Overheard on CNN.com: No political experience necessary
Herman Cain needs government experience, writes David Frum, former assistant to George W. Bush.
October 17th, 2011
07:52 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: No political experience necessary

Comment of the Day

"With the state of today's shaky economy, the insanity of the current world politics, and, most importantly, the unyielding anger and unresolvable division of the American public, I think the ONLY way a candidate can win is by losing the election."–justincase04

Why Herman Cain can't be president

"Herman Cain is not ready to be president because has no experience as a government executive, neither as governor nor mayor," writes CNN contributer David Frum. "The president's most fundamental job is to run the government. That job is very, very hard." What about the current president? He's an exception to the rule," he writes, "and - well - enough said." CNN.com readers argued over whether Cain needed that experience to be considered real presidential material.

GreginOC said, "The best presidents in recent memory - Reagan and Clinton - had experience governing states where they did not have a natural constituency. Reagan was a Republican in California and Clinton was a Democrat in Arkansas. They both learned to influence legislators on both sides of the aisle to get things done. It's a very big deal."

Guest said, "I could not agree with you more. We need someone with executive experience. I'm for the one who by election time will have 4 years experience as President of the United States."

CrunkSwaggaG said, "The man who is widely considered our country's greatest president–Abraham Lincoln–had no executive experience, either. His resume was paper-thin, too, and his education was informal at best, yet he saved the union and is the reason why we are known as the United States of America today."

But jalloh86 replied, "Good point, but also remember that civilization has changed greatly compared to those days. ..."

superskeet said, "Cain would make a great president regardless of his political experience." Capitalism said, "What a stupid article. America needs someone like Herman Cain now more than ever. We need someone who can get rid of the waste and fraud of government and run the government like a private company. This is exactly what we need."

MightyTiny said, "Competence is achieved through experience. Without the experience, whether or not there's competence is a crap shoot. Competence in one area of life or profession does not imply competence in another."

XoriusM said, "I think the reason why neither he nor any other Republican candidate can win is because they are all way too extreme in their conservative ideologies. The whole party right now reminds me of the American version of the Taliban."

BADGUY said, "Come on guys! You're kidding ... right? When are you gonna show us the REAL candidates for the Republican party?"

Open thread: Talk about the news, or whatever's on your mind

We've opened a new gathering space for CNN.com readers called "Open thread." Now you have a place to chat about whatever comes to mind, no need to keep to the news stories. Enjoy!

Overheard on CNN.com: A few good people can combat evil
Police carry away chains that were used to imprison handicapped people in the basement of a Philadelphia apartment building.
October 17th, 2011
12:49 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: A few good people can combat evil

Comments of the Day:

"The landlord and the block captain are heroes and should be awarded." - CWhatsNew

"The block captain notified the landlord, who checked on the situation not once, but twice. There will always be bad people. We are OK in this country as long as there are more good people." - PatSJ

Landlord finds mentally disabled people locked in basement; 3 arrested

A landlord alerted by a neighborhood block captain found four mentally handicapped people locked in the basement of his apartment building in Philadelphia. Three people have been arrested and accused of detaining them and stealing their Social Security checks.

CNN.com readers applauded the block captain, Danyell Tisdale, and landlord, Turgut Gozleveli, for their good citizenship and wondered how to stop evil from happening. maxhedroom said, "Thankfully someone saw something odd and did something about it." Ulaa said, "The important thing is SOMEBODY gave a damn."

khill9702 said, "That is a rather vigilant block captain. Actually gives meaning to an unofficial and voluntary labor of love for some people, being a block captain. Who knows how long they would have been down there if she didn't call the building owner to come inspect his property."

Ohio1970 said, "To Ms Tisdale: You definitely did the right thing. You saved four lives today! And to the landlord: Thank you for taking her concerns seriously. You, too, helped save their lives. As the parent of a developmentally disabled adult this story made me weep. The system has failed these four individuals. There is no excuse."

inc0gnit0 said, "This is terrible. On the other hand, no more terrible than the homeless mentally ill wandering the streets, discarded by society. Of course, unlike the three suspects, society as a whole can't be prosecuted."

Eliz1108 said, "As any human, I find this disturbing. As a mother of a young child that is developmentally disabled, this frightens me. My daughter will someday become an adult and eventually outlive me. Although I have the ability to prepare for her future as best I possibly can while living, there is no doubt that one day the responsibility for her wellbeing and care will rest on someone else. I hope and pray that more will take a stand and advocate for the special needs community.

nathan5871 said, "What the hell is the matter with this world? This bizarre behavior is becoming more and more frequent in the news these days."

JeanVSeatte said, "There are good people in the world, dear heart. That's why everyone is so shocked and horrified when something like this comes to light - it disgusts us. Don't worry, most of us are good most of the time."

TimSims said, "It's a perfect example of how normal people can help prevent evil, simply by being concerned about their neighborhood and their neighbors. Rather than focus on the evil, why not focus on the good? Be like this block captain and the landlord who took her seriously enough to look into the situation repeatedly."

Compiled by the CNN.com moderation staff. Some comments edited for length or clarity.

