion, not they. They have stuffed so much in thier cheeks, they wont go hungry, but they are still grabbing at the crumbs that were for us.

    Who cares about old Tom-Dick-or Harry? no one-your right. its all under the principle of, Carry on shooting mate, ill go and get the grub.

    Sad old world-big stage- loads of bad actors.

    Greetings all
    John in Germany.

  6. 6 Thomas Murray
    February 3, 2009 at 23:52

    Regarding snow.

    You Brits got the deep wet kind of snow we usually get in Louisville every 4 or 5 years, which we can’t handle, either.

    Last week, starting Monday, we got two snowfalls and an ice storm (cold rain that freezes on contact), which coated the ground with 19 centimeters (7.3 inches) of snow with a granular ice so hard that, in the early morning, the kids could ice skate on it . But when you cross a tree with a centimeter coating of rime ice with a power line, the power line loses. Which is why 700 thousand people went a week without electrical power in Kentucky. That’s right. 700 THOUSAND. AND only in Kentucky. (Fortunately, only about 20 dead; mostly from carbon monoxide poisoning from improperly ventillated kerosine heaters.) Indiana was just as hard hit. Ohio deals with it really well; they’ll have their plows out on the highways when the first snowfake hits the pavement, even as early as 2:00 to 3:00 am. (Side streets not included.) Kentucky is not so well prepared.

    The Louisville government got hammered in the ’90s when we got a snowfall so heavy and thick it came with actual thunder. About a foot deep in all. Driving home from work that morning, my Nissan Sentra couldn’t clear the stuff so I had to drive it into a snow drift and walk home. It stayed there for a week till I dug it out. Remarkably, no parking tickets were involved. Even the cops were snowed under.

    This time the local municipals stood ready with a cobbled fleet of snowplows and lots of brine and magnesium chloride (laced with rum and vodka residue), but still couldn’t clear most of the side streets, which froze so hard and slick I couldn’t walk on half of them. The schools here shut down for over a week. (They just re-opened today (on Tuesday).) But it made for great sledding for the kids.

    Now in Dayton, Ohio, where I took high school the side streets would get coated with a ice rink quality rime ice every winter, so we all had to learn how to drive a car on the stuff. (It’s possible, you just have to do it a whole lot slower, and not leave first gear.) But I can remember them sending us home from school only once, when the temperature got below freezing (that’s about -18 degrees centigrade to you blokes) and the boiler went out and we all wound up in class in overcoats and parkas. It was the only time that I ever saw an Ohio teacher look defeated by the weather.

    Here, though I was out of power for only ten minutes, my sister and neighbors only got their electricity back on on Sunday night. Governor Beshear had to call out the national guard to assist the utility crews. AND he’s asking President Obama to declare the Commonwealth of Kentucky a disaster area.

    So are you Brits over-reacting? Naaaah! We got some real champion whiners over here! A bit of advice, though: A good martini is never complete without a twist of lemon. And I’m on my fifth…fifth lemon, that is.

    Staying Roasted in Louisville, Kentucky, US.

  7. 7 Eric
    February 4, 2009 at 05:50

    I haven’t seen Global Warming in the press this week..
    It went out through the hole in the Ozone?
    Try a Scandinavian winter,,,From October to May…
    Everything works ..it is wonderful.
    What is wrong with Britain.

  8. 8 narupuran (Nepal)
    February 4, 2009 at 06:53

    Nobody knows where we are going… Are we forward than our anchesters or what. We must know first. Why again neptosim is coming. Its hard to undestand in which direction we are going.

  9. 9 David
    February 4, 2009 at 15:51

    Who do you blame, a parent who has caused a marriage breakdown or a son who is very angry about the fate and he is out there furiously trying to find life?

    Buy America is only a word some one has thown out there. The cure is the world to get together and see how they can work together.

    The balance is not right, when you find in one country one individual gets paid $M 20 per year doing similar job as another one from a different country who only gets $50,000 per year, and probably the later does better job!

    Some people fight tooth and nail to be rich. When nothing is there to eat, we will see whether they can eat money.

  10. 10 William Flynn
    February 5, 2009 at 08:01

    Keep going WHYS, you are on the money. This forum is a great deal easier to use than what was perviously available

  11. 11 ~Dennis Junior~
    February 5, 2009 at 15:52

    Should we just get used to it ? I think, we should get used to it….
    Or should we start planning for more of the same ? Yes, we should be planning on it!
    -But what’s wrong with protecting your country? Nothing, in reality; Since…The country citizens in theory could get rid of the political figures in country if there economy goes down the hill at the next election cycle…

    Why should America look out for the rest of the world? i think that the u.s. should be able to help out; but, each country should be responsible for their own actions…
    -Should we feel sorry for China and other emerging economies whose prosperity depends on the wealth of the West?- I think that the world should have sympathy for China & other emerging economies regarding the prosperity! But, if the West is not got the money to buy things…then the economy does not work then!

    ~Dennis Junior~

  12. 12 ~Dennis Junior~
    February 5, 2009 at 15:55

    -Are foreigners an easy target for a country’s problems?-
    Yes, since…the foreigners in some people’s eyes they are the reason for
    the lack of work opportunties…

    -Are you a working or single parent? Do you feel that your children get the attention they need? –
    NO…I am not working or a single parent…
    NO, I don’t think that children are getting enough attention….

    -Should there be a limit to the number of children you can have?-
    Yes, They should be a limit of children!

    ~Dennis Junior~

  13. 13 Emile Barre
    February 7, 2009 at 12:39

    The most perceptive weather forecasts that I have heard for this year is that the winter will be the coldest on record and the summer the hottest.

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