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Here's a Thought LIVE with Charles Shaughnessy Thursday, 11.19.2015

Because so many of you commented on this blog about what happened in Paris, we are keeping it for tomorrow's show, Thursday November 19, 2015.  Join Charlie for his final LIVE Here's a Thought with Charles Shaughnessy for 2015, before he goes on hiatus. You can call in to the show if you are watching it LIVE from 3 pm/pt to 4 pm/pt on 11.19.2015 at this phone number: (855) 878-4652 and give him your thoughts on recent world events. You can also leave comments & questions in the comments section here on the blog.

If you missed the show yesterday, here is the link to the ON DEMAND VIDEO of HERE'S A THOUGHT from 11.12.2015  If you want to watch it or comment on the show, please do so in the comments below.  You may notice that Charlie has commented some as well.

The next two political debates with the candidates running for President of the United States of America, are coming up this week.  I have questions for the candidates and I want to know what YOU would ask them, just as if this was a town hall meeting! 

The result of the election in the US affects the entire world, so I want to know what those of you who live in other countries would ask them as well! 

I am listing the debates, their times & the candidates.  Put your questions and who they are for in the comments section below and we will discuss them on the show on Thursday, so that those of you that are watching the video ON DEMAND, can have your questions out there too.  

Republican Debate Tuesday, November 10, 2015
Fox Business/WSJ 
Live Stream:

9pm ET (8pm CT, 6pm PT) - Main Debate

Candidates 9pm: Donald Trump, Ben Carson, Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush, Carly Fiorina, Ted Cruz, John Kasich, Rand Paul

7pm ET (6pm CT, 4pm PT) - Undercard Debate

Candidates 7pm: Chris Christie, Mike Huckabee, Rick Santorum, Bobby Jindal

Airs On: Fox Business Network 
Location: Milwaukee Theatre in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Sponsors: Fox Business Network, Wall Street Journal

Moderators: Neil Cavuto, Maria Bartiromo, and Gerard Baker


Democratic debate  Saturday November 14, 2015
– CBS/KCCI/Des Moines Register

Time – 9 p.m. ET 
Location – Drake University, Des Moines, Iowa
Moderators – John Dickerson

Candidates – Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Martin O'Malley



Best, Charlie


  1. I would have questions for three of the candidates.
    My first question would be for Hilary Clinton.
    What would you do to increase productivity in our country to stimulate the economy thereby helping the middle class, who are the group struggling the most?
    Question 2 would be for Ben Carson.
    You are a doctor who wants to defund planned parenthood, so what other avenue do you realistically see replacing planned parenthood in providing access to healthcare for low income women?
    Question 3 for Donald Trump.
    What do you plan to do about improving the educational system, alleviating student debt and making college more affordable?
    Question 4 for Hilary Cinton.
    How to you plan to keep our country safe and defeating terrorist groups, like Isis, while bringing our troops back home from the various war zone?
    Looking forward to hear your questions, Charlie, as well questions from everyone else. Should make for another thoroughly enjoyable, and interesting show!

  2. For Hilary Clinton: How does she intend to address the significantly high rates of unemployment as well as under-employment rampant throughout the country.

    For Bernie Sanders: How does he plan on doing to improve the educational system in the United States, narrowing the income inequality by making quality public education more accessible and appropriate higher education more affordable to everyone of all income statuses.

    In response to some of your comments on the show last week, Charlie, you nailed it. I have long believed that one of the main causes for the extreme polarization within politics and within so many facets of society today is the polarization of the sources from which we get our news. With so many different sources of news, and so many different takes on the exact same story. When it comes down to it, if you don't like the way that the news is presented in one way, then you go to a different news source where the approach matches the way that feels right to us, be it liberal or conservative. That actually leads us to believe that all rational human beings HAVE to think and believe in the exact same way we do and there is no other rational way to view any issue. Add in the fact that there are news sources on both sides presenting stories of questionable veracity plastered all over various facets of social media to coerce people to see things from that same side or else be a completely irrational anti-American, and the conversation gets drummed down even further and turns into a playground-esque name calling match. Within both sides of the spectrum, the extremism gets completely out of control, and each side wants to look at very complex situations with super simple explanations from opposite extremes. And the extreme news outlets capitalize on the fact that the solutions are so simple, regardless of the consequences of such extremes.

    Looking forward to the show this week. Thanks to the whole HAT team for working to make each show intriguing and engaging.

  3. Once again...yeah what Becky said!! Especially about "news sources on both sides presenting stories of questionable veracity plastered all over various facets of social media". They are spending time trying to find one word in a quote that was misinterpreted, while insisting that the past actions of other candidates are irrelevant(on both sides). Arrgghhh.
    That said, here are my questions:
    1)For Hillary : (this is a serious question that I've wanted answered, even though it may sound snarky and will cause some of you to need nitroglycerine ) You refer to the MULTIPLE women that have accused your husband of sexual harassment as "bimbos". How is that a "pro-woman" stance?
    2) For Dr Carson and Dr Paul: as physicians who understand how it all works, what are your recommendations for fixing our broken health care system?
    3) For Marco Rubio: How can we have a compassionate immigration system, while still maintaining safety and security for those who are concerned about evil people using the southern border as their entry to the US?
    4) For Donald Trump(tongue in cheek, but I wish someone would ask): If you do not win this election, will you still use your OWN money to build a wall?

    Tonight's debate on Fox Business, I'm almost afraid to watch. I hope they have learned a lesson from CNBC and stick to the economic/business platforms and not go down inane rabbit holes. PS~one of my long-time patients is there now, he's Neil Cavuto's cameraman. So at least we know the camera work will be great ;-)

  4. Questions for all of the candidates:

    (1) What would you do to reduce the multi-trillion dollar federal debt? Your answer cannot include the phrase "raise taxes on the wealthy," unless you are willing to take the standard deduction when you file your taxes.

    (2) With the rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline, people are losing jobs. What would you do for the middle-aged people in the petrochemical and natural gas industries who are losing their jobs or seeing their wages cut because of this decision? What is more important--the environment or employment, and why?

    For the Democrats:

    I am required to show ID to cash a check, to check a book out of the library, to see the doctor, and occasionally when I use a credit card. Why should I not have to show ID when I vote?

    For the Republicans:

    The cost of public higher education has increased tremendously in recent years, with students graduating with high debt (some in excess of $100,000). Some of those costs can be directly attributed to Republican governors drastically cutting state funding for public higher education, and the cost being passed along to the students. What programs would you develop to allow students to reduce their debt or eliminate it entirely?

  5. Karen asked the one question that I would like answered about the national debt, so I won't repeat it. People have questioned about the national debt, the educational system, and healthcare. These are all questions that need to be answered directly and with some actual solutions, not beating around the bush or some educated guesses.

    This is not directed to any one candidate, but maybe to all of them: What are you going to do about our veterans healthcare system? We have veterans that cannot receive the proper treatment for PTSD, can't get jobs, are homeless. These are men and women who have served our country for the freedoms we so enjoy, and cannot get the proper medical or mental health treatment to treat their injuries. And, yes, PTSD is an injury!

    Another question: Do you have plans to better control our welfare system? People are collecting welfare benefits because they know how to "get around" the system. Why work when you can sit on your "duff" and collect monetary benefits, WIC, free day care for the kids? We get drug-tested when we apply for jobs, why not for welfare benefits? that against their constitutional rights?

    I have 2 cousins - husband and wife with a family - who both worked for the oil industry for many years and are now unemployed because of the pipeline shutting down. How can you justify getting resources from foreign countries instead of our own country?

    Question for Hillary and Trump: What are you going to do about restoring our economy in the US and having more products made here versus China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Sri Lanka? With so many companies paying pennies to have their products made elsewhere why isn't there more being done to demand that we go back to being made in America?

  6. Hi. You are encouraging foreigners to share with you what questions they would ask to the futur US president. I hope nobody will be offended, but here is my first question : as president of one of the biggest polluter of the planet, what decisions would you take to force the different national industrial lobbys to change their functioning and invest in less pollutant procedures/products, and also find ways to incite the US population to change some of their habits ;-)

    1. Great questions, Nadia! I really don't think that your mentioning how the U.S. is one of the biggest polluting nations in the entire world because it's a simple fact. So many nations are far more progressive than the U.S. in terms of environmental awareness and conscientiousness and many people here are more than willing to agree that something needs to be done about the state of the environment, but they just have higher priorities and more pressing issues. A personal theory as far as that goes is that it's related to our desire for instant results and the fact that the environmental issues are not likely to yield immediate and highly visible results in the way that, say, Medicare and healthcare reform, or changes in social security benefits would be. But I do think a far more proactive approach to environmental concerns needs to be considered. the environment is obviously not our only concern, but it definitely should be higher in priority than it often is.

    2. Yes indeed!
      If we -living in the Usa/Canada or Europe or Australia for example- would take the simple habit to eat meat only one time per day or better, 3 times a week, it could have a real impact ;-) Thats only one example :-)

    3. I believe you have a very crucial point there in your theory about the desire for results here and now.
      also, with so many problems that need immediate treatments such as security and terror or financial crisis or epidemics etc. we tend to respond to those rather than treat other issues that need an ongoing treatment.