Overheard on CNN.com: Cain talks the talk they like to hear
The more inflammatory Herman Cain's statements are, the more his numbers climb, LZ Granderson says.
October 14th, 2011
04:47 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Cain talks the talk they like to hear

Comments of the Day:

"For many conservatives like myself, one's ethnicity is not an issue. It's what the candidate believes that counts."–Adam B. Embry

"So long, Herman! From viable candidate to race-baiter to footnote in a few short weeks."–MrsNeutron

Is Herman Cain a straight-talking businessman whom Republicans can love or a race baiter? CNN political reporter Shannon Travis writes that he "is the first African-American to have a real shot at becoming the Republican presidential nominee. So why isn't his ethnicity as much a part of his story as it was with Obama?"

CNN.com readers argued over whether race was really a non-issue with Republicans, or - as columnist LZ Granderson suggests - Cain is simply able to say what some are thinking.

TRENDING: Cain's race not as big an issue with conservatives as Obama's was three years ago

Cain rises by slamming race

Gotta Be Kiddin said, "Actually, Colin Powell was the first African American who had a real shot at the Republican nomination. I'm not quite sure what Herman Cain is."

JLH said, "Travis's entire article is offensive, as it operates on the premise that conservatives are racist. I tried to find some means of statistics to support this supposition contained within the article, but none found."


Overheard on CNN.com: Get money out of politics
Protesters in the Occupy Wall Street movement rally in downtown Manhattan.
October 14th, 2011
01:14 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Get money out of politics

Exchange of the Day:

"The root of the problem is mega-corporations buying members of Congress to rig capitalism in their favor." - blue175

"I totally agree. Lobbying is legalized bribery." - str8ridah

What will victory look like for Occupy Wall Street?

The Occupy Wall Street movement is still quite young, but writes political commentator Sally Kohn, "my sense is that the ultimate demand could be a radical reform to get money out of politics," including public financing of elections and a constitutional amendment removing the status of corporations as "people." Many CNN.com readers agreed that money was polluting the process.

NocommentCNN asked, "Why are my elected representatives representing corporate interest before the interests of individual freedom and liberty that this country was founded for?"

MrSteiny said, "I consider myself a pretty far-right-leaning individual. I believe in the protection of property rights and that includes one's money. But one thing I think that most Americans (Democrat or Republican) can agree on is that money in politics is a poor idea. I'm not talking about paychecks. I think the men and women chosen to set and monitor the laws and policies of this country should be compensated fairly. I'm talking about lobbying, which really is more like bribing."


Overheard on CNN.com: Romney will not win nomination
Mitt Romney, right, makes a point as Rick Perry, left, and Herman Cain listen at the GOP presidential debate October 11.
October 13th, 2011
04:16 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Romney will not win nomination

Comments of the Day:

"Romney vs. Obama is the Republican socialist vs. the Democrat socialist." - MosinNagant1

"It's weird for the same news source to publish one article that says 'Romney is the likely presidential candidate' and another below it saying, 'Cain is the Republican front-runner.' " - Khyth

Will tea party purists back imperfect Romney?

The GOP field is narrowing to one reasonable nominee, Mitt Romney, writes CNN political analyst Gloria Borger, and tea party members are not happy. Will they bow to the inevitable and support him anyway? CNN.com readers were divided over whether Romney was really the only choice.

BenHur76008 said, "So long as those wacky Christian evangelists breathe, Mitt Romney will be the death knell for the GOP's attempts at taking back the White House."

Redclay said, "I couldn't care less whether the Tea Party endorses him or not. In my opinion, they have ruined the party to which I aligned myself for most of my 50+ years. I'm all about fiscal conservatism and a strong military. However, when a minority group of individuals tells me what religion to practice, what women may do with their bodies and that science should be replaced with creationsim, then they are violating the very essence of our Constitution."

chipk77 said, "Can the media get nothing right? Seriously. First off, Romney is not the current front runner, nor has he been for any serious length of time, except in the media's imagination. Secondly, do you even have to ask the question about the Tea Party? Of course they're not going to support him if they can help it, but if it came down to Romney vs. Obama, I'm sure most of them would."

Andacar said, "Actually the Tea Party folks I've spoken with say they'd rather lose the election than vote for somebody who is not ideologically pure. This is the 'no compromises' party, remember? Besides, Obama makes an excellent hate object for them. They could only despise Romney."

jrabbit68 said, "I support the Tea Party. I'm not in favor of, and I will not support a moderate GOP nominee. Screw it. I'd rather have Obama re-elected than another blue-blood conservative in office."

Overheard on CNN.com: More will be revealed about plot against Saudi
FBI director Robert Mueller and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder
October 13th, 2011
01:41 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: More will be revealed about plot against Saudi

Comment of the morning:

"If we can fabricate an assassination/bombing plot by Iran in the U.S., why wouldn't they say the target was Americans? 'Save the Saudi Diplomats' is a terrible war cry."–TXAK

Some analysts skeptical of alleged Iranian plot

The bizarre plot against Saudi Arabian ambassador Adel Jubeir was real, according to U.S. officials, but analysts say there are many reasons to disbelieve. For one, "it would be completely uncharacteristic for Iran to be caught red-handed," former CIA operative Bob Baer told CNN. "There are very few groups operationally better than Iran's Quds Force."

