Overheard on CNN.com: Tea and controversy
April 18th, 2011
02:41 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Tea and controversy

"I loved 'Three Cups of Tea.' It made me feel good about donating to charities. However, finding out that the author (may have) lied was like eating half of a delicious chocolate cupcake and finding a booger in the other half. I’m a lot less trusting after this experience." - allmosttoast

"Three Cups" author threatened with lawsuit

The author of the best-selling book "Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Fight Terrorism and Build Nations ... One School at a Time," is facing  accusations that key sections of the story aren't true. Critics also are questioning how money Greg Mortenson's foundation raised to build schools for girls in Afghanistan and Pakistan is being spent.

Some CNN.com readers, like allmosttoast, felt let down by the reports, while others defended Mortenson and dismissed the allegations as gossip.

hillbilleter said,  "Now you're passing judgment that is ruining a man's life, all based on unsubstantiated gossip from a competing author, and feeling pretty virtuous about it, too, aren't you?"

oddjob3422 said, "He's lying through his teeth, claiming to have built schools that don't exist, etc. Sure, SOME of the money he's collected has gone to help, but that's why you rate charities. Just because he spent some of the money there doesn't excuse rampant dishonesty and fraud. He came out today with a response that essentially goes for the scare mongering that getting the truth out of him will harm school children in those countries. How completely classless."

MannyHMo said, "Believe but verify ! Mr. Mortenson should explain and publish his expenses publicly. Never mind his stories and attempts to make himself superman. Just follow the $$$ he received. I'm sure the FBI and IRS know how to do that."

ScreenName71 said, "Great, the Taliban must be laughing with glee. Anyone else going to go educate girls? Nice move, (critic Jon) Krakauer. You've done the work of the Taliban."
decora responded by asking, "So, telling the truth makes one an ally of the Terrorists. Wow, that's - what country do i live in again? "

FAA chief "infuriated" by sleeping air traffic controllers

Federal officials have issued new work rules for air traffic controllers after a series of reports of controllers falling asleep on the job. FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt said he was "infuriated" by the safety lapses and said that sleeping controllers would not be tolerated. CNN.com readers agreed there was a problem, but many said it wasn't just with the air traffic controllers.

TimGreer said, "How difficult is it to stay awake for such an important job? I never got people that just fall asleep, even if you're (tired). People that fall alseep working, doing things, or often worse, driving, unless you have a health problem, it's just stupid or lazy. Promptly replace these people with someone else that will do the job. It's simple."

erich2112x said, "The problem here is so obvious: Their schedules are completely whacked. They get off work and have to be back in 8 hours. Why can't these guys work regular hours? seems to me like they need a change in tradition and culture rather than 1 extra hour of sleep."

PeaceofWar said, "You want to stop this gross negligence? Start by charging a sleeping controller with a crime for endangering human lives. If a train engineer, or subway/bus driver, or truck driver, fell asleep they would be criminally charged, so why should an air traffic controller be treated different? If anything they should be treated more severely since the potential for harm is so much greater. "

goinmad2009 called it a "classic case."
Manager: "I need a baby in one month, here's 9 women. Now go get it done."
This is why they need a education in organizational behavior and human resource management. Painful to see people like this thinking that its only the people who are to blame."

Make Charles king for a day

The upcoming wedding of Britain's Prince William and Kate Middleton is focusing lots of attention on the royal family, and the future king of England. CNN contributor Bob Greene says William's father, Prince Charles, isn't getting any younger, but shouldn't be passed over for the throne. CNN.com readers had mixed feelings on the idea.

TreeTop said, "As people live longer, of course the monarch is going to have to wait longer to take the throne. I don't think it bothers him. It's not like he doesn't have plenty of engagements and responsibilities to keep him busy. He will be king one day, he just won't be a young king."

SarahB12345 said, "What a ridiculous waste of type. Who cares who becomes king of England? The British royal family are the world's most successful welfare recipients, and what do they do? Suck up gin and shoot grouse. Whoopeee. "King" is a ceremonial role with no real power. So make my Yorkshire Terrier king of England. He's cute, personable, and housebroken. I'm sure he'd do a bang-up job."