  7. Well, now that one debate is over, what did you all think? I've had a feeling for a while that Marco Rubio will be the nominee, and the debate added to that belief. Rand Paul(the one R I would vote for) woke up a little, but I don't think enough to gain what he has lost. Carly Fiorina is RUDE!! but then the rudest man up there calling her out for interrupting?? I guess I can understand that the field is so big, they will all jump up and down and interrupt, just to get some publicity and their camera time. Ben that man(but not as POTUS, for me). The only one who was polite and stopped when the timer dinged. I soooo wish he hadn't joined in this race, and had just retired somewhere beautiful and did neurosurgery consultations :( I was also VERY glad to see that the debate stayed on topic(save a few cringing moments, like 'which Dem candidate is your favorite?') and they weren't trying to instigate fights. Hopefully, by the time the next R debate rolls around, people will have 'suspended their campaigns' and the field will be smaller. And maybe Trump will do or say something so egregious, that he'll finally go away. I feel like I'm still waiting for the punch line...he can't possibly be this popular.
    Thought of 2 new questions, one of which "sort of" came up with Dr Paul/Sen Rubio in the debate, and should probably be a question for the R's.
    1) Yes, in today's world we need a strong military. How can we justify putting MORE money into the budget, when the current budget is so wasteful? Why are we making armored tanks that the Army asks us NOT to, because they can't use them? Yes, making those things "keeps jobs", but no no no no no. The soldiers are making do with makeshift body armor, but we have tanks sitting in parking lots? Beware the military-industrial complex :(
    2)(probably more for the Dems) How is raising the minimum wage to $15 going to solve the problem? The American people know darned well that the CEO's of the companies aren't going to take the hit in their own wallet, and they are accountable to their stockholders(so no decrease there!) how will that $$ be made up? BY RAISING THE COST OF THE GOODS AND SERVICES PROVIDED BY MINIMUM WAGE WORKERS!! The workers will STILL be unable to afford things, because they'll be more expensive, and the other American workers will cut back(because we're not getting a 50% raise)! Marco Rubio addressed've got to be mindful of when it will be less expensive to let a machine do the work! Fast food joints and supermarkets will soon be like banks...using ATM-type machines instead of a person. We're seeing it already.
    Looking forward to everyone's opinions!

    1. I agree with Jo that Rubio will be the nominee. Carly Fiorina is so rude it's disgusting. I think her and Trump are in a competition to see who can be the rudest. Rand Paul is just too late, he should have stepped up along time ago. Jeb Bush is a fool, he should have been in the first debate, or better yet not at all. I love Ben Carson, but I don't think he would be a good president. He is to mild mannered to be president. Ben was the ONLY ONE who actually stopped talking when the buzzer went off and was polite. I also can't believe that Trump is still leading. WTH are people thinking. I know they are fed-up with Washington. As we all are, but supporting some radical nut isn't going to help. I'm hoping that by the next debate there will be a lot less candidates on the Republican side.
      I also like Jo's point on the minimum wage increase.
      My feelings about raising the minimum wage to $15 is this.
      If the minimum wage is increased to $15, you will now have new hires who are probably going to be making more money than people who have been at their jobs longer. Also a 16 year old kid is going to be making $15 and hour...come on! Not to mention that little mom and pop shops will probably have to close their doors because they can't afford to pay employees that much. Then the larger stores are going to raise their prices. Then increase would be pointless, because everything will cost so much it won't matter anyway.

  8. I actually have a few questions for the candidates, that aren't directed at any certain one.

    1.) As president what will you do to help make college more affordable for students, so that when they graduate the student and families are in such enormous debt.

    My second question is one that Marianne had asked about improving our veterans healthcare.

    With the changes that have been made to our educational system. Where parents are unable to help their children with homework (especially common core math.) Also where more time is spent on worrying about and preparing for standardized testing.
    What will you do to improve our educational system?
    I know that I'm not a teacher. I do know as a paren (along with a lot of my friends) how frustrating it is to not be able to help your child do homework (especially math) because it's so ridiculous from the way we were taught.

  9. I would like to pitch in a few questions as an Israeli with a US citizenship,

    I ask the candidates why and how they think Israel and the US should keep on the relationship between them the same way as they have been until now even though the world is changing and the impact and power of other states are growing in many ways that may or may not leave the US behind?

    what are the shared values that you think keep us as allies?

    I grew up admiring my family in America, just because it was millions of people around the world, but my admiration has decreased to a very very low level due to many issues I witnessed that occurred between Israel and the US and also just within the US itself (because I still do care), my first breaking point was 20 years ago when I was 7 and heard for the first time about Jonathan Pollard,
    what is your opinion on that saga and the "cruel and unusual punishment" amendment? (here's a link to a table comparing other people charged for espionage- )?

    I live (and grew up) in a settlement- what is your opinion on that?
    also, as such a person with Jewish values, what should convince me and all my other relatives and friends to vote for you?

    how much should a government interfere with an individual's life and freedom? what are the boundaries of a democracy in your opinion?

    thank you very much (and G-d bless)!
    thank you Mr. Shaughnessy for this opportunity!

    1. Welcome Michel! So glad to see you hear, you bring an interesting perspective. Another Israeli participated last year, I hope she joins us again. I posted a reply further down about my views on Israel, would love to hear your ideas. Shabbat Shalom, and please continue to participate on the blogs.

  10. i;m voting for Marco Rubio i trust him

  11. Another week of HAT and another interesting show. I have to admit, I really love the political ones. They certainly stir things up, as no doubt this one will!

    First, the Republican Debate. Though I agree it was still full of in fighting and a lot of interruptions and rudeness,I do think it was better than the previous one. At least an attempt was made by some of the candidates to address the issues. The problem I had with it was, that so many of the candidates did not answer the question asked and the moderators did not force the issue, instead letting them go on about a point they wanted to make. And none of them stayed within the time limit. The little bells meant nothing at all!

    I agree that, when it comes to Israel, the perception is that Republicans will support Israel no matter what. I believe both parties will support Israel, but the Democrats will not give her carte blanche! They want some concessions from Israel for the sake of peace.

    Then we come to the root of all evil in politics - money. There is way too much of it in Washington. Special interest groups with their lobbyists spend thousands of dollars to persuade politicians to do what they want them to do. Crazy! It is the same when it comes to political campaigns. The more money you have, the longer your campaign can continue. Many good candidates eventually have to back out of a presidential race due to running out of money. Special interest groups come into play here as well, backing a candidate now in return for favors down the road. I think, as I have said before, each candidate should have x amount of money to spend on a campaign and they spend it how they see fit, but when it's gone, it's gone!

    As for the debates themselves, I don't think they serve much purpose anymore. They are just an entertainment show now to boost ratings. There are too many because every network wants to get in on the act! I think each candidate should be allowed one or two television appearances of a certain length where they address questions submitted and explain their philosophy and policy. Just a thought!

    Like Charlie, I am an optimist! I believe that, in the end, things have a way of working out. We have been here before and no doubt, we will be here again!

    Thanks for getting me thinking about what I would do to change things! If only!! Looking forward to the next show, and sorry it will be the last for awhile, though thrilled you will be working on a new project here in LA, (Well Laguna! Close enough!)
    And a side note! Janelle, I think the goodie bags for our doggie soldiers is a terrific idea!

  12. Just watched the show online, so good to see Janelle back! It was great, as always(though I do see the moderators as being PART of the problem, and also the sheer number of R candidates trying to get attention). I will always cringe and get a stomach ache when I hear Ben Carson described as crazy, but it's his own fault. He's honest, and what he says doesn't necessarily even belong in politics. But he has done so much good in his life, and it might be nice to hear people acknowledge that. If Hillary were the world's most renowned pediatric neurosurgeon with a Presidential Medal of Honor, believe me, we'd be hearing ALL about it. But I do understand...he's not running for Chief of Neurosurgery, and I wouldn't vote for him. I've just loved him for so long, it's painful to watch. Cuba Gooding Jr starred in a tv movie about his life("Gifted Hands"), might be worth taking a look to meet the REAL man, who while he might not belong in the White House, deserves a lot of respect.
    There is one issue where I may be unique here on the blog....I'm an Evangelical Zionist who fully believes we are in the End Times. That said, I also don't feel that Israel necessarily needs big $$ support from the US, as they will win in the end regardless. It's not that we don't "want peace" in the region, it's that we know it's impossible. That may sound Ben-Carson-level crazy, but it's what we believe. On top of that, all 3 main religions have Israel(esp Jerusalem) as their holy everyone wants to protect it. The Muslims won't harm the Dome of the Rock, Christians believe Jesus was born,died,and will return there, and Jews feel it is their homeland, where they "would be" were it not for the diaspora, and was their place of refuge after the Holocaust. That's a LOT of support for Israel right there. And truthfully, I suspect there are a lot of agnostics and "marginally religious" people out there who have just enough belief in God, that they're afraid to abandon Israel...just in case. I know a lot of it sounds like an episode of the Twilight Zone to many of you, and I'm happy to answer questions about it all.

    1. I'm sure that Dr. Carson is a wonderful humanitarian and skilled neurosurgeon. He deserves our respect for his contributions. However, his willingness to indulge in unchecked "truthiness" about Chinese military in Syria, a sinister college "fraternity" of Abbas, Khomeni and Putin, has to be addressed in a potential C in C. He also sees himself as a Constitutionalist, yet blatantly rejects the most basic tenet held by this bedrock document that there should be no national religion. I fully support anyone's right to practice their own religion, but NOT when that practice interferes with someone else's rights and freedoms. THAT is precisely WHY there is no "established" religion in the United States. A C in C ( and Carson is not alone in this,) who thinks otherwise is a fundamentally dangerous politician and should be called out as such.