Most CNN.com readers were also skeptical but suggested a "wait and see" attitude. TrueLight5 said, "Being skeptical is wise but does not make the incident false. It will just make us do our homework thoroughly. There seems to be more unknown to this story, and I am more doubtful of the purpose or reason for releasing it to the press so early. "

oneJudge said, "Some type of a crime has been committed. Whether or not it was organized by the Iranian government or legitimate factions within is the million-dollar question. The truth will come out from the investigation by law enforcement and not skeptical analysts."

Other readers pointed out what they saw as holes in the story and offered their own interpretations. sdred said, "Since this story came out, I have wondered why the Iranian government would want to hire the cartel; I am sure they are just as capable of assasinations as the cartel. It just doesn't make sense. We have enemies living in America who plan attacks, why go to Mexico?"

mssilvestro said, "Nobody seems to mention one of the biggest reasons the plot description is ridiculous: The Mexican drug cartels are not idiots and they are not cheap. There is no way they would stage a bombing in the U.S. for only 1.5 million dollars. They know it would invite fierce retaliation by the US. That's nightclub change for them."

Overheard on CNN.com: Can't we just keep our wallets?
"Seinfeld's" George Costanza could have used a Google Wallet app.
October 10th, 2011
05:08 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Can't we just keep our wallets?

Exchange of the Day:

"A little paranoid? This is the future. Get with the program or be left behind." - Guest

"That's what the lead lemming said." - Pathit

Our future: Empty pockets, except for our phones

Someday we may leave the house with nothing but our phones, containing the countless items we used to fumble for: house key, credit card, driver's license, transit pass and corporate ID.

The phone-as-wallet trend started in South Korea and Japan about five years ago and became a reality in the U.S. in September, when the Google Wallet app went public. Many CNN.com readers were unenthusiastic, even those who like gadgets.

Cal78 said, "Great idea. My phone breaks and now I can't buy a new one. I can't even get into my house, but I guess that doesn't matter because I can't drive my car or take the bus to get there anyway. Let's put all of our eggs in one basket."

kaeksen asked, "Why can't we just have it as we have it now? Sometimes I hate progress. It's like we never get satisfied with our system; we continually have to change. It's annoying. Good to let out some steam." AthensGuy said, "Well, the 'empty pockets' are here already!"

wfrobinette said, "I don't see how the benefits of this out weigh the risks. We have become way to dependent on technology. This is nothing but a scam to get people to spend more money that they don't have and to reduce the number of service employees to process transactions. The faster we adopt automation that faster we all work ourselves out of a job."

But scrutineerza said, "This is inevitable. For example, I have Paypal on my iPhone, and can pay for online purchases with it. Also, in our country, some people send each other airtime (mobile call credit) instead of money, as a payment. It is much safer. Just think. If your wallet is stolen with a good few hundred dollars in it, you lose a lot. If your phone is stolen, and it has a PIN, and it's insured, you've really lost nothing. Welcome to the future. Moreover, cash is a bad idea. As long as there's cash, there will be cash robberies."

Pauls72 said, "Maybe for a few technogeeks, but for most of us, dream on. Way too many security issues. Smart phone battery life too short. How about the business with the signs 'In God we trust, all others pay cash!' Where's the software for my PalmPre or any other older smart phone?"

pmichner said, "Cool. Phones are more identical than wallets. I'll scope out a rich guy, get out the same model phone and skin, and 'bump' into him while he's talking on his wallet."

MediaFakery said, "No thanks, futurist think-tank weirdos. Cash works fine. You can all go off to some island somewhere to use your little smartphone credits with each other."

Simpelton said, " 'Uh sir, I'll have to cite you for no valid driver's license and no insurance.' 'But officer, my battery just died!' 'Sorry sir, ignorance is no excuse.'

Do your views align with these commenters' thoughts? Post a comment below or sound off on video.

Compiled by the CNN.com moderation staff. Some comments edited for length or clarity.

Post by:
Filed under: Uncategorized
Overheard on CNN.com: Sick of corporate America's power
The atmosphere at this Occupy Wall Street protest in Denver was "electric with frustration," says iReporter Dylan Maxberry.
October 10th, 2011
01:28 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Sick of corporate America's power

Comments of the morning

"Just about everyone interviewed is clearly saying they are sick of corporate America having the biggest voice in Washington. Did it occur to you that unemployment, homelessness, no insurance and cuts in education might actually be affecting your fellow human beings?"- omeany

"For starters, there needs to be term limits for Congress. Get the corporate lobbyist out of government. The elections need to based on a popular vote; one vote - no more, no less." - catty123

Open Story: Occupy Wall Street protests

Sharpton to broadcast from Occupy Wall Street protests

Opinion: Why "occupy"? It's personal

As it enters its fourth week, the Occupy Wall Street movement continues its spread across the United States. Responding to criticism that the movement lacks clarity about its aims, many readers at CNN.com offered their take, focusing on lack of economic opportunity and the disenfranchisement of the middle class.