FlowinEddie said, "Better idea here: Make him a peasant peon for a year so he can see how the other half live. Maybe he'll lose some of his stuffiness."

Miraflores said, "I've been waiting for Prince Charles to become King as long as he has. He has a resume that is fit for a King, and someday his son will, too, but he hasn't got it yet. Queen Elizabeth would do well to retire, and then watch her son take over the job he was meant for. As a mother I think it would be a top achievement of her life time.

Filed under: Overheard on CNN.com
soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. Joey

    I think it would be a terrible loss if Queen Elizabeth II stepped down if favor of Prince Charles.
    The Queen has done her duty as well as any monarch in history. Perfection does not exist, but the Queen's reign has been about as close to perfection as we will see.

    April 18, 2011 at 8:47 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Joey

    I meant, "in favor of Prince Charles," of course, not "if favor."

    April 18, 2011 at 8:54 pm | Report abuse |
  3. banasy

    Well, considering the longevity of her Grandmother, Victoria, I wouldn't count her out for a while yet....it seems to run in the family genes. She seems to be in good health; I don't think she should abdicate for *any* reason, let alone hand the crown over to William. No disrespect to William, of course!

    April 18, 2011 at 9:08 pm | Report abuse |
  4. And the winner is ....

    @Joey – Did you miss the other comments? What duty does she have? She is a figure head, nothing more. A figure of an oppressive social structure that is nothing more than archaic. The only things worse are U.S. politicians and celebrities. Who cares?
    @CNN These are the best stories you can find to dig comments. A great example of the media heads choosing what is and is not news. Your not as bad FOX but try taking a stand and do some hard news coverage. Great story idea: Why does a nation (America) that is buried beyond salvation in debt (refer to the recent S&P statement) continue to waste its tax payers money on other nations? The amount spent in foreign 'aid' could have a had huge impact on the recent budget negotiations and yet, who covered that story?

    April 18, 2011 at 11:20 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Hunter Rand

    I was forced to read this before I left to the Middle East with my Grandma who is a former lobbyist and went on behalf of the former governor of Nevada, Jim Gibbons. The only thing I learned from reading it was that some U.N. peacekeepers are a million times more interesting than the book, and that tax dollars were wasted on the book. It never helped me deal with Muslims because I only met American Soldiers and British Aid workers. Stupid book. BUT there is a disclaimer stating that some of the stories are altered. Something about a... religious law thing called upon him... I don't remember but, he's afraid of being killed.

    April 19, 2011 at 12:37 am | Report abuse |
  6. Joey

    The troll here is a chameleon: not a fine specimen, but nevertheless a chameleon.
    It reminds me of color-change (alexandrite-like) flame-fusion synthetic corundum: the chameleon is cheap.

    April 19, 2011 at 3:03 am | Report abuse |
  7. Joey

    I further speculate that the alexandrite-like troll is reasonably well intoxicated,
    quite possibly on weed.

    April 19, 2011 at 3:20 am | Report abuse |
  8. Dwight in Chicago

    I suspect the truth will come out eventually re: Three Cups of Tea. As it did with A Million Little Pieces.
    I'm fascinated that writers fictionalizing memoirs think they'll never be caught. (Jury is still out on Three Cups.)
    To me that's kind of sociopath territory.

    April 19, 2011 at 4:01 am | Report abuse |
  9. screennamecritic

    ScreenName17 that was one of the most ignorant, and sensitive, posts I have ever read. How dare you consider an author telling us truths about an extortionist to be a terrorist. Mortenson has taken millions of dollars, become a celebrity, lied about being captured, etc, he does not deserve to continue to work this way! I for one was appalled at the 60 minutes short, I had been a Mortenson fan and had recommended the book to dozens of people. What a slap in the face!

    April 19, 2011 at 8:49 am | Report abuse |
  10. The Dirty Paki

    For all the naysayers just keep this in mind. When government funded charities/organizations spend MILLIONS of dollars to build ONE school in Afghanistan and CAI does it for a fraction of that a few villages away and without one PENNY of government money that tends to make some powerful enemies. USAID alone doled out $500 million in Education spending in Afghanistan from 2002-2009. I guess I will hold my breath waiting for the 60 Minutes “investigation” on that.

    April 19, 2011 at 10:49 pm | Report abuse |