    2. Oh, I totally agree Charlie. I truly could not vote for him for JUST those reasons, especially a national religion. But I've known "of him" for so long, it breaks my heart to see this. I wish he'd stayed with his area of expertise. I left the Republican Party because of their insistence on social conservatism(not the government's business!) and using the Bible to make policy. He deserves to be criticized and held accountable for the things he has said in this campaign, but I wish there was more balance in showing the MAN too. It's hard to watch one of your heroes implode.

    3. Hi, Shavuah tov (a good week) to you all,
      as I think I've written before- I will respond to the things I understand most which are mostly the Jewish- Israeli issues.
      MissJoAnn, I actually agree 100% that we should not continue to rely on the US $$... as allies there should be a great sense of partnership, but the US should stop patronizing Israel, and Israel should stop relying on those funds. the Israeli need to rely on the American funds is mostly psychological and not necessarily on reality. let alone the fact that in general, Israel's economy is doing better than the American..
      I disagree with the statement that Israel is the refuge for the Jew. the holocaust may be a trigger point (a horribly, incomprehensibly big one) that led to establishing the state probably faster than it would have otherwise, but it is definitely not the reason for us to have a state.
      I actually think that the Knesset law that every diplomat who comes on a diplomatic visit should be taken on a tour in Yad Vashem, the big holocaust museum is an absurd.
      I am getting here into a whole big topic which I don't really like getting into online, especially at 1:30 AM, but generally, the conflict between the Arabs and the Jews in Israel is not one that could be solved diplomatically, I am very sorry to say that it's a religious and cultural war (conflict if you want it in a more gentle manner). not understanding it is the greatest failure of the US, the UN and our own governments.

    4. one more thing.
      regarding what I wrote about the religious-cultural war,
      I think it's relevant all across the world and is emphasized by the horrible attacks on Paris last night. my heart goes to all the people affected by them, I have experienced terror and it's consequences most of my life and can feel the pain and terror they must feel.
      I also hope that those who claim to be the leaders of the world will open there eyes and ears without the necessity of being politically correct.
      my condolences to the families and friends of the victims, I wish a fast recovery to all the people hurt, a physical recovery and a mental one. be strong Parisians.

    5. Thank you, Michal! My wording of the "place of refuge" wasn't accurate, you are correct. The Holocaust played a big role in the return from the diaspora, but not the REASON for a Jewish state. I wasn't aware of the visits to Yad Vashem, though I can understand why they would want diplomats to see how the Jews were treated by those who hate them.
      And while it's not a topic for this blog, Evangelical Christians totally understand the religious/cultural issue in Israel. I am with you there. Again, welcome, and thank you for sharing your stories here. It must be painful to watch the terror that you have lived with on a daily basis, spread to other parts of the world.

  13. Another great HAT show! Thank you Charlie and Janelle. I would like to put my two cents in about the show since there wasn't enough time for calls.
    1) I DO NOT think that the debates are a waste of time. Putting aside the childish behavior, interruptions, narcissistic behaviors, I think it gives us an insight into who the candidates are, especially for those candidates who are not as well known as some of the others, or as outspoken. I do wish the moderators for both sides would keep better control and keep the candidates on target and in focus. I realize they are all fighting for airtime to get their points across. There are too many Republicans on the stage at one time. It is really annoying trying to listen when they are all talking over each other. It would be a great idea if the R debates where separated into two but asked the same exact questions. Maybe then there wouldn't be so much commotion and confusion. Just my opinion!
    2) Charlie, you touched on the low voter turnout. Is it a disgrace that more people don't show up to vote? Absolutely! My thinking, and we've heard it time and time again, is that people believe that politicians lie and they do what they want anyway after elected. Is this wrong thinking? Absolutely! Do politicians lie? Absolutely! But you cannot get across to everyone that their vote IS important and can make a difference. Again, just my opinion!
    3) You also touched on the immigration dilemma. What Trump proposed is ludicrous.
    What we need to do for those that have been here for years and are law-abiding, is to require them to become US citizens and pay taxes because you can be sure that they do not. Employers have to be held accountable, as well. Then, and only then, can they stay in the country. This would be a monumental task but we have to start somewhere. We can certainly prohibit from new ones coming over and abusing the system. I understand they are looking for a better life, but they also need to understand what the requirements are to stay.
    4) About the welfare system you briefly mentioned. People are making a career of the system. I absolutely agree that we need to help people get back on their feet if they've lost everything due to a job loss, spouse/significant other leaving, loss of house due to foreclosure or bankruptcy, BUT not forever. Once they're on welfare it seems like they are on it forever. There is not enough manpower or finances to follow-up on everyone so they just become part of the system. Assistance was originally set up as a temporary help, but the "career people" know just how to get around the system so they just keep on collecting while we pay for it. It is a sad, but true fact.
    5) On the debates again, what I would like to see is for people in the audience to be able to ask questions to the candidates. Not a scripted dialogue like the moderators have. People could apply to be apart of the debate, a lottery system could be set up to select people. They would have to submit a question to make sure it is appropriate for the debates, but at least the "common" man/woman would be able to ask a question that the American public wants answered. Will it happen? Probably not.

    Anyway.....these are my thoughts. Looking forward to next week's show.

    1. Well said Marianne! I totally agree with you on voter turnout. It is a disgrace and I wish there was some way we could make voting compulsory. I have lived in a country where, a. We were not allowed to vote and b. When we could vote it didn't matter as it was a corrupt system where the winner was a foregone conclusion! That is why I take the right and the responsibility of voting so seriously.

      On the debates, however, I disagree. I feel there is a better way for voters to get an insight into the candidates. Though, your point about the common man/woman asking the questions could make them more relevant.

    2. I really enjoyed reading your comment, it made a lot of sense to me.
      I also think that the debates have a good potential if only they were moderated in a different way (as I mentioned in my last comment- the example of the mock debate on "the newsroom" series).
      I kind of wished that we had a debate here in Israel last year before the elections, I believe it gives a better and more direct way for the voters to see who are the candidates, what they stand for and...also, the way they carry themselves, how they talk, their manners...
      I agree with the idea of questions from the audience too. it can give us a way in watching them 'improvise' and not just read or recite from a script.

  14. Good points, Marianna. I think questions from the audience would be a big improvement. The candidates would have to think on their feet and show their handle on a subject without relying on "talking points."

  15. Nadia,
    My thoughts and prayers are with you and all of France.
    Mes plus sincères condoléances pour cette horreur qui s'est abattue sur Paris. Comme on dit par chez nous "les deux bras m'ont tombés". La lâcheté de ces actes n'a pas de nom.

  16. As I am writing this, I am watching the tragedy unfold in Paris. It is just terrible and my heart goes out to all who have lost loved ones and to all the people in Paris and in France. I am so glad that my friends Josiane and Nadia are both safe as well as my own relatives

    It is a very sad day for us all. An attack on a beautiful city like Paris is an attack on our Western civilization. The problems are huge! Solutions seem unobtainable! How can we stop this violence against one another! I don't know the answers, and sometimes, on days like this, I despair for our world! But one thing I know - we can't solve them alone. We have to join together with all people of all religious beliefs, of all colors and nationalities who want to live in a peaceful world. It is only together that we will have a chance!
    We need to elect a President next year who understands this!

    1. "We have to join together with all people of all religious beliefs, of all colors and nationalities who want to live in a peaceful world. It is only together that we will have a chance!
      We need to elect a President next year who understands this!" Exactly Sharon! <3

  17. The attack on Paris saddens me greatly. Like so many others, I send as many prayers, positive thoughts, love and support to the variety of people in France now facing tremendous fear as well as the daunting task of recovering from such a horrible hit. I, as well as so many others, feel a very heartfelt pain for everyone who is directly affected by the attack. I also feel for the millions of people who now have to face and come to terms with the fear that this kind of attack generates. That, in a nutshell, is what this kind of attack is designed to do, to strike us with fear and make us believe that there is nothing that we can do about it or the group perpetrating it. If everyone within the world is now afraid to leave their homes, or who walk down the street with a fear that it could happen to them, that gives the terrorist groups power, and leaves them exactly where they want to be. For those in France at this time, I am very sure that fear and worry are rampant. For those of us elsewhere, we are stunned, shocked and outraged. We are saddened. And for many of us, we feel almost helpless as to how we can do something to help and support a country that has been an ally to our own since the early days of founding of the country. I am made physically ill by anyone, including a specific presidential candidate, who uses such an act of hatred and violence as a reason to immediately start verbal assaults on policies within other countries or to try to push and justify their own political agendas, because they are also trying to capitalize on the fear generated by the terrorists. Now is not the time for that. Now is not the time to try to show everyone how wrong they are, or how what their religion or political side has done to make or allow it to happen. Now is the time to act, not out of the fear that we may feel, but in spite of it. But what can we do?
    As a nation, we must unite with all countries worldwide who face the same terrorists. The group that claims responsibility for the attack has repeatedly declared war on all who oppose them, if not in words, then in deeds. That means that all the nations who suffer at the hands of the terrorists must unite against them. They try to divide, they try to strike fear and make people feel helpless. Individually, people may be helpless. As a unified front, however, we can put a collective foot down and say that we won't put up with it anymore. As a collective, we can band together and say that violence is not the way to find the answers.
    As individuals, we can walk outside and start extending the dignity and respect that everyone in the world craves. We can extend out love and support to the people of France, to those who have friends and family living there and to those who feel at a complete loss for the nearly overwhelming sadness. We can also extend the feeling of love and support to the good Muslims who try to be good people and live good lives. Many of them are surely walking around today wondering if they will be called a terrorist, or attacked in retribution, marginalized simply because they believe in they are lumped into the same category as Radical Islam. As individuals, we can reach out to those around us, regardless of religion, politics, race or opinion, and show them- not just tell them and leave it at that- and work to form a united front against the pain and violence that threatens and attacks on Western civilization. By getting over our petty squabbling and bickering over differences, we can create a united front, countering the feeling that people are being marginalized, showing that we respect and appreciate differences of all varieties, and allowing the forward progress of humanity.
    Nadia, my heart and love is with you and your family at this time, as well as with all of the people I know with direct ties to France. We must stand together against the forces that seek to tear us all down simply because we can't agree on something.