Courser01 said, "I've been unemployed for 17 months now. My unemployment will run out soon. I'm 52 years old now and going back to school. I fully expect to be homeless for the first year of a radiology program and perhaps the second, depending on funding. I'm unspeakably furious that the GOP's stated mission is to unseat President Obama. Seriously?! That's their biggest concern in the face of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression?"

tldixon said, "I'm protesting the fact that corporate CEOs get huge bonus or severance packages even when they screw the pooch. I'm protesting my enormous tax burden when big corporations are allowed to weasel out of their taxes. We're protesting in Santa Fe, New Mexico, to show solidarity: social and fiscal justice for all!" FULL POST

Post by:
Filed under: Economy • Jobs • Overheard on CNN.com
Overheard on CNN.com: We are successful men and gamers, too
Older men spend more time playing video games than teen boys do, William Bennett says.
October 7th, 2011
03:08 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: We are successful men and gamers, too

Comment of the Day:

"I'll agree to be a 1950's stereotype of a man if women agree to be a 1950's stereotype of a woman." - whogas

Why men are in trouble

Men must "man up" using "industriousness, marriage and religion," writes former Secretary of Education William J. Bennett. Women now hold more college degrees, and male unemployment is at 20%. Worse yet, he writes, older men now spend more time playing video games than do teenage boys.

CNN.com readers disagreed about his definition of "success" and particularly about those video games.

drewscriver said, "This is one of the daftest articles I have read in a long time. Religion, marriage, and work are the values of a society? What about lack of responsibility for actions, and absence of critical thinking skills!"

kogonon said, "I think there are more definitions of men than a 1950's 'Father Knows Best' image. Males are just as dynamic and complicated as women are, they just don't show it because of societal norms."

insulted05 said, "Video games are the death of the modern man? I have two Masters and work three teaching jobs, including one full-time, and help out with the housework. I spend every night with family and take care of most of our home improvement projects. All of that ...and I LOVE video games. All of my close friends (a general manager, pharmacist, chiropractor, and police officer) love video games, and we play them together when we can.They are exemplary men, husbands, and fathers."

coates32 said, "OK, I'm a gamer and I'm disgusted that someone Mr. Bennett would even write an offensive, bigoted article like this. Women aren't trying to 'take down the man.' They just want to improve their lives, like everyone else. And the bit about blaming games for 'the decine of men,' even though 40 percent of gamers (or more) are female, is just idiotic."

obinthakur said, "This article doesn't take into account how society and expectations have now changed since the 60's. Religion is irrelevant to the argument (I'm from the UK and have rarely come into contact with anybody claiming to be religious in the last 2 decades), and it is possible to live a perfectly happy life without getting marrried and having children."

AmoItaliano said, "My girlfriend and I have 2 girls, 2 and 4 years old. My job allows me to spend a great deal of time at home with my kiddos. I have become an expert in my girls' favorite toys, foods, clothes, bedtime stories, and ways to braid hair. I take them to all their doctors appointments. I am up all night tonight with a sick kiddo sleeping on my lap as I type away on the computer. Being a dad is absolutely the coolest thing any guy could ever want to do."

Do your views align with these commenters' thoughts? Post a comment below or sound off on video.

Compiled by the CNN.com moderation staff. Some comments edited for length or clarity.

Overheard on CNN.com: We are responsible citizens!
An Occupy Wall Street protester in New York.
October 7th, 2011
01:23 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: We are responsible citizens!

Comments of the morning:

"This is wonderful to see. A non-violent civil war." - Funktologist

"Are you blind? Look around you? Is this the America you want? Do you LIKE seeing 1-in-10 people out of a job? Do you LIKE seeing your neighbors forced to give up their homes?" - ElderPliny

"We have the best government money can buy, and it's all bought." - WolfRayet

Open Story: Occupy Wall Street protests

Protesters across the U.S.: Who are they?

Occupy Wall Street protests are spreading across the country. In response to accusations of being "lazy hippies," diverse CNN.com readers commented in iReport's Open Story about who they are and why they support the protests.

ceejay0214 said, "I am 68 amd I too am mad as hell! I am furious that the media keeps focusing on the tea party. Thank God for a movement that I can embrace. I have felt I have been left in the dark while the whole country embraces this cult-like extremism of this new Republican party. It has turned into a country of the rich get richer, the poor get poorer and our Congress seems to think this is OK."

JLOC26 said, "I was there last night and as a graduate with a Masters degree I can tell you that not everyone marching last night was a 'dirty hippy' as you all are so fond of saying. In fact, the march specifically included unions and families. Are we now against unions in this country? Do families who show up to show there support for a cultural change now fall into the 'dirty hippy' category?"

teacher87 said, "What is with the name calling? I am an older female working in the healthcare industry as well as teaching and I believe the protestors have every right to be there. These protestors are union members, young people and mostly Democrats who want Congress to finally do something to help with jobs. Many of these people have jobs but want to help their neighbors and family members who are not able to find work."

Overheard on CNN.com: No, LZ, Palin really is a fool
Sarah Palin greets supporters after a speech last month at a Tea Party of America event in Indianola, Iowa.
October 6th, 2011
04:19 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: No, LZ, Palin really is a fool

Comment of the Day:

"I never once thought of it this way. Sarah Palin truly is a political/financial/social genius. I always thought she was an idiot. But she has nearly infinite fame in this nation, and she has hardly accomplished a thing since she resigned from governor. My hat is off to her." - KGColorado

Sarah Palin proves she's no fool

Palin will not seek presidential nomination

Sarah Palin is charismatic, beautiful and a leader, writes CNN.com columnist LZ Granderson. By deciding not to join the race for the GOP nomination, she can "continue to influence national politics" without having to make a decision or offer solutions. And that, he says, makes her smart. Some CNN.com readers were intrigued by the idea, but most disagreed.

