Fascinating debate…..

I caught a program on NPR this afternoon for the first time and it had me absorbed for the entire hour. It was the third in a series called “Intelligence Squared U.S.”, and it was an hour-long abbreviation of a public “Oxford-style” debate held in New York recently. The format includes a moderator, a single motion for the night, and a panel of three speakers in favor of the motion and three speakers in opposition to the motion. A live audience is polled on entrance to the auditorium in regards to their positions on the motion. All six panelists make their opening statements and then the audience is given a chance to ask questions of the panelists. After the questions, each side makes their closing arguments and then the audience is polled again about their positions on the motion.

The proposal debated in this particular program was “A democratically elected Hamas is still a terrorist organization.”

For the motion were Daniel Ayalon, Israel’s ambassador to the U.S., Steven Cook, a Mideast expert at the Council on Foreign Relations, and John O’Sullivan, a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute. Against the motion were Stanley Cohen, a lawyer who has representated Muslim and Palestinian activists and imams, Mohamed Mohamedou, of the Harvard Program on Humanitarian Policy and Conflict Research, and Mark Perry, co-director of the Conflicts Forum.

Judy Woodruff moderated this particular debate, but each of the three held so far have had different moderators. The program as aired lasted an hour, but the full one hour and 27 minute debate can be listened to at the program’s website.

Previous shows have debated the following proposals: October 3, “We must tolerate a nuclear Iran”, and October 26, “Freedom of expression must include the right to offend.”

Upcoming shows include: December 13, “Hollywood has fueled anti-Americanism abroad”, February 7, “America is too damn religious”, March 14, “Global warming is not a crisis”, April 18, “Better more domestic surveillance than another 9/11”, and May 16, “Beware the dragon: A booming China spells trouble for America.”

I know, I know, just what I needed, more stuff to go listen to. But hey, at least you can stream this on your computer while you’re working on something else.

Romo ain't perfect


AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez


The Cowboys looked great for almost 5 minutes.  Okay, less than 5 minutes.  The offense was bad but the defense was worse.  The defense has gave up 5 TD passes.  The Cowboys in 47 years has never given up 5 TD passes in one game.  The New Orleans Saints exposed the Cowboys pass defense.  They were very soft, deep. There was no pass rush.  None.  This doesn’t begin to tell how bad the Cowboys looked and how good the Saints looked. 

Drew Brees was absolutely great. Midway thru the 4th quarter, Brees is 26/38 for 384 yards and 5 TDS.  No interceptions. 

Tony Romo – 16/33 249 and 2 INTs. 

Cowboys need to go back to the drawing board.

I have resisted jumping on the Cowboys bandwagon.  Why?  The Cowboys have torn out my heart and stomped it many times over the last 10 years.  The Cowboys have been great and they have been awful this year.  I’m hoping that the Cowboys will rally from this beating. 

Pinochet Dies

From WaPo:

Gen. Augusto Pinochet, 91, the former Chilean dictator whose government murdered and tortured thousands during his repressive 17-year rule, died yesterday at a Santiago military hospital of complications from a heart attack, leaving incomplete numerous court cases that had sought to bring him to justice.

Pinochet assumed power on Sept. 11, 1973, in a bloody coup supported by the United States that toppled the elected government of Salvador Allende, a Marxist who had pledged to lead his country “down the democratic road to socialism.”

First as head of a four-man military junta and then as president, Pinochet served until 1990, leaving a legacy of abuse that took successive governments years to catalogue. According to a government report that included testimony from more than 30,000 people, his government killed at least 3,197 people and tortured about 29,000. Two-thirds of the cases listed in the report happened in 1973.

An austere figure who claimed to be guided by “the spiritual force of God as a believer,” Pinochet regarded himself as a soldier rather than a politician. With his stern visage and fondness for military uniforms and dark glasses, he seemed to personify implacable authority. He was both an opponent of communism and a critic of “orthodox democracy,” which he said was “too easy to infiltrate and destroy.” more


What a brutal leader.  He abused the Chilean people in every way possible.  I’m sorry that he didn’t spent he last years behind bars.