  18. Thanks Mr. Shaughnessy and Janelle for reading a part of my question.
    one quick correction- I Am a woman, my name is pronounced mee-chal (CH like in Chabad...).

    that said, I want to sadly say that though I am totally right winged, very religious, and somewhat quite the opposite of probably most of the things that you are, despite that, I agree with the fact that most right wing candidates do not sound too smart.
    I will blame the media for that, also the left in general has the tendency to call others who don't agree with them 'crazy' 'dumb' 'insane' and many other nicknames and then just wave aside anything we had to say without regarding the argument itself.
    I witness that all the time in Israel, I see that in the US, I experienced that myself a quite a few times, even with relatives of mine who are leftists.
    BUT, yes, I also see what you say about the way the republicans express themselves in the US. on my visit there I watched fox on my uncle's TV, I also watch american TV captures on the web occasionally, and can definitely say that they kind of have an infantile way of insulting the viewer's intelligence. sad.
    the leftist media by the way, does the same thing but in a more sophisticated way so the public won't feel it too bad.

    one more thing- did any of you watch "The newsroom"?
    I'm asking because of what you said about the debates.
    there's an episode on "the newsroom" regarding a debate they wanted to host, but they wanted it to be different. it seemed to me as quite an interesting way of directing and questioning.
    it's on the first season, I think it's on Episode 9.
    if you've watched it, what do you think of this kind of debate?

    thank you.

    1. Michal, as one who really has a difficult time trying to identify myself as a member of any political party at all, I say that it's not something to be sad about if you fall to one side and somebody else falls to the other. The way I see it, in fact, those kinds of relationships can actually be some of the most productive and beneficial. I whole-heartedly believe that we need representation on both sides of the spectrum as that can expand perspective and therefore allow a more productive experience that builds on the esatablished staus quo still progesses forward. Going too far to either side creates blind spots, as Charlie mentioned in the show, and impedes progres. The trick to establishing this balance with respect and dignity given from each side to the other. I was really reluctqnt to share some of my thoughts for a really long time because it was so hardd to find anywhere with that balance. I was even very reluctant to participate here, at first for fear that was the case. As I went back and read some of the previous conversations, however, I learned that the balance was something most people here want. We don't have to agree on anything, but we are always kind and respectful, even if we don't agree. Your respectful thoughts, insights and perspectives are valued and appreciated.

    2. Hi Michal, and welcome to this Blog. It is really great to hear other perspectives from different countries. This is a place we can share our thoughts and opinions freely without facing ridicule or condemnation.
      I loved the show The Newsroom and remember well the episode you are talking about. I think the kind of debate they were talking about on that show would be very interesting!

    3. Becky, thank you for your response. I agree with what you said about being afraid of participating in such discussions because of the way the usually come out. I am very new here, Just discovered this blog (and Tradiov) last week and found it a respectful and interesting place to listen and comment on.
      thank you for your response.

      thank you for the welcoming...I usually don't take part in such discussions on sites from abroad because the amount of antagonism towards anything that smells remotely like...well, like me (Israel, religious, right wing, etc.),
      but, as I wrote to Becky, I find this blog very respectful. I might even remain an active reader for a while.
      I loved the newsroom very much too. I wish the people in the media would have had the same aspirations and motivation to make such a change like the characters on that show were trying to do.

    4. Welcome, Michal. As you see, there are quite a few here who were, at first, cautious about "speaking out". Becky was one, and she is now one of our most thoughtful, regular contributors. I see it like this: progress and social evolution is always a "conversation." Whether it be about freedom v security, rights v responsibility, religious and moral values, obligations and debts of a society....the conversation is what affects change. Things are NEVER black and white, there is always a shade of gray in any such conversation, and I like to encourage people to see those nuances. Yes, people are passionate and the chatter can get "heated" at times, but never disrespectful or dismissive. I look forward to hearing your thoughts on the many complex and consequential topics that surround all of us today .

  19. Someone wrote this on a blog. Not sure about the translation...
    There is some truth in it...partly true but still ;-)

    "France embodies everything religious zealots everywhere hate: enjoyment of life here on earth in a myriad little ways: a fragrant cup of coffee and buttery croissant in the morning, beautiful women in short dresses smiling freely on the street, the smell of warm bread, a bottle of wine shared with friends, a dab of perfume, children paying in the Luxembourg Gardens, the right not to believe in any god, not to worry about calories, to flirt and smoke and enjoy sex outside of marriage, to take vacations, to read any book you want, to go to school for free, to play, to laugh, to argue, to make fun of prelates as politicians, not worrying about life after death. No country on earth has better definition of life as the French.
    Paris, we love you. We cry for you. You are mourning tonight, and we with you. We know you will laugh again, and sing again, and make love, and heal, because loving life is your essence. The forces of darkness will ebb. They will lose. They always do"

    1. Beautifully said Nadia. We all cry for Paris tonight and I know she will come back strong, but a little of that innocence will be lost. You are right though! The force of darkness will ebb and they will lose! The light will triumph!

  20. I want to start my saying, that I'm so grateful that Nadia and Josiane are safe, and that my thoughts and prayers go out to Paris and all of France.

    Welcome, Michal to the blog! I have enjoyed reading your comments, and hope that you continue to participate on the blog. We may not always agree with each other on here, but everyone has always been respectful when we disagree. I always find it good when we learn from someone else's point of view. Like Charlie said "Things are NEVER black and white, there is always a shade of gray." I think that it is in that shade of gray that we learn something new or to view something in a different light.

  21. I have a question for everyone, including Charlie and Janelle.
    What are your thoughts on allowing Syrian refugees into the US?

    Personally I think it's a very bad idea! By allowing them to come here we are allowing ISIS members who hide among them to enter, right under our nose. It has happened in other countries (like France) and it will happen here. We already have ISIS members here now and we don't need to add to the numbers.
    It may seem like I'm not sympathetic to the refugees plight. However I do feel sorry for the innocent ones and my thoughts and prayers go out to them. We CAN NOT always play the hero or be big brother! Especially when we have our own problems and people who need our help right here at home. We have about 50,000 homeless veterans whom have fought for our country, and about 578,424 homeless people, of which 216,197 are families. (I Googled the numbers in case anyone was curious where I came up with the numbers.) I honestly believe that we need to help our own first! I think that President Obama needs to consider the wishes of the governors and the voters who do not want them coming here. It has nothing to do with the Republicans or Democrats, but has everything to do with the welfare of the U.S. and its citizens. It's time to put party lines aside and do what's best for us as a nation!

    1. Good question Tracy, and a very hard one! I have mixed feelings about letting the refugees in. As we speak, California is still allowing them in though a number of states have stopped their entrance. I do agree that by letting them in, we run the high risk of ISIS members slipping in with them leading to trouble for everyone! However, we are a country of immigrants! That being said, I think we need to be extremely cautious about the refugee situation and if they are let in, there needs to be some kind of screening done, which I know, is easier said than done! I feel very sorry for all the refugees, but, bottom line, I would prefer them to go to their neighboring countries rather than come to our country. It is such a big problem!

  22. Beautifully said.
    This young french man lost his wife. What he wrote has been very appreciated by french facebook users here...
    Fortunately other people are thinking like him...

    “Friday night, you took an exceptional life - the love of my life, the mother of my son - but you will not have my hatred. I don't know who you are and I don't want to know, you are dead souls. If this God, for whom you kill blindly, made us in his image, every bullet in the body of my wife would have been one more wound in his heart.

    So, no, I will not grant you the gift of my hatred. You're asking for it, but responding to hatred with anger is falling victim to the same ignorance that has made you what you are. You want me to be scared, to view my countrymen with mistrust, to sacrifice my liberty for my security. You lost.

    I saw her this morning. Finally, after nights and days of waiting. She was just as beautiful as when she left on Friday night, just as beautiful as when I fell hopelessly in love over 12 years ago. Of course I am devastated by this pain, I give you this little victory, but the pain will be short-lived. I know that she will be with us every day and that we will find ourselves again in this paradise of free love to which you have no access.

    We are just two, my son and me, but we are stronger than all the armies in the world. I don't have any more time to devote to you, I have to join Melvil who is waking up from his nap. He is barely 17-months-old. He will eat his meals as usual, and then we are going to play as usual, and for his whole life this little boy will threaten you by being happy and free. Because no, you will not have his hatred either.”