Pseudo said, "No, she's still a fool. But even a broken clock is right twice a day." billybob22 said, "We love you Sarah. ... on Mars."

4sanity said, " 'Palin represented a brand of conservative politics that was Twitterable and ... instrumental in the rise of the tea party.' Emphasis on the Twit part."

dmnewberg said, "I disagree with you, Mr. Granderson, about Sarah Palin's popularity. While wildly popular among T-Party members, polls have shown she has low approval ratings among even Republicans."

Many replied to Jray01, who asked, "If the left had to think of one thing they hate most about Palin what would it be? What makes her so unlikable?"

NoFoolJule said, "Jray, she is a complete idiot. Which of her policies do you like, or are you just into soundbites?"

glynnmack said, "Her 'Christianity' isolates anyone who doesn't share her very specific beliefs. She lacks depth and speaks only in talking points. That this lack of substance can appeal to people is what many dislike about her. The dislike is both for her and the people who idolize her."

AGoodwin said, "When so many were making racial remarks about Obama at some of her events, she never once confronted them to tell them that it is wrong. She would bring her Evangelical pro-life movement to the White House. I also think that she is very divisive in her own party."

BigLebowskii said, "I LOL at Palin, in the heartiest manner possible. Her profound ignorance of all logic and reason is embarrassingly hilarious. I thank Palin for all the laughs! Her running for President was either one of two things, she was either trolling us or suffering from severe dementia. Either way this will make a great premise for a comedy movie titled 'President Palin'."

Overheard on CNN.com: Leftist tea party rising?
Protesters march in Lower Manhattan this week. The Occupy Wall Street movement has inspired comparisons with the tea party.
October 6th, 2011
12:02 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Leftist tea party rising?

Exchange of the morning:

"Bored and boring kids, professional protesters, entitlements mongers and Unionistas do not represent any significant portion of America." - Steve1o

"That's what they said about the tea party when it first started." - voter51

Wall Street protest grows as it nears 3-week mark

The Occupy Wall Street rally appeared to pick up steam Wednesday as more protesters joined, including supporters from unions, but many CNN.com readers struggled to define the point of the demonstrations.

stevebr1956 said, "Seems like the left has once again gotten the cart before the horse. When you are angry enough to protest, wouldn't the first thing be about what they are protesting against?"

Bama918 said, "I think a comparison to the tea party movement is more apt than a comparison to the Arab Spring. I find the whole idea of the Occupy (Wherever) very compelling: They are saying things this country has been ignoring and sweeping under the rug too long. My criticism is that the movement needs to evolve a clear message and set of goals."


Overheard on CNN.com: Legitimate kill or illegal assassination?
Anwar al-Awlaki was believed to be hiding in Yemen.
September 30th, 2011
12:33 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Legitimate kill or illegal assassination?

Comment of the Day:
"Give thanks and never forget the men in the shadows."–JimmyNelson

Officials: U.S.-born al Qaeda cleric Anwar al-Awlaki killed

Key al Qaeda leader silenced

An American recruiter for al Qaeda was killed in an airstrike in Yemen Friday, a result of a "successful joint intelligence-sharing operation" between Yemen and the United States, a Yemeni government official said Friday. "It can't be understated, the inspirational figure he was," said CNN National Security Contributor Fran Townsend, AQAP's "ability to recruit new people and to raise money will be severely diminished."

Most CNN.com readers praised the airstrike, but a few said al-Awlaki should have been captured and brought to trial. NobelFail said, "Gotta love drones! The new silent killers. Keep up the good work!"

UnitdWeStnd said, "It wasn't long ago that al Qaeda seemed almost invincible with their 'cell' networks. Sure, they're not finished but they're definitely on the ropes. If we Americans work together there is nothing we can't accomplish. We may fight amongst ourselves but let another nation touch any American citizen–regardless of race, creed or color–we'll defend them with our lives. Most importantly, we have something no other country can ever have: American ingenuity."

gman993 asked, "What law makes this legal? What about the U.S. Constitution and the 5th amendment 'nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law'? His crime sounds a lot like conspiracy to murder, which is life in prison not execution. He has not been convicted or charged with any crime."

Voice of Reason said, "Unfortunately, this world that we live in can be very violent. In this case I see no other viable option. Anwar al-Awlaki supported and fueled violence against civilians, making himself a legitimate target. We reap what we sow."

oldpatriot said, "Yet you have zero evidence beyond this new article. Just like Osama, we didn't see the body, we don't hear the rebuttal in court, we never see the evidence. From what I know of this situation it appears the CIA and DoD committed an assassination of an American citizen on foreign soil."

reACTIONary replied, "That is exactly what happened, and no one, especially the government, is trying to present it any differently. The guy has been on the CIA 'Kill or Capture' list for a long time and that is very public knowledge. There is a lot of publicly verifiable information about this guy that would lead anyone to conclude he was exactly what the CIA says he was."

GMCRET said, "The administration stated that since he went in the 'operational realm' he was a legitimate target. I doubt the SCOTUS is going to take this up. Good riddance to bad rubbish."