    Antoine Leiris :

  23. Hi Tracy.
    Thank you for your welcoming, of course there will be disagreements, probably many of them, due to the different worlds we come from, but this is the risk and the challenge in participating in such a forum.

    I guess there is no good answer to that question.
    the refugee problem is completely terrible.
    here in Israel, our state has spent already millions of Shekels on rescuing mostly injured but also sick Syrian refugees at the borders including, children with amputations and other terrible things, many times at the expense of Israeli patients. all this is being done here for refugees from an enemy state, but there is no way that a leader whose mind is straight would let them in into refugee camps.

    I don't want this to sound heartless, but my advice for other counties is to stop this immigration as fast as possible, for your own good. for your own and your family's life.

    only 3 months ago, the Lebanese minister of education has already warned former British PM, Tony Blair that around 2% of the immigrants are ISIS warriors.
    (BTW, the headline of this article I took it from was "on the way to a mega terror attack?" didn't take too long... :-( )
    there is no way in the world that this mass immigration won't cause a disaster upon the whole of europe, it has already started in the past few years and it's getting worse.
    as of 2012, Sweden, the nice and quiet european country has "won" the status of the world's second capital of rape (the first is a little state in South Africa) this is according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. the numbers increased in 1472%. since 1975 when Sweden opened it's gates to immigration and this is just the beginning.
    if you listen close, you can hear about crime rates increasing wherever they come to.
    but of course you won't hear that on the mainstream media because it's not politically correct, it's "racist" (which is a misuse of the word), it's bad, but the sometimes the truth hurts.

    My answer is divided-
    help them with medical care, food and other essentials- yes.
    let them in in masses-- no.
    there are around 22 Arab-Muslim countries, about 7 of them at war more or less (so cut them out), they should be the ones taking care of the refugees (with help from the rest of the world for sure). they know those people's culture, they know the language, they can make it much easier for the refugees to restart their lives, some of those countries even have the money for that.
    now, the only problem is...that they are not really willing to do that, (excluding Turkey, who has absorbed quite a large amount of refugees.) because they know exactly what the consequences will be. they are scared nonetheless.

    If a country decides to absorb them, it should be done in special refugee camps in which they will receive all the elementary help they need, but won't be allowed to blend into the country until they have past some required tests and interviews to make sure they won't cause any trouble after their clash with another world, another culture.

    it sounds really bad, and it IS bad, it's terrible! even heartbreaking! but as I wrote before, this is the truth, the reality of this world and as much as the it hurts, ignoring it will hurt much more in the future and can be fatal.

    this is a terrible dilemma.

  24. Thank you Nadia, I read that yesterday and cried like a baby. Poor little man. I am watching CNN as I write this, and the breaking news is that a new attack has just been thwarted. And I don't know why in today's world...but I'm always surprised when a suicide bomber is a woman. And now I'm seeing a segment on the "mastermind"...smiling and laughing as he drags corpses of the 'unbelievers' on a rope behind his truck to the mass grave. So tragic, and I am so very sorry that you are going through this. Please give Jeremy an extra hug tonight from me.
    As for the refugee crisis, I have so many emotions....all of them valid. I have to agree with Tracy, we have veterans here who are homeless and hungry, and many have PTSD. I can't even imagine the emotional reaction they are having to all of this...the 4th of July is hard on them!!! I've got tears in my eyes just typing that. And I don't think we have the "vetting" process necessary to ensure our safety. The Southern Border is not controlled, and the Fort Hood shooter was IN OUR ARMY, preaching jihad in front of everyone. I won't stand for being called "xenophobic" or "heartless" when it is our government that has proven to us that they are not capable of handling this and keeping us safe. Everyone feels for the refugees, esp. the innocent woman, children, and my fellow Christians who are being terrorized and slaughtered.
    Which brings me to my 2nd point, agreeing with Sharon that these refugees are better served by helping to set up safe zones(like the 100K air-conditioned tents in Saudi Arabia that are used only for the Haj to Mecca once or twice a year!!!) in moderate Arab nations. They would find the same or similar language, a large Muslim support system, and a more similar lifestyle(and it just seems to me that the culture shock would lead to more anger toward the "hedonistic west" for some).
    It's just a mess, and tragic for everyone. For the refugees, for those who wanted to do the 'right thing' and were hurt, for those who just want to be safe while still helping. No easy answers. And the politicians need to listen to the wishes of the people, while they are surrounded by walls, metal detectors, and Secret Service agents.

  25. Hello ! Sorry for my english :-/
    I wanted to talk about of the events at Paris .
    I'm an high school student in France and in my classroom we talk about these attacks in Paris.
    We all thought the same : The terrorists bring religions problems and France is divided....
    It's also necessary to talk about the amalgams , all muslims kill ? Of course not ! My friends think the terrorists is a cause of rasism and I think the same because peoples think muslims are not google people because there are terrorists......
    I want to say I'm afraid because It's my contry and It's a very big tragedie for every one because simple people wanted to eat in a restaurant or sing songs in a concert and some of there people are died , It's horrible .
    Thanx for have read my text in maybe an bad english sorry :-3.

    1. Good people not google people sorry

  26. hello to you and thank you to talk about France, especially in Paris country where I reside and proud words be but as hard hard time outputs are restraintes because in fear that happen to us what that thing why hate time to France this countries and Paris welcome for this country if wholes reponder then why thank you for issuance as I am delayed because still lag times thank you Mr Shaughnessy has thought of us and make a special thank you thank you thank you Katy issuance

  27. i like to know why France & Europe let the muslims know france is in a big mess in and know they want to bring them here most of them as you can see are more men them women & children coming to Europe where are the women & children now i been watching CNN & FOX news all night there doing really better hope it will end soon but look like it will be a while yet thank yoou charlie & janelle for you had work on your show hope to see you again in 2016 keep well and safe you have a great show hope others in England France German Norway will get to listen and more will tune in next year looking forward to the other movies & tv show that your in will come out soon and France England will get to see some how through you American's France & Russa are really working together this time i believe love to know what you think now ? thank you have a great season with you and yours & janelle too .

  28. It saddens me, and is so heartbreaking, to read all the very emotional comments posted here about the bombings in Paris. Paris is such a beautiful city and will be forever changed. I am so sorry that you had to experience the horrific devastation and that so many innocent lives were lost.

    We cannot allow Syrian refugees into the country. How many ISIS are going to sneak in with them? If we allow it, how are we going to take care of them? Where are they going to live? In tent cities that we set up for them? Not knowing the culture or language, where will they find work? Or will they expect monetary funding from us too? Granted, not all of them are criminals or terrorists, and many are fleeing religious persecution, but there has to be a stopping point. We will never be able to keep control and watch over everyone; we just don't have the resources or manpower.
    When we can't take care of our poor, the unemployed, the homeless, our veterans, people without medical care or insurance, how can we possibly even think of accepting more burden?
    I read on the internet today that Germany stopped a man at gunpoint after a bomb was found outside Hannover Arena. There was supposed to be a match between Germany and Holland. A truck disguised as an ambulance was packed full of explosives and tried to enter the stadium. Imagine the devastation that could have been? German Chancellor Angela Merkel was instrumental in letting Syrian refugees into Germany and now the people are in an uproar.

    Where and when will the next incident happen? What do we do, just sit and wait? JoAnn is right when she says the politicians need to listen to the wishes of the people.

    1. Hi Marianne B.
      regarding the end of your comment, I think that as much as the politicians need to listen to the wishes of the people, they need even more to lead their people.
      the situation today of so called 'leaders' reacting to ratings and the media more than taking action without it is more than disgraceful, it's fatal. the world leaders should look reality in the face and not the news cameras.
      really listening to the people's wishes will mean looking at the big picture as well as the small one without relying on the love and cheering from the crowd. this isn't Hollywood here, this is earth calling, striving for leadership.

      there's a famous saying in the Gemara (a 2000 year old jewish book) regarding our generations, and it says: פני הדור כפני הכלב
      translation: the face of the generation is like the face of the dog.
      the most common explanations to this phrase is that our 'leaders' are like the dog: he runs in front of his owner thinking he's the leader, but always looks back to make sure this is the direction his owner wants him to go. a led leadership.
      so you want to know do the politicians do? they react, they don't take action and that's how we get to these incidents and this reality. what should we do?
      good question, one thing for sure, stop living in movie land and then seek for answers.

    2. Hi Michal, and welcome to the blog. You are so correct in your comments that we need leaders who actual lead. This is not a popularity contest! We need true leadership from our President, the Senate, Congress, all working together. Unfortunately, our two parties work against each other, seeing who can come out on top. Americans are so frustrated and scared in the direction we are headed. It is very obvious by all the comments that are being posted here. We sit and wait for the next incident to happen. We turn on the news and see another terrorist attack. You almost want to wake up to find out it was a dream, but, unfortunately, it is very, very real.

  29. I don't think anyone with a heart and a brain is saying "screw the refugees, all Muslims are dangerous". It's just the REALITY. I don't see what the issue is....doing an in-depth analysis of the 'vetting process' to ensure our safety is COMMON SENSE, imho. No sooner do we post on this blog when something else happens. They have found terrorists at the Istanbul airport trying to get to Germany, others in Honduras trying to get to the US(gee, who'd have guessed they'd be coming through our Southern border?), they have killed a Chinese and a Norwegian hostage, there is a threat to NYC on video. None of this is the fault of the innocent, terrorized refugees...but it's the reality. I'm sure they are just as worried about ISIS being next to them in a refugee camp as we are about ISIS attacking more targets!. But.,we need to look into better ways to help them. I just can't understand a government that throws their hands up and says we can't control our southern border(and uses the 'xenophobe' card to mock anyone who questions how we know who is coming), wants us to trust them that "this time" we'll have a strong vetting process? Seeing the comments on articles and websites online the past few days, it's not just "conservatives and Republicans" who are saying "we need to handle this differently"....even right here on this blog. Even Keith Ellison(D-MN, the only Muslim in Congress) is saying "of course we want to help refugees, it's part of our DNA....but we need to carefully screen these refugees".

  30. Throwing in a bit of historical perspective (because that's what I'm trained to do)...

    About 100 years ago, fears of the spread of communism (which ultimately led to the Cold War--check out how many people died in Korea, Vietnam, etc.) contributed to the first broad immigration restrictions, with quotas set to limit immigration of "undesirables" (people from southern and eastern Europe who "looked" different from the WASPs, had different religions, etc.). These restrictions were partly in response to the massive immigration following the Russian Revolution, peaking in 1920. Of course, they also prohibited anyone who was fleeing communism from migrating to the U.S.

    Fast forward about 20 years. The SS St. Louis tries to bring over 900 Jewish refugees to the U.S., but the immigration restriction laws prevent them (there was no provision for refugees in the 1921 or 1924 laws). They previously had tried to land in Cuba but were rejected. Ultimately they returned to Europe and dispersed among western European countries (Britain, France, Belgium, the Netherlands)--all of which were soon engulfed in World War II. About 1/2 the passengers ultimately lost their lives in the Holocaust.

    Following World War II, Congress passed legislation that distinguished between "refugees" and "immigrants," with it being broadly codified in the United States Refugee Act of 1980 that addressed the issue of refugees from Indochina coming to the U.S. following the fall of Saigon. This is the law that is being applied when accepting the Syrian refugees, and it places a cap of 50,000 refugees per year. The refugees do go through a screening process (just like other legal immigrants); it's not like they are able to board a plane, go through customs, and not get checked. The question, of course, is how thorough the screening process is...and, if it truly is a thorough process, how many refugees would be willing to go through it in order to migrate to the United States. But preventing refugees from coming because of fears of ISIS spreading—hello, it’s already in the U.S. Just look at ISIS claiming responsibility for the shootings at the recruiting stations in Chattanooga and at Umpqua Community College in Oregon. Personally, I am more willing to accept Syrian refugees who are being invited to the U.S. over granting blanket amnesty and the benefits of citizenship to people who have not followed the legal immigration process when coming to the U.S. (and none of the naturalized citizens I work with support amnesty).

    I live in Pennsylvania, one of the states whose governor has announced that Syrian refugees are welcome. One of our local churches has already volunteered to assist with the resettlement of one Syrian family. It doesn’t sound like much, but for a community with about 3,000 people it’s a start.

    One more point—I have seen on Facebook people posting memes that state, “It’s nice that people put out these lawn ornaments to signal that their homes have room to take in refugees”—referring to people who put nativity scenes in their front yards. One key problem with that is to be accurate, the refugees would be staying in barns and garages, not homes…and where I live, the garage doubles as a refrigerator/freezer from mid-October to early May.

    1. Hi Karen.
      thank you for the throwback, I was thinking about the same issue.
      my own family immigrated to the US in the 19th century, so no one that we know about was at the holocaust (well, 2 of my Grandmother's brothers were scholars in Yeshiva in Czechoslovakia and fled with the last ship out, one of them later on fought in the US air force)
      but, yet again, I must go back to the issue of Islam (or fundamental Islamists if you insist), most of the people who came from europe in the 19th and 20th century came and rebuilt their lives, they tried hard to get out of the status of refugees/ immigrants/ victims, they found some place to work at, they studied, they blended in. but nowadays in europe, you can only see how those immigrants have turned those relatively peaceful areas into slums and the poor places just got worse. look what happened to Sweden the unimaginable increase of the rape rates, mugging and murder, look what happens in certain neighborhoods and towns in England, Denmark, France, Belgium.. about 5 weeks ago I bumped into a couple of German tourists, we had a friendly talk and they kept on saying how afraid they are in Germany because of the Muslim immigrants, they do not let their daughter out without Pepper spray..
      I am sure that many of those people just want to resettle and build their lives again, but as a group they have the tendency to victimize themselves so they can blame the world for anything bad.
      in Holland, instead of thanking the hosts, they complained about the Internet, about room service, about money for cigarettes..
      nobody told them that beggars can't be choosers?

      so with all my heart, I am sorry for the terrible conditions the poor innocent people are going through, but as far as I can see, a country who's willing to live should not accept mass immigration until they can prove themselves.

  31. Thank you JoAnn <3
    I don't live in Paris anymore but on the west coast where nothing will probably happen right now 'cos the potential terrorists are targeting big cities to create fear and panic and much more damages...
    BUT I come once a month to Paris to visit my mother & my brother and for meetings with the medical teams with whom I am collaborating for my organization and the families I represent...
    So, as everyone here in France, I am scared and hope everything will calm down but I doubt it...

    Unfortunately, as I was writing it on the blog in january, the hatred of those men for us westerly people, especially french people, is so important...
    With ISIS we have religious fanatism + mafia organisation = a deadly cocktail! No moral at all!
    Those young men and women are brainwashed (ISIS work like a sect)... and we -USA, Europe, Russia etc... are "friends" with the countries whose certain rich families are financing them... are our governments going to change that fact?
    The existing mess was increased when the coalition troops went to Iraq back then, and we also have let ISIS grown since the last 10 years...

    The european ideal to have their frontiers open inside EU will probably end 'cos too many terrorists can come to us through Turkey or the Balkans for example...
    Economy will (is already!) be impacted, and islamophobia raise as the extrem right party here is stronger and stronger...
    All bad perspectives! :-(

    But as the message I have posted from Antoine Leiris shows it, there are also people who don't want to follow the dark path so hope we will stay united and positive... I am crossing my fingers <3

  32. just one more thing before I stop for this week (well..maybe).
    not sure if it's the right place to say it, but, I guess if I want to share my thoughts and opinions, this may be an opportunity to explain a little bit of this reality many of you guys don't know about, that we grew into. there are many ways to explain it, but here is today from my point of view:
    It was my Birthday today, the Hebrew date.
    completely normal, I do stuff on the computer (B.A), answer Happy Birthday wishes and look every now and then on the news, because that's life here.
    I decided that I wanted to pray on this special day in a special place, so
    I packed my wallet, my phone, a bottle of water, a video cam just incase something happens and pepper spray, the usual stuff.

    I went to the western wall tunnels, at the spot which is the closest to where the inner sanctum of the holy temple used to be. as a jew, I am not allowed to pray on the mountain itself, so I have a little cave left... alright..

    on the way back I show the way to zion gate to a nice couple of tourists from Ghana and we have a nice chat.
    from Jaffa gate, I guided and chatted with another couple of tourists, this time from southern London.
    of course we chat about the situation in europe and the refugees, and about the intifada in Israel, they all told me they felt safe here and I agreed. but with a twitch in my stomach and a hand showing them my pepper spray.

    then I return home and read on the new the two more Jews were slaughtered to death on the doorstep of where they were praying the afternoon prayers, by an Arab from Hebron who just got a permit to work here. his mother declared she is very proud.
    one more was injured. one of the victims is 32, a father of 5, one of the is two months old. the murderer himself just had twins lately, that was his help for the wife.
    later on another two Arabs shot at people passing by in Gush Etzion, two Jews were shot to death one Arab was accidentally killed too at the chaos, then the shooters went on with their car to run over other pedestrians, 5 injured.
    one of the murdered is an 18 year old jewish boy from Sharon massachusetts who came here for a year after school before college.

    oh, and don't forget the father and son who were murdered on friday. their daughter/ sister was about to get married on tuesday. the wedding was postponed to next thursday because this is life. the couple invited the whole nation to come.

    another day has gone the world won't hear of if they don't look for in intentionally.
    these attempts are happening on a daily basis, for years.
    the numbers are small compare to 132 people at once which makes it easier to swallow.
    I think this is the thing I wanted to point out.

    I was wondering how much it mattered to other people around the world.
    on my news web I read about Boko Haram, ISIS, Paris, Syria in which we get the number of victims every day, Yemen, everything.
    how much do your newspapers/ web sites talk about the reality we live in with sympathy? without the same old 'talks' and 'compromising' in the same sentence?

    please inform me if this wasn't the right place to point this discussion/ thought out.

    have a good weekend to you all.
    best of luck.
    I probably won't be listening to the TradioV broadcast live due to the time difference, so I wish you good luck on that too Charlie and Jannel, enjoy.

    1. I don't dare to really discuss about the Israelian-Palestinian conflict 'cos in my opinion it's a so (too many) complex situation.

      Living in this fearful and full of hatred situation, being constantly agressed, is unbelievable for someone who doesn't experience it like the few examples you are sharing with us -my brother who goes regularly to Tel Aviv and Haifa for work and friends would acquiesce.

      And on the other side you have the Palestinian, suffering, under the york... may I say "occupied"?

      Hope a path to some peace and compromise will happen once.