Overheard on CNN.com: Life after death?
September 26th, 2011
06:27 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Life after death?

Comment of the Day:
"I’ve always believed that naysayers take that route because it requires little to no effort. It’s easier to shoot something down than it is to give it wings."–cabinguy

Do loved ones bid farewell from beyond the grave?

Some people tell of conversations with loved ones whom they didn't know were dead. John Blake's story about "crisis apparitions" had CNN.com readers sharing their own stories and arguing over their validity.

oldnewbie said, "De Santo could not have had a grief-driven hallucination or vision because she didn't know her friend had died! She thought he was just stopping by like he always did. So there goes that explanation. The problem with scientists is that if they accept the supernatural, their world no longer makes sense."

Guest said, "I am a doctor. One of my patients died suddenly about 1 pm. When the family arrived at the hospital and was told he had died, the kids freaked out. His wife just sat there silently. I thought maybe she hadn't heard me or didn't want to hear, so I went into greater detail. She looked at me calmly and said that she knew he was going to die today. She said she woke up around 5 am and he was sitting on the edge of the bed. He kissed her, smoothed the hair back from her face and told her it was time for him to leave, but he loved her and would watch over her until she could come join him where he was going. Explain that."


Overheard on CNN.com: Saying 'racism' with cookies
UC Berkeley Campus Republicans are pricing pastries by a customer's race to make a point about affirmative action.
September 26th, 2011
01:09 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Saying 'racism' with cookies

Comments of the Day:

"Would town hall meetings get national coverage? Mission accomplished."–Skaught

"I tend toward the liberal side but this Republican student group is right on this one, and they have found a clever way to make their point. Kudos to them and their right to political discourse."–Luisarana

Pay-by-race bake sale at UC Berkeley still on, student Republican group says

Controversy erupts over Campus Republicans bake sale plans

Want to buy a cookie from the UC Berkeley Campus Republicans? If you're a white guy, you'll pay more. The group is planning the Tuesday bake sale as a protest against affirmative action legislation proposed for California universities. "We agree that the event is inherently racist, but that is the point," BCR President Shawn Lewis wrote in response to upheaval over the bake sale. "It is no more racist than giving an individual an advantage in college admissions based solely on their race (or) gender."

Some CNN.com readers thought it was a brilliant ploy, and others said it could be turned to the opposition's advantage.cul8rv8 said, "Seems to me they are getting the message out there, and people are disgusted with the idea they can have prices based on race. It's just as awful that colleges look at a person's race as a deciding factor for college admission. You can't disagree with this bake sale without disagreeing with what they are protesting against."

Cobbscout said, "I'd get one Native American woman to buy all of the cookies for free ($.25 for Native American – $.25 for being a woman = $.00 or free), thus shutting down these jerks. Then set up my own table and resell all the cookies for $1.00 each to anyone who wanted to buy them. That's American enterprise at its best."

Many CNN.com readers said that they supported affirmative action based on economic, not racial, diversity. ranger978275 said, "I'm all for helping the poor pay for school, but not on the basis of race. If you're a minority and you get help, a white person with the same financial background better get the same help too."

minervinator said, "Why should race have anything to do with admissions? I know blacks and Mexicans who were born and raised in suburban neighborhoods. I know white kids from Africa. What's more diverse: A white kid and a black kid from the same neighborhood with the same family structure and interests; or a rich white kid and a white kid from the projects who have different backgrounds, family life, and hobbies? If you think that Berkeley is promoting a positive message, congratulations, you're a racist."

But other readers said the odds were still stacked against minorities.

justingb said, "The campus Republicans left out how legacies (which we can agree are mostly white) are a HUGE consideration during the admissions process ... especially if you have deep pockets. bookldy209 said, "On the flip side, (the pricing) is a realistic comparison of relative income post-graduation."

Guest said, "Let's just pick one point in time because there's hundreds of years of advantage here: It's 1940. I'm a white male and I can go to college because I am a white male and I am the only type of person that can attend a major university. I do not have to compete with blacks, Latinos or women; they simply are not allowed to attend. My parents were allowed to go to college. They filled me with knowledge and confidence since I was born. Successful people had the same skin color as me. They were allowed to own businesses and buy land. I also could own a business or buy land or I could easily get a job with one of these white males. When my parents died they left me an inheritance from the wealth they were allowed to accumulate. I then was able to gather more wealth and my kids inherited knowledge, wealth, and social wealth from me. I wonder how my black counterpart has done? He and his parents weren't allowed to work, build wealth or get educated."

Do you feel your views align with these commenters' thoughts? Post a comment below or sound off on video.

Compiled by the CNN.com moderation staff. Some comments edited for length or clarity.

Overheard on CNN.com: Will warp drive be possible?
A monitor showing the first ultra high-energy collisions is seen at the CMS experiment control room at CERN in 2010.
September 23rd, 2011
04:33 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Will warp drive be possible?

Exchange of the Day:

"Remember when the Star Ship Voyager went beyond warp 10 and the crew de-evolved? Kind of like that ..."–9Destiny9

"Exactly like that, only completely different."–clearfog

Scientists: Particles appear to travel faster than light

The travels of a tiny particle called a neutrino may challenge Albert Einstein's theory of relativity, scientists say. An experiment in Switzerland shows the particles apparently defying nature by traveling faster than the speed of light. Some CNN.com readers wrote the problem may lie with neutrinos rather than with Einstein's theory.