  33. PS : As I've told we're all shocked & scared here but it's also very important in my mind that we also think to the other countries suffering since so long e.g. children in Syria Iraq or Palestinia, students in Kenya, people sacrified in Soudi Arabia etc etc :-(

  34. Very good show, Charlie. Filled with difficult and emotional discussion on some very difficult topics. So much of what you said embodies so much of how I feel about denying entrance into the U.S. for Syrian refugees. From the beginning, I have thought that much of the worry has been propelled by fear-mongering that happens in the media and worsened by politicians who seek nothing more than to strengthen a political stance. Since the refugee question even came up, both the media and various politicians have been trying to cram the idea that we should be fearful of the refugees and all the "baggage" that would accompany them. Every time the media or politicians try to tell me that we should fear the baggage of letting Syrian refugees into the country, I have thought of many of my refugee students who lost family and friends on the way here. I think of how they sought only to live without fear themselves. I think of my students who came in refugee families to live in rather poor areas, with high refugee concentration in Salt Lake City in the name of safety.
    However, I understand the desire to maintain security. A reflection on and a review of the regulations and screening process is something that should be ongoing, not just reaction after an attack shows weaknesses.
    The process is not perfect, and it should be consistently reviewed, scrutinized to see if it's exposing the country to danger. Consistently, not just now that the media and politicians seek to instill fear among the American people. If the system needs repair, then we should repair it. But right now, the fear is based on what the news media decides to feed us, and how the politicians have tried to use the attacks and the situation to gain political ground.
    Is it possible that terrorists could be hiding among the refugees, yes. But it's also possible that they could be hiding among tourists or among people traveling on business. It's also just as likely that they recruit from among current American citizens, train them and send them in for an attack There may be some who will hide among the refugees, sure, but the likelihood of that happening is actually far lower than them finding more immediate ways of getting where they want to be.
    I also have to ask about the way that terrorist cells could use a refusal from the U.S. to allow Syrian refugees to build their ranks and increase animosity towards the country. The terrorists have proven how proficient they are at brainwashing people, wouldn't they be likely to use the fact that they cannot get into the country as fuel for their hatred and to convince others to join their ranks?
    I don't support simply opening our borders or lowering restrictions. Rather we need to avoid the fear-based reactions. It shouldn't be a partisan issue. We should review and reevaluate the current system of checks and vetting, find any weaknesses and fix them. There have already been attacks within the country, by people legally here. If the goal is to divide the people of the country, they are more likely to do so if they can get those already here on their side than by bringing someone in from elsewhere.
    We do need to be vigilant. We do need to maintain our safety. But we shouldn't allow politicians or media fear-mongering to keep us from our humanity. We can still show sympathy, empathy and a desire to help those who need refuge in a country built on immigrants and refugees while doing what we can to maintain our country's safety. We don't have to forgo one for the other, no matter what so many politicians and media outlets would have us believe.

  35. A very good show Charlie. A show full of feeling and emotion.Stories of fear and sadness but also of resolve and determination!
    As I said in an earlier post, the refugee problem is a very difficult issue. I feel, like Becky, that the immediate response to close our borders to the Syrian refugees is a reaction based on fear. It is true when you say that a terrorist could come into our country as a regular tourist, easier than coming in as a refugee. It is a difficult situation and one we need to monitor very carefully.
    What is really bothering me, is how many of the Republican candidates are using this situation to their advantage, and are stirring up fear in many people. These refugees are not political pawns to be used to win an election!

    1. and I also see Democrats using this for political gain...blowing off legitimate concerns(which you share), sneering and mocking about being afraid of toddler orphans, and pulling out the racism/Islamophobe/xenophobe card. Shame on ALL of them, on both sides.

    2. Oh yes! I'm sure you are right Jo! Both sides will use them for political gain.

    3. VERY accurate observation qbout both sides. Both sides ars using this issue to truly to gain political stqus and make their side look better than the other. The right is trying to gain power and status through fear, name calling and attempts to plaster guilt trips all over attempts to help helpless people. Meanwhile the left is focused on laying blame, name calling and attempts to do nothing but discredit concerns- opening he door for even more "we told you so" rebuttals should something happen. The conversation just isn't happening as both sides are more concerned with out-shouting and discrediting the other side than actually trying to find a solution that doesn't loose our humanity but still recognizes and validatess the real concerns. No one is saying we should not help our own in the name of helping refugees, but I also don't hear solutions being offered from the accusatory side to solve the problems we already see on American soil. It's a shameful time in American politics in general. This isn't a partisan issue, and shouldn't be turned into one from either side.

  36. Just watched the archives(and of course have things to say LOL). I'm watching CNN right now, I'm like a junkie when stuff like this happens. The anchors(Chris Cuomo and a woman I don't know) were talking about the House Vote about the refugee crisis, and how this was a big blow to Obama, because it was bipartisan. You, and Liane in her call, were quick to blame the Republicans for that, yet 47 Democrats voted with them(and at this point, one of the governors who wants to close their borders is a Dem). I'm afraid you are JUST as guilty of politicizing this, or at the very least seeing it thru a biased filter. It's hard not to be overly cautious, when we have a President who said "ISIS is contained" 12 hours before "la merde hit the fan" in Paris. Doesn't exactly inspire confidence that our government knows what the hell is going on. That doesn't excuse the big mouths who are saying "Keep them out! They'll kill us all!", but it does justify the caution.
    And thank you so much, for talking about how the Muslim community needs to take a bigger role in this. I can totally understand their fear....they speak out, their head is next. They are now interviewing people in St. Denis, who are saying "we keep our head down and our mouths shut", which is a big part of the problem(and as I said, totally understandable from a human perspective). It was nice to hear a discussion of this, without the 'all religion is dangerous' rabbit hole.

  37. Another great show Charlie. As Becky said, it was filled with some very emotional and difficult discussions. When I first watched it, I was conflicted about some of the things you said. After watching it a second time, I got a different perspective. It actually brought tears to my eyes with all the emotions I was feeling. I will admit that I gave in to all the anger and hatred I felt upon hearing what happened in Paris, and other places around the world, and, therefore, said that we shouldn't allow the Syrian refugees in. But, after thinking about all the innocent people - men, women, children - trying to escape persecution, looking for a better life, my thoughts have changed. I do agree that we need to be vigilant and proactive in maintaining our safety in the process. Like you said Charlie, there are a bazillion ways for terrorists to enter and they won't wait for the two year process. I am still scared and worried about what is going to happen next, but have to realize that I still have compassion for those seeking a better life.
    My parents came over from Germany and Austria as immigrants, not refugees. My father as a young adult, my mother as a young child (my mom's mother came first and then sent for her). They came through Ellis Island and had to have sponsors, a place to live, what they planned to do when they got here. I still have their papers with all the documentation. They learned the language and became US citizens as soon as they could. And I am proud to say that they lived the American dream. My siblings and I wouldn't be here if it weren't for them. So, who am I to say that others shouldn't be given the chance to realize the American dream too.

    I admit, I stand corrected.

  38. Good show Charlie. I'm here to say that we still have thousands of Americans known as Veterans in this country, that also have families, that are homeless. How about we take care of our own first? Now more than ever thanks to the crooks on Wall St we have more Americans than ever in search of the ever elusive American Dream.

  39. Hi Charlie and everybody.
    thanks for the show.
    I will divide my comment into 2 parts because for some reason the system tells me my comment is too long even though I've shortened it quite a few times...

    1. thanks for acknowledging my point.
    2. I heard the talk about Terror groups in different times and places and was quite surprised by you comparing bombing King David hotel in Jerusalem (killing 91 people) to terror groups in Israel today. there is so much more to it than just to compare.

    correction- the state of Israel was established in 1948.
    the hotel bombing happened in 1946. not the 50's,
    It wasn't long after the Brits mercifully sent ships with thousands of Jews trying to escape back to Europe,most of them were cremated, gassed and killed in many wicked ways.
    in 1946, they still restricted the receiving of the survivors,
    sending them back to Europe again or to Cyprus,some were killed by them.

    The goal of this bombing was to destroy the offices, not to kill!
    warnings were always given ahead of time so people can evacuate,
    countless missions were cancelled because they threatened innocent people's life.

    the plan was to do it while everybody was out after a warning given 30 minutes ahead of time.
    according to different sources, there were 2 warnings, by an agent of the British army Intelligence service who was undercover, in the Jewish underground movement,
    he phoned John Shaw,the British Mandate secretary in Israel at the time.
    also,2 girls from the Etzel phoned the office warning them and the French consulate near by about the bombs.
    unfortunately, the warnings weren't effective, and there are many versions as to why wasn't the building evacuated:
    A. according to one testimony-John Shaw threatened to fire whomever left the building
    saying "I'm here not to receive orders from the Jews, I give them orders"
    Mr. Shaw of course denied receiving the warnings.
    B. the secretary received a warning but was waiting for confirmation from their agent,
    which didn't come due to technical problems he faced.
    C."The General, Sir Evelyn Barker laughed and looked at his wristwatch,
    "Well, you'd better hurry up, I understand we're about to be blown up this morning."
    Colonel Andrew Campbell felt a slight twinge.
    "Don't worry, Andrew," Barker said, "We had a few hours of quiet" He laughed again.
    "What do you mean?"
    "We've received confidential information."
    the problem in investigating that explosion is that the British had banned publishing the results of commissions that investigated it.
    "Even files that are in the State Archives of the UK regarding the explosion are closed to the,because they might embarrass certain individuals in the government"(quote from a book written by Thurston Clarke, an American Historian and journalist titled Blood and fire).

    NO ONE intended this bombing to end up killing people but to destroy the British headquarters stationed there.

  40. 2nd part:

    there's no moral equality between the underground movements in the 1930's-1940's in Israel and the Arab terror against us,
    they TRY to kill as MANY people as they can, to make as many people as they can suffer.
    The Hotel bombing caused such casualties, everybody was appalled, the rebels expressed their shock of the results.
    where do you hear such expressions of remorse and sorrow from the other side of the conflict when they strike us with their terror?
    they blame those who kill or injure the attacker.
    they praise the killers, killers on our side are condemned.
    it IS a matter of perspective in the conflict, but the question is how much does a person learn before taking sides.
    that can go under the topic of media and media watch which is a seriously important topic for discussion.
    I understand that you come from the UK which makes what I heard from you right now about the "gangs" sound sensible.. but there's a whole bit of history that must be missing out in order to compare both versions.
    making the analogy between Arab terror and the Jewish undergrounds is kind of cheap (not denying that mistakes were made on the way that are still going under investigations and arguments 'til today)
    but that starts a whole new argument which can and is going on for decades..

  41. I have a question/ comment about the refugee situation.
    you and many others say that letting the refugees come in only after a 2 year process is dumb because a terrorist won't wait this long to carry on with a terror mission. it sounds from your attitude towards that idea that the answer you feel like accepting is to let them all in just like that because they are miserable refugees...
    you criticise harshly in the name of humanity those who are cautious.
    I would like to hear what ideas you have for solving this situation.

    one more comment: I think that in order to understand the situation the world is getting into deeper and deeper we all ought to learn the Arab-Muslim culture, the background, the religion. it's a huge mistake to compare the different immigrations along the years. the immigration within europe in the Roman era for example has changed the face of the western world forever, but it took about 500 years. the immigration around the 18th-20th century was faster, but still, most of the immigrants came from cultures that were easier to blend in and out of, most of the immigrants themselves were willing to blend in.
    the immigration today (which started in a slower pace about 30 years ago) is WAY more massive, WAY faster and the immigrants mostly don't want to blend in 100%, but to make their life better without immersing completely into the new world.

    this is a total cultural mess, it's not just an issue of mercy and humanity and if we don't pay attention to this problem, the western world is going to suffer much much more than it is suffering now. accepting these enormous groups of people expecting them to change and become part of the world you know and love, it will be like...I don't know, like marrying a person expecting them to change into what you want them to be, this marriage won't work and everybody is bound to suffer. in the immigration and terror situation, lives will be the cost of that "marriage", it already is.

  42. Janelle & Charlie & dear Thoughters, please read this article about the wounded in the Paris attacks :

  43. Great article Nadia. I know that many people will take years to heal, both physically and emotionally, and some will live with those injuries their whole lives. Just like people from 911 and those hurt at the Boston Marathon. It is so sad and we have to support them in every way we can.

  44. Hi Nadia, that article is painful and heart wrenching.
    I'm sorry for all the injured and their families.
    it reminded me of an article my Mom wrote about 17 years ago on how the definitions of injuries, and it doesn't matter if these are terror victims or accident victims or any other trauma that occurs, those definitions of "slightly injured" "moderately injured" or worse are very sterile, they never reflect what really those people are going through and it's important to sometimes remind media consumers what those definitions mean.
    a slightly injured person can be bound to months even years of rehabilitation, physically and mentally, only by being slightly injured... badly injured..well, that can be worse and fatal.
    when my brother was burned 12 years ago in a fire accident, he was considered "moderately injured", in reality, that meant weeks of agony in hospital, months of that in rehabilitation and scars that will never be removed, and that's only him.
    it's important not to forget the family and surroundings of the injured.
    my heart goes to all those people and I hope for them that they will have the courage to gain their health again with persistence and poositivity. I hope the families, friends and communities will have the patience, persistence and heart to stand by them along the difficult times and never give up when it's too painful, never give in to despair.

  45. I suppose you have already read this editorial :

    1. Very good editorial in deed. It's time the American people start moving past the same old extreme rhetoric on both sides and start talking about solutions. Yes, that means compromising and *gasp!* writing with people on the opposite side of the issue, but that's the only way people are going to stop having the same conversation every time meet heat about mass shootings.

    2. I agree Becky, but I can't see it happening. It's one of those polarizing issues. I would hope that people from both sides of the question can find a compromising solution, but I'm not holding my breath!

    3. Sharon, fist, I'm just glad you know what I meant because, apparently, my phone thinks that the word "writing" is the same as the word "working" and the phrase "meet heat" is the same thimg as "we hear". I guess one of these days I will learn to proofread before I hit publish. Until then, I apologize for what I wrote barely qualifying as English. :) But I do agree with you. I would be very surprised if politicians, as well as the American people in general, could learn to compromise, and stop thinking extremes are the only possible solutions. It shouldn't be a polarizing issue, but it is simply because people are too worried about agreeing with their side. I've read plenty of extremist arguments on both sides, and sadly, they are the exact same arguments we have heard for years, not getting anywhere because no one will compromise.

  46. Charlie, you say you are fond of politics. I hope this never happens in the USA...

    The National front is a far-right-wing french political party. Its president
    Marine Le Pen pursues a policy of "de-demonization" of the party by softening its image.
    It became the first French party at the 2014 European elections with 25% of the votes; and again in the last regional elections' first round with 40%. Oh my! :-/

    Hope the 50% of voters who didn't go to the polling stations this sunday will go next week end.
    I can't believe so many people in France could take the risk to have this non democratic party governing only to show their disapproval or fear or anger!

  47. Hi, Happy Hanukkah to everybody.

    Nadia, I wanted to comment on some of your posts.

    Le-Pen: it's very disturbing that she was elected, but that's what happens when there is no real leadership, when the leaders show weakness and leave a huge vacuum in leadership. being too much PC, too soft on small incidents and incitements, not showin the power it can bare, let many of the citizens feel hopeless, led them to believe their governments are impotent and they responded to those who shouted with more power, showed the option of power against those who attacked the citizens of France. when vacuum in the leadership appears, the crowd will follow whoever fills it, no matter how crazy and radical they are. that's what I believe happened with Le Pen.

    the gun laws: the editors and those who keep reciting those mottoes about limiting the number of guns owned by citizens are forgetting some very important things. citizens having less guns does not necessarily mean less casualties or incidents. I live in Israel, almost all the men I grew up around have or had owned a gun, my Dad and one of my brothers have, my father also had an M16 rifle with him for over 20 years until he ended his reserve duty (a month a year in the army), my sister in law is in a process of getting one too. almost all the soldiers who go home for the weekend, go with their rifles too and yet, there's such a low rate of violent incidents the guns are used at, most of the times they aren't legal, and I'm not talking about the Arab terror that's going on here, just inner incidents.
    so laws limiting gun owners are not the question, the question is who owns the gun (seems like the US has too many crazy people, + humanity made the government close mental facilities in the 70's-80's..what happened to those poor people??) and also, how will these laws diminish the amount of illegal firearms? how can a responsible government leave the average citizen without the possibility of self defence against those who shouldn't have the arms?
    there are so many more parameters to take in account when discussing the gun laws.
    checkout this article:

    our thought and prayers: it was very idiotic of those editors and other commenters who mocked those who, instead of blaming something without any understanding of the incident yet, just sent their thought and prayers. this was a Muslim terrorist who got his arms illegally, no gun laws would have helped preventing it, but let's set this argument aside- mocking others for their belief (but OH!! don't mock the faith of those who will kill you for it!!) and blaming them for not acting on the gun laws, without understanding yet what's happened...this is so low.

  48. Hi Charlie and Janell, when is the recording of the show supposed to go on the site?
    I'm trying to find last night's show (well, for me it was night) and it doesn't seem to appear yet.
    thank you.

    1. Hi Michal,

      Sorry that we didn't make it clear that Here's a Thought won't be back with a live show until February 2016.

      Right now, Charlie is in Laguna, CA, rehearsing for his new play Act III with Rita Rudner, then he will be in Vancouver doing another episode of THE MAGICIANS for the Syfy Channel, then back to Laguna for more rehearsals, then the play until the end of January 2016.


    2. Oy...I was counting on two weeks from now on being able to listen to the show live from it's too late for me usually.
      never mind, thank you Janelle for answering, Happy Hanukkah.
      good luck charlie with your rehearsals and plays.

  49. Alleluia! Pheeeeeew! Fortunately more people went voting sunday!
    The national front party lost... but there still will be danger in 2017 for the presidential election :-(

    Quote from the NYTimes, read the rest of the article on the link below :

    "PARIS — Marine Le Pen's far-right National Front collapsed in French regional elections Sunday, failing to take a single region after dominating the first round of voting, pollsters projected. The conservatives surged against the governing Socialists, changing the political map of France.

    The failure of the National Front to gain any of the six regions where it was leading didn't stop the anti-immigration party from looking to the 2017 presidential election — Le Pen's ultimate goal.

    Le Pen had been riding high after extremist attacks and an unprecedented wave of migration into Europe, and the party came out on top in the voting in France's 13 newly drawn regions in the first round a week ago........"


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