Binky42 said, "Neutrinos are too understudied to make assumptions that blast Einstein's theories at this point. There has been no evidence so far (that I'm aware of) that muon neutrinos have mass. It's all based on assumption and not on empirical evidence. They have only scratched the surface of neutrino studies, and all they really know about them is that they are 'weird.'"

mcpersons said, "According to the theory of relativity, nothing with a rest mass that can be expressed as a real number can be observed to travel faster than light. Neutrinos were originally thought to be similar to light in that they would have zero rest mass (like particles of light, the photon) and would therefore travel at the speed of light. Some years back, however, it was discovered that there were in fact three types of neutrino, and that each type can 'switch' from one type to another. The theory on how they can 'switch' back and forth was based upon a new assumption that the rest mass of the neutrino was small but not zero: To my knowledge, this was an assumption of the oscillations between the three types, and not independently confirmed."

Brian222 said, "People are a little too excited about something that might very well be an error in measurement." kettlecorn replied, "It's not an error, there are other neutrino detectors around the world and at least one other has gotten the same results."

Many wanted to know how the discovery related to science fiction theories. enricorosan asked, "Does this mean that warp drive like in 'Star Trek' is possible? Sorry if my question offends people who are very knowledgeable in science." CEW replied, "No, this is more like the FTL drives in "Battlestar Galactica." Warping is like 'bending' space, akin to an artificial wormhole (I think)."

kettlecorn said, "More likely in our lifetimes, you will see this result in wireless power distribution, noninvasive surgery, covert surveillance and what is more likely than warp drive: just opening a window to wherever you want to step through to."

Overheard on CNN.com: Maybe you should change your name?
Former U.S. Sen. and Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum
September 22nd, 2011
05:38 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Maybe you should change your name?

Comments of the Day:

"Who the hell is this guy named Santorum you people keep talking about? I think it's pretty unfortunate he shares his name with a sexual biproduct. No, Google should make no changes."–gtown03gp

"That's hilarious! Change your name, dude."–DMeccariello

Santorum asks Google to clean up search results for his name

After presidential candidate Rick Santorum compared homosexuality to pedophilia and bestiality, a lewd definition for "santorum" appeared in Google search. Gay-rights supporters had launched a campaign to redefine his name, and it worked. Santorum wants Google to repair the damage, but the company says it has a history of non-interference in such matters. CNN.com readers were largely unsympathetic.

spittingoutt said, "Sorry Rick, but that's what you get for being an ignorant, hate-filled bigot. Reap what you sow." Boniface said, "If he's going to make ignorant and discriminatory and inflammatory remarks in public, he better get used to the fallout from it. I have zero sympathy for him."

DeweyFleszar said, "The Google algorithm doesn't lie, and Google should not artificially change their search results because he is running for president and is upset by the results of his actions in 2003. You've made your bed, Rick – now lie in it."

Moby52 said, "Rick, funny how you, a constitutional conservative, want to limit free speech when you don't like the results. That same attitude got you in this problem in the first place. I guess you will never learn that being a hypocrite is a curse."

timothyliao said, "I am a Conservative but this is a case of Rick Santorum being stupid and not knowing how the Internet works. Stick to your guns, Google, don't censor yourselves for the sake of others except for minors."

tilityboard said, "This is not simply a Google problem. All three major search engines (Bing, Google, Yahoo) list the definition of 'Santorum' as their first result. The real problem here is Rick Santorum! Why is this guy even running for president? Is it just an effort to legitimize the tea party fantasy of Michele Bachmann's electability?"

sonicblew said, "If a GOP 'candidate' can't even beat an UrbanDictionary listing in Google, how does he expect to topple a Democratic incumbent?"

LoCus2021 said, "The best part is the more he keeps bringing it up, the higher results it's going to get and will stay there."

Overheard on CNN.com: The rich don't create jobs
September 19th, 2011
05:23 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: The rich don't create jobs

Comments of the Day:

"A tax like this is overdue. The supposed 'job creators' have had lower taxes for a while now and done a poor job of creating jobs. Tax them unless they actually start creating jobs."–pplr

"Obama is just asking the rich to pay the same amount as the middle class. That is not class warfare."–Harrassed

Obama to propose new tax rate for millionaires

Those earning more than $1 million a year would be taxed at rate matching that of middle-income earners, if President Obama's Buffet Rule is approved by Congress. The proposed tax hike is part of Obama's deficit reduction plan. Many CNN.com readers applauded the announcement.

poiuytrew said, "The rich do not create jobs! Their customers create jobs. Jobs are created when demand exceeds current capacity, and that happens when more people have money to spend. There is no such thing as a benevolent corporation. They will only hire when it's in their interest to hire, and it will only be in their interest when demand for their product skyrockets."

dphuff said, "I propose a shunning of any politician who uses the bogus term 'job creator' as a way to whitewash the word 'wealthy.' It's BS. Tax rates on the wealthy were higher during the Clinton years, and our economy was booming. It's time the rich paid their fair share, and that includes raising tax rates on unearned income as well. There's no reason that income from a pile of cash should be taxed any differently than income earned by honest labor."

EvelynWaugh said, "Obama is just raising taxes to previous levels .. and guess what, during Clinton they paid 31 percent and we had jobs. Now they pay 22 percent and we do not have jobs. Explain that?"

MtnDave said, "There need to be spending cuts but there also need to be tax increases on everyone. If Obama has a second term, this is exactly what he will do; and he certainly will not be liked for it (which is why it hasn't been done yet). For those who think this can be solved by spending cuts alone: they're part of the problem."

Harrassed said, "I am a small business owner and a former Republican. And I am absolutely delighted to hear Obama's plan. I don't have any lobbyists, and I don't get any loopholes. Obama's plan is a bipartisan plan that is fair for everybody." EvelynWaugh agreed, "I'm a small business owner as well and he has passed some pretty good stuff for small business." But Brad4 said, "I own two small businesses and Obama is killing me."

FoolKiller said, "So, the kids with the bubblegum have to bring enough for everyone, right Obama? Grow up! But since your target audience never did, this will probably keep working." pimpplaya999 replied, " 'The 'kids with the bubblegum' earned that bubblegum as a result of the lower rates they paid when the middle class saw their wages fall in the last decade. That bubblegum actually belongs to the middle class and they want it back."

Overheard on CNN.com: It's raining in Texas
Cows in the Texas Panhandle seem just as perplexed as their owners when rain fell Thursday.
September 16th, 2011
05:26 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: It's raining in Texas

Comments of the Day:

"The nicest smell in the whole world, the smell of wet dirt during that first rain after a loooong period of zilcho. Love it. Good luck folks."–manyote

"Feels good to see rain in Texas and the cows! And I do not even live there!"–awesomeiam

Texas rain: 'Like manna from heaven'

It finally rained in Texas. After months of drought and the hottest summer on record, Texas recorded three-quarters of an inch in the Panhandle. It wasn't nearly enough; Texas needs the same weekly for a few months for real relief, said Andrew Moulton, a meteorologist at the National Weather Center in Amarillo, Texas. Many CNN.com readers shared their excitement and longing for rain in their area of the state.

Bmery44 said, "It's raining here in Corpus Christi TEXAS!" Peluard said, "Finally some good news. Those people desperately need the rain."

drowlord said, "The drought has been a burden for people, but I feel really bad for wildlife here. All the streams are dried up. The fish all converged on the deepest spots, and when those dried up, they just died - thousands dying in tiny puddles. Turtles, snakes, lizards, frogs, small mammals ... all dying without water. It's been an apocalypse for anything that can't fly."

DrBillToth1 said, "Still not a drop in fire ravaged Waller County." SusanAnn13 said, "Please send the rain to Houston." Texian2 said, "Thanks, God. Now, if you don't mind, could we get a drop or two in South Texas?" jdurand said, "We just need some of this a little further east where all the fires are."

Dano973 said, "Georgia had a two-year long drought like this about six years ago when Lake Lanier was just about empty. I remember hearing a meteorologist say it would have to rain for a week to make a difference. Well it ended up raining for a week ... then a month. Be patient, my friends."

Overheard on CNN.com: What would Donald Trump say?
Miss Angola 2011, Leila Lopes, takes the crown Monday night as Miss Universe from last year's winner, Miss Mexico.
September 15th, 2011
04:10 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: What would Donald Trump say?

Dumbest question in the universe

Comments of the Day:

"For one, I'm offended of the Miss Universe pageant, but not because it objectifies women, but because it is discriminatory against women from Alpha Centauri."– nts

"She did well with it, though, didn't she! Stupid question, smart lady!"– twophad

Of all the questions in the universe, why was a beautiful woman like Leila Lopes - now Miss Universe - asked what part of her physical anatomy she would change, asks CNN writer Jessica Ravitz. And who came up with such a question? Many CNN.com readers thought it was designed to be a trick question.

dietetics101 said, "I see nothing wrong with the question. I think true class and grace can only be displayed when the conditions are less than admirable. The person who wrote it was intending it to be a trap, and likely expose a lot of awkwardness. That it did not, is pretty cool."

Kam2010 said, "This question is similar to the 'What do you consider your biggest weakness' question they ask you on job interviews. It is designed to determine how well you would react to such a charged question. I think Miss Angola handled it with grace."

JiceReal said, "Miss Angola's response to a shallow question about looks was an inspirational message to young girls, emphasizing the importance of inner beauty. Maybe that was the intentional test all along."

RAM05 said, "It's a valid question women ask themselves every day when they look in the mirror, when they see how other women are dressed, etc. Maybe women shouldn't worry so much about their personal appearance and focus on cultivating their inner beauty more, but that isn't how society views women, is it? Personally, I think Miss Angola gave the perfect answer."

Rexa said, "The reason the judges can't ask what they want on 'Miss Universe' is due to sensitivity and respect for other nations. If you asked Miss China what she thought about political issues when she comes from a communist country she'd get imprisoned when she returned."

canuckimport said, "I wonder if Donald will say he would like to change his hair?"

AC2012 suggested, "After they make Styrofoam, what do they ship it in? Why did kamikaze pilots wear helmets?